Perhaps a refinement of the term is in order. Ego is more at separation and self-concern. Ego says, "What's in it for me?" Even with anonymous charity, ego is thinking, "I gave and told no one, but I feel good about myself." Even this level of self-concern is evil, because it helps to keep us all separate.
Love is the antidote to this separation. And that is how all dialog should be carried out. God is love and even in the apparent "wrath," He is lovingly helping His children toward awakening. (His children are made in His image and likeness, and He is not Homo sapiens!)
Ego is the great corrupter. It is the source of all evil -- from the separateness of "this is mine," to the crimes of Hitler and Stalin.
Atheism is merely a lack of awareness. When you gain the requisite awareness of the "point in the heart" (as Kabbalists call it), you start to see miracles. Later, you start seeing the threads of creation and learn how to control them.
Ego is the source of blindness. For years, I thought we merely needed to get rid of ego. But now, I'm learning from authentic Kabbalah that we need to grow the ego, but correct it from inward (selfish) desires, to outward (altruistic) desires. When we love others as ourselves, and wish for them everything that they desire, then we will heal the world.
Oh, and btw, Kabbalists wrote the first 5 books of the Bible in code, so no wonder people are confused.