A STUDY by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that atheists tend to report more anger at God than believers.
Julie Exline, a psychologist at Case Western Reserve University and the lead author of that 2011 study, said her interest was first piqued when an early study of anger toward God revealed a counterintuitive finding: Those who reported no belief in God reported more grudges toward him than believers.
She said atheists reported anger toward God either in the past or anger focused on a hypothetical image of what they imagine God must be like
Exline notes that the findings raised questions of whether anger might actually affect belief in God’s existence, an idea consistent with social science’s previous clinical findings on “emotional atheism.” In other words, atheist belief can be more of an emotional than intellectual response.
Studies in traumatic events suggest a possible link between suffering, anger toward God, and doubts about God’s existence. According to Cook and Wimberly (1983), 33% of parents who suffered the death of a child reported doubts about God in the first year of bereavement.
In another study, 90% of mothers who had given birth to a profoundly retarded child voiced doubts about the existence of God (Childs, 1985).
In other words, anger toward God may not only lead people to atheism but also give them a reason to cling to their “disbelief.”
It is in line with other studies that examined whether atheism is rooted in reason or emotion.
C.S.Lewis talked about his time as an atheist: “I was at this time of living, like so many Atheists or Anti-theists, in a whirl of contradictions. I maintained that God did not exist. I was also very angry with God for not existing. I was equally angry with Him for creating a world.”