Angry at God?

Angry baby
A commenter at Uncommon Descent wrote

Keith, I am not convinced that you are an atheist. I believe that you are angry at God and suffer from cognitive dissonance. And to say that the evidence supports your materialist belief system is completely absurd!

I’ve seen versions of this “angry at God” accusation levelled at non-believers quite often and I wonder why those that use it think it makes sense.

The indomitable KeithS responds later in the same UD thread:

Okay, here’s some psychologizing for you guys:

 

You realize that atheists have good reasons for disbelieving in God and that they make good arguments to which you have no intelligent response. This makes you very anxious. In a vain attempt to lessen the anxiety, you try to convince yourselves that the atheist isn’t really an atheist, he’s just angry at God. That way you don’t have to take his arguments seriously. It’s much easier to write them off rather than acknowledge the painful truth: you cannot answer them, and your faith is irrational.

I’m not sure I agree with Keith on “…atheists have good reasons for disbelieving in God” and I would say myself that I have never had an inclination, need or desire to believe in “God” and thus never needed to convince myself that disbelief is a better option. I have never been a smoker. As a kid I tried to emulate others and puffed away but I couldn’t get past the point where addiction presumably kicks in. I have great respect for those who, having succumbed to addiction to nicotine, have been able later to kick the habit. Similarly, I can admire an ex-believer who has decided to quit. It must involve a great effort of will but at the same time I just can’t grasp the appeal of believing in the first place.

I’m sorry if the analogy regarding addiction is somewhat pejorative to people with religious convictions but I do find great difficulty in understanding the whole concept of “virtuoso believing“. I’m sure it involves emotion much more than reason. So while I’m puzzled that anyone could categorize an atheist as “angry at God” I can see why there is mutual incomprehension between believers and non-believers. Also being a non-smoker makes me less of a campaigner against smoking. As long as people don’t insist in blowing smoke in my face or that I should try this new/old brand of cigar, then I claim no right to stop other people from enjoying a quiet smoke.

I think there are one or two non-believers here. Is anyone angry at God?

 

 

 

428 thoughts on “Angry at God?

  1. phoodoo: what people are given daily is a bullshit view of reality

    Indeed, that “bullshit view” of reality has been spectacularly unproductive. Or not.

    phoodoo: And yet, amazingly, even with all the horseshit these skeptical groups try to feed the public, most people still don’t believe in evolution.

    Most scientists do, and that’s all that matters. And scientists are the most skeptical of them all – they have to be, it’s their job.

    All you have to do to convince a scientist that you have a better way of looking at a problem is demonstrate that your alternative is more fruitful.

    But you can’t actually do that can you, hence your cognitive dissonance.

    It’s not “the truth” you are reading at UD, it’s “science twisted into a pretzel so it confirms to what you already think”.

    phoodoo: and makes completely biased critiques of subjects based on their preferred worldview

    Well, you are more then free to join this thread created to discuss problem you said have no answers:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=5212

    But you will never do that because you know how it will go. You are not interested in “the truth”.

  2. davehooke: I can understand how it seems like a conspiracy to him. Who was it that said reality has a liberal bias?

    According to the NY Times, if was Rob Corddry in 2004.

    This is what the fabulous Paul Krugman has to say about it:

    Just to be clear Yes, you can find examples where *some* liberals got off on a hobbyhorse of one kind or another, or where the liberal conventional wisdom turned out wrong. But you don’t see the kind of lockstep rejection of evidence that we see over and over again on the right. Where is the liberal equivalent of the near-uniform conservative rejection of climate science, or the refusal to admit that Obamacare is in fact reaching a lot of previously uninsured Americans?

    the liberal and conservative movements are not at all symmetric in their goals. Conservatives want smaller government as an end in itself; liberals don’t seek bigger government per se — they want government to achieve certain things, which is quite different. You’ll never see liberals boasting about raising the share of government spending in GDP the way conservatives talk proudly about bringing that share down. Because liberals want government to accomplish something, they want to know whether government programs are actually working; because conservatives don’t want the government doing anything except defense and law enforcement, they aren’t really interested in evidence about success or failure. True, they may seize on alleged evidence of failure to reinforce their case, but it’s about political strategy, not genuine interest in the facts.

    NOT GENUINE INTEREST IN THE FACTS.

    That’s all you need to know about any person who self-identifies as conservative / rightwing / evangelical / libertarian / republican / wikipedia-hater / etc etc etc.

  3. hotshoe_: That’s all you need to know about any person

    Good to know that you have that wrapped up and hermetically sealed against any intrusive ideas.

  4. petrushka: I suppose we aren’t going to get the unanswerable questions about the Cambrian.

    The mere fact that someone claims that there are unanswerable questions appears to be sufficient for phoodoo.

    That’s all that matters – the claim. Cargo cult science in action.

  5. OMagain: That’s all that matters – the claim. Cargo cult science in action.

    That seems to be a universal human tendency. I’m sure I have a subconscious list of obvious truths. Unfortunately , I can only see other people’s.

  6. Alan Fox:
    OMagain,
    Questions are easy. Answers are hard.

    Asking good questions is hard.

    And that brings up something I hadn’t considered until just now. Unanswerable questions are rubbish. They aren’t useful to science. If meyer or phoodoo wants to contribute to science, they need to ask answerable questions.

  7. OMagain:
    I think questions are hard if you are afraid you might believe the answers.

    Yes, but I am just thinking that formulating questions that suggest empirical research is hard. I have often asked IDists to formulate a research program that would be useful. (Axe and Gauger have one that isn’t.)

    It’s fairly easy to ask unanswerable questions, Somewhat more difficult to formulate unanswered questions whose solutions are almost, but not entirely out of reach. I give you Shubin’s Tiktaalik as an example of a difficult, but not impossible, bit of research.

    Perhaps Meyer or phoodoo could suggest some hypothetical bit of research that would support ID.

  8. phoodoo: Compare that with a public resources page, which NEVER ADMITS to any underlying bias

    Does it have to? It is obvious there might be biased. It is obvious an entry might be pure bullshit, like someone saying evolution is not science or ID is a scientific theory. The construction of these articles takes time.

    phoodoo: which leaves out facts intentionally, and makes completely biased critiques of subjects based on their preferred worldview, leaving many with the false impression that they wish to present a balanced viewpoint

    Of course, YOU are not leaving out facts intentionally, and YOU are not making a biased crtitique of wikipedia based on your preferred worldview, and you are not trying to leave us with the false impression that you wish to present a balanced viewpoint, DO YOU?

    phoodoo: So here is one side giving you the facts, and letting you decide, with no deceit whatsoever, and here is Wikipedia, the complete opposite in terms of transparency and fairness, which needs to lie to push its preachings

    You mean YOU giving the facts to let us decide? I remeber quite a few questions YOU DENIED to answer. Still, you talk as if you had the truth on your side. Sorry, mister, wikipedia is MUCH MORE TRASNPARENT than you are.

    phoodoo: there must be a pretty strong religious motivation to their childish dishonesty

    Interesting!! If it’s atheists (non religious) vs theists (religious), where would you expect religious motivation for childish dishonesty?

    phoodoo: UD gives it to you straight, just go read the articles. Too bad if you can’t take the truth.

    And what’s the truth? Will you give me the facts so I can decide? Or are you just being childishly dishonest?

  9. I honestly think Wikipedia strives to be neutral. Hence the whole NPOV thang. Of course, if you are a conspiracist, that very principle is just a smokescreen. Yet it is referred to constantly in arbitration of disputes. Why write a principle, which people use, if your ‘secret’ intention is not to be neutral?

    I think that if you lie at an extreme, ‘neutral’ looks like the opposite pole. phoodoo’s real complaint (and he is very representative of the conservative USian) seems to be that Wikipedia is insufficiently biased.

    I will grant that there is bias at Wikipedia. Editors are (largely) self-selecting, and come from particular groups, and so articles may well reflect their interests and views. But phoodoo is accusing it of conscious bias – that there is an organisational slant upon edits. I don’t see how that is implemented.

    I would be interested to see a sensible study done comparing WP to (say) online Britannica, with its largely single-author pieces. Or a blind ‘tasting’ – run a series of random encyclopedia articles past a WP-skeptic and have them determine the Wikipedian ones. Controlling for remote-viewing capability, obviously. 🙂

  10. Wikipedia *is* biased, but towards the reality based community.

    That’s why it’s hated by ID supporters. They have to justify their claims on Wikipedia and as they can’t it’s “bias” that their edits are removed.

    It’s not that surprising. After all, the worldwide conspiracy of scientists of all religions and no religion to keep ID down has time on their hands these days, ID’s been falling out of favour since Dover killed any chance of ID getting into schools (which seems to be what the money wants) so they’ve plenty of time to make Wiki edits.

  11. petrushka: I have often asked IDists to formulate a research program that would be useful. (Axe and Gauger have one that isn’t.)

    Yes, indeed. It’s telling that they spend so much effort talking about evilution and Darwin when that effort would be better spent on something that they do not thing is wrong from the start!

    Positive evidence for ID seems to be very low on the priority list for your average ID supporter or even leader.

  12. Encyclopedia Frown

    Wikipedia is amazing. But it’s become a rancorous, sexist, elitist, stupidly bureaucratic mess.
    By David Auerbach

    “Given the anarchy at work, it’s impressive that article quality should reach as high as it can, even if it’s still not reliable. Yet the nature of the beast makes quality control inconsistent. Recently, an adequate and fairly neutral page on “Cultural Marxism,” which traced the history of Marxist critical theory from Lukács to Adorno to Jameson, simply disappeared thanks to the efforts of a single editor. Rather than folding it into the narrower but deeper “Critical theory” page, the editor replaced the page with one on the “Frankfurt school conspiracy theory,” which obsessively and somewhat offensively dwells on the Jewish presence in these schools of thought and the right-wing and borderline anti-Semitic conspiracy theories around them. (The reason the editor dwelled on these irrelevant conspiracy theories instead of the thinkers themselves is unknown, but the changes are certainly troubling.) After bewildered complaints, Wales restored the original page and asked for an extra week’s debate on the sudden and drastic shift, sparking outrage from a cabal of editors who favored the change. Whether the change will win out will be determined less by truth and more by the stubbornness and comparative popularity of the editors and the administrators backing them.”

    “As it turned out, I’d run into a couple of what one Wikipedia administrator terms “The Unblockables,” a class of abrasive editors who can get away with murder because they have enough of a fan club within Wikipedia, so any complaint made against them would be met with hostility and opprobrium.”

    “Jimbo Wales is a dishonest cunt of the highest order,”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/12/wikipedia_editing_disputes_the_crowdsourced_encyclopedia_has_become_a_rancorous.single.html

    Oh, and by the way, you guys on this site are a bunch of uniformed sheep.

  13. phoodoo:

    Oh, and by the way, you guys on this site are a bunch of uniformed sheep.

    With epaulets? I like epaulets.

  14. Wikipedia seems prone to some horrible name-calling at times:

    Minerals, in the form of copper ore, were first discovered in Bingham Canyon in 1848 by two brothers, Sanford and Thomas Bingham, sons of Erastus Bingham, Mormon pioneers of September 1847, who grazed their family and other cattle there.

    Source

    I just really don’t think there’s any place for claiming that the brothers grazed their family and other cattle at Bingham Canyon.

    Glen Davidson

  15. phoodoo,

    Oh, and by the way, you guys on this site are a bunch of uniformed sheep.

    Yep, that‘s the way to get your point across! See also: “I have no argument as such, so bite this …”.

    OK, let’s read David Auerbach … ah yes, in that very article he wrote this:

    “its strengths and weaknesses stem largely from the fact that there is no central authority with its hand on the tiller.” [my italics]

    The hell he says! But … but … what about Wales and his Illuminati?

    Incidentally, the quote about ‘Jimbo’ and a part of female anatomy does not actually appear in the article, though you dressed it in quotes which make it look as if it did. I’m sure you’d want to rectify such journalistic sloppiness.

  16. Allan Miller:
    phoodoo,

    Yep, that‘s the way to get your point across! See also: “I have no argument as such, so bite this …”.

    OK, let’s read David Auerbach … ah yes, in that very article he wrote this:

    “its strengths and weaknesses stem largely from the fact that there is no central authority with its hand on the tiller.” [my italics]

    The hell he says! But … but … what about Wales and his Illuminati?

    Incidentally, the quote about ‘Jimbo’ and a part of female anatomy does not actually appear in the article, though you dressed it in quotes which make it look as if it did. I’m sure you’d want to rectify such journalistic sloppiness.

    No, no, no. Making it clear that it’s his own editorial opinion and not a quote from the article or objective fact would be, you know, biased.

  17. phoodoo: Oh, and by the way, you guys on this site are a bunch of uniformed sheep.

    Yes, that’s why the thing that we think is right is doing so badly against the thing you think is right.

    Best rush back to KF and listen to his latest pearls of wisdom regarding whatever alphabet soup acronym is proving ID these days.

    Still waiting for those “unanswerable” questions by the way – what do you suppose the lurkers make of your hit and run tactics?

  18. Allan Miller: Incidentally, the quote about ‘Jimbo’ and a part of female anatomy does not actually appear in the article, though you dressed it in quotes which make it look as if it did. I’m sure you’d want to rectify such journalistic sloppiness.

    phoodoo is a product of it’s environment – UD. As such this is simply normal behaviour, you damm sheeple!

  19. phoodoo,
    Did you know that once upon a time there was an ID wiki?

    Do you know what happened to it? Can you guess?

    I wish I had a copy, but I’m afraid it’s long gone.

    You can read about it here: http://creationwiki.org/ResearchID.org

    But in essence what I’m trying to say is stop being such a whiny bitch and *do something* about what you see as a problem.

    Just start another ID wiki and watch as nobody comes to edit or improve it because no bastard is actually interested apart from the dozen people here and the two dozen at UD. Then, perhaps, when *your* project has fallen flat on it’s face you’ll start to understand why people point and laugh at ID rather then feeling threatened by it.

  20. chuckle. UD thought the ID wiki would be a storming success. Little did they realise that ID for most ID supporters is not about research, just patting each other on the back.

    The intelligent design community needs dynamic and interactive websites where professionals and students can gain valuable information about ID, and at the same time contribute their own knowledge and information to the site. Today is the grand opening of just such a synergistic website called ResearchID.org. To fulfill this need for vibrant interaction, ResearchID.org is a knowledgebase compiling and synthesizing research on intelligent design.

    The research in the knowledgebase covers fields ranging from computer science and bioinformatics, to physics and cosmology. ResearchID.org is investigating topics such as using ID as a heuristic for developing new scientific research. They have also begun working on the Catalog of Fundamental Facts, which was suggested by David Berlinski and William Dembski. There is plenty of biographical information, a glossary of ID jargon, and more.

    ResearchID.org is more than just a static database of information. Anyone can register (free) and contribute, so it is also a springboard for new research schemes, a clearing house for information, and a dynamic community where you’re encouraged to bring your ideas to fruition. Peruse the information, or better yet, join the team by participating. This is a crucial time for intelligent design research, and you can be a part of the vanguard right now!

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/opening-day-of-researchid-website/

    And what is it now? A spam site selling the latest crap to the morons who think crap is not crap.

    Here is one of the few pages captured by archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20110923234306/http://www.researchid.org/mediawiki/index.php/Main_Page

    So I’d rather be an *uniformed sheep* then an ID supporter with delusions of doing real science.

    If anyone could register and contribute, why did it fail?

  21. phoodoo: And you even got the sheep to follow you.

    You don’t like what already exists but are unwilling to make your own. That’s why you and yours get nowhere. The only conspiracy is a conspiracy of laziness.

  22. phoodoo,

    OK, I admit I actually missed it. I only searched page 1, my bad. Nonetheless, it is a quote of Corbett, quoted by Auerbach. You placed 3 quotations in quote marks, 2 of which were arguments by Auerbach and one a … uh … opinion piece by someone Auerbach was quoting. It was rather misleading.

    Quoted with context:

    While Wales himself seems to aspire to a genuinely neutral and restrained attitude toward Wikipedia and its autonomy, some editors still resent even his modest level of influence. (Hence volunteers like Corbett freely saying, “Jimbo Wales is a dishonest cunt of the highest order,” and Sitush inveighing against the “arrogant and incompetent Wikimedia Foundation,” both without much consequence.)

    I withdraw part of my accusation. The text is indeed in the article.

  23. phoodoo: Oh, and by the way, you guys on this site are a bunch of uniformed sheep.

    Show us your view as a non-sheep. So far, you complain a lot, but you hide your views. Why could that be?

    For example, let’s assume for a moment that wikipedia is a terrible source, lot of bias, lies, all you say… So what?

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