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. petrushka: So far 932 posts on a topic I proposed a while back as a joke.

    🙂

    And OMagain wants me to start yet another bible thread.

  2. Mung,

    I will admit though, that there is one particular atheist who confuses me. The one atheist who seems so certain while also proclaiming that certainty is a myth.

    It’s absolute certainty that is a myth, and no, I am not absolutely certain of that.

    But getting him to discuss epistemology seems to be a losing proposition.

    Say something intelligent on the topic and I’ll respond.

    ETA: But answer these questions first.

  3. keiths: How do you know that God has revealed it to you?

    quote:
    We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
    (1Jn 4:6)

    and

    But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth.
    (1Jn 2:20-21)

    end quote:

    peace

  4. keiths, This view of yours that I am a puppet and that you control the strings has at least one serious deficiency. It fails the test of reality. I am a puppet, but you don’t control the strings.

    It is simply not logically possible for an omniscient being to NOT KNOW that it is being fooled.

    keiths: I am arguing that while an omniscient God cannot be fooled, he cannot know that he is not being fooled.

    An omniscient being knows all possible states of affairs. An omniscient being also knows all actual states of affairs.

    Since God knows that his “being fooled” is not a possible state of affairs [by your own admission God cannot be fooled], then it follows that God knows that he is not being fooled. Ever.

    Further, if an actual state of affairs obtained in which God was being fooled [not possible, but we do this for the sake of providing a comprehensive rebuttal], then God would in fact know that he was being fooled, for it is logically impossible for an omniscient being to NOT KNOW an actual state of affairs.

    To state it yet another way, by your own admission, the state of affairs “God being fooled” would never actually obtain. So the question of whether or not God could know that he was being fooled is moot.

    And this brings us back to the original criticism leveled at your argument by walto.

    How do you define omniscience, and why would any self-respecting theist accept your definition? IOW, how do you counter the following two propositions:

    1. An omniscient being knows all possible states of affairs.

    2. An omniscient being knows all actual states of affairs.

    Or, if you accept them, how do they not refute your assertion?

  5. Kantian Naturalist: This way of putting it makes it look that the complete comprehensibility of the universe is an implication of the Incarnation, rather than a presupposition you have prior to accepting the Incarnation.

    Once again you are still missing the profound point of the incarnation. Until you get the incarnation this will continue to be “Greek” to you

    The Comprehensibility of the universe is both a necessary presupposition and a revealed truth.

    The Logos became flesh

    peace

  6. Hey KN,

    check this out it might help you to understand

    quote:

    The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    (Joh 1:9-14)

    end quote:

    peace

  7. keiths: How do you know that the Bible is correct?

    God revealed it to me. Do you not think that God could reveal things to me if he chose to?

    peace

  8. fifth,

    God revealed it to me.

    How do you know that you aren’t deceived about that?

  9. keiths: How do you know that you aren’t deceived about that?

    Because God can’t lie.
    I think we have already covered this

    peace

  10. If the Christian God does not exist then I could be deceived but in that case I could not know anything about anything. That is the point.

    It’s Yahweh or absurdity as far as I can tell.

    Can you explain how knowelege would be possible with out the Christian God?

    So far it’s been crickets

    peace

  11. The particular God you believe in may not lie, but how do you know that that particular God is real? Perhaps the real God does lie, or perhaps there is no God and you are just deceiving yourself. How do you know that you aren’t deceived?

  12. keiths: The particular God you believe in may not lie, but how do you know that that particular God is real?

    see above

    peace

  13. fifth,

    If the Christian God does not exist then I could be deceived but in that case I could not know anything about anything. That is the point.

    You haven’t made that case.

    Absolute certainty isn’t possible for you even if the Christian God happens to exist.

    On the other hand, if you agree that absolute certainty isn’t necessary for knowledge, then why is the truth of Christianity a necessary precondition?

    And why on earth do you think that incarnation, specifically, is necessary for a God to communicate effectively with his creatures? Do you think God is too weak to communicate properly without incarnating?

  14. fifthmonarchyman:
    If the Christian God does not exist then I could be deceived but in that case I could not know anything about anything. That is the point.

    It’s Yahweh or absurdity as far as I can tell.

    Can you explain how knowelege would be possible with out the Christian God?

    So far it’s been crickets

    peace

    I think those crickets are in your ears, Fifth. It’s clear at this point that you have stuffed them in there, presumably because you have zero inteest in considering any alternative views of how knowldge might be obtained without any God-provided certainty , views which have been hollered at you for much of a thread of 1000 posts.

    RB was right: those are mulberry bush crickets. You can tell from their distinctive song.

  15. fifthmonarchyman:
    Can you explain how knowelege would be possible with out the Christian God?

    So you wouldn’t know how to drive your car without the Christian God?

  16. keiths: You haven’t made that case.

    Once again it’s not a case. You seem to think this is an argument it’s not

    I’m merely stating my presuppositions in response to a direct question from you.

    I have in turn repeatedly asked you to provide yours so we can compare

    you have failed to do so

    keiths: And why on earth do you think that incarnation, specifically, is necessary for a God to communicate effectively with his creatures?

    There is an infinite ontological gap between creatures and creator. That Gap must be bridged. If you can think of another way to do it I’m all ears

    Do you think God is too weak to communicate properly without incarnating?

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe. That is unless you have a loophole that I don’t know about

    I’m all ears

    peace

  17. petrushka: In a word, no.

    Again you are just acknowledging that from your perspective knowelege is impossible. I would agree

    That is my point after all.

    peace

  18. All of Gary Gaulin’s massive delusions of grandeur, but without his digital Roomba. I think his bug is kind of cute.

  19. petrushka: All of Gary Gaulin’s massive delusions of grandeur

    You think I have delusions of grandeur yet you just ventured to tell God he can’t communicate with his creatures.

    You don’t find that strange?

    peace

  20. fifth,

    Once again it’s not a case. You seem to think this is an argument it’s not

    If you don’t have a case, then we can dismiss your views as mere assertions. But you keep trying to make a case, whether you realize it or not: you are arguing (goofily) that knowledge is impossible if Christianity is not true.

    I’m merely stating my presuppositions in response to a direct question from you.

    I have in turn repeatedly asked you to provide yours so we can compare

    you have failed to do so

    I already explained to you that I don’t make the presuppositional mistake. Since absolute certainty is mythical, all of our beliefs, including the most basic, should be held provisionally. Ironclad presuppositions are folly if one seeks the truth.

    keiths:

    Do you think God is too weak to communicate properly without incarnating?

    fifth:

    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

    Why? If a timeless God can create temporal beings, why should he be unable to communicate with them? A timeless God would span all of time. It should be trivial for him to interact with his creation at any point in time he chooses. After all, he’s able to observe his temporal creations; that’s just a form of communication in the opposite direction.

    keiths:

    And why on earth do you think that incarnation, specifically, is necessary for a God to communicate effectively with his creatures?

    fifth:

    There is an infinite ontological gap between creatures and creator. That Gap must be bridged.

    Okay, so you’re saying that God can’t communicate across the “infinite ontological gap”, but that he’s perfectly capable of incarnating across it?

    You (and the people you learned this from) haven’t thought things through, fifth.

    piece

  21. Allan, to William:

    Sticking ‘madness’ at the end of every post is a new tactic; I’m sure that will provide the vital key.

    William is a graduate of the Barry K. Arrington School of Non-Persuasion.

  22. I enjoy watching fifthmonarchyman fight against the Bible.

    keiths:

    Jesus already took the punishment, right? Why does God need to punish anyone in hell if Jesus already paid the price?

    fifth:

    He did not pay the price for everyone only for his people. The atonement is sufficient for all, but efficient only for the elect.

    If the atonement is sufficient for all, then it’s sufficient for all. Why does God punish anyone in hell if the atonement is sufficient for everyone?

    Besides, the Bible disagrees with you:

    That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. [Emphasis added]

    1 Timothy 4:10, NIV

    keiths:

    Jesus thought it was torture, if you believe the author of Matthew.

    fifth:

    I just did a word search of the entire bible and the word torture is not found.

    Well in that case it must be very pleasant to be thrown into “into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Thank you for straightening us out, fifth.

    gnashing of teeth is is what you do when you are angry not when you are tortured.

    Every occurrence of the word “gnashing” is accompanied by either “wailing” or “weeping”. Do you wail and weep when you’re angry, fifth?

    Please continue fighting the Bible, fifth. It makes these threads worthwhile (for me, anyway).

  23. fifthmonarchyman: That does not surprise me. All you are saying is that from your perspective you can’t see how certainty is possible.

    Then explain it to me. Convince me, I will honestly and openly consider your arguments.

    How can you be certain that it is in fact god revealing things to you?

  24. fifthmonarchyman: God revealed it to me. Do you not think that God could reveal things to me if he chose to?

    peace

    I don’t supposed God revealed if he meant “camel hair rope” or “camel” in relation to that needle affair?

    Why so reluctant to answer?

  25. fifthmonarchyman: You think I have delusions of grandeur yet you just ventured to tell God he can’t communicate with his creatures.

    When God speaks to you, what does he say other then “the bible is true!”?

    Anything interesting? Or is it stuff like “you are doing a great job holding those atheists feet to the fire, keep it up”?

  26. fifthmonarchyman:
    It’s logically impossible for a timeless being outside the universe to communicate with temporal beings inside the universe.

    Please construct the syllogism that derives this supposed contradiction.

  27. Rumraket: Please construct the syllogism that derives this supposed contradiction.

    It’s funny how I keep being asked to provide argumentation in support of my presupposition. That is not how it works

    but to appease the natives

    1) two way communication is an active process (sending/receiving)
    2) a timeless being is incapable of change
    3) therefore a timeless being is incapable of two way communication

    It’s possible there is a flaw in this. It’s an assumption on my part and not an argument

    I’m open to all possibilities. Please tell me how you know things in your worldview

    peace

  28. OMagain: I don’t supposed God revealed if he meant “camel hair rope” or “camel” in relation to that needle affair?

    Why so reluctant to answer

    1) I really need to be doing other things and am not interested in a Bible study with folk who don’t believe any of it anyway.
    2) I have no idea why it’s relevant it’s sort of like the question about Adam’s bellybutton
    3) The question seems to flow from the mistaken idea that in order for the bible to be true it’s needs to be be instantly understood in it’s entirety by anyone who reads it
    4) I just missed the question amongist the dozens of other that have been from your side with out a single answer to my one question to you

    but to appease the natives

    quote:

    And just how hard is it? I’ll tell you how hard it is, look at verse 25. “It’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” That’s a familiar statement, isn’t it? It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God? That’s a bizarre picture, isn’t it? What a bizarre image. What a vivid image. This is proverbial, by the way, and probably was a relatively common statement. We have statements like it that are found in the Talmud. One rabbi named Nowmonie(???), he uses and elephant and when talking about something that is impossible says, “It would be easier to put an elephant through the eye of a needle,” an elephant being the largest animal in Mesopotamia. In Israel the largest animal was a camel. It was a way to express something that couldn’t happen. And it was hyperbole. It was vast exaggeration.

    But some people have struggled with that and they’ve said, “Well wait a minute, then you’re saying it’s impossible to be saved. How can you say it’s impossible for a rich person to be saved? I know a few rich people that are saved. How can it be? So maybe it means something else.” So even in the early fathers, Origen, and Cyril of Alexandria many years ago, maybe the fifth century said, “Kamelosshould be kamilos,” and some scribe wrote down kamelos, camel, instead of kamilos, cord. And he was really saying cord meaning a thread and it’s easier to thread a needle than to get a rich man into heaven. It takes a little work and a little effort but it can be done.

    No, that can’t be right because we have the proverbial usage of an elephant through the eye of a needle as a way in the Middle East in ancient times to express something that was absolutely impossible. And they were saying it because it was impossible. Others have suggested, it’s talking about a Needle Gate, that in the side of the city wall in Jerusalem there’s a little tiny needle gate, they call it a needle gate because it’s small and people used to stuff their camels through the needle gate. Now you tell me why anybody would stuff his camel through a needle gate when he could walk about ten yards to the big gate and walk the thing through? And there is no needle gate, no one’s ever found a needle gate anywhere in the history of the walls of Jerusalem.

    Others have said, “Well if you reduce the camel to molecules and to a liquid, you could eye drop him through the eye of a needle. It can be done, it’s a very difficult thing to do.” That is not the point.

    The point is, you can’t do it. In Mark 10:23, let me expand on it a little bit, the parallel account Mark gives, “Jesus looking around says to His disciples how hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the Kingdom of God.” Then he went on to say this, “The disciples were amazed at His words.” Why were they amazed? Because they thought the wealthy people had the best opportunity to get in to the Kingdom of God because they could buy their way in. Jesus then went on to say this, Mark 10:24, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God.” Now He makes a general statement. It’s not just hard for the rich. It’s not just impossible for the rich. It’s hard for everyone, it’s impossible for everyone. Wow.

    end quote:

    from here

    http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/42-234/the-impossibility-of-salvation-part-3

    peace

  29. Rumraket: Then explain it to me. Convince me, I will honestly and openly consider your arguments.

    You don’t understand this is not an argument…………

    It’s a presupposition It’s an assumption I make that allows me to to reason.

    The only way to consider a presupposition is to compare it to other presuppositions you have been unwilling or unable to provide your presuppositions so that we can compare;

    I’ll ask again
    How do you know things in your worldview?

    when you provide an answer to this question dialogue can begin

    peace

  30. OMagain: When God speaks to you, what does he say other then “the bible is true!”?

    Everything I know is the result of revelation. When I say everything I mean everything

    peace

  31. fifthmonarchyman: It’s funny how I keep being asked to provide argumentation in supportof my presupposition.

    It’s all well and good with your presuppositions but surely, I have to ask, somewhere you feel that presuppositions are supposed to be sensible and that, we can’t just presuppose everything we want?

    So while we can’t get around the fact that we have to start, if we are to make sense of anything and gain knowledge, with making some foundational assumptions, the fewer we have the more reasonable our theory of knowledge is? I’m asking whether you agree with this principle.

    fifthmonarchyman:1) two way communication is an active process (sending/receiving)
    2) a timeless being is incapable of change
    3) therefore a timeless being is incapable of two way communication

    Thank you. I actually think this is a pretty good argument, I don’t have anything to object to on the face of it.

    fifthmonarchyman: Please tell me how you know things in your worldview.

    First of all I don’t use the same definition of knowledge that you do. You use the definition “justified true belief”, I don’t. Knowledge to me would just be “evidentially justified belief”.

    I have tried to see how one could attain justified true belief and I have failed, as such I have come to reject the definition of knowledge as justified true belief due to the consequence that it would render the attainment of knowledge impossible (as far as I can see).

    Yet since it seems perfectly reasonable to me to say that I know things in my everyday life, because I have observed them, and that such a colloquial sense of knowledge is actually sufficient for a workable definition of knowledge, then that is how I have come to define it.
    In this sense knowledge would be things we have empirically discovered. That doesn’t mean we know them to be “true” in some deeper ontological sense of “ultimate reality”. It just means they are true in the sense that “we have observed them to be the case in our percieved external world”.

  32. fifthmonarchyman,

    Can you explain how knowelege would be possible with out the Christian God?

    You might ask a Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Shintoist or Muslim. It’s lucky you landed splat in a land where knowledge is possible, isn’t it?

  33. keiths: If a timeless God can create temporal beings, why should he be unable to communicate with them?

    I don’t see how a timeless God can create without entering into time. IOW incarnation

    keiths: Okay, so you’re saying that God can’t communicate across the “infinite ontological gap”, but that he’s perfectly capable of incarnating across it?

    That is how he communicates. Incarnation is the very act of bridging the gap.

    no incarnation no communication as far as I can tell

    Peace

  34. fifthmonarchyman: I really need to be doing other things and am not interested in a Bible study with folk who don’t believe any of it anyway.

    Well,

    Matthew 28:18-19: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

    Seems you are forgetting that.

    But the point is given you had to quote a discussion on it and therefore there is no “revealed truth”.

    When you read that passage, how do *you* read it? Is it a rope, a gate or an animal?

  35. fifthmonarchyman: I don’t see how a timeless God can create without entering into time. IOW incarnation

    So only things that you can conceive are possible?

    You know that’s the argument from limited imagination, right?

  36. Rumraket: First of all I don’t use the same definition of knowledge that you do.

    So when you say you know something you mean something different than I do when I say I know something. That is at least an attempt to answer

    How are we supposed to communicate when we don’t speak the same language?
    “I could say have a good day” when I really mean “Go suck an egg”

    I would think that the first step is to have the same definitions. When I say “know” I mean have justified true belief.

    How do you do that in your worldview?

    peace

  37. fifthmonarchyman: I would think that the first step is to have the same definitions. When I say “know” I mean have justified true belief.

    Let’s begin with the above. Gate, rope or animal? Which do you “know” to be the true intent?

  38. Allan Miller: You might ask a Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Shintoist or Muslim.

    I have, at least for a few of those It makes for interesting conversations.
    Usually those folks are not so reluctant to answer the question.

    peace

  39. OMagain: Let’s begin with the above. Gate, rope or animal? Which do you “know” to be the true intent?

    I actually don’t know which noun was intended. I suspect animal
    Do you think infallibility is necessary for any knowelege at all?

    peace

  40. OMagain: So only things that you can conceive are possible?

    Not at all. If you have a solution to the conundrum please present it. I’m all ears until you do I stick with what I got

    Peace

  41. fifthmonarchyman: So when you say you know something you mean something different than I do when I say I know something. That is at least an attempt to answer

    How are we supposed to communicate when we don’t speak the same language?

    We clearly both speak English, we only seem to differ on the meaning of a single word.

    fifthmonarchyman: “I could say have a good day” when I really mean “Go suck an egg”

    No, because the only word we define differently is ‘knowledge’. And even then, our definitions are not so far apart as to make communication between us impossible. After all, we are having a discussion right now are we not? And now that we have both given each other our definitions, we can just be mindful that, when we use the word ‘knowledge’, each of us mean a slightly different concept.

    fifthmonarchyman: I would think that the first step is to have the same definitions. When I say “know” I mean have justified true belief.

    Yeah, and that definition differs from mine. I would say I know something when I have empirically verified it. But since I cannot demonstrate that my perceptions aren’t elaborate illusions, I cannot claim that my beliefs (however well justified they are by said empirical evidence) are beliefs in “true” facts.

    fifthmonarchyman: How do you do that in your worldview?

    In my view justified true belief is an unobtainable concept. At least, I would like to be shown how I can attain justified true beliefs and how I can be certain that they are, in fact, justified true beliefs without having to pressupose that this is possible to begin with.

    It seems to me that my worldview has at least one less presupposition than yours.

  42. fifthmonarchyman: I don’t see how a timeless God can create without entering into time. IOW incarnation……..That is how he communicates. Incarnation is the very act of bridging the gap…….no incarnation no communication as far as I can tell

    This can’t be right.

    God did a hell of a lot of ‘bodyless’ communicating back in the day. He’s very chatty in Genesis for example. And if people are actually immaterial souls temporarily clothed in flesh then there’s even less need for physical incarnation – God encounters no obstacle in communicating with Satan and the angels so why should communicating with us require incarnation into the physical/temporal realm?

    Also this….

    ….a timeless being is incapable of change

    If God is, as you claim, immutable, then he is by definition incapable of action. Or choice. Or election…..or anything really.

    He is inert. Perfectly inert.

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