“Atheists Can’t Hate God, Because He’s Fictional”. Why Not?

Jack-Gleeson-as-Joffrey-Baratheon_photo-Macall-B.-Polay_HBO

 

I’ve seen this in many places, especially in those lists about misconceptions about atheism (many of which are not misconceptions as far as I’m concerned). But one that baffles me is this: misconception = atheists hate god. How is that refuted? Well, we think there is no god, so we can’t hate him.

Erm, why not?

There is no real god. But there is a fictional god. And people can have real emotions towards fictional characters. We love them, we become their fans, we sometimes even have more complicated emotional relationship with fictional characters than real people (like, Walter White, Tony Soprano, Michael Corleone, etc). To me, that’s the whole point of writing and reading fiction, to exercise our emotions and to enrich our lives by “knowing” people who are “real” in our brains. Life seems kind of boring and tight-ass to limit your life and emotions only to the real world.

So yes, I hate fictional characters too. For example, I hate Joffrey Baratheon from A Song of Ice and Fire. I’d hate him even more if people started believing that he’s real, and that his word is morality, and started to live by his example. And to me, that’s the Abrahamic god – a viscous totalitarian genocidal hateful villain which represents everything that is wrong.

So yes – I do hate god.

 

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