On the many occasions I have watched religious debates about god and the existence of god or been apart of them, there is one issue that usually goes unspoken, but to me seems rather essential.
The definition of Atheism is the lack of belief in a supernatural power, whether that be god or fairies. This is why you see many of these debates between religious folk and atheist discussing the existence of god. I am an atheist and I do not believe a god exists.
However there is another concept that appears to go unspoken rather often, although the late and great Christopher Hitchens spoke of it and that is the concept of the anti-theist.
Now being an atheist simply means you do not believe in god, so if the existence of god could be proved then you couldn’t deny that and therefore an atheist you could no longer be.
But does that mean you would join the legions of religious sycophants who spend their lives worshipping such a being?
This is the difference between atheism and anti-theism. There are, maybe, atheist who do not believe but given the evidence of a god, would join in with those who have always been devout.
An anti-theist, which is what I am, would still reject that god and what that god stands for. If god came down to Earth tomorrow and demanded that you either join him and his vision or stand against him and burn, then I would burn.
The first reason is, in the many discussions I have had with the religious who claim to know this god’s mind and thoughts, that he is an absolutist. You either give yourself to him absolutely or you are sent into the torture chamber for all eternity known as hell. I dislike absolutes and absolutists because they are the bedrock to dogmatic tyrannies of the mind and society. And as a liberal in all things, I say that those ideas are my enemy because they are the enemies of free thought, free speech and free will.
The second reason is this idea that this god is omnipotent and omniscient and yet he is such an appalling creator. As the tale goes he created this perfect world that was later spoiled by humanity by rejecting it and god and that is why we suffer with “original sin”. Except he apparently created us, so if he is omniscient and omnipotent then why did he like his world not create us perfect. Now the religious would ask “what is a perfect human?”
Well if your god is the all-powerful, all-knowing creature then he would be able to create the perfect human because it would be in his knowledge and power to do so.
Therefore the only other explanation if this god exists then he created a world that is dark and terrible at times and he created our bodies to be weak and feeble against cancer and other terrible diseases. He must have created the most cruel of insects and the most painful of injuries and a world that constantly murders the inhabitants through earthquakes and tsunamis and volcanoes. He created all of that and therefore this god is not an all loving creator, he is a sadistic, pernicious, capricious and psychotic creature that does not deserve praise or worship.
If a god did exist, I would reject him completely, but luckily for us, he does not and we simply have to deal with those who are delusional enough to believe he is.