“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1).
Over at Uncommon Descent, there have been some interesting discussions about a) atheism and morality1,2 and b) physicalism.3,4 What you will find with almost all atheists is a retreat from materialism where it undermines 1) morality, and 2) rationality or freedom to evaluate evidence in a non-deterministic way. Often the retreat is accomplished by pseudo-spiritual methods (e.g., appeals to quantum mechanics, Buddhism, humanism, nature worship, or just by simply stating “I don’t believe that beliefs are fully physically determined”). In other words, they want materialism in all ways that allow them to deny God’s existence, but reject it in the areas in which it undermines their credibility. None of this is terribly surprising. Were they to examine these issues in a logically consistent manner, they might have to question their atheism. Belief in God is often very threatening to many atheists in part because of problems with commitment and difficulty yielding to authority.
All of the posts below were written by Barry Arrington.