Angry at God

The “consensus” view among atheists seems to be that atheism is reasonable and that religious beliefs are not.

So why are atheists angry at God?

We can become incensed by objects and creatures both animate and inanimate. We can even, in a limited sense, be bothered by the fanciful characters in books and dreams. But creatures like unicorns that don’t exist ”that we truly believe not to exist” tend not to raise our ire. We certainly don’t blame the one-horned creatures for our problems.

The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.

When Atheists Are Angry at God

I’m trying to remember the last time I got angry at something which did not exist. It’s been a while since I last played World of Warcraft, but that might be a candidate.

But atheists angry at God? That’s absurd. Assertions that there are empirical studies to that effect? Simply ludicrous. By definition, atheism is a lack of belief in God or gods. It is simply a matter of logical impossibility that atheists should be angry at God.

1,643 thoughts on “Angry at God

  1. keiths:
    fifth,
    Are you suggesting that your Christianity is due to a hormonal deficiency?

    Christians seem incapable of accepting hospitality and refraining from shitting in other people’s houses. For the record, I gave up religion five years before puberty. I was rather late reaching puberty and didn’t date until my 20s. If ffth is actually a Christian he is a poor ambassador.

  2. fifth,

    Have you ever investigated Christianity with out assuming Christianity is false from the outset?

    Jesus, fifth. I was a Christian when I first investigated the faith. The investigation was why I became an ex-Christian!

  3. One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

  4. Re God knowing that he is God, here a couple of relevant comments from UD.

    One:

    In the hopes of making some progress in this thread, let me lay out my argument systematically, with numbered statements, so that it will be easier for people to specify exactly what they disagree with and why.

    1. It’s possible that God exists. (or Satan, or demons, etc.)

    2. If God (or Satan, etc.) exists, then it is possible that he has the power to deceive us.

    3. If he has the power to deceive us, then he might be exercising that power at any particular time.

    4. Being human, we cannot reliably determine when he is deceiving us and when he isn’t.

    5. Any particular thought we have might coincide with a time when God/Satan/the demon is deceiving us.

    6. Thus, any particular thought might be mistaken.

    7. If we claim to be absolutely certain of something that isn’t true, we have erred.

    8. Therefore we should never claim absolute certainty for a thought that might be mistaken.

    9. Since any particular thought might be mistaken (by #6), we should never claim absolute certainty for any thought.

    Note that this argument can also be made simply by appealing to the imperfection of human cognition, but it’s more fun this way.

    Also note that the argument applies to atheists and theists equally. Atheists don’t think there is a God, of course, but it is still possible that there is a God, and possibility is all that is necessary for the argument to work.

    Two:

    Phinehas,

    Let me make my point more forcefully.

    It’s impossible to verify the reliability of a cognitive system from the inside. Why? Because you have to use the cognitive system itself in order to verify its reliability.

    If the system isn’t reliable, you might mistakenly conclude that it is!

    This even applies to God himself. From the inside, God may think that he’s omniscient and omnipotent. He seems to know everything about reality, and he seems to be able to do anything that is logically possible. But how can he know these things with absolute certainty?

    What if there is a higher-level God, or demon, who is deceiving him into thinking that he’s the master of the universe when he really isn’t? How, for that matter, can God be sure that he isn’t a brain in a vat?

    He can’t. Defining him as omniscient doesn’t help. Like everyone else, he can only try to determine, from the inside, whether his cognitive apparatus is reliable. He can never be absolutely sure that he isn’t being fooled, or fooling himself.

  5. keiths: Just doing my part to highlight the ridiculousness of Christianity.

    That sort of pales in comparison to your clam that Christianity is false, don’t you think?

    Will that argument be forthcoming, or has it gone the way of Moderation at TSZ, part 2 and “I defend my claims”?

  6. keiths:
    One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

    Mung is occasionally amusing, but fifth and gregory are simply thugs.

  7. keiths: How does God know that he isn’t being fooled into thinking that he’s God?

    Is this part of the logic you used to arrive at the conclusion that Christianity is false?

    Gee keiths, you got me there. Why isn’t God out there spending all his time trying to find rocks too heavy for him to lift? After all, he can’t possible know that there is no rock too heavy for him to lift until he’s actually lifted every rock!

    Therefore Christianity is absurd.

  8. keiths:
    One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

    Probably for the same reason he chose the Bible to portray himself.

    Whatever reason that could be. It manages to elude me.

    Glen Davidson

  9. keiths:
    One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

    I very much enjoy my discussions with whitefrozen and my debates with Erik.

  10. keiths:
    One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

    LoL. That’s an easy one. You’re smart. You’ll figure it out.

  11. Mung: Is this part of the logic you used to arrive at the conclusion that Christianity is false?

    Gee keiths, you got me there. Why isn’t God out there spending all his time trying to find rocks too heavy for him to lift? After all, he can’t possible know that there is no rock too heavy for him to lift until he’s actually lifted every rock!

    Therefore Christianity is absurd.

    There are bits of evidence that we should be able to demand (alternatives might be acceptable, however) if God-claims are true.

    God’s cognitive abilities (or whatever one might call it with God) seems a tad presumptuous at this stage. Seems not unlike the demand to know every major step of the evolution of avian flight that we get from IDists.

    Glen Davidson

  12. keiths: It’s impossible to verify the reliability of a cognitive system from the inside.If the system isn’t reliable, you might mistakenly conclude that it is!his even applies to God himself. From the inside, God may think that he’s omniscient and omnipotent.What if there is a higher-level God, or demon, who is deceiving him into thinking that he’s the master of the universe when he really isn’t? He can’t. Defining him as omniscient doesn’t help. Like everyone else, he can only try to determine, from the inside, whether his cognitive apparatus is reliable. He can never be absolutely sure that he isn’t being fooled, or fooling himself.

    [Note that for the sake of brevity, I’ve cut a few lines here. The original is right above.]

    Your view seems to be that something that is omniscient and omnipotent might be fooled by a higher-level God and so be wrong about this or that. If so, I’m wondering what you mean by “omniscient” and “omnipotent.”

  13. KN,

    Erik isn’t much of an ambassador either, given his troglodytic and irrational views on gay marriage.

    Whitefrozen just got here, so there’s hope that he will be more reasonable than the others.

  14. keiths: Jesus, fifth. I was a Christian when I first investigated the faith. The investigation was why I became an ex-Christian!

    No offense but John,and Jesus would disagree

    quote:

    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
    (1Jn 2:19)
    and

    And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
    (Luk 8:13)

    and

    but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
    (Joh 10:26-28)
    end quote:

    These guys would say you believed in something alright but it was not the gospel

    peace

  15. re: the keiths brain made of fat argument

    keiths: Let’s hear your counterargument, Mung.

    First, let’s hear your argument, keiths.

    I followed your link and just found a bunch of assertions:

    It is not possible to verify the reliability of a cognitive system from the inside, because you have to use the cognitive system itself in order to verify its reliability.

    This even applies to God himself.

    God cannot be sure that he isn’t a brain in a vat.

    God can never be absolutely sure that he isn’t being fooled, or fooling himself.

    Frankly, I cannot even tell which of these assertions is your conclusion.

  16. keiths: Suppose that God really is God, which by your definition means that he is not being fooled and that he knows he is not being fooled.

    How does he know that he isn’t being fooled into thinking that he’s God?

    Really? Your asking how an omniscient being knows things?
    He knows everything by definition. that is what omniscient means

    If there is something he does not know he is not omniscient and therefore not God by definition.

    It’s possible that the creator of this world is not omniscient and therefore not God but that is an entirely different question. It’s an interesting question but it has nothing to do with the question you are asking

    peace

  17. keiths: One wonders why the omniscient, omnipotent God chose fifth and Mung (and Gregory!) to be his ambassadors here at TSZ.

    Honestly, this is one of the most compelling things which make me sure the christian god cannot exist or cannot be that which they claim it is.

    If the christian god is omniscient,, as they claim, it knows what would open my eyes, what would lead me to believe, what kind of evidence or argument or whatever would work for me to choose to believe.

    If the christian god is omnibenevolent, as they claim, it wants all its created souls to know the love and peace and heavenly future which come with believing in it, in the true god who is the light and the way. In its benevolence it wants to give me (and each other person on our planet) what I (they) need in order to choose the way. The omnibenevolent god’s plan must be for all souls equally to find its realm: it would be less than “benevolent” to leave some frozen out in the darkness, so to speak; less than “omni” to refuse to help those who had the misfortune to be born into the wrong faith or without faith at all.

    If the christian god is omnipotent, as they claim, there is nothing whatsoever which could stand against its intention of demonstrating its benevolence. No Earthly power, no demonic power, nothing can prevent the omnipotent deity from manifesting whatever is needed. Say, a personal miracle for me (and one for each other person on Earth) so that I (they) will suddenly want to believe, and have the kind of evidence which will satisfy me (them) that it is rational to believe, after all.

    Note; the typical excuse of “god leaves you free will” is garbage here. The omniscient god will surely know what I would find persuasive and desirable such that I would freely choose to believe, without god taking over my will. The omniscient god will know that a miraculous rescue in the face of certain death would make me believe, but at the same time, that would be too manipulative — I might feel as if I had no choice except to believe after that. So the omniscient god will know what would be the exact right touch: some kind of message just for me, obvious enough to work but subtle enough to allow me to continue to have “free will”.

    At the very minimum, that omni-all god would not allow me (and others) to constantly be forced away from its path by its supposed representatives. Again, it doesn’t have to interfere with anyone’s “free will”. For example, fifthmonarchyman could have free will to behave like a trashcan without derailing my god-intended faith journey if that god performs a mini-miracle: fifth’s “conflict and angst” could be sent into the ether to be answered by angels (which aren’t harmed by them) so he doesn’t have to change his own thoughts or behavior; meanwhile I could be sent a response so perfectly full of love and goodness that I perceive christians really are better people, after all, and start wanting to become one of them.

    Obviously, that’s not what’s happening with our current “ambassadors”.

    God either doesn’t exist at all, or it doesn’t have the characteristics which christians claim for it.

  18. I could be watching America’s Funniest Home Videos, or I could be reading “arguments” by keiths.

  19. If the creator of this world is not omniscient then he is merely the demiurge and his creator is God. That is if his creator is omniscient
    If the demiurge’s creator is not omniscient then he is merely a second level demiurge and his creator is God

    etc etc etc

    If there is no end to the infinite regress then the God producing process itself is God.

    peace

  20. fifthmonarchyman: No offense but John,and Jesus would disagree

    quote:

    They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.
    (1Jn 2:19)
    and

    And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.
    (Luk 8:13)

    and

    but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
    (Joh 10:26-28)
    end quote:

    These guys would say you believed in something alright but it was not the gospel

    peace

    Oh right, how would one be offended by self-serving religious texts in lieu of any good evidence for your claim?

    What if you really were to think that at least some of those with other ideas actually acted in good faith? Or is the contrary just another non-negotiable presupposition on your part?

    Glen Davidson

  21. fifthmonarchyman: … and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
    (Joh 10:26-28)
    end quote:

    These guys would say you believed in something alright but it was not the gospel

    Well, “these guys” would be liars, then. Lying about who really believes and what they really believe in.

    Typical christian dirtwad excuse for why someone else is no longer a believer: ahh, they were never a true christian ™ anyways.

  22. hotshoe,

    Note; the typical excuse of “god leaves you free will” is garbage here.

    Yes, and incoherent too, depending as it does on a libertarian notion of free will.

  23. hotshoe_: Honestly, this is one of the most compelling things which make me sure the christian god cannot exist or cannot be that which they claim it is.

    Let’s see if I understand you

    your syllogism would look like this

    1)If God was omnibenevolent then he would want to be everyone’s sugardaddy
    2) God’s does not apparently want to be everyone’s sugardaddy
    3) Therefore God does not exist or cannot be that which they claim it is

    is that the argument?

  24. fifth and Mung,

    If I reached my position through callowness, or by being hormone-ravaged, or by not being a True Christian™, then why are you unable to defend Christianity against my attacks? It doesn’t say a lot for your apologetic skills, does it?

  25. GlenDavidson: What if you really were to think that at least some of those with other ideas actually acted in good faith? Or is that just another non-negotiable presupposition on your part?

    Are you asking me to assume that the Bible is not true? Is this the best way to start an investigation of the truth of Christianity?

    I’m not saying anything about the intentions or good faith of anyone. I’m only saying that if you truly were a child of God you would not abandon him forever.

    I’m sure the atheists here would not disagree with that
    They don’t believe God exists after all

    peace

    peace

  26. walto,

    Your view seems to be that something that is omniscient and omnipotent might be fooled by a higher-level God and so be wrong about this or that.

    You’re making the same mistake as fifth. Let me repeat the answer I gave to him:

    fifth:

    If a being can be fooled he is not God.

    keiths:

    You’re not following the logic of my question. Suppose that God really is God, which by your definition means that he is not being fooled and that he knows he is not being fooled.

    How does he know that he isn’t being fooled into thinking that he’s God?

  27. fifthmonarchyman: I’m not saying anything about the intentions or good faith of anyone. I’m only saying that if you truly were a child of God you would not abandon him forever.

    I’m sure the atheists here would not disagree with that

    You’re a fool to think you’re “sure” of that – or anything, really, seeing how comment after comment of yours is obviously your wrong projection of your own fallibility onto us.

    You should demonstrate a whole lot more humility.

    Your should try to start a new habit – given your manifest ignorance and projection – of always making your comments begin with something like “I’m NOT sure, but I wonder if ….” That way at least you wouldn’t be outright wrong all the time.

  28. walto,

    If so, I’m wondering what you mean by “omniscient” and “omnipotent.”

    I’m taking “omnipotent” to mean “capable of doing anything that is logically possible” (which renders irrelevant Mung’s sophomoric “rock too heavy for God to lift”), and I take “omniscient” to mean “knows everything that is logically capable of being known”.

    The question is whether “I am an omniscient, omnipotent God” falls into the category of “things that are logically capable of being known”.

  29. hotshoe_: Well, “these guys” would be liars, then. Lying about who really believes and what they really believe in.

    What does believing that Jesus is a liar say about the bias of your investigation of Christianity?

  30. fifth,

    I’m not saying anything about the intentions or good faith of anyone. I’m only saying that if you truly were a child of God you would not abandon him forever.

    And providing no evidence for your claim apart from some quotes from a goofy and discredited book.

  31. fifth, to Glen:

    Are you asking me to assume that the Bible is not true? Is this the best way to start an investigation of the truth of Christianity?

    fifth,

    The best way to start an investigation of a hypothesis is to assume neither its truth nor its falsehood, except arguendo. Isn’t that obvious?

  32. fifthmonarchyman: Are you asking me to assume that the Bible is not true? Is this the best way to start an investigation of the truth of Christianity?

    Can you ever think without making false assumptions based on your binary simplistic viewpoint? No one asked you to assume that the Bible is not true, I pointed out that you owe us good evidence, not holy words from the religion that is being discussed. You don’t get to just assume your own evidence, unless you’re only interested in dealing with others prejudicially.

    I’m not saying anything about the intentions or good faith of anyone. I’m only saying that if you truly were a child of God you would not abandon him forever.

    So you say that. So what? Why should anyone care what you say, other than to point out that it is evidentially worthless?

    I’m sure the atheists here would not disagree with that
    They don’t believe God exists after all

    Non-sequitur. That you use unsubstantiated claims from religious texts to “substantiate” your claims and biases is cause for anyone to disagree with you. Are you just assuming that anyone not agreeing with you is unworthy of getting a meaningful response from you? Because one might conclude as much from your actions here.

    Glen Davidson

  33. keiths: I take “omniscient” to mean “knows everything that is logically capable of being known”.

    So you are saying that God is not logically capable of knowing he is God?
    You do know that the Christian God is a Trinity don’t you?
    How does your thought experiment work in that case?

    peace

  34. fifthmonarchyman:

    hotshoe_: Honestly, this is one of the most compelling things which make me sure the christian god cannot exist or cannot be that which they claim it is.

    Let’s see if I understand you

    your syllogism would look like this

    1)If God was omnibenevolent then he would want to be everyone’s sugardaddy
    2) God’s does not apparently want to be everyone’s sugardaddy
    3) Therefore God does not exist or cannot be that which they claim it is

    is that the argument?

    Since I’m not a christian, and I don’t have any moral obligation to be a good ambassador for the good faith, I’m going to ask a rude question instead of giving you a nice answer.

    Do you think your god is happy with christian wads insulting the integrity of every non-christian they speak with, and acting in general so disgustingly that they force away the non-christians from any desire to connect with the church?

    It’s not my fault that your behavior is disgusting. It’s either your personal fault, or your god’s fault.

    I suggest that you go away for a long time (forever would be fine, too) and kneel and most abjectly beg your good lord to reform your prideful spirit in the hope that you can stop harming god’s work as you are now.

    Maybe god will choose to miraculously reform you, maybe not. But I honestly swear under god’s heaven, if I witness a reform of your unwarranted pride, I would consider it a message sent to me by god.

  35. keiths: If I reached my position through callowness, or by being hormone-ravaged, or by not being a True Christian™, then why are you unable to defend Christianity against my attacks? It doesn’t say a lot for your apologetic skills, does it?

    AFIAK, the only thing I have questioned about your “deconversion” is the young age at which it took place.

    As to the question you ask, all I see from you are a bunch of questions and assertions. When you manage to actually formulate an argument do let me know.

    Here, let me get you started: Christianity is false because …

    I’ll assume that youtube wasn’t around when you were 13 and that you had some rational basis for your choice. Now if you could just manage to articulate it.

  36. keiths: The best way to start an investigation of a hypothesis is to assume neither its truth nor its falsehood, except arguendo. Isn’t that obvious?

    To assume that it is possible that Christianity is false is to assume it is false full stop.

    That is really not the biggest problem though.

    If you assume that the universe might be incomprehensible how can you know anything. I’m not being flippant and this is not a debate tactic I simply don’t see how knowelege is possible if the Christian God does not exist

    If you can explain to me how I could know something in a universe that is possibly incomprehensible then perhaps we could proceed arguendo.

    I’ve been asking this for a few days now.
    still crickets

    peace

  37. keiths: I’m taking “omnipotent” to mean “capable of doing anything that is logically possible” (which renders irrelevant Mung’s sophomoric “rock too heavy for God to lift”)…

    I’m sorry, but you are not following the logic of my question.

    Suppose that God really is God, which by your definition means that he is not capable of making a rock too heavy for him to lift. How can God possibly know that he cannot make a rock too heavy for him to lift until he actually makes every rock he can possibly make and tries to lift it?

    Put another way, how can God possibly know that he is God until he actually makes every rock he can possibly make and tries to lift it and finds that he can lift every rock he can make? But even then that will not be enough for him to know that he is God.

    Therefore, God can never know that he is God.

    So no, you haven’t even begun to touch my argument.

  38. Mung:
    If God wanted me to question my beliefs, he would not have sent keiths as his ambassador.

    And since god doesn’t exist, clearly god cannot want you to question anything whatsoever. No “if” about it.

    You’ll have to want that for yourself. You can get it if you really want. 🙂

    Regardless of keiths “ambassador” status.

    This particular problem is not symmetrical; it only goes in one direction: when you assume – as y’all generally do – that your god does exist and wants all of humanity to hear the good news, then it behooves you to behave like decent ambassadors of that good news.

    Which is not the same as saying y’all should be preaching and testifying the livelong day. Is it hard to be good examples of how christianity makes people better?

    Yeah, I’d say so.

  39. hotshoe_: when you assume – as y’all generally do – that your god does exist and wants all of humanity to hear the good news, then it behooves you to behave like decent ambassadors of that good news.

    God’s message is not all sunshine and lollipops

    It pains me to say it but a good chunk of humanity will not consider his message to be good news.

    quote:

    But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
    (2Co 2:14-16)

    end quote:

  40. fifthmonarchyman: God’s message is not all sunshine and lollipops

    Still doesn’t excuse you for acting like a prideful trashcan and undoing the lord’s work by forcing people – like me – away from any desire for contact with a church that has people like you representing it.

    You should spend a lot less time showing off your prideful presumption that you’re one of the sweet-smelling ones.

    You should go away and pray to your good lord to reform you and make you fit for contact with the non-believers.

    Do come back if that ever happens.

  41. fifth,

    You do know that the Christian God is a Trinity don’t you?
    How does your thought experiment work in that case?

    The doctrine of the Trinity is incoherent, but even if it weren’t, I don’t see how it would help your case.

    Take the Father’s viewpoint. How would thinking that he is part of a Trinity with the Son and the Holy Spirit insulate him from the possibility of being fooled by a greater God or demon (or even by himself)?

  42. keiths: I don’t see how it would help your case.

    Each person of the Trinity knows each other person fully and completely. If it were possible that The Father weren’t God the Son would know it by definition and vise versa.

    I can’t be sure that I’m not a brain trapped in a vat but I know for certain that you are not one.

    That is if the universe is comprehensible

    peace

  43. hotshoe,

    If the christian god is omnibenevolent, as they claim, it wants all its created souls to know the love and peace and heavenly future which come with believing in it, in the true god who is the light and the way. In its benevolence it wants to give me (and each other person on our planet) what I (they) need in order to choose the way.

    That’s right. And even if libertarian free will were actually coherent and real, an omniGod could easily arrange for everyone to go to heaven.

    It’s similar to a technique I’ve described in the past whereby God could have created a perfect world sans evil without violating anyone’s free will.

    Here’s how it works:

    1. Before creating each soul, God employs his omniscience to look forward in time and see whether that soul, if created, would freely accept him and go to heaven or freely reject him and go to hell.

    2. If the former, God goes ahead and creates that soul. If the latter, then he doesn’t, choosing instead to create a different soul that will freely accept him and go to heaven.

    Simple, isn’t it? Any omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God could easily come up with something like this or better, rather than sending billions of souls to hell with no chance of a reprieve.

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