On various discussion threads on AN, you can often find questions or statements about atheist attitudes towards various subjects, as if there is an atheist position
on gay rights, climate change, or politics. I've found that that just isn't so.
People always try to pigeonhole other people (and to an extent themselves as well) into specific categories, but the truth is that atheists come from all walks of life, and have different backgrounds and outlooks. Atheists can't be easily catagorized. That fact is what makes social networking sites so informative at times. (I for one have learned a lot from other AN members.)
However, one thing that I have noticed again and again is there is an ongoing debate as to whether or not atheists should or should not be angry at religious people (or at each other). Some people think it is too aggressive or counterproductive to be angry, while others think that is is justified and acceptable.
But my questions are: Do we have to choose one or the other? If people feel anger, aren't they entitled to their feelings, and shouldn't they be allowed to express them? If others aren't angry, why do some people try to encourage them to get angry
? What purpose can be served by that?
Personally, I am often angry at many people, especially the religious. But not always. Sometimes I am sad, or excitable, or irritable, or impatient, or patient, or forlorn, or giddy. Shouldn't that be okay? And why do I have to choose one perpetual state in which to be, as if perpetuity is the only mark of sincerity or validity?
What are your opinions and experiences in dealing with personal anger, anger from religious people, or anger from atheists?
Is anger ever a persuasive argument? Is it effective or ineffective?
Can anger be a catalyst for change?