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No Kirk, We Don’t Hate God

Kirk Cameron is either astonishingly stupid or a liar. Those are really the only two conclusions one can reach after watching this video promoting his new movie, Unstoppable. In it he claims that there are two things that every atheist must “cling to on faith.” They’re both nonsense.

The first is that “there is no God.” Wrong. Very few atheists make such an absolute statement. Even Richard Dawkins agrees that it’s possible that there is a God. But possible doesn’t mean plausible or certain. The overwhelming majority of atheists simply take the position that there is no compelling evidence to justify believing in a God. Present that compelling evidence and we would change our minds, as rational people would.

The second is that we all “hate” God. No Kirk, we don’t hate God. “Have you ever noticed how many people are so angry at someone they say is not even there.” No, no, no. I’m not angry at God because I don’t see any reason to believe there is such a thing. I am angry at many of the people who profess to believe in a God who commands them to be ignorant, hateful bigots and to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us. I think that’s an entirely reasonable thing to be angry about.

These two claims are so utterly wrongheaded that one can easily conclude that Cameron is either lying or stupid. Take your pick.

Comments

  1. doublereed says

    I dunno. God as a character is pretty genocidal, infanticidal, racist, misogynistic, and brutal.

    And he’s also just kind of a dick.

  2. John Pieret says

    Are these mutually exclusive?

    Of course not. In Kirk’s case he manages to be an astonishingly stupid liar, melding it into one lump of steaming stupid.

  3. raven says

    Cameron is both stupid and lying.

    The second is that we all “hate” God.

    We atheists get along really well with the gods. It couldn’t be better. They’ve been so quiet for centuries that it is almost like…they don’t even exist.

    Kirk Cameron, OTOH, hates virtually all the gods. He doesn’t pray to them, sacrifice to them, and even pretends they don’t exist.

    Thor, Zeus, Odin, Isis, Marduck, Ahura Mazda, Aten, Tlaloc, and Brahma are all very disapointed in Kirk Cameron.

  4. oranje says

    At what point do you get involved enough in a cause where you don’t much care about truth or objectivity?

  5. Freodin says

    Well, going by his title of “recovering atheist”, I must assume that he once was mad at god and thought that this was what “atheist” meant. (That is leaning on the ‘stupid’ side, isn’t it?)

    I assume that there might be real, thoughtful atheists, who have become belivers… though I could never confirm this assumption. On the other hand, all of the proclaimed belivers I have met who claimed to have been “atheists” or “materialists” are either liars or have been completely lobotomized when they got their “revelation”. None of them seem to have the slightest idea about what atheists like me are talking about.

  6. says

    I wonder just how often the whole “hating god” thing is used by believers who want to divert attention away from their own despicable acts. It’s generally the believers’ actions, not the gods, we take issue with. While many depictions of gods are certainly vile, they’re in the realm of fiction and we’ve said just about everything we can say about them. Meanwhile in the real world, religionists keep sinking to new lows for us to get outraged about.

  7. blf says

    The overwhelming majority of atheists simply take the position that there is no compelling evidence to justify believing in a God.

    It may indeed be the case that is the position of most atheists; I don’t know.
    My position is two-fold, something like (I say “something” because I think this is the first ever time I’ve tried to write it down and so am liable to revise (edit) as defects or unclarities become clearer):

     ●  The is no evidence at all, none, nothing, for the existence of any “gods”.
     ●  There is plausible, coherent, and consistent evidence for mechanisms (explanations) without requiring any “gods” at all at any stage for any reason.

    If there are any “gods” you not only need to provide evidence of her/his/its/their existence, but also demonstrate how that fits-in-with, possibly improving, the relevant current explanations (this does not rule out a paradigm shift, but of course you need fecking good evidence both against the current explanation and also evidence for the new, presumbly “gods”-soaked, explanation).

  8. says

    Oh make no mistake, I am an atheist who says that there is no God. Which God? The one in the Bible, and every other one that I have people to worship.

    I hate that God of the Bible.

    There, Kirk Cameron the bigot can point to this post as his evidence. Along with the fact that he is monumentally stupid which would be inconsequential if he were not additionally a bigot.

    It is a dishonest position to reserve a special exception for God and say “The first is that “there is no God.” Wrong. Very few atheists make such an absolute statement.”

    Plenty of things do not get that scrutiny. Why should God? Do we exercise that refrain when we say “There are no unicorns”? If anything, atheists accord too much of deference to that notion. We drive through an intersection saying “there is no car in the way.” Why the refrain on “There is no God”?

  9. slc1 says

    Re freodin @ #8

    I assume that there might be real, thoughtful atheists, who have become belivers… though I could never confirm this assumption.

    The blogs resident physicist cum math department chairman claims to be such a person.

  10. matty1 says

    If we are getting technical I would say.

    If you are talking about gods in the abstract, as in could anything exist that if I saw it I would call a god then it is a non question because you haven’t defined your terms clearly enough. It is like asking if egehrthgds wsgthyjt?

    If you are talking about a specific god claim then all the ones I’m aware of have sufficient flaws in what is presented as reasons to believe that I would give them a probability somewhere below ‘we are all living in the matrix’. Not impossible but not worth changing anything I do in response to.

  11. matty1 says

    Thor, Zeus, Odin, Isis, Marduck, Ahura Mazda, Aten, Tlaloc, and Brahma are all very disapointed in Kirk Cameron.

    Cthulu on the other hand thinks Cameron is wonderful, with ketchup.

  12. grumpyoldfart says

    Kirk just looks at his donation graph and says to himself, “How could I be wrong if I’m earning this much cash?”

  13. marcus says

    “I am angry at many of the people who profess to believe in a God who commands them to be ignorant, hateful bigots and to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us.”
    True that!
    In other words, people just like you Kirk.

  14. matty1 says

    Remember the definition of a bullshitter is someone who doesn’t care if something is true or false so long as it is advantageous. I suspect Mr Cameron like many prominent Christians is a bullshitter, he may believe but even if he didn’t he would say it anyway because doing so is to his advantage.

  15. says

    “Cthulu on the other hand thinks Cameron is wonderful, with ketchup.”

    I dunno; turds are one of the few items that cannot be made palatable, given enough ketchup.

    @slc1:

    OT, but it appears that Mr. Zimmerhero (a/k/a George “Murderingpiece-of-shitscumbag” Zimmerman) doin’ the rescue thing may not be, zackly, what was reported by the press on 7/17/13.

  16. exdrone says

    Cameron is missing the category of atheist who doesn’t give god(s) a second thought. He shouldn’t bother worrying about what I think about god(s) when I can’t be bothered spending time on the subject. … However, if gods do exist, I hate the one that keeps hiding my keys. He’s a real prick.

  17. scienceavenger says

    Stupid obviously, since his two claims contradict each other.

    @8

    I assume that there might be real, thoughtful atheists, who have become belivers… though I could never confirm this assumption.

    I can confirm at least one case for you, a former atheist mentor of mine, who gave me Paul Kurtz “The Transendental Temptation” on a mountain-climbing trip and changed my views forever. He was a bright, learned, knew all the problems with religion we do. Shortly thereafter he got romantically involved with a born again Christian acquaintance he used to make fun of, and before you knew it he was praying for parking spaces at the mall. None of his former social group has been able to figure it out to this day.

    So yes, they happen, but it is exceedingly rare.

  18. Freodin says

    @23
    Can he still intelligently converse with you about religion… or has he mutated to some kind of “you are so blind, but I have seen the light!” type of person. That would place him into my “lobotomized” category.

    I just haven’t met any other variant yet… but that might be a problem of too few samples. ;)

  19. eoleen says

    Excuse me, but I see absoluytely no reason at all to believe that LYING and STUPID are mutually exclusive.

    I cast my ballot for BOTH

  20. scienceavenger says

    @24 I don’t think so, as I recall (this was many years ago) all his former cohorts could get out of him was “She just convinced me I was wrong”.

  21. raven says

    Shortly thereafter he got romantically involved with a born again Christian acquaintance he used to make fun of, and before you knew it he was praying for parking spaces at the mall. None of his former social group has been able to figure it out to this day.

    That is simple to explain. A well known phenomenon. (This BTW, isn’t sarcasm, it does happen.)

    It’s called a “hormonal conversion”.

    Needless to say, it doesn’t involve the brain but rather some endocrine glands.

    I’ve seen it too once. A lost in space guy met a Mormon girl. Mormons almost never marry outside their religion. No problem. He is now a Mormon and married to her.

    “She just convinced me I was wrong”.

    Post hoc rationalization. It sounds better than “hormonal conversion.”

  22. Artor says

    I was a horny, but virginal pagan/atheist in college. I met a born-again Xian girl who thought she could earn points by bringing a heathen into the fold. She was a sweet girl, but she knew jack shit about mythology, psychology, history, religion, logic, or much of anything except being a nursing student. She tried to convert me using logic, but she could never explain to me how Jebus dying on a cross had anything to do with forgiving me of my supposed sins. She tried to convince me with Bible stories, but freaked out when I compared them to other, older myths, because the Bible was historical FACT, and all those others were just lies from the devil. Even if they pre-dated the gospels by many centuries. She tried to save my soul because she didn’t want me to burn in hell, but she could never offer a shred of reasoning why I should believe a hell existed, or that I would be anything but a memory after I died.

    Eventually, it became clear that I wasn’t going to convert. Suddenly, her Xian morals re-asserted themselves and that was the end of that. She was married and pregnant within 6 months. (To a guy I know used to be pagan himself. I guess he was more willing to be convinced.)

  23. says

    The funny thing is that most of us here would likely believe God exists if he turned up and provided convincing evidence. But the Kirk Camerons of the world would only do so if he said what they want to hear. If God appeared, and told everyone there was no Jesus, salvation through Christianity etc. Cameron and friends would decide it wasn’t really God.

  24. cptdoom says

    I’ve always been hesitant about the atheist label, because although I don’t believe there is a god, I also can’t prove there is not. Certainly it makes sense that something as vast and complex as the multiverse has some kind of originating power, but there is no reason to believe that power is an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent entity who cares if Tim Tebow wins a football game. I do know that the god worshiped by most of the major religions is both so unclear on his true feelings (which church am I supposed to kneel in again?) and so petty in his grievances against nonbelievers that he must be a creation of human minds (to quote XTC’s Dear God “Did you make mankind after we made you?”) and therefore unworthy of worship.

  25. freehand says

    The only certain truths we can utter are those statements bound in closed systems of logic, such as arithmetic. Given the definitions of the terms, we can say positively that
    1 + 1 = 2
    .
    Other statements about the world (synthetic statements) such as
    “India has more citizens than does Germany”
    or
    “There is a god, and his name is Yahweh”
    are always uncertain to a degree. That degree of uncertainty varies with the supporting evidence available. (There is some disagreement whether statements which cannot be falsified in principle even mean anything…) When somebody claims that the there is a god and whhhyyyy don’t I “believe in him”(1) I respond that I have no supporting evidence. He will generally respond with “Oh yeah? Can you prove it?” and I will point out that I might be wrong, of course, The person I am talking to might also be an android from Mars, but I don’t believe it. It makes no sense, there is no evidence to support such an assertion. The only difference between them is that religious claims have much social support, which almost all people will agree (however reluctantly) is a poor substitute for evidence. After all, if social collective beliefs is an argument for truth, then why Christianity instead of Hinduism?
    .
    I don’t think it’s appropriate to qualify our statements that we don’t believe in gods but I might be wrong. I might believe(2) that India has more citizens than Germany but I might be wrong is really unnecessary. I would have to append nearly everything I say.
    .
    (1) A typical equivocation commonly used by Christians. I might or might not believe that a god exists. I believe in a scholar’s mind in an athlete’s body. That is, I embrace a cluster of certain values.
    .
    (2) Believe = “think something is so, based on evidence” not “have faith that”.

  26. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    But the two claims are self-contradictory. You can’t hate something that isn’t there, so how can we both believe God isn’t real and also hate Him? Think it through, Kirk.

  27. dingojack says

    Cptddom – ‘I’ve always been hesitant about the atheist label, because although I don’t believe there is a god, I also can’t prove there is not. “.
    So you’re an agnostic then…
    Certainly it makes sense that something as vast and complex as the multiverse has some kind of originating power, but there is no reason to believe that power is an omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent entity who cares if Tim Tebow wins a football game.’
    …. who leans toward Deism.

    Does that help?

    ;) Dingo

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