Atheism does not lead to hatred

At least that was the argument I put forth in my most recent letter to the editor.

On Jan. 15, Marie-Anne Jacques wrote that there has been increasing hatred over the past decade because people have completely lost faith in God. As one piece of evidence, she points to the throwing of an egg at her manger scene over the holidays.

I would like to say that I am offended only as an atheist. I could make a pretty good letter on that basis alone, I think. Unfortunately, I have to take some of my valuable space to point out how offended I am just on a purely logical basis.

Someone throwing an egg at her manger scene could have been motivated by any number of things. Maybe someone found her display gaudy. Or maybe someone in her neighborhood dislikes her. Or maybe someone was just looking to throw an egg. I don’t think Christians are somehow inherently above any of these motivations.

But more important than Jacques’ shortcomings of logic is the fact that she is equating atheism with hatred. Can anyone tell me what philosophy derives from atheism? Can anyone tell me how atheism could ever possibly drive anyone to do anything?

Last time I checked, atheism was a descriptive position, not a normative one. (And let’s nip this one — Adolf Hitler was a Christian creationist who was motivated by racism and nationalism, not atheism or religion.)

Atheism is a perfectly rational position that does not somehow magically lead to hatred or random acts of vandalism. Our neighbors, our friends, our families, they all have among and within them atheists. I, for one, am unprepared to call such a massive group of people inherently hateful.

Michael Hawkins


I think my next letter will make the point of further explaining how atheism is descriptive. At least, it will if people in the comment section show a severe misunderstanding of the difference between a descriptive and normative position.

The letter to which I was responding can be found here.

8 Responses

  1. Manger, I got it now. I’ve been under the impression this whole time that her manager had an egg thrown at them and I’ve been trying to like managers and atheism for a couple days with no success.

  2. And I’m sure it was a high school kid(s). Atheism might not lead directly to evil and hatred and Christianity might not lead directly to evil and hatred, but being a teenager tends to make people idiots.

    Some never recover from the condition.

  3. I detest age-ism almost as much as I detest the accusation that atheism leads to hatred.

  4. Nothing against teenagers, but that’s when it starts. Before that people are still “forming”.

    Like I said, some people get over it, some don’t and some just never catch idiocy.

  5. Also vandalism is a pretty common crime for teens to commit. If one had to bet one who had done such a thing, the safe money is on a teenager.

    If we were betting on embezzlement… well I’d say a middle aged person.

    But we are talking about vandalism, it was most likely a teenager.

  6. …there has been increasing hatred over the past decade because people have completely lost faith in God.

    That poor ignorant woman. There has been increasing hatred over the past decade because people have INCREASED their faith in God, not lost it. 9/11/01 happened due to people who irrationally increased their faith. The rise of fundamentalism in the last 15 years that is tearing the US apart is also due to increase in faith. Many problems would disappear or be greatly lessened if reason replaced faith.

  7. Here is pure hatred spewing Glen Beck, courtesy of Larry Moran:

  8. Of course you would make the opposite claim to the one this woman made. One that isn’t true either.

    You’re no less ignorant than her if you want to go down her path of wishful falsities.

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