Ok, I'm not technically an atheist, but an agnostic. I'll answer anyway, just for something to do.
What was the final "trigger" that convinced you to become an atheist?
For me it was a very slow process, but there was no decision that made to stop believing. One day I just discovered to my horror that I no longer believed. I was in denial for a long time and fought it, but after a while I realised that there was nothing more I could do. I just no longer believed, full stop. There were many things that lead me to that position. One of the major things was discovering to my horror, that the last time God had ever done anything amazing in my life was about 10 years earlier. Of course now I can see through rational eyes and can put down those so-called amazing things to non-supernatural causes.
How did your decision to become an atheist affect your life?
Once again, decision is the wrong word. There is no decision involved, just as there is no decision when it comes to belief in God. Something convinces you and you find yourself believing. Or on the other hand, something convinces you that you're kidding yourself and you realise you no longer believe. You then realise you are an atheist... or in my case an agnostic.
I have found myself not telling a lot of people. Keeping it a secret, although I have started to tell some people now. It will not be long before I break it to my parents. I can see that coming.
Things make more sense now. The world, the way it is, the way people are makes more sense when you look at it from an evolutionary point of view, rather than a creationist point of view.
I am most definitely more accepting of minority groups. Before I used to condemn them because the Bible condemned them. I can now accept them as just being people who are different to me, but are not the evil or depraved people I thought they were. I can now accept atheists, gays, witches and many more beside without looking down my nose at them.
Before, if I wanted a relationship, it always had to be a Christian woman. Now the world is my oyster. I can have a relationship with anyone I damn well please and I have met and been involved with some amazing women recently, unlike the stuffy, inhibited, repressed, Christian women I've been involved with earlier in my life.
I no longer have to feel guilty about the silly little so-called sins Christianity condemned me for. I can accept myself more for who I am, knowing that I am simply acting on my human nature.
I am now more proactive when it comes to life. I know now that I only have a limited amount of time. There is no eternity. This is it and I have to make the most of my life now. No more complacency, no more apathy, no more thinking that this life is just a test and a blink in the eye of eternity. I create my own purpose, I create my own destiny. No more wasting time trying to serve a non-existent deity.