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: Stephen Meyers books have been widely regarded and have brought up many unanswerable questions about the Cambrian explosion and other problems with the theory of evolution

    Could I suggest that you may want let him know that he should consider writing some formal papers on these matters, condensing his arguments and evidence down from book format into one which a busy scientist might be able to read as (a small) part of their normal day?

    It’s a big ask to read an entire book (there are many books) when I’m sure these critical items can be considered separately on their own terms without the “stage setting” required for a book intended for consumption by the general public.

    Personally I’d very much like to see someone knowledgeable presented with these “unanswerable questions about the Cambrian explosion” to see how they respond. Would something like that be of interest to you? I (or no doubt you can also) can create an OP that will allow us to discuss such matters, would you like to do that?

    If so, I’d be more than happy to take part. Unfortunately Signature in the Cell is next on my ID related reading list, but presumably you speak from personal experience with regard to the many unanswerable questions?
    As such, would it be possible for you to find just one of the many questions in one of his books and quote it for me so I can start an OP discussing that exact, specific unanswerable question? Or you can do that yourself if desired, and you have the privileges (I believe you do but I could be wrong).

    If it would be no trouble that is of course.

    I’ll fully understand if you don’t have time to find one of the many such questions you note exist, we’re all busy right?!?

  2. phoodoo:
    Allan Miller,

    Alan, If I write an edit that says Stephen Meyers books have been widely regarded and have brought up many unanswerable questions about the Cambrian explosion and other problems with the theory of evolution, and then list five paragraphs of positive reviews by other biologists, and then you write that Stephen Meyers books have been widely rejected as inaccurate and poorly evidenced, followed by five paragraphs of some schmuck from the Skeptics Society webpage ; who decides which edit stays?

    Well there are a lot of Twilight fans.

    Oh no wait. You mean the creationist theocrat and American exceptionalist. Fucking evil, that dude.

  3. phoodoo:
    Uh Allan??Who decides which version stays?


    Who controls the British crown?
    Who keeps the metric system down?
    We do, we do
    Who keeps Atlantis off the maps?
    Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
    We do, we do
    Who holds back the electric car?
    Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?
    We do, we do
    Who robs cavefish of their site?
    Who rigs every Oscar night?
    We do, we do

  4. socle,

    I’d just like to claim prior usage on the Stonecutters song. I’ve just spent a few moments trying to find the evidence, but Google is not showing me. Which is clear evidence that Google is against me.

  5. phoodoo,

    Alan, If I write an edit that says Stephen Meyers books have been widely regarded and have brought up many unanswerable questions about the Cambrian explosion and other problems with the theory of evolution, and then list five paragraphs of positive reviews by other biologists, and then you write that Stephen Meyers books have been widely rejected as inaccurate and poorly evidenced, followed by five paragraphs of some schmuck from the Skeptics Society webpage ; who decides which edit stays?

    […crickets …]

    Uh … Allan?? who decides which edit stays?

    Sorry, I have many hobbies besides this one!

    We’ve been over this. I think it is the ‘editing community’. You seem to think it is Jimmy Wales or one of his 35 employees, policing some 4.6 million articles in the English language alone, plus those in 286 other languages worldwide, during downtime from actually running the hardware and software and the company.

    If you wrote an edit that said a book on the Cambrian explosion brought up many unanswerable questions for the theory of evolution, I would undo the edit (if I could be arsed), because it is simply untrue. I shall start an OP (because I’m such an awful censor).

  6. Allan Miller,

    The editing community? What does that mean Allan? If I edit it, that means I am part of the editing community right? So now what? Its a popularity contest? The majority rules? Do they take a vote so that the entire population of people who have ever edited it get one vote?

  7. phoodoo,

    The editing community? What does that mean Allan?

    It means the generality of people who are not banned, as opposed to your imagined Jimmy Wales’s atheo-materialistic lackeys.

    If I edit it, that means I am part of the editing community right?

    Right. Part of, you will note. There is frequently a tussle of ideas. You may not win this tussle.

    So now what? Its a popularity contest? The majority rules? Do they take a vote so that the entire population of people who have ever edited it get one vote?

    What do you think happens, phoodoo? How does Wales exert his atheo-materialist influence to ensure a particular edit stands? Telepathy?

  8. Allan,

    For crying out loud, you have made a whole series of statements about how the Wikipedia model is completely fair, and completely Democratic and responsible in ensuring truth is the ultimate goal, and then when you are pressed to defend those statements you just continue to obfuscate the entire idea.

    I have already told you, Jimmy Wales has his points of view, so he allows others who have similar points of view decide what stays and what doesn’t. I have spelled it out for you as clear as possible. There are certain people who are given priority and hierarchy for editing.

    You come back with the muddled explanation, that the “editing community” decides what stays. So do they vote? Is everyone equal?

    I completely understand why you refuse to be pinned down to a clear answer, but it really just highlights how skeptics love to spin, dodge, weave, and be as scientifically dishonest as possible.

    In essence, you have conceded my point. Wikipedia is not a level playing field, it is run with an agenda to preach a worldview which aligns with Wales, and the rest of the community of so called skeptics. Of course its a horseshit way to behave, but at least now we can see that you have counter argument against it.

    Skeptics is the least honest sector of academia that one can encounter. You are proving it.

  9. phoodoo: Skeptics is the least honest sector of academia that one can encounter. You are proving it.

    Do you personally believe that remote viewing is a real thing?

  10. phoodoo,

    I have spelled it out for you as clear as possible. There are certain people who are given priority and hierarchy for editing.

    ‘Certain people’? Well, that’s what I call spelling it out clearly! 😀 Any names?

    You come back with the muddled explanation, that the “editing community” decides what stays. So do they vote? Is everyone equal?

    You yourself have come up with nothing concrete whatsoever, so my responses are in keeping with that. You claim Wales has an agenda, and Wikipedia’s present form is a direct result of that agenda as opposed to the resultant of a lot of individual edits.

    When pressed on how that agenda is implemented, you respond in hopelessly vague terms, then complain at vagueness in my responses. You’re the one trying to make a case. I think Wikipedia is the result of a lot of people editing. After all, we are talking of 4.6 million articles here, generalisations have to be made.

    You are talking of something more specific and sinister. So how is this ‘policy’ implemented? How would you do it? How do you tell the difference between someone editing out an ill-informed statement on evolution (such as those you make as a matter of routine) from one pursuing an ‘atheo-materialist agenda’?

    In essence, you have conceded my point.

    What, by disagreeing with it? Curious use of the word ‘concede’, there.

  11. “I think Wikipedia is the result of a lot of people editing.”

    I will admit to being a tad disingenuous here. Wikipedia has ‘policies’, and they certainly shape the articles, being a rulebook to which reference can be made in disputes. Is there a stated policy with which you disagree?

  12. phoodoo:
    Allan,

    For crying out loud, you have made a whole series of statements about how the Wikipedia model is completely fair, and completely Democratic and responsible in ensuring truth is the ultimate goal, and then when you are pressed to defend those statements you just continue to obfuscate the entire idea.

    I have already told you, Jimmy Wales has his points of view, so he allows others who have similar points of view decide what stays and what doesn’t.I have spelled it out for you as clear as possible.There are certain people who are given priority and hierarchy for editing.

    You come back with the muddled explanation, that the “editing community” decides what stays.So do they vote?Is everyone equal?

    Having gone through several sectional edits, I do know that there is a form of voting or consensus on statements. That is, if someone – a single editor – puts a statement into some description that is shown by other editors to be false, the group can override the single editor. If the editor persists in trying to place false information in a piece, that editor can be banned.

    Of course, the statement has to be shown to be false; statements that are questionable, but not falsifiable are left in with the “citation need” note or similar statement.

    So, bottom line, if you tried to put in something like, “Stephen Meyers books have been widely regarded and have brought up many unanswerable questions about the Cambrian explosion and other problems with the theory of evolution, and then list five paragraphs of positive reviews by other biologists”, such would be removed because “widely regarded” can easily shown to be false (five biologists does not constitute “widely regarded” and a quick search of the critiques shows it is not only not widely regarded, but rather widely criticized and dismissed.) As such, the majority editors would be able to override your opinion.

  13. Reading the Wikipedia entry for Jimmy Wales would be instructive for someone approaching this rationally.

    Actually, the Wikipedia entry for Wikipedia is pretty good too. There are issues. Jimmy Wales isn’t a particularly significant one atm.

  14. phoodoo: Who decides?

    It’s the anti-ID consipriacy, obviously!

    You know, that worldwide cabal of scientists of many religions and none who have decided that ID is not science on a totally arbitrary basis!

    About that remote viewing? What do you think of that Wikipedia article?

  15. I read the Wikipedia article on Wikipedia. According to Wikipedia, Wikipedia is not always reliable. Now I don’t know what to believe!

  16. So, you all enjoy your jerkfest. Even Lizzie had no desire to talk with people who don’t have any intellectual honesty or intent in their emotional make up. Its funny you even bored her.

  17. phoodoo: In essence, you have conceded my point.

    I have done it a long time ago simple because it’s such an irrelevnat point that there is no reason to refute it.

    If you like ti say wikipedia sucks, ok, wikipedia sucks. Since, OBVIOUSLY, it’s not the only and it’s not the most important source for scientific information, it has no effect on our arguments and should have no effect on yours.

    Yet, although I said a long time ago “you want to call wikipedia porpaganda? Let’s call wikipedia propaganda”, you are still focusing on proving thta wikipedia is propaganda because you have nothing else to say. Since you have no real argument, all you can do is attack us or our sources.

    So, why don’t we focus on relevant arguments? What do you think of censorship at UD?

  18. phoodoo: So, you all enjoy your jerkfest.

    I hear KF has another unintelligible ‘BIGNUM’ post up that proves ID! Best get over there and discuss it with Joe and BA no?

  19. Senate staffer tries to scrub ‘torture’ reference from Wikipedia’s CIA torture article

    http://mashable.com/2014/12/10/senate-wikipedia-torture-report/

    “The unknown individual has attempted on at least two occasions — first on Dec. 9 and then on Dec. 10 — to remove a line describing the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques as “a euphemism for torture.

    In both instances the anonymous editor explained that he or she was “removing bias” from the article. And each time the revision was overruled.”

    So, what is “overruled” a euphemism for? I think its a euphemism for “Wikipedia decides what worldview it will force feed the general public.”

    So there you go Allan, you can’t just make the edit you want, and expect it to remain. Jimmy Wales and his army of skeptics decide what information you will get.

  20. phoodoo:
    Senate staffer tries to scrub ‘torture’ reference from Wikipedia’s CIA torture article

    http://mashable.com/2014/12/10/senate-wikipedia-torture-report/

    “The unknown individual has attempted on at least two occasions — first on Dec. 9 and then on Dec. 10 — to remove a line describing the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques as “a euphemism for torture.

    In both instances the anonymous editor explained that he or she was “removing bias” from the article. And each time the revision was overruled.”

    So, what is “overruled”a euphemism for?I think its a euphemism for “Wikipedia decides what worldview it will force feed the general public.”

    So there you go Allan, you can’t just make the edit you want, and expect it to remain.Jimmy Wales and his army of skeptics decide what information you will get.

    What’s your stance on torture, phoodoo? Do you believe the CIA/other govt agencies should be able to use painful-sometimes-lethal methods as long as no one names it “torture”? As long as the revisers get to name it “enhanced methods of interrogation”?

    Does it matter if the so-called interrogation actually results in usable information, or not? If it “works”, then it’s just interrogation, if it doesn’t, then it’s torture?

    If your stance is that torture is wrong, you should NOT object to the editors insisting on the factual naming of torture for what it actually is: torture. You should be on the side of “Jimmy Wales and his army of skeptics” for making sure that the facts of CIA-initiated torture remain visible to the world’s population using wikipedia. You should not wish it whitewashed away by the lickspittle opinion of one reviser who is attempting to hide it with the fake pretense of “removing bias”.

    Every decent human being should want to see heinous government-sponsored tortured named and shamed for what it is, not covered up.

    Surely, no matter how prejudiced you are against wikipedia, we can agree on at least that much. Name and shame the torturers.

  21. phoodoo:
    Senate staffer tries to scrub ‘torture’ reference from Wikipedia’s CIA torture article

    http://mashable.com/2014/12/10/senate-wikipedia-torture-report/

    “The unknown individual has attempted on at least two occasions — first on Dec. 9 and then on Dec. 10 — to remove a line describing the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques as “a euphemism for torture.

    In both instances the anonymous editor explained that he or she was “removing bias” from the article. And each time the revision was overruled.”

    So, what is “overruled”a euphemism for?I think its a euphemism for “Wikipedia decides what worldview it will force feed the general public.”

    So there you go Allan, you can’t just make the edit you want, and expect it to remain.

    That’s right you can’t. Al, his sister Al, and everyone else agrees with you there. You can’t write whatever you like and get it published in Nature, either. Schoolteachers won’t let you spell “horse” with an a and a w. You can’t amend the US constitution with your refrigerator magnets. Life is very unfair.

    JimmyWales and his army of skeptics decide what information you will get

    Read the Wikipedia page for Jimmy Wales. Can Jimmy Wales control what is on it?

    Enhanced interrogation techniques would involve 3D glasses, noise cancelling headphones, dry white wine, and snacks.

    There are established definitions of torture, including in international law, by major human rights organisations, and by academic experts. They broadly agree.

    At this stage the only people who seem to be pretending that no torture occurred are you, Phoodoo, and that intern.

  22. phoodoo,

    So there you go Allan, you can’t just make the edit you want, and expect it to remain.

    No, of course you bloody can’t! Every article would be an unholy mess if every edit remained. It is, nonetheless, kept in history. But no, it’s more sinister than that, for lo …

    Jimmy Wales and his army of skeptics decide what information you will get.

    How do you know this? Wikipedia seems not to suit your politics, religion or sympathetic view of what others call ‘psuodoscience’. This does not mean that Wales and co are busy editing. They have a company to run. There are many articles.

    I think those CIA methods are reasonably described as torture. Whether Wikipedia does or does not, I really don’t care.

  23. Allan Miller,

    The question is not what is and is not torture for crying out loud, the question is what does “overruled” mean? Who overruled? What if the people who overruled it, instead decided to call it “party play time?” Would you still not care?

    There is truly a bunch of stupidity on this site, if you can’t see that the argument is against a small group of people deciding to use this so called open platform of knowledge, to subvert truth and preach a specific bias, be it climate change, evolution, the case of Israel, or any other matters of debate, and then say, “Well, I can’t see the bias, or even if there is I don’t really care, because, because I like their propaganda!”

    The whole notion of intentionally trying to twist reality to meet a certain goal of preaching a worldview is the whole heart of deceit, and it would be no better or worse if it was the CIA doing the fake encyclopedia spin doctoring; that you don’t care as long as they are spinning truth the way you want is shows just what empty intelligence lies in the entire skeptic movement. Its not spin as long as its spin you like.

    The principals of the atheist skeptic are non-existent. Heck, in your world torture should be completely acceptable, as long as it accomplishes its goal, what is morality to you. Dick Cheney is almost certainly an atheist skeptic, who believes in just doing whatever spin doctoring is necessary.

  24. phoodoo: Dick Cheney is almost certainly an atheist skeptic, who believes in just doing whatever spin doctoring is necessary.

    Hee hee.

    No, we (atheists/humanists) won’t accept him into our club. Religious bigots are stuck owning him as one of their own.

    Sorry, phoodoo, your made-up story you tell yourself about how Dickwad is too evil to be a christian won’t fly among decent honest folk. We know christianity all too well. Your books, your churches, your leaders – all the way back to the odious Saul of Tarsus – have always been overrun with bigotry, lies, veniality, corruption, and outright evil.

    Yeah, you’re certainly right that DIckwad does believe in “whatever spin doctoring is necessary”. But you’re wrong about that making him an atheist. Nope, it’s exactly the opposite. That’s what makes him a perfect example of religion in action. There can be no religion without “spin doctoring” at its very heart.

  25. In the interest of fairness, I want to stress that not every christian person is a shitheel like Dick Cheney is. Some christians happen to be decent people. I will add a snarky disclaimer that they happen to be decent in spite of the handicap of their immoral faith, but, fair’s fair: decent nonetheless.
    Why Christians Should Pay Attention to the Torture Report

    Not only did torture take place, but it did so regularly and systematically, sometimes on otherwise cooperative subjects, and at least one of every five detainees was an innocent person captured by mistake or prejudice. In the end, it appears to have revealed little, if any, actionable information, and was intentionally hidden for the better part of a decade.

    Perhaps our greatest challenge as the church during this time will be carrying the tensions inherent to the Christian faith as we move forward as a country. Scripture commands we love our enemies. It also calls for justice for the wicked. It charges Christians to submit to authority while chronicling a long history of civil disobedience when authority rises against God’s kingdom and nature. …

    Steven Dilla goes on to say:

    Christians should look to Christ as we cultivate justice.

    Branches of government and political parties were designed to create balance, not division. The church is ill-intentioned if our goal is to empower a particular party to “win” — especially to the detriment of the message of scripture. We want Christ to be known. Through scripture, we can begin the conversation about the sanctity of all human life. Our government’s response to “Black Lives Matter” comes at a time when we have our nation’s first black president and attorney general — what will it take before Arab lives matter? Must we wait for our country to catch up, or will the church rise up and lead?

    [bolding in original)
    Not bad, not bad. Not particularly useful — how does “looking to Christ” help in any real-world way towards cultivating justice?? — but at least it’s not the rightwing christian Dominionist advocacy of continuing torture as ““absolutely, totally justified.”

    #notallchristians

  26. phoodoo,

    And if we said “You are right about wikipedia”, then what?

    Why is wikipedia so important to you? You know many scientific theories, evolution included, came before wikipedia, right?

  27. phoodoo,

    There is truly a bunch of stupidity on this site, if you can’t see that the argument is against a small group of people deciding to use this so called open platform of knowledge, to subvert truth and preach a specific bias, be it climate change, evolution, the case of Israel, or any other matters of debate, and then say, “Well, I can’t see the bias, or even if there is I don’t really care, because, because I like their propaganda!”

    Fortunately, phoodoo, I can think for myself, and don’t need Wikipedia***, nor any other media, to tell me what’s what. You think I’m stupid? Meh. I get by.

    eta: *** which does not mean I don’t consult it. But I don’t get my politics from it, or my view on pseudoscience, religion, morality or whatever.

  28. phoodoo,

    Heck, in your world torture should be completely acceptable, as long as it accomplishes its goal, what is morality to you.

    And yet I am against torture. How can that be? What’s wrong with me, dammit! 🙂

  29. The problem with phoodoo seems to be that he hasn’t realized that we don’t relay on just ONE source… “Wikipedia lies to you so EVERYTHING you have read is a lie!!!”… Mmmmm..

  30. Guillermoe:
    phoodoo,

    And if we said “You are right about wikipedia”, then what?

    Why is wikipedia so important to you?

    The thread is called “Angry at God?” . I suppose if you are going to rail at an authority which is very large, mysterious, ubiquitous, and encourages arcane ritual, Wikipedia is as good a fit for a secular ‘god’ as any.

  31. phoodooif you can’t see that the argument is against a small group of people … to subvert truth and preach a specific bias, …, and then say, “Well, I can’t see the bias, or even if there is I don’t really care, because, because I like their propaganda!”

    Actually, you are right! UD has become something of a propaganda organ of late.

  32. Guillermoe: Why is wikipedia so important to you? You know many scientific theories, evolution included, came before wikipedia, right?

    I suspect edits to make ID seem scientific are (rightly) rejected and this annoys them. If ID can become science via a few well placed edits, why bother doing all that messy lab work?

  33. OMagain: I suspect edits to make ID seem scientific are (rightly) rejected and this annoys them. If ID can become science via a few well placed edits, why bother doing all that messy lab work?

    For Phoodoo, it’s:
    ID, climate change, the assassination of JFK, Israel, CIA torture, and no doubt more.

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

  34. OMagain,

    Everyday UD posts dozens of articles relating to biological processes, and studies from scientific papers. And even though UD never hides the fact that it is based on a belief in Intelligent design, anyone can go there, read the articles and draw their own conclusions.

    Compare that with a public resources page, which NEVER ADMITS to any underlying bias, yet which intentionally scripts a narrative 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.

    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.

    This thread is about being angry at God. Clearly if the skeptics tactics is to to deceive wherever it can (not just on Wikipedia), there must be a pretty strong religious motivation to their childish dishonesty. And since this skeptic movement is so pervasive throughout the biological mainstream sciences, from universities to institutions to television to popular news, what people are given daily is a bullshit view of reality. And yet, amazingly, even with all the horseshit these skeptical groups try to feed the public, most people still don’t believe in evolution.

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

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