Actually, I didn’t fucking choose to be an atheist. I never woke up one morning and said “I’m going to stop believing in god.” But it’s an argument I hear all too often. From both sides. Religious folk and non-believers alike say things like “You can believe whatever you want to believe.”
You believe what it is natural for you to believe based on the information you have in front of you.
The only choice in the matter is the choice to explore, to seek knowledge, to read a god damned book. This is the issue I have with people who make decisions based on religion. Religious teachings often conflict with what the evidence tells us, but religious leaders and practitioners often disregard the evidence because they don’t understand it. They choose to be ignorant.
That said, I suppose there’s one more choice out there too. If one believes in a certain dogma–regardless of whether they’ve been educated or not–they still have a choice in how they treat people.