Atheism and bitterness
Theodore Beale wrote about atheism and bitterness:
|“||...the age at which most people become atheists indicates that it is almost never an intellectual decision, but an emotional one.||”|
|“||It is widely known that some atheists rejected God in their childhood, based on child like reasons, have not matured beyond these childish notions and thus, maintain childish-emotional reactions toward the idea of God.||”|
The Christian Post reports about the Christian philosopher James S. Spiegel's book The Making of an Atheist:
|“||Spiegel, who converted to Christianity in 1980, has witnessed the pattern among several of his friends. Their path from Christianity to atheism involved: moral slippage (such as infidelity, resentment or unforgiveness); followed by withdrawal from contact with fellow believers; followed by growing doubts about their faith, accompanied by continued indulgence in the respective sin; and culminating in a conscious rejection of God.||”|
Jesus Christ and Christendom have emphasized the important of forgiveness and in the last few decades mental health specialists have increasingly seen the importance of forgiveness to alleviate bitterness and other emotional problems within individuals.
Anti-atheism, militant atheism, bitterness and control
Many atheists, particularly militant atheists, are arrogant and controlling. As a result, they want the world to respect their atheism and cater to their atheism in such a way that often breeches others religious liberty (see: Atheism and arrogance and Atheist bullying and Suppression of alternatives to evolution). When others and/or society at large rejects their atheism, this can cause militant atheists to become bitter.
Atheists are often viewed with disdain - particularly in theistic societies (See: Views on atheists). Their atheism is not viewed as an intellectual decision, but rather due to having low character (see also: Atheism and morality and Atheist population and immorality). The atheist community/population has helped foster this view of atheists by the dodging of various public debate offers (See: Atheism and cowardice).
Dr. Sam Harris is one of the founders of the New Atheism movement. Sam Harris is quite aware of the stigma surrounding atheism and has even advocated that atheists no longer call themselves atheists. In fact, Dr. Harris has said concerning the label of atheist, "It's right next to child molester as a designation." See also: Atheism and social outcasts
Furthermore, in many secular countries, due to the sub-replacement fertility rate of atheists/agnostics/non-religious, there is a significant amount of immigration involving religious conservatives which is a source of consternation to many atheists (see: Global atheism and Secular Europe).
A number of studies point to atheists having lower emotional intelligence and social skills and the various studies are given in the articles below:
Atheism and poor relationships with parents
Friction with family members can exacerbate and individual's bitterness. It is very common for atheists to have poor relationships with their parents (see: Atheism and poor relationships with parents).
The book Atheist Persona: Causes and Consequences by John J. Pasquini, Th.D. indicates that many of the prominent atheists (and prominent practical atheists) who had dysfunctional/absent fathers that he lists in his book also had dysfunctional/absent mothers. In 2012, a Georgetown University study was published indicating that only about 30 percent of those who grow up in an atheist household remain atheists as adults.
Atheism and anger
On January 1, 2011, CNN reported:
|“|| 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.
Various studies found that traumatic events in people's lives has a positive correlation with "emotional atheism".
The atheist and lesbian Greta Christina told the journalist Chris Mooney on the Point of Inquiry podcast, "there isn't one emotion" that affects atheists "but anger is one of the emotions that many of us have ...[it] drives others to participate in the movement".
Although anti-theists, militant atheists and New Atheists give the general public the perception that atheists are exceedingly angry individuals, research indicates that the atheist population as a whole is not angrier than the general population (see: Various types of atheists/non-believers and anger).
- The bitter fruits of atheism - Part I, Apologetics Press
- The bitter fruits of atheism - Part II, Apologetics Press
- The Origins of Aggressive Atheism, The Atlantic
- Answering an atheist's question
- Christian Philosopher Explores Causes of Atheism
- Indian J Psychiatry. 2009 Apr-Jun; 51(2): 153–156. doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.49459, PMCID: PMC2755173, Forgiveness: A note for psychiatrists by Prakash Gangdev
- Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011
- Roberts, Jessica, et al. (June 19, 2007). "Interview with an atheist". News21. Retrieved on July 30, 2014.
- Religious affiliation and suicide rate
- Adherents.com - suicide rates
- Atheist Persona: Causes and Consequences by John J. Pasquini, 2014, University Press of America, page 3
- http://www.christianpost.com/news/study-atheists-have-lowest-retention-rate-compared-to-religious-groups-78029/ Study: Atheists Have Lowest 'Retention Rate' Compared to Religious Groups
- Anger at God common, even among atheists
- When atheists are angry at God by Joe Carter at FirstThings.com website
- Greta Christina - Why Are You Atheists So Angry?