“The problem with unbelievers is that they are believers, too.””What do you mean?”
“They can’t just disbelieve. They’ve got to disbelieve in a certain way. Orthodox disbelief! Talk with an atheist sometime; you’ll never get a clearer vision of the fundamentalist God. God, they’ll tell you, wouldn’t play games with fossils or light waves just to trick us into thinking that the universe was older than six thousand years. Now, Loki might very well do that, or Raven; but those aren’t the gods that they disbelieve in.”
“You don’t really believe that—”
“That the physical universe was created in 4004 B.C.?” He made a face. “Of course not. Although the date does approximate the creation of our cultural universe. No, I was merely using it as an example, to show how even unbelievers hold certain unquestionable beliefs.”
MICHAEL F. FLYNN, in his short story “Mammy Morgan Played the Organ; Her Daddy Beat the Drum” from The Ascent of Wonder: The Evolution of Hard SF, ed. by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (pp. 956-957).