I am 42 years old. I became a true atheist about a year ago. I'm Norwegian, and religion here is not a big part of society, but it exists, and I was baptized as a young boy. My family is not very religious, but we did go to church at Christmas and other occasions.
Some years ago, I married a Peruvian beauty, of course she's Catholic and has deep beliefs. At the time I didn't think so much about it, but after a while, being in Peru many times and attending church there, I started wondering how religion could be such a big part of society.
I started reading the Bible and Bible history. I attended a course in Catholic teachings at my local church. Then it got to me. This is the most elaborate lie of human kind. I started talking to my parents about it, my wife and others, and it seemed none of them were enlightened on the subject. They had just taken what they themselves had been told as truth. When I started asking questions, they piled up to so many, that I finally considered the Bible as rubbish. The feeling of foolishness of the whole idea was overwhelming.
At the same time, a couple of years ago, I started reading science. Deep subjects in relativity, cosmology, and quantum physics. This finally got me back to school, where I am now studying mathematics and physics. I plan to get a PhD in cosmology. So religion did something good for me, it got me back to my dream of becoming a scientist. I have run a successful computer company for 10 years, and I quit to follow my dream. Thanks to religion.
Of course, if religion hadn't been there in the first place, I'd probably be a scientist 20 years ago.