Okay…the headline should probably have read “Why are MOST Atheists so Angry,” but I’m not above a little click bait, now and then. But in my experience, scratch beneath the surface of an atheist, and you’ll find someone who is easily rilled, especially when any subject that touches on the subject of religion comes up.
I dated someone for a few months after my divorce was final. She fit the profile of almost everything I’m looking for. Intelligent. Well-read. Well-traveled. Attractive. Tall. Even sexy. Interesting woman. But she was an atheist. And an angry one.
Now I probably should have known better than to get involved with someone who’s not a Christian, simply because my faith is important to me, and a big part of who I am. But I overlooked this factor for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that in every other respect, she was a remarkable woman, and remarkable women are, sadly, few and far-between. So we dated. For a while.
Ever see the bits on the Animaniacs featuring “Katie Ka-Boom”? A nuclear family looked perfect, until Katie, their teen daughter, would get upset at something. She would literally “go-nuclear.” It was “She-Hulk” time, and the rest of the family would seek shelter. That’s what our dates would be like, if the subject of religion arose. I quickly learned to steer conversations away from that, and try, desperately, to avoid any hot-buttons, even to extent of avoiding certain parts of town that would trigger PTSD-like rages. (Sadly, she lived not far from the ginormous cross, near the Louisiana Downs racetrack, so that wasn’t really practical.)
Even the most innocuous comment could trigger her rage against religion. Woe be unto me if she sneezed, and I reflexively said “God bless you!” I’d go into more detail, but let’s just say that the whole Anger (mis)Management thing put a premature end to our relationship.
Now you could well argue that this was an isolated incident, and her control issues had nothing to do with her atheism. I disagree. I’ve known far too many people that claim to be atheists that are waaaaay past “touchy” on the subject of religion, to believe this is an isolated thing.
When I engage someone I know to be an atheist online, it’s usually because they’ve already got their “bitch” on, ragging on religion (usually Christianity in particular) as the root of all evil. If I have the audacity to defend my faith, even in the most logical, reasonable, and nonjudgmental terms, I can count on getting pilloried. And God help me (please!) if the discussion involves religion AND politics.
Now, let me be clear about something. There’s a difference, in my book, anyway, between a “non-believer” and an “atheist.” If you don’t believe in Christ, Buddha, Allah, or whomever, you’re a non-believer, or if you’re just not sure, you fall into the ‘agnostic’ category. But if you deny the existence of a supreme being AND insist that the universe is just some sort of a cosmic accident, THEN you’re an “Atheist” with a capital “A.”
But why are so many atheists so angry? I think the key lies in the nature of the relationship of man to the universe.
As a Christian, I believe that God created the Universe. I believe in a life after death. And I believe that God has a plan. As a human being, my existence is defined by me trying to understand as much of God’s plan as I can, and figure out what I’m here to do.
Atheists deny all of that.
An atheist believes there is no “God” (or “god” as the case may be). They believe there is no plan. And they believe the Universe is an accident.
Now, lets examine that believe system, and take it to it’s logical conclusion.
If there is no God, and the Universe is just one big accident, there is, quite literally no reason for anyone to exist. That means, there’s no reason for you to fall in love, get a job, have a family, own a home, have a career, or accomplish anything. Why? Because you’re an accident. Life has NO meaning, because it’s an accident too. To say otherwise is to allow that the same logic permits a believer to presume a grilled cheese sandwich with the outline of a figure that looks like the Shroud of Turin is a sign from…God.
So you’ve got no reason to live – or die. No purpose. Nothing matters. There’s no greater plan. No meaning to anything. And no afterlife where you can expect some answers.
Damn. Now I’M getting depressed, just thinking about how depressing it is to be an atheist. When you look at it this way, it’s kind of a miracle that there are any happy atheists. Conversely, I don’t know many people that have converted from atheism to believer status, but the ones that I DO know are much happier as believers than they ever were as non-believers.
I think humans are hard-wired to need to believe in something. I think we crave that kind of intellectual comfort that comes from believing our lives do matter. And when it comes right down to it, atheism fails as a doctrine, because it is the ultimate fatalistic viewpoint.
Don’t buy that? Well, consider how many atheists are also fervent proponents of the “Climate Change” scam. Oh, atheists HAVE a religion, alright. But it’s hollow and bereft of meaning. They even have several denominations. They can be found worshiping at the altar of climate change (with Al Gore as their Caiaphas, and carbon credits as their rosary), abortion (Margaret Sanger as their patron saint, and RU486 is their version of the body and blood, with the aborted fetus as a(n un)holy relic), or evolution (with that pompous, self-righteous, “don’t hold me to anything I’ve said that’s been proven wrong” gasbag, Neil DeGrasse Tyson as their televangelist and Charles Darwin as their holy prophet).
Ironically, these pseudo-religions have had success in attracting Christians and Jews to their temples, which typically causes a crisis of faith, not in their pseudo-science, but in the person’s Christian or Jewish faith. (Muslims seem to be immune to the siren calls of the atheist’s altars. I suspect this is because Islam is not a religion, but instead a religious cult.)
So in a very real way, it makes perfect sense that atheists are angry. (But likely not as angry as they’re going to be. Imagine dying, then coming-to in the afterlife. “Wait a minute…you mean all those Christians were right? Holy crap…I’m screwed now!”) So how best to deal with the hard-core atheists in your life? I believe they are more to be pitied than censored. However, with atheists becoming more and more vocal and militant, I’m actually good with “censored.” You wanna believe differently than I do? I’m good with that. You wanna believe in nothing at all? Good luck with that. But when you cross the line from “I have a right to believe – or not believe – in whatever I feel is appropriate for me” into “YOU don’t have the right to believe differently from me – or to express your beliefs in any way where I might have to hear them,” I forget about “live and let live” and switch to “defender of the faith.” You wanna be an atheist? Be my guest. But don’t you dare try and tell me how to believe or who to worship. Revolutions have been started over less.