A recent post at No Godz just gave me an idea. As you'll see, it is still very sketchy, but I'd like to use this post to see if I can develop it a bit.
You know how Christians are extremely fond of claiming that we atheists hate their god? It is one of those nonsensical claims we hear quite a bit. The fact that it is not possible to hate something which one doesn't believe exists never seems to occur to them, and this is usually what we find ourselves explaining when faced with this claim. In my experience, they usually try to work around this response by insisting that we really do believe in their god and are just mad at it. Perhaps there is a different line of inquiry that would be interesting to pursue.
To the Christian who is convinced that I hate his or her god, I ask why I might do such a thing. Maybe they suppose I've had bad experiences with this particular god in my past. But who would be responsible for that? If I have had bad experiences, surely this was what their god desired.
Maybe the Christian assumes that I have been misled in some way by others, reaching false conclusions about their god. And yet, their god could certainly make itself known to me if it so desired. What does it mean that it has chosen not to do this? If I have been misled, why has the Christian god allowed this to happen and not steered me in the right direction?
Perhaps I am just fundamentally flawed in some way. We might call this original sin but we could just as easily imagine that I am a bitter, cynical, or hostile person. How did I get this way?
Ah, but the Christian god is probably testing me! I have the same capacity as anyone else to find and worship this god. The fact that I have not done so must mean that I am blameworthy and deserve to suffer for an eternity in Christian hell. Really? Does a god who would do this seem worthy of worship?
Maybe it is time for Christians to accept that we cannot hate something we don't think exists. If they keep insisting this, they may find themselves in a far less desirable position.
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