I am an atheist because I got lucky. My luck came in two forms: good parents and an education in critical thinking. First, my parents had a large hand in developing my atheism. No, please don’t think that my parents “indoctrinated” me into atheism like religious parents indoctrinate their children into their superstitions. In fact, the opposite is true. My parents protected me from indoctrination. Like almost all people raised in the United States, I was reared in a relatively religious community and was surrounded by believers. Now, having grown up in the North East, my community was not nearly as rabidly religious as some, but I still felt the pressure to conform to religion as a child and felt the fear of damnation. But when others would try to indoctrinate me, my parents would subtly counteract it by explaining that what they were telling me was not THE way to believe but merely one among many ways that people believe. By simply exposing me to other religions and beliefs, I was able to see that none was more rational or believable than any other.
I was also naturally intellectually curious, and I always loved reading From a young age, I devoured every book I could get my hands on. This trend continues to this day and led to my being thoroughly educated in critical thinking and philosophy. In fact, I received an MA in Philosophy with a specialty in critical thinking. Anyone who has not been indoctrinated, who knows something about critical thinking, and who has read widely is bound, in my opinion, to come to become an atheist. And thus I did. My atheism is indeed deeply rational and scientific, but I do recognize that I was lucky to reach this conclusion based on the preparation I was given in my childhood.