Some of the doubt is intellectual, wondering if this universe is the kind of place that truly has an explanation, and, if it is, whether that explanation would be anything like a “God.” Some doubt is existential, wondering if, in the face of the absurdity and pain we often (and sometimes, persistently and spectacularly) encounter, we can bear for there to be a “God.” Some of doubt is moral. As a friend of mine once said, “When I am tempted to sin, then God is most unreal to me.”
All of these forms of doubt (and several others beside) are real to me. Yet, I think there is a deeper source, a nihilism that seeps into us from the culture and the history that we live in and receive. Heaven is closed, and empty, and there is no room for a “God” left. What we call “religion” is so much excess baggage, a detachable impulse best left somewhere behind. It is not just that God is asleep at the wheel, but rather that there is no wheel. And, I have been trained, slowly, inexorably, that the sum total of what makes my life is me.