I live in Australia but grew up in U.K., and I first cast off Christianity when I was 12 years old.
What was the final "trigger" that convinced you to become an atheist?
The final trigger for me was when I was going to Confirmation classes( I was Church of England) and I realized that religion and the worship of invisible deities made no sense to me whatsoever and I concluded that it was a load of nonsense. The whole "saviour" thing, being "saved", the whole of the human race being "sinners", animals not having "souls", whereas humans were given souls by "god". Stuff and nonsense! I just stopped believing overnight.
How did your decision to become an atheist affect your life?
My atheism has not made any difference to relationships either with friends or family. My family wasn't particularly religious anyway.
I'm positive that not being a Christian has made me a better person in that I am non-judgemental. A person's colour, belief, race or sexuality matters not. I have friends who are a mix of colours, races, beliefs and sexuality.
One of my very best friends is Pentecostal and he prays for me and my soul! He is a lay preacher and he is one of THE most judgemental people you could imagine! He hates homosexuals, black people, Asians, anyone of any other race or religion ... it really is pathetic and I have to wonder why I am still friends with him, but there you are, love is unconditional, is it not?
My wife and daughters, my grandchildren are all atheists and nicer people you would never meet. I have 4 sisters and a brother who are all atheists and they are, like the rest of my family, non-judgemental.
My family are all lovers of this planet and the wonders that exist on Earth and we are certain that nothing anywhere on the planet has been created by invisible deities.
We are here because of "nature"(for want of a different word), not because of a god invented 2600 years ago by a group of donkey nomads in a tiny place in the Middle East(who had the collective intelligence of a flea when it came to understanding how everything around them happened).