That, indeed, is the question. I was flabbergasted to hear what one of my dear old friends from school offered as a reply to the news, years ago, that I had become an atheist. He was content to quote the “green catechism” of our Catholic kindergarten (he was five; I was four years old !) : “Who made the world ? God made the world”. And he went on to say : “And when I look around at all the wonderful things in the world (the trees, the birds, the animals etc.), I have not found anything to shake my belief in a God”.
Alan, like me, is over eighty years old. He was a brilliant lawyer, a talented sportsman who until recent years coached youngsters and is still engaged in all sorts of parish and social activities. But he has remained immune to the questions French High School students have to discuss in their final exams in Philosophy. How did Australian, British, American intelligent educated people manage to avoid asking themselves the basic questions ? How do they continue to find their Kindergarten answers acceptable ?
Mind you, the problem is not limited to Anglosaxons. Many Hispanics, as well as Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists continue to content themselves with childish answers to the questions they have yet to take seriously, or even discover.
Atheists, in face of such credulity, are tempted to throw in the towel and give up any hope of sowing doubts in their minds. The challenge is just too much. But I consider that it is worthwhile to get at least Believers on the Brink to discover the questions and hopefully find that the answer is not in infantile religiosity but in enlightened atheism.