Apart from the early experiences, such as some type of relationship problem with their father (absent, harsh, criticizing, or some other relationship problem), it is interesting to view the current psychological characteristics of atheists.
1). They tend to take the moral high ground. They look down on believers as simplistic, uneducated, stupid, weak, intolerant, gun toting, racists, and simple minded dolts.
2). They tend to not be able to understand that their position means “anything goes,” with respect to morality. If there is no God, then there is no objective thing as morality. It’s all subjective… They always find some way to justify the fact that they practice at least some moral principles. Whether they think it’s biologically ingrained through millions of years of evolution or morality is simply “adaptive in allowing the species to survive.” Most often; however, they have never even considered the logical consequences of atheism and morality.
3). There is something in their lives that they are afraid they would have to give up if they believed in God. It’s usually some pattern that brings them pleasure in a way that they feel believers might label as immoral. They are typically not conscious of this.
4). They portray themselves as enlightened, intelligent, tolerant, moral, caring, accepting, loving, peacible, and kind. And sometimes, they really and truly are. I’ve known them and met them. However, they are not tolerant, in general, of the beliefs of “believers.” They can tolerate anything but that.
5). Just like the fervent believer, they have trouble avoiding proselytising their belief system. They often try to promote their views to believers. They get a kick out seeing believers squirm when they ask them some deep philosophical question which the believer has not considered nor been confronted with.
As an aside, in treatment, I’ve noted a number of youngsters who are constipated, like to “crap on people rather than in the toilet.” Once they start utilizing the toilet appropriately, they stop utilizing people as a repository for their bound up bodily functions. They have to be taught to drink appropriate amounts of water and eat fiber to achieve this.
6) They find a replacement for “religion.” Whether it’s the environment, political causes, sociological wrongs, whatever, but they find a replacement. They have the notions of sin, redemption, and salvation, in their substitute belief system.
7) They pretend their emotional and psychological system has nothing to do with their lack of belief. But readily attribute psychological factors to those who do believe (i.e., needing a crutch, simple minded, lacking education, delusional). They espouse that naturalism is the true faith of intellectuals. Only a simple and weak minded fool would believe anything different.
Now, I have only seen or read about one logically consistent atheist…..Jeffrey Dahmer. There have been philosophers, I know, who have come to this logical conclusion. But I’m talking about someone who logically practiced what he believed.
“If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what’s the point of trying to modify your behaviour to keep it within acceptable ranges? That’s how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing…” (1)
So said Dahmer. I’ve not met a single atheist who can even come close to this degree of logical consistency, thank God! But they always skirt around this issue and never admit the logical consistency of Dahmer’s claims. To that extent, I think it’s good for society. However, it would be difficult for many atheists not to question their position if they were to admit the logical consistency of Dahmer’s argument.