Believers would not only disagree but insist that belief in God is so obviously necessary to explain creation that IT is a no-brainer. This is the perfect formula for a dialogue of the deaf. Reconciling the contradictory points of view in mutual acceptance of both alternatives, is patently impossible (except perhaps for Kellyanne Conway or Donald Trump). Curiously, however, on rare occasions, people on both sides of the question of religious faith somehow succeed in winning over the opposition to their point of view. I, for example, was once a believer but am now a militant atheist, challenged as an apostate to defend my rejection of faith and espousal of atheism. No one, in fact, “won me over”. I was just lucky enough to find myself in circumstances conducive to critical thinking, and made my own decision. I now see where my faith came from (environment and brainwashing) and try to get believers (on the brink) to discover where theirs came from – and to draw the obvious conclusion.
Most people prefer to overlook the origin of their faith. No one is born a believer. During our first years we are a “tabula rasa” – a clean slate. People in our environment very quickly begin brainwashing us, giving us an outlook, attitudes, habits, ways of thinking – and believing – that we immediately absorb and which most people will continue to possess for the rest of their lives. They grow up Muslim or Jewish, Catholic or Protestant, Agnostic or Atheist, and frequently stay that way.
Increasingly, however, notably over the last fifty years, Christianity and, in particular, Catholicism, have seen their adherents “lapse” into indifference or even opposition. They may, for family or social, professional or political reasons, keep up the appearances, but in fact they have abandoned the faith. They may mouth the responses and sing the hymns, but at a funeral they know that the “faithful departed” no longer exist. “May s/he rest in peace” is as hollow for them as the promise of Paradise and the horrors of Hell.
Most people, for whom atheism is indeed a no-brainer, do not make waves or, even less, try to make converts of people who think that belief is a no-brainer. It makes for a certain peace of mind and social rapport – superficial, perhaps, but in their eyes preferable to the damage done by sterile controversy. My choice, on the contrary, has been to rock the boat, to question credulity and even to promote ridicule, vis-à-vis the fragile foundations of faith. Atheism is, for someone like me, brainwashed into faith, a liberation. I, for one, though I do not thank God Almighty for it, rejoice in being free, free at last, from risible religion.