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My Take: Why some people hate God
March 8th, 2011
10:07 AM ET

My Take: Why some people hate God

Editor's Note: Bernard Schweizer is an associate professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. He specializes in the study of iconoclasts and rebels, including the controversial writer and public intellectual Rebecca West. His third book is “Hating God.”

By Bernard Schweizer, Special to CNN

There’s a lost tribe of religious believers who have suffered a lasting identity crisis. I am referring to the category-defying species of believers who accept the existence of the creator God and yet refuse to worship him. In fact they may go so far as to say that they hate God.
 
No, I’m not talking about atheists. Non-believers may say contemptuous things about God, but when they do so, they are simply giving the thumbs-down to a fictional character. They may as well express dislike about Shakespeare’s devious Iago, Dickens’ scheming Uriah Heep or Dr. Seuss’ Grinch who stole Christmas.
 
For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins - spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws.
 
But someone who truly believes in God’s existence and yet hates or scorns him is in a state of religious rebellion so perplexing as to strain our common understanding of faith to the breaking point.
 
Although these radical dissenters could steal the thunder from the New Atheists, they have remained almost unknown to date.
 
When it comes to God-hatred, a collective blindness seems to settle on us. First, we lack a generally agreed-upon name to refer to this religious rebellion. And anything that doesn’t have a word associated with it doesn’t exist, right?
 
Well, in the case of God-hatred, this principle doesn’t hold because the phenomenon does exist whether or not there’s a name for it. And in any case, I’ve ended the semantic impasse by naming these rebels and their stance once for all. My chosen term is misotheism, a word composed of the Greek root “misos” (hatred) and “theos” (deity).
 
Why do I care so much about them? They strike me as brave, visionary, intelligent people who reject God from a sense of moral outrage and despair because of the amount of injustice and suffering that they witness in this world.
 
At the same time, they are exercising self-censorship because they dare not voice their opinion openly. After all, publicly insulting God can have consequences ranging from ostracism to imprisonment, fines and even death, depending on where the blasphemy takes place (Ireland, for instance, imposes a fine of up to 25,000 Euros for blasphemy) and what God is the target of attacks (under sharia law, being found an enemy of God, or “mohareb” is a capital offense).
 
But I also care about these rebels because they chose literature as their principal medium for dealing with their God-hatred. I am a professor of literature, and the misotheists’ choice of literature as their first line of defense and preferred medium endears them to me.
 
Literature offered them the only outlet to vent their rage against God. And it was a pretty safe haven for doing so. Indeed, hardly anybody seems to notice when God-hatred is expressed in literature. Such writers cleverly “package” their blasphemous thoughts in works of literature without seeming to give offense in any overt way.
 
At the same time, these writers count on the reader’s cooperation to keep their “secret” safe. It’s like a pact between writer and reader.
 
Zora Neale Hurston could write that “all gods who receive homage are cruel” without anybody objecting that “all gods” must necessarily include the persons of the Christian Trinity.
 
Or Rebecca West could write that “something has happened which can only be explained by supposing that God hates you with merciless hatred, and nobody will admit it,” counting on the fact that, since nobody will admit it, nobody will rat her out for blasphemy.
 
There lies, in a sense, the awesome, subversive power of literary writing, something that had worried Plato 2,400 years ago when he required that all poets be removed from his ideal “Republic.” Interestingly, though, while guardians of propriety have put Huckleberry Finn on the list of proscribed texts because of its liberal use of the N-word, few people have declared Hurston’s "Their Eyes Were Watching God" or Shelley’s "Prometheus Unbound" or West’s "The Return of the Soldier" as forbidden texts because of the underlying misotheism of these works.
 
And even where the misotheism is overtly expressed, as in Elie Wiesel’s "The Trial of God" or in James Morrow’s "Godhead Trilogy," literature offers an enclave of religious freedom that is vital to the human spirit and its impulse to free itself of any shackles, even the commands of God.
 
I refer to the story of misotheism as “untold” partly because misotheism tends not to be noticed even when it hides in plain sight. Another reason why the story of misotheism is “untold” is that nobody has bothered yet to draw the larger lines of development over time, beginning with the Book of Job and ending up with utilitarianism, philosophical anarchism and feminism. That story in itself is quite engrossing, but again it is not a story that has really ever been presented.
 
So I am doing quite a bit of connecting the dots, unearthing overlooked connections and making distinctions such as proposing a system of three different types of misotheism - agonistic (conflicted), absolute and political. Misotheism in its various manifestations is a dark, disturbing and perplexing strand of religious dissent. But at the same time, it is an attitude toward the divine that shows just how compelling belief can be.
 
If people continue to believe in a God they find to be contemptible, then belief is such a powerful force that it cannot be simply switched off on the basis of empirical data. Thus, in the last consequence, the study of misotheism is a testament to the power of belief, albeit a twisted, unconventional form.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bernard Schweizer.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Belief • Books • God • Opinion

soundoff (1,730 Responses)
  1. JustPlainJoe

    Another self-important narcissist who attempts to marginalize someone else's world view with pseudo-caracterizations like "God-hater". Tolerate the fact that people may well have complicated opinions that are not easily placed into cubby holes.
    Shallow and superficial and not really worthy of publication.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  2. Ed

    I will point out the like many religous atheist can be eqully dogmatic in the opinons. My Aunt is an atheist and is very angry with my mom because she's not. My does not try to convert my Aunt but my Aunt absolutly tries to convert my mom. Just saying some people are dogmatic about their beleif or lack there of it doesn't really matter what the beleive or don't the want every one to see it their way.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • TheRealJesus

      Dogmatic? Don't think so. Most atheists will be happy to discuss with you evidence for their world view, and evidence refuting yours. I've never met a dogmatic atheist, only rational ones grounded in reality. I feel sorry for you, and I'm not praying for you.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:41 pm |
  3. Fa shizzle

    Come on guys!!! Atheists are cool. They believe in nothing at all which really sounds intellectual. So much freedom to think that they somehow evolved out of nothing makes so much sense guys. The Big bang was not something that happened between two people, it just happened. Kapow!!! Now that is awesome thinking. All the gases formed up together like a fart, and the primordial ooze came together, oh and let us not forget our forefathers, the planet of the apes. No wonder most of us like bananas and can swing from trees. Come on everyone!!! Let us be atheists. It is the coolest thing and so much fun. Just to be so liberal, so free and uncaring about anything around me. No rules at all baby!!!! Ugh, so much fun. No fiction in atheism at all. I love it!!!!

    March 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Tommas

      Wow, physics are rules duh.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • Q

      How sad to see theists try to make a funny not realizing they're only showing their own pathetic understanding of science.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • The Jackdaw

      I'm very happy to see that you are educated about the topics you blither on about. I'm glad that your intellectually stifling religion has given you the freedom to educate yourself and that you have done so in such an optimum fashion. Preach on puppet, preach on.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Auntie Warhol

      Your inability to understand a universe that exists on its own without need for a "creator" is astounding.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • TheRealJesus

      Thank you sir for doing your part to demonstrate that not all believers are mindless fools who can't string a rational thought together. Only some. Bravo!

      March 8, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • ash87

      hahahahaha thank you for that. i love how these athiest idiots try to talk down to anyone who believes in God, as if they're the "intellectual, mature" ones. unbelievable

      March 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  4. The Jackdaw

    I dont hate God. I can't hate something that does not exist. I just hate the morons that hault progress in the name of their fantasy.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  5. Sutler

    I am still awaiting an answer to this simple puzzle:

    1. God is the one and only being that created everything. Therefore, he has no equal and no counterpart.
    2. God created man in his image.
    3. God created woman so man would not be alone, after man was bored.

    The question, God created man with no premonition/intent of creating woman. God made man in his image and thereby giving man reproductive organs. Therefore: God must have reproductive organs as well. Why would the creator of all things with no counterpart need such things?

    March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  6. Tommas

    Why does the creator of a universe that has billions of galaxies need little pink monkeys to worship him?

    March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
  7. Barking Alien

    I don't think the issue is people hate or do not hate god. The issue is people do more evil in the name of god than anything else. People keep trying to interject god into school and government and no one can agree about the existance of god or which god to worship. The key is to put god back in church where he belongs and worhsip him if you believe or choose to each Sunday. If you don't believe that's fine too. That is your right.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Fa shizzle

      I am cool with that if you can get rid of the theory of evolution out of school as well. Then we will have a deal. Can I get a pound?

      March 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Yeah, I don't understand this article. I've never met anyone who hated God and believed in him. Those people are probably irrational and probably schizophrenic, not the dynamic iconoclasts the author describes. Hating God and believing in him is just a way of hating yourself but shifting the blame. Just like people who love God attribute their success and well-being to him even though they might have put themselves in a position to succeed independent of an invisible guy sitting on a throne in the sky wagging a finger. God doesn't exist in agency, just cosmically.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  9. William Demuth

    Hatred of God by a believer is a key step towards overcoming the addiction that is faith.

    The ability to hate is an early recognition that the theory of God is fatally flawed, and merely a stopover spot on the journey to secular recognition.

    If God is omnipotent, then misery is proof he is indifferent.

    If God is not omnipotent than he is unworthy of one’s worship.

    From this eventually comes the courage to reject the whole concept.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
  10. StevieBoy

    Hate God or love "him" they're all in the same camp, only MAYBE the haters are a step closer to reality – there is no God. They just haven't crossed that threshold yet or fully opened their eyes. Admitting there was no Santa Claus when I was a 9 year old was a tough pill to swallow, but it often takes a LOT longer and a lot more maturity to realize the same fate holds true for "God"... the whole idea just makes no sense whatsoever, even though a part of me still wishes there was a great protector watching over me, but in all my years I've seen no evidence of it all-the-while I see plenty of evidence that nature is perfect in ITS (no personification there please) ways of thinning the herds and that all boils down to pure survival of the fittest – regardless of what you believe or don't believe religiously. Once you accept that you can live your life to the fullest because your "heaven" and "hell" are right now on this earth – better make the best of it!

    March 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  11. Anita

    The "Noah flood story" as you put it does not prove that God is an enemy of humanity and the planet Earth. The flood was necessary to rid mankind of wicked dangerous individuals who did nothing but prey on innocent people. Much like the people who live today. There were some who were not wicked but who didn't care what was going on as long as they were not affected. Much like the people who live today. They had to be purged or the planet Earth would have disintegrated long ago. Much like today. See the connection?

    March 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • Q

      @Anita – So he killed everyone indiscriminately to remove the bad apples? I call a Poe. This is so ridiculous I can't tell if it's sarcasm or an actual fundie's argument...

      March 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'There were some who were not wicked but who didn't care what was going on as long as they were not affected. Much like the people who live today. They had to be purged '
      Sounds like the reasoning the religious fanatics use to kill people.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
    • GodsGrace05

      Great reply. What people do not understand is that they are given the chance to believe time and time again as in the days of Noah. People were told what was going to happen and they did nothing but go on about their day as usual. I believe in the one TRUE living God and that is who I choose to serve and my life has been better off having known him. Life has not been easy but it has been much better. People will learn one day. Sad to say but it seems as if they will learn the hard way. God is very real and I do not believe that we have all been put here just because of sheer happenstance. We all have a purpose and a calling.

      March 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • GodsGrace05

      So @ Q you would prefer that he flood the Earth and the ones like you who choose not to listen fall into the depths of the water and not drown. They were given the chance to believe. Everyone has been given the choice. You choose to live your life not believing just as those chose to live their life not believing. As you can see God saved those who chose to adhere to what Noah was saying. I do get the point that it is hard to follow some on this Earth because a lot claim to be of God but are not and therefore they are false prophets and are leading people down the wrong path. But a relationship with God and having HIM lead your life is as simple as saying that you accept him into your heart and ask for forgiveness of your sins and believe that Jesus has died for those sins that you are confessed. Sad to say but most people don't understand that having a relationship with God is something that you must want to do and strive for and you continue to do so even if there is no one along to help you or no one that you have found that has helped you. God will meet you right where you are, as you are and at the level you are if you only let him. You can say that he's not real and believe so just because you think he kills people. No people are deceived by the devil that likes to make people think things that are not true and are not of God. Of course I don't think that you will believe all that I am saying but I wish people would stop saying something isn't real just because they can't see it or touch it.

      March 8, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Stanle13

      So you are saying tht God wiped out all of humanity (save 6) to save humanity from destroying itself and the Earth...funny I didn't know that we humans had invented weapons of mass destruction way back then in the time of Noah....God and President Cheyney have soo much in common, now it all makes sense!!

      March 8, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • Q

      @GodsGrace05 – Presumably, the choice to accept God requires the mental capacity to do so. Drowning children, infants and those in utero doesn't seem to be a loving, just option for an omnipotent deity declaring the rationale for this "globacide" was their rejection of "His" law. Please don't argue they were better off in heaven, etc, because regardless of whichever rationalization you'll inevitably attempt to apply here, it doesn't change the fact that the Biblical deity cruelly drowned children and infants and pregnant mums and their fetuses when infinite other options were available. Maybe you feel it's appropriate to murder children when they misbehave, but those of us who are remotely sane find it rather abhorrent. Only slightly less abhorrent are those who would defend this action as morally-justifiable...

      March 8, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  12. Cathal

    "Ireland, for instance, imposes a fine of up to 25,000 Euros for blasphemy" – I live in Ireland and there is no such fine. It is a ridiculous statement.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • TheRealJesus

      Who needs facts when you're talking about god?

      March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Laslow

      Cathal, you might want to check up on your own laws: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/01/irish-atheists-challenge-blasphemy-law (also... http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122225249)

      March 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Andrew S

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/01/irish-atheists-challenge-blasphemy-law

      March 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  13. Aerin

    There is no god to hate. You're just perpetuating the myth.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
  14. Mercker

    I sometimes wish I too could lie to myself to believe in something I know isn't true, to gather acceptance and immortality. But then I realize that lying to yourself isn't being true to myself and isn't healthy. The people who do this to themselves are missing what it means to be mortal. Someone who is mortal is someone who has accepted their place in the world. Someone who is religious is someone who will stop at nothing to protect their fantasy world. The more people they get to join them, the more it validates to them their lie is real; and in return can disregard reality.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • TheRealJesus

      Well said.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
    • P0NDER0SA

      You got it, Bud... The more people they have that agrees, the more "right" they feel. It's a painful thing to watch.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
  15. Aramis2000

    "For atheists, God is in the same category as these fictional villains. Except that since God is the most popular of all fictional villains, New Atheists – those evangelizing ones such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins – spend a considerable amount of energy enumerating his flaws"

    First of all, don't ever use the word evangelizing in the same sentence as Hitchens and Dawkins. Secondly, they focus on God instead of the Grinch, because nobody has ever slaughtered millions in the name of the Grinch. Civil Rights aren't ignored in the name of the Grinch and schools, hospitals and government are mindlessly damaged in the name of the Grinch. All of these things are, however, done in the name of God.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tim

      So you worship the government? I don't understand what you mean by "mindlessly damaged". Government is nothing more than a conglomeration of supposedly normal average Americans. And normal average Americans believe in God and the teaching of some type of organized religion. Making policies and laws based on their beliefs is rooted in American tradition. You are assuming that your beliefs (I assume you are a liberal Democrat) are truer and more popular than those of those "crazy religious people." And you have changed churches from religion to government worship, where the government can do know wrong and knows better than that religious kook down the street. You worship a religion, just not the same one as millions of other Americans.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  16. Reality

    Simply another book promotion by the moderators of this blog who get a cut of professor's book profit?---

    March 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  17. voice

    http://www.drunkenabsurdity.com

    March 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
  18. Reality

    God, if there is one, cannot be very happy!!!

    The Twenty (or so) Worst Things People Have Done to Each Other:

    o The Muslim Conquest of India
    ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

    Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries Religions/Groups involved*

    1 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

    2 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

    40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

    4 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

    5 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

    6 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

    20 million Joseph Stalin 20C

    8 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

    9 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

    10 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

    11 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

    15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians)

    13 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

    14 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

    10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

    16 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

    17 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans)

    8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

    19 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)
    7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

    March 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Non Hater

      Since when was the Ottoman Empire Christian? Might want to do a little more research before you post.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • BADGUY

      Without the Catholic vote, the Nazi party would not have elected the 41% of the seats in the Reichstag in 1933. In additon, the Catholic Centrist Party was the only "opposition" party to vote with the Nazi party to pass the "Enabling Act" of 1933. This act gave A. Hitler dictatorial power to lead Germany. In other words, without the Catholic vote, Germany might never have launched WWII with the resulting deaths of 63 Million people.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Non Hater

      Without a lot of other parties vote, Hitler would not have been able to take power. It is disingenious to state the the Catholics were the reason for Hitler's ascent to power.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Alan

      No, I suppose not. Nice cut-and-past, but the fact remains: Communist Atheists killed more people in the 20th century alone than all religious wars in history...

      ... Combined.

      40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) (Communist Atheist) (try 60 – 80 million)

      20 million Joseph Stalin (Communist Atheist) (USSR final count more like 40 million)

      16 9 million Russian Civil War (Czarist Russians vs Atheist Communists)

      Also: 1/6th of all Cambodia in the Killing Fields by Communist Atheists, 1 M dead in Korean War (started by Communist Atheists) (another 1 M dead in the 1990s famine) and another 1 M dead in Vietnam War (Communist Atheists again).

      Toss in Communist wars and revolutions in Cuba, Africa, Central America, Afghanstan, etc etc etc and you start to see my point.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • magnus

      despite a few inaccuracies, your point is well taken.

      March 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
  19. Native American

    I agree with Ronnie. Religion has something in common with statistics: both are used by liars. Just because some men a long time ago wrote this or that about God doesn't mean it's true. If the Bible tells me something about God that makes sense to me, I believe it, but if it says something that I think is nonsense (i.e., all that stuff about wrath and being jealous, etc.), I reject it, plain and simple. Maybe people who hate God have forgotten that they don't have to believe everything the human-written Bible says.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • Aramis2000

      So what is "true" is based on whatever makes sense to you? What if someone thinks it makes sense to murder the children of other religions? Does that make it a true teaching? Buffet-style religion needs to go FIRST. This picking and choosing, I believe this but not that... but I'm still a Catholic, Jew, Muslim, is crap. If you are really a Catholic, then you believe ALL OF IT or you shouldn't call yourself Catholic. This is where the false sense of numbers come from. "We've got a billion followers" but the vast majority don't actually believe most of the teachings? Religion needs to be seen for the poison that it is, and people need stop calling themselves members of a religion when they don't really believe.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Smarter Than You

      @ Native American – Your opening statement is entirely nonsensical. Statistics are used by liars? What does that even mean? It seems like you're railing against all logical thought in general, which tells me you aren't very smart. "Statistics are used by liars" translates to me as "I don't trust anything I can't comprehend, and I don't comprehend a whole lot."

      I'm glad you have learned to cherrypick your beliefs from the bible, but here's a newflash for you: ALL OF IT is nonsense. There are no cherries to be picked.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  20. Robin Bray

    If god exists then he or she is the largest mass murder of all time. That's who you want to praise? A killer of more babies than anyone. Freaks.

    March 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
    • sami

      I don't understand the comment. Please explain.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Observer

      God destroyed every person on the face of the earth, except for 6 people according to the Bible.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tim

      You're so simple. If God exists, then the devil exists also. Those who kill in the name of God are said to be followers of the devil, not God. You must be one of those God-haters that the author speaks about, but you aren't afraid to voice your opinion. However, the author speaks of intelligent caring people as God-haters. You don't seem to fall into that category. And btw, people who believe in God are not freaks. It's the people who don't that are considered the freaks. Over 95% of the world population believes in some form of God. If you are part of the 5%, then you are the outcast and it's really nothing to be proud of.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:21 pm |
    • Q

      And demanded the slaughter of Amalekite children and infants after having previously commanded thou shall not commit murder, e.g. "Don't commit murder, ok, well go ahead and murder these children and babies. O.k, not don't commit murder again, that is, until the next time, I command it! Love me, love me!"

      March 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Observer

      @Tim
      "Those who kill in the name of God are said to be followers of the devil, not God." Talk about being simple! The Bible is loaded with commands from God to kill people. You might try reading it.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • Q

      @Tim – You made no actual argument against God directly and indirectly committing "globicide" and ordering/condoning various genocides. Your rambling, "simple" post amounts to argumentum ad populum.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • TheRealJesus

      Tim, if Christianity is a true monotheistic religion, and there are no other gods, who is the devil and how is he permitted to act if god is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent? I don't need a convoluted theological explanation (mysterious ways clause), I want you to actually think about it, if you are capable of doing so.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • Smarter Than You

      Sami – Here is Robin's point, restated with more eloquence: If the creator God exists, it is a being of considerable power. Yet, there is considerable evil observable on earth, e.g., babies dying, plagues and natural disasters wiping out untold numbers of human beings, etc. The being of considerable power either proactively causes these things to occur, or stands idly by despite having the power to intervene. Robin finds the god involved in either of these scenarios morally repugnant, and will not worship such a derelict deity.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Smarter Than You

      @ Tim – You are simpler than Robin. The existence of God does NOT necessitate the existence of a devil. Plenty of religions posit the former without the latter. That said, neither actually exists. I can deduce from your comment that you believe everything good in the world is attributable to God, and everything bad, to the devil. How convenient. According to your own mythology, which I'll assume to be some denomination of christianity since you clearly believe in the existence of a 'devil,' God created angels – including the one who would later become 'the devil.' If God is omnipotent, omniscient, and all-good, why would he create such a challenege to his preferred order? Further, why would he stand idly by while the devil worked his evil in the world? If these evils are necessary to achieve further goods for which we cannot see the causal connections, why is god not capable of achieving these ends without the use of evil? Are you positing a less-than-omnipotent God?

      Yes, a lot of the world believes in God, but that's because a lot of the world is remarkably unintelligent. Pragmatists also add to the number of religious folk. There is, of course, a lot of suffering in the world. Religion is a useful crutch. It is also a useful for discouraging the have-nots to accept their lot in life. Religion discourages rebellion by assuring those of lower social status that all will be made right in some non-existant after life. I don't dispute the utility of religion. I dispute the accuracy and truth of it.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm |
    • Aaron Klehn

      God didnt kill; only people do.

      March 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • IamJustOne

      Observer's comments reminiscent of Isaiah 29:16: You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?

      March 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
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