Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Angry at God?"--Another Lie

One of  the lies that believers like to tell themselves about atheists is that we are just "angry at god".

The most common response nonbelievers give is to laugh and ask:

"How can I be angry at something that doesn't exist?"

That response works better with some believers than others.  Usually, however, the believer isn't even listening at that point--if he or she ever was.

This "argument" that atheists are angry at god is just another "ad hominem" argument, really.  It's flaw is that it is based on the premise that both parties "know" that god exists and that the nonbeliever is just being perverse and childish.  So, in order to point out the logical flaw and expose the inaccuracy of the emotional portion of the argument, I suggest you return the favor and turn it on them:

"Sorry, I don't choose my facts based on how I feel about them; that is what religious people do."

If you would like, you can add:

"If there were an angry god out there denying me my wishes, I would have a huge incentive to believe and try to figure out what I needed to do to get him to treat me differently." 

Frankly, nonbelievers bring this one on themselves by relating stories of realizing that god didn't exist when their prayers went unanswered.  Those who cite their own disappointment at unanswered prayers as a reason for their disbelief are not giving their full reasoning in many cases.  They know that making a decision like that based on one case study, even if they are aware of others, isn't a logical way to proceed.  Unanswered prayers become evidence only if a correct scientific study is done, double blind, control groups, etc.

Such studies have been done and found absolutely no evidence that prayer has a positive effect on the outcomes of peoples' problems.  At least one study found, however, that if the person knew he was being prayed for, the outcome was statistically likely to be worse--presumably because the object of the prayers felt he or she didn't have to take action in the real world to effect the outcome.

What these stories illustrate and many atheists understand without making explicit is that such incidents are often needed to give people the emotional impetus necessary to get past childhood brainwashing and peer pressure.  The god hypothesis is so ridiculous that only those two things keep people in the believer camp in many cases.  For most people, as soon as their emotional needs allow them to see the god hypothesis clearly, they see it for the nonsense that it is.

This is also why believers say that nonbelievers are simply degenerates who want to avoid god's laws.  In many cases, people who don't fit the mold set out by the religious as what is required to be "normal" and "good" are awakened out of their brainwashed, peer-pressured dream state by the perceived rejection.

Once again, don't be suckered into their playground completely.  Point out that the existence of god is independent of how any of us feel about him or her.  Then, feel free to point out how a person living in the emotional and economic cocoon of being a member of a dominant and domineering majority might just feel quite lucky and decide that it was his group's deity that was responsible.

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