This is an interesting quote here. I don’t want to say that Shermer speaks for all atheists. But several years ago, I remember reading James Sire’s book Why Should Anyone Believe Anything at All? Sire found that there are many reasons people believe what they do (sociological reasons, psychological reasons, etc.) Sire concluded that philosophical reasons for believing or holding to a particular worldview was one of the last or least reason given.
Anyway, on with the Shermer quote:
“Socially, when I moved from theism to atheism, and science as a worldview, I guess, to be honest, I just liked the people in science, and the scientists, and their books, and just the lifestyle, and the way of living. I liked that better than the religious books, the religious people I was hanging out with – just socially. It felt more comfortable for me. In reality I think most of us arrive at most of our beliefs for non-rational reasons, and then we justify them with these reasons after the fact.”
– Michael Shermer speaking in ‘Nine Conversations: The Question of God’, PBS documentary