This is a question many people ask themselves almost every day. The simple answer: They don't. The complex answer follows.
Atheism, from the Greek word atheos meaning without gods, has through the ages been used to negatively describe someone that did not believe in the currently accepted God or Gods. The formal definition of today is generally someone who does not believe in the existence of a supreme being or beings. How can an atheist hate something that they do not believe exists?
In my own experience, the overwhelming number of people that are atheist would not try to take away or diminish anyone's belief in God. So why do so many believers ask the question? It could be that they feel resentment from some non-believers.
It is simple human nature that no one likes being told they are wrong. No one likes having their beliefs, whatever they may be, questioned or especially ridiculed. Here on the Vine, religion is a hotly debated topic. The believers will never be swayed by anything anyone posts on this site, and rightly so. Likewise, the non-believers, be they an atheist or agnostic, aren't likely to be moved either.
- A believer will see a miracle in the sunrise. A non-believer will see the Earth's rotation in the sunrise. Both will see beauty in it.
- A believer will see God's hand flowing through the trees. A non-believer will see the effects of the wind in the trees. Both will see beauty in it.
- A believer will feel God's presence in the warmth of the sun. A non-believer will simply feel the warmth of the sun's rays. Both will feel the warmth.
- A believer will see a miracle in the birth of their child. A non-believer will see a miracle in the birth of their child. The only difference being their definitions of and the origins of that miracle.
- To a believer, the word miracle basically means an act of God. To a non-believer a miracle is a wonder or marvel that elicits admiring awe. They both experience miracles.
We're more alike than we sometimes realize. So why the issue? Some believers today apparently feel they are under attack by non-believers. Many atheists and some agnostics feel they are, and have always been, characterized as evil or cast outs by believers.
Here on the Vine, I've taken note that many non-believers, myself included, resent the "forcing of religion" onto them. To me personally, it's about appropriateness. If someone comes to my door, I say "no thanks." If I hear a "street preacher," as someone mentioned previously, I simply ignore them and walk on. “Happy Holidays” to me simply embraces the holidays of different religions without offending one or the other. I simply smile and return the salutation, with true sincerity.
So where does the resentment come into play? More often that not it's when religion is mixed in that other vile topic: politics.
People argue about the intention, as well as the meaning, of the First Amendment’s Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...People argue about the "Separation of Church and State" and "Freedom of Religion, Not Freedom from Religion."
Here it is from one atheist's view. People are free to practice their religious beliefs, but please do not try to force anyone else to live by them.
Please don't try to claim our laws come from the Ten Commandments and try to post them in courthouses and in other public places without allowing the simultaneous posting of anyone else’s religious equivalent. All cultures have laws pertaining to most of the Ten Commandments, but only a few would have laws similar to the first four Commandments: 1) I am the Lord your God, You shall have no other gods before me, 2) You shall not make for yourself an idol 3) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God 4) Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy
Other than the so-called Blue-Laws (4th) prevalent in some areas of the South, the United States has no such laws. What countries may have similar types of laws on their books? Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, and Algeria are non-secular nations. Their religions control their governments and vice-versa. Their laws could include equivalent types of laws in respect to their own individual religious views. Not any countries I’d want to emulate.
Secular countries (officially neutral in matters of religion, not anti-religious) have laws against murder, adultery, and stealing also. Even countries that have tried to ban all religion have these laws. Cultures throughout history have had laws and rules against these acts. This shows that one doesn't have to believe in God or practice a religion to have morals, knowledge of what is right and what is wrong.
Don't try to force people to abide by your religious dogma. Practice it yourself all you want, but don't try to force it onto others. Don't pull phrases out of your Bible and try to use them to tell others how to live their lives. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, don't practice it, but do not try to restrict the rights and freedoms of others because they do not feel the same way. Do not try to make a legal act such as marriage a religious act only. Prohibit that with which you do not agree within your church all you want, but do not force discrimination against others just because they don't share your religious beliefs.
Why do atheists hate God? We don't. We hate the way some people act in the name of their God.
Why not embrace the similarities we have like those mentioned above.