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Anger at God common, even among atheists
January 1st, 2011
12:15 AM ET

Anger at God common, even among atheists

If you're angry at your doctor, your boss, your relative or your spouse, you can probably sit down and have a productive conversation about it. God, on the other hand, is probably not available to chat.

And yet people get angry at God all the time, especially about everyday disappointments, finds a new set of studies in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

It's not just religious folks, either. People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image - that is, what they imagined God might be like - said lead study author Julie Exline, Case Western Reserve University psychologist.

In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers. A separate study also found this pattern among bereaved individuals. This phenomenon is something Exline and colleagues will explore more in future research, which is open to more participants.

It seems that more religious people are less likely to feel angry at God and more likely to see his intentions as well-meaning, Exline's research found.

And younger people tend to be angrier at God than older people, Exline said. She says some of the reasons she's seen people the angriest at God include rejection from preferred colleges and sports injuries preventing high schoolers from competing.

The age difference may have to do with cultural norms, she said. Perhaps previous generations were taught to not question God, whereas younger people today don't have any qualms about it. On the other hand, it might be that as people get older, they learn how to handle these types of feelings better.

Anger at God can strongly resemble feelings you may have against another person, Exline found. God may seem treacherous or cruel when bad things happen, just like another individual might. Your anger may fester even more when there's no good reason for the negative event, such as a natural disaster or a disease, to occur. And strong, longstanding negative emotions of any kind can lead to physical ailments.

Moreover, distress at God is associated with mental health symptoms. Exline and colleagues found that among cancer survivors interviewed once and then again a year later, those who were angry at God at both points in time had the poorest mental and physical health. But the study cannot prove whether anger at God made them feel worse or that feeling worse made them more angry at God.

Just like with people in your life, you can respect and feel anger toward God at the same time. And you can move toward forgiveness by reframing the way you view the negative event: Perhaps God was not responsible for it or that he acted in that way for a reason.

"When people trust that God cares about them and has positive intentions toward them, even if they can’t understand what those intentions or meanings are, it tends to help to resolve anger," she said.

Granted, these studies aren't definitive; they are steps forward in this emerging field of inquiry and not the final word on the subject.

But we see it in the real world, too. Jeff Crim listens to people's anger at God all the time - specifically, people who are dying. He's a chaplain and bereavement coordinator North Star Hospice in Calhoun, Georgia, and has found that it's important to find a way to express your anger at God in order to deal with it.

Expressing anger can be cathartic, and help you move on, but how you do it is deeply personal, Crim said. Crim himself will speak aloud to God, but others find solace in a trusted spiritual leader or other person to confide in about their anger at a higher power.

"What they need is a safe place to express their anger, to know that their anger has been heard and listened to," he said.


soundoff (1,112 Responses)
  1. Martin

    Speaking as someone very active in atheism, I can say with some confidence that it isn't "God" — whatever that is, as all believers see fit to define this being differently — atheists get angry about, but the all too common human capacity for unreason and irrationality that is often enabled and justified in religious contexts.

    Conceptually, an atheist can look at a particular definition of God and conclude that such a God would be an evil and immoral being. For instance, a God who refuses to make his existence unambiguously clear but who sentences people to an eternity of torture for doubting his existence. But these are thought experiments, more or less, and don't reflect "anger at God."

    The article points out that "It seems that more religious people are less likely to feel angry at God and more likely to see his intentions as well-meaning." To which anyone who understands religion at all will say "Duh!" When you're dealing with a belief in a celestial parent figure watching over you and protecting you in life, such justifications are par for the course. If good things happen to you, it's because God is blessing you. If bad things happen, it's because God wants you to learn lessons. Even when you lose, God wins.

    Martin
    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/

    January 3, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. BigJ

    I clicked the link about participating in further research, and answered the survey. It really struck me how the researchers had no idea how to handle atheists. Several questions came up with notes saying something along the lines of: "You indicated that you do not believe in God. Try to answer these questions as if you do believe in god, or from a time that you did believe in god." The questions about being angry with god tended to be along these lines, or of the "have you ever, at any point in your life" variety. Of course the article misrepresents this to meaning that atheists are angry with god.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. God

    "sometimes the blind really do see again, the deaf hear, and the dead are raised."

    No, they do not. The blind may see again, bu ti due to science and medicine, not mythical beings. The same goes for the deaf.

    And no one rises from the dead. You've got to be really stupid to believe that nonsense.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. C

    God is a stupid idea created by stupid primates.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Susan

    I am having a hard time understanding how an atheist can be angry at an idea that he/she doesn't believe exists.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Randy

    Talk about belaboring the obvious. Anger at God is all atheism is at the end of the day: the desperate, faith-based hope that one can make something appear or disappear by believing or disbelieving it. As surely as a flipped coin can come down as either Heads or Tails, atheism is merely the "coin" of human faith flipped with a different result. Man is not a reasonable animal – never has been and never will be,

    January 3, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • God

      You are obviously impervious to reason.

      January 3, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • jcourt

      @ Randy. You comment was so much stupid it's hard to reply. I am an atheist. I do not believe in any god, so therefore there is nothing for me to be angry at. I do not believe in unicorns so I also never get angry at them. Get it? Moron.

      January 3, 2011 at 15:33 | Report abuse |
  7. pete.best

    can i improve my chance to get into heaven? how? did hitler make it into heaven?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bob the weasel

      The only way one can get to Heaven is by accepting that they are a sinner and that they can't get themselves to heaven. Only by the blood of Christ are we redeemed. So believe in that, and you're good to go. As for hitler, only God knows whether he's in heaven or not. But from his actions we can assume that he wasn't a believer.

      January 3, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse |
    • ctaya

      The following quote from Adolf Hitler may make some people feeling uneasy. But history is history. We can only learn by facing up history instead of shoveling it away.
      “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.” - Adolf Hitler

      January 3, 2011 at 20:13 | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    I like pancakes

    January 3, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Justin

    I have a hard time taking this article at face value. I'm inclined to believe that "God" means something very very different to an atheist than what it means to a theist. As an atheist I'll use the phrase "thank god" with the full understanding that it is extremely improbable that a god exists. I use the word God to genrally "nature" or coincidence in the same vein as Einstein.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. TonyV

    God... Please protect me from your followers...

    January 3, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. pete.best

    if christ had been put to death in the last 75 yrs, would the christians all be praying to a guy in an electric chair?

    would they wear a chain with a little electric chairs around their neck?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DUH

      It's not HOW christ died for us that matters, it's the fact that he did!

      January 3, 2011 at 14:03 | Report abuse |
  12. HZD

    Well, whether or not the article is correct that many atheists are angry at God, after reading the comments, I can certainly conclude that many atheists are angry at something.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jcourt

      WRONG! I'm an atheist and am a very happy person. If I get angry at anything it's the people who believe in the fairy tale of god and their constant need to shove it down my throat by trying to tell people how to live, write their stupid fantastical belief into our laws. believe in whatever fantasy you want, just keep it to yourself.

      January 3, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  13. Grant

    Being mad at God is only being mad at yourself. We are our own Gods, despite words written on a page.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. njhumanist

    Wow, this is a poorly written article- if any of the college students in the study mentioned expressed anger at "God" they should not have been considered atheists.

    I'm not angry at an imaginary thing like god. do, however, get mad at people who try to force a belief in the imaginary on those of us who don't believe or who insist that only by harboring such delusions can one be a happy, fulfilled person.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • esmiranda

      You see, that's the probem with the term "humanist." I've seen what humans can do, including what they do in the name of religion, and I just can't call myself a "humanist". Believing in humans and trusting them is just too dangerous. The god I believe in has come through for me (atheists will call this "coincidence" I'm sure, lol) but, humans I have found to be selfish, self serving, therefore caring about themselves and their own agendas. Only God fullfills my need for God, and if you're good without God, good for you! Unlike other misguided people who feel you have to believe what I believe, I don't question God's creation of free will. That, and your life is yours to live. I love God and try to follow Christ, but, I hate to disappoint you, but I'm not much of a proseletyzer. I don't care what happens to you, that's why I would never call myself a christian.

      January 3, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  15. Dave Donahue

    Right on Cory Right on God Lover. Right on all you ALMIGHTY GOD believers.For the things that I have experienced in my body,soul and mind I cannot doubt that there is THE ONE AND ONLY ALMIGHTY GOD and HIs Son Jesus Christ. I, like a lot of people that I know are walking miracle. It all started when some one challanged me to just try to open my heart to God. I took a 180 degree turn around. And I just know that it wasn't any power from within. God Bless you all and may you have a very Blessed 2011 Dave

    January 3, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Mom of 4

    Everyone has the knowledge of God in their heart, mind and soul. Many choose not to believe it and will ignore it. But in my 25 years as a marriage and family counselor, I can tell you from experience that there are no atheists when a child is in the hospital, hooked up to IV's after being hit by a car, or when a husband looses his job of 15 years. It is in our nature to pray and seek God.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete.best

      people pray just as hard at the lottery terminal and at the blackjack tables. they may even pray harder.
      .
      all of those poor hatians were praying and were all good people.....they died......some didn't pray....they died too.

      some prayed and lived.....some didn't pray....and they lived too.

      January 3, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • Dim Luan

      Mom of 4: This is what you believe. Nothing more.

      I think it is indeed in our nature to invoke a higher power for things we do not understand. That does not mean it is real. I just do not believe that. You do, and that's that.

      January 3, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • serialmom

      I question your entire career of counseling people. Are you a professional with at least a Master's degree from an accredited university, or, are you walking around with some sleazy church-based certificate of general ignorance? Your comment suggests the latter. Anyone who has taken a baccalaurate level Social Sciences statistics course would know better than to use the experiences of one therapist to make generalizations upon the entire human race. I pity the people you have influenced. As a new widow and an atheist, I can tell you that I neither considered nor consulted any imaginary sky-daddys during the recent loss of my husband of 26 years. Your pretentions to extrapolate your experiences to the rest of humankind are breathtakingly smarmy, self-aggrandizing, and go against the tenets of good counseling.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:56 | Report abuse |
    • Ms.

      I can say, from personal experience, that you are wrong.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      My son was hospitalized several times, and it never once occurred to me to pray to a god I don't believe in. Maybe atheists just avoid religious advisers.

      January 3, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
  17. Not Anonymous

    Isn't the very premise of this article's assertion, on it's face, biased and an oxymoron? How can a true atheist be mad at something that they believe does not exist? I've seen the other comments draw parallels between this and someone being mad a Santa for not giving them the present they'd like, or the Tooth Fairy not giving them enough money for a lost tooth, and I think this is the only way that the religious can truly understand how silly this notion is.

    If the correlation is drawn between lack of belief in god and anger at him, then it can only go as far as agnostics. A true atheist has no belief and therefore nothing to be angry at. If self-decribed atheists reported that they are mad at god, then they are mislabeling themselves. Besides, doesn't this whole study presuppose the existence of a supernatural being? How's that scientific?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • serialmom

      Part of the issue with the article is that it puts atheists and agnostics as the ones that are sometimes mad at god. Atheists and agnostics can be identical in belief and can also be very different. Some agnostics could feel anger at a deity, atheists and other agnostics could not. You can't lump those data sets together and the causual way either the article writer did it or the study is very telling about bias or ignorance.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • Not Anonymous

      I think it definitely shows ignorance of what differentiates atheism and agnosticism to lump those two different groups into one. It’s a pretty well-known strawman that an atheist is supposedly just running from god, and while there may be a subset of those who label themselves as atheists who are just mad at god, I would say that this only shows that they are mislabeling themselves and are truly agnostics or some other group, but they are most certainly not atheists. If the Christian definition of what an atheist is, is true then it only shows that there are no real atheists in the world and that they have all been mislabeled. This study (or at least the article, as I’ve been unable to find the published study) seems clearly designed to prove that definition.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
  18. Mike

    It's pretty crazy (and quite scary, actually) in this day and age that the default position of a supposedly professional and objective news organization is to posit that 'God' exists. The Philosophical Burden of Proof weighs more heavily on those positing a positive position on the existence of anything, including supposed deities. The writers of this article, who are supposedly men and women that abide by the tenets of the scientific method,are failing to live up to their promise and potential.

    When purporting to be a journalist (medically and scientifically trianed, nontheless), you should put aside personal beliefs and try to be as objective as possible, approaching the situation with an almost scientific rigor and being as objective as possible. Holding a position where a deity such as 'God' exists by default and assuming it's the job of atheist or agnostic to disprove the deity's existence are both proposterous and disingenuous to say the least.

    By default, what is evident to us as human beings in the shared space of our world is that no god or gods exists, that man has fabricated the idea to make up for his lack of understanding of the natural world, and that the idea has at least a tad bit of narcassism embedded within it, as well. By default (in reality), there are no deities, and you shouldn't assume there are. After all, it's the job of the believer to demonstrate evidence that shows otherwise (i.e. hard, tangible, physical evidence that is both testable and repeatable, as well as observable via the 5 senses by anyonoe residing in the shared space).

    January 3, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Richard Dawkins

    "God is God, and we are not." It is just this kind of kindergarten reasoning that makes believers looks stupid and hard to take seriously.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. DrMabuse

    Utter nonsense.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. renee

    GOD is HOLY! Sin separates us from a Holy God. After you read Job read Psalms 23. We are compared to sheep – dumb. I would much rather believe and place faith in an "IMAGINARY GOD" than to possibly wind up in an "imaginary hell" You non believers will have plenty of company.

    My prayer is that you seek God with all your heart, soul and mind He is Just.
    Do you really think evolution or perhaps an alarm clock wakes you each day?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Wzrd1

    I find it remarkably interesting how many atheists come onto the message boards and rather than responsibly debate, instead denigrate faith, refer to Santa and the Easter Bunny and make similar arguments, rather than use reason to discuss the existence or lack thereof of a supreme being.
    When one resorts rapidly to calling names, one displays anger in a pure form. One may then wonder WHAT causes such anger. Such as disappointment early in life to a prayer unanswered? Injury caused by a religious extremist? SOMETHING causes such anger. After all, nobody responds with such anger to someone who believes the Earth is flat!

    January 3, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ms.

      Most of us who are agnostics and aethists are just sick of Christians trying to foist their ideas upon us. Just because you don't understand doesn't invalidate what we believe.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • Not Anonymous

      Can't say no atheists have come here maligning faith but the examples you site, Santa and the Easter Bunny, are not about making fun of Christians, but are about providing examples of beliefs that Christians might think of in similar terms to how atheists thinks of belief in god(s). If you think of this article as if it were about people being angry at Santa for not bringing the presents they wanted, you’ll understand why it’s silly to say that any atheist is angry with god. To be angry with god, you’d have to believe in him, which makes you not an atheist by definition.

      January 3, 2011 at 15:12 | Report abuse |
  23. Reallythough

    Fundamentally Atheism is in itself a religion. One that thrives upon the individuals inability to humanize an incomprehensible power and chooses to try to defeat it by saying it doesn't exist.. My question is this. If you truly don't believe there is a God then why on Earth do you waste your time telling people that He doesn't exist?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Glen

      First 3 reasons that come to mind:
      1) Religious people discriminate against atheists. Can you imagine an atheist being elected to national office?
      2) Religious people damage society and the planet by fighting against teaching science and reducing climate change.
      3) Religious people push their beliefs on atheists, who shouldn't have to shut up and hide in the closet.

      January 3, 2011 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
  24. Dave Donahue

    Peat.Best

    I don't know if hitler made it. That isn't for me to judge. But Jesus said(REPENT OR YOU ALSO WILL PERISH) Repentance means that we have a change of heart. I challange you peat.best just open your heart to God and ask Him to soften it,I gaurantee you will feel different.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. hendek

    Interesting findings we all have been their but this shows even atheist and agnostic people believe in God. Because if they don’t then they would not get angry over something they all say is not real e.g like getting angry with a chair that u slammed in to!

    January 3, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. ChristianAramaic

    Jesus died for everyones sins, because everyone has fell short of the glory of God. Instead of being mad at God, why don't you be happy at him for sending Jesus to earth to save all of us?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete.best

      how did we all fall short....who told you this?

      January 3, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • dan

      Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,..."

      Adam and Eve (our champions did so we all were affected by their fall..)

      January 3, 2011 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  27. Ron

    Of course atheists are angry at God. The Bible says very clearly that there are no atheists - only liars. Everyone knows deep down inside that God exists, and that they are accountable to Him for their actions. But some (who call themselves "atheists") don't want to admit it. So they lie to themselves and others. Of course they're angry at God - they're not living in a way that is accountable to Him, and are most certainly have not surrendered to Christ.

    To these people I say, Repent (change your thinking), realize your state of spiritual poverty (we're all in the same boat here!), turn from your sin, and turn to Christ. You will find forgiveness, mercy and healing only in Him. The alternative is spiritual death and eternal separation from God - exactly the miserable state in which you've been living.

    Humans are spiritual creatures housed in physical bodies. The ONLY purpose for our physical existence is to come to know Christ as He reveals Himself to us. If you call yourself an atheist, I dare you to get on your knees in surrender to Christ and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will not let you down. And you will never be the same. Come on. I dare ya.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Akhlut

      So, YHWH, in order to appease his bloodlust, sacrificed himself, to himself, so that he might forgive creatures he created in such a fashion as they would act in ways contrary to how he wanted? So, is YHWH insane, malevolent, or the Demiurge as described by Gnostic Christians 1700 years ago? Those are the only explanations which make sense if YHWH exists (which I doubt as much as I doubt the existence of Thor, Kali, Amateratsu, Huetzlopochtli, Wakan Tonka, or the Rainbow Serpent).

      January 3, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
    • Rahvin

      It's rather amusing that you believe that your dusty old collection of mythology, ritual, and bronze-age morality is more capable of telling me what I really believe deep down than I am. I assure you, when I say that I find arguments for the existence of "god" to be not compelling enough to justify belief on my part, I am not in any way lying. I'm curious, though – what is it like, living in a world where you honestly imagine that anyone who doesn't believe the things that you believe is simply lying to themselves and others about it? What evidence, aside from the previously mentioned collection of moldy old tomes, justifies your belief that I'm a liar, especially when you don't even know me?

      January 3, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
  28. Jerry

    If you need proof of why alot of people don't believe in God, all you have to do is read some of these posts saying "it's too bad you don't believe in God; by the time you find out forsure there is one, you'll be burning in hell and it'll be too late for you". Don't you just love the idea of a god that creates man, and then punishes him with eternal damnation?

    January 3, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ron

      We don't get to tell God how He fulfills his plans. To us they may seem foolish, but we can't see the big picture. We only get to see what He reveals. It all comes down to belief. If you believe, surrender to His will by accepting Christ's sacrifice as payment for your sins, and live for Him, you'll be fine - eternally secure. Without faith, no one will believe - no matter how much evidence you present to them. Some people insist on living entirely within the physical realm, only concerned with things they can measure and sense with the five senses. This is a state of spiritual death. Unless Christ awakens an individual, he/she remains in that state. It's a sad thing. But man was created for a greater purpose than just enjoying this physical world. That greater purpose involves friendship with the God who made all things - actually ruling alongside Him, enjoying His personality.

      Think about art, music, beauty, love, emotion - these are all spiritual things. Animals can't enjoy these thins because they have no spiritual aspect to their existence. These things transcend the physical. These are special blessings the Creator has given us in order to reveal just a glimpse of the beauty of His character and personality to us. But if we choose to ignore His existence, then our lives on this Earth are wasted - the ultimate purpose for which we were created remains unfulfilled.

      Only by recognizing our sin, and the fact that we cannot save ourselves (and hence we need a Savior), turning from our sin and turning to Christ, accepting His sacrifice as payment for our sin so we can be reconciled to God - only then can we fulfill the true purpose for which we were created.

      If you don't believe in God, I challenge you to get on your knees and humbly pray that He will reveal Himself to you. Then in faith, wait and see what He does in your life. If you humbly turn to Him in faith, you will not be disappointed.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
    • ric

      I think most people believe out of fear. Fear that something horrible will happen to them and fear of eternal damnation when they die. I also find that most religious people believe in God as a trade off for a better life. I know of pregnant women who make "deals" with God when they decided to have children and ask for healthy children in exchange for going to church with them every sunday. I know of men who prayed to win , when going to war, etc. I find religious people to be more hypocritical than non religious people.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
  29. the_dude

    This article makes no sense.

    January 3, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Alex

    If that's the case, then they are not yet really atheists. When unfortunate things happen to me, I don't blame some imaginary being.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. MCR

    they did this study on college students? they have no idea what they are yet. especially ones calling themselves atheists. most college students that call themselves atheists actually believe in god and are mad at him about something. this study should be aimed at people who have had time to define in their hearts how they feel about god. atheist college kids who are mad at god is just a really poor subject to even write about. talk to a 40 year old atheist who has lived a little life. they won't tell you they're mad at god. they'll tell you they're mad at humanity, and rightly so.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. pete.best

    the bible was written by man
    edited by man
    and proclaimed to be the word of god....by man.
    the end

    January 3, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      If written simply by man, how does one explain the fulfillment of those things that were predicted in the Bible 100, 300, 500, 1000 years ahead of time? For example, Nebuchadnezzar's dream in Daniel chapter 2 which delineates the rise of Persia, Greece, Rome, the divided roman empire and the rise of papal Rome (Dan. 2, 7, 8); Egypt's decline as a prominent player on the world scene (Ezekiel 29:14, 15; 30:12, 13); Cyrus to be warrior that captured Babylon (Isaiah 45:1-3); Babylon never being inhabited again after it's destruction at the hand of the Medo-Persians (Isaiah 13:19, 20; Jeremiah 51:37), and more could be listed. One has consider that there is some pretty striking evidence in the Bible that supports it's claim to be God inspired (2 Timothy 3:16).

      January 3, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • Akhlut

      @Chris: can you say "written after the fact"? The oldest portions of Biblical writings we find are all AFTER those events; there's no way to tell that those 'prophecies' weren't written or 'corrected' after the events in question.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Cris,

      I would just like to know one thing. You were there when the so called Bible was written, so you can vouch for the fact it was actually written 1000 years prior to these events happening. Or maybe, just maybe, the story…. Was put in after the event happened, like many things people have a tendency to stretch the truth and fabricate details. Even in a world with information that travels faster than the speed of light, organizations still to this day have a tendency to not tell the entire truth (CNN, Fox News). I get the fact that people NEED something to believe in, it is our nature, we have countries with leaders, we have businesses with leaders, and we have religions with leaders. Problem is that in today’s world people have the guts to go against the beliefs of the masses with out the treat of being hung, stoned, crucified, or put to death for not believing what the rest believe in. Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Israel, and so on and so on would not be in the shape they are if someone didn’t write a book. Simple fact is more people have died in the name of god, than any other reason, that fact alone is disturbing.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • Bible believing God fearing Christian

      the disciples had the OT to read from and Jesus also read from the OT and said that at that moment this prophecy has came to pass. Then the NT was written based on revelation and visions from God, which has came true with a lot more to come true......

      January 3, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @Bible believing God fearing Christian

      Again, were you there? You seem awfully sure from reading a book. I read a Tom Clancy book last week, and it was more provable. Faith is your way of filling your inadequacies within yourself. You are a sheep, follow the heard, stay in line, and don’t try to think out of the box. Just stand around and get slaughtered like the rest.

      January 3, 2011 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
  33. No Part of the World

    God is not causing any evil to anyone on earth. He is deeply troubled by all the problems and that is why he sent his son to die for us. To purchase us back from what Adam lost. Satan the Devil is real and is in control of the Earth (for now). Soon God's perfect goverment will take over the earth and will remove Satan, his demons and all those who oppose His rule. Then, and ONLY then, will all the problems go away. We are in the last days of Satan's rule. Most people on the Earth dont believe that or care. They claim to worship God then get involved in the things that God hates. Human goverment will be replaced by God's heavenly goverment. Sorry, but all you that support HUMAN goverment are NOT serving the only and TRUE God. You are trying to serve two masters and you are not giving 100% to either one.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • midwstgirl

      Perfection is not possible. Think about it. There are no choices to be made anymore. It is the same as death.

      January 3, 2011 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
    • jcourt

      God is supposed to be the creator of all things. So therefore god created Satan. God is supposed to be all-powerful – so then apparently God lets Satan cause all this bad sh1t to happen?? How can you not see how moronic all this god-belief is? It's sad that so many people just ignore simple logic and choose to live in ignorance.

      January 3, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  34. Hugo

    @JPopNC is an idiot – No, that analogy fails. Perhaps you meant "bald is a hair color."

    If so, please reconcile with the concept of the empty set.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ChristianAramaic

    We fell short because we have disobeid God and sined. And this is from the Bible. (Romans 6:23) We are not perfect, no one is. And you might tell me that I blindly follow the Bible, but I don't. It makes perfect sense.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete.best

      you probably didn'r disobey god.....you are probably a good person.
      maybe you just had some bad luck.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  36. Amit-Atlanta-USA

    If they are angry at god, then they plain & simple they are NOT atheists.....PERIOD!

    Having said that, I must say that I am myself an atheist, but strongly believe in the positive influence of most religions except for Islam, which as we have seen worldwide actually takes the people backward.
    From my own experience a vast majority of TRULY religious people do have some ethics, and even when they do transgress, at least they are deeply aware of their mistakes and at some point in life do make amends. Having said that, I don't even want to consider people like Bishop Long or several Catholic clergy, or religious proponents of other religions (including an obscure Hindu godman in my native India) who were caught/accused of terrible things. These MONSTERS surely know that there is no god and they can get away with practically anything if you have brains and/or money.

    I must also say that I inculcate the fear of god in my kids as that surely acts as a MORAL barrier for immature minds from doing something really stupid. They will have ample opportunities to question, analyze things when they grow up and are capable of making their own decisions.

    To this end, I also pray regularly at home (in front of my kids ONLY), I visit Temples, Churches, Synagogues, Gurudwaras and even as an atheist do find immense peace. But, even though I have visited several Mosques I am not sure if they appear spiritual to me.
    Let TRUE religion prosper.
    Amit, Atlanta, USA

    January 3, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Anonymous

    Atheists aren't mad at God. Atheists are mad at people who believe in God and use their beliefs to justify interference in science and use the government to impose their world view on everybody else.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Chris

    God doesn't believe in athiests therefore they don't exist.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      I can do that too.
      I don't believe in god, therefore he doesn't exist.
      Sounds pretty dumb huh?

      January 3, 2011 at 16:51 | Report abuse |
  39. ChristianAramaic

    Yes the Bible was written by man, but these men were guided by God when they wrote it. Nothing came from them, it all came from God through men.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete.best

      says the man

      January 3, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
    • HearMeOut

      Joseph Smith proclaimed the same thing. If you aren't a Mormon, then why? He probably has the most up-to-date answers seeing as how god talked with him last – gave him gold tablets too.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse |
    • DUH

      @ hearMeOut, there are tons of different stories on how he got those blasted tablets. He was also a serial killer.

      January 3, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  40. Rahvin

    I don't think being "angry at God" means to atheists what it means to others. As an atheist, I rather think the Christian deity is something of a cruel despotic immoral power-crazed evil overlord...but only in the same way that I think similar thoughts about, say, Lord Voldemort, Sauron, or Emperor Palpatine. I don't actually blame fictional characters for my problems or the woes of the world, and that includes any concept of "God."

    January 3, 2011 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dim Luan

      Exactly.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  41. SDY

    I believe this is more likely an artifact of poor study design than a valid result. Probably they sent out a questionnaire of "who do you get angry at?" and some of these people just checked every box instead of reading it.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Blaqb0x

    I wonder what the control of this study was? Did they ask them if they were angry at mohammed/toothfairy/sponge bob?

    January 3, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Steve

    The article/author is wrong. God is available to talk. You can communicate with God via the Holy Spirit through belief in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pete.best

      who told/sold you that steve?

      January 3, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Sorry Steve, I don't know you, but what you wrote simply sounds crazy. Even the most devout Christian does not believe he or she hears voices. If you god speaks to you, and you hear him, that is delusional.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • faithful

      EXACTLY!!!!!!!!!!! whoever wrote his had know idea what they were talking about.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
  44. Abe

    Someone who is angry at god is not an Atheist, what a stupid concept and argument. I hate when CNN posts this ridiculous drivel just to get a rise out of atheists. An atheist is someone who doesn't even believe in the idea that god exists so it would be far fetched to be mad at something that doesn't exist. People need to actually learn the definition of the subject matter they write about, instead of blindly plastering the interwebs with "opinions" or "research". Also to all of the religious people; I love how condescending you are to atheists thinking that somehow your "prayer" makes you a better person. Can it. If you want to genuinely care about me or for an unfortunate situation of mine, do it because you're a good person not because you hope to redeem some sort of golden afterlife when you die.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    There are no gods or goddesses, angels or devils, ghosts or goblins. Religion was created by man to control the masses.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. diude

    Of course because the idea of god Is stupid, and think how many people are dying for this stupid idea.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Melissa

    What a lying load of crap this article is. There is no god. Why would I get angry at something that doesn't exist? Just because you religious want to believe that we're just denying your god like 5 year olds, doesn't make you right.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. ChristianAramaic

    @pete.best: I don't see the point of telling you about God. You just want to deny everything. I haved disobeyed God by sinning and the only difference is that I have accepted Jesus as my savior and therefore I am saved.
    Now, goodbye!!!!
    You are wasting my time!!!!

    January 3, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      And Atheists are angry? Your posts are exactly what people are saying on here. Remember religion breeds anger, hate, and war. More people have died in the name of “gods” than any other reason.

      January 3, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
    • faithful

      Well said ChristianAramaic!

      January 3, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  49. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    Wow, so many of you just cannot understand what you are reading. The atheist part is "in the past" – meaning someone to some degree believed, but they encountered something very bad in their life, triggering the dilemna of "The Problem of Evil", went through a stage of anger and critical analysis of religions before rejecting the possibility of gods.

    That's why atheists scored highest on a test of religious knowledge.

    Learn about "The Problem of Evil" – it is a philosophical test of whether a religion accurately explains the nature of the real world, especially the occurance of terrible events. It's a nasty little test, because almost all religions fail. Christianity fails miserably.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Akhlut

      At least Asatru is honest about why suffering exists: because the Aesir don't care about suffering and need cannon fodder to fight the Jotunn when Ragnarok comes.

      Buddhism is also nice: suffering and evil exist because of the nature of human emotion.

      January 3, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
  50. Herman

    To be angry at god, one has to believe it exists.

    January 3, 2011 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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