Anger at God common, even among atheists
January 3rd, 2011
10:27 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.

Read the full story here from CNN's The Chart blog.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief

soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    September 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  2. hawaiiguest

    What's the betting that the below bold parts will be ignored, and atheists will be constantly accused of hating a being we don't think exists, and consciously choosing to be atheists to rebel?

    "People unaffiliated with organized religion, atheists and agnostics also report anger toward God either in the past, or anger focused on a hypothetical image"

    September 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  3. Sam Yaza

    i can't stand the guy, i don't want to talk with him again. ill just do my thing he can do his; as long as he does not bother my beloved humans i will do nothing to him or his kingdom. But at the first pillar of fire, or flood, o earth devouring he does to them; its own and we now have a legion of unified gods to kick his @ss. so if your all wondering were is god. were at a stalemate right now

    September 26, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  4. ChrusherComix

    LOL @ Lt Dan! You are brainwashed, my friend. Atheism, at it's core, Atheistic Socialism – the netionalized core of Darwinism in government – has killed billions more people than a few misguided people here and there who killed in the name of Christ, against His teaching. Pol Pot. Hitler. Stalin. Mao. Add 'em up compared to a few witch hunts and such (geez... let them go, already, LOL!) Your biased education (or lack therof) is showing. Wise up, stop being so daft, please. You are making a weak argument and it is making make atheists look dumb.

    September 26, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • ChrusherComix

      *nationaized... sorry for the typos.

      September 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • ChrusherComix

      ** = nationalized. In a hurry and spell it wrong twice! 😛

      September 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Veritas

      Hitler was not an atheist. Stalin, Mao, etc. did not kill because of non-belief – they killed for power, and by social engineering – policies that let many starve, etc.

      September 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Veritas

      Also it's a bit more than a few witch hunts – Crusades, Inquisition, many wars and conflicts.

      September 26, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Ahem


      LtDan's posts on this article are from Jan. 3 and 4, 2011 -

      Did you derive great pleasure in berating a phantom?!

      September 26, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  5. chrushercomix

    Wow, a lot of arrogant, intolerant, and hypocritical atheist/agnostics on here. (Common on internet message forums, I note.)

    You do know that it takes just as much faith to believe that there is no supernatural creator as it takes to believe that there is one (or two or hundreds), don't you? I mean, I read your comments and I am constantly amazed on just how many atheist/agnostic/naturalists are out there strutting around arrogantly believing that "science" has proven that God does not exist, and therefore rendered all theists refuted and proven wrong or backward thinking. It's really quite comical, sad, but also, sometimes makes me a bit angry. Angry because atheist/agnostic types strut around and act like science has disproved God. It has done nothing of the sort. Funnier still is that most atheists single out Christianity, some expand it to Judaism (or more broadly Judeao-Christianity in general), while the somewhat more brave ones also include all of the Abrahamic religions. And almost all ignore the many faiths of the world and single out Christianity. Hmm... your bias is showing, atheists. In fact, most atheists, when pressed on asking for a scientific debate, will just simply say, "EVOLUTION!" "DARWIN!" "MILLIONS OF YEARS!" and then proceed to attack the Bible, cherry picking Bible verses out of context and say that they refute the religion (because they personally disagree with them). It's funny, but this is always what happens. These are not facts that refute theists. Rather, they are viewpoints... opinions. Please get off your high horses and know the difference.

    What are the three greatest pieces of empirical evidence that proves Naturalism (which is atheistic macro-evolution, the default faith of all atheists and agnostics). I always ask that question, and never once has it ever been answered. "SCIENCE!" "EVOLUTION!" DARWIN" "FOSSIL RECORD!" are all not answers, and it shows one's ignorance when they are spouted.

    Science does not say ANYTHING about God. It does not say that one exists. It does not say that one does NOT exist. Atheists can view all the scientific evidence the world has to offer, and if they view said evidence through the lens of their worldview, it say that it proves to them that God doesn't exist, while theists will view the exact same evidence through the lens of their worldview and come to the conclusion on how a supernatural God made the universe and everything in it. Vince versa, it takes intelligence to view science, but it takes faith to come to your conclusion on origins.

    Naturalistic (atheistic) Evolution is a theoretical attempt to answer life on earth. It is not an absolute proven science. It is not even a full-blown scientific theory (as the word theory is known in the scientific world goes, at least). It fails the scientific method. Creationism is also a theoretical attempt to answer life on earth. It is also not a proven science. Intelligent Design is also not a full theory. It is rather a tool used by Theistic Evolutionists and Biblical Creationists to show how mathematically and statistically improbable (er, impossible would be a better word, but I'm being kind) Naturalistic/atheistic Darwinism/evolution is. Darwin was a man who popularized evolution, but most of his findings have been refuted by his own words, modern scientific findings, and fellow evolutionists to boot. The fossil record is... just that! A fossil record! Naturalists and Theists believe the fossil record tells completely opposite things. Again, the same evidence, but skewed by a worldview. None are proven... all are valid to debate in the marketplace of ideas. That is called ... freedom of speech. Gasp, what a principle!

    And you know what? It's fine for everyone to believe or not believe in whatever they want to. They should educate themselves, and believe what they find to be true based on evidence, common sense, and their heart. But there is a dangerous part of Naturalism... naturalists (I should say Darwinists), seek to silence all other worldviews other than their own, and mock those who see the evidence differently as anti-science. Laughable, and sad. Yet dangerous when people believe it. Which gets back to my point... that in classrooms and internet forums is where atheists are most vocal and try to shut down their opinions. It is their church. Their preaching. Whoops... being a bit hypocritical, aren't you guys? Freedom of religion! Another wonderful principle, is it not?

    As for me... I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist. Absolutely nothing cannot create everything we see. You can mock belief in a God that cannot be seen with your five sense as laughable, but which of your five senses told you that? Logic? Does logic exist? Since you cannot see, hear, smell, feel or taste it? And until atheists answer that one, a Supernatural Creator makes more sense than 0 + 0 = THE UNIVERSE! Now THAT'S what I laugh at and look down upon. Session over, Doc and back-slapping stooges.

    September 26, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      That was a long post to say absolutely nothing of significance.

      September 26, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Veritas

      Creationism is not a theory – it is the creation myth adopted by the christian religion from its parent which in turn borrowed it from a prior civilization. ID is just a pseudo-scientific attempt to explain creationism. All primitive societies had a creation myth. Evolution explains all that we see in the various species; some mechanisms may not be fully understood but simpler organisms are found in older rocks, more complex organisms are clearly evolved from earlier species, etc. Even if one of the currently believed mechanisms turns out to be wrong, that a) does not disprove evolution and b) absolutely offers not proof for creationism.
      Why does it take more faith to not believe ancient creation myths than it does to be an atheist. An atheist does not believe in any gods (i.e. one fewer than you believe in). Religion imagines a supernatural being originally because primitive peoples had no explanation for creation and life. Atheists don't believe in a supernatural cause The problem with a supernatural being is that it moves the question back – who created the god(s). So you see it takes no faith to not believe in gods.

      September 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Rufus T. Firefly

      Wow, crusher, there's so much misunderstanding and misinformation packed in there it's hard to know where to begin. You're one of those people who assumes you possess far too much expertise in biology, genetics, paleontology, and archaeology to fall for the stuff that generations of PhD level professionals in those fields have accomplished in the last few hundred years, aren't you?

      September 26, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  6. Bob Molding

    Excellent Weblog. I add this Blog to my bookmarks.

    November 2, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  7. Brandy

    James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." You can ask God whatever question you want without fear of judgement or condemnation. If you ask with a sincere heart, with real intent and have faith he will answer. You will receive an answer by the power of the holy ghost. You'll feel love, joy,peace,lonsuffering, gentelness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

    January 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
    • Nancy

      I get it Brandy. So it's just that no one has asked sincerely yet, and that's why your god has never, ever been proven to have answered even a single prayer, in all the hundreds of years of people praying? Riiiiight....

      September 26, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  8. Joshua Landberg

    Atheist is angry at God because Atheist first don"t want believe in God cause they can"t see him at all and Second they are FOOL to think there is no GOD at all and I am not atheist and death is end of your life on earth and Jesus Promise us Christians Eternal life whoever in believe in him and third Atheist are STUPID AND BLAME GOD FOR RELIGIOUS WAR IN WORLD WHICH IS WRONG THEY MUSLIMS OR CHRISTIAN HAD HARED HEART TOWARDS THEIR GOD DID THEY KILLINGS IN WORLD

    January 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • SeanNJ

      And you fear punctuation, I presume...

      January 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.