I want to thank Prof. Dawkins and his book The God Delusion for helping me through the final stages of my de-conversion to a rational, free-thinking atheist. I am a 39 year old man who grew up with very little in the way of organized religion, but was always curious about how life came to be, how things work, etc. I consider myself a philomath. I hunger for knowledge about everything in life.
While growing up, I had a general, fuzzy belief in God, simply because I was never presented with any other adequate explanation for how we came to be. When I went to college, I was recruited by what is known in some circles as the “Boston Movement” or International Church of Christ. Their charisma and enthusiasm was very contagious and I had very few friends, so the social aspect was appealing as well. I was a fairly easy “convert” for them, possibly because they are very thorough in their teaching of what it means to be a Christian (far more so than any other church I've encountered to this day). I percieved this to mean that I had found the “truth” and was quite happy for a while. However, as time went on, I studied the Bible more and more. (as they actively encourage) Unfortunately for me, there were so many things that just didn't make sense logically, both within the Bible and between the Bible and life. My doubts grew greater and greater as time went on, despite my honest efforts to resolve them with other church members. I eventually left (which was probably the most difficult choice I've ever made in my life) and continued to believe in God, but couldn't make sense of it all.
Then I picked up The God Delusion. As I read it, it was as if a light switch flipped in my head. I realized that life makes far more sense once you realize that God and religion are all just man-made ideas. To be honest, I WISH there was a God around that could take care of things and prevent us from destroying ourselves, but it is obvious this is not the case. The key point for me was that the world/universe operates as if there is no God.
Thanks very much to Richard, Sam, Chris & Dan for their tireless work and eloquent books that have helped me and others come to realize that we don't need God or religion to live a happy, fulfilling life. In fact, I've never been more happy or content since I've “found” atheism.