So my original question is this thread was if there is any evidence (that would satisfy a scientifically oriented modern atheist) that supports the practice of treating human beliefs as if they have anything to do with metaphysical notions like “choice” and “morality”? It would be from people committed to empiricism and rational discourse that I would expect an evidence based conversation on this topic. What I have found so far (and I’ve only done a small about of research) is that when asked to justify treating human beings differently the conversation leaves the land of observation and becomes very abstract and, well, evasively magical….when asked for the evidence the atheist often begins to move far far away from observations and reason and deeper and deeper into esoteric (although highly intelligent sounding) monologues.
I think I see your point now: Can the atheist who criticizes the theist for believing in God really claim to have science on his side?
Since believing in God is a natural aspect of human behavior, science would observe that behavior without judgement.
Looked at from that perspective, the argument between theist and atheist is hardly different from the argument between Christian and Jew.
Am I close?