You've all heard the claim that we aren't really atheists, we are just mad at god. (Or you will see such things as "so and so claims to be an atheist.")
Today, though I saw an argument in chat with a theist, and someone else's account of an argument they had out in public, and I stopped to wonder if maybe we aren't sometimes encouraging this line of bullshit, albeit unwittingly.
What happened in both cases was the atheist began recounting all the sorts of horrible things Yahweh is portrayed as doing or believing or commanding. In one case, I saw the atheist say "why should I love god when he won't love me back?"
The problem with this sort of thing is we usually don't take care to phrase our remarks to make it clear that god is a character of fiction. When discussing the misdeeds of Yahweh we tend to fall back on a convention we use when we talk about a fictional character in a book. We refer to him by name and talk as if the guy was real and the book was not fiction, for example, "In George Orwell's 1984, Winston Smith was arrested for thoughtcrime," not, "In George Orwell's 1984, the character Winston Smith..."
We know what we mean, because we both know Winston Smith (or god) is fictitious. But they don't know god is fictitious.
Talking this way with someone who believes the fictional character is real might cause him not to understand you are just following the convention. Your phrasing sounds to him like you accept god as real, he "knows" god is real, so he assumes at some level you think god is real.
What I am suggesting here is that you ever want to bring up how nasty this being is, you make it clear that you don't think he exists, make sure you put "fictitious" (or equivalent) in every other sentence at least, and not let them think for a minute that you assume the existence of god.
Yes I know that when you just said you were an atheist this shouldn't be necessary, but obviously many of these people don't understand atheism in their guts, so don't let their paradigm default you into a "believer but mad at god" box.
Asserting that one is 'mad at god', has a background assumption that, 'there is a God to be mad it still!' Accusing someone of being 'mad at God' allows them to continue in there belief in that existence and denigns the opinion of the other as having any validity or possibility of truth.
In short, such an assertion is for the theist, not for the atheist!
The atheist is just fine, thank you! When you tell a theist of your disbelief/non-belief, you are doing them a favor, to help them reflux their underlying assumptions, help them maintain their belief in the inharent corrupt nature of reality, and to find one more 'soul' that demands saving(but will frustrate them to no end). Atheists can be part of the preservation of theism, just by playing head games with them!
I was guilty of this once. Thankfully, I caught it and now I think of god as an object of sorts. :3
Normally I'm not "mad" at anyone; be that as it may, true-believers from any group who tout their evangelism piss me off very often.
The problem is that many are mad at God about some past event. There is evidence of that even on this site . So please dont try to hide or mask it by saying it in another way.
How can anyone be angry at a non-existent being? I'm not angry with Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny either --
Being "Mad" at a concept is a waste of energy and time; be that as it may, I am not pleased with the people who keep promoting invisible friends and beating us over the head with their book and cross, and simply want to be left alone and allowed to be myself. With that said, my born-again bride for the past 46-years does just that and after many of her co-religionists pissed me off with their "witnessing" she started telling them I was a non-believer and to leave me alone. Mutual respect is all it takes.
Sadly, I wish this true. After years of trying to figure it out, it seemed that culture was at falt, not the abstract term 'god'. Being mad at a pronoun seems to be a real streach.
We will not help you to continue the belief in the abstract object, that you use term 'god' to refer to. You can continue to believe if you wish. The universe is a very big place, it does not seem to have stopped you from believing so far. You can even continue to read commentaries, creationist ramblings, or watch your favorite evangelist on TV or tape. There are many good christian colleges, where your belief will never be challenged, and coming up for fresh air will never be necessary.
If it is any consolation, I do feel a twinge of spirtuality at times. Maybe my science training is slowly coming full circle. ;p).
Not angry because there is no god, no allah, no fairies, no santa, no elves, no goblins, no angels, but I detest the myriad of psychics, priests, archbishops, popes, evangelicals, and all the other parasties and charlatans taking advantage of gullible fearful people. There are new ever loving con men filling people with even more fear, every day, who sell your particular brand of god, whilst, of course, making lots of money.
This particular god, your god, tells an angel that we are being overtaken by aliens. Good story don't you think - should be made into a movie.
If you really believed in your god, and wanted to keep his 'good name', why aren't you out and about, exposing the many thousands of con men for jesus like Benny Hinn, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, Richard Cohen, Marshall Summers. There are hundreds if not thousands of these leeches.
Do even just a little bit of research, for a change, and instead of asking inane questions on this site, go forth and do good work in jesus name, and expose and spread the word about these con men.
I do see your point, Steve. Theists are probably too stupid to see that, when we atheists speak of a jealous, wrathful, genocidal "God," we are being facetious. It is an ironic way of pointing out that God is NOT real, since a REAL, caring God would not be like Yahweh.
Seriously, I still intend to continue speaking that way about "God" to theists, because it always flummoxes them. If they choose to take me seriously, that is their problem, because it merely emphasizes that they indeed must concede that their God is jealous, wrathful, and genocidal. And those are His GOOD qualities! (hint: I am being facetious).
What we need to be doing is to make it clear that our issue is with the character that the theists believe in
It would be very difficult for an atheist to be mad at God. An atheist, by definition, does not think that any God or Gods have ever existed. Thus there is nothing to be angry at.
It is rather easy for an atheist to be angry with many Christians however. For myself, i do not like being told I cannot make my position known as as Christians find it too hard to take. Strange however that they always start off with "Are you a believer?" Thus proving that they know there are a large number who do not.
I have had my life threatened numerous times because I write against religion every chance I get.
I have recently learned something and have changed my methods. If atheists continue to denounce religion as they usually do, it will only incite the more fundamental Christians into a tirade of defensive posturing, causing them to openly throw out any form of defense they have--usually without thought as to reality.
If however we do not become argumentative, we do not cause them to defend. Then their mental defenses are not so triggered and they are more open to looking at things rationally. Additionally, if a Christian, in any reading is first made to take a logic test, they formulate a mental set that is more conducive to thinking in the logical manner and they find it easier to limit the dogma in favor of reality. Argument is the last thing they need. Thus the usual books that have come down the pike by Dawkins, Hitchins, et al only provoke and create stronger intent to deny reality.
Might I suggest that we do the only thing that will work? We form a strong club that does not argue religion, but simply denies it openly as a fable and if anything, we laugh politely at those poor afflicted people who cannot find reality and must limp along as marks suffering from the biggest con job in history.
Offer them friendship and understanding, but never any arguments. Just accept what we, as atheists know. There are no Gods, there never were, it's simply a fable, like all the other fables we have been telling our children, and it's high time it stopped harming people.
I am a psychologist and what I propose is far more workable than the arguments or attempts to push logic. These people are ill and they will not get better on vinegar. They need a spoon full of honey, a warm blanket around their shoulders, and an understanding friend to ease their pain. It's tough to know that you have been made a fool by your parents and your clergy.