I have previously diagnosed modernity as the ascendence of rebellion against the order of being. And this, I have argued, arises from spiritual autism, the inability to experience the order of being as sacred. The predictable result is the demand for ever-more freedom: first political freedom, then freedom from want or need, then freedom from social conventions, from morality, and finally (I hope, anyway) from biology itself. (Taxpayer-subsidized elective sex changes for all!)
I have, in other words, regarded insensibility to the sacred as having causal priority over rebellion agaisnt the order of being. I wonder now if that is the correct ordering of things. Is it possible that man's atheism is instrumental -- that he denies God because he yearns to be free of the order of being, not vice-versa. It is the distinction, in other words, between spiritual autism as akin to literal autism (a simple pathological defect of understanding, will, and spirit) and as the intentional affectation of ignorance so as to rationalize the unfettering of one's will from basic rational and ethical considerations.