I have been on a philosophical journey since I learned the world is knowable. I take every opportunity to learn new skills, practice old skills and improve my knowledge to better understand myself, my perception, the subjective world, the objective world, other perspectives and how all of that seems to work together for what seems like eternity; 13.8 billion years is approximately eternity compared to a single human life.
My step father invited me to join his church bible study. I really admire this man for many reasons, chief among them, my mother loves him at least as much as myself. The church meetings revolve around 6 week sessions of focus. This section just happened to start off with Atheism! Of course it did...
A 15 minute lecture covering 6 "requirements" of the Atheist philosophy (I KNOW! It is a strawman. I see it.) The presenter gives us pillars of thought which support modern, humanist, scientifically informed Atheism. I don't debate the requirements or how they use Atheism or Atheist as I agree with most of the premises although they are obviously presented in a negative fashion. Lots of focus on the new Atheists; Dawkins, Harris and Hitchens' books were all referenced.
One comment struck me as very true;
Presenter: "Do we all need God?"
Person A: "Yes, definitely."
Presenter: "Do none of us need God?"
Person B: "Yes, definitely."
Thus, the answer is completely knowable depending on who you ask.
Yet both Person A and Person B are both average people; reasonable, approachable, non-violent without serious threat. Both people have managed to live their lives and make it far enough to answer the question in their adult lives.
As an Atheist, I have no need for the God head.
As a Humanist, I recognize I am not alone here and sometimes have to work with even the most devout believer.
As a Step Son to a Believer, I recognize my step father is a peaceful, genuine man who holds the concept of God deep within himself, but does not press his idea on others further than questions and invitations.
So, as I sit at a table with 4 other intelligent, thinking men and notice we all face the same problem, "How do I understand all of 'THIS'?", I noticed the question again.
Do we need God?
No, I do not. But maybe someone else does.
I can't tell another, "God isn't real", because God is real in their opinion. I know I do not want violence between us and as long as we both maintain the peace, there is eternal peace.
I have come to accept their perspective and through listening to enough educated believers have come to appreciate the combination of emotional and intellectual arguments which makes them tick.
I may disagree with their interpretation, but I cannot force my perspective. Use the Socratic method to learn more.
Be humble, know nothing, be ignorant, because the one who knows their ignorance is the wisest among us.
I am an atheist while being open to all perspectives so that I may grow and learn more about the amazing Cosmos stretching out to infinity right in front of my eyes.