What’s in the Name “Misotheist?” Power of Story, Literally

9 12 2010

“It is a rare cocktail of trauma, a sense of righteousness, rationalism, and a rebellious constitution,
combined with an indestructible belief in divinity,
that leads to misotheism. “

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
December 5, 2010
Hating God
By Bernard Schweizer

. . .Not merely taboo, misotheism is illegal in a few places. In some Islamic countries the death penalty awaits a person convicted as a mohareb, an enemy of God. Only in 2008 did Britain repeal a long-unenforced blasphemy law that made saying something like “I hate God” or “God is hateful” a punishable offense.

Ireland has moved in the other direction. Last year it strengthened prohibitions against blasphemy. To publicly spit at God in Ireland can now cost you 25,000 euros.

. . . Misotheists are a category-defying species:
They believe in God (hence they are not atheists), but they hate him
(hence they are not theists).

So who are these people? Obscure, cranky, immoral, unproductive, and
criminal loners? Not quite. Try William Blake, William Empson, Zora
Neale Hurston, Philip Pullman, Percy Shelley, Mark Twain, Rebecca West, and Elie Wiesel, among other writers who have enriched our literary and philosophical heritage over the last two centuries. . . .

Misotheists’ affinity for literature is partly due to its make-believe
quality, which has served as a defense against public prosecution of
authors from Flaubert to Joyce and Nabokov. But fiction has another
advantage over nonfiction when it comes to God-hatred: The imaginative scope of literature allows one to toy creatively with an idea that is both troubling and difficult to act upon.

Indeed, only in fiction is it really possible to wrestle with God with any degree of realism. Consider Elie Wiesel’s play The Trial of God; Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials; or James Morrow’s speculative Godhead Trilogy. All provide shelter for the idea that God is guilty of gross negligence, dishonorable conduct, and criminal behavior.

. . . Looking around them, misotheists cannot believe that slavery, pogroms, genocide, world wars, tsunamis, plagues, and a host of other natural and man-made disasters are compatible with the existence of a wise, compassionate, and all-knowing God.

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One response

10 12 2010
Lynn

“misotheists cannot believe that slavery, pogroms, genocide, world wars, tsunamis, plagues, and a host of other natural and man-made disasters are compatible with the existence of a wise, compassionate, and all-knowing God.”

Should we add Pearl Harbor and the extension of Unemployment Benefits to the host of disasters imcompatible with the existence of a wise, compassionate,… ? 😉

Btw, I hear Christine O’Donnell is on the FOX & Friends’ schedule as a guest hostess during Christmas week. I’m so lookin’ forward to a little ho, ho, ho from the dope, dope, dope.

Misotheists are a category-defying species: They believe in God (hence they are not atheists), but they hate him (hence they are not theists).

I’ve mentioned that Girl was struggling to explain this recently when confronted by neighborhood children who were convinced that, as an atheist, she worships the Devil. She was incredulous – and amused – at their stubborn stand against simple logic.

But kids are just reciting the really stupid meme crafted by evangelicals: Atheists know that God exists, they just deny Him because “they don’t want to live by His Rules.” So, some many not be “defying categories,” but redefining them to suit their own notions of logic?

But, the misunderstandings are predictable as atheists often appear to “wrestle with God,” talking about him as if he actually existed.

(Fictional works) “provide shelter for the idea that God is guilty of gross negligence, dishonorable conduct, and criminal behavior.”

Fortunately, we’ve also got “The Four Horsemen” of Atheism (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris and Hitchens) and other “New Atheists” who are becoming popular non-fiction writers on God’s “gross negligence, dishonorable conduct, and criminal behavior.”

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