What Came First?

I’ve often wondered how an atheist goes down the path of atheism.  Do young people set out to discover for themselves the truth concerning God’s existence, examine the evidence and decide the preponderance of the evidence weighs against the existence of God?  Do they then, facing the existential loneliness, comfort themselves with their newfound freedom from any external restraints and at least enjoy that exhilaration?  Or do they, like many adolescents, highly resent any external restraints on what they want to do, throw them off, and then find intellectual arguments against the existence of God?  At least one agnostic admits to the second way.  Aldous Huxley, a man who sought after many things except God stated:

“For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation.  The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality.  We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust.  The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world.  There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotic revolt:  We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.”  From Ends and Means

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