Bernard, perhaps it might help if we thought about these questions and their possible implications:
1. Would you describe your “distaste” as having negative or positive connotations for you personally? For either, does that suggest you must already have in mind a bar or gage for what is positive or negative? If such arises from a narrative, world-view, faith (as explicated by Olthuis), how does that not touch upon and explain the distaste?
2. Would you prefer that most people share this distaste? Would it be a better world in your estimation if they did?
3. If we were to consider what most people think are positive changes in history, the end of slavery, equal rights, child labor laws, the defeat of tyrannous regimes, and the like, can you think of a single example in history where the impetus, the spark, the reason cited for the necessary changes was a person’s, group’s, or culture’s “distaste” for the status quo? Did a significant person or group advocating change ever say, “I have no reasons, I just personally have a distaste for…(whatever)” If you cannot, is it possible your view (if adopted by enough people) may not have the theoretical and philosophical resources to bring positive change to a culture if need be? If so, would that matter to you?
4. When an atheist asserts that he doesn’t believe in God, and that he believes God doesn’t exist, whether or not religious people believe otherwise, putting aside your distaste for such statements, do you at least recognize that if we were to step into that person’s shoes for a second, and really believe like he did, that such a belief is entirely reasonable and logical?
5. Is it possible that if one believes such assertions (in #4 above) to be false (or distasteful) because only empirical statements can meet that test (we can only say things like “The earth is flat whether or not you agree.”), that such a view stems from a narrative/ faith/ world-view and thus, is itself, privileging itself over assertions like those in number 4? In other words, it has set a bar that other assertions must meet to be true.
6. Here is a quote again from Eric Reitan’s book, “Is God a Delusion?” If Eric has a point here, do you still think you would have your “distaste” for the assertions like those in number 4?
“The main point I want to make in this chapter is that Dawkins and Stenger are just wrong about this. When it comes to God, absence of scientific evidence is simply not a reason for disbelief because belief in God is different in kind from belief in Santa, orbiting chinaware, or space lobsters.”
And I would invite all to chime in on their reflections regarding these questions and the possible implications.