Is it possible that atheism is a kind of mental exercise in wish-fulfillment?
Perhaps those who reject God’s existence actually prefer a world without God.
Who wants to answer to God?
Some atheists would like us to believe that there is simply too much evidence against God. They mock belief in God by using silly comparisons with faith in Santa Clause or Easter Bunnies.
Lacking an ability to offer substantive responses to intelligent reasons for believing in God, many atheist resort to childish and demeaning reactions aimed at belittling believers.
Serious minded atheists (and there are not many) are willing to acknowledge deeper reasons for rejecting belief in God. Consider an example from a highly respected atheist.
An honest atheist speaks
“In speaking of the fear of religion, I don’t mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religions and religious institutions, in virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper–namely, the fear of religion itself. I speak from experience, being strongly subject to this fear myself: I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”
“My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and it is responsible for much of the scientism and reductionism of our time. One of the tendencies it supports is the ludicrous overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind. Darwin enabled modern secular culture to heave a great collective sigh of relief, by apparently providing a way to eliminate purpose, meaning and design as fundamental features of the world” (Thomas Nagel, “The Last Word”).
“In truth, many academics are naturalists or atheists as much or more on the basis of such wish fulfillment as they are on the basis of any reasoning or evidence.” (Dr. Michael Murray).
“Perhaps a God really does actually exist, and many humans–especially those not blinded by the reigning narratives of modern science and academia–feel a recurrent and deeply compelling ‘built-in’ desire to know and worship, in their various ways, the God who is there” (Christian Smith, “Moral, Believing Animals”).
Consider Nagel’s analysis of the “yearning for cosmic reconciliation that has been part of the philosophical impulse” and his recommendation of “a non-religious teleology.”
Nagel aspires to answer the question: “Can one bring into one’s individual life a full recognition of one’s relation to the universe as a whole?”