What was the final "trigger" that convinced you to become an atheist?
I never had any one moment where I went "Aha!" but as my de-conversion gained momentum, I eventually realized that I didn't believe in any god. After reading more on this site (ex-Christian forum), which led me to reading other scientific and historical sources, I came to the conclusion that I just didn't see enough evidence for there being any sort of supernatural. Even "supernatural" events I found there were at least quasi-scientific ways of explaining them away without it being a supernatural being of some sort. I finally called myself atheist about 8 months after determining I was agnostic, which was prefaced by about 3 years of being a "Buddhist-Christian."
Science, reason, and history led me to finally say "I see no evidence of a god, and therefore, do not believe one exists."
If someone searched my older posts you'd find I was much closer to a deist/agnostic when I first got here (to the ex-Christian forum), but the freedom to say I'm no longer a Christian has been very liberating and quickly moved me out of that mindset once I was able to embrace no longer being a Christian. Telling my family was one of the final hurdles to truly feeling free.
How did your decision to become an atheist affect your life?
As for how it has affected my life...well, for the most part, it has been a huge relief. There were moments of great stress, such as "coming out" to family and friends that I was no longer Christian, but other than that, I've finally felt free to seek the truth without the veil of religion there binding me. The biggest loss would have been the "insta-friends" one could find in churches, it is harder to find friends as an atheist since you have no established social gathering place every week lol!
I feel a lot more compassion towards my fellow humans now than I ever did as a religious person. Additionally, any judgements I pass on people (usually that they are idiots:dumbo:) is based on logic, reason, and I can justify why I feel the way I do. I am much more open to other points of view - I may choose not to agree, but find that I don't shut things out as readily as I did before.
I have also become a lot more outspoken - not rude, but no longer being tromped on by other people around me. This is probably my favorite thing - although seems to be my family's least favorite as I am no longer their drama door-mat!