I'm confused about atheism. I think not a lot of the people who think they're atheists really are. I think quite a few of them just don't really know anything about it and are incurious. But ask them about it and they often start talking about, basically, pantheism. And none of them have a solution to the causality problem. But now, apparently, they want atheist "chaplains". What for? And what would an atheist chaplain do if an atheist were in some kind of crisis? Affirm his nihilism? Hand him a loaded pistol and a bottle of whisky?
But I have a theory about atheism. I think that atheists (so-called) aren't really people who don't believe in God. I think they're people who don't really believe in the existence of anything, up to and including themselves. My hypothesis is that this is because of a lifetime of television/internet entertainment consumption. By making fictional programmes, movies and whatnot, have the same weight and reality as television news, and by sticking their heads in the tv/computer nearly every waking hour of their lives, I think a great many people have become, effectively, solipsists who don't know what "real" is. Naturally, psychologically, the result is that the only thing they think is real are their wants, their preferences. Of course, the television has told them this all their lives. I think the basic psychological makeup of modern people precludes the notion that anything exists outside their egos. It's not, therefore, that they are atheists. It's that they are their own gods, each living in a tiny bubble universe of their own creation.
I maintain that the assertion of the non-existence of God is a religious assertion, and that atheism, therefore, can only be a kind of religious belief. Moreover, because it is impossible to prove, or even logically demonstrate, it is an essentially irrational one. I've never seen any of the fashionable atheists ever offer any kind of evidence for their claims, either empirical or philosophical. And as I said, none of them has ever offered any explanation for the problem of causality.
Why are there things? Why did anything ever happen? I've always laughed at that meme about their theory: "In the beginning there was nothing, and nothing happened to the nothing and then the nothing magically exploded, for no reason, creating everything, and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason into self-replicating bits, which turned into dinosaurs. The end." They won't talk about it, because they're militant materialists. They are incapable of conceptualising anything outside the strictly material, so when we ask "Where did the material come from?" they simply don't understand the parameters of the question.
They won't even really go and talk about the historical or anthropological implications. At the very least, the claims made about the Christian God, and about Christ, are unique in the history of the world's religions. Christianity stands out for that, merely sociologically, if nothing else. And the impact on human societies of Christianity's claims about the nature of God and man is unprecedented in history. Nothing else, except maybe the influence of Babylonian/Egyptian mathematics and astronomy, has ever come close. Even the later Greek philosophers would have been forgotten if it hadn't been for Christianity absorbing and rescuing them from the fall of Rome.
I think the challenge one always has to make is, refute Aquinas. Explain causality if there is no Unmoved Mover. If you can't do that, then you can't call yourself a thinking, considered atheist. Thomas is the big one, the theological and philosophical Godzilla to take down. The rest are mere Ghidra or Mothra in comparison.
I always think the same thing whenever I hear Dawkins or any of his ilk talking about it. From the way they blather, it's clear that not one of them has the faintest notion what they are up against. They're so totally ignorant of the extent of their ignorance, that I often like to imagine a sixth-grader fifty years ago, armed only with the Baltimore Catechism, would leave them face down in the mud.
Unfortunately, in our times, the Christians are as big a pack of idiots. I was deeply embarrassed once to listen to Rowan Williams blithering mindlessly about "feeeeeeeeelings" to some New Atheist on a TV debate. It's no wonder they think all Christians are morons.
Here's a video of Gojira, kicking Tokyo's butt.
Watch it and picture what Aquinas would have done to Dawkins or Stephen Fry.