From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Religion (Rated B-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Religion, a project to improve Wikipedia's articles on Religion-related subjects. Please participate by editing the article, and help us assess and improve articles to good and 1.0 standards, or visit the wikiproject page for more details.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated C-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.

Older comments[edit]

This Talk page briefly was the place for discussion of the Maltheism article, which has been moved back to Talk:Maltheism.

It seems pointless to have an article called Eutheism and Dystheism that covers almost exclusively Dystheism, and since the movement is on to delete or dereference the Maltheism entry, it seems this should all go in a Dystheism entry. I copied over Thaddeus Frye's edits, restored some omitted pieces (but by no means all—I have no problem with trimming the article appropriately), and cited explicit references. I will do the following with redirections:

  1. Change Eutheism and Dystheism to redirect to Dystheism.
  2. Change Maltheism to redirect to Dystheism.
  3. Create a new Biblical support for dystheism entry to trim the fat from this article. Craig zimmerman


I reverted the Eutheism and Dystheism article to get rid of the redirect, which I don't feel is appropriate. I see no reason to redirect from an article that concerns both of these terms to an article the concerns only one. The reason cited for the redirect is that the article converns mostly distheism; however Eutheism and dystheism are two very closely related terms.

If the article is mostly about Dystheism, that is only because of the last set of revisions to this article, which added a great deal of information relating to dystheism only. Moreover this latest revision is very problematic for a number of reasons:

1) Presents dystheism as an accepted term from intellectual history, which it isn't. The definition of the term must indicate the term's extremely limited usage to avoid misleading readers. 2) The article is very NPOV regarding divine command theory, which it calls: "a largely discredited approach to morality" 3) The "Historical Perspective" section here is generally questionable. Byron and his own subconscious notwithstanding, Milton was a devout Puritan, and citing PL here is not accurate. "Trickster Gods" have no relevance to these terms that pertain specifically to montheism. Wiesel and post-holocaust theology are more appropriate; however care must be taken in any "historical" section to avoid implying that any pre 1998 writers chracterized their own writings as "dystheisic" who in fact did not. 4) the list of "related terms" is abritrary and unnecessary, and includes an inaccurate definition of misotheism, which is defined in all the sources I've seen as a "hatred of God or Gods" (its only usage cited by OED refers to gods). The list of related terms also includes a reference to "Maltheism," which is not an encyclopedic term; refernces to Maltheism should be removed. 5) generally including a huge amount of inappropriate description and argument (such as eleborate defintions of related terms that are defined elsewhere in \wikipedia)

Because of these problems I will insert a redirect from this page back to Eutheism and Dystheism, which I have edited to include the strong points of this article, especially the reference to Wiesel. I will add footnotes and some more formatting to that page tomorrow.ThaddeusFrye 02:51, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Some history and discussion is archived at Eutheism and dystheism. Since the article is mostly about dystheism rather than eutheism, renaming the article seemed appropriate. Craig zimmerman 16:58, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Why does Theophilism redirect here? 20:35, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I'm relieved to see that although there was no further discussion of Theophilism redirecting here, it no longer does that. Downstrike (talk) 02:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Seeing that this discussion of re-directing Eutheism dates to 2006 or earlier and was apparently concerned with conditions within this and related articles that no longer prevail, it seems to me that when the subject of Eutheism is introduced under Terminology > Dystheism, it should link to the article describing that concept. Therefore, since Eutheism now re-directs to Omnibenevolence, I'm linking it to that article. Downstrike (talk) 02:04, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Karl Marx[edit]

I read in many places that Karl Marx was a Maltheist (or at least used Maltheistic language symbolically). He even wrote a poem called Invocation of One in Despair and a play calle Oulenam, which are available at under A Book of Verse. It is all actually quite interesting, sounds a little bit like black metal material actually. 02:31, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for this reference. I have incorporated it into the article. Craig zimmerman 17:40, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Response to recent edits[edit]

I was rather disturbed by the recent set of edits to the Dystheism article which clearly sought to violate NPOV guidelines, until I noticed it had been inserted by someone who had taken issue with the original maltheism and dystheism articles way back when. Even though I know this person is a serious contributor to Wikipedia, I cannot fathom the reasons for this vandalism. I call it vandalism because it attempted to diffuse the article's content in a misleading way. There was this edit:

There are, however, numerous recorded instances of spontaneous expression of "hatred of God", not as a stated theological principle but as a statement of anger or unhappiness over misfortunes attributed to Acts of God, frequently taking the form of blasphemous utterances along the lines of "may I be damned"

This text seems to have been inserted to diminish the sentiments described here. Numerous authors and artists were cited offering serious crafted works, not as impromptu bursts of anger but as statements of deep conviction about the nature of God. Why was it necessary to invoke such dismissive language, the purpose of which would seem only to be derogation of the belief being described?

A possible reason for the apparent rarity of real world dystheists is terminological: people who do believe in an evil supernatural being do not tend to identify it as "God", but rather as "demon", "devil" or similar.

Except that is not the belief being described in this article at all, and I am sure this person is aware of that. This article concerns itself with a belief about God'. The article describes the contrast between this belief and other beliefs like Gnosticism to make such distinctions clear. This sentence (and the other sentence cited above) would lead the reader to believe that such belief does not exist, even though citations of such belief are demonstrated.

Mr. Bachmann, we have talked about this in the past, you have been direct and civil in our discussions. But here you attempted to introduce a blatantly negative bias into this article, for whatever reason. You claimed, in your comments, that you had "found a reference at last"—where were you looking that you had not found references before this, especially in light of the numerous references cited? I would ask you to recuse yourself from further edits to this article, since these interjected statements violate NPOV guidelines and since you seem to have an agenda in editing it.

As to the idea that the Biblical support for dystheism article should be folded into this one: I made an initial attempt to do this very thing, and it resulted in an article that was much too long. I would propose rather that the scope of that article be broadened, to include not only the Bible but the Koran and other religious texts. There is certainly precedent for creating a list of this nature, but I don't have a good title for such an article. ("Support for dystheism in religious texts"??) Thank you. Craig zimmerman 18:09, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

the edits "diminish" your sentiments because Wikipedia is WP:NOT a platform for your sentiments. We have misotheism, which is essentially a dictdef. And we have allowed you to keep this article even though it is abundantly clear that you just made up "maltheism" in school one day. Your postings to online discussion groups are not encyclopedic material, sorry. "misotheism" is not "maltheism", sorry. I managed to finally add the first published source on the topic that goes beyond a simple rehash of the "problem of evil", and you call "vandalism"? The reason there are no dystheists is that if you dissociate God from "good", you lose all reason to postulate a Single God in the first place, and find yourself back in polytheism, where gods can be good or evil or both as they like. Your whole thing is a glorified corollary of the problem of evil/theodicy, and if you don't accept your essay being cleaned up, I will see it is merged into those article: there is no reason to sprawl a single idea over half a dozen articles, even on Wikipedia. dab (𒁳) 18:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Sigh... DAB, I didn't want to turn this into a p*ssing contest, and I'm upset that it seems to have become that. Your overtly hostile statement (with its accusations of "you just made up maltheism in school one day") really has no place here. The invocation of a royal "we" (as in "we have allowed you to keep this article" and "after we indulged in your essays for months on end") likewise. I along with several other people who edited this article came up with numerous references cited, but you seem to be saying that they didn't count, that only your managing to find one such reference yourself and declare that you "finally" provided a reference qualify as the barometer here. I don't get it.

It is you who are expressing your personal opinion in not only your edits but in your comments above. "The reason there are no dystheists is that if you dissociate God from good, you lose all reason to postulate a Single God in the first place." Is this anything more than your bold assertion? The philosophers and theologians cited in the text of the article, including Weisel and Blumenthal, have offered opinions about God's nature that contradict your assertion, which in and of themselves demonstrate that is most certainly possible to dissociate God from good and still have the thing refered to as God! Perhaps your personal belief system asserts that this dissociation is impossible, but using that alone as a basis for eviscerating the body of content in an article seems more than just harsh, it seems to me very wrong.

You and those like you asked for examples. We provided them. You asked for references and citations. We provided them. You did not "clean up" the article, you added your own bias to it, your personal opinion that maltheism/dystheism doesn't make sense... to you. All I can say is, oh well. I'm not out to convert you or anyone else, and I don't think anyone who contributed to this article is either.

I changed your dictionary citation because yours was fluffy: it stated that misotheism was merely an example entry under "miso-". I provided a dictionary citation of no lesser quality than yours that provided a full entry for the word "misotheism". The word "maltheism" also exists in Wiktionary. I am not sure what "coined ad-hoc" is supposed to mean (as opposed to the plethora of common tehcnological buzzwords similarly coined?), and I am also not sure what you mean by "similarly recent times."

This is an article that provides coverage of a kind of belief in God. Clearly it is not a belief in God that you seem to like, clearly it is a belief whose tenets you disagree with. But it would be wrong to limit coverage to only beliefs that "we" happen to like. Agreed?

The thing you appeared to be describing in your edits from earlier today is not the same thing as dystheism, misotheism, or maltheism. Those edits constitute a deflective spin claiming essentially that "no one really thinks this way or believes this, anyone who does is simply erupting in spontaneous expressions of anger or not really refering to God." If that is anything beyond a curt dismissal of a belief you happen not to like, please, explain then what it is.

I will remerge both my dictionary citation and yours, if that would be acceptable to you. Your reversion of my edits seemed very petty, and I hope that on reflection you would agree, and that we could move forward. I apologized for refering to your efforts as "vandalism" (I honestly didn't recall your handle until I started writing these talk comments) and I hope we can get past this. Thank you. Craig zimmerman 19:15, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Craig, the point is the first attestation, and 1907 is earlier than 1913. Why are we having this conversation? Also, you've had full two years time to provide evidence that there are dystheists. You haven't. This is an article about a position that can be argued theoretically, but is not actually held. we as in "several Wikipedians" have discussed this with you in the past. It became evident that this is your personal project, and nobody had the heart or cared enough to Afd it, and people really went out of their way to improve your "maltheism" essay. After two years, I don't think much more evidence will emerge. Per WP:OWN, you cannot keep your essay here just because you like to. I maintain that this topic now needs to be cleaned up in accordance with its notability and the evidence that has been provided. Sourced positions we can keep, your personal dialectics will have to go. dab (𒁳) 07:37, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
that said, you should understand that I am sympathetic towards the topic. I am not trying to censor you, I am trying to morph this into an encyclopedic writeup that can stand on its own. I am sorry, but Wikipedia policy will not allow rhetorical arguing of your case, you will have to use your blog for that, and I am happy to endorse the link to your blog staying on this article. If you manage to collect your writings and publish it in the form of a pamphlet or little book, I will happily cite you here and summarize your position. peace, dab (𒁳) 13:49, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Dab, I was very concerned (after the tone our conversation was starting to take) when I saw the magnitude of updates you had entered today. Upon deeper examination I discovered that I found most of the changes to be excellent. The concerns I still have I will mention here along with my positive assessments:

  • First, I very much like your creating one "Terminology" section. I think you didn't quite finish eliminate redundancies there. I think your mention of misotheism and antitheism in the opening paragraph is fleshed out more in the Terminology section that follows. Can we combine all mentions of these terms into one place?
  • I appreciate your including both dictionary references. The one you refered to from 1907 lists the word's entry as "under miso-", which sounds like the word is just one of many undefined words in a list "under miso-." The 1913 entry clearly specifies the explicit origin of the word, which indeed is much older (as I noted in one of the many references I had been supplying).
  • The section (two paragraphs) beginning with "Dystheistic speculation arises from" is not terminological in focus, but it's in what's now the "Terminology" section. It should probably go after all the talk of Terminology. Agree?
  • I still take strong issue with this particular rewording on your part:
These are statements that are clearly in violation of NPOV guidelines. You insist that "people who believe in an evil supernatural being do not tend to identify it as God." But we are talking about the very people who take the position that it is the thing identified as God that is being described as evil, and examples from literature, art, and theology were offered. Elie Wiesel's book is not called "The Trial of Some Supernatural Evil Being But Not God Because God is Defined as Good." Provoost's "The Shadow of the Ark" talks about a flood caused by God, and she suggests that we do not need and should not trust the God we have in this world. (The Provoost quote, by the way, is from an interview with her, which is cited explicitly in the references. Perhaps that was not clear.) Blumenthal and Sutherland speak of abuses by God, not abuses by some other supernatural being, and they do so as theologians from a theological perspective. In short, these statements of yours were uncalled for, and they introduce a bias that indicates that all these people are merely expressing spontaneous anger against God, "shaking their fists at him" so to speak, as if to condescendingly suggest this is just something they'll all "get over" eventually. I would like to remove these statements and replace them with the ones originally there, which did not introduce this bias. (You say you are "sympathetic" to the topic here, but I find that hard to believe with what seemed to be a deliberate injection of dismissive language.)
  • Your point, that no one (or at best an insignificant number of people) flies the flag labeling themselves "dystheists" or "maltheists," is understood. But it is not "original research" to catalog in an encyclopedic article instances of a phenomenon and to give that phenomenon a name, or choose a name from among the set of available applicable words, especially if that phenomenon lacks a single definitive name. That is what this article has attempted to do.
  • I could dwell on your attitude that this is all just "something I wrote in school" and that the references on the web are just "my blog" and "my posts," but that would be counterproductive. Still, I believe that this merits at least a mention here. Never mind that I pointed to virtually nothing of my own writing, the posts and the blog are my father's creation. (Perhaps he wrote them when he was in school? Does this matter, or is such language just a tool for disparagement?) Whatever. Can we skip this condescending condemnation? It's worthy of someone… still in school.
  • Finally, I appreciate your enhancing of the Literature Section.

Enough said. Craig zimmerman 16:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Dab: I found a way to incorporate the statements you were making in a hopefully NPOV manner. The Dystheism#Where_Are_the_Dystheists? section now includes the following:

Craig zimmerman 17:07, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

it's looking good. note that I'm looking towards merging the stubby misotheism into this article, hence the mention in the lead. Regarding "we are talking about the very people who take the position that it is the thing identified as God that is being described as evil, and examples from literature, art, and theology were offered", I am sorry, but this is not the case. The entire point is that there are no known voicings of that conviciton. All cited instances from literature either just entertain the possibility, or use it as an argument for atheism. The entire point is to explain why between "eutheism" and atheism, the position of "dystheism" is never taken in earnest. The answer is that "dystheism" is essentially a contradiction in terms, that is, once your God is not "good", there is no reason to assume he is Single either, and you end up in ordinary polytheism (if not atheism). No reference to any author actually defending the "dystheistic" viewpoint as correct is known. I'm confident we'll get this into shape however. regards, dab (𒁳) 19:50, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, dab. I think the idea of making misotheism the focus article is not a bad one at all. It is, after all, the word with the best pedigree.

What I don't get is when you assert "this is not the case." When you say "there are no known voicings of that conviction," this is plainly not correct. The very title of Blumenthal's book refers to the "abusing God"—he is talking about God (not a devil or demon), and he is refering to him as being abusive. In what sense can you assert that this is not a dystheistic/maltheistic/misotheistic sentiment? Wiesel's book puts God on trial for crimes he is responsible for as God. Again, how does this not qualify? Provoost and Rushdie likewise put God in the docket.

There is a contrast between dystheism and misotheism here, though. The former simply judges God as hateful and evil, the latter merely expresses hatred for him. Blumenthal's work might be called dystheistic but not misotheistic. You see what I mean? Misotheism and the flavor of "antitheism" that is "against God" (cf. "against religion") are more closely tied to each other than dystheism and maltheism are. One can find God to be evil yet not hate him, as I think Blumenthal and Wiesel do. Conversely, someone might hate God regardless of whether he's evil or not.

Further, your assertion about a "contradiction in terms" is false. You say "once your God is not good, there is no reason to assume he is Single either." Where does this conclusion come from? Does it follow logically? God's goodness and God's singularity are independent variables and it cannot be said that God not being good means he is not "Singular." The ideas expressed by Blumenthal, Roth, and Wiesel all speak of a singular, potentially malevolent God. I am not sure where your assertion comes from.

I too am confident we can make this right. Thanks for your help and please accept my critique of your statements in the spirit it was all intended.

Craig zimmerman 22:58, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

"Biblical evidence"[edit]

feel free to add examples from the Quran, we can then change the section title to "Scriptural". But don't retell the entire content of the stories, just briefly point out the dystheistic element. Even that would strictly need a clean source (it's not good enough that just you happen to think God looks bad), but I'm not going to be a prick over that, the argument is trivial enough in most cases. dab (𒁳) 08:51, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Nice—I like the usage of "Scriptural." It's the word I was looking for that would be more encompassing than just "Biblical." Thank you. Craig zimmerman 16:32, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

it's fine; as soon as you bring up actual references to the Quran, we can change the heading. As it is, all we do discuss is the Old Testament, so "Biblical" is good enough. dab (𒁳) 19:51, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I am calling upon people with more knowledge than I have about the Koran to contribute these. Craig zimmerman 23:10, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I am not aware of any "dystheistic" material in the Quran any more than in the New Testament. It's a historical thing, as you may by now have come to recognize, related to the transition of henotheism to monotheism in the final centuries BC. At best, you could bring up the much-cited passages where the Quran endorses warfare, but hey, even the Geneva convention and the charter of human rights do not prohibit warfare as such, that's maybe "ptolemotheism" (or "machotheism", as in machomai :) but hardly "dystheism". The only thing you can scrape from the NT and the Quran alike is "gender discrimination", the women's liberation being a 19th century thing. But at that stage you are really just bashing historical texts for being written in the time they were. dab (𒁳) 10:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

The Christian scriptures are full of Demiurgic referances i.e. (2 Corinthians 4:4 (King James Version)4.In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them John 12:31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. John 12:30-32 (in Context) John 12 (Whole Chapter) John 14:30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, John 14:29-31 (in Context) John 14 (Whole Chapter) John 16:11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. John 16:10-12 (in Context) John 16 (Whole Chapter) Matthew 4 8,9 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. depending on the height of your Christology (and stomach for heresy) Jesus could be seen as a Dystheist. Marcon seemed to see things that way. Does "God exists and is evil" = "The Creator exists and is evil" ? 16:56, 19 June 2007 (UTC)Little Paul june 19th 2007

This is all good material. I would like to fold it into the Dystheism article, particularly in the section devoted to scriptural examples of God being evil. I'm not sure yet how to structure it but I will try to give this material its due. Thanks. Craig zimmerman 04:21, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Who is Marcon? "Jesus could be seen as a Dystheist" doesn't strike me as evident to put it mildly, you'd have to cite some reference for the opinion. --dab (𒁳) 12:44, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Breakout of "possible examples"[edit]

I am confounded by the recent edits undertaken by Thaddeus Frye that separate out "possible" examples of dystheism. The motivation behind these edits seems to be that the article was long and needed breaking up, but the manner in which this breakout was done makes no sense.

First, Thaddeus, you injected mention of Koons by name in the very first sentence. OK, fine, but you do not cite Koons' credentials or say who he is at that point. Discussion of Koons was already in place in the terminology section. If there is a reason to mention Koons by name upfront, I don't see what it is. He is an accredited professor but otherwise not of considerable note, except perhaps as the originator of this term in a formal sense. Note that he doesn't seem to have an entry of his own here. If Koons were a person of major notability, then mentioning his name in the first sentence of this article would make sense, as it would be a reference point to a person of note for something other than the coining of this term. Otherwise, it is injected there artificially.

Second, the breakout of the "possible" examples into a separate article. Length considerations aside, the very name of this new article, and the citation that begins it, skew its content. There is a term, defined by an academic, that describes a particular attitude towards God. Whether or not an action or a composed essay or song is an example of that attitude is not something dependent upon validation from the originator of the term! So what is the rationale behind saying that an example evincing that attitude is merely a "possible" example because it hasn't been validated by the originator of the term?

These edits were apparently not done with care: there was already a See also section but this new article was put into a new See also section by itself. I will perform the following edits to clean this up:

  1. Remove references to Koons' name in the introductory sentence.
  2. Rename the Possible examples of dystheism article to more accurately reflect its content and intent.
  3. Remove the superfluous "although they have not been discussed by Koons" comment. An example does not need to have been cleared by the originator of a term to be associated with that term.
  4. Fix the See also section in the base article.

Craig zimmerman 18:44, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

this is unwarranted. The "possible examples" only make sense within our discussion here, not as a separate article. --dab (𒁳) 18:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, dab, for getting this done quicker than I could. :-) Craig zimmerman 18:58, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
the section has issues ({{OR}}, {{quotefarm}}), but they should be addressed here, in context. --dab (𒁳) 19:01, 2 October 2007 (UTC)


A user just deleted a bunch of text under the guise of "original research" and then placed an AfD tag on the article. At this point, I think neither is correct and there appears to be an agenda. However, before I revert the info, I thought it should be talked about first. --BlindEagletalk~contribs 20:38, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I've just nominated this article for deletion, although I recognize that a lot of time has been spent here. Dystheism isn't a concept that has yet received enough scholarly attention or public discussion to be encyclopedic. I previously moved the OR list examples to a separate page; however seeing that these have returned, and seeing that this article continues to expand in a way that promotes, rather than describes the use of this term in the world (which at present is extremely limited, as far as this article has been able to document), I've nominated it for deletion. ThaddeusFrye 21:18, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I have long-standing doubts if the existence of this article separate from theodicy or problem of evil is justified. But I will argue that deletion would be excessive, it should at least remain a redirect. Your submission to AfD is of course valid, and we'll just have to see how it turns out. --dab (𒁳) 11:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Alright the hatred of God stuff[edit]

So this article appears to be suffering from lack of sources. And now my article on misotheism (which has plenty of entries in dictionaries all of the world and web) has been deleted and the link redirected to an article now that is going to be potentially deleted. How lovely. So... As such should there not be at least some entry somewhere in wikipedia addressing the ancient concept of the hatred of the God or Gods? I mean misotheism in an entry on the American sub-Standard Dictionary. [1]
And Webster of course too. [2] LoveMonkey 13:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

misotheism hasn't been "deleted", it has been transwikied to wikt:misotheism as a dictionary definition. You may want to look at history of atheism. The "ancient" concept of dustheismos / misotheismos were in fact identical to the "ancient" concept of atheismos, and the sentiment as found in e.g. The Oresteia is duly addressed, and discussion can be extended indefinitely, in context, at existing articles, without the need to create stub articles on random neologisms. See also: History_of_atheism#Classical_Greece_and_Rome, Euthyphro dilemma, Epicureanism, Polytheism, Demon. dab (𒁳) 13:33, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I will re-interate. The misotheism wikipedia/encyclopedia article has been deleted. LoveMonkey 13:45, 4 October 2007 (UTC) Also your above comments appear to be missing from the actual article. Why? AKA why does the article then contradict itself?LoveMonkey 13:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

the misotheism article has not been deleted. This article is up for deletion at the moment, you may want to comment at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Dystheism. The term "dystheism" is a nonce word (as is misotheism)[citation needed], and serious discussion of the issues involved should reside at titles with better credibility). dab (𒁳) 13:55, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

OK so you are not going to discuss on the discuss page. And again the wikipedia article has been deleted. If it is no longer on wikipedia it is no longer on wikipedia. And if the dystheism article gets deleted the mention of misothesim as a philosophical concept will be removed from wikipedia as well. This no matter how much hairsplitting and double speak you engage in. LoveMonkey 14:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Hey Websters doesn't state the term misotheism is a neologism/nonce word. Also Websters doesn't list meme so how valid is this argument anyway? Since when is misotheism a neologism? (nope since it aint new) is misotheism a nonce word (nope since by your own admission OED states it is obsolete) so if the term is obsolete then by your standard it should be replaced with the neologism, nonce word dystheism! Dab! whatzz amadda You? LoveMonkey 14:39, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

are you feeling alright? If you have a point to make, feel free to make it, but please don't distract from a debate with nonsense postings. dab (𒁳) 15:21, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Dodged again. LoveMonkey 16:54, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
OK so then lets start real simple.
What source refers to misotheism as a nonce word?
LoveMonkey 16:56, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Nonce words frequently arise through the combination of an existing word with a familiar prefix or suffix. But fair enough, I am not going to insist it is one. It is sufficient to note that it is "Obs. rare." Nonce or not, there is no reason to have an article on it. It is unreasonable to ask for citation that a given word was "coined for the nonce". A nonce word is usually not listed in dictionaries or wordlists, so it would be similar to ask for citation that a given opinion is unnotable. Since misotheism is listed in OED, and as rare rather than nonce-wd, I will grant you that if may have risen (only just) above the "nonce" threshold (examples for actual nonce words listed in the OED are argentocracy , archbishopess, bestialist, bucolism). If we are going to keep this article separate, it may in fact be better to move it to misotheism. dab (𒁳) 08:49, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Now that would be the way to handle the issue. What concerns me is that I noted on the misotheism talkpage my objections to having misotheism merge with dystheism several months ago and the objection appears to have been ignored. Having made that statement I do not consider misotheism to be a new term nor do I consider the concept new either. I think that as a large blanket term misotheism holds allot more leverage then dystheism to cover the concept of hatred toward the God or Gods. How much time is left on the AFD? Once that has transpired then I think you are absolutely correct to merge the dystheism article with the misotheism and have the whole thing covered under that heading. Since dystheism is a deletion fan favorite of the deletionists here on wiki (this is the second time the article has come up for an AFD). And of course dab if you need any help let me know. LoveMonkey 12:19, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

your article had no content beyond WP:DICTDEF. If you could establish its topic as separate from this article's, there could be a separate article. "Dystheism" has no dictionary definition, and should probably be moved or merged. If you could cite literature on 'misotheism', that would be great, but it turns out that the term is just an incidential coinage of miso+theism. There is no "misotheistic" movement, no "misotheistic" literature, nothing. This belongs treated under problem of evil, theodicy and history of atheism, since these are the terms employed in relevant literature (net.christian.religion is not "relevant literature"). dab (𒁳) 12:41, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

As a philosophy[edit]

Emil Cioran is a philosopher of such a movement. This issue might be linguistic. LoveMonkey 14:44, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

it is indeed "linguistic" in the sense of terminological. Cioran's views apparently belong under Existentialism, and perhaps under Demiurge. Per WP:SYN you cannot create a new concept on Wikipedia by original synthesis of various other topics. This is exactly what is going on here. Craig Zimmerman is discussing the idea of "Maltheism" that his dad developed on Usenet 1985-1986. We added some hand-waving to make it appear more academic. This sort of thing is alright on Usenet, but not on Wikipedia. It might be alright on wikibooks. You need to understand that this entire topic is based around a misunderstanding of monotheism: dystheism is nothing special at all in polytheism. Polytheistic gods can be "good" or "evil", or anything in between. The emergence of moral absolutes of good and evil is directly coupled to monotheistic "God" as summum bonum. If you reject such an inherently good God, you just regress to polytheism, or if you prefer, to dualism (ditheism; hence Cioran's reference to demiurge): this is your choice: either you reject that there is any notion of absolute good at all, and you go to polytheism or antitheism, or you accept a notion of absolute good, but prefer not to call it "God", in which case you go to dualism ("God" vs. Good rather than "God"=Good vs. Evil. Pure terminology). That's it. There is no room for "maltheism" in between these options. The separate notion of "maltheism" is a product of amateur usenet philosophy. We cannot cover that, unless for some reason Craig's blog should become an internet meme at some point, in which case we will discuss it as in Category:Internet memes. dab (𒁳) 14:53, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes it appears that this is yet another "invisible war" I have stumbled onto. Oh well, I need the misotheism component for several of the other articles that I contribute to. In specific Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. That is why I authored the miso- article. But I will step back bit to allow this circumstance to breath. LoveMonkey 03:12, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Paul Zimmerman[edit]

right, since there is really nobody to be found that ever held this position in seriousness (Descartes was at least accused of holding it, by disingenious critics), I decided to look at Paul Zimmerman's 1985 postings. It appears he posted this on 13 August, on speaking of a "Damager-God". It seems the original post (292@pyuxn.UUCP) was deleted from the archive because of an accidential reposting on 16 August, so that the thread appears to begin with Beth Christy's reply Sh*t. If this wasn't satire, then *something* evil sure hurt this boy. Hang in there, Paul. Take it slow'n'easy. The introduction of the term "maltheistic" is as follows:

I wonder why I capitalize words like God and He and His when referring to this monster. Just a bad habit, I guess. I wish there were letters smaller than lower case with which to begin His name. Unfortunately, my "religion" as it were (call it "maltheism" if you like) offers little hope, little advice as to what we can do in the face of a hideous evil monster Damager-God

PZ cites as his inspiration a 31 December 1983 post by Tim Maroney (tim@unc.uucp [3][4][5], d. 2003) Discussion of this continues into November[6]. PZ presents an argument that is very naive, and appears very emotional, essentially a rant by an oedipal youth. It is difficult to say, of course, if this is Usenet trolling or genuine emotion, but I would tend towards considering it genuine. Skipping over all the fallacies (which were immediately pointed out by usenet participants at the time), what is left is in fact proper misotheism ("God is an asshole") combined with unreflected Bible-centricity (why accept the account in the Bible as fact? - this was Maroney's hypothetical premise, now taken grimly for granted). This sentiment, of course, is nothing new. People have cursed the gods since antiquity, and PZ finds himself in the company of the "goðlauss vikings". Atheism in Antiquity never meant denying the gods' existence. It meant renouncing them. PZ's "maltheism" is consequently nothing more and nothing less than re-enactment of pre-monotheistic atheism discussed at history of atheism. PZ presents basically the usenet version of the premises to Answer to Job. PZ's "maltheism" not for a minute questions Biblical inerrancy (nor, apparently, divine omnipotence): all the events of the Hebrew Bible are factual, but rather than moving forward in time towards monotheistic Judaism, or Christianity, PZ moves backward in time, re-discovering Ancient Near Eastern religion, where, of course, the gods were indeed not much more than powerful bullies that needed to be pacified somehow. His 'advice',

The best we can hope to do is fight Him at every turn, gain some happiness against His will, grapple with Him for it every chance we get, and spit in His face as we do it,

echoes Goethe's Prometheus, his conclusion, however,

Perhaps someday science will discover a way to shred the fabric of space-time and destroy His entropic evil.

is pure Gnostic dualism. --dab (𒁳) 14:52, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Tim Maroney[edit]

The Tim Maroney lead might still lead to 'encyclopedic' discussion as a topic of usenet philosophy. The article is linked from Brahms Gang, and might be made an article along similarl lines as Rich Rosen. --dab (𒁳) 15:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Will to Power[edit]

OK so Mr Zimmerman was waxing on abraxas. This is gnosticism then (sethian, ophites). I mean it seems a bit will to power/demiurge (aka phoenix or create by destroying) or might is right (and social Darwinism as well) but this is a reflection for the very need of an article and discussion. Why can't we consolidate all of this under one heading it should come as no surprise that my support is for anything Greek (aka miso-). LoveMonkey 23:20, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I collected this information to be able of a more informed judgement. Yes, at this point I agree, this whole affair should be moved to misotheism, and mention "dystheism" and "maltheism" in a discussion of terminology. --dab (𒁳) 07:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Most excellent you have done fantastic work and an impeccable job. LoveMonkey 14:07, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

thanks. I think it is finally presentable now, although it may need some refactoring still. In particular, the lead is too long, and some of it should perhaps be moved to a "Polytheism" section. --dab (𒁳) 14:54, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
dab: Not to start off by appearing to disparage your work (because it's all quite well done) but things looked really good... until the last few edits. The article now feels a little jumbled up, with cross-references to examples in what seem like arbitrary places. I also noticed a number of small issues that I cleaned up (hopefully without damaging your flow). I will leave the rest as is under the assumption you simply ran out of steam and energy and plan to come back to this to fully clean it up. I thank everyone who's contributed to the coalescence of misotheism, dystheism, and maltheism in one place. Craig zimmerman 19:35, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

we are certainly not done here. But I am not sure I understand what you mean. My aim was to organize the material already present in a meaningful ToC structure. At the moment, we have "Theodicy", "Bible", "(Gnostic) Dualism", "(LaVeyan) Satanism", and "Literature (arts)". We might be missing a "History" or "Polytheism" section. The "Theodicy" section is too quote heavy. We'll have to get rid of the random quotes (wikiquote:Theodicy?), and give a clean summary of the main articles. The "Literature" section also needs to go easier on quotes. The "Dualism" and "Satanism" ones might be expanded slightly for context. That's about it, from me, after these points are addressed satisfactorily, I'd say will have a "good article". dab (𒁳) 12:14, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I mean that there are many dangling sections here. The mention of the song "Blasphemous Rumours" appears in the section on Satanism. Huh? The section on theological references includes Anne Provoost, who belongs in literature. (Also Wiesel is conspicuously omitted here, where his work is perhaps the strongest example of visible dystheistic (though not necessarily misotheistic) sentiment. In fact, the section entitled "In Literature" (as well as the sections on Dualism and Satanism) just appear out of nowhere with no organizational cohesiveness.
I would suggest restoring Wiesel to a place within Theodicy and not relegate him to literature. (If Provoost can be included in Theodicy, surely Wiesel belongs there; however for the record I think Provoost is a literary reference only, and probably less worthy of quotation than Wiesel, assuming part of our goal is to limit quotations.) I would suggest retitling "In literature" to something broader that covers popular culture as well (a better place for the Blasphemous Rumours and Randy Newman references--hey, where did they go?--to live).
Again, you did great work and the parts you successfully reorganized towards the top of the article are excellent, so I am not disparaging your work. I think we are, as you yourself admit, in a half-finished state. I will try to do my part to achieve the goals you describe as I concur with them fully. Thanks. Craig zimmerman 16:01, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Freewill stuff[edit]

OK, so lets try and address the two most critical components of the argument for misotheism. The first is that God as creator has created or facilitated for mankind a cruel existence. The second is that God being all powerful could facilitate a perfect reality for which mankind could have his freewill and not have the cruelity of finite existence. Here the argument in the first part goes. "Why did God, Buddha, Vishnu, Zeus- let the Nazis do the evil that they did to the Jews?" This is part of Dostoevsky's rebellion. It states that one does not validate "freewill" though the good or kind but rather that one can not just accuse mankind so mankind must be "free" and then also be allowed to engage evil acts in order to prove that he has freewill (or at least the negative of freewill). The second type is how is God supposed to be loving when he causes earthquakes nature disasters, floods, disease and the lot. Which of course mankind would not have if he did not need to rebel against God and have his "freewill" these two are validation of freewill (I apologize for tripping over into existential land but if the shoe fits). This sometimes evols into the degrees of unconditional love arguments. If you love God like Lott then temporial condition does not matter. Or if God loves you unconditionally then sin does not matter. But there is much more to this and I would like to have the pro and con/counters covered too. This is difficult stuff and makes people's brains hurt. LoveMonkey 17:16, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Augustine of Hippo addressed some of this under the guise of self control with his arguments as an ex gnostic in his Confessions and his argument against the Pelagianism movement. Dostoevsky explained a good chunk of the apology to the arguments of God's hypocrasy through nature disasters in Notes from the Underground. And of course Dostoevsky trumped the entire set arguments of misotheism and nihilism with Russian Neoplatonism AKA Russian philosophy (see Niko Lossky) in his works the Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. LoveMonkey 17:21, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

We should try to cover retribution, punishment, eschaton. Also the argument of the monad being the same God as the the Gnostic highest God (which is impossible). We should also include Dostoevsky's riddle. LoveMonkey 17:53, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

OK so it is the same type of argument that if determinism where true then all potential outcomes would indeed be predicatable. I know this is all rather Russian but this is what is the core of Russian philosophy. LoveMonkey 19:14, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

It's not easy. We have to be careful to stay on topic. Discussion of "Why did God let X happen" belongs on theodicy. We should not go into further detail here. The idea is easy to grasp, and we need not lose ourselves in heaping up examples. Especially since one possible answer to this is atheism, which is not the topic here. We need to work out more the difference between misotheism (subjective hatred of God), and dystheism, the unemotional idea that God may not be "good". The former is more easy to cover, we can just give various references to authors who have said "God is an asshole" and be done. The latter is more complicated, and we need a good source to avoid OR. The point is that you can hate God regardless of specific conceptions (omnipotent, -scient, etc.), but in order to evaluate "God is good", you need to distinguish a number of cases. Just naively quoting Old Testament verses in support of the point will not do. It is perfectly obvious that the exploits of YHWH in the Tanakh are only very tenuously and indirectly connected to the monotheistic God of Hellenism. Thus, presenting the Old Testament as evidence is almost as pointless as presenting the Cthulu series. Unless we find a good theological treatise on this, we are helpless, because we cannot build the case ourselves per WP:NOR. dab (𒁳) 12:25, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Yes but much of it is articulated in Emil Cioran and his take on existentialism. SO these things would not be something I created per se. PS good points it is nice to see a sharp mind one can themselves be sharpened by. As for the theodicy page it really only covers a Western Euro centric (with just a tiny Hindu mention) of the problem of evil not so much the vilification and or hatred of God. LoveMonkey 12:32, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I like your second idea-misotheism (subjective hatred of God), and dystheism, the unemotional idea that God may not be "good". This is the very essence of what I was trying to articulate. There is an ontological discourse on this (neoplatonism) and there is as you have rightly stated atheistic ones (ignosticism and agnosticism) which by the way resolve themselves quite nicely with the Neoplatonism of Plotinus (see henosis). There is the Orthodox response which is encapsulated in the concept of forgiveness. LoveMonkey 14:22, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Enough of my bad Bart Simpson impression. The two are very different as dab points out. LoveMonkey, I think you were saying pretty much the same thing. I believe I had written as a perhaps too wordy example that an evil person might hate a good God, and still be considered a misotheist, rendering no negative judgement on God's nature as a result. Begs the question of what to do about this distinction. Craig zimmerman 16:09, 9 October 2007 (UTC)
Craig, the realization isn't new to me either. The point is that after the merger/move to misotheism, we need to find a way to incorporate the point in the article. Your example that an evil person may hate a good God is useful to drive home the point (it would be even more useful if we could refer to a specific villain of world literature), but it is not sufficient in that it doesn't reflect on the notion of "good and evil". Consider the following paragraph I contributed to that article:
While every language has a word expressing good in the sense of "having the right or desirable quality" (ἀρετή) and bad in the sense "undesirable", the notion of "good and evil" in an absolute moral or religious sense is not ancient, but emerges out of notions of ritual purity and impurity. The basic meanings of κακός and ἀγαθός are "bad, cowardly" and "good, brave, capable", and their absolute sense emerges only around 400 BC, with Pre-Socratic philosophy, in particular Democritus. Morality in this absolute sense solidifies in the dialogues of Plato, together with the emergence of monotheistic thought.
I hope you can appreciate the problems this poses for "maltheism".
In summary, the history of this article is as follows:
  1. Tarus (talk · contribs) creates the article "maltheism" in autumn 2002
  2. I come along in autumn 2004, saying "no such term". Looking for a term that does exist, I come up with Koons' "dystheism". This is correct for the definition "belief that God exists, but is not entirely good" but doesn't do justice to the emotional ("misotheist") flavour of "maltheism".
  3. in autumn 2006, LoveMonkey creates "misotheism".
  4. by autumn 2007, interaction between Craig and me results in this version. I am still concerned that the article is essentially a WP:CFORK of theodicy: "dystheism" and theodicy alike are entirely about the question "is God good/just". Craig's online activity produces google 2,200 hits for "maltheism" outside of Wikipedia, but his activity both on-wiki and off raises questions of WP:COI. "Dystheism" by now produces 2,800 google hits. This was not the case in 2004, and is clearly an effect of Wikipedia covering the term. We have to be very responsible about our power of coining neologisms ("protologisms").
  5. ThaddeusFrye submits an AfD on 2 October. I take the opportunity to combine "misotheism" and "dystheism". Focussing on the emotional topic (oedipal/rebellious "maltheism"), the article scope becomes distinguishable from that of theodicy.
--dab (𒁳) 07:35, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

Neoplatonisms' answer to Gnosticism[edit]

Hey dab we might ought to put a passing mention in the article that the vilification of the cosmos and creation was addressed by Plotinus. Plotinus was pretty direct that the nous, was the demiurge. It was a component in the person or being that allowed them to perceive order. As such the demiurge could not be evil because without it, one could not perceive beauty and or the good. LoveMonkey 17:35, 11 October 2007 (UTC)


Of course after this we have Eastern Orthodoxy's answer to Neoplatonism. Which was that the substance/ousia of God is incomprehenisible and is not energy. And then the Eastern Orthodox answer to Gnosticism was "show me the money" or simply theoria. That is yes in Orthodoxy one is suppose to see the God and many have. But no you don't get to see God if you blasphemy God-the Holy Spirit (AKA Blasphemy life/existence) which most of what we call gnosticism falls under. In the case of Christianity the hypostasises/existences/realities of God and the essence or substance of the God are not the same as in Hellenic philosophy and or Babylonian/Persian anti-Hellenic, anti-Hebrew cult nonmeclatures. As for Mr Zimmerman, rather you believe it or not I am quite honored that you even acknowledged me. You are after all very fascinating to say the least. I apologize if I seem like a broken record. I have no intention to engage you (beyond say aphorism and light conversation). Please just ignore me, I will go away ;>) LoveMonkey 18:16, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

LoveMonkey, I was merely acknowledging your work on the original misotheism article. Your comments about me notwithstanding, realize that it was my father Paul to whom Dab was refering in quoting his original internet sentiments, as rough and raw as they were. (I'm confused as to why that would be called an "oedipal rant," except for purposes of insult, but I assure you he endured far worse in his lifetime. No matter.) My point was to highlight that merely hating God is not the same as judging him as evil, and the attempt to jam the two together, as much as some people seem to want all of Wikipedia to be reduced to one single article, may be misguided if a distinction is not properly established. Many examples of "dystheistic" attitudes do not express hatred towards God. In some cases, quite the opposite, as if the Stockholm Syndrome had taken hold. The article here on misogyny does not associate misogyny in general with the idea some might have that women are innately evil. The axis of hatred and the axis of judging relative good or evil quality are two separate axes (to grind). If the two ideas are to be combined into one article, proper distinction needs to be made, that's all I'm saying. Craig zimmerman 18:45, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect I pretty much agree with you and dab here to. His points are pretty valid (as is obvious are yours) that it is really hard to balance the whole notability thing and dab seems sincere in his attempts to try and work the whole thing out. I was content with two separate articles and I used both in Neoplatonism and Gnosticism because I see the validating in both articulating something that has been floating around for forever and not really expressed for a wide understanding. I thought both articles kept it clear but I don't get the impression that dab is the one trying to get rid of the negative theological precepts of the God or Gods (and obviously not you). I meant no disrespect to your father by stating he waxed abraxas. I was expressing that many people have felt this way. As for dab I feel like he is making the best of the situation and that under the Greek term dystheism can find a home that will shelter it from the forever deletion process. Since misotheism is a term with a track record. But this stuff aint easy. I will do my best to let you two work it out and extrapolate myself.LoveMonkey 02:36, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Craig, I have no intention to insult you or your father. I do in fact recognize rants past of my own in his 1985 outburst. He posted them on Usenet, which was the proper venue for the genre. I do suppose he was still rather young at the time (in his 20s?, and that you are in your own 20s now?). I admit that my review above reflects my personal judgement more than would be strictly needed for the editing process, but I wanted to leave document my trail of thought and research on this. I wish you the best for your maltheism blog, but you need to recognize that the rules for Wikipedia articles are rather more strict than for either Usenet or blogs. Which is the reason for Wikipedia's prestige, such as it is, and in turn the reason why you are interested on having the term featured on Wikipedia in the first place. --dab (𒁳) 15:29, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Hey anybody notice that the above argument (Neoplatonisms' answer to Gnosticism) was made by Tertullian in the abraxas article. LoveMonkey 18:08, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Russian Idealism[edit]

I am stating this too because I have yet to still create a Russian Idealism article that really clarifies that the nous is both reason and intuition. I need the misotheism article to tie into and or cover this part of the vilification of perception. But it would be nice if the article was balanced and cover both sides hate and apology. So that the idealism and other philosophy articles that address these concerns could more easily tie into this one. The naming of the article as misotheism is most definitely a start. And then allow a standard or uniformity to the topic of the hatred of the God or the Gods. I wonder how Set and Apepi would fit into the article though? LoveMonkey 18:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Here is a general overview of Russian Neo-ldealism [7] Hey dab you could maybe help alittle? Please. Pretty Please. LoveMonkey 18:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Another perspective[edit]

Craig, if these critics here are people sympathetic to the idea of dysthemalthemisotheism, I suppose in a way you should be thankful it's not the terrorized fundies who'd have real issues with your ideas tearing this article apart.

I've been curious as to why so little has been done to document this topic, not just here but in the real world. (Please, Wikipedians, don't lecture about how this is the real world.) Are researchers afraid of offending the presumptuous eutheist majority? Or maybe of incurring the wrath of God? Is this the religion (sic) that dares not speak its own name? Because no one dares give it one?

I found this article an enlightening window into both history and theology. Contrary to what detractors here persistently claim, this is not OR, this is a cataloging of a phenomenon in an encyclopedic manner. It shows that this is a sentiment with historical and cultural pedigree that is denied legitimacy because there is no name strongly associated with it. This is exactly what an encyclopedia is supposed to do, to catalog and name hard phenomena that otherwise would go nameless and undocumented.

This is a chicken and egg situation where both eggs and chickens are turned into omelettes and McNuggets before they can present themselves. It's not worthy of an encyclopedic entry because no concrete group has this belief. And why is that? Because even those who hold the belief don't know what to call it, and thus can't be identified with any name at all. And why is that?

It doesn't matter whether it's cowardice or ignorance or just bullheaded stubbornness that has prevented documentation like this from surfacing. In the end, it is a sin of omission - forgive the religious vocabulary - to deny that this is a real attitude and belief worthy of documentation, and to give it its due in an online encyclopedia that has no problem including entries covering the seventh episode from the fifteenth season of The Simpsons or South Park SP-1.

Capricious deletions and sloppy reorganizations by editors claiming to see merit in the page's subject don't help matters. First they say your word is mal-formed (ha ha). Then they suggest a word that someone used in a proper academic setting. Then they say the word they suggested is no good, too! Then they say there are no examples of this phenemonenon documented historically. Then when you give them plenty of examples, they complain that you've created a list of trivia! They've stacked the deck and rigged the game. There is no way anyone advocating that this entry should exist can win! Any evidence, documentation, or demonstration offered in support will be turned into a reason the entry shouldn't exist!

DBachmann, you insisted on a name change - back to your choice of In Literature - for the section containing examples of Maltheism from a variety of genres. Does popular music qualify as literature? Is Star Trek also now considered literature? Is this some imaginary ivory tower nomenclature in which everything is called literature, the way you seem to think everything anti-God must fit into one bucket of your choosing with a single name you designate?

You also proposed the word dystheism yourself but recently made note of the fact that etymologically speaking it means ungodly. So what does that point to? A belief in a God that is not Godly? More deck-stacking - by controling the vocabulary so that "godly" a priori means good, you decimate any discussion of the possibility that he's not! As Eric Blair spins in his grave.

If that's not the goal, it is the inevitable end result. I'm not saying these critics are fundies in reasonable people's clothing but given their actions they might as well be.

DBachmann, I'm not singling you out. In the end you and others stuck up for the article rather than caving to its deletion. But the phrase "with friends like you" comes to mind. Craig would do better battling crazed fundies than dealing the way he's had to with people who supposedly agree there's a need for the entry but block it at every turn.

But don't give up, Craig. I say called the damned article Maltheism. It deserves a title indicative of its content, describing the belief that God is not good without pussyfooting about looking for some professor of quasireligious philosophy at an obscure backwoods college who might have written a paper suggesting God is evil and calling the idea Floptheism. The other words are insufficient. Misotheism is about hating God, whether he's evil or not, and as you say, Craig, it's as much about the notion of God being evil as misogyny is innately about women being evil. And dystheism is a wimpy ivory tower name that even its originator didn't have any faith in, and neither he nor anyone here looked beyond the ends of their noses to look for obvious examples of it in the real world, the way you had to to justify the existence of this entry. Damn the grimacing fears about Wikipedia's protologistic power. This is exactly the situation in which such power should be used. And hell, they used that power to bless the word protologism in the first place, didn't they? SallySan 13:27, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

you are quite apparently labouring under fundamental misconceptions regarding Wikipedia. Please review WP:5P and also WP:TALK. Wikipedia is in the real world, indeed, which is why we want to avoid self-references. This does not preclude articles about Wikipedia, but they need to reflect sources independent of Wikipedia. protologism, as it happens, is a redirect, on the same grounds as Maltheism. "God=Good" is not "stacking of the deck", it's mainstream terminology. There is a term for a God that isn't good in spite of the assumption of a notion of absolute morality, it's demiurge. There is a (recent) term to describe this position, dystheism. There is a term for a subjective dislike of God, misotheism. The terminology is all in place. Maltheism is a Usenet "protologism", and if Craig succeeds in rising to notability, the term may yet rise to pop-culture notability, but it simply doesn't figure in academic theology. --dab (𒁳) 15:17, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

DBachmann, your initial response to me in the paragraph above was just its first line. That seemed like a terse dismissal of what I was saying. The remaining text seems to have been inserted later. I'm glad you decided that a terse dismissal was unbecoming. I drafted my response initially having seen only that one first line. Hopefully I've excised any references to that lack of response which made it seem like the critic could not take criticism himself. I will try to respond point by point.

  1. Several times historically this article was left in total disarray, with sections misnamed and text inserted in inappropriate places, sometimes filled with typos and egregious mistakes. Craig and others here were left with the task of cleaning up the mess left behind. Was this wrong of me to mention? I pointed out that those editing this article (supposedly for its benefit) were doing so sloppily, without regard for content organization and seemingly without even bothering to proofread edits. Craig made note of several updates you made that introduced new NPOV violations into the text for no apparent reason.
  2. You talk about self-reference. But what self-references are you talking about? Nothing in the article as it stands is self-referential.
  3. Demiurge is a term that refers to a non-God, a thing impersonating the real God. This would apply to Gnosticism and Marcionism, but certainly not to Maltheism or the vague hypothetical thing you call dystheism, which both refer to the God as being evil or at best not the summum bonum his followers make him out to be. Again your criticism is unfounded, demiurge is not the appropriate word.
  4. When you say "there is a recent term to describe this position" you use a word you yourself dug up, claiming vehemently that there were no instances of such a philosophy or belief anywhere else. Craig and other people here went to the trouble of documenting numerous examples, to which you responded that trivia lists are discouraged on Wikipedia. In other words, as I have been saying, people here criticizing this article stack the deck against it, and in particular I refer to people who have injected NPOV material, have performed sloppy editing, and have otherwise damaged the article. The word dystheism is more of a neo/protologism than Maltheism. Maltheism was and has been used by people who hold this belief. Dystheism was the nonce coinage of an ivory tower philosophy instructor, never used before or since except here - by you.
  5. As for pop-culture notability, the usage of the word Maltheism amongst Wikipedia members themselves (there are several user templates associated with it) and amongst role-play gamers certainly suffices as much as many of the other far more obscure gaming references found here on Wikipedia that get their own article. More critically, claiming that only phenomena legitimized by what you call academic theology are worthy candidates for discussion here is absurd. What theology department covers the Church of the Subgenius? Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Or for that matter Scientology? Once again, your criticism flounders.
  6. Your tendency towards personal disparaging remarks to and about others serves no end except to incite. What did you mean by calling Craig's father's writing an "oedipal rant" if not to disparage him? Why did you only decide to read this source material after more than a year of jerking Craig around? Calling others' writings worthy of high school students and such is another tactic you've used several times here. Can we put a stop to that please?

Finally and perhaps most important of all: your criticisms throughout this discussion speak more to your own biases than anything else. In coming out and saying out loud that you feel that God = Good is essentially a tautology, you admit a bias that in fact you have shown many times in your editing of this article. The whole point of the subject is the decimation of an erroneous equation as not necessarily true. Your argument is basically "a million flies can't be wrong", popular consensus = truth. Again this is the very kind of thing encyclopedias are supposed to do, dispel misconceptions associated with popular opinion erroneously being equated to fact. You appear to be taking the position that an encyclopedia ought to serve to persist such misconceptions if they are commonly held.

You say "if you reject an inherently good God, you regress to polytheism". How is this so? Are you claiming that the possibility that God is not inherently good is a logical contradiction? If so, where does this assertion come from, and what is the proof of it? It certainly isn't obvious and it certainly doesn't follow from the facts. Your ideas about what people must go to (theologically speaking) are suspect.

Your claim that this is all based on a misunderstanding of monotheism is untrue, it is based on a disagreement with your idea of what monotheism has to be, an idea you have not supported in any way. Craig has noted all of this several times, that you base your disparagement of the whole idea on your own opinions, and you never see fit to respond properly when you are called on this.

Sorry. I don't want to start any slapfights here. I just want to see a topic given its due and instead of having it fall victim to the kind of nitpicky ivory tower formalism most articles here somehow seem to avoid unquestioningly. SallySan 22:20, 18 October 2007 (UTC)

I do not think you understood anything I argued at all. I do not "feel that God = Good" at all. I have no opinion on the matter. I am merely trying to report theological discourse, using theological terminology correctly. "God = Good" is an essentially arbitrary definition of terminology, not a claim, and you cannot just ignore standard terminology and roll your own. Your argument, like Craig's earlier arguments, is just based on confusion surrounding the term "God". I am perfectly open to discussing all possible conceptions of God, gods, demiurges and deites. What I am opposing is self-contradictory conflation of incommensurable terminology. You seem to want to discuss misotheism within monotheism. Fine. So there is a Single God. Now you need to build a notion of Good that is independent of God so you can say God isn't Good. At this point you find that this is equivalent to dualism, you have just replaced the word demiurge with God and the word God with Good. I don't care if you switch around terminology so that Gnostic dualism is suddenly "Maltheism" and the demiurge is suddenly "God", on the maltheism blog or anywhere else, but if you're going to pull that off on Wikipedia, you'll need to build on published sources. dab (𒁳) 15:51, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

I said I didn't want to turn this into a slapfight and I meant it. I will try to refrain from returning volleys with the same ferocity that they seem to have been hurled back at me.
DBachmann: you say you don't think that God = good is tautological. And then you insist that it is, from the perspective of what you yourself call arbitrary terminology. No one here is rolling their own anything. God need not be good, period. There is nothing in any definition (certainly nothing you've shown) that prescribes this must be so. There is only the assumption in most belief systems that this is so. Despite your claim that you are not taking a side you clearly are when you assert that God is by definition good, and that labeling and judging a unique singular God to be not good somehow doesn't make sense. It only doesn't make sense to you from your vantage point which is clearly not NPOV.
Why do you say that I seem to want to discuss misotheism within monotheism: you have professed this as a boundary here, you have said that dystheism only makes sense within the context of monotheism. You admit that in a polytheistic system gods might indeed be something other than good. But not once have you shown how things change when the number of gods changes from many to one.
The notion that there is a single God and he is evil is not, in any way, a "self-contradictory conflation of incommensurable terminology" even though you continue to assert that it is. Atheists and humanists profess "a notion of good that is independent of God" so that which you see as a problem (sic) is solved. God can be judged and he is judged. The examples of artists, poets, musicians, authors, essayists, and philosophers, show that it's reasonable to hold up a standard of good independent of God and to judge God by this standard. You vainly claim we can't do this. Why? I say again that this is an inherent bias that's innate to your beliefs on this subject. If you plan to edit this article while holding that bias then you by all rights ought to recuse yourself.
Finally, you employ the old "you have not understood anything I was saying" gambit, a cheap dismissal borne of not having a real argument of your own. You do not support the opinions you profess about God and goodness, you simply keep reasserting them. I understood fully what you said. I simply disagreed with you and explained why. Claiming that I didn't understood simply because I disagree and explain why doesn't cut any mustard.
Clearly if you are claiming that the point is to "switch around terminology so that Gnostic dualism is suddenly Maltheism" then you really haven't gotten anything offered up in this article since it was conceived. Perhaps your re-reading it more closely and carefully might yield some light on the subject being discussed. It is legitimate to wonder whether you had actually read and assimilated what Craig and others had been writing here at all given some of your followup comments, including this latest one.
There is information here, that something assumed to be factual is really just an erroneous commonly held opinion. This is the purview of encyclopedias, to impart this kind of knowledge. Why you want so vehemently to nip this in the bud is beyond me. SallySan 15:38, 30 October 2007 (UTC)
not the only thing that is, apparently. I very much subscribe to a notion of "good" independent of God. Only, you can hardly judge God by it, because in establishing it, you abolish monotheism. Now, since I have no interest in "slapfights" or Usenet-style discussions, let me just ask you to cut to the chase and present your theological literature on the matter. dab (𒁳) 17:19, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, people, calm down.

SallySan, despite all appearances, dab has possibly done more here to keep this entry alive than any other Wikiadmin. It is not doing the future of this article any good to engage in exchanges of accusations.

That having been said... dab, there are certain things SallySan said with which I must concur. First, starting your edit by responding to "Why you want to nip this in the bud is beyond me" with "Not the only thing that is, apparently" certainly doesn't jive with your claim that you have no interest in slapfights. That has the same tone as previous disparaging comments of yours here.

Your latest edit here claims that "you can hardly judge God by [a notion of good independent of God], because in establishing it, you abolish monotheism." At no point do you explain how this is so. But it is something you keep saying. The only thing "abolished" by judging God using an independent standard of goodness, or even God's own professed assertions about what goodness is, is the notion of God as something worth worshiping, given his hypocritical deviations from that standard. Does Elie Wiesel's Trial of God abolish monotheism? Of course not! Yet it criticizes and judges God in this very way. Do Rushdie's or Provoost's work, or the numerous popular songs described, or the plays and poems and essays cited, perform this abolition of monotheism? No, it is your idea of monotheism, that having one God means having one good God, that is abolished by this. Given all the examples of judging God precisely in this way without doing anything that abolishes the notion of monotheism, your statement is simply incorrect. As SallySan said, one of the purposes of this article is to convey the knowledge that this assumption is wrong.

You provide a link to WP:RS, which is the Wikipedia reference on using "reliable sources," but you substitute the words "theological literature" in the text of the link. This is disingenuous. Reliable sources have been provided. And you know this to be so. People have been adding sources and citations to this article for a very long time. The sources are clearly not to your satisfaction. Many quality articles on religion here lack citations that qualify as what you call "theological literature."

I once asked you to recuse yourself from editing this article because of your apparent bias, and I've heard this notion seconded. I would rather it didn't come to that. But... you have stated a desire to diminish any expression of Maltheistic or misotheistic sentiment as merely "instances of spontaneous expression of hatred of God, frequently taking the form of blasphemous utterances." Is Trial of God just Elie Wiesel shaking his fist at God spontaneously, or was it a harsh deliberately crafted statement? Likewise Blumenthal's work, Rushdie's, Newman's, etc. (By the way, your choice of the word "blasphemous" here is not unlike an Anne Coulter choosing the word "treasonous" to describe protests against those in power—it bespeaks a blatant bias against the very idea of judging God.) You cannot envision monotheism without acceptance of God's goodness, you cannot see how a singular God might not be the summum bonum after all. You insist that citations demonstrating historically that this judgement about God has been and continues to be made by people somehow do not count. This is the bias you bring to your editing of this article.

Can you transcend that? I hope so. I appreciate the work you've done here. But just as you insist that I not interject personal sentiment and belief into this article, the same holds for you. It was you who narrowed the focus and claimed that Maltheism/Dystheism only makes sense in the context of monotheism, jumping from that to say that judging God by an independent standard of goodness abolishes monotheism. So you narrow what Maltheism/Dystheism can be, the place you say it fits in the spectrum of religious belief, and then you deny its right to be in that place, based not on facts from reliable sources, but on assertions of your own making. That's simply not right.

Again, SallySan, I appreciate what you are trying to do, but you should appreciate what dab has done for the good of this article. And dab, I do appreciate what you have been trying to do, but I'm coming to believe that you are now seeking to run this article off the edge of a cliff. Please don't do that. Thank you. Craig zimmerman 22:03, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

I assure you that I am quite pleased how this article has shaped up, and that I have no intention of driving it off any cliffs. I do encourage it to improve it further. I think the above debate has been exhausted and I have said everything I had to say. dab (𒁳) 15:22, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Philosophical skepticism[edit]

Could we also balance this with Philosophical skepticism? LoveMonkey 15:32, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Within the realm of Platonic Philosophy Good and Beauty are considered intrinsic (essentialism and idealism) (along the lines of necessitarianism). The concept is not a validation of freewill (Libertarianism (metaphysics)) in that people are designed by their creator to seek Good and Beauty (the knowable and true). To seek Good and Beauty is to seek the truth. Since these are the highest values one seeks them and thus one then seeks them in their purest form which is the monad or the Good above the Demiurge. What I am trying to do is express that these arguments have already been made (though under different verbiage) and that we can add the already defined arguments here under those traditions and therefore side step the whole NPOV and OR issues that have hurt the "topics" in the past.

LoveMonkey 12:47, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Capitalisation of 'god'[edit]

User:Dbachmann: Do you understand what a common noun is? Do you agree that common nouns denotating deities should not be specifically capitalised? Ilkali 14:14, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

you may want to look at God (word)#Capitalization. When monotheistic Singular God is intended, God is spelled with a G. When a polytheistic deity is intended, we spell it god, with a g. Please consult any major dictionary of English. dab (𒁳) 14:19, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
You may want to look at WP:STYLE. It makes the common/proper noun distinction (though not by name) and repeats what I've said here: common nouns do not capitalise. Ilkali 14:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
sigh, can you bring this up somewhere more central, such as Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style? I would prefer not to invest time in discussing such a trivial question with you just because you feel like it, it is just too silly (WP:SNOW). Try to get consensus for de-capitalising God Wikipedia-wide and then get back to me. You may or may not like it, but the god vs. God dichotomy is a special case in English orthography, and no matter of hand-waving about common nouns will change that. dab (𒁳) 23:22, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikipedia already advocates the changes I made. The MoS already says that common noun 'god' is not capitalised. You don't like the terminology I'm using? Fine. Concrete example:
"One example is Eshu, a trickster God from Yoruba mythology"
In this instance, the word god is not "used alone in reference to a specific figure of veneration". It's not referencing any figures of veneration; it's being used predicatively. According to MoS, it should not be capitalised. Ilkali (talk) 08:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
um, yes, I certainly support lowercase in "Eshu, a trickster god from Yoruba mythology", no debate there. That's rather different from the summary search-replace de-capitalisation you did. dab (𒁳) 10:21, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
If you had any understanding of the distinction at hand, you wouldn't say that my edits were made through indiscriminate search-replacing. There are still dozens of instances of 'God' in the article, yes?
Am I expected to provide justification for every correction I made? You apparently agree that some of them were justified (despite that you reverted them all), so rather than me picking randomly and explaining the reasoning, how about you point out some ones you think are wrong? Ilkali (talk) 11:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Or, alternately, show that the MoS prescribes the conventions you adhere to. Ilkali (talk) 11:13, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
look, as long as you keep implying that this is all due to my lack of understanding of your approach, this is going nowhere, it just makes this exchange less than enjoyable. I have no doubt that you understand my reasoning, so if you would kindly exhibit understanding of my point, and we might be getting somewhere. Alternatively, feel free to ask for wider community input via RfC. dab (𒁳) 11:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I fixed the Yoruba bit, and the definition of antitheism which arguably may also refer to "gods". The spelling of God vs. god is now as it should be, and serves a purpose (consult your dictionary). Please take your "decapitalise God" campaign to another forum. dab (𒁳) 11:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
"as long as you keep implying that this is all due to my lack of understanding of your approach, this is going nowhere, it just makes this exchange less than enjoyable". But your constant denigration of my intentions and methods is perfectly acceptable?
You don't have a point. You rightly point out that there's a tendency in English orthography to capitalise this word in certain circumstances, but you fail to show that Wikipedia endorses that tendency. God (word) is a descriptive article, not a prescriptive style guide. What matters is whether the MoS supports my edits, and if you are not willing to engage me on that central point, I will take it as unwillingness to seek consensus. Ilkali (talk) 12:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

(a) I argue that this is nonsense. (b) I argue that this isn't the appropriate place for this discussion: this debate has nothing whatsoever to do with Misotheism in particular. Pray raise the issue at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (capital letters). (c) The guidelines are very simple: Use the terminology as it appears in relevant expert literature. It is no coincidence that God is the prevalent spelling in the direct quotes in this article, even the misotheistic ones. I would be willing to continue this discussion on a relevant talkpage, but not here. The burden of establishing your case lies entirely with you. By claiming there is "a tendency in English orthography", you seem to imply that there is a competing tendency. Prove it. dab (𒁳) 13:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

You have once more neglected to engage me on the content of the MoS, which specifically describes Wikipedia's prescribed approach to this issue: "When used generically, descriptively or metaphorically, such descriptive terms are not capitalized". I am tired of this. I do not need to convince you that you are wrong in order for you to be so. Ilkali (talk) 13:49, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I see you have taken the matter to the proper talkpage now. thanks. I would now appreciate if you stopped revert warring until you have some sort of consensus to show. dab (𒁳) 17:10, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Sadly, dab, this did not happen. I just reverted the change that undid your last revision back to its original state.

I do not understand why any weight should be given to a subjective revulsion to the idea that we are talking about the named entity "God" and not about the more generic "a god" (which could only apply to a polytheistic context, as you say). The basis for the change is not objective, nor is it substantial. As you point out, many if not most of the cited references speak about God, with a capital G. Therefore it's proper and correct to use that spelling. We are talking about the being (whether you believe him to be real or not) who is called God, not to a god from amongst a crew of fellow deities.

So please, enough of the childish edit warring. Leave alone that which you seek to change not because it is incorrect but because it apparently upsets you. Craig zimmerman (talk) 16:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

"I do not understand why any weight should be given to a subjective revulsion to the idea that we are talking about the named entity "God"". We're not talking about direct references to entities. Look at the changes I made. Look at the changes I didn't make. Try and figure out the difference. Ilkali (talk) 16:50, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Ilkali, the fact that you say "we're not talking about direct references to entities" demonstrates that it is you who isn't getting what's being discussed here. Both dab and I have looked at your edits, and what you did was to substitute "God" with "a god". It's not up to us to "figure out the difference," it's up to you to explain what distinction you believe you are making, clearly. Perhaps even pedantically from your perspective so that we lesser minds get what you're trying to say. So far, you have not really bothered to do that, you don't seem to care very much whether others get what it is you're saying, and you blame us rather than yourself for that lack of understanding. The burden of ensuring and confirming understanding of what's being said lies with the sender of a communication, not the recipient, assuming the communicator wants to be understood. It's starting to seem like you don't. While I might empathize with your desire to diminish the importance gien to God in our world by diminishing the case used to spell his name, we are talking about an entity named and labeled as God and how his character is judged according to a certain kind of belief. That you are an atheist and don't believe he exists does not mean you get to define for others what they are talking about or how they should say it. This is no different than if you edited the article on Jesus and changed references to "the son of God" to be "the son of a god." Craig zimmerman (talk) 15:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
"what you did was to substitute "God" with "a god"". Then I guess the term 'God' doesn't exist in my edited version of the article?
"it's up to you to explain what distinction you believe you are making". I already have.
I don't want to go into detail here. There's no reason to have the same discussion on two different pages. Ilkali (talk) 08:52, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
And this proves... what? That you deigned to leave occasional deferences to the idea that "God" is the name used to refer to a being, existing or not, and thus a proper noun deserving of capitalization? Answer the question put to you: how is your slash-and-burn lowercasing substantively different than if you had edited the article on Jesus and changed references to "the son of God" to be "the son of a god?"
Typical of the person with nothing concrete to say, who has been called repeatedly on his not having explained himself, to claim that he "already has" explained himself. Are we just too stupid to recognize your genius? Or could it be that, with multiple people simply not getting what point you're trying to make, that you haven't actually made a point?
I guess it would have been helpful of you to have pointed a participant in this discussion to the other page you're refering to. That would have been too much to ask. Clearly your agenda here is not to help others, nor is it to explain your position clearly to others so that we understand it. It's to say "I explained myself already" and get indignant that others do not agree with your unsubstantiated opinion. Never mind, I know the place you're refering to and will gladly demonstrate further there that you haven't actually made the point you claim to have made. Craig zimmerman (talk) 16:57, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
You don't understand the simplest linguistic issues involved here. If you want to bring up specific changes I made then I'll explain the reason behind them, but I'm not going to reiterate in simplified form everything I've previously said just because you didn't follow it. This is the last time I'll respond to you on this topic on this page. Ilkali (talk) 19:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
excuse me, you are the party trying to introduce unilateral changes. I maintain that I do understand your reasoning, and reject it as flawed. Just because people disagree with you doesn't mean they didn't understand what you were saying, you'll need to get down from that high horse. I share your disinterest in continuing this discussion here, so pray stop your revert-warring. dab (𒁳) 14:05, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I haven't changed the article since zimmerman entered the fray. Yes, I don't believe he understands what I've said, but that's not because he disagrees with me. It's because he's repeatedly argued against a position that I just don't hold. Ilkali (talk) 14:50, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
If and when the actual position held and the reasons behind it are delineated, perhaps a real discussion could ensue. Until then, I must agree with dab that this is a waste of time. Despite appearances, Ilkali has no concrete point to make. There is a difference between the common noun "god" and the proper name "God," but his own application of the terms has consistently been inconsistent and flawed. Craig zimmerman (talk) 15:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Clearly I was right in "predicting" that his "promise" to not discuss things further here would be broken. Reinserting text haphazardly deleted by Ilkali:

"You don't understand the simplest linguistic issues involved here."
No, I simply hold an opinion that differs from yours, a position that I try to substantiate and explain, in the simplest terms possible, in contrast to your belief that don't have to do either.

Note that others similarly find it hard to stomach Ilkali's arrogant notion that disagreeing with him is the same as not understanding him.

"If you want to bring up specific changes I made then I'll explain the reason behind them"
I've asked, you've retreated into the weak "I've already explained that."
"but I'm not going to reiterate in simplified form everything I've previously said just because you didn't follow it."
And that failure to explain explains why your statements are considered nothing more than your opinions on this subject.

This has been the modus operandi here. He makes haphazard irrational changes, then demands that others provide demonstration of which of his changes are invalid. Sorry, but the consensus he himself asked for is against him, his changes were without merit, capricious, and haphazard, and they were summarily reverted, quite properly—but this had to be done repeatedly because they were reinserted despite the negative consensus.

"This is the last time I'll respond to you on this topic on this page. Ilkali (talk) 19:54, 26 November 2007 (UTC)"
That is hardly likely since you said this very same thing the last go-round. No surprise. No matter. Shhh... Craig zimmerman (talk) 22:10, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I believe overt deletion of text you simply don't like from Wikipedia discussion pages is considered an affront, is it not?

Again, no surprise that our argumentative friend couldn't keep away. Had he taken it upon himself to rid Wikipedia of erroneous associations between words like "divine" and "holy" and the notion of "goodness," based on the assumption that if God exists he is good, then he might have had support from me, though probably not from most others. But his modifications are based not on any logic or reason but on an agenda, the unilateral desire to see decapitalization of the word God. While I empathize with any desire to diminish the overinflated importance imparted to God, the word is being used as a name in the cases outlined and thus merits capitalization. Unless you're Grace Slick of the Jefferson Airplane deliberately naming your child "god" with a lowercase "g" for shock value, of course. (A child later renamed China for her own sake, apparently.) Clearly the argument here is similarly for shock value as well, nothing more. While it might appear that Ilkali is delineating a distinction between "god" and "God," his application of this distinction is flawed and inconsistent. And simply wrong. Since he promised not to discuss this further here, I will continue over here. Craig zimmerman (talk) 15:39, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

I hope we can finally put this to bed. Our friend who could not accept disagreement with his professed opinions on capitalization (he was voted down twice) snuck in over the winter break period and restored all his deleted changes, which we'd hoped maybe he had come to his senses about. That was too much to ask for. So, with extra care, I've attempted to reword the text meticulously so that the word "God" is used in placed where it is certainly appropriate, in such a way that it will not offend the nitpicking sensibilities of the capitalization N*zi. I intend to supplement existing reports on his behavior so that when (not if) he plays this game in the future, there will be more documentation to support blocking him. I do not intend to push against him myself beyond this, unless he sees fit to doctor or revert changes I've made here which, again, were intended to word things carefully so that even he could not find cause to complain. (But will he anyway?) The fact remains: use of the phrasing "a God" is present throughout the literature, as a means of refering to a particular characterization of what the being refered to as "God." Dickinson's poem made reference to "an approving God." Blumenthal refers to "the abusing God." There is no question that this is a valid form, no less than saying "We wish we had a George Bush who was concerned about the welfare of his people." Case closed. Craig zimmerman (talk) 22:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)


Hello. I am an anonymous editor. My edits on "Divine malevolence in Scripture" were wrongly branded as "vandalism". I was merely clarifying a few sections and deleting those which said nothing about divine malevolence. This included deleting the secion on the epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, as it contained such a grave misinterpretation of the Word of God that I thought it would leave the section cumbersome if I was to clarify this misinterpretation.

Hello, anonymous editor. (Why anonymous?) Your edits were correctly branded as vandalism. You did not "clarify," you injected a eutheistic bias to accommodate your own beliefs about God. "Such a grave misinterpretation of the word of God" - what you are saying is that your interpretation of the "Word of God" is not the same as the one others might have, branding interpretations contrary to yours as wrong. The whole point of this article is to describe an alternative perspective quite different from the common eutheistic/theophilic interpretation you espouse. Trying to make the article fit your beliefs as a default is thus inappropriate. As such, your deletions and edits represent a violation of NPOV and will be again reverted. Please do not do this again. Thank you. Craig zimmerman (talk) 20:23, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality dispute?[edit]

The same anonymous editor above who vandalized the page several times apparently just introduced a {{POV}} tag on the page, declaring that the neutrality of the article is in dispute. Let us forget for the moment the laborious efforts of multiple editors including myself, Dab, and LoveMonkey to ensure that this page's content was NPOV-compliant. Not to pat ourselves on our respective backs, but much work went into ensuring that the page presented a neutral position about anti-God sentiment in general, without advocating or biasing anything in particular.

So what then is the dispute then about the page's neutrality? We don't know, because the vandal did a hit-and-run, slapping the tag on the page but not providing any commentary or support for his notion that the page violated NPOV guidelines. In reality, it is the vandal whose modifications to the page violated NPOV. (Since this vandal chooses to be anonymous I believe it is appropriate to refer to him using a label descriptive of his actions until he identifies himself.) His complaint is that what is written on this page is "a grave misinterpretation of the Word of God." By this he appears to mean that the interpretation presented is the position associated with misotheism, maltheism, or dystheism, not the "accepted" position of eutheists/theophiles. And that is as it should be - this is not a page devoted to Christian theology, but to a position directly counter to such theology. It is reasonable to say what Christian or other theologies assert and contrast that to a misotheistic/dystheistic position, and that is indeed what we do.

The vandal's actions are not unlike someone editing, e.g., the Satanism page and saying "but Satan is evil, God said this, and to think otherwise is wrong." Or, to give another example, visiting the Judaism page and saying "but Jews deny the divinity of Jesus Christ who is their messiah, and thus are condemned in the sight of God." The vandal's actions represent an inappropriate biasing of the content to please his point of view. Neutrality, to him, would apparently mean accepting his position as the default. For this reason, the claim that the article is not neutral is invalid.

I will leave the {{POV}} tag on the page for another week and remove the tag if no rebuttal is forthcoming. Craig zimmerman (talk) 17:58, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

From Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute:

Please note: The above label [ {{POV}} ] is meant to indicate that a discussion is ongoing, and hence that the article contents are disputed and volatile. If you add the above code to an article which seems to be biased to you, but there is no prior discussion of the bias, you need to at least leave a note on the article's talk page describing what you consider unacceptable about the article. The note should address the problem with enough specificity to allow constructive discussion towards a resolution, such as identifying specific passages, elements, or phrasings that are problematic.

Since the person who inserted this tag did no such thing, I will change the tag to {{POV-check}} as also described on Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute. Craig zimmerman (talk) 20:01, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Since it's been almost two weeks and the anonymous vandal who added this tag to the page has said nothing whatsoever regarding his reasons for claiming that the page's neutrality should come into question, I am removing the tag. Craig zimmerman (talk) 22:37, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


Post-theism accepts the validity of the concept of God as inducing morality at a certain stage of human development, but postulates a stage where morality can exist without support in religious cult, rendering the concept of God superfluous.

DAB, while your new article on this subject is interesting, I don't get what relevance it has to the subjects of misotheism, dystheism, or maltheism. This article is about a particular attitude regarding the goodness of God, that being the notion that he isn't good after all. Your statements on post-theism, though again interesting, don't appear to fit in with what is being talked about here. I leave it to you to defend the idea that this reference belongs here or to modify the reference to give it relevance. Thanks. Craig zimmerman (talk) 17:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, it was just intended as a "see also". I think I could build a case for a direct relevance here, based on "Misotheism" being a very postmodernist type of idea itself (in fact, I would describe Misotheism as a bad-tempered type of post-theism, seeing that it essentially deconstructs the very idea of theism), but that would be WP:SYN. I do not insist on the link. dab (𒁳) 09:49, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I would welcome a mention in the "see also" section as that's quite valid, but as you say the only link here is that both miso/dys/maltheism and post-theism serve to "deconstruct" mainstream theism. But then, so do ideas like the Flying Spaghetti Monster, yet I would be hard-pressed to find a good reason to mention that in the aforementioned section in the misotheism article. Perhaps post-theism likewise needs a "see also" back to misotheism. That would make sense if the intent is to inclusively describe the broad category of so-called postmodern views on theism that render both God and theism "obsolete," and would include Flying Spaghetti Monsters and other similar notions. In any case, I'll let this stand for a while and if you haven't thought of any deeper reason to keep it in this article, I will remove it and replace it with a "see also" link. Thanks, DAB. Craig zimmerman (talk) 19:06, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Gnostic views and the Canonical New Testament[edit]

"Although God is considered to have been depicted in the New Testament as "kinder and gentler" than his characterization in the Old Testament, this interpretation is ultimately inconsistent with what the text says about his behavior"

Following this are three statements taken from the letters and from Acts and Revelations. While these represent less "kinder and gentler" behaviours the Gnostic movements generally rejected both the Peter and Pauline communities and texts. So, in their eyes there would be no contradiction (and these passages if anything would strengthen their claim that Orthodox communities serve the Demiurge.

As Gnostic communities would likely have not had access to, or accepted these texts as valid, the point fails to show any internal inconsistency in the Gnostic interpretation (which seems to be what is being implied by the author). The passage should be removed or amended to take into account the point made here.

--Hrimpurstala (talk) 05:04, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Small Gods[edit]

I am unsure in which section, but surely Terry Pratchetts parody novel Small Gods deserves a nod somewhere, as it is all about gods being submitted to the ignominy of falling into disbelief... -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 15:51, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Not related[edit]

"A related concept is dystheism (Greek δύσθεος "ungodly")"

Misotheism and dystheism aren't related at all. The former says that the believer hates God, the latter says the believer thinks God is evil. Two different concepts. Give dystheism its own page. (talk) 00:32, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

If you do not think that disliking somebody and thinking that person is evil are "related concepts" I don't think many people would bother to try and convince you otherwise, as arguing basic semantics with people is extremely tedious. --dab (𒁳) 11:06, 20 November 2010 (UTC)


we should just do a section about misotheism in television. Id also just like to give one example of misotheism in a show called Monkey Magic. Misotheism is a prevalent theme in Monkey Magic. Not trolling btw. (talk) 05:59, 11 November 2012 (UTC)


When I first came across this term today, my first thought was, "Oh, it must have something to do with the worship of miso soup." LOL — Rickyrab. Yada yada yada 22:18, 28 November 2012 (UTC)


There used to be a separate article for Maltheism, but it has been turned into a redirect (check the history). But this page doesn't even properly mention maltheism – there are only two instances of the word "maltheistic" in the article. Whatever useful information was in that article should be merged into here. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:37, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

that has already happened years ago. The problem is that "maltheism" isn't even a term, meaning that it was made up on the spot by somebody on the internets. --dab (𒁳) 09:06, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Regarding (1) the proposal to group Maltheism with Misotheism: They are related but distinct terms in that Misotheism implies hatred of God, where Maltheists hold that God is an evil to man or to the world, but not objectively evil, hence not necessarily to be hated. (2) "Maltheism" v. "Dystheism": The latter term is to be preferred on linguistic grounds as having Greek roots, whereas "Maltheism" is one part Latin and one part Greek. The technical term for this offense is "barbarism" [1] Terence Kuch (talk) 18:34, 12 May 2018 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 7 external links on Misotheism. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 16:33, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

External links modified (February 2018)[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified 6 external links on Misotheism. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete the "External links modified" sections if they want, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 04:44, 2 February 2018 (UTC)

  1. ^ H.W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Oxford University Press, first edition, fourth American printing, 1950, page 42.