Many Atheists Know God Exists — They’re Just Angry That We Depend on Him

‘Atheism is often based on a false conception of human autonomy, exaggerated to the point of refusing any dependence on God.’ (CCC 2126)

‘Atheism and Religion’
‘Atheism and Religion’ (photo: Rodichev Vitalii / Shutterstock)

‘Learn then that I, I alone, am God, and there is no god besides me. It is I who bring both death and life, I who inflict wounds and heal them. … With vengeance I will repay my foes and requite those who hate me.’ (Deuteronomy 32:35-41)

Over the years, I’ve spoken to many hundreds of atheists and, among them, I’ve yet to meet one who didn’t believe in God.

Instead, these people express hatred for God.

When I show atheists the numbers involved in, let’s say, the Fine-Tuning Argument, the HaShem Equation or the Ontological Argument or any other excellent arguments for God’s existence, the atheist in my sights will inevitably — like night follows the day — respond pettily, “Then why is God killing small children with leukemia?”

In Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, the conniving, embittered and resentful Salieri conspires against his much more talented rival Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and God. His envy even leads him to burn a crucifix cursing God saying:

From now on we are enemies. … Because you choose for your instrument [Mozart] a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and give me for reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation. Because you are unjust, unfair, unkind, I will block you, I swear it. I will hinder and harm your creature on earth as far as I am able.

Misotheism is the “hatred of God” — rage at God’s permitting or perpetrating suffering and injustice. The word is derived from the Greek misotheos (μισόθεος — “hating God”). It was first recorded in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, which was first performed in 458 BC.

Other misotheists include Epicurus, Thomas Paine, James Mill, Ludwig Feuerbach, Marx, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Nietzsche, Freud, William Empson, Gore Vidal, Virginia Woolf, Algernon Swinburne, Zora Neale Hurston, Rebecca West, Elie Wiesel and Frank Shaffer. Astronomer Freeman J. Dyson described God as his enemy. Camus demanded a concerted metaphysical rebellion against God. Bernard Schweizer admitted that his misotheism was his “religious dissent” against God. But it was misotheistic philogaster Thomas Nagel in his 1997 potboiler, The Last Word, who said the quiet part out load:

I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, I hope that I'm right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.

My belief in God doesn’t affect the reality of his existence and neither does the most fervent and fevered opinion of some random atheist. There’s more narcissism than reason to his self-profession.

And, lest we forget, Lucifer’s rejection of God was the result of his hatred for him and not merely a desire for “autonomy.” He was intimately familiar with the “Love That Moves the Sun and the Other Stars” and rejected it. Lucifer hated Love. There is nothing different in what Nagel asserts. He’s not arguing from a logical nor scientific perspective — he’s merely voicing his “feelings.” If wishes were fishes, we’d all have a nice lunch. I like chocolate ice cream over any other flavor, but no matter what I think, say or do, pistachio ice cream will not cease to exist — unfortunately.

Atheists often repeat the hackneyed screed: “Even if a God as described in the Bible does exist, he is not fit for worship due to his low moral standards.” This is a bad faith argument. Why would anyone trust an atheist who labels God, the Church or Christians in general as evil, while simultaneously insisting that evil “doesn’t exist?” Logicians call this “jibber-jabber.” Why would anyone trust an atheist who says he and other atheists are the most compassionate and non-judgmental people in the world while simultaneously refusing to help anyone while judging anyone who disagrees with them? I pray for atheists, as do many Catholics. If someone slips on an icy street, I don’t ask them if they are Catholic before assisting them. However, atheists routinely and actively attack Catholics — though they are circumspect when it comes to Muslims.

I don’t doubt there are tactless, self-satisfied Christians who start fights with atheists hoping to compel them into believing in God, but I’ve only met a tiny handful of atheists who weren’t aching for a fight. It’s as if they were highly insecure about their own opinions and felt compelled to force others to agree with them.

The history of atheism is littered with the tiresome detritus of uninformed atheists whose last resort when arguing against Catholics — but oddly never Muslims — is screaming, “God is evil!” But this is yet another of their insincere and confused opinions. If God is “bad” by any measure, an atheist would never be able to recognize the idea because atheists don’t believe in an objective moral reality or even the concepts of “good” and “evil,” how would they know God was “evil?” If they can’t define or accept the concept of good and evil, what’s make them think they know anything about God’s supposed evil? They can’t have it both ways, and I’m delighted to point it out to them.

As Thomas Paine rightly points out: “To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead.” Atheists are misotheists, and misotheists are angry. They can’t see the facts. They can’t see logic. They’re angry if their cherished belief in their own perfection is challenged.

Psychologist Stephen Vale has conducted a great deal of research into narcissism. The more extreme values they hold, the stronger their diagnosis. The basic nature of the narcissist is one of contempt for the rest of humanity. Regardless of the meager accomplishments of any particular narcissist, God still stands in his or her way as the Ultimate Authority and Standard by Which All are Judged. God is the Hope of Salvation for believers and the Stumbling Block for the self-blind who think themselves wise and “good.”