I've heard believers say things like "You've chosen to reject god," or "You've chosen to be an atheist." I've never felt like I chose to be an atheist. These days, I like it a lot -- it's liberating -- but in the early days it was tough going. If it had been a matter of making choices, I'm not sure it's one that I would have made. I might have chosen to be a Christian like most of the people I knew, and be accepted into that community. Atheism felt more like something that happened to me, like a realization that I couldn't avoid, regardless of what I would have chosen.
Religion seems the same. How could I have "chosen" to believe in a god? Or not to?
I realize that nothing is as simple as that. Sure, the Jack Chick tracts make it look like all you have to do is make a decision and the deal will be closed, but for most people the journey is more complicated than that. We're all influenced by what we read and hear, and by the people around us. There are some choices we can make that can influence outcomes, I suppose. And we all know that lots of people so happen to believe, or profess to believe, what their parents and neighbors believe.
All I know is that I never chose to become an atheist. The only choice I made was whether or not to accept it and be honest about it.
To what extent did making choices enter into it for you? Did you choose to be an atheist?