What was the final "trigger" that convinced you to become an atheist?
For me the trigger was really over a course of about 2 years. Being deeply religious most of my life I always had a deep faith in the God of the Bible even though I could not understand and reconcile much of the Old Testament God and the God of love in the New Testament. I went through a period of two years where I was going through a very hard and difficult time, not so much with circumstances in my life, but with God and who He was in my life. And after countless hours of prayer and tears and searching for truth that the God of the Bible claimed to be, it hit me one day that He really wasn't there. All you have to do is apply the Bible to itself and it fails miserably!
You don't even have to look far to find a slew of failed teachings. For me, given my circumstances, I was not looking for anything material or anything that was selfish. I was looking for the God I had so loyally followed all my life. The God who said he was the way the truth and the life, the God who said knock and the door shall be opened, seek and you shall find, ask and it shall be given.
So I did exactly as I believed, I used God's Bible to do what he said. I knocked on His door, no answer... (He lied)... I asked, I didn't receive... (He lied)... I went seeking for Him to see if He was there. I didn't find Him (He lied). Either the God of the Bible is a liar (sinner) or when you apply the Bible to itself it falls down like a house of cards.
How did your decision to become an atheist affect your life?
I am less judgemental and live my life to the fullest now. My morals are excellent without the religious BS. My biggest regret is that I lost 25 years of the freedom I have now. Funny a book that claims to free the world actually imprisons it.
I generally don't tell people that I don't believe in the God of the Bible as I find most actually don't care other then Christians. I hold out hope that there may be something great out there and that this life we live will one day have some sense to it. But right now it is not the nonsense of the Bible.