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Questions: Why Are Atheists Angry?


darwinfish

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Atheists often get portrayed as cynics, not necessarily without some merit, to be fair. I imagine what Christians describe as the average atheist is someone with their arms folded, scowling, and muttering something under their breath. I keep this in mind when I'm responding to Christians that engage me, or, at least, I try to. I feel I have to try extra hard not to live up to the caricature of the "angry atheist". That being said, atheists are angry.

 

Many people are familiar with the Pew Polling Researchers. They're a respected polling group that focuses on religious polls. According to their research the two most distrusted groups in the U.S. are Muslims and atheists based solely on professed religious affiliation. Given the terrorist attacks by Muslim groups, I can understand the distrust in the U.S. of that group. I recognize that just because someone identifies as a Muslim doesn't mean that a Muslim someone might meet in America is innately violent or intends to harm anyone. But, I can also see where Muslims extremists have created an environment of distrust in America.

 

Likewise, I can see how the atheist extremists have created that same fear and distrust. Atheist extremists have been known to doubt popular opinion. They challenge long standing belief systems. They will stop at nothing to have the court system recognize fair treatment for those without faith. They defend separation of church and state, and challenge the politicians that use their religion as a political platform. The atheist extremist is a dangerous animal. They require evidence from those that defend the faith. They tell their children that they, too, can be moral without recognizing a Divine Creator. It's no wonder that so many Americans distrust them. The American atheist does the one thing that can not be tolerated in America, he forces others to question their beliefs. And, for that he is hated.

 

Imagine yourself in the position of being in one of the most hated groups in the country solely for questioning the standing beliefs of that society. Imagine being raised in those beliefs and marrying someone that shared those beliefs. Imagine planning to raise your children in those beliefs. When you look for the evidence to support those beliefs, you find it lacking. You lose your faith, that thing that you've always been told was true and would get you through anything. When you talk to your wife, she threatens divorce. Your friends stop talking to you thinking that you must be doing something immoral, otherwise why would you ever leave the church? You become a source of shame to your parents, they try to explain your absence from church as being "too busy" lest people talk.

 

I don't think that I'm any angrier than the average person. But, I do get angry. Try to talk science with your religious friends. They refuse to accept evolution, climate change, or Big Bang Cosmology because to accept those things would contradict their beliefs. They don't refute the evidence. They ignore it entirely.

 

When you address various present day atrocities done by fervent religious groups around the world, they shrug it off with, "That's not my religion." They fail to see that it's the dogmatic adherence to a belief system that is the root cause of these atrocities. And when it is one of their own that has been caught in some scandal, he was just one of the bad ones.

 

My anger stems from my frustration. I have spent countless hours laying out detailed logical arguments as to why we need verifiable evidence before accepting these beliefs as valid only to have someone respond with, "But, I prayed and it happened. So, it must be true!" It leaves me frustrated, but, also ashamed. And, maybe, that's also a source of my anger. Because a few years ago. That was me. That was my response. I recognize now how hypocritical I was, questioning all other belief systems but my own. And, that's when I stop arguing with them because I know that I can't say anything to them that will get them to see the inherent contradictions with what they're telling me, just like I didn't recognize those same contradictions years earlier when others argued with me. But, if there is a glimmer of hope, it's that I did finally see through the veil and maybe one day they will, too.

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