They have gone as far as to believe in the existence of many gods. Some of them believe in a god for every quality by which godliness is known. They even know that they need to offer prayer, sacrifices, and oblations to God.
Belief in God is implanted even in children. If you talk to a child about God, he/she does not ask you who He is; and if you tell him/her not to do something or else God will be angry, he/she will not argue with you.
A child’s instincts tell him/her about the existence of God, and this faith does not waiver in the child’s heart or mind, except with doubts that come to him/her from outside factors. That could be in the form of temptation from the devil or someone’s thoughts, when the child grows up and is old enough to start doubting. In fact, atheism has many reasons, not all religious.
In communist countries, the reason for atheism is the faulty political upbringing, the pressure on the part of the government, as well as the fear on the part of the people. Once fear is removed, with the elimination of the political pressure, tens of millions in Russia, Romania, Poland and other countries accepted the faith; or they professed the faith that they would not allege earlier out of fear of their governments.
Another kind of atheism in Marxism. This has been described by some authors as refusing God but not denying the existence of God.
Economic problems and the poverty of which many people suffer, in contrast with the life of luxury and lavishness, has convinced those atheists that God lives in an ivory tower not caring for the suffering of the poor, toiling class. Therefore, they refused God, and called religion the “opiate of the masses”, in an attempt to anesthetise them, so that they do no feel the misery in their lives.
Another kind of atheism is that of existentialists who want to wallow in the enjoyment of their sinful desires forbidden to them by God. They state that “it is better that God does not exist, so that we may exist!” By this they mean that the only way they can exist is satisfying their sinful passions. They even made fun of Our Lord’s Prayer by saying, “Our Father Who is in Heaven,” yes, may He remain in heaven, and leave the earth to us. Thus it is a belief that is not built on solid grounds, but on running after their own cravings.
Finally, I would like to tell you this story. One day a believer and an atheist met. The atheist told the believer: “How would you feel if, after death, you discovered that there is no heaven or hell, no reward or punishment, after you have spend your life in prayer, fasting and abstinence in vain?” The believer answered: “I will lose nothing, because I find pleasure in spiritual life. But how would you feel if, after death, you discovered that there is a reward and punishment, heaven and hell?” As for you, my beloved son, may God confirm your faith.