Why Are So Many Religious People Not Able to Understand that There Are Actually People Who Do Not Believe in Any Deity

Dear fellows,

As I experience again and again, there are many religious people who are simply not able to understand that there are people in the world who truely do not believe in any deity at all. I recently wrote the following provocative message in a social network: 'Haven't you heard the good news yet? Lo: there is no god -- we are free!' One of my cousins asked me whether I were so afraid of God (capital g!) that I had to deny His existence to be free.
This is the first of two alternatives. The second is being angry at God (capital g again). Thus, in the eyes of the religious, if you claim that you do not believe in God, they suppose you to be either afraid of or angry at Him. They simply ignore the possibility that you really do not believe in such an entity whatsoever, because--at least so it seems to me--in their minds, it is impossible not to believe in a metaphysical being. My aforementioned cousin only believes in a deistic god, by the way, yet even he fails to realize what atheism is about.

Have you experienced similar reactions? What is it, do you think, that prevents those people from grasping that a human being need not necessarily believe in a deity?

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I don't think that Thomas' question is ignored.

Most intelligent and literate Christians and almost all theologians will argue that rational arguments are, for this reason, irrelevant. Faith is supposed to be irrational.

As for only fools questioning it, that's not right either. The famous Jesuit poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, who was so obedient that he obeyed his superiors and destroyed many of his poems, a huge loss for the rest of humanity, talks of his massive and fundamental doubt in many of his poems.

Doubt is part of the essence of faith.



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