How can you hate something that doesn't exist? It’s quite simple really. The same way you can love something that doesn't exist. Our culture if full of fictional characters that incite a full range of human emotions. Millions of people have warm affection for Sherlock Homes, Dr. Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Spider Man. And yet these are fictional characters. They’re not real. They don’t exist.
Let’s suppose, hypothetically speaking, someone invented a character with supernatural powers that was jealous, vengeful and cruel who inflicted death and suffering on countless people including women and children. And let’s suppose there was a story about this character coming face to face with the Incredible Hulk. Wouldn't you be cheering for the Hulk to kick his ass? And yet neither character is real. Why the emotional response?
The Joker, Voldemort, Sauron and the Wicked Witch of the West are often hated even though they don’t exist either. It’s very common in our society to both hate and love imaginary beings. And yet atheists are criticized for supposedly hating god as they shouldn't hate something that they don’t believe is real. But what god are they hating?
Do atheists hate the god imaged by Socrates that represented the highest virtues of truth and honesty? Do they hate Isis, Zeus, Thor or Loki? Do atheists hate Shiva? No, atheists specifically hate the god of Abraham which is the deity of Jews, Christians and Muslims. Sharing the same god is why these religions have lived in such harmony over the past millennium. So why pick on their guy?
The Bible and the Qur’an by the inspiration of “god” call for the murder of non-believers. For some reason, the atheists find that offensive. I know right?! So sensitive. The Bible and the Qur’an also call for the eternal suffering in hell for non-believers. For some reason, the atheists don’t like that either. So thin skinned!
But hey, if there was some manifesto believed to be holy that called for the murder and eternal torment of Christians and Muslims, I’m sure they’d be just fine with it. They wouldn't want to be insensitive and insult someone else’s beliefs. And besides, what harm could it possibly do?
-James Kirk Wall
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