The world has gone mad over the last four or five decades but, because it has happened bit by bit, relatively few have noticed. You might say there was always been an element of madness about humanity but at least the West, under the influence of Christianity, attempted to move in the right direction most of the time. Now, however, many people believe things unquestioningly that not a few generations ago only a small minority of people were promoting, and they weren't visionaries but, for the most part, troublemakers and egotists, heirs to Rousseau and Marx and other rebels against truth. But we have gradually abandoned common sense and our natural instincts, and allowed ourselves to be dragooned into a world of lies and deceit. This is what happens when God is chased from the world.
I know a man who is highly intelligent but a rigid materialist and atheist. In a rightly ordered society these two things would not be possible together but in our contemporary world, it is not uncommon. Of course, this form of intelligence is limited. It is a mechanical thing that lacks insight. It is like the analytical intelligence of the computer, but then we are increasingly being educated into that sort of mentality and cut off from access to higher modes of awareness such as true imagination, vision and intuition.
This person, in my estimation, suffers from a spiritual sickness which, at root, is a question of morality. He has deliberately denied the reality of God to himself because he does not like the implications of that reality. He wants to be completely independent, answerable to no one. He genuinely believes that he has come to an objective decision, based on the evidence, but it is clear to an outsider that his decision was made as a result of certain character defects and unresolved psychological problems, and that he has suppressed evidence that does not coincide with his preconceived notions and desires.
What are these character defects? They are chiefly located in the will. Many people in the modern world are non-believers because that is the default position in the world today. They follow the norm, and though they are responsible for their non-belief, they are less at fault than someone like this person who has reacted to the question of spiritual truth not with a mere lack of interest but with an active antipathy. For people like him it is not a question of not believing in God because you are too taken up with the things of this world, but a deliberate and fully conscious rejection of God.
This is why I say that belief in God is a moral matter. A truly objective person of normal intelligence who genuinely studies the evidence must come to the conclusion that there is the strong probability this world has, at the very least, a spiritual background. But often materially clever people are intellectually arrogant and this causes them to deny the fact of a Creator. It's the 'better to reign in hell than serve in heaven' scenario. But also I find that with many confirmed atheists there is an underlying resentment and hatred of truth. Perhaps there is an anger against their idea of God, possibly due to experiences they may have had in their youth. But the point is that their atheism is not rationally based. It is what they want to think and they want to think it because of a malformation in the soul.
A person with a pure heart will believe in God. A person who does not have a pure heart may believe in God but very often, if this is combined with intellectual arrogance, he will not do so. At the same time this person, to prove to himself and others the objective rationality of his position and his personal superiority, will frequently adopt a highly moral approach to the world but it will, of course, be a morality based on the leftist idea of one humanity with equality to the fore. It will be a morality of the head rather than the heart and therefore a fundamentally artificial thing that does not have love at its core, though it will frequently claim that it does. But scratch the surface and the anger and resentments will come out. Love is not possible without God.
If you discuss spiritual matters with a person like this, as I have, you will get to the position where you are more or less forced to point out that his opinions are based on his character failings. They are not just reasonable positions which have just as much right to exist as those of a religious person. They are the outcome of a perversion of the will. This, of course, is not really possible. How can you tell someone that fundamentally he is not a good person and his attitude to life is based on a moral defect rather than an intellectually justifiable analysis? But the fact is there is truth and there is anti-truth. Anti-truth, the dismissing of God from the equation of life, cannot be given the same status as truth. They are not equivalent in any sense. An atheist cannot accept this because he denies truth. Nor can he accept that his position is based on a moral failing. For him it's all opinion and he has as much right to his as you do to yours. But then, because he denies transcendence, he denies himself and all other people too so there is no truth anyway. He has embraced nihilistic meaninglessness and yet still he likes to claim the moral high ground!
But the good news for this person and others like him, indeed for us all since we all share these failings to a degree, is that the chance of repentance is always there, and that would wipe out all the stains of atheism in one go. There would still remain a lot of spiritual work to be done but the corner would have been turned and he would be facing in the right direction. Then he could put his undoubted talents to good use in the service of God.