I could tell a detailed testimony of my experiences but I'll cut to the conclusion. I shelved my true, curious nature in exchange for what was explained to me as the “real” truth, God and faith in him. After 7 years of truly believing, seeking, and trying to have a relationship with God, I realized I only had a relationship with my delusions and the suffering that resulted from my temporary separation with reason. It almost seems as if my brain knew I was holding it at religious gunpoint, and it “shouted pleas” if you will, as if begging, “Why isn't your reality matching your belief?”
We as a species learn, adapt, and evolve. I wonder if these same processes have set me free from the self-imposed mental handicap of religious faith. There's much I don't know, but I do know your book played a crucial role in slowing down the irrational merry-go-round of faith that had me dizzy and confused. At first I thought you were quite arrogant to question and disbelieve in my hero at the time, God. Now you, freethinkers, and rationality are my new heroes. I lock arms with all those interested in using reason based methods and tools to advance the human civilization and to promote discovery.
I thought I had eternity to live, but now I don't claim to know what happens at death–if anything more than merely death itself. I appreciate life so much more than I ever did as a Christian; not to mention, I have so much more joy and peace now. In the sincerest form possible, thank you Dr. Dawkins. You and other rational people saved me from wasting my life. Now that I've put a huge chunk of ignorance behind me, I can get to work on disposing more; I have quite the better chance now that I have rationality back.
Eternally, I mean, mortally grateful,
(Feel free to post my email – firstname.lastname@example.org)