Timothy, I think the field is often devoid of intellectual honesty. I think most people who are “humanists” (aside from simply joining a tribe simply to fit in) are mad at God.
Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a loving God when contemplating the nature of the world — and particularly the nature of nature. Life feeds off of death. Everything that is born will die. Everything born will suffer. Injustice is rampant.
In “The Devil’s Advocate,” Al Pacino (as Satan), sounds like a New Atheist (although the Devil does indeed believe in god and knows the bible inside and out):
You sharpen the human appetite to the point where it can split atoms with its desire. You build egos the size of cathedrals. Fiber-optically connect the world to every eager impulse. Grease even the dullest dreams with these dollar-green gold-plated fantasies until every human becomes an aspiring emperor becomes his own god. Where can you go from there? . . .
...your eyes are bloodshot and you're screaming for someone to help. But guess what? There's no one there! You're all alone, Eddie. You're God's special little creature. Maybe it's true. Maybe God threw the dice once too often. Maybe He let us all down.
Anyone striving for utopia can’t help but see that God did not provide any such thing. As we go on to provide ever-greater comforts with the technological terror we’ve contracted, we begin to think that the world is all of our doing. Atheism is the raising of mankind to a god-like status. “Humanism” is at least a partially honest admission of this. We can indeed admire some of our creations, but we didn’t make the very matter and energy that we use to do all our clever things.
Mankind is small and fragile. We suffer many indignities not of our creation and having little to do with our own sins. Life is not fair. It is understandable that some turn from the idea of a Creator as one would from an absentee landlord who has left the building a mess, infested by rats, and leaky plumbing. But the emotional reaction of rejection is not quite the same as a metaphysical argument for atheism. And few of these “humanists” are honest enough to admit it. But they are very clever at constructing rhetorical castles in the clouds. They are good at feeding themselves even if the meal is cotton candy.