I was raised as a Congregationalist Protestant. My family was not particularly religious, and only went to church occasionally. In my early teens (13-14) I began going to various religious services around my home town ranging further and further as my bicycle and weather would permit. I went to Baptist, Catholic, Unitarian, Pentecostal, Mormon, and Eastern Orthodox services. I also went to Hebrew temple, and even snuck into a local mosque after doing much research at the local library so as not to be discovered as a non-muslim. Nothing really stuck or rang true in any of the services. I was impressed by the ceremony of Eastern Orthodox Easter and the music at the Unitarian’s, but impressed by the art was not equal to impressed by the philosophy. I let the whole matter rest. In my first year at college I read “The Way of Zen” and found the Eastern religious thought to have some very valuable lessons. Through the next 15 years or so, I played around with
a sort of Zen-paganism even that didn’t satisfy, being to reliant on things un-sensed, unknowable, & without evidence.
Surprisingly, it was not “The God Delusion” that finally settled me to declare myself an atheist (actually I prefer C. Hitchen’s term anti-theist), but another of your gems, “The Blind Watchmaker.”
Since then, I have actively advocated science as mankind’s best way to deal with the precious little time my consciousness has. I have tried to confront every backward notion that blind faith, respect for revelation, and every well-meaning lie of creationist dogma since reading that book. It has given me the strength to advocate for human dignity, progress, and preservation that religion never could.
I want to thank you and your foundation for your dedication to the betterment of mankind through the science advocacy. There is far too much misconception of the real world out there and your foundation stands as a bulwark against ignorance & injustice.
Keep it up!
With the greatest of appreciation,