A few dictionary definitions of philosophy:
Patrick: I've noticed a lot of atheists have a disinterest or distrust of philosophy. I think everyone can acknowledge that science has a philosophy which underpins it, but perhaps many see philosophy as largely stating the obvious.
"A particular set of ideas about knowledge, truth, the nature and meaning of life, etc."
"The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline."
One's philosophy is basically an assemblage of one's perceived truths as to how things actually are and how they came to be. Atheists, agnostics, deists, theists of every stripe, and Christians ALL have a basic philosophy through how they believe things are/how they came to be, and how they should live their life according to their own philosophical beliefs.
Perhaps why some atheists distrust philosophy is because, as they believe that there is no God or intelligent cause for all that exists, they must eventually accept and understand that there HAD to be something that pre-existed life and the universe that was ETERNAL! Why, because NOTHING comes from nothing, and everything was caused by or derived from some prior thing. ALL scientific study and analysis is predicated upon those facts. Science is the study of causes and effects - made possible, not by constant RANDOMNESS, but by the incredible consistency and precision functionality and interactively so of all that exists. And what IS random STILL operates withing locked parameters as to what is possible for it. Scientific analysis would be impossible and pointless without these facts. Science overwhelming postulates that ALL physical matter, in fact everything that physically exists, once did not, and mere moments later, burst into existence with incredible power, functionality and design. At the Big Bang, what came into existence displayed the precise opposite characteristics of randomness, as things that "popped" into physical existence did so with marvelous, breathtaking design and functionality. The "Big Bang" term falsely communicates the idea of a random, chaotic burst of energy driving random things - which scientists overwhelmingly state much the opposite of.
So, INFORMED atheists have one HUGE problem: They assert there is no God, and yet they know science asserts all physical matter, energy, and every building block of the universe that once did not exist, HAD to have come from some source, as they instantly came into physical existence with awesome design and function. Yes, there was a point of singularity from which all things burst. So, where did the singularity come from???!!! Where did its potential and astoundingly revealed stupendous design, energy and marvelously functioning designs come from? Do random, NON-INTELLIGENT, pre-existing, NON-physical things (however you might describe the origins of Singularity), have the capability of self-assembling and gaining intelligence, recognizing advantages, strategize, learn how to intricately design, to brilliantly interact, and are able to accumulate the immense energy required to empower such stupendous designs of physical things instantly bursting into physical reality with such precision, on such an enormous scale???!!! So the non-physical became physical, exhibited extraordinary design, function and unfathomable precision in how all of these things INSTANTLY operated - essentially, atheists much believe that things operating with great intelligence and immense power (things we can scarcely today understand the bare bones function of, today) can happen WITHOUT an intelligent cause or without SOMETHING having been eternal from it all to come from. That the non-physical became both physical and INSTANTLY with incalculable power, revealing insane, incomprehensible complexity, design and functionality, means that the atheist cannot rely on simply saying, "Yes, B through Z just happens to exist as it does" - because basic logic dictates that there MUST have been, HAD to have been, an "A" for ANYTHING to exist, much less things revealing massive intelligence and power.
And for atheists, as they know that "B through Z" must have had an origin, and as they also should realize NO science can reveal or know that - WHATEVER "A" was - "It" had to pre-exist all that ever existed, AND so "It" also HAD to be ETERNAL! Patrick, do you not realize that the Source of all things HAD to be ETERNAL? Why? Because NOTHING can create itself. It has to either be created or derived by or from some OTHER source. As, obviously, there would be nothing existing to create that first source.
So, the atheist must confront the above, knowing that whatever "A" - the Cause that pre-existed all - was - had to be eternal and that this could be a variety of things - whether a god, gods, the Christian God/Jesus/Holy Spirit, or whatever other entities. The honest atheist must also recognize that WHATEVER "A" was, it had to have been extremely intelligent - beyond all we know - and unbelievably powerful. Why? Because that the things that came into existence at the very moment of the Big Bang displayed these amazing characteristics.
As there is no PHYSICAL or SCIENTIFIC explanation or analysis that can reveal the source ("A") of the universe, that leads the thinking atheist to contemplate the philosophical possibilities of that source, AND to recognize that, NO MATTER WHAT THEY BELIEVE, or what you are I might believe about "It," that Source was/IS whatever it is - or WHO it is - and that the truth of THAT identity does not change because A) we may not like the implications of what that Source might mean for us, or B) that we don't believe "It" to be possible, or C) whatever other identity we might like to assert that Source to be - none of that changes the truth of what/Who that source was/IS. Because, HISTORICALLY, at the beginning of time/The Big Bang, SOMETHING or Some Entity is responsible for the Big Bang and all we know. And NOTHING ANY man or group believes will change what the Identity of that Source was/IS!
So, as the atheist ultimately must realize that nothing physically known - or otherwise known or speculated upon - can be PROVEN to be the Source that all things came from - and realizing there HAD to have been such a source - leads them to philosophical musings as to what that Source might be and what characteristics it has. But that three things about that source are undeniable: That Originating Source was Eternal, Supremely Intelligent (beyond all we can grasp), and indescribably Powerful! And, again, one's belief won't change what or Whom that Source actually was/IS!