There are two kinds of atheists. Those who wish there to be a Loving Father God but are certain that cannot be true, and those like Richard Dawkins who view the Judaeo-Christian God as "arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction."
I'm not sure how many of the first kind of atheist there are. I seem to have met a few, and heard reports of them. They say things like "I envy you for your faith, but I just cannot believe as you do that there is a God". These atheists perhaps are a little soul-sick of the nihilism that their atheism tends to engender. True atheists do not believe that there is any purpose to their lives, except one that they make up for themselves. For the atheist, at the foundation of reality, there is nothing but pitiless, blind Indifference. The lack of any solid answers to questions like "Why am I here?", "What is the meaning or purpose of life?" might be kind of distressing after a while. I am sure it is, after the thrill of indulging in a few pleasures and prideful pursuits wears thin. Such people may wish to believe in God, but find themselves in fact bound by a spirit of unbelief, so thath they actually CANNOT believe – that is, unless God somehow steps in and helps them to.
Then we have the kind of atheism exemplified by a person like Richard Dawkins. And one wonders how much of their atheism is based on following the evidence, and how much is in fact based on "wish fulfilment". Dawkins doesn't like the God of the Bible. As pointed out previously, he says in his book "The God Delusion" page 31, cited in Dembski's book "The End of Christianity", that the Judaeo Christian God "is arguably the most unpleasant character in all of fiction. Jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanserl a misogynistic homophobic racist; infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megolomaniacal, sadomachosticm, capricious malevolent bully."
Leaving aside for now the issue of whether these charges of Dawkins may have any merit, it seems clear enough to me that Dawkins is glad that in his mind at least, the God of the Bible does not exist.
These kind of statements by Dawkins are very powerful emotionally laden words. They are not the clinical, dispassionate words of an impartial researcher. And they are fully consistent with the words of Scripture which say:
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
The neo-atheism of people like Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens is based to a large extent on emotional and metaphysical objections rather than on any kind of scientific evidence in the material world that supposedly proves that the Universe created and developed itself without a Designer.
These men clearly believe that God, if He indeed exists, would be EVIL. They are in fact, God haters.
I find all these objections to the character of God to be rooted in PRIDE. Human beings, who did not even exist as individuals a few decades ago, who did not create the air they breathe, the food they eat or the land they live on, presume to now have the authority and wisdom to JUDGE on what is right and wrong, the Nature of Reality, and a host of other subjects on which, in point of fact, they are quite ignorant.
By what principle of reason do "people" (who in their own worldview are nothing but highly evolved biological systems that developed for no reason in particular) have the wherewithal to determine what SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be done, what EXISTS and DOES NOT EXIST, what can BE KNOWN and what CANNOT BE KNOWN? How can they even trust their own fallible thought processes? How can words like "SHOULD" make any sense, anyway? Is it all based on the personal preference of those who hold power, and nothing more? Does "might" make "right"? There is a lot of arrogance in my view in some absolute newcomer to the Universe pronouncing themselves as an expert on matters relating to Ultimate Questions, especially someone as emotionally biased as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens.
Every few years scientific theories are updated, and things are found to exist which were previously not considered as real! Unaided mankind is and will remain profoundly ignorant of many things for a long time to come, and there is no reason to believe that scientific discoveries will not continue to actually VALIDATE the Intelligent Design position, as they seem to have done until now.
It is not good enough to bandy the word "Science!" around like some kind of magical invocation which is supposed to prove that what you are saying is "true". It is important to take a good hard look at everything. One thing that people need to realise is that many claims by Darwinists and "Scientific Atheists" have nothing to do with observation and reasonable, logical inference, and everything to do with a certain kind of metaphysical system, a kind of bankrupt ontology which pronounces a priori that nothing is real unless it can be measured by a physical instrument. Under this scenario, there is nothing much to "love" except the movement of a few neurotransmitting chemicals in the brain. Yet how many people would be happy to admit that this is all that there really is to the love they experience on this earth? And what even makes life preferable to death in this world view anyway? Could this kind of philosophy such as is now popular in the Western world help to explain why in fact it is WESTERN nations, who are well off materially, that have some of the highest SUICIDE RATES in the world?
If you are an atheist you should be very sure that you have taken a good hard look at classes of evidence which you have dismissed until now. There is a God who works miracles, and yes, sometimes he even heals amputees! Check Youtube. The moral character of mankind has been radically transformed by what is claimed are encounters with the Living Resurrected Jesus Christ, even in our day. All God mockers, God haters and God despisers should take note of these things, and do the historical research. You should not assume the things to be proven. It is we, the Christians, who have millions of testimonies to confirm our faith. The man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument. None of you have a valid excuse before God for your unbelief. All of you are utterly condemned by God until you change your hearts and minds. Your whole attitude is an insult to the God who gave you every good thing to enjoy.
What does remain to be more fully explored on a site like this, however, are intellectual issues around the central issue of the "Goodness/Benevolence" or otherwise of God. You won't find all your answers on this site as yet. But I do urge you to read writers like William Dembski, Hugh Ross and others who have touched on these issues from an intellectual point of view. Better still, meet some people who have received outstanding miracles of mercy from God. Or if you have your own tragedy or difficulty you face, humble yourself to call upon the name of the God you don't believe in, and see what happens. For the Bible says, "Whoever calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved", and there are countless examples of people who having done exactly this, found the promise to be true.