I just read another one of John C. Wright's stories about his atheism days. Splendid reading as ever, and I find a tremendous amount to agree with. Except for the core of his story.
I have trouble accepting that John was an atheist.
Now, I don't mean that John was actually Catholic and never realized it. Nor do I think he secretly believed in God-as-commonly-presented. But the atheism of John C. Wright was an atheism that denied materialism, believed in objective (and seemingly platonic) moral values, duties, formal and final causes, and so on. He was - and I think even he must realize this - miles apart from what is, especially in the past 10-20 years, typically meant by atheism. Maybe he was a pagan of sorts. A pantheist or a panentheist.
But atheist? It just doesn't seem right.
I now and then run into this problem, and here's one way to express it. The thomists argue that God is simple. No ontological parts to speak of. God does not have goodness, God IS goodness, and so on. So if someone believes in goodness* - say, the platonic form of 'The Good' - do they believe in God? It seems to me they do, as far as the Thomists say. They may be confused about some details, but so what? So are baptists, from the Thomists' viewpoint. And classical theists may have a lot of criticisms of theistic personalists, but they never mistake them for atheists. (Do they?)
As I've said before, I think the number of actual 'atheists' out there are thinner on the ground than expected. Sure, some are (or at least present themselves as) atheists in the materialist sense. In fact, I think a most promising apologetic for evangelizing the secular world would be "Why you are not an atheist" style approaches.
(*Naturally, I'm excluding 'bullshit goodness' for lack of a better term. 'Goodness' which melts into 'Stuff we do because blind meaningless evolution' and so on.)