I am a 30 year old Floridian in the U.S. I have to begin by saying that I think I was a “Closet Atheist” for a few years. I started to have my doubts in early college life when I learned about other myths that were too similar to Christian beliefs to just be coincidence (creation myths, flood myths, etc). I subsequently tried to substitute my Theism with Deism, and then with a semi-New Age Spiritualism. All, I found, failed to satisfy me.
Your book The Blind Watchmaker intrigued me and when I read The God Delusion, I was convinced – the world made sense after all.
I am now free from Hell, free from Spiritual guilt, and free of fear of death. Without your excellent explanations and potent analogies (my favorite is Mt. Improbable) I may still have lacked the courage to “come out” of the Atheist closet.
I thank you from my heart of hearts. Thank you for letting people know they are not alone. I thank you for expanding my knowledge and for raising my conscienceness. I hope I won't sound too effusive if I say that because of your work I know more about genes, physics, cosmology, paleontology, history, etc. than I would have had I gone on with outright belief or even a vague faith. Thank you, sir.
I, of course, can offer you nothing. But I hope in a small way I can repay you by saying that I will pass on my new found knowledge and understanding to my children – that to question is a virtue – and advise them to pass it along as well.