The image of new atheists is not that they are happy relaxed people, but that they are angry. Why are they so angry? To be fair, some of their anger focuses on the many abuses that have been perpetrated in the name of religion. But we should not ignore the fact that there may be deeper reasons lying behind their rage.
For example, psychologist Paul Vitz points out that Nietzsche and Voltaire had absent or rotten fathers, and argues that this damaged their ability to form a relationship with a Heavenly Father. Similarly, behind some of Richard Dawkin's rage may be the fact that he suffered sexual abuse by a teacher who was a clergyman.
Speaking from his office at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, Vizt explains, 'We need to understand atheism has a lot to do with our emotional attitudes towards life, other people and a lot of other things. I think that is an important thing for atheists and believers alike to take into consideration.'
In the interest of fairness, apparently the atheist Sam Harris had a very healthy relationship with his dad.
An atheist friend of mine explained that, 'if I am negative towards Christianity it is largely due to my experience of Christian people.' So we need to be very aware of how our actions contribute towards people's openness, or otherwise, towards God.