I have a personal perspective on atheism. I started off my faith journey with a pretty tepid Presbyterian upbringing. Later, my career interests turned to science and, partly because of the misguided ideas about God and the universe that permeate modern science, I rejected God and became an atheist. Many years later, I converted to Roman Catholicism.
I think it’s funny how atheists look at people of faith and accuse them of having “blind faith” as though it were a bad thing. I used to be one of them, so it is even funnier looking at it from my new Catholic perspective. I used to say that, because I am a scientist, I need to see it to believe it. Well, seeing doesn’t bring faith, it brings knowledge. Faith is, by necessity, somewhat blind. If you can see it, if it is clear and concrete, right in front of your face, then it is knowledge. It doesn’t take any faith to believe in that which is staring you in the face. Faith is belief without concrete knowledge. I just never got that when I was an atheist.
What is truly funny about the atheist accusation of “blind faith” is that it is hypocritical. As for my own hypocrisy, I went though all my advanced science classes in high-school. In college, I took biology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, and genetics classes and got my BS in Biochemistry. I studied in-depth the maddeningly intricate wonders of the microscopic and macroscopic universe. I learned about self-regulating biological functions that operated more like tiny little machines than anything you would think of as organic. I saw genetic coding that was transcribed and translated in a fashion that is eerily similar to the way data is stored and copied on a computer disk. I studied all this. I made it my career in life. And, yet, despite what was obviously the work of a Creator, I still believed in my heart that it happened by random accident. Talk about “blind faith”!
Based on my own life, I think many atheists reject God because of what they might refer to as “unanswered prayers.” I wanted this, I wanted that, I wanted God to play by my rules. I prayed to God and didn’t get what I wanted. So, I rejected him and that was it. Now, I know that God answers all prayers; sometimes we don’t like the answers.
I recently was in an online debate about politics and religion with a woman who was a professed atheist. She posted once that, one day, when she was 12 years old, she “figured out” that there is no God, and she “never looked back.” I didn’t ask her what form that particular revelation took, but I was curious. I also thought it odd that an intelligent, somewhat-rational adult would base their entire life and belief system on a decision they made as an adolescent.