On those who loathe God
Frank writes: I an NOT an apatheist. I would be very concerned about god’s existence, as I would loath him for his abominable cruelty.”
That’s right. In addition to atheists and apatheists we have antitheists. An antitheist is an individual who believes that God does not exist but also would reject God if God did exist.
Frank’s antitheism (aka Ivan’s “protest atheism” in The Brothers Karamazov) is trendy in some circles these days. Perhaps there is a sociological dynamic at work. Maybe it is the same dynamic that compels some marathon runners to participate in insanely punishing ultra marathons like the Badwater Ultramarathon that winds through Death Valley. Compare:
“You did the Boston Marathon, huh? Been there, done that. But I just got back from the … Badwater ULTRAMARATHON!”
“You’re an atheist huh? Don’t believe God exists? Been there, done that. But I don’t just disbelieve in God … I HATE HIM IF HE DOES EXIST!”
People who run the Badwater Ultramarathon don’t impress me. I don’t know what there is in their psychology that drives them to run such a self-destructive race, but forty two urban and suburban kilometers (the length of a mere marathon) is surely enough.
Same goes for antitheism. It’s just, well, a bit ridiculous. Remember the description of God we’re talking about:
The concept of God that has been central in the West for millennia is the concept reflected in the Exodus ”I AM” and the Johannine Logos, in Plato’s Form of the Good and Aristotle’s Prime Mover, in Anselm’s being than which none greater can be conceived and Aquinas’s “ipsum esse subsistens” (God’s essence is to exist). It is God as ultimate, unique, classless, origin of all and end of all.
Let’s slot Anselm’s definition into Franks’ statement because that’s the representative concept that we’re dealing with:
“If that being than which none greater would be conceived existed then I would loath him for his abominable cruelty.”
Wow. Impressive. Is it any surprise that Christopher Hitchens has been influential in propagating this self-defeating nonsense? Back in the nineties he tried to convince us that we should loathe Mother Teresa. But I guess that wasn’t enough. Now we should loathe that being than which none greater can be conceived.
Let’s think about this a bit more.
“Imagine the most wonderful, perfect, loving, great agent you can exist. Now imagine an agent even more wonderful, perfect, loving, and great than you can conceive. Got it in your mind’s eye? Good. Now guess what? I HATE HIM! Ha! Whaddaya think of that?”
Like I said, ridiculous.