Why are so many Atheists so angry?

Friends,

I did it again, I asked simple, very simple questions of some atheists. I was attacked, repeated ad hominems.

I was threatened with being banned from the web site. I have been blocked, but I was told that “You did it to yourself.” I don’t remember blocking my account.

All of my questions were ignored.

How is that open discourse?

I had this similar conversation with several atheists years ago, when I discovered an old friend had moved from Fundamental Christianity (his words) to ‘normal’ atheism. The latter was not so much his words, but his attitude about his belief.

I found that atheists who grew up outside of church tend to be more open minded. And those who grew up within the church tend to be more close minded.

Every atheist I have met from outside of Christianity calls my description similar to what they have seen.

So, why do so many atheists from within the historical framework of Christian families grow up with so much more anger?

I do not know, but I ask the question.

Any ideas?

Wayne

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About Wayne

First, I blogged on blogger, then Myspace - soon I was consistently ranked. Next, I quit. Then the blogging addiction came back .... Comments are appreciated. Not nice comments are edited. You can follow me at the top right.
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22 Responses to Why are so many Atheists so angry?

  1. Wayne,

    First, why is it that you believe the church / religion is not deserving of anger? You may not personally deserve it but if you present yourself as a representative of a church or religion why is it that you think you don’t deserve anger? Perhaps if you understood that you might be more able to understand the anger itself.

    When a problem is provided, the solution is often found in looking at it with different perspectives until the problem seems to make sense. I know that asking for the answer seems logical, but even that answer might not make sense until you try on some different perspectives to get a different view. Problematically, trying to understand things from an atheist perspective would be difficult for those that believe in a god. In my view atheists have a lot less fear of the world. We do no think the satan is hiding around every corner or behind everything we don’t understand or like. We don’t believe in the satan or the christ. Never attribute to malice that which can be suitably explained by ignorance… though willful ignorance is equal to malice.

    The apologist will use scientific sounding argument but not have an understanding of the science behind the argument. These things can be detected. We all know how to tell when someone is lying. Lies tend to make people angry especially when the liar claims to have THE truth but has no evidence. Most of the stuff regurgitated from the pulpit are woefully inadequate as conversation with a non-believer. What is the number now, less than 2% of believers actually witness or try to convince others? If your religion had a convincing argument or evidence then there would be thousands of converts per day for your faith from other faiths. When you can’t even convince people that _want_ to believe how do you expect to convince those who do not believe? It’s not just atheist that think you are wrong. All the other sects and religions think you are wrong. If your religion thought there no difference between sects then you’d not have your own version/sect. Clearly you think that other “Christians” will end up in hell. How is such a belief supposed to convince a non-believer? There are more than 30000 versions of Christianity but YOURS is the correct one?

    My old grandad use to say that if one person tells you that you have a tail, you can laugh. If several do you need to look backwards to see what you’re dragging behind you. Perhaps it is time to stop asking why there is vitriol and start trying to understand what that vitriol is telling you. When you ask ‘why are they so angry…’ you are saying that you have done nothing wrong, yet you represent a religion/church which probably did do something wrong.

    Does your church condemn other churches? WBC? Scientology? Does it support same sex marriage? Does it support women’s rights? Abortion? Slavery? Most of what Christianity represents has been left behind as outdated morality. You will see anger out of simple indignation at what you represent. Nowhere in the christian bible does it say ‘do not rape little kids’ … clearly the RCC has figured that out, but they are not the only ones.

    Anger? you’re probably lucky that it is all you get.

    • Wayne says:

      Thank you, you do write well.

      But, there is no reason for Atheists to hate what made America great.

      Do you want to change US? Then do not hate on US.

      Wayne

      • Wayne, thanks for the compliment.

        I’m concerned about the false dichotomy being presented here. It is rather dubious to assert that religion made America great unless you wish to concede that working to avoid theocracy is what made it great.

        Why do you believe the church/religion is not deserving of anger?

      • Wayne says:

        That is not a false dichotomy.

        Faith in God, and a better way of doing government, drove my ancestors to Frame a better method of governance. Governance that looked to God for general direction, and then allowed ALL men and women a choice in HOW they worshipped God.

        What is always forgotten is the history of my ancestors, they fled England to escape being forced to worship in a government controlled church – many governments in Europe still fund their ‘state’ choice of church.

        The Revolution was mostly supported by those independently minded Christians who did not want to join the Church of England.

        This left everyone in a difficult situation after the War. The Church of England did have the largest number of congregants – and they were supported by tax revenue. How to move from the mostly State financed Church of England to a system where everyone had a choice?

        My ancestors chose the First Amendment. Maybe there are better methods, but that was what was chosen.

      • tildeb says:

        Funny, then, there is not only NO mention of this god in the Constitution (unlike all the States’ Constitutions overflowing with such verbiage). And it makes no sense – no rational sense, that is – to suggest the Constitutional framing was towards the First Amendment. Wayne, if you ever went to the trouble of studying something before forming a confident belief, you might have stumbled on the fact that the US government defines what secularism means: officially neutral in matter of religion. It makes sense that the Framers wanted a secular state. The question then becomes why? That’s where your understanding plays a role in the explanation, for people not to be coerced by government to support a state-sanctioned religion.

        The problem with this notion now switches to asking where does authority come from for justifying and empowering a government if not from the divine? This is where your beliefs derail you completely. The source, Wayne, cannot BE ‘God’. The source for political authority must NOT come from God… or the State would have to recognize and sanction it in the Constitution.

        You see the problem with your belief in this matter? It’s not just incoherent with reality but stands contrary to it. And you’re okay with that.

        The Framers INTENTIONALLY ruled out God – any god – as a source for political authority. So when you say that Faith in God, and a better way of doing government, drove my ancestors to Frame a better method of governance. Governance that looked to God for general direction, you couldn’t be more wrong. What was designed as a ‘better method’ of governance INTENTIONALLY disregarded God – any god. Yet you have great difficulty with this concept. But the clue that supports this fact is the Constitution itself. Imagine that. So go look. Guess what? No gods. No ‘looking to God’. No ‘Faith in God’. Not a God anywhere to be seen. No calls for god’s guidance, blessings, help, power, and so on. Nada. Hint, hint, hint…

        The reason why the Framers had developed a REVOLUTIONARY government is because they introduced a new form of government, a new way to justify political authority, a new way to empower a government.

        Some new Christianized version of the Almighty, perhaps?

        Umm… no.

        Perhaps you’re familiar with Lincoln’s description of this Grand Experiment, namely, government of the people, by the people, for the people. Note the emphasis on ‘people. No God is necessary. No God is needed. No God is wanted. God’s role in governance is discarded entirely. Political authority comes form the consent of the governed. That’s it. Again, the hint for this is the Constitution itself that lays out how this is to be done, and again, we find no Gods or gods anywhere about. God’s complete absence is plain. And the explanation for that absence is that its absence was very INTENTIONAL.

        Hence, the birth of the secular state.

        That you can believe something contrary to these brute facts before you and available to you by a few clicks of that mouse gizmo, reveals the depth and scope of your mind’s religious entanglement that separates you from reality that is easily accessible. But you continue to empower your beliefs to be an equivalent source of knowledge as reality itself and this is your mind’s great undoing… even when these beliefs directly intervene between you and what’s true and demonstrably true. You STILL award your incompatible beliefs full confidence even when they are easily shown to be factually wrong.

        This is not a Good Thing, Wayne. And we have medical conditions named for maintaining beliefs contrary to reality. There’s that mouse…

      • Wayne says:

        If you studied my family’s history, then you studied my country’s history.

        One and the same.

        You refuse to admit the history upon which our current world exists. That is what Stalin did in the USSR. No one considers changing truth to fiction to be good.

        I hope you will quit doing so soon.

        Thank you again,

        Wayne

      • Wayne says:

        Your second question is a false dichotomy.

        Some churches and some religions do deserve anger.

        I can only defend Christianity. In our religion, we do not sacrifice children. That one difference makes Christianity better than most religions that arose over mankind’s history.

        Christianity supports the protection of women as well as children, not always important in some religions.

        Christianity WAS the foundation of modern education, the education that drove scientific discovery.

        And that education drove the modern social movements we all enjoy.

        You may see Christianity as full of problems, but I see our history as full of opportunity driven by a faith in God above.

        Wayne

  2. I’m an atheist blogger, and I read the exchange on the site that you’re referring to. There are some things you can do to help reduce the vitriol in your direction.

    (1) When you state there’s a misconception of what you said (i.e., “I think you are choosing to misunderstand what I write.”), try to quote directly what you wrote and what that person wrote. That way, people can see side by side what’s going on and get an idea of what’s happening rather than having to search for it.

    (2) Don’t make the replies about you, (i.e., “Instead you continue to blame me, the messenger.”). If someone makes a personal attack, quote it, label it, and move on. Believe it or not, sometimes attacks aren’t personal. Sometimes ideas get misinterpreted. By quoting what’s going on and moving on, you’re telling everyone that you’re on top of things and that the other person isn’t playing fair.

    (3) Don’t make claims and then refuse to back them up because someone else might not be interested (i.e., “Sadly, most of the ‘misconception’ is in your misrepresentation of the Bible and what the Bible teaches. I doubt you care enough to learn what the Bible teaches, so I won’t correct you.”). Essentially that’s a personal attack on the person you’re directing it to. Instead, you would have been better served to provide an example of what you meant so others can read and decide for themselves.

    All of the quotes I have taken from your comment exchanges on that post. There were tangential comments made to you, which you then got bogged down in and distracted from your main point. If no one’s willing to engage, feel free to drop the discussion too.

    I hope this helps you in your subsequent discourses, and I apologize for the comment length.

    • Wayne says:

      Don’t apologize. I appreciate your time and consideration.

      As I wrote on that blog, I do meet good Atheists. And the dialogue with good Atheists is always calmer for some reason.

      Thank you again,

      Wayne

      • tildeb says:

        And calm dialogue is what defines a ‘good’ atheist, of course… not that what you say and how you say it have any bearing on the matter.

  3. ubi dubium says:

    You said you asked “very simple” questions of atheists and were attacked and threatened with banning.

    Were these questions that were honest, that you really wanted to know the answers to, or were these the typical apologetic “gotcha” type questions? If you started with the “gotcha” stuff, I’m not surprised that you got a bad reaction. Those aren’t any good for starting a real conversation, they are just preaching. And we’ve heard preaching. We’ve heard way, way too much preaching, and we’re sick of it. Some of the atheist bloggers out there used to be preachers, they used to teach that stuff. So when you show up with “how can evolution explain how life started?” or some such, it’s clear that you aren’t there to learn anything, or have a real conversation, you are just there to preach.

    It also depends on where you posted. There’s one website where I spend a lot of time that’s a support group for people leaving christianity. Any evangelist preaching there will be mocked, whacked upside the head with a clue-by-four, and often eventually tossed out. It’s like trying to sell booze at an AA meeting; it’s just the wrong place for that kind of stuff. But theists with genuine comments and questions are often welcomed into the conversation. Some other websites are pretty rough and tumble and will tear apart any idea and have no patience for anything they see as B.S. Be sure of what kind of forum it is and who you are talking to before you dive in.

    Be sure of your own motives for posting, before you comment on an atheist site. If your goal is to re-convert people, you will probably not be very welcome at any of them. I welcome sincere conversation on my own blog, but not attempts to use my blog as a pulpit.

    As to atheist anger, I defer to Greta Christina, who wrote the book on it. (Really.) This is a 48 minute video, but if you actually want an answer to your question I recommend you watch the whole talk:

    • Wayne says:

      My goal has never been reconversion.

      But, I am a great skeptic, and that is supposed to be a core value.

      The answer may be entirely too funny.

      It would seem that at around the time I posted, the author got a pop up error message saying she was being hacked. The assumption was I was hacking.

      Strange assumption, but at least there might have been a ‘reason.’

  4. tildeb says:

    Perhaps it’s because they’ve come to understand that they’ve been lied to by people professing to love them and who tend to reveal only later that their love was somewhat conditional on respecting these lies.

    • Wayne says:

      Ahhh. Now that was insightful!

      And it would make sense as to why those leaving Christian homes are so angry, and those growing up in non-Christian homes really do not care.

      How do we help people get past their anger and resentment?

      Wayne

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