Why Do Religious People Get So Angry At Atheists?
When it comes to Atheism, most religious people get angry and even combative when it comes to this subject. I wonder why, especially in this day and age, one would feel anger towards another human being with a different perception/outlook/belief. What is this anger all about? Are they feeling "challenged"? Why can't religious people accept that their beliefs are just that: their beliefs. Is it not more important to respect your fellow man than condemn him for his beliefs?
I have known some religious people who do not get angry when they learn I'm an atheist, so thankfully, there are accepting people out there. For those that get angry, my theory is that they interpret one's atheism as an attack rather than a different point of view. If I say that I'm an atheist, it doesn't mean I think all religious people are stupid. And I didn't choose atheism because it was the more desirable option (why would I NOT want a heaven?). I became an atheist because that's what the events and knowledge of my life led to. I can't change it anymore than a christian can suddenly stop believing in god. I think if more religious people saw it this way; as a deep personal revelation, rather than me on a high horse saying 'there is no god and anyone who believes otherwise is foolish', then we wouldn't have as many arguments as we do.
I think you're right, M. T. Dremer, especially when you say, "I think if more religious people saw it this way; as a deep personal revelation,..." I, too, have known a few open-minded religious people who are not offended by my agnostic beliefs.
I just wanted to say that I love this answer, M. T. Dremer!
I am a Christian and I do not get angry at people who are atheist or any other religion. I might get sad if they refuse to discuss it (I am big on discussing anything not just Christianity, I like to learn people's views). There are certainly some Christians who get angry and I really do not understand why they choose that emotion. There are also some atheist's I have known to get angry at me for believing in God. So it kinda goes both ways. Everyone is different.
It's two way process. Believers hate atheists and vice-versa. Atheists look for logic where as religious people have faith.
Respectfully, I disagree. I think it is individuals who have beliefs and individuals who choose to hate/not hate others. And, atheists are not all about logic, and the religious aren't limited to their holy books. It stems from within individuals.
Most people get angry at their opposites, it's really just what the world has come to. A democracy doesn't like communism, does it?
Hello. Not all people of faith go to such extreme's. Like you have said, they may feel threatened, why is the question. Most of these people are of the religious right, and apparently they have not heard, here in America we have this thing called freedom of religion, it's been around for a long time now. Why those angry people pick on the Atheist all the time is really funny. There is this idea that you must believe in something or you are somehow not a whole person. Which brings me to, what to believe in. Christianity comes down to being based on one thing, blind faith, and the Bible is not to be questioned. I will just say that all you have to do is look up history of religion and a book called "who wrote the Bible" by Washington Gladden and you will find things that will be of interest. As for leaving people alone to their own beliefs, that is never going to happen. Until next time.
I think some religious people get upset and angry at atheists because they are afraid. They fear any doubt or skepticism they may have to face when dealing with opposition to their beliefs. Instead of keeping an open mind and maybe learning something new, they shut it out because face it, people fear change. They are afraid that an atheist may be right, which would undermine everything that they have been taught and believe.
I am not saying that religious people are completely wrong, but as an atheist myself, I believe that people would rather not know the truth than face the possibility that they made a mistake/believe in something false/are wrong. People do this all the time when it has nothing to do with religion. A lot of people choose to blame others than take responsibility for themselves.
Eh, take it or leave it.
I couldn't have explained it better myself. Well put! I think you've nailed the best answer of them all.
I agree with DzyMsLizzy--you've got it nailed down, Alyson Modlin! Fear is the key, along with ego--because the fear of being wrong is egotistical.
Great answer and it can be the other way around where some atheists get angry because of fear
As an atheist I have been witness to this "hostility". For a long time I couldn't understand it. I never tried to force my opinion on anyone, I would simply reply that I did not believe in a god whenever I was asked.
After dealing with this issue for many years, I have come to a conclusion. I believe many religious people are scared of something different, something unknown. Now this is not to say that all religious people are like this. I have met many whom have accepted my beliefs openly and have never shunned me.
I really feel that a lot of people cling to a religion because they are scared of what is out in the world and religion gives them answers, whether they be true or not. When an atheist enters and proceeds to give different answers than what the religious person has grown accustomed to, they lash out.
Good conclusion! I, too, believe fear drives many peoples' beliefs. And, if that's the case, fear triggers the "fight or flight" mechanism--hence the shunning or lashing out that sometimes occurs when uncontrolled (on both sides--religious and non).
Because they love to prove you wrong! In their way! to try and convert you to believing what they do. I don't waste time explaining to people anymore, what the ignorant don't know you can't teach them because they don't want to learn or have spiritual knowledge.
I had a husband who asked me "How can you love someone you have never seen?"
OH YES, there are religious people who for some visceral reason LOVE to prove atheists wrong so they can "SAVE" and "GUIDE" them. They are the spiritual immature who REFUSE to realize that others have their own respective beliefs. It's childish !
gmwilliams, they actually taught this 'saving and guiding (and converting)' behavior in the church I went to as a kid. That's when I stopped going--when I believed it was wrong/immoral to proselytize: everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.
The same reason Spain converted the native american tribes.
I can't answer for everyone, but this is my view on things. I'm a christian, and I don't get angry at people for being atheist--I've always tried to be open-minded and respectful of other people's beliefs. I also understand where atheists are coming from, because I was an agnostic for many years, unsure and sitting on the fence. I think for many religious people, they are not solid in their own beliefs, so when those beliefs are challenged they become threatened and angry. To me, that just demonstrates their lack of faith.
Now, that being said, there are a lot of atheists who view themselves as intellectually superior to those who are religious and openly mock religion and the existence of God. As a result, many religious people are now defensive toward atheists because they make it a point to mock their personal beliefs. This is another reason why some religious people may have an angry attitude towards atheists. People on both sides--atheists and religious folk alike--need to be respectful and not judge others for what they believe in.
Spirituality is personal and each person seeks it in their own way. A true christian, who is actually following Christ's example, would never condemn anyone. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that you are suppose to love your enemy. So if they truly view atheists as their enemy, they are suppose to respond with love, not hate.
Anyway, I hope my answer clarifies things a little.
Very perceptive, Sarah Christina! "People on both sides--atheists and religious folk alike--need to be respectful and not judge others...Spirituality is personal and each person seeks it in their own way." Love your last full paragraph! Cheers!
are you suggesting that atheist dont behave in the same manner? also what if my belief is to evangelize? should i be able to do that?
Atheists are interested in the truth. Religious people are interested in disseminating their beliefs, regardless if they are true or not. Sure, you can evangelize, but you might as well spread the word of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too.
Evangelizing is annoying and unnecessary. In North America, EVERYONE has heard of and knows about Christianity, so if they were the least bit inclined to convert, they would do it on their own.
Good point that often gets ignored. Part of christianity IS evangelism. It is a duty that we are commanded to do. It's ok to not believe, but don't tell me I am not allowed to persuade other ppl. What is there to be afraid of...bracing for insults.
I think that religious people get angry with atheist because they are spiritually immature. Just because some one does not agree with you, there is no need for a temper tantrum. Religious people should be happy to meet with atheist because it provides the opportunity for them to have conversation and share their religion in a respectful way.
If a person is truly religious they would pray for the atheist and love them any way. I could never understand why people get so passionate over discussions with atheists. Some say it is because they love the person so much that they are frustrated that the person would not change their views and get saved.
I do not believe in condemning anyone, that is between them and God/Krishna. Krishna teaches us that there are three gates to hell: lust, anger, and greed. I would think that most religious people would try and avoid getting themselves in situations where they would get angry and harm themselves more than the other person.
Anyway, Best wishes
Let's clarify this point. Religious people are not monolithic in perspective. There are many liberal religious people who are quite accepting of other religious, ethical, and spiritual viewpoints and perspectives. They are of the school that there are many paths of belief and that there is NO ONE legitmate religious, spiritual, and/or ethical path.
However, the more dogmatic and fundamentalist religionists strongly aver that there are religious paths more legitimate than others. These religionists are quite hostile to those whose religious beliefs differ than theirs. They strongly maintain that those of other paths including atheists are "lost". To discuss and delineate the subject further, many dogmatic and fundamentalist religionists strongly assert that atheists are deviants as far as religion goes. They staunchly contend that THERE IS A GOD and that EVERYONE should believe this.
Many dogmatic and fundamentalist religionists see atheists as different and "the other". They also see atheists as a threat to their particular religious way of life. To the dognmatic and fundamentalist religionists, atheists are WRONG and MISGUIDED in their beliefs. Many dogmatic and fundamentalist religionists DON'T like those who present a different belief because it is well.........DIFFERENT from the beliefs they were inculcated in. They do not see the atheist and themselves as ONE in the spiritual and ethical sphere of consciousness. They view the atheist as an ENEMY which they intend to convert or attempt doing so.
Many dogmatic and fundamentalist religionists fear atheists because they are afraid to hear a different perspective regarding religious beliefs. They fear that if they hear a different thought, they may have to THINK about their religious doctrine and THAT'S is what frightens them. So they go into ATTACK MODE regarding the atheist.
Many dognmatic and fundamentalist religionists staunchly believe that their religion is preordained and it is THEIR DUTY to convert atheists into the CORRECT,PROPER ways. These religionists say religion as TRUTH not just a belief and feel that they are TOLD BY GOD and OTHER RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES to convert atheists and "other lost souls" to THEIR WAY.
Some people do not think. They just have the words in their brain that other tells them. And they keep repeating the words that they hear. What ever bad they are saying about other people. It is better to ignore those people.Do not forget to report angry people.
Well I have seen it the other way around as well where Atheists-a small percentage not all-where they get angry at Religious. However, most of the Atheists I know are respectful for my beliefs and some do ask questions. On friend of mine-who does not believe-says that somebody once told him "It's all in the Bible!" but if he does not believe the Bible is just a book filled with stories. Maybe if he was bought up in a believing family and he believed at first and just stopped believing and used the Bible to renew his faith. But always living his life as a nonbeliever the Bible is going to be useless. If I know somebody is an atheist I am not going to push the Bible on him. If he does ask questions, okay it may open a door.
Most Christians don't hate atheists, but do get mad and combative when an atheist makes comments like comparing religion to "believing in fairy tales" or "Santa Claus". Or telling me that my religion has caused more evil in the world than anything. I do not care one way or another what someone believes, but I also don't take too well to insults, either. For once, I would just like an atheist on the internet to tell me about their beliefs without taking a cheap shot at mine. It can be done.
Here is the part that someone will tell me that they are only saying the truth, but you wouldn't walk up to an overweight person and tell them they were fat, would you? It is the truth, right? Yes, but good manners and a healthy dose of fear usually keeps us all from doing this, so beliefs should be no difference.
I also think this is an internet thing because I would say that about half of the people I know are either atheist, agnostic, or just don't believe in religion and I have never had or seen a face to face confrontation about it. I think the lack of empathy that technology gives us, plus the added protection of anonymity aids in this lack of respect of others' beliefs.
That's the only reason why I get angry is when they attack me-verbally-for my beliefs. One thing not to believe another thing to say that God is make-believe without proof
I would walk up to an unhealthily overweight person and tell them that, I have no problem with it. People should be more open and transparent so you can see who they really are, not the mask they wear. Also LoisRyan13903 you can't prove a negative.
But some people do think God is make-believe. That doesn't mean you can't believe what you wish, but too many religious folks take any challenge to their faith as a personal insult, which it isn't.
Not all religious people are angry at atheists. I am a religious person and I am not mad at them. I respect them for their beliefs. I only get annoyed when they push others to believe on what they believe. We all have the right to believe in what we think is true.
It's the self-righteous and/or prideful religious people that get mad. When pride gets in the way, tempers rise.
Religious people get angry with atheists because atheists refuse to acknowledge the existence of the being whose existence Christians feel is absolutely necessary. Because Christians center much of their lives around their belief in God and invest much of who they are emotionally in these beliefs, it is often a cause for an indignant response when an atheist comes along and flatly tells the person that he simply does not exist. Thusly, it is no surprise to me that religious people often become angry at atheists.
Ya, same thing here, I told a friend I was atheist last week, first thing she said is "there is a god", I never challenged her or questioned her, she asked me my religion. The way I see religion is for one a coping mechanism that helped ancient people understand the world around them, and there are still many people that can't comprehend science and real explanations of how this universe works, so it is definently fear of the unknown that is the driving force that keeps them believing. Also, most have been so brainwashed by their religion that they truly believe if they even associate with an atheist or ideas outside their own belief, they will burn in hell. At least growing up babtist, I know that they preach that atheists are heathens from the devil with no morals, which could also be a fear tactic to keep their followers from listening to an atheist and leaving the church. I couldn't stand the ignorance in religion so I learned all I could about the universe, and our place in it, and if religious people are to afraid to learn, and get angry with you, then cut them out of your life, you shouldn't be looked down upon for not being ignorant, and if you do find religious people who don't look down on you, then you have a real find, cuz I haven't found any. I would just like to live knowing the truths of reality and not a fantasy, but at this point in history, I don't see that happening.
Because godless heathens are generally impossible to convert... therefore they must be demonized as being moralless horrible sinful people who eat babies for breakfast.
On a more serious note Atheists do pose huge mental challenges for believers. Believers have been told all their lives that the reason they act with morals is because that's what God tells them to do or else, you know, to Hell you go! But if Atheists don't believe in God or Hell what is making them act as civil human beings?? If they are capable of such a feat do we need God and Hell? These are questions that even at the subconscious level make the brains of believers itch until they go off in an angry outburst.... It's OK, sometimes we all have to be confronted with the impossible.
People get angry at atheists and agnostics because
A) They have been told by their religious texts to separate themselves from you Luke 19:27 "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them,bring hither, and slay them before me.
B) They associate religion (Christians, Mormons, Muslims and Jews) with immortality. If you don't join them then you can't be immortal.
C) They think you are danger for them and their beliefs. In the end most of the religious people I know are religious because they want eternity with their offspring and if they turn their back on their beliefs then they are weak.
D) Communism. Many Americans (assuming your in America) think of communism as an atheist movement. They view Stalin as an atheist. They also view Hitler as an atheist although I'm pretty sure he had his own creepy belief system
E) Some people are just bigots. Not to be rude or anything. But that's the simple truth. When I argue with creationists I always get the same stubborn replies and then I get a lot of hatred from them. They just view atheism as an anti-theist movement. This is probably due to Christianity being the dominant religion in the west. They have simply been fed propaganda over the years through the media.
My first response to this is the simple statement: "In Europe, they don't". If people in Europe want to vent their spleen at anyone it is far more likely to be at Muslims.
The number of atheists in many European countries is not far below the number of the number of Christians. In countries like the Netherlands, there are more agnostics than either. You don't feel uncomfortable being a sceptic in most European countries - live and let live very much applies.
I have talked to a lot of Americans on the Internet though, and I think that a lot of people there simply do not understand what an atheist is. There is a large number who mistake atheists for nihilists (some are, most aren't), satanists (atheists deny the existence of all gods, and also anti-gods like Satan), and even Muslims (totally wrong - Muslims believe in the same god as Christians actually - atheists deny the existence of all gods and regard Muslims as being as mistaken as Christians).
I think that this misunderstanding is the cause of mistrust by American Christians of atheists. Then there is the old canard about morality, which again is totally wrong.
Most atheists have a conscience which guides them in their actions to do the right thing. They do not need an ancient set of laws to do that, and anyway there is the civil law in place (with modern laws set up by our democratic representatives), so there is no reason to fear that atheists will carry out all sorts of gruesome acts. In fact in Europe there is again much more to be feared, in that respect, from a percentage of Muslims who have difficulty in coming to terms with the civil law.
And last but not least, remember that anger is an emotion. Like many atheists I am a rationalist. I think, using my brain, I keep my emotions under firm control. Religious believers would be advised to do the same. Emotions are a very bad guide when it comes to reaching any sort of intelligent and reasonable conclusion.
Religion is a strong foundation for many people. Religion gives them purpose and is an alternative to the hard reality that life is meaningless. So, when an Atheist comes along and disturbs that foundation, they fight bark like rabid dogs.
Re: The Above:
This is a question that may lead to the 'error of judgement.' In true honesty! no man should judge another. Only because, of the 'error of judgement'. Our job as Christians, is to build the kingdom of God here on earth. One just can't do that, in passing judgement on others. On the contrary, we should lead by example. We should live our lives as role model. The very same way Jesus had done for us sinners when he walked the earth.
There are reasons to believe, why no man should pass judgement on another. Firstly! We never know the whole facts or the whole person. A very long time ago, Hillel the famous Rabbi said, '' Do not judge a man until you yourself have come into his circumstances or situation.'' No man knows the strength of another man's temptations. The man with the placid and equable temperament knows nothing of the temptations of the man whose blood is afire and whose passions are on a hair-trigger. The man brought up in a good home and in Christian surroundings knows nothing of the temptation of the man brought up in a slum, or in a place where evils stalks abroad. The man blessed with fine parents knows nothing of the temptations of the man who has the load of a bad heredity upon his back. The fact is that, if we realized what some people have to go through, so far from condemning them, we would be amazed that they have succeeded in being as good as they are.
No more do we know the whole person. In one set of circumstances a person may be unlucky and graceless; in another, that same person may be a tower of strength and beauty. In one of his novels, Mark Rutherford tells of a man who married for the second time. His wife had also been married before, and she had a daughter in her teens. The daughter seemed a sullen and unlovely creature, without a grain of attractiveness in her. The man could make nothing of her. Then, and unexpectedly, the mother fell ill. At once the daughter was transformed. She became the perfect nurse, the embodiment of service and tireless devotion. Her sullenness was lit by a sudden radiance; and there appeared in her a person no one would ever has dreamed was there.
No man has a right to criticize others, unless he is prepared to venture himself in the same situation. We have quite enough to do to rectify our own lives without seeking censoriously to rectify the lives of others. We should concentrate on our own faults and leave the faults of others to God.
"In true honesty! no man should judge another." Why not?, since we all do it all the time. How else can we determine if others are as morally sound us? By judging their actions, that's how...For those who failed to get the gist of it, I'm being sarca
It is simple narrow-mindedness. The major religions in the world are restrictive, shaming, and have a cult-like mindset, so all of that doesn't take kindly to questioning, logic, or disbelief. It is honestly sad to see people so wrapped up in it
(Huff) I'm going to regret answering this, I know it.
The reason religious ppl get upset at atheists is because of how atheists often misrepresent their religious beliefs. For instance, I was acruelly logging on to answer a question a friend tagged me in (that got removed) and one of the responses to the question said that Christians are hypoCrites because they are told by the bible to a bunch of awfull things too.
First of all, this is an out and out lie. The bible does not command chrusting nor Israelites to do awful things. The ancient israelites did have a law (as recorded in the Old testament) that required justice to be divvied out in ways we are uncomfortable with...but if you are an atheist, why should you care? Isn't morality based on social constructs and what is good for a particular society? Btw, these laws were not ethno centric or racist or whatever, because when the Israelites violated them, God punished them by handing them over to foreign rulership.
ChrI stains do not follow the Law of the Old Covenant. This is a matter of theology, the new covenant vs the old, the forgiveness of sins, the redemption and regeneration of man, and Jesus' sacrifice that did away with the need for a sacrificial system. It was the failure of man to follow the law of the old covenant that resulted in the new covenant and the better promise that was foretold in the Old testament.
But when atheists hear something like this, they don't respond kindly like you imply. Typically the response involves profanity, name calling, and accusations that are rooted in absolute ignorance. But I don't expect you to understand because you don't study my faith like I do.
I've already said too much. I expect a barrage of responses telling me how stupid I am...commence.
As an atheist I would like to respond this by saying that many Christians do not study their Bible as closely as they think do, or in fact often say that they follow the moral examples of the Bible but do not necessarily know what that entails.
I am the founder of new religion "religion of happiness." I do not fight I do not revile I do not dispute. I have only one weapon - I always say only the truth! Sinners can say everything. Sinners can lie they can call themselves believers. All true believers do not fight do not revile and do not dispute.
1. Let's celebrate your major holiday but printing newspaper articles blaspheming the basis of that holiday! What, you're mad? You bigot.
2. We don't like your cultural icons, please ban them from the public space because the minority is offended. It is now to the point where the WORD Christmas gets removed from school performances and children have been penalized for giving out religious Christmas cards.
3. The hypocrisy is painful. Christians can't refuse to provide services they find blasphemous and told not to discuss their faith in public spaces whether schools or rented facilities, but the Department of Justice has sued on behalf of Muslims to say the Muslims should be allowed to have prayer breaks at work that disrupt the production line and other facilities put in Muslim foot washing stations in public airports for the convenience of Muslim taxi drivers. That the Muslims were allowed to refuse to carry alcohol in their taxis and others could refuse to ring up pork or beer in a store - but Christians can't similarly refuse - is an untenable double standard.
Sargon of Akkad, Stephen Molynaux and the late Christopher Hitchens were at least consistent - don't give any religion such special accommodation, but giving it to Islam while denying such to Christianity is a clear and egregious double standard.
Religious People hide their anger which comes out after any pricking of Atheists
It's because Atheism implies that what believers believe is wrong. In the believers own mind they feel they are being told that there is no god and therefore they have wasted their lives believing in the non-existent. Who wouldn't get angry at the thought of their entire belief system being called erroneous? Oh, wait a minute...That happens all the time. Christians believe Muslims are wrong, Muslims believe Christians are wrong etc. etc.. Most religious people simply follow the religion of choice that their family has followed for generations, right or wrong, real or not, making any religious belief purely subjective. That being that, I would say that believers really get angry at Atheists because perhaps deep down in their own minds they, in some way, have their own doubts about the religion they profess to believe in and follow but will never openly admit to it but rather, because of their own "belief shortcomings" they lash out at non-believers. The world would be much better without all the current "violent" religions. Someday human intelligence, combined with a long enough fruitless wait for the respective "heavens" of current religions, will rise to the occassion and humanity will take its proper place atop the hierarchy of earthly existence and then it won't matter who believed or who didn't as it will all be committed, for posterity, to the archives of "things humanity eventually grew out of".
The belief plays an important role in each and every conflict. I found very nice writing on belief, it might be helpful to you https://goo.gl/ZFtJfy
I had read an article a couple days ago about an atheist that was raising her kids to be good adults and teaching them to have a moral compass without god in the mix. I couldn't believe the outrage from the commenters. Really? It was unbelievable to me that she was being judged on something that we, as a society, should all agree on. Shouldn't all children be raised with morals regardless of religion or non religion? I am atheist my husband is baptist. We have a almost 20 year old and a 5 year old. In the beginning we had some deep discussions about religion. He couldn't understand how I don't believe and I don't understand how he could. But we never bashed each other, never gotten angry about it. Our kids are free to choose which ever direction they want. As long as they respect other people and their beliefs then we feel like we have done our job. But maybe because of the way our family is, then I get shocked that others are shocked that I'm atheist.
May I flip this question on its head?
Why do so many atheists get angry at Christians?
(Please do not misunderstand me, I'm not trying to imply that any anger against atheists is justifiable. )
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