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Guy asks obvious question: Why ARE the new atheists so angry?

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I have no trouble understanding that some people cannot give intellectual assent to faith, and I have long known atheists and agnostics. But none of the atheists and agnostics I know are angry. In fact, they respect the role Christianity played in creating our civilization and plays today in the lives of millions. This attitude is unsurprising, since my nonbelieving friends are conservatives, and it is hardly possible for a conservative to hate the font of Western civilization. Not so the “new atheists” such as Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and PZ Myers, and their followers, who are defined by a bitter, all-consuming hatred of Christianity. We are a long way from the wistfulness of Dover Beach.

If anyone doubts the existence of this rage, I invite him to peruse the websites of Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers and such online forums as “Raving Atheists.” Once there, he will find a universe of people who regularly prattle on about how smart they are and how stupid believers are—there is a move afoot for atheists to identify themselves as “brights,” and Dawkins modestly bills his website as a “clear-thinking oasis”—and who think it a telling point to compare belief in God to belief in “the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Not all the new atheists are equally angry—PZ Myers was taken aback when Christopher Hitchens called for the mass murder of Moslems at an atheist gathering—but none of them appears capable of approaching religion with equanimity. Only a disfiguring rage could lead the angry atheists to brand Benedict XVI, a gentle lover of felines and Mozart, who has also written dozens of books, a “sanctimonious monster,” in Myers’ phrase, or a “completely undistinguished human being,” in Hitchens’ words. This rage is directed at more than such unlikely targets as the Pope. Indeed, Dawkins’ website is now hawking a video in which he and Hitchens, Harris, and Dennett expore the question of whether religion is the “root of all evil.” More.

Grandma used to say that when people are that pointlessly angry, they are angry with themselves. But they can’t admit that, so they make it all about US. Thoughts?

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WJM, DK seems to have major difficulties with English- language comprehension. Your opening phrase in your post #1 is: 'Speaking from experience...'(!!!!) Go back to sleep, DK, there's a good chap. Your response, WJM will baffle DK and all his atheist conferes, whose first response to criticism is always reflexively defensive, i.e. absolute denial. They perceive themselves as perfect - a kind of carry-over from their self-perception as intellectually brilliant. After all, our God is all-good and the source of all goodness, as well as being omniscient, so why shouldn't their god, themselves, be so. As for omnipotence, apparently time and the legendary 'promissory note' are on their side. Axel
In Indian theological thought, the atheistic tendency of self-hatred and hatred of others has deep roots, the deepest of which is the fact that, since God lives inside their body (as an aspect called Paramatma, the Supersoul)alongside their own soul (atma), the atheist cannot ever escape Him. The comparison is given in one of the Upanishads, with the the example of the two birds standing perched on the branches of a tree. One bird eats the fruit (the soul) and the other is just watching (the Supersoul)and constantly encourages the other bird to stop eating the fruit and fly away together (liberation/enlightenment). But as the fruit-eating bird is so preoccupied, it doesn't hear the voice of the wise bird or chooses to ignore it as noise. Therefore, in the Vedic scriptures it is recommended for one to minimize desires so that they may hear the voice of God calling us back to Him. The militant atheist is not only is engaged in devising a myriad schemes to control nature and subdue it for his own benefit, he also wants to silence the voice within by shouting against it. A quote from the Bhagavad Gita perhaps would be appropriate: "Bewildered by false ego, strength, pride, lust and anger, the demons become envious of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is situated in their own bodies" Demon, in the Vedic parlance, is not necessarily someone with horns and a penchant for possession, but it is the mentality of a person whose sole purpose in life is to exploit God's energy in total ignorance of whom it belongs and how it should be used. tarmaras
Nothing Romans chapter 1 hasn't covered. They suppress the truth in unrighteousness. That comes out in different ways. Maybe they are the ones who do know more. So they have more to suppress. Which causes more anger and hate. geoffrobinson
WJM, I think that when one takes up the view that those who differ must be one of ignorant, stupid, insane or (unduly) wicked, there is a bit of a problem. I have no doubt that we are all finite, fallible, morally struggling and too often ill-willed. That's a lot of hard-bought history right there. But a bit of balance would start from self reflection that will see that Solzhenitsyn was right that the line between good and evil passes not between men, classes or nations but right through the individual human heart; where if one seeks a main locus of evils in society, Lord Acton's thought on how power tends to corrupt, power without accountability and limit corruopts through and through should give pause. And, there is some evidence out there that per reaction to the name God or representations or "shadows on the doorstep" that there is a deep, often suppressed fear that surfaces as anger against God and/or what reminds of God. Where, rage is notoriously a blinding and warping emotion that suppresses or distorts understanding. KF PS: Those wanting to play slavery and race cards -- notice US Pres Obama's clangingly inappropriate "high horse" response to the caging and burning alive of a Jordanian Pilot at the recent US Prayer Breakfast -- may wish to look here, similarly here and specifically here may be of balancing help to those pushing the latest media and pol/activist promoted PC agendas. kairosfocus
DK, WJM is a former atheist, though not the other WJM. KF kairosfocus
Daniel King said:
Apparently you are quite familiar with such feelings.
Unfortunately. William J Murray
Agree with mapou 100% above. The new atheist is a vile and loathsome beast. They are the most fundamentalist pseudo religious nutjobs in the world today. Their behaviour is as bad as their science. Their arguments and philosophies are anti human and allowing for enough time, they lose the plot. One only needs to see Dawkins behaviour these days to recognise the hole his philosophy has led him down. The man's become a certified lunatic. humbled
Anybody who believes that complex life can self-organize and arise out of dirt all by itself or that the universe can create itself out of nothing is as stupid and superstitious as a chicken feather voodooist. Atheists should not throw rocks while living in a glass house. Mapou
William, your last statement is something I hadn't considered. I had a recent exchange with an atheist online, and thought I was being civil. But his response now strikes me as "cruel", just as you said. Very scorched earth in his approach. russ
I think that a lot of what is perceived as anger is really an insidious form of cruelty that seduces one into ridiculing and taunting just for the sick fun of it.
Apparently you are quite familiar with such feelings. Daniel King
Seems some/plenty of the anger is directed toward Religion not just God. Beheadings, FGM, molestations, policies towards gays, animal slaughter techniques etc. There are aspects of Religion that make Theists angry too. ppolish
Speaking from experience, there may be anger due to some sense of persecution for having a minority view, enflamed by the certainty that one is intellectually superior to the masses that surround you; but I think that a lot of what is perceived as anger is really an insidious form of cruelty that seduces one into ridiculing and taunting just for the sick fun of it. William J Murray

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