During one of the many arguments I have had on religion with my Christian friends, Christian looked me squarely in the eyes and with deep concern on his face asked me, “Why are you so angry?” And I replied, “But I am not angry. Isn’t it obvious? There is no way two of each animal species could fit in a boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high and survive for a whole year with only eight zoo keepers. There is no historical evidence that the Israelites were ever enslaved in Egypt and Jesus was not born of a virgin!”
I was watching one of my best atheist YouTubers when he pointed out this accusation as one of the most common against atheists. That we are angry and that is why we attack religion. That something bad has to have happened to us to make us so bitter. To which he also responded that no, we are not doing this out of anger. We are simply pointing out the facts and sometimes the facts are bitter.
But what if I was angry? Does that weaken my arguments against religion? Couldn’t I be honest and angry at the same time on matters of religion. Picture this, a teenage girl, daughter to a bishop is forced by her parents to have an abortion to protect her father’s reputation and it scars her for life. Is she allowed to be angry? A woman is sexually, verbally and physically abused by her reverend husband but the church won’t so much as look into the matter because it will cause too much unrest in the church. Can she be angry? A woman loses her husband in a suicide bomb attack. Can she pee on the bomber’s ashes?
I won’t deny it anymore, I am angry, and I am allowed to be, but I can see past my anger. I can still see the weakness of your arguments for the wonderful qualities of God. I can consider the plausibility of some of your good arguments and yet still not be convinced. And I am not simply making this stuff up only to discredit an otherwise good and rational belief system just because it did not work for me.
How about you Christian, why are you not angry? Is it because nothing bad ever happened to you? How could you possibly see beyond your perfect world and come to consider the genius in my arguments? Do you now notice the hypocrisy in asking me why I am so angry. And I know your world is not perfect. I know you struggle like me to get by, you’ve probably had it worse than me and yet you still find comfort in religious beliefs and maintain your faith in God which honestly I envy sometimes but don’t assume that just because I can’t learn the same things you did from adversity I am somehow disqualified from engaging in constructive discourse.
This is the point I am trying to put across, stop apologising for being angry because you have good reason for feeling that way. Only remember to be impartial in your judgement; and you are capable of that. Because you can’t be angry at a person that doesn’t exist, that’s just irrational. That way you will only become wiser with every exchange you engage in because you refine your argument with whatever new knowledge you gather from your opponents.
Which leads me to the second accusation, that we are only angry at God because deep down we know that he exists. True, many atheists are willing to consider the possibility that there are deities. It’s not always and is in fact rare that someone will say they are 100% sure there is no God. But ultimately, we are not angry at God, we are angry at the ways in which he has been presented to us, in the way we have interacted with him/her/them in religion. Say the tooth fairy didn’t leave me any money under the pillow when I left them my tooth. I would be pissed even if the tooth fairy had nothing to do with it. But if I discovered that there is in fact no such thing as a tooth fairy, I’d want to tell all my friends to take a chill pill the next time they didn’t find any money from them. It is just that their parents forgot to put the money there while they were asleep.
The idea of God isn’t always so glossy or harmless as it is often portrayed in religion. By denying the harm it has caused us and that that harm makes us so angry we are no more honest than those that do just that but decide to stay religious. Now take what you want from your life experiences but I reserve the right to be angry.