Why don't atheists believe in God?
Why don't atheists believe in God if atheists admit that there is no proof that He
doesn't exist? (see What IS an atheist?) That's like asking
why adults don't believe in the tooth fairy simply
because there is no proof that she doesn't exist. But more to the point,
evidence for the existence of God is sorely lacking. On the other hand, there is
ample evidence that the reasons we humans have believed in God throughout history are
not good ones by today's standards. Further, there is ample evidence that what
major religions claim about God is patently false.
Paleoanthropologists trace the belief in God from its beginning as animism.
Animism, the belief that inanimate objects have a spirit, in turn gave rise to various
pantheons, like the pantheons of the early Canaanites and Sumerians. These finally gave
rise to the various creator gods like Chronos or Ptah. Throughout history, as the
concept of God evolved,
we humans used the gods to explain natural phenomena like stars and thunder that
we could not explain in any other way. As we increasingly developed a better
understanding of our universe, there was increasingly less need for divine
explanations. For example, we once thought that the sun was pulled across the
sky by a god; now we know that the earth rotates about the sun. In the same way,
theists today believe that the universe was created by a god, even though there
are natural explanations. So, to finally answer the question, if we humans
believe in gods for all the wrong reasons, and there is no compelling evidence
that gods exist, then it is unreasonable to believe that gods exist.