Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Do you believe in atheists?

I'm starting to doubt there is any such thing as an atheist.  Why?

Apparently, atheists report more anger at God than do believers.   As I'm one who doesn't believe you can be angry at something you don't believe exists (but I so much hate flying pigs covered in marinara sauce and Lindt chocolate!), I'd have to suggest that these "atheists" are not atheists at all, but rather angry people who need to come to faith.


Jim Peet said...

I have a close relative who claims to be an atheist. One genious of atheism is the absense of person accountability about sin. There is no God .... sin is defined by God ... therefore there is no sin ... therefore I can live any way I want.

Thanksgiving time is telling for the athiest. There is no one to ultimatley be thankful to.

MainiacJoe said...

I think one reason for this phenomenon is that it is very difficult to find a place in the church for people with a skeptical mindset. When having faith means to believe what you're told/read instead of to choose a set of presuppositions, when doubts and questions are seen as signs of apostasy instead of signs of rationality, then that's a hostile environment for the skeptic. Before the skeptic finds salvation, this environment can make a convenient lightning rod for one's hostility towards God. Some never progress beyond that, as you've described. Unfortunately skeptics who do come to faith in Christ don't often find that things have changed very much after their salvation.

Bike Bubba said...

Joe, glad for the visit--hope you're well. (bcperry[at] if you want to send a longer note, BTW)

Interesting take, too; so you're saying that the "angry with God" crowd may have at the very least contemplated the answers of the Church, but walked away when the answers were dogmatic and did not account for reasons for skepticism?

I've got to admit that, after being a (now former, thankfully)member of a KJV only church, I certainly understand that better.

MainiacJoe said...

Not all have given the church a fair hearing, certainly. But if one's bent is towards wanting to have evidence for beliefs, then the typical church fare is not going to be appealing and indeed will be offensive. When a skeptic seeker asks questions and gets dogmatic true-believer answers, these imply he needs to become a new kind of person to be a Christian. Isn't that adding to the Gospel?

"God said it, I believe it, that settles it" works well for some people and is completely unworkable for others. Both these personality types are found among seekers and both are found among believers. Maybe somewhere there are churches that realize that skeptic believers might be good at reaching out to skeptic seekers, instead of trying to force both of them into the true-believer mold.

So it isn't so much the dogmatism vs. reasons for skepticism that I'm talking about, it's about recognizing that there is diversity in the body of Christ and in its future members about how to go about finding and practicing truth, even if at the core we share the same truths.