The disappointment, not reason, pushes us away from God

A recent series of studies, pubblished on the “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology”, has find out that the main the cause of atheism (or the religion faith’s desertion) strong>is not based on rational justifications, as some people like to suggest, but mainly on an “anger against God”. It’s an emotional atheism the one lived by millions of people, more on the mouth than in the heart.

At first sight it may seem paradoxical: how can people gets angry against God, if they don’t believe in God? Indeed their belief, in the majority of cases, it’s dictated by a negative feeling, by a loss of faith instead of a mature and rational awareness . The anger against God grows like consequence of unpleasant situations that happen in life or, in extreme cases, of natural cataclysm or diseases. Or from delusions perceived for missed hopes, a bit like Judah feeled towards Jesus, disappointed because the Reign of God was still to come. In other words, the anger against God can not only bring people far away from God, but also gives them a reason to clutch at their incredulity.

«When instead people understand that God take care of them and has positive intentions, also if they can’t understand which are those intentions, people tend to dissipate this anger», asserted Julie Exline, a psychologist of the Case Western Reserve University. In fact the life of many nonbelievers and agnostics is often characterized by numerous judgment changes, depending on the feelings that they are experiencing in that moment of life.

So, how can we help our nonbelievers friends? We have talked many times about the connection between the existence of God and the existence of evil. It’s not only possible to don’t feel scandalized in front of the evil and don’t loose the faith, but, instead, that the existence of evil is a starting point to understand how only Christianity can give an adequate answer to what man experience and demand. But our main task is to heal men’s wounds, like often pope Francis said, because it’s this what he is talking about when he speak relating to the “injured humanity”. Through our presence, «the main thing is the announcement: “Jesus Christ saved you”», he has said in the famous interview to “La Civiltà Cattolica”. «Ministers of the Gospel have to be men able to warm people’s heart, to walk with them in the night, in the dark without getting lost». Only in this way we will be witnesses of our encounter with God.

The editorial staff 
(translate by Alessandro Borella)

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A comment to The disappointment, not reason, pushes us away from God

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  1. Steven wrote

    This whole article is rubbish, because the claims are ridiculous.

    I understand a study proved “feelings of distress towards God and reality” to be one of the main causes of becoming an atheist, but again you are failing at presenting WHY do these feelings occur.
    You know, human psychology is complex and rushed conclusions can be sometimes misleading.

    Maybe some other parts of the article should be quoted:

    “Perhaps previous generations were taught to not question God, whereas younger people today don’t have any qualms about it.”

    “[…]the study cannot prove whether anger at God made them feel worse or that feeling worse made them more angry at God.”

    “Granted, these studies aren’t definitive; they are steps forward in this emerging field of inquiry and not the final word on the subject.”

    You know, atheists are subject to prejudice and distrust as well, especially by religious majorities, as stated here:
    This feeling of confinment can also accelerate the process of turning away from God.


    Emotions play a huge role when choosing what to believe in, and serious, rational atheists know that. Being an atheist doesn’t just mean waking up and suddenly dislinking God (or his plan) for the sake of doing it. That’s not atheism, that’s just being angry at a belief.

    Atheists don’t hate or feel disappointed by God, because the DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD (otherwise, they shouldn’t be considered atheists, that’s nonsensical). The hate and feel disappointed by the idea of God that other people have, which may or may not vary according to the place they live in.

    Don’t rush conclusions. Don’t do it.

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