Marc, I realize your grandfather is too young to have been actively involved in WW II, but I recall vividly a tornado that destroyed our home and our town when I was only 7, and the devastating effect it had on everyone I knew - he would have certainly been old enough to have been aware of the effect the war was having on those he knew as well.
This is a rhetorical question, as there is no definitive answer, but do you think that possibly WW II might have had an affect on his atheism? No one, not even a child - maybe ESPECIALLY a child - could possibly believe that a loving god could allow so much death and misery and destruction and heartache, when if that god could create a universe, he could certainly prevent a war.
RE: 'I don't see much difference in this world that supposedly has a god, from one that doesn't.'
Even if you're a theist, assuming you're not super-glued to your Bible, that makes a lot of sense.
It is possible that we do not yet know 'what kind of universe' this is. It is unclear to me if the accupants of this little world are yet up to the task of what appears to be a binary truth, up or down. I am optimistic, but a little concerned about one possible result.....;p)
I can remember being very distraught at one point in my life and screaming out loud "God, I wish you existed so I could have someone to be pissed at!" I felt much better after that.
Old habits die hard.
My grandfather just died he was very religious.All my relatives all prayed for him, they pretended he was not dead, they pretended he was living in a mansion built by jesus christ. They waste so much time on people they can not help they forget about the living. It is incredibly frustrating to see people unable to accept death. I am not talking about those people who fight knowing they will lose eventually. But those who throw in the towel and wait for someone else to do the work. To me that is what praying is the notion that someone else should do my work for me.
I lived with my grandfather for most of my life(did not get on with my stepfather) In hes later life he was not really a religious man though when he was dying my step grandmother convinced him to see a priest and come back into Christianity. when he was sick and near death i did not pray for him as there is no point , i accept reality on realities terms. What utterly pissed me off though was the priest at hes funeral. now my grandfather was not perfect, who is?, but he loved me and showed more patience and did far more for me than i deserved . while that bastard priest downplayed every good thing about him and turned hes funeral into an infomercial for Christianity. " he was an evil sinner who had turned hes back on god , but look at how merciful god is as he accepted him back into the flock near deaths door" (this is but a small part of that priests transgressions that day) . Now i am not a violent person, i have never started a physical fight through anger and i usually have tight control over my emotions. But i swear to hes god that i came within a hairs breadth of getting up and punching him that day. He had no right to demonize my grandfather to promote hes religion. It still pisses me off thinking about it today.