What I would have to say is an incompetent fluff piece on CNN.com is an article called, “Anger at God, Even Among Atheists.” Now you know, the part about atheists was put in the title to grab your attention. Either you believe in God and you say to yourself, “Aha, I knew those atheists believed in God,” or you’re an atheist saying, “What the hell? How could I be angry at something I don’t believe in?”
Of course one of the first comments I see under the article is: “It’s hard to be angry at God when you lack belief in God. That would be like me being angry at Santa, pink unicorns, or the tooth fairy.” and the reader is exactly right. The author, Elizabeth Landau, does a poor job of defining terms and lumps everyone in together. She writes, “It’s not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God…” And then adds, “…either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image – that is, what they imagined God might be like.”
What she’s saying in a convoluted way is that if you’re an atheist now, you may have been angry with God in the past when you weren’t an atheist. OR that nonreligious people and agnostics may be angry at their idea of god and not the God of the Bible or the Koran or a specific religion. It’s really a pointless observation as we don’t know who is angry with what? When you read it you get the impression that atheists, agnostics and generally anyone not affiliated with organized religion are all the same thing. Certainly I could make a decent argument that agnosticism is the same as atheism as not knowing if there is a god leads to a lack of belief in god, but I know most strict agnostics do not want to be defined that way. Still, what would an agnostic be angry at? What they don’t know is God? The study should throw out agnostics and atheists and replace them with proper labels like deist or nonreligious. It’s very confusing. The term “god” is too broad as well. Are atheists angry at the Christian God? Or a god they just made up in their heads?
Christians would love for atheists to be angry at god because it proves atheists believe in God despite what they say. It’s what Christians really believe when an atheist says he/she has no faith. You’re not really saying you don’t believe in God, what you’re saying is you reject God because you don’t want to play by his rules. They see it as rebellion rather than losing faith and the blame for the lost faith resides within atheists, which makes them guilty enough for hellfire.
The article says, “In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers.” Did an atheist really fill out a questionnaire that asked if they were angry at God and said yes? Atheists go out of their way to define terms and insist the question makes no sense to them–to a nauseating degree! Something is not right about this article or how the research is being interpreted by this author. It would be the equivalent of saying something as nonsensical as, “Christians do not believe in God.”
Apparently the researchers need further research so if you want to participate it is an online survey found here. Maybe the CNN author isn’t at fault and the research itself is faulty in the manner the questions are asked or it is incomplete. Some people, as we know, think they are or were atheists when they don’t know what they’re talking about. The study is by Dr. Julie Exline of Case Western Reserve University psychologist. I’m not suggesting I’m against the study, but I am saying the definitions are suspect if atheists, currently calling themselves atheist, are angry at God or gods. It makes no sense.
If you take the time to do the survey, feel free to leave feedback here as a followup. I may put aside time myself to do it unless there’s some disqualification in the online process that I’m not aware of.