Do atheists hate the God they don't believe in?

by Matt Slick

People behave according to what they believe, not what they don't believe. When an atheist says God doesn't exist, or denies him, or works hard to disprove His existence, he is behaving in a manner that is consistent with what he believes. Likewise, when an atheist speaks against God by accusing Him of immorality, then he is displaying his disdain for God. Christians often encounter such displays of contempt for God when atheists cite God-ordered Old Testament events that atheists believe are morally wrong. When they do this, they are demonstrating their scorn for God by accusing him of doing what is wrong, and therefore being wrong. Disdain, contempt, and scorn are all synonymous with hate.

Of course, atheists will say that they can't hate what they don't believe in. But if that is the case, and they actually deny that God exists (either by positive denial or passive lack-of-belief), then they are expressing denial of the Christian concept of God by not properly affirming Him. Now, if the Christian concept of God is true and God actually exists, then it would be necessarily true that the atheists are expressing their disdain/hatred for the true and living God, especially when they accuse him of wrong doing. Either way, those atheists who work against God's existence and also accuse him of evil are doing so based on what they believe; namely, that God does not exist and the God of Scripture is morally wrong. Again, people behave according to what they believe, not what they don't believe.

What I think is interesting is that atheists have two problems - among many. First, they cannot establish that God does not exist. Yes, I know about the problem of disproving a universal negative and demonstrating that God doesn't exist anywhere, anytime. They can't. This is why they retreat into the "lack of belief in God" position. It's safer intellectual footing for them to stand on because it is less assailable. Of course, the "I lack belief in God" position has its weaknesses, too. But I digress. Atheists cannot demonstrate that God does not exist, so they often say there is no evidence for God's existence or that the evidence presented is not sufficient. However, evidence is a subjective concept since what may be evidence for you may not be evidence for me (see What is evidence?). Plus, evidence has validity based on a person's assumptions. Therefore, it is the assumptions that need to be examined.

Second, when atheists accuse God of being immoral and express their disdain for him, they are making moral judgments. But, they have no objective moral standard by which they can make such judgments. They can assert that it is their opinion that God is wrong, but their opinion doesn't make Him wrong. They can say that society judges God to be wrong, but what makes the society correct? There are many kinds of problems that arise when atheists assert that the God of Scripture is somehow morally wrong for doing something. Then when confronted with their inconsistencies, they continue to deny him and accuse him of wrong doing. Why, if he doesn't exist to them? It seems more plausible to say they hate God, at least in a mild sense, and their disdain is manifested in their actions.

Nevertheless, to reiterate, people behave according to what they believe, not what they don't believe. Second, whenever an atheist accuses God of immorality he is passing a condemning judgment upon God and displaying his moral contempt for Him. Therefore, in his contempt, he is revealing his hatred for the God he does not believe in.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.