Angry Atheists

I’m not chronically angry. I am quite concerned about things politically, and I can be upset, even threatened by it all. However, just because I embrace my personal atheism, I’m not on mad autopilot.

I find the lies, deceptions, human rights violations, and self-righteousness of religions and religious people annoying, if not downright evil. Many believers agree with me. It has nothing to do with my atheism which is more about existence than religion.

Let me start with Greta Christina’s book, Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 90 Things That Piss Off the Godless. It’s a must read for those of us on the skeptical side of things. I think it is also a should read for every believer who writes, speaks, or thinks the word atheist. Greata is hardcore, but she politely makes a ton of excellent points regarding anger. Some of the things she mentions barely phase me, yet I agree with her.

Anger is a normal human emotion. I know what it is. I cannot honestly say that I have been angry because I am atheist or because I doubt if there is a god. But strangely, some people assume that emotion, if I question anything religious or spiritual.

For example, I participated in an online group regarding cancer, its treatment, and  advice was sought for families and patients. People shared their situation, either as a cancer patient or as a family member. “Thoughts and prayers” were often solicited and offered. Good for them. I expect that. One time I responded to an atheist who asked if anyone else “here” was also a skeptic. I told him that he was not alone. I understand why he asked.

However, there was one long, biblical, proselytizing, graphic, and very Christian posting. I commented that I was unaware of the religious nature of the group’s page. I was not offended or angry. Yet, many respondents seemed to think I was.

The post was unusual and over the top for me. Unfortunately, group admins were unable to let go of the issue. They even invited me to say what I thought. I respectfully declined and left the group. No harm, no foul. The stated purpose of the group was to focus on cancer treatment. If it did not, I must excuse myself. But I never felt the least bit of anger, nor was I offended.

I’m offended, as in my feelings may be hurt, when people assume I am less moral or evil because I doubt their god exists. Or worse, I say their religion and god are man-made. I am offended when a U.S. President implies atheists are not American citizens. But these things would offend most people.

It is just name-calling, but it is also dangerous. I am offended when I read hateful sputum produced by so-called religious people regarding people who think differently. However, I don’t walk around angry because of it.

And yes, there are angry rants and raves by pissed off people. I titled this blog “Dispassionate Doubt” for a reason.

Bill


53 thoughts on “Angry Atheists

  1. Hello Bill, thank you for sharing this post. Personally, I would like for more conversations to occur between Christians and atheists. it seems as though you have some hard hitting questions for Christians about our Christian faith or why things work the way that they do. I do not know everything, but I think I can answer some of your questions. The point is not to convert you, but to promote clarity and understanding. if you are open to this, we can have a respectful dialogue. If you reply to this comment with a question, I can reply with an answer and we can go from there. Have a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the offer. I have no questions.
      But you might enjoy reading my next post, which should be in less than an hour. The topic is exactly this.

      Like

  2. I’m with you and Mary and Nan. People so love labels. An atheist is not enough of one, they have to tag on angry. The ability to discuss with any civility has disappeared. What the hell is up with that? What are they teaching them in all those debating clubs, anyway? Us against Them. You against Me. Never mind that we could be friends and not agree on everything. It’s gotten to the point that I simply back away when I see intelligent conversation can no longer take place.

    As always, a thought-provoking (and discussion encouraging) post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello, Dale. You made me look. 🙂

      People can and do have civil discussions. Even religion and politics can be covered by those with opposing POVs. But sometimes it gets ridiculous or insulting. So, backing way, hanging up, shutting down, or changing the subject become tools to prevent trouble.
      I once asked someone to define a liberal. He said, “someone who opposes family values.” I said, “This conversation is over.” I then walked away. I was not angry, but he has to do better than that.
      I like to watch Matt Dillahunty on “The Atheist Experience” try to keep his cool with folks calling in. The man struggles to be nice. He often hangs up (has callers waiting). And he can be upset. He recovers.
      Thanks for the compliment. I hope all is well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Did I now? 😉

        Of course they can. But finding these peeps is becoming more difficult! When it starts getting insulting, I’m out.
        That liberal comment was ridiculous and you did well to shut it down immeeejately.
        I’ve not heard of this “The Atheist Experience”.
        Compliment well deserved. All is well. Is it Friday yet?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Not Friday. Sorry, Dale.

        The liberal question caught them off guard. They didn’t know what they were, they just knew they didn’t like them. It was back in the day when I paid to deal with such ‘idjits’ — I liked the guy and thought there was hope. I was wrong. 🙂
        You can watch clips from the Atheist Experience over internet. I can never manage a whole show. But I like it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. What? I’m confused now!

        I bet it did. They don’t like them categorically putting them all in the same basket. Eejits (one of my favourite terms) – at least you were paid to deal with ’em!
        There are shows like that; that you can only watch in snippets. I’ll have to have me a look-see coz y’all done tickled my curiosity.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. “Y’all” 🙂 In our next lesson we work on “fixin’ to” (as in preparing to).

        That show is (or was) done in Austin, TX, about 45 kilometers south of where I sit now. However, due to covid problem, the people involved are spread all over. 🙂 🙂

        Matt Dillahunty debated professor and “culture warrior” (and Canadian) Jordan B Peterson. I have not had the gumption to watch it. So, there’s that connection.

        By the way, I think it’s Monday.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Oh, fear not, I speak fixin’ as well. As I’m fixin’ to give my kids a good swift kick in the arse if they don’t clean up after themselves 😉

        Kilometers, eh? You showing off? Covid. Such a destroyer of so many things.

        Why haven’t you had the gumption? Hmmm… I am further intrigued,

        Dammit.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I’m certain that Jordy and Matt are not equal. Anyway, debates can be so unexciting. And yes, 30 miles = something in k’s. Time for The Voce. Do y’all watch that?

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Another story about languages, but I am a true American in that I am unilingual. Sadly. But I did office with Mia Hamm’s father who spoke fluent Italiano.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I am lucky in being fluently bilingual English and French. And I’m learning Italiano. Can muddle slightly in Spanish and the German I learnt in College for two semesters is down to remembering two phrases and counting to ten! Ya don’t use it, ya lose it!

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I would. But as you said, if you don’t use it… The last attempt was Spanish not too many years ago. As soon as we started on grammar, I had to stop.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Sounds like a plan, Dale.
        Bill Hamm was an Air attaché there and it’s where Mia started her soccer (football) career.
        He would call someone there and speak Italian, with all the physical expressionism included. “Bill, they cannot see you.” 🙂 Arm waving must be part of it.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I took French in high school. I did not do well. When I went to college I got a BS in a liberal art major so I didn’t have to take a language. Not my strength.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. I don’t quite agree. Me thing you underestimate yourself. You know stuff! But I envy languages.
        Yes. A BS in Sociology from the College of Agriculture. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      13. Oh I know lots of stuff.
        Hey, I got a college diploma in Social Sciences coz they put all the classes I took together from languages to math, to whatever else was part of the various programmes I started and didn’t finish!
        I’m a great starter. Finisher? Not so much…
        That’s funny BS in Sociogy from the College of Agriculture. How the hell does that happen?

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Texas A&M University in the late 1960s. The “Rural” Sociology department was in that college. The Dean of the College said no one could get a BA from there. They moved to the College of Liberal Arts after I graduated. Now, I am not sure you can get a BS in Soc there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I tend to find Christians and tRump followers react along the same lines when someone doesn’t agree with them and/or presents an alternative viewpoint. And it confuses me. WHY must there be so much ANGER just because someone disagrees with you? Of course I think many of us know that answer to that question …

    As always … good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nan. Don’t know if you’ve seen this, or even if it is true.
      “Donald Trump is launching his own social media site claiming it’s all about ‘freedom of speech’ and ‘fighting unconstitutional censorship’ — or something like that.
      Can anyone guess one of the main rules of this site?
      Anyone?
      You aren’t allowed to criticize or make fun of the site.
      So much for “freedom of speech.”
      You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.”
      (quoting Allen Clifton)
      What you said, right?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I read about it. I also read it was hacked almost as soon as it was in active status. Ha-Ha!!

        And it wasn’t making fun or criticizing the SITE — rather, it was you weren’t allowed speak bad of TRUMP! (Might hurt his tender widdle feelings. Waaa!)

        Do you EVER think this United States will get back on track?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You read Heather Cox Richardson on this? It’s nothing but a money gathering enterprise for the markets…such corruption…

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Being an atheist too, I’m not sure I’d call it anger. And quite frankly, I couldn’t care less what they thought of me because it doesn’t compare to what I think of them.

    I would say the word for me is frustration and the feeling of fatalism in the harm over the centuries the religious people have done to other humans and will continue to do, due to their total inability to use logic, to question anything, to believe nonsense blindly.
    In truth the most anger I ever see is among them. Either their fiery judgement of others or the pitiful florid attempts at trying to convert and their long winded Bible verse quoting condescending manner.

    Singularly some are just harmless, but as a group, they can become dangerous.
    This is not anger, but simple reality.

    Liked by 3 people

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