I used to think a lot like you. I guess the thing is; people really do send themselves to Hell. All that Hell is is a rejection of God’s love and the Catechism states that the greatest suffering of those in Hell is “simply” being away from God. If you don’t want to stay with God you don’t have to and the alternate choice feels empty and terrible because our natures were literally made for God but he doesn’t force us to accept that destiny.
I think that if you’re philosophically inclined you could try Summa Contra Gentiles. You may try book 3.11 and book 1.37.
I also feel the need to point out that the nice family man atheist you’ve described earlier isn’t necessarily doomed to Hell. He could very well end up in Heaven, and the odds of that are not small.
Basically, wherever there is good there must be the possibility of evil.
If somebody forced you to hold their hand and forced you to kiss them and forced you to make love to them and drugged you with some weird thing that made you “love” him and you felt bliss… wouldn’t that man be immoral?
Why didn’t God make our nature inclined to Him?
He did. He made our natures inclined to good but he gives us choice, we can choose to love Him or choose to not do so. Quite frankly put if he would’ve made us incapable of not loving then that would’ve been a paradox. Love must be a choice; else it isn’t a love.
Let’s take an example. A mother is inclined to love her baby and very so inclined but if there is no possibility for her, if she chooses to, to abandon that child (as terrible as that may be) then she’s merely a robot at that stage, not a human. That’s what makes us human, our free will. Otherwise, we’d be a lot like AI and yeah I guess God could’ve created that but that would be creepy.
I used to think a lot like you, and I do mean I lot I see myself mirrored in you. Give it time and more time and more time and more faith. Even if you give up on God he won’t give up on you whether you see it right now or not.
PS I find nice proof of God and Christianity specifically in the story of the historical Jesus of Nazareth and the history of the very very early church. It’s super helpful because… either these men were all mad or they’d really seen Jesus ressurected are basically the only two optionsl