LLB, your comments have been interesting and smart, so no, not bothersome.
As for rationales for morality and so forth, I’m certain that I could, as an atheist, come up reasons to dodge nihilism, but none of them would make sense in the end. Of course, it’s obvious that there are decent atheists out there, honest and good, with a desire to help the poor and make their communities better places. They love their children, care for their parents, and so forth, or at least they try to do these things. (None of us succeeds all the time.) That’s only because the truth of who we are and whose we are does not change because a person is an atheist. In fact, being an ‘atheist’ is, to borrow Barthian lingo, an ‘impossible possibility’ – I don’t imagine anyone is really a full-on atheist, for we all have a god, or gods, even if we don’t name them as such. We are religious ‘all the way down’, as the kids say, because we are made ultimately for communion with the Trinity. It just gets screwed up because we’re also fundamentally depraved (depraver, to warp, to corrupt, to debase – the later is particularly apt). Hence the riot of ‘religions’ in our lives. All that’s good, all that’s beautiful, all that’s true, exists only because of the Trinity, and finds fulfillment in the Trinity. No Trinity, no good, beautiful, true – just a void of careening particles that come together from time to time in various configurations to no purpose whatsoever – that’s the way it is. Again, if I found myself with no Triune God, you would want me restrained. Seriously. As for salvation – it’s what I hope for, pray for, and desire for all. I’m in bigger trouble right now than an honest atheist. Again, that’s just me.