1. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 19:481 edit
    "Why Are Atheists So Angry?"

    "By Rabbi David Wolpe - Huffington Post Added: Friday, 11 March 2011 at 3:21 AM Thanks to Morgan Zee for the link. How harmless is it to post an article about why people should read the bible on a site devoted to religion? I did on this very page, and it evoked more than 2,000 responses, most of them angry. I had previously written a similarly gentle article about how God should be taught to children that evoked more than 1,000 responses, almost all negative and many downright nasty.

    It is curious that a religion site draws responses mostly from atheists, and that the atheists are very unhappy. They are unhappy with the bible ("foolish fairy tales" is one of the more generous descriptions), unhappy with the idea of God (the "imaginary dictator" whose task in human history, apparently, is to ensure that oppression and evil triumph) and very unhappy with anyone (read: me) who presumes to offer religious advice to the religious. Only the untutored assume that religious people predominate on websites (Huffington Post Religion page, On Faith in the Washington Post, Beliefnet.com) devoted to religion.

    In the past when I have debated noted atheists -- Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris and others -- the audience was heavily weighted toward my opponents. That makes sense. Each of these men -- like Dawkins, Dennett and others -- brings with them a large following. But why seek out a religious site solely to insult religion? I wondered: Why are atheists so angry?

    Here are four reasons, none exclusive of the others:

    1. Atheists genuinely resent the evil that religion has done. No one can seriously deny that religion has been guilty of wickedness in this world and has provided cover for wickedness. I refer not only to abusers who hide under the cloak of clergy, but religious persecutions, the stifling of speech and dissent, the mistreatment of women -- the crimes are legion. While as a believer I think there is much more to be said about this topic, it is certainly reasonable for people to be angry at religion for its abuses, particularly people who have themselves been victims.

    2. They are convinced that religion is a fairy tale made up of whole cloth that impedes science/progress/rational thought. No avalanche of counterexamples, from noted scientists who are believers to the way in which the scientific method has flourished in the monotheistic west (as opposed to say, the non-monotheistic eastern societies) will serve to dissuade. That which is understood to have happened to Galileo is all, apparently, one needs to know.

    3. Here is where I make my bid for more obloquy to be visited on my head. There is an arrogant unwillingness to engage with religion's serious thinkers. Too many atheists assume that a couple of insults will substitute for argument. They suffer from the incredulity of those who cannot believe anyone would disagree. It reminds me of the most self-assured of the faithful, who suffer the same intellectual imperialism. "I am right," a statement we all identify with from time to time, becomes "therefore you are stupid for disagreeing." A disagreeable sentiment, to say the least. And a narrow, thoughtless one, to boot.

    4. Finally, I will go so far as to say that there is sometimes in the atheist a want of wonder. In a world in which so much is still not understood, in which multiple universes are possible, in which we have not pierced the mystery of consciousness, to discount the supernatural is to lack the openness to mystery that should be a human hallmark. There is so much we do not know. Religious people too should acknowledge this truth. Epistemological humility -- the acknowledgment that we are at the very first baby steps of understanding -- is far wiser than arrogance on either side. After all, we comprehend with our brains, and who knows how limited are our only organs of understanding?

    So please, feel free to vituperate, argue and belittle. But understand that the religious dialogue is not advanced by shaken fists and snide asides. To quote the prophet, "Come let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18)." All of us ought to be astonished by our miraculous ability to talk, think, dream and disagree. Our first response to life should be gratitude and wonder that we share this remarkable world so far beyond our poor power to grasp. Now, let the derision begin!"

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/601271-why-are-atheists-so-angry

    5. Atheists appear to be irritated by those in their periphery who possess a quiet confidence in their biblically informed and diametrically opposed points of view. The innermost being (right lobe of the soul) of a human being who has rejected the possibility that God Is and always has been without beginning or ending endures a continual inner rebellion against God which produces emptiness, darkness and self induced misery. Atheists appear to resent those who by faith alone in Christ alone have become trichotomous human beings with a human spirit which enables them to apprehend scriptural truth, grow in grace, gradually acquire the mind of Christ and share the perfect happiness of God. 'Grace' is a foreign word.
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    26 Jan '14 20:082 edits
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    Here are four reasons....
    That was one of the more accurate statements you made....
  3. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 20:141 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    That was one of the more accurate statements you made....
    "Here are four reasons..." -Rabbi David Wolpe

    Rank outsider, thanks for christening the thread. -Bob
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    26 Jan '14 20:21
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Here are four reasons..." -Rabbi David Wolpe

    Rank outsider, thanks for christening the thread. -Bob
    If you are going to quote at length, and then apparently add your own bit at the end, I suggest you use the
    quote
    function to clearly separate the two.
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    26 Jan '14 20:361 edit
    endures a continual inner rebellion against God which produces emptiness, darkness and self induced misery.

    Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?

    As GF and others have said, it is odd how atheists will generally accept what theists say they believe, how they feel etc, but some theists seem so keen to just make stuff up about how atheists feel.

    Smacks of a lack of confidence IMO.
  6. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 20:45
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    If you are going to quote at length, and then apparently add your own bit at the end, I suggest you use the
    quote
    function to clearly separate the two.
    Good idea... thanks.
  7. Territories Unknown
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    26 Jan '14 20:51
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    [b]"Why Are Atheists So Angry?"

    "By Rabbi David Wolpe - Huffington Post Added: Friday, 11 March 2011 at 3:21 AM Thanks to Morgan Zee for the link. How harmless is it to post an article about why people should read the bible on a site devoted to religion? I did on this very page, and it evoked more than 2,000 responses, most of them angry. I had ...[text shortened]... ly acquire the mind of Christ and share the perfect happiness of God. 'Grace' is a foreign word.[/b]
    Good quote, GB.
    Touches on several of the key points which have been part of the recent discussions herein.
    For all of the objectivity employed with the use of logic formulas, it's so surprising (nearly perplexing) to see these same minds go into shut down mode when the right topics are discussed--- specifically: why are you here (in a Spirituality forum).
  8. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 20:541 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    [b]endures a continual inner rebellion against God which produces emptiness, darkness and self induced misery.

    Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?

    As GF and others have said, it is odd how atheists will generall ...[text shortened]... em so keen to just make stuff up about how atheists feel.

    Smacks of a lack of confidence IMO.[/b]
    "Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?" -Rank outsider

    Yes.... during the early years before deciding that if there was a God I wanted to know Him and accepted His Grace Gift. In conversation with both atheists and believers in Christ over many decades, "how they feel" and/or felt was confirmed.
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    26 Jan '14 20:58
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?" -Rank outsider

    Yes.... during the early years before deciding that if there was a God I wanted to know Him and accepted His Grace Gift. In conversation with both atheists and believers in Christ over many decades, "how they feel" and/or felt was confirmed.
    Does this justify the generalization?
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    26 Jan '14 21:03
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    [b]endures a continual inner rebellion against God which produces emptiness, darkness and self induced misery.

    Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?

    As GF and others have said, it is odd how atheists will generall ...[text shortened]... em so keen to just make stuff up about how atheists feel.

    Smacks of a lack of confidence IMO.[/b]
    As GF and others have said, it is odd how atheists will generally accept what theists say they believe, how they feel etc, but some theists seem so keen to just make stuff up about how atheists feel.
    I will admit it's been said quite often, but it lacks the support of truth: believers here are constantly barraged with insult for their beliefs; told they are ignorant for thinking like they do; have their God blasphemed and defamed for the sake of sarcastic sport; and generally are made out to be the scourge of the world.

    A majority of atheists here are so completely closed to dialogue and fair consideration, they react to the poster and not the post--- no matter what the content. Coupled with the verifiable attacks, I really can't agree with the idea that atheists have any respect whatsoever for theists.

    The only real disagreement (lately) relative to theists' take on atheism is the definition of the term. Those same atheists who are adamantly opposed to real examination of the conflicting ideas have been fighting vehemently to change the color of the centuries old concept of atheism to a more neutral position. That's about the only "attack" I've seen or been a participant in since joining back into the fray recently.
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    26 Jan '14 21:07
    Originally posted by Grampy Bobby
    "Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?

    If not, how many atheists have you met who have confirmed to you that this is how they feel?" -Rank outsider

    Yes.... during the early years before deciding that if there was a God I wanted to know Him and accepted His Grace Gift. In conversation with both atheists and believers in Christ over many decades, "how they feel" and/or felt was confirmed.
    Are the atheists you refer to now all Christians?
  12. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 21:11
    Originally posted by JS357
    Does this justify the generalization?
    Originally posted by JS357
    Does this justify the generalization?

    "5. Atheists appear to be irritated by those in their periphery who possess a quiet confidence in their biblically informed and diametrically opposed points of view. The innermost being (right lobe of the soul) of a human being who has rejected the possibility that God Is and always has been without beginning or ending endures a continual inner rebellion against God which produces emptiness, darkness and self induced misery. Atheists appear to resent those who by faith alone in Christ..."

    Hardly an attempt to generalize about the content of the innermost beings of other men and women; simply an observation of behavioral appearances face to face and online and a composite of honest disagreements and privileged conversations.
  13. Standard memberGrampy Bobby
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    26 Jan '14 21:221 edit
    Originally posted by Rank outsider
    Are the atheists you refer to now all Christians?
    Some (including an all time favorite girl friend, Leslie frequently on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, during her family's summer vacations on Cape Cod during my late teens; and my dear wife Evelyn of twenty five years who became a Christian during our two year courtship). I do wish they all were more than you or anyone else here could ever imagine or know.
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    26 Jan '14 21:241 edit
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    [b]As GF and others have said, it is odd how atheists will generally accept what theists say they believe, how they feel etc, but some theists seem so keen to just make stuff up about how atheists feel.
    I will admit it's been said quite often, but it lacks the support of truth: believers here are constantly barraged with insult for their beliefs; told ...[text shortened]... the only "attack" I've seen or been a participant in since joining back into the fray recently.[/b]
    I said that atheists accept what theists say they believe, what they say that they feel etc. By which I meant they accept that this is what they believe, not that they give any credence to what they believe.

    I have never heard any atheist say to a theist 'You say you believe in Jesus Christ, but you don't'.

    You can insult and deride someone for their beliefs, without questioning that they actually believe it.
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    26 Jan '14 21:241 edit
    Someone asks:

    "Have you ever been an atheist? If so, is this how you felt at the time?



    I don't think I was not some kind of believer in SOMETHING as a final reality.

    I thought is was myself, or a cosmic Oversoul, or a great unsolvable Cosmic Question that reigned supreme, or Force or Something.

    I think I went back in forth (sometimes in one day) between a Pseudo Buddhist Panantheism [sic] and Pantheism.

    I was really into Zen consistently for awhile. While I would not claim to have been any expert, I loved the writings of Allen Watts.

    I didn't realize it then, but I now I know that most of these beliefs could be comfortable to me because I was still the highest order of being. I was still in charge and the center.

    A Force, a Vibration were still a thing, albeit a great cosmic thing. But it was still "under" me. I didn't mind any substitute for the God I didn't know, if it were a "thing" lower than ME. Any Force or Great cosmic Wave as a pantheistic deity was okay because in essence, I was still on the throne of being.

    I mean to have a Force as your "god" is better than having Jesus as your Lord. Anything as a non Person, was agreeable and safe to me as a Final Reality.

    And I had ZERO concept of needing divine forgiveness. A FORCE doesn't need to "forgive" and remains beneath my ego. I can testify that sinning seemed to me to have absolutely nothing to do with my search for a final truth about life.

    The simplicity of the truth alluded me. It was my sins that made a separation between me and God. When the matter of realizing that what I had done, the many things I had done, was the source of the separation between me and God, I came to know God through Christ's redeeming forgiveness.

    "Oh happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away."

    Not as technically and scientifically cool as Star Trek. But hey, HERE at last was peace !
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