John Hodgson can describe Richard Dawkins's atheism as vacuous only because 'atheist' is a term which non-believers use purely as a polemical convenience when we have to define concisely what we don't believe [...]. No atheist is principally that. What we'd want to call ourselves is humanist or materialist, or biologist or linguist, or for that matter socialist, because one or more of these, or something else again, is what we do and think and are. We have 'purely and simply finished with God', to adapt a phrase of Engels's.
However modest one may be in one's demand for intellectual cleanliness, one cannot help feeling, when coming into contact with the New Testament, a kind of inexpressible discomfiture: for the unchecked impudence with which the least qualified want to raise their voice on the greatest problems, and even claim to be judges of things, surpasses all measure. The shameless levity with which the most intractable problems (life, world, God, purpose of life) are spoken of, as if they were not problems at all but simply things that these little bigots KNEW!
There is yet another class that, having found that their own religion not only prevents free thinking but that some of its philosophies are also against some basic social, economic and scientific concepts of life as required by the progressive society, comes to the illogical conclusion that all religions similarly thwart the growth of progressive societies... Such people fall easy prey to materialism and denounce all religions without having any definite idea of any religion at all.
Don't creationists ever wonder about the fact that the paleontologists found ape-like skulls with the 'human leg and foot bones,' rather than the other way around, i.e., human skulls with 'ape leg and foot bones?' . . . Come on, creationists, think about it! Did God hide the human skulls, only leaving behind leg and foot bones belonging to human midgets with misshapen feet, and mix such bones only with the skulls of ape-like creatures with larger cranial capacities than living apes? What a 'kidder' the creationists' God must be.
There may be some truth (atheists) do not need to believe in a god to be good, but then if they do not believe in a god, who do they believe gives the Universal Law of following good and shunning evil? Obviously, mankind. But then that is a dangerous thing, for if a man does not believe in a god capable of giving perfect laws, he is in the position of declaring all laws come from man, and as man is imperfect, he can declare that as fallible men make imperfect laws, he can pick and choose what he wishes to follow, that which, in his own mind seems good. He does not believe in divine retribution, therefore he can also declare his own morality contrary to what the divine may decree simply because he believes there is no divine decree. He may follow his every whim and passion, declaring it to be good when it may be very evil, for he like all men is imperfect, so how can he tell what is verily good? The atheist is in danger of mistaking vice for good and consequently follow another slave master and tyrant, his own physical and mental weakness. Evil would be wittingly or unwittingly perpetrated, therefore, to recognise the existence of a perfect divine being that gives perfect Universal Laws is much better than not to believe in a god, for if there is a perfect god, they will not allow their laws to be broken with impunity as in the case with many corrupt judges on earth, but will punish accordingly in due time. Therefore, to be pious and reverent is the surest path to true freedom as a perfect god will give perfect laws to prevent all manner of slavery, tyranny and moral wantonness, even if we do not understand why they are good laws at times.
There is no logical reason to believe in God. There are emotional reasons, certainly, but I cannot have faith that nothing is something simply because it would be reassuring. I can no more believe in God than I can believe an invisible monkey lives in my ass; however, I would believe in both if they could be scientifically proven.
Atheists and their fellow travelers point to Islamic terrorism as a wake-up call that we'd better abandon God or the biblical disasters attributed to him will pale in comparison to what we'll end up doing to ourselves. In other words, God may not be dead, but keeping him alive endangers the human race.
Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.