Atheists are reasonable people. I mean that literally: we try to employ Reason when we make decisions, especially about something as central to our beings as our personal World View. Reasoned decisions require valid evidence because belief, absent evidence, is just a Wish. Evidence is the key. As a rational man, I would be the first to drop to my knees if God Almighty manifested His existence to us in a rational, unambiguous manner. (None of this ‘God is in the beauty of a sunset’ crap). No, I am talking about clear demonstration of undisputed Godly Power. Something like restoring limbs to amputees, rescuing Steven Hawking from his wheelchair, rolling back a raging Tsunami so that the Innocent might survive, intervening when Boko Haram massacres thousands of people in His name, etc.. And, no, I will not accept that rescuing a single child while killing everyone else in a plane crash constitutes a ‘miracle’ or proof of God’s infinite Goodness.
And please don’t bring up Free Will. I will also not tolerant of the usual ‘free will’ argument: innocents don’t choose to be victims of evils such as gun violence, natural disasters or illness. In this world, innocents are obviously not protected whether they ‘believe on the Lord’ or not. As it stands, if Person A decides to be Evil, it is usually Person B who unwillingly suffers the consequences. If God is waiting for every, single, individual on Earth to accept Jesus as the Christ before He finally makes a move to end Evil, we are truly screwed.
This is what seems reasonable to me: If God wanted us to follow Him, He wouldn’t play hide and seek. He’d satisfy our rational minds (which were supposed to be created by Him) by communicating the same, unifying, message clearly and intelligibly to every one of the 8,000,000,000+ people presently crowding His creation. Each person could then make an informed decision about what Life Path to follow. But instead He is absent and silent. There is no sign of God in the real world…Earth looks exactly like you would expect if there was no God at all. Each individual is left to struggle in isolation leading to conflicts of ideology and religious war. In our world, Good People suffer equally with Bad People. Disease, crime, illness affect us all – Believers and Non-Believers alike.
To say that humans are responsible for the abysmal conditions of this existence was simply a way for the rulers in antiquity to keep the ignorant masses on their knees, groveling for forgiveness for their imagined sins. It worked in an age when superstition was all humans had to combat disease and natural disasters…but it won’t work in the modern age. The evidence for God’s existence is, itself, non-existent. And belief in something that has no basis in fact – no evidence – is unreasonable.