My immediate family, myself included, were born in the Soviet Union, but I was largely spared the atheistic indoctrination.
My mother and uncle were not so lucky. But it’s not that they are atheists — they don’t know enough about God to deny that He exists with any competence. They couldn’t tell God from a hole in the ground.
They are “apatheists” — they don’t care whether God exists. God could appear before them in glory, and they’d say, “I don’t know who you are, and I don’t care. Scram, you.”
As apatheists, they cannot of course claim that God does not exist (and they don’t), because they don’t know what the word “God” means. “God does not exist” is for them as meaningless as “Splorg does not exist.” And they have found no reason in their lives to entertain the idea of God.
I can’t even talk to them about this stuff, because they find it irritating and uninteresting. I can’t unleash any proofs on them — the arguments for God’s existence are for fellow scholars, not for non-philosophers. They seem “happy” as apatheists and decent people. They consider the Catholic “rituals” to be preposterous magical incantations. There is no angle I could try to make them wonder.
I don’t know, perhaps with this kind of “invincible indifference,” they have a better chance of salvation that I.