What was the final "trigger" that convinced you to become an atheist?
For me it happened during puberty and it was the realization of mainly two things. First, I saw how other Christians responded to the topic of evolution. For me there was no doubt about it. We had evolved like every other organism on the Earth. But many others recoiled from the notion. And that brought my awareness to a general pattern of what I would later learn was called denial. Second, as most every male has experienced, during puberty my body was sending me some fairly unambiguous signals, and my thoughts were on women. The church basically told me that an emotion that I had virtually no control over, lust, was bad. And this brought my awareness to a general pattern of attempts to control.
These two things together, denial and attempts to control, withered my respect for Christianity and my ability to heed it as a guide. It was as if blind men were giving me commands. I walked away. After some further reflection on god, I think if there is a god then Spinoza's god or some variation thereof makes the most sense. But I am now effectively an atheist.
How did your decision to become an atheist affect your life?
Other than a much increased sense of cognitive freedom, there has been little effect however. I think this is likely due to the fact that I don't advertise my heathen nature. I blend in and I try to handle questions of faith in God creatively. I don't lie. But I also don't volunteer information.