Why are Atheists so Angry?

By Robin Schumacher

In a debate that recently occurred between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Alex Rosenberg on the topic “Is Faith in God Reasonable” [1], it took Dr. Rosenberg about ten seconds to start insulting his opponent. In fact, much of his opening monologue contained belittling content that many debate reviewers found unnecessary and out of place at such an event.

By contrast, Dr. Craig used the time given for his initial statements to lay out eight reasons why faith in God was indeed reasonable, using both logical syllogisms and other evidential and historical arguments. Never once did he refer to Dr. Rosenberg in a disdainful way, but rather he quoted directly from his opponent’s book multiple times to showcase Rosenberg’s extreme positions on scientism and naturalism, which supported Craig’s arguments.

Why do such things happen? Why do atheists like Rosenberg choose to not only disagree but be disagreeable in the manner with which they interact with those who believe in God?

In such cases, we see the words of Ravi Zacharias ringing true over and over again: “Is it not odd that whenever it has power [or a platform], liberalism is anything but liberal, both in the area of religion and politics?” [2]

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Intolerance in the Age of Tolerance

Let’s face it, arguments and disagreements happen every minute of every day, and sometimes those conflicts can get heated. Invite opposing political party spokespersons to a syndicated news program, and it isn’t long before tempers flare, insults are traded, and others’ ideas get maligned.

Further, we should be honest and admit that Christians are guilty far too many times of being discourteous to non-Christians and committing the error James wrote about long ago: “With the tongue we praise our Lord and father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10). [3]
But still, whether a person is a Christian, member of another faith, or atheist, no one argues that our society today encourages us to respect everyone’s beliefs and be “tolerant” of worldviews that may or may not agree with our own.

Strangely enough, though, the spirit of tolerance that is supposedly such an integral part of the philosophical pluralism that pervades our culture hasn’t found its way into the new atheist movement. Instead, what we find is a haughty swagger, disappointing misrepresentations, and a snarky vocabulary for any who dare to profess faith in God…


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