The Russians believed that rational and persistent instruction in atheism would change a generation of children and bring about new attitudes of socialist utopia. That flew like a lead balloon.
Atheism leads only to either cold meaningless absurdity and emtpy hedonism (for honest atheists), or..to pathetic and irrational sentimentality for the humanists. They remind me of a person sliding unstoppably down an icey slope ( I know what that's like..it's awful) trying to use the fingernails of sentimentality to halt their descent into philosophical and moral oblivion.
Mankind has an inner longing to know the answers to the huge questions of life. He/she needs and longs for some means of relating to the cosmos that gives meaning to existence. There are of course some hardy souls who shout from the mountain top of confidence that they make their own meaning, but the end up careening down into the swamp of confusion when subjected to the glaring light of philosophical scrutiny.
History has tried to answer this fundamental huma dilemna in the various forms of Stoicism, Epicureansim, Utilitarianism and many other philoshpical 'ism's, but as J.S. Mill pointed out...
Mill was a post enlightemnent thinker who was deliberately brought up by his father as an absolute rationalist and 'protected' from any theological or religious "impurities" to his developing intellect.
I observe however that Mill does speak with considerable fondness of Christ. It seems his intellectual inocculation was unsuccessful at least in part.
The scriptures describe this religious conservatism clearly.
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecc 3:11)
That was written before the New Testament. We now do have the full picture.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”(Rev 1:8)
And there you have it. History comprises of the beginning... of the fulfillment in Christ and is moving towards the ultimate consummation at His return.