Why Are Atheists So Angry?

Why are atheists so angry?

Because it’s incredible what power religion can have over people.

Most religious people aren’t violent and most wouldn’t admit to being as homophobic as Fred Phelps, of course.

But too many are ignorant. They’re blinded by the Bible or the Koran or what-have-you. When any one book is seen as Truth, and Science and reason and common sense are ignored, this is what can happen:



Greta Christina, as she so often does, eloquently explained why she is an angry atheist on her blog a while back.

  • Mara

    Atheists would be all smiles if this : http://www.secularism.org.uk/make-darwin-day-a-public-holiday.html
    would be achieved.

  • Fredi

    Just a side note: Darwin was NOT an atheist, more a believer in “intelligent evolution” and in a creator who used evolution as a ways to take care of the details of creation.

    As to the anger:
    Most atheists I’ve met on this site are angry at religion because they have been hurt by religious people – Catholics and Baptists seem to share the lead in this category. Be aware though that many Christians are a very poor reflection of what Christ was about – just as Islam is a religion of PEACE, a minor detail that seems to be lost on most Islamic extremists and terrorists. To use a worldly analogy: just because many politicians are corrupt does not prove that democracy is bad. Don’t get mad at the world, hold your congressman accountable – in the same way, don’t get mad at God, remind your Christian offender that his boss has commanded him to love you. Before you reject God on the account of “religion”, try to make sure you understand what the God you are rejecting is REALLY about. The way most people on this blog describe God, I do not believe in THAT God either.

  • http://www.slightlysouthofsane.com Tony Miller

    The still image for the video shows “We are a nation that drinks blood.
    Does that mean Hamas is a vampire cult?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    …don’t get mad at God, remind your Christian offender that his boss has commanded him to love you

    Most Christians I know are better than the God they worship. Many Christians I know honestly try to reach out and befriend people who are different (non-believers). The god they invent worship, according to the bible, only provides salvation to those that believe and accept his Son as their savior. All others be damned. No reaching out there. Just self-centered despotism on God’s part. I’ll take Christians over Christ any day of the week. I believe in Christians but not Christianity.

  • Leanstrum

    The question here is whether you decide to judge a religion by its followers or by the book they claim to follow. It’s true that most Christians and Muslims are tolerant and peaceful, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that their book invariably teaches tolerance and peace. We are all very, very lucky that most followers of these religions explain away (ignore) a large part of their holy texts. They do this because they are products of a more peaceful and tolerant age than those in which the texts were written.

    I highly recommend looking up Louis Theroux’s documentary on Westboro Baptist Church. He’s the absolute best at bringing out the human in his subjects, imo. It’s a shame he doesn’t know enough about the Bible to properly engage them in discussion.

  • BZ

    While Islam isn’t a religion of war, it isn’t a religion of peace either. Have you actually read the Koran? While the Koran encourages its followers not to start wars, the attitude in the Koran towards those who aren’t Muslim is very hostile and is likely responsible for quite a large amount of violence.

    Also, I do understand what the God of the Bible is about. He isn’t all sunshine and puppies. He has several glaring moral flaws, in both the new and old testament. Anyway, I’m not mad at God, nor do I reject him. I simply don’t believe in God. If he was a much nicer being, it really wouldn’t matter. There is still no evidence that the God of the Bible exists.

    It is, however, fair to be angry at religion. It has caused a lot of trouble in this world. Even if the religion most people follow is an incorrect interpretation of their holy books, that form of religion is still causing trouble and is still a valid target of anger.

  • Fredi

    Jeff:
    I believe in Christians but not Christianity.

    That is a very unusual statement.
    As to the rest of your post:
    Imagine a person drowning. If I throw you a lifeline and tell you that I can only save you if you grab it – that would be “self-centered depotism” according to your description.
    Now you may object that you are not drowning. What if you are slowly being poisened, slow enough so you don’t notice (you may even know people who are slowly killing themselves with their addictions, bad habits, etc. – you see it clearly, but they insist they are fine …) I – for whatever reason – want you to live and offer you an antidote, saying: take this or die (I would probably try to phrase it differently) is that also “self-centered despotism”?
    In a way you are making my point: make sure you know what you reject.

  • Fredi

    BZ: I share your anger for religion! So does Jesus – remember: religious self-proclaimed “holy” people killed him.

    It is also interesting that we argue theology (What is God like) and at the same time argue if He exists at all.

    What does “God exists” mean anyway?

  • Loren Petrich

    Fredi:
    Just a side note: Darwin was NOT an atheist, more a believer in “intelligent evolution” and in a creator who used evolution as a ways to take care of the details of creation.

    Actually, he proposed evolution by entirely impersonal mechanisms — natural selection, Lamarckism, etc. Yes, he believed that “the effects of use and disuse” could be inherited.

    Fredi:
    As to the anger:
    Most atheists I’ve met on this site are angry at religion because they have been hurt by religious people – Catholics and Baptists seem to share the lead in this category.

    Do you have any evidence of that? And what do you plan to do about these troublemakers? Anything more than run interference for them by deploying the No True Scotsman fallacy?

    Fredi:
    Be aware though that many Christians are a very poor reflection of what Christ was about – just as Islam is a religion of PEACE, a minor detail that seems to be lost on most Islamic extremists and terrorists.

    And what gives you that idea?

    Fredi:
    To use a worldly analogy: just because many politicians are corrupt does not prove that democracy is bad. Don’t get mad at the world, hold your congressman accountable -

    If some system makes corruption rewarding, then we ought to change the system to make it more corruption-proof.

    Fredi:
    in the same way, don’t get mad at God, remind your Christian offender that his boss has commanded him to love you. Before you reject God on the account of “religion”, try to make sure you understand what the God you are rejecting is REALLY about. The way most people on this blog describe God, I do not believe in THAT God either.

    Most atheists and believers in other religions are NOT mad at the Christian God; we consider that entity to be as fictional as the gods of all the religions we reject.

    Fredi, what do you think about the gods of religions other than yours? Do you believe that Zeus is alive and well on top of Mt. Olympus in Greece? Etc. etc. etc.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Imagine a person drowning. If I throw you a lifeline and tell you that I can only save you if you grab it – that would be “self-centered despotism” according to your description.

    I think the following would be a better analogy… A man says to his wife “Say you love me or I’ll slap your face”. Woman refuses to say it and gets her face slapped. (Analogous to Old Testament God putting people to death for not worshiping him). Time passes and man gets really mad with wife and gives her an ultimatum. “Say you love me right now or I’ll torture you for the rest of your life”. She again refuses and he puts her on a rack and does his work and ignores her screams and begging for mercy. Analogous to the New Testament belief that you must accept Jesus before you die or suffer eternal damnation.

    Thank goodness the religious scenario is all just a mind-game that we can rise above and simply not believe.

    Again, I say that most Christians are better than this “man”. But the Christian God isn’t. You should invent a better God.

  • Fredi

    Loren: WOW – I sure hit it off well with you. That’s enough questions for 10 blogs.
    Unfortunately I have to get some work done today so I’ll have to postpone my answers to later today.
    one personal question though: Are you interested in a serious truth-seeking discussion – as some of your questions suggest. Or are you more into defending fundamentalist-atheist talking points and ridiculing others – as some of your questions suggest? I had my fair share of “discussions” with fundamentalists, both Christian and non-christian – and they are usually fruit-less and a waste of time.

  • Joanna

    I agree with Loren in the post above. And anger really isn’t the right emotion, if you ask me. More like: Really Frustrated.

    It’s frustrating to hear Christians talk about a loving compassionate God/Jesus-figure. These are human qualities. Humans give emotions to gods? This is anthropomorphizing, isn’t it?

    If we are rational thinkers and take the Scriptures at their word (Literalists), why would we want to worship an angry, wrathful being anyway? Because if you really look at the entire Old and New testaments, they are filled with portrayals of God as an angry parent, punishing his “children”, allowing sacrifices of children, drowning people in floods, etc.

    If we take the bad with the good, and not just cherry pick the good stuff, we can see that religious faith of this quality promotes violence. We end up raising our children to fear and demonize other human beings on the basis of our belief system if we took the Scriptures literally.

    Moderate Christians view God as a mystery, yet a source of consolation. I have a really hard time imagining this God/creator/supreme being. So how can I worship such a capricious concept? It’s really frustrating to hear that only 28% of Amercians believe in evolution and 68% believe in Satan.

  • Fredi

    Jeff:
    It is not up to me to “invent a better God”.
    It is up to me to find answers to the following questions:
    1. Is there a “God”, i.e. a intelligent force or person outside the realm science can describe?
    2. What is this God like?

    Many former atheists have answered the first question in the affirmative. Most of them much smarter than you and I (C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel and atheist icon Anthony Flew to name a few) – not based on wishful thinking but based on the scientific evidence they have examined. They came to the conclusion that atheism is an irrational and non-scientific position. According the world-renowned former atheist Flew the evidence points at the very least to Deism, i.e. a supernatural creator “God”. Now you can either ignore the evidence, or prove that you are smarter than those guys and prove them wrong.
    The second question is a lot more difficult to address – but if you still answer NO to the first question discussing the second is moot.

  • Joanna

    Jeff: Thank you, you are getting at what I was trying to express. Showing love with violence, jealousy, emotional blackmail= signs of an UNHEALTHY relationship. In any partnership, family, or group.

  • Joanna

    Fredi: If this creator is immortal,omniscient, and omnipotent…or any of those qualities, how could we possibly know? These are supernatural qualities…beyond all human understanding.

    Some Christians are quite content with this dilemma and can “wishfully” think about salvation in the afterlife, but athiests cannot suspend their disbelief like other people seem to be able to do. We cannot deny the obvious absence of proof. In the natural world. What happens in the supernatural world is beyond the scope of investigation…we can ponder it, but we can’t prove it.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    Many former atheists have answered the first question in the affirmative. Most of them much smarter than you and I (C.S. Lewis, Lee Strobel and atheist icon Anthony Flew to name a few)

    Ha ha. C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel were/are not smarter than most of the people who write and comment on this blog.

    Anthony Flew? Maybe he was before his mind started failing. I haven’t read enough of what he’s written to form an opinion.

  • Chal

    Fredi, the “I wouldn’t believe in the God that you atheists are talking about” argument is getting old. It’s just an if by whiskey, and it misses an important point. Most atheists I know think that God is simply unlikely in the extreme, that’s why they (and I) don’t believe. The fact that the God of the Bible is also a jerk is just an extra incentive to speak out against religion.

  • Kate

    I keep hearing this talk of “evidence” for a creator being. Show me, and then we’ll talk. And no, “the world around you exists” is not a valid argument. Hypothesis, experimentation, result, and the testing thereof by others and achieving the same results. You want to use science to explain a creator, then play by science’s rules.

    I read through Greta’s entire piece and was very moved by it. I agree with her on essentially all points. She makes the valid point that is one reason why I am an angry atheist: the feeling of marginalization. The feeling of being pushed to the side and being deemed “less than”. Less than a citizen, less than a moral person, less than worthy of love/fairness/representation. Less than knowledgeable, because you are “ignorant to some greater truth”.

    I read the holy texts, and they are essentially nothing more than collections of stories. It is through their followers that beliefs are manifested. An idea is nothing without a manifestation.

  • Fredi

    Joanna:
    I agree with you in part. You describe the dilemma very well: How can we know God – assuming something like that exists.
    I believe that science proves – or at least strongly suggests – that there is an intelligent creative power outside of our universe, independent of space and time. This belief seems much more reasonable than a random event where nothing exploded into a universe that gets bigger and more amazing every time we build a better telescope. To be clear I believe that the Big Bang and evolution are reasonable theories based on the evidence available – it is the RANDOMNESS that I have trouble with – and so do the former atheists I mentioned in an earlier post. Google their names they can explain why they changed their mind much better than I could.

  • Eliza

    Imagine a person drowning. …

    Now you may object that you are not drowning. What if you are slowly being poisened …

    In a way you are making my point: make sure you know what you reject.

    Fredi, most of us have investigated the claims of Christianity as well as any rational person can, and have found it sorely lacking. We find its sole basis to be a collection of very flawed texts (the Bible). Same is true of other revealed religions. Nor is there evidence of supernatural forces which cannot be explained by natural phenomena and which leave any investigable, lasting mark – there’s only the claims of various emotions & internal experiences by individual believers, which can’t serve as evidence for the existence of a supernatural entity.

    You think we’re drowning, but that pond is DRY.

  • Fredi

    guys, I gotta work now – but I’ll be back
    here is a question to ponder:
    Imagine an empty box that you have in your garage, you close it, you tape it and you leave it alone. A month later you come back and there is a piece of paper in it that tells you how to build a motorcycle. What other reasonable theory could there be other than “someone put it there”?

  • Fredi

    to writerdd : if you really believe you are smarter than C.S. Lewis you need professional help – and I don’t say that to hurt you.

  • J Myers

    Antony Flew, folks; no “h”.

  • Siamang

    I would say that I’m probably smarter than CS Lewis.

    I’m not as educated in literature as he was. But I probably could beat him in a test of complex logic problems, geometric problem solving or probably even a basic test of general scientific knowledge, especially given that science has increased its knowledge in the time he’s been decaying in the ground.

    And Lee Strobel?!?! That guy posted here on this blog. He wouldn’t even answer my question!

    But you’re not going to convince us by naming “smart people” who agree with you (especially some not very smart “smart people”). We could list equally or greater “smart people”. Some very, very smart people are stupid in other ways or even crazy. For example, nobody would argue that Bobby Fischer wasn’t a smart man. But he was also suffering from a mental illness that caused him to be quite unstable.

    The way to convince us is to *present evidence*. Not testimonials. If you have wonderful wonderful arguments, bring them (backed by evidence). Don’t just say “smart people agree with me.” Especially since, by and large, they don’t. Something like 90% of the top scientists in the world are atheists. So we can have this pissing contest all day and not get anywhere.

    Instead, present your evidence.

  • Siamang

    Imagine an empty box that you have in your garage, you close it, you tape it and you leave it alone. A month later you come back and there is a piece of paper in it that tells you how to build a motorcycle. What other reasonable theory could there be other than “someone put it there”?

    Ummm…. what?

    I’m guessing that’s an analogy, and you’ll wind up with that God put the instructions for the motorcycle in the box.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Imagine an empty box that you have in your garage…

    This is an example of a false dichotomy. If there are gaps in human knowledge, then it doesn’t necessarily point to the supernatural.

    1. Perhaps it is just gaps in your understanding. Evolution theory is a lot more advanced than what you would gather form the writings of many Christian authors.

    2. Perhaps science will eventually fill those gaps with naturalistic answers.

    3. Perhaps there are naturalistic answers that the human mind simply doesn’t have the necessary gray matter to figure out.

    You don’t necessarily need to conclude there must be a God with a Son who died for you sins and listens to prayers…. Heaven and hell and you should give 10% to the church… and keep gays from marrying…

    If you want to be a Deist, that’s fine. All the power to you. But draw the line there.

    Personally, I’m an atheist, not an adeist.
    Its the theism part I don’t see any evidence for.

  • Nixxy

    Hey Fredi, ever wonder if you’re one of those christians that you blame atheism on?

  • Fredi

    to Siamang:
    Do you believe Julius Caesar existed and that there was such a thing as the Galian War?
    “According to your reasoning there is no admissible “evidence” for that either.
    If you would only believe what you can prove beyond ANY doubt – you would not believe ANYTHING.

    Something like 90% of the top scientists in the world are atheists.

    any evidence for that?

    BTW: I’m not saying that there is “Proof” God exists – I’m saying that Believing in God is (at least) as “reasonable” as atheism.

  • Fredi

    Nixxy:

    Hey Fredi, ever wonder if you’re one of those christians that you blame atheism on?

    can you please elaborate? What have I done other than have a different opinion and arguing for what I believe – isn’t that what we are supposed to do here?

  • Fredi

    to Jeff:

    Evolution theory is a lot more advanced than what you would gather form the writings of many Christian authors.

    Just for clarification, I have a masters in physics, so I believe I have quite a good grasp and what evolution says – and what it fails to prove.

  • Fredi

    as to my “empty box” analogy
    1. do you believe the universe exists?
    2. do you believe that every cell in your body contains detailed instructions on how to build another human being? (note how to build…)
    3. do you believe that there was a time where there was no universe? (empty box)
    If you believe these three statements, then

    Where did the universe come from?
    And who wrote the instructions how to build you?

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. No

    I find it easier to believe that there has always been a universe in some form… more than the alternative view that there was a time when there was no universe but there was (and is) an eternally existing God that doesn’t itself require any causal explanation.

    Congratulations on your masters in physics. Stick around in school for another 4 years and you can join the PhD club. I got mine at age 35 so it’s never too late.

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Fredi–

    Here’s another take on your box analogy:

    1) I assume you are a Christian
    a) you believe in the god of the Bible
    b) you see the Bible as divinely inspired
    so…
    2) You believe what the Bible says
    a) it claims to be instruction book for spirituality
    b) it claims spiritual things more important than physical things
    and…knowing #2 -
    3) Bible should be a clear instruction book for spiritual things
    a) if it is not clear on spiritual things, it is not fulfilling its main purpose
    b) if it is not fulfilling its main purpose, it is unlikely to be divinely inspired
    and…knowing #3 -
    4) The Bible is full of contradictions on spiritual matters
    a) many different sects of Christianity have wildly different interpretations
    b) most Christians can’t even agree on what is required to obtain salvation

    Therefore, assuming #1, #2, #3, and observing #4, we can conclude that it is unlikely that the Bible is divinely inspired.

    If you found an instruction manual in a box which claimed to have all the answers to morality and spirituality, yet everyone who used those same exact set of instructions obtained wildly different results, and people who had no instruction manual or a different one did an equally good job of constructing their morality and spirituality, would you say that it is likely that it is valid?

    I would not.

  • Fredi

    Hey Jeff, now it’s getting interesting!
    Follow-up question
    1. how is a belief in an eternal universe that is the cause of everything different from believing in an eternal God that is the cause of everything.
    2. What about the note in the box? Where does the information come from?
    3. “I find it easier to belief” kinda makes your limitation to understand the guide for what can be true – isn’t that exactly what you called a “false dichotomy” earlier?

  • Siamang

    to Siamang:

    Do you believe Julius Caesar existed and that there was such a thing as the Galian War?
    “According to your reasoning there is no admissible “evidence” for that either.
    If you would only believe what you can prove beyond ANY doubt – you would not believe ANYTHING.

    Hmm… I think you don’t have any evidence.

    Why is that? Because I’ve seen this tactic before. You’re telling me, before you present any evidence at all, what evidence I will or will not accept. That’s not a good-faith way to begin an honest exploration for the truth. “Well, I could tell you but you wouldn’t believe me anyway,” is a cheap game.

    any evidence for that?

    http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/news/file002.html

    BTW: I’m not saying that there is “Proof” God exists – I’m saying that Believing in God is (at least) as “reasonable” as atheism.

    I don’t agree. I don’t know what’s so reasonable about believing things that there is no proof for. Why not just be honest and say “well, there’s no proof, so I will put it on my list of things that may or may not be real”?

    Just for clarification, I have a masters in physics, so I believe I have quite a good grasp and what evolution says – and what it fails to prove.

    Okay, here I have to say I’m surprised. First off, that someone with a masters in physics would believe that gave them expertise in biology… Second, that a masters in physics would try and foist that on us as if we would think it were a trump card. Friend, there are people here with masters and working on masters in evolutionary biology. If you really want to start rolling up our sleeves here, you may find yourself to come up quite short applying physics to biological problems.

    You use the word “randomness”, which is generally a red flag in these sort of discussions. Creationists (and Lee Strobel fans generally are creationists of one stripe or another) usually use the word “randomness” to mean one of several things, usually all at once. So please be clear when talking about this “randomness”. What do you mean when you say you have trouble with randomness?

  • Siamang

    1. how is a belief in an eternal universe that is the cause of everything different from believing in an eternal God that is the cause of everything.

    Because one assumes a personality that is not in evidence.

  • Fredi

    to Teleprompter:

    you raise a couple of very good questions. The problem is, if we add more questions every time we encounter one that is difficult to answer, we never get anywhere. I’m not here to prove people wrong, I’m here to learn and test my beliefs. If this stuff was easy and obvious we wouldn’t be here. Don’t see this as a cop-out there will be plenty of opportunity – I plan to be around for a while.
    I see the Bible as a collection of recordings of man’s experience with and revelation of God. It is like a collage of many pictures – and even if we assume that some of the pictures are flawed, broken, missing, distorted the whole still gives a very good picture of what God is like – and this picture is a lot more positive and inspiring than the one people on this blog seem to have.
    But the first question is: Is it reasonable to believe that there and intelligent, creative power outside of the real of science that cannot be perceived by our senses?

  • Siamang

    2. What about the note in the box? Where does the information come from?

    It’s not a note in a box. It’s a set of chemicals. Those chemicals grow like crystals: just following a natural pattern based on the previous pattern, without any personality that’s not in evidence diddling with them.

  • Siamang

    But the first question is: Is it reasonable to believe that there and intelligent, creative power outside of the real of science that cannot be perceived by our senses?

    I think the first question really should be: “Is it reasonable to *ask other people* to believe such a thing when you’ve got no evidence to offer them?”

  • Kate

    @ Fredi:

    I don’t say this to offend, but a masters in physics relates only minimally to evolutionary paleontology and biology. Yes, they are both science, but they relate to each other minimally. It’s like trying to relate cricket and and basketball.

  • Siamang

    Yes, they are both science, but they relate to each other minimally.

    And… you’d think that he/she might actually have learned that somewhere in college.

    “Hey, I’m a physics expert. Let me go over to the medicine department and go tell them where they’re wrong! Okay, today I’m going over to the meteorologists and telling them that there’s too much allowance for randomness in their field.”

  • Fredi

    Siamang:

    “Is it reasonable to *ask other people* to believe

    I’m not asking anyone to believe anything. I’m trying to find out how two intelligent people can look at the same evidence and come to totally different conclusions. I’m trying to point out flaws I perceive in your reasoning and ask you to point out flaws in mine. I believe this is how we learn.
    As to the note:

    It’s a set of chemicals. Those chemicals grow like crystals

    If it was that easy there would be an experiment that would show that – “put stuff in a bottle, shake it long enough and it will come alive” – there is no such experiment. To believe this could happen is therefore totally unscientific – it is also very unplausible. Also: the genetic code is more than just chemicals, it is a detailed instruction on how to build something. visit http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com for more details on this subject. If you find any good counter-arguments, please let me know – As I said, I’m here to learn.

  • J Myers

    and this picture is a lot more positive and inspiring than the one people on this blog seem to have.

    I would argue that you are incorrect (he strikes me as a rather miserable lout), but even if I grant you this point, it gets you nothing but an argument from consequences (“these stories about a god say he’s good, therefore this god exists”).

    Is it reasonable to believe that there and [sic] intelligent, creative power[s] outside of the real[m] of science that cannot be perceived by our senses?

    Absolutely not. I would ask, given the absence of evidence for such agents, how could this possibly be considered reasonable?

  • J Myers

    Fredi, your analogies to evolution are either spectacularly disingenuous or spectacularly ignorant. Please clarify which it might be so that I can determine if it is worth dialoguing with you.

  • Fredi

    J Myers:
    according to your post you are either “spectacularly” smart or “spectacularly” arrogant – since I cannot determine which it is, I will leave the decision if I’m worthy of your dialogue up to you.
    To clarify part of my analogy: “Where does ‘note’ i.e. the information in the genetic code come from?”
    P.S. I apologize for any typos I may have made

  • Siamang

    If it was that easy there would be an experiment that would show that – “put stuff in a bottle, shake it long enough and it will come alive” – there is no such experiment. To believe this could happen is therefore totally unscientific – it is also very unplausible.

    This is the worst analogy I’ve ever heard. Science doesn’t stick stuff in bottles and then shake it to see if life exists.

    “Hey, let’s stick a bunch of water and air in a bottle and shake it and see if we get a complex weather pattern like a hurricane!”

    “Hey, let’s stick some chemicals in a bottle and shake it and see if it comes out as a cure for cancer!”

    “Hey, let’s stick some hydrogen in a bottle and shake it and see if it turns into a star!”

    “GEE, it didn’t make a star! ASTROPHYSICS IS TOTALLY UNPLAUSABLE!”

    I don’t think you actually have a masters in physics.

  • Fredi

    Siamang – you said “DNA grows like crystals” and that is utter nonsense – please don’t get upset with me for pointing that out.

    I’m still waiting for an answer for any of my simple questions:
    1. Where does the universe come from
    2. Where does the information in the genetic code come from.

  • Siamang

    Siamang – you said “DNA grows like crystals” and that is utter nonsense – please don’t get upset with me for pointing that out.

    http://www.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/oct25/articles23.htm
    http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:SUKvc9620XEJ:www.dna.caltech.edu/Papers/dna-crystal-evolution.ps+dna+grows+like+crystals&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    1. Where does the universe come from

    Yeah, simple question that. First off, you assume it “came from” something. Nicely loaded question.

    Second off, you deny that it could be uncaused or eternal.

    Third off, even if your question was correctly phrased, neither you or I would know the answer, I’m just the one willing to be honest and admit that. You think it’s a “gotcha” question. Well, sorry, I’d rather be humble and modest in my inferences. “I don’t know” is a better answer than “I’ll pretend I do know and tell other people they’re wrong and going to hell because of it.”

    2. Where does the information in the genetic code come from.

    The natural environment.

  • SarahH

    I highly recommend looking up Louis Theroux’s documentary on Westboro Baptist Church. He’s the absolute best at bringing out the human in his subjects, imo. It’s a shame he doesn’t know enough about the Bible to properly engage them in discussion.

    I know I’m totally interrupting here, but I just have to add that I have a huge crush on Louis and I harbor a suspicion that John Oliver (on the Daily Show) is using him partially as inspiration :-)

    Also, while I think his arguments for religious belief ultimately fail, I do love me some C.S. Lewis. I don’t know enough to say whether any commenter here are “smarter” than he was, but I do think he was a brilliant author, and (while many Christians ignore this aspect of his writing) an apologist for a form pluralism, which I regard as a step in the right direction.

    That said: I’m getting quite tired of seeing so many commenters using appeals to authority and cherry-picking famous ex-atheists in an attempt to bolster poor arguments. There are many ex-theists we could be name-dropping, but the fact that any particular individual changed their beliefs has no bearing on whether either set of beliefs is true or false. Unless you are using one of Flew’s arguments specifically, there’s no need to name-check. We’re all aware of his existence and it has nothing to do with the discussion at hand.

  • Fredi

    Hmmm …
    The original topic was “Why are atheists so angry?” – to get back to the subject, would some of you who feel “angry” now share why?

  • http://avertyoureye.blogspot.com/ Teleprompter

    Fredi:

    Why do I feel angry? I’m not angry…just frustrated that people like yourself trot out the same tired arguments again and again which we always have to refute because people just cannot find the motivation within themselves to go and evaluate the evidence objectively.

    “Is it reasonable to believe that there is an intelligent, creative power outside of the realm of science that cannot be perceived by our senses?”

    No, it’s not reasonable. It’s more reasonable to believe in leprechauns, because at least we have a common definition of what a leprechaun is.

    We don’t have a common definition of what “god” is. Why should I believe in a concept that is so poorly defined and articulated? “God” is an entirely meaningless idea because no one can actually agree on its qualities or characteristics. And we have no evidence that there is such a being. So why should we believe any of the supernatural claims?

  • Siamang

    Fredi, I’m not angry. I am however frustrated that you drop in with some questions, but then you dance away when we engage them. Now you seem to be changing the subject.

    For example, just above I presented evidence that dna and rna grows like crystals (I should have said auto-assembled, but I was using a lay term), which you pooh-pooed. I showed evidence, but you didn’t even acknowledge that I did so. Really, for this to be a two-way conversation you should say something like “oh, thanks for that. I now see what you meant by that.” You pooh-poohed the idea that ~90% of NAS scientists were atheist or agnostic, asked for evidence, then dropped the subject when I provided the evidence. Again, a two-way conversation is helped if you actually acknowledge that I went to the effort to get the factual basis of my claim for you.

    Multiple people have called into question whether a masters in physics qualifies you to make judgments about paleontology and biology. You have ignored those qualms. Other people have objected to the idea that citing “smart people” like Strobel is a good line of argumentation, you seem to have dropped that line, again without acknowledgement, concession or even any note of whether you even read or understood their points.

    I have asked you to define what you mean by randomness and why you say that you “have trouble” with it. I might as well have saved myself the keystrokes, because it must be invisible ink to you. I have admonished you against poisoning the discussion by claiming to know that I wouldn’t accept your evidence even if you had evidence… again no response from you.

    You’re doing a Gish Gallop, and I’m sorry but after that many things that I’ve taken the time to respond, and you just drop and move on to different questions, I’m going to conclude that this is a one-way conversation to you.

    Enjoy talking to yourself.

  • christi

    Fredi-there is no reason that the universe had to “come from” anywhere. Perhaps it has always existed. Your study of physics has certainly at least touched on the space-time continuum. I don’t pretend to understand it with my itty bitty human brain, but perhaps some of you big-brain physicists will one day discover the complexities of the fourth dimension. If it is possible for a deity to have “always existed”, why not the universe itself?

    As an atheist, I am angry at being told that I am less of a citizen or that my opinions do not matter simply because of my lack of belief in your god. I do not want to eliminate religion in people’s private lives (though I think the world would be a better place without it), but I do think it should STAY PRIVATE. I’ll let you worship whatever sky fairy you want to if you will respect my right not to. But don’t tell me I can’t be a moral person, or have sex with consenting adults in a manner agreeable to all participants, or marry and make a life with whomever i want to simply because YOUR religion won’t allow you to do the same. I don’t want a law telling me I have to “keep kosher” or avoid meat on Fridays any more than I want any of your “Christian values” forced on me through the state. If it neither “picks my pocket nor breaks my leg” then it needn’t be a law.

    If citizens of humanity (great jeans, btw) would treat each other with the respect that we all deserve simply for being members of the human race then I would not be an “angry atheist”.

  • J Myers

    J Myers:
    according to your post you are either “spectacularly” smart or “spectacularly” arrogant – since I cannot determine which it is, I will leave the decision if I’m worthy of your dialogue up to you.

    You cannot infer either intelligence or arrogance on the basis of my comment regarding your dismal analogies (any honest, reasonably well-informed person would offer the same assessment–one need not be particularly intelligent to reach this conclusion, nor arrogant to voice it). You make a similar error above when you infer that writerdd claimed to be more intelligent than C.S. Lewis, when she merely stated most commenters here are more intelligent than he was.

    You seem to be exhibit an imprecision in thought endemic to most theists I encounter, which suggests to me that you are genuine… but then you go on and say this:

    I’m still waiting for an answer for any of my simple questions:
    1. Where does the universe come from
    2. Where does the information in the genetic code come from.

    This strongly suggest that you are being disingenuous 1. We don’t know–perhaps we’ll never know–and it should be abundantly clear that “we don’t know” &ne “goddidit”. 2. You claim to know something of evolution, and you don’t even know the answer to this? I would suggest you read the Index of Creationist Claims (at least the entries dealing with evolution) to get a very basic understanding of evolution before you attempt to discuss it further.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    how is a belief in an eternal universe that is the cause of everything different from believing in an eternal God that is the cause of everything.

    Paraphrasing from Dawkins, If a god created the universe, then the god would have to be more complicated than the universe and then the god is left unexplained. Therefore it is simpler to just leave the explanation within the universe itself. I also think that having god create the universe is an intellectual cop-out.

    What about the note in the box? Where does the information come from?

    While evolutionary biology has explanations for the genetic code, there is some concern about whether the identified mechanism would have the necessary time to come up with the complicated structures. But all this means is that not all the natural mechanisms have been identified. We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that a god is behind it all just because we don’t have everything completely figured out yet. The “god of the gap” is also an intellectual cop-out.

    “I find it easier to believe” kind of makes your limitation to understand the guide for what can be true – isn’t that exactly what you called a “false dichotomy” earlier?

    While it is true that the more simple explanation doesn’t guarantee correctness, science is all about finding the most plausible explanation for phenomena we can observe. Scientific theories stand until better scientific explanations come along. Absolute proof is only for mathematicians in their logic universe. The real world is messy and just because science can’t absolutely prove things, doesn’t mean that there are gods and fairies floating around.

  • Fredi

    to all of you who are accusing me of dodging the argument: I have a day job and I really have to get some work done – I’ll try to address all your questions and objections later tonight.

    let me rephrase one of my questions:

    Why is there a universe? And if you believe it had a beginning: where did it come from, or maybe better – what caused it?

    Believe it or not – I really try to understand the way some of you think and reason – as alien as some of it seems to me.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    to writerdd : if you really believe you are smarter than C.S. Lewis you need professional help – and I don’t say that to hurt you.

    I didn’t say I was smarter than CS Lewis (although I think I’m at least as smart as he was)… I said that most of the writers and commenters on this blog are smarter than him.

    And what do you think he is anyway? Some kind of genius? Sorry, but I don’t agree. I like his writing — he was a decent writer — but he was also a sloppy writer in many cases, and lazy in much of his thinking.

  • Siamang

    and seemingly lazy in much of his thinking.

    Case in point the “trilemma” which has even theologians running for cover because of its horrible ignorance of both biblical scholarship and simple formal logic.

  • Fredi

    @ writerdd:
    Well then I guess Einstein was pretty inept and a lazy thinker too …
    Anthony Flew is abvously senile according to one of the posts.
    It is very easy to be right if you declare everyone who disagrees stupid or senile.

    What frustrates me most is that I still have not the slightest hint of a nuance of a clue what most of you believe and why?

  • Siamang

    Well then I guess Einstein was pretty inept and a lazy thinker too …

    Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein:

    “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

    It is very easy to be right if you declare everyone who disagrees stupid or senile.

    You don’t get it at all, do you? It is YOU who are bringing in these celebrities to vouch for your position, which we have said do not amount to actually PRESENTING data or argument. What we’re showing you is that that method of “This smart guy believes X, therefore it is true” is a shit argument.

    What frustrates me most is that I still have not the slightest hint of a nuance of a clue what most of you believe and why?

    Yeah, because that would take *listening*.

  • Anon

    HA. It tickles me to read a militant Athiest fetching this gem:

    It is YOU who are bringing in these celebrities to vouch for your position

    Right after:

    Here’s a quote from Albert Einstein:

    You used a quote to back up your beliefs and then accused your opponent of doing what you just did. You are either totally ignorant or believe that since your position is right the rules don’t apply to you.

    Yeah, because that would take *listening*.

    Like you Athiests are doing such a bang-up job of that. Plug your ears and it’s easy enough to believe whatever you want.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    I’m still waiting for an answer for any of my simple questions:
    1. Where does the universe come from
    2. Where does the information in the genetic code come from.

    I don’t know (although others have pointed out partial answers to the second one). Would you care to explain why these questions are relevant to a discussion about God? There are lots of scientific questions that I don’t know the answer to. What causes sonoluminescence? What, if any, particle mediates the force of gravity? Who keeps stealing my Sunday newspaper? I don’t generally deal with the difficult questions by saying that God must have done it. I’m guessing that you do, but I don’t see the logic behind it. If our predecessors had followed this approach, we’d still be cowering from the thunder gods.

    What frustrates me most is that I still have not the slightest hint of a nuance of a clue what most of you believe and why?

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to figure out. If you don’t understand what we believe, then just ask. Your current approach seems to be to take apologetic arguments, phrase them as questions, and then claim that you’re “just trying to find out what we believe.” This claim strikes me as disingenuous.

    Atheists believe that there is no god or gods. They believe this because they haven’t seen evidence that he, she, or they exist. Pretty straightforward.

  • http://micketymoc.mchronicles.net/ micketymoc

    You used a quote to back up your beliefs and then accused your opponent of doing what you just did. You are either totally ignorant or believe that since your position is right the rules don’t apply to you.

    No she didn’t… writerdd used a quote to rebut Fredi’s rather wrongheaded suggestion that Einstein was a believer. (“Einstein was pretty inept and a lazy thinker too”, quoth Fredi.)

    Einstein wasn’t referenced to “back up writerdd’s beliefs”, although those beliefs might agree with writerdd’s opinions. Einstein was quoted to contradict Fredi’s suggestion that Einstein somehow supported his beliefs.

    Sorry, no “gotcha” for you. Thank you for playing.

  • Loren Petrich

    Fredi, I can name several people who are on my side and who at least as smart as C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel:

    Bertrand Russell, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Richard Carrier, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Victor Stenger, Dan Barker, John Loftus, …

    As to Antony Flew, Richard Carrier exposes his recent book as largely ghostwritten in Antony Flew’s Bogus Book

    Fredi:
    I’m still waiting for an answer for any of my simple questions:
    1. Where does the universe come from

    Is the Universe supposed to have a cause outside of itself? If it’s caused by entity or entities X, then by that argument, X would also need a cause.

    And using Richard Dawkins’s Ultimate 747 argument, if X is more elaborate than the Universe, then it’s a bad hypothesis.

    2. Where does the information in the genetic code come from.

    From natural selection — trial and error — as far as anyone can tell. In fact, natural selection is the inspiration behind genetic-algorithm optimizers, which have sometimes been very successful.

    And if organisms’ gene sequences were largely designed, then they must have been designed by a large number of designers over the eons, and designers with rather limited powers and/or competence.

    We infer the capabilities and competence of human designers all the time, so we can do the same thing with the designers of biological systems — if any.

  • Siamang

    Anon troll, got anything to contribute to this conversation? Or just trolling? My quote is evidence that arguments for authority are not helping Fredi. I illustrate it with a quote that shows that arguments from authority are two-headed, especially when dealing with rich and nuanced figures of history who often don’t come down very clearly on one side or the other.

    I know that might be a bit too complex for you to follow, since the statements come one right after the other in the same post. Try and keep up.

  • charfles

    From natural selection — trial and error — as far as anyone can tell. In fact, natural selection is the inspiration behind genetic-algorithm optimizers, which have sometimes been very successful.

    Indeed, anyone who has worked with genetic algorithms would know that utility can arise from randomness as long as you apply selection and mutation. In fact the algorithms work best with very low mutation rates (but they can work as long as the mutation rate is less than 50%, ie. the offspring are more likely to be like their parents than a random assortment). We only require heredity and mutation. Mutation is brought by the simple laws of nature: thermodynamics, radiation, cosmic rays, errant molecules, etc. Heredity is the hard part, but we know that even simple molecules like RNA can be self-replicating.

    Complexity can emerge out of randomness. Even pure randomness as is the case with most genetic algorithms (I start mine with purely random bit strings, I don’t “pre-seed” them with information). Using the randomness argument for god is a cop-out because it demonstrates a lack of understanding of natural selection.

  • GullWatcher

    to get back to the subject, would some of you who feel “angry” now share why?

    Because you (you in particular, not a general “you”) come here waving your arrogance, your ignorance, and your stupidity like a big ol’ club, and can’t understand that no one is falling but you. It drives people beyond irritation into anger than anyone can be that willfully stupid. Is that, finally, an answer you can understand?

    And if you want to ask how you have done those things, it just illustrates my point all the more, as it has already been pointed out multiple times in this series of posts exactly how you are doing all those things.

  • GullWatcher

    Imagine a person drowning. If I throw you a lifeline and tell you that I can only save you if you grab it – that would be “self-centered depotism” according to your description.
    Now you may object that you are not drowning. What if you are slowly being poisened, slow enough so you don’t notice (you may even know people who are slowly killing themselves with their addictions, bad habits, etc. – you see it clearly, but they insist they are fine …) I – for whatever reason – want you to live and offer you an antidote, saying: take this or die (I would probably try to phrase it differently) is that also “self-centered despotism”?

    If you were the person who pushed me in the water or poisoned me, then yes, it would. In the Christian fable, the damnation and the salvation both come from the same source (god) so basically, one has to placate one’s abuser to prevent further harm. That’s one seriously unattractive and dysfunctional relationship.

    And yes, you guessed it, people who promote abusive relationships as a good thing makes me… (wait for it)… angry!

    Gonna go cool off now….

  • AxeGrrl

    Fredi said:

    The problem is, if we add more questions every time we encounter one that is difficult to answer, we never get anywhere.

    Sometimes our unending ‘questioning’ simply leads us to one conclusion: “we don’t know”.

    Fredi, is that what you mean by ‘never getting anywhere’? (meaning, never arriving at satisfactory answers)

    I ask because sometimes I think that the MAIN difference between believers and atheists/agnostics is the need (or lack thereof) for SOME kind of ‘answer’ ~ some people simply cannot deal with the big questions/issues being ‘unknown’.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Sometimes our unending ‘questioning’ simply leads us to one conclusion: “we don’t know”.

    I agree. Atheists, by definition, don’t hold theistic beliefs. Theists hold theistic beliefs, usually through childhood conditioning, and then rationalize backwards to form “scientific” theories to be consistent with those beliefs. Atheists honor the true intent of the self-correcting nature of science and are comfortable with not always having an answer.

  • Steven

    Fredi wrote:

    “Let me rephrase one of my questions:
    Why is there a universe? And if you believe it had a beginning: where did it come from, or maybe better – what caused it?
    Believe it or not – I really try to understand the way some of you think and reason – as alien as some of it seems to me.”

    I’ve enjoyed reading the vigorous exchanges between Fredi and various commenters – they’ve been surprisingly civilized. The only honest answer I have to his question about the origins of the universe is – damned if I know. Since I don’t know, I can’t assume God or any other creative “force”.
    It has always seemed more likely to me that there was no “first cause” or “prime mover”. To everyone who says “all of this couldn’t happen by accident”, I say “why not?”.
    I’m an atheist, but not an angry one, just sad that so many people shackle themselves to unprovable belief systems because comfort and certainty are easier than asking questions when we might not like the answers.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com/ Derek

    And if you believe it had a beginning: where did it come from

    You’re a physicist, right? You must know something about Big Bang cosmology, then. You have to know that scientists know enough about the Universe that they can pretty much roll the tape back to within nanoseconds of the Big Bang and know what was happening then.

    If I remember correctly (it HAS been an awful long while since my last physics course), the longer you wind the tape back, the more stuff you find happening in smaller and smaller frames of time. So, in some sense, you can wind the tape back infinitely and find that it always goes slower and slower, but never really stops.

    If that’s indeed the case, suddenly you find yourself arguing Zeno’s paradox. Just like Zeno argues from infinite regress that motion is itself an illusion, it doesn’t make sense to ask “well, what happened before all that?” because science has not yet determined if there even was a “before all that.”

  • http://www.bernerbits.com/ Derek

    Most of them much smarter than you and I

    First of all, “I don’t think I could ever have come up with an argument like that” just means a person is clever.

    Second, smart != right.

    Third, many atheists much smarter than you or I have argued against existence of any god or gods. Which just goes to show that appeals to authority are useless as a means of rigorous debate.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com/ Derek

    Imagine a person drowning. If I throw you a lifeline and tell you that I can only save you if you grab it – that would be “self-centered despotism” according to your description.

    I used to be a big fan of this argument. It seemed an airtight means of getting carte blanche to push my views on anyone I wanted, not letting up when they asked, and a good motivator to boot. After all, when they objected to this argument, I could just shake my head in disappointment (because I had just TRUMPED them, dammit), and continue my spiritually-enlightened assholery.

    But arguments over the validity of that analogy aside, it occurs to me that if there are billions of other people drowning, and I say I don’t want your help, then why not just move on and try to save someone else who does want your help? Then you’re not wasting both my time and yours, and, from your perspective, more people get helped.

  • http://www.sheeptoshawl.com writerdd

    I’m not angry any more. I’m sad.

    I’m sad that so many people can’t seem to get along with those who are different. All they want to do is fight and argue and debate. And this comment is directed toward Christians and atheists. It’s much more fun — and productive — to be friends with people who are different and to actually try to understand where they are coming from, rather than trying to prove them wrong all the time.

    But there’s nothing wrong with being angry if you channel it into positive actions. For example, if you are angry about poverty, and you volunteer at a soup kitchen, that’s a great outcome.

  • http://lefthandplay.blogspot.com/ Blue Fielder

    Disingenuous fundie troglodytes are infesting this thread, and you guys are treating them like they’re out for honest debate? Just ignore them, jeez.

    You guys should have ignored Fredi the moment he used the phrase “fundamentalist Atheist”. That’s plain proof of out-and-out trolling.

    Seriously, learn which battles to fight.

  • SarahH

    It’s telling that several commenters (none of them regulars on this blog) have used this post about why atheists get angry to poke atheists with proverbial sticks until they get angry and give up on the discourse.

    We get angry when people misrepresent us. We get angry when people talk down to us. We get angry when people assume that we must have some kind of dogma – despite our repeated attempts to remind people that the only thing that makes us “atheists” is our lack of a particular belief.

    Lots of other blogs *cough*PZshoutout*cough* have commenters who would simple insult these commenters, swear at them, laugh at them and then ignore them. We perhaps go too far here, trying to be friendly and trying to engage in dialogue when there are people who are only seeking to make us angry so they can point and triumphantly say, “Look how angry they are! They’re so defensive! They must be wrong!”

    So good job making some atheists angry – it doesn’t prove anything beyond your capacity to harass and take advantage of the patience of atheists who are actually willing to respond to your posts.

  • http://www.bernerbits.com/ Derek

    Indeed, anyone who has worked with genetic algorithms would know that utility can arise from randomness as long as you apply selection and mutation.

    In genetic algorithms, cdesign proponentsists consider the fitness function to be “smuggled-in design”. Of course genetic algorithms work, they say, because you’ve encoded exactly what you want! Then, when you argue that natural selection has the same effect, they talk about pepper moths and how no speciation occurred there, which proves “natural selection isn’t evolution”.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    Fredi,
    I was willing to give you a break at first. I thought, “here’s a guy who is fair minded, albeit misguided. maybe we can have a dialogue.”

    BUT… your arguments consist of misrepresntations, arguments from authority, false dichotomy and just pure inanity in general. Disappointing, really.

    Fredi I used to be like you… ignorant and smug, but so sure I was right. Thank *science* I’m not any more. It took 30 years for me to get it. To actually listen to another opinion without feeling threatened by it is a difficult thing for Christians, no matter how much they smile and make self-deprecating remarks.

    I hope that you will take heed to some advice above and BE PRECISE about what you say and how you characterize what is said by others. It’s one of the first steps towards clear and cogent thinking, and you’ve got a ways to go.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    It appears that Fredi has left the discuission. At least I see no evidence of his presence.

    Perhaps he will come back in a couple of years as an atheist and say his deconversion was influenced by some seeds placed in his mind right here.

  • Siamang

    In the RationalWiki definition for Gish Gallop there’s a subtype called JAQing off. As in “Just Asking Questions”. See if this sounds familiar:

    A somewhat less frenetic version, often associated with denialism in general and 9/11 “truthers” in particular, is referred to as “JAQing off”, a term derived from the frequent refrain that the denialist is “just asking questions”. In a manner much the same as political push polls, “JAQing off” consists primarily of asking leading questions as an attempt to change listener’s minds rather than actually search for a conclusion.

    Here was someone who kept posting questions and not engaging us when we’d answer. They’d just keep asking new questions or re-asking the same questions over and over.

    When called on it, Fredi said

    I have a day job and I really have to get some work done – I’ll try to address all your questions and objections later tonight.

    Yeah right. That “day job” didn’t keep him/her from asking more and more questions, changing the subject, and either ignoring, misrepresenting or rejecting our evidence outright.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    Hello?

    Fredi???
    (echoes, followed by silence)

    Hmmmph.

    **ATL-Apostate scratches head, shuffles feet, turns around and heads off for another blog**

  • SarahH

    “JAQing off” seems like a particularly good way to sum up what commenters like Fredi do in threads like this. “Just Asking Questions” under the guise of someone interesting in discussion becomes trolling when the questioner doesn’t seem to have any thoughts or replies – just repetitions of the same questions.

    Prime examples:
    “Do you know where you’re going after you die?”
    “Where do you think the universe came from?”
    “What if you’re wrong and God exists?”

  • Emily

    I don’t think that I am an “angry” atheist. I support my beliefs, as much (or less than) any person of faith. I get mad when my rights, as an American of no faith, get infringed upon. I do not tell those who choose to be religious that they are wrong, but they do to me. My personal beliefs are my thoughts, I do sometimes vocalize them, but I do not believe that I should be able to tell others what to think. In fact, I think that some religion is good, there are some people who would be completely lost without their religion to guide them through life. But my personal morals are internal. I have a sense of right and wrong that has been instilled in me by my parents, without the use of any religion. Too much religion gives people the feeling that everyone and their mother should believe what they do. “If you don’t believe what I believe, you’re going to Hell.”
    -Will Smith, Ms. Holy Roller.
    My anger is from having religion shoved at me from all directions, and I’m tired of being told I’m wrong, and to question what I believe. They ask questions to manipulate my words to pose them as if I was, in fact, wrong. Then pull out the “Gotcha!” tactic when they think they’re losing. Why can’t people just accept that I am what I am? It’s not a “phase” that I’m going through as a teenager. If I made the decision to become a Morman, no one would question it for a moment. It’s hypocracy.

  • Iain

    I would not consider myself to be an angry atheist. More a concerned atheist in light of what I witness done in the name of an unexplained god: the Pope claiming homosexuality to be the biggest threat to human civilisation, Muslim’s strapping bombs onto teenagers to cause carnage among innocents, fundamentalist Xians blocking potentially invaluable stem cell research, the assault and injury of young women by Hindu extremists, the hipocrisy of TV evangelists milking the fears and delusions of others, etc, etc, etc.

    You know what, thinking about it, I probably should be angry.

  • http://vista.nau.edu Joshua Spring

    I have been having mixed feelings lately about the relationships between Theists and Atheists. As a Theist, I am not sure if my opinion is going to be considered valid here, but I thought that an observation from an outsider may shed some light on the subjects that I see presented here. There have been times in my life when I felt as though I was looked down upon for my beliefs and only recently have some attacks come from Atheists. I was under the (what I now know to be false) impression that Atheists are angry people. So I Googled in the question “why are Atheists so angry” and then found this discussion. What I have discovered through all of your own words is that the reality that we live in is all very relative. It appears as though Atheists have the same human problems that Theists do. By this I mean that we all argue and we all make human connections that can lead to sorrow. Everyone seems destined to continually pick apart each others argument, and that is the way that it should be. I enjoy watching you guys argue because it reminds me of how relative this human experience is. Truly your website is proof that Atheists and Theists are as equal as can be. I have already learned a long time ago that telling people that I have faith in a diety is not the way, telling people that I have faith in “them” is. Just some free thinking though for your amusement.

    May God, Nature, Love, The Flying Spagetthi Monster, or whatever is relative to your reality bless y’all. Peace.

  • Loooo

    I see atheists as people to be loved more because they were so robbed of
    love as a child. Their anger is deep, and strong, but they’re also
    deeply hurt. Anyone who has been hurt will understand this.

    Many
    atheists are angry because of unresolved anger with their childhood.
    That deep seeded anger due to the betrayal/neglect or abuse of one’s
    parents at such a young age leaves them scarred for life, never able to
    believe that a God would actually care for them. (Study basic childhood
    psychology and you can easily see the connection) Atheists see God as
    hateful, because their own upbringing was absolutely hateful, through no
    fault of their own. I know an atheist very closely, and he was deeply
    neglected and wounded as a child, left alone to cry with no one to hold
    him, no love, nothing. Now he is a grown man who is emotionally stunted
    (can’t be any serious relationship) but absolutely intelligent. Many
    atheists seem to have high IQs, but terribly low EQs. He doesn’t even
    know why he is the way he is, he can’t even verbalize anything about his
    emotions to hopefully dig his way out of his past, his hurt, his
    wounds.

    I read up on Piers Morgans childhood (was interested
    because he is so deeply angry with anything God-related). Morgan’s
    childhood sounded really rough. Seems to fit in line with the theory
    posed above.


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