Are Atheists Angry at God?
by Noah Lugeons
There are plenty of stereotypes about atheists that piss me off, but among my least favorite is this notion that atheists were driven to disbelief by their “anger at god”. Screenwriters and religious bigots would love for you to believe that atheists became atheists because god wasn’t there for them in their time of need. They’d love for you to believe that atheism is the byproduct of trauma that we’re all still working through.
But on this subject and many others, Carlin said it best. I became an atheist right around the age of reason. The same can be said of most atheists. Some of us have great stories about our deconversion, but most of us can’t pinpoint a single time or date or significant precursor. We just slowly came to realize that religion was bullshit.
That’s not to say that nobody becomes an atheist after a traumatic event. I’m sure there are plenty of stories of devoutly religious people abandoning their faith after personal tragedies, but to be fair there are also plenty of stories of nominally religious or non-religious people embracing faith after similar events. Either way, these anecdotes are in the minority. Most atheists are atheists because they correctly employ logic.
But if you cut the sentence short and put the question mark two words sooner, the answer is very different, and I think that’s why theists have such an easy time believing the cliche. Atheists are angry. We’re not angry at god, we’re angry at religion, but I can see how it’s difficult for a theist to draw a distinction there. It has to be hard to step completely outside the religious worldview, but if they did, I think they could see fairly easily why pretending to speak for god would piss off people who don’t believe in god.
I don’t know that this is an understanding that some theists can reach, but I offer the Venn-diagram anyway. It’s not as much for them as it is for all the other atheists that are sick and fucking tired of pretentious religious fuck-munches who, upon hearing that they are atheists, respond with a condescendingly ostentatious display of pity and the words, “what happened?”