God and remaining juvenile

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by chekmate, Apr 4, 2002.

  1. chekmate

    chekmate
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Sigmund Freud once speculated that "God" is nothing more than a father figure.

    I want to take that notion further. I hereby hypothesize that religion -- and in particular, fundamentalist Christianity -- is an excuse for people to remain juvenile even after they've entered adulthood:

    God is a benevolent father figure. He watches over you, keeping you from getting hurt by the big, mean outside world. Daddy will protect you.

    God is a judgemental father figure. He scrutinizes your every action and punishes you for your mistakes. Daddy'll get you if you don't behave.

    Jesus is your imaginary friend. He's someone for you to talk to when you don't have any real-life friends around.

    Back when you were a kid living with your parents, they tried to be "fair" with you at all times. If you got an "A" in math, they took you out for ice cream; if you stole a cookie, they sent you to your room without supper. You came to expect parental fairness in response to your every action. Unfortunately for you, the real world is not "fair" -- good is not always rewarded and evil is not always punished. Heaven and Hell, then, are an attempt to make the world "fair," just like it was when your parents were in charge. The good guys get to go to heaven when they die, and the bad guys get sent to hell. So there.

    When you first found out about sex, it probably sounded "icky" to you. The usual Fundamentalist attitude against sex allows you to carry that "sex is icky" feeling with you, even after you've started having sexual desires of your own. It also acts as the perfect vehicle for the feelings of resentment you might still be harboring toward people who, in your early adolescent years, had better sexual success than you did.

    (I've singled out Fundamentalist Christian beliefs in the above points because, hey, it's my hypothesis, and I can pick on any group I darned well please. )

    There. Now, let the counter-arguments (and inevitable flames) begin!
     
  2. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would respond that you have not reckoned at all with God's revelation of himself to man. You have set up false constructs and appealed to them as the basis for your conclusions. However, a conclusion based on a false construct is reached illegitimately and therefore cannot stand. My recommendation would be for you to interact with the whole of what Scripture says about God and draw your conclusions from that rather than isolating certain opinions about God and how he responds and building a false system.
     
  3. Mike McK

    Mike McK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,630
    Likes Received:
    0
    1) God doesn't always protect His children.

    Millions have been martyred for the cause of Christ or died terrible deaths that God could have easily prevented.

    What about all of His children who go through like wracked with pain or suffering debilitating diseases?

    2) God doesn't punish you for your mistakes. God is in the restoration business.

    He does sometimes let you lie in the bed you've made and suffer the consequences of your misdeeds in order to help you grow.

    3) Not believing that Jesus exsists doesn't make Him "imaginary" any more than simply believing in Him makes Him "real".

    A relationship with Christ isn't a substitute for human companionship. In fact Jesus' teachings can help us to build nurturing human relationships.

    4) Heaven and Hell are not necessarily fair.

    Billions of good people (by our standards) are in Hell, while not one good person (by God's standards) is in Heaven.

    There's no place in Judeo-Christian theology that teaches that Heaven and Hell are an attempt at "fairness".

    5) Nowhere in Judeo-Christian theology does it teach that sex is bad.

    It does teach that sex is serious and sacred and that God takes it seriously enough that He has set guidelines for it's practice.

    Chekmate, I support anyone's right to believe what they want, but if you're going to comment on Christianity, shouldn't you at least wait until you know what you're talking about?

    Mike

    http://www.radiomargaritaville.com
     
  4. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (NAS, Matthew 18:1-4)

    I always took this to be a warning against trusting your brains and your senses too much. And an admonishment to suspend your disbelief. Isn't that what faith amounts to?
     
  5. poikilotherm

    poikilotherm
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sigmund Freud once speculated that "God" is nothing more than a father figure.

    I want to take that notion further. I hereby hypothesize that religion -- and in particular, fundamentalist Christianity -- is an excuse for people to remain juvenile even after they've entered adulthood:


    You could say the same thing of atheism: its an excuse to rebel against authority, and an excuse to remain in perpetual adolescent rebellion.

    The problem with such pschoanalysis is that it contradicts what we see: there are many mature, intelligent people who beleive in G-d, and there are many mature intelligent people who do not. Given that such theories do not match the observation, the theory is rejected.

    No need for flaming. Just observation. Toodle-oo.
    poikilother
     
  6. poikilotherm

    poikilotherm
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    Right. Just like you can only say that G-d is a made up father figure if you assume that He does not exist. Its kinda circular either way, Nu?
    poikilotherm
     
  7. poikilotherm

    poikilotherm
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    By that standard, you can't validate his hypothesis, because maybe religious people aren't juvenile, but just appear that way, or maybe that atheists aren't intelligent and mature, but just project that they are. So either chekmate has made an hypothesis impossible to substantiate in any way, even by personal experience, or he's made one that can be substantiated.

    I think most people have a good dose of common sense about some things, and after getting to know somebody well, they can decide if the person is, on the whole, intelligent and mature or no. I can honestly say that I know intelligent and mature theists and atheists. I think most people would agree with my experience. It is my opinion, but I can only go on my opinion. I don't see why I should trust chekmate's.
     
  8. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    That's the way I see religion, as well. Maybe that's the source of the tension between religion and science that we see in our country today. For thousands of years religion was a way of explaining the world...with alternative explanations cropping up, those who wish to cling to their supernatural way of explaining things feel more and more threatened by naturalistic explanations.
     
  9. jasonW*

    jasonW*
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    This would be true only if the naturalistic explanations could answer every question. Since the naturalistic/scientific approach leave some of the more important (why and ought) questions unanswered, we will always need an alternative.

    jason
     
  10. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    This would be true only if the naturalistic explanations could answer every question. Since the naturalistic/scientific approach leave some of the more important (why and ought) questions unanswered, we will always need an alternative.

    jason
    </font>[/QUOTE]Always? I suppose it would be impossible to explain everything, however, that doesn't mean there isn't an explanation out there, somewhere. Have you ever heard the expression "God of the Gaps?"
     
  11. jasonW*

    jasonW*
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, I have heard the expression, though it leaves something to be desired (to say the least).

    You say it will be impossible to explain everything. This is true, but I assert the natural approach can't explain the IMPORTANT things (why and ought and should etc). Since this the case, what are we to do? What approach do we have to explain these other than non-naturalistic/non-scientific approaches?

    jason
     
  12. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Can you expand on this? I really am a bit confused by what you mean by this.
     
  13. jasonW*

    jasonW*
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you expand on this? I really am a bit confused by what you mean by this.</font>[/QUOTE]No matter how hard science/nature tries, it will never be able to tell me why I should not kill you right now. Or, why I should love someone or do something or not do something. They can only tell me what was done and how.

    Can they tell me if you have value? If life is worth living? If love is good or bad? What is an emotion to science?

    The ought is even more important. Everytime someone says you ought or should do something, they are appealing to some universal construct of which we both would know. Otherwise, the words would have absolutely no value as everyone would do as they please and 'should' would be reduced to a 'I should do it because I say so'.

    If we use purely naturalistic approaches, what could we ever say about morality? Nothing. We would have no system by which to judge anything as moral or immoral. Right and wrong would be thrown out the window.

    jason
     
  14. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Can you expand on this? I really am a bit confused by what you mean by this.</font>[/QUOTE]No matter how hard science/nature tries, it will never be able to tell me why I should not kill you right now. Or, why I should love someone or do something or not do something. They can only tell me what was done and how.

    Can they tell me if you have value? If life is worth living? If love is good or bad? What is an emotion to science?

    The ought is even more important. Everytime someone says you ought or should do something, they are appealing to some universal construct of which we both would know. Otherwise, the words would have absolutely no value as everyone would do as they please and 'should' would be reduced to a 'I should do it because I say so'.

    If we use purely naturalistic approaches, what could we ever say about morality? Nothing. We would have no system by which to judge anything as moral or immoral. Right and wrong would be thrown out the window.

    jason
    </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks, you explained your views very well.

    How are you so sure that the religion your views came from is the correct religion?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative, I really am curious. How can you tell that your religion is superior to the one that the Mayan culture believed in, for instance? Or the ancient Egyptians? Or the ancient Greeks? Or for that matter the present-day Jews or Muslims?
     
  15. poikilotherm

    poikilotherm
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's the way I see religion, as well. Maybe that's the source of the tension between religion and science that we see in our country today. For thousands of years religion was a way of explaining the world...with alternative explanations cropping up, those who wish to cling to their supernatural way of explaining things feel more and more threatened by naturalistic explanations.</font>[/QUOTE]This misses the point completely. Religion still explains the world, even if you hew only to "naturalistic" explanations. It explains &lt;i&gt;above all&lt;/i&gt; questions of personal meaning, and I would humbly suggest that these are the most important questions a person is faced with. You still have to ask yourself why things are the way they are, instead of some other way. The "threat" posed top religion by "naturalistic" explanations is that people look outside themselves for answers to questions which are fundamentally those of personal moral responsibility. I am NOT saying that an atheist cannot be a moral person, nor even that theism is necessary to justify morality, nor even that theism cannot lead to immorality.

    I am saying that unless the individual concerned can come up with an approach to answer WHY it is important for themself, as a person, to behave in a moral and responsible manner, that goes beyond mere utilitarian justifications, then they have failed in the contemplation of the most important questions there are. The problem with saying "Oh, I just evolved that way" is that it does not answer the question of why you should feel constrained by your evolutiobnary heritage. facile "naturalism" is as ignorant and superstious as facile theism, IMHO.
     
  16. jasonW*

    jasonW*
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is altogether a very different question, one that deserves its own thread. But I think the good starting point would be that we have to agree that there is something outside of ourselves. I have not defined or given a name to this 'thing', but for the conversation to be much more fruitful, this condition has to be met.

    Can we agree that there are absolute morals or are we of differing opinions on this?

    Remember that absolute means above us as we cannot control or make this absolute so and absolute moral law (even one) would indicate something greater (non-naturalistic) than ourselves.

    I know you are not being argumentative. I respect you asking. The decision for Christianity came after some time of reasearch and exploration. It was a journey that began as a strong atheist and then quickly followed this path:

    Strong atheist -&gt; weak atheist -&gt; agnostic -&gt; Intellectual Christian -&gt; Full fledged Christian

    jason
     
  17. judy m villeneuve

    judy m villeneuve
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    By absolute morals, what exactly do you mean? Can you explain this? By this do you mean always telling the truth, never taking something that doesn't belong to you, never killing anyone (perhaps unless your life is on the line, perhaps not even then)?

    You're right, we've wandered pretty far from the original topic.

    How ironic, that is exactly how I would describe the path I've been on - only in reverse!
     
  18. jasonW*

    jasonW*
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2002
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not every moral edict need be absolute. This is a common misconception when dealing with ethics and morals. Just that there are absolutes.

    As I have boldly stated, a single absolute would give great insight into the very nature of the universe. There has been many attempts (as people generally recognize that absolutes do exist) to postulate the origin of this absolute moral standard including the following: Might is Right, Morals are Mores, Man is the Measure, The Human race is the Basis of Right, Right is What Brings Pleasure, Right is the Greatest Good for the Greatest Number, Right is Indefinable and finally Good is What God Wills. There are others, but that summarizes the main ones.

    I would rather leave it as an exercise for you to see if you do believe there are any absolutes (a daunting task, I recognize, but worth it if only to get you thinking about it).

    I have spoken to several other atheists who hold this sequence as well. I hope someday you will come back to be a sister (I hope I did not assume wrong there) of mine!

    In Christ,
    jason
     
  19. Don

    Don
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2000
    Messages:
    10,542
    Likes Received:
    208
    Kachana, you had an analogy in another thread that was pretty good; but this one failed.

    How do you get ice cream to taste nasty? Put vinegar in it. I'm assuming you meant that you can't get your tastebuds to make ice cream taste nasty; still, the analogy fails, because we can alter ice cream. Doesn't mean that our taste buds evolved one way or another, or at all. You're implying that at one time, in our so-called biological evolution, ice cream would not have tasted good, or would have had no taste at all.

    Emotions? Again, not a product of evolution. To say that our emotions have evolved to the point that the loss of a close relative or loved one causes a specific set of emotions, implies that at one time those emotions were not present, and that something caused them to evolve in us.

    In fact, what your analogy seems to prove is that we are "hardwired" towards certain responses. In that regard, you make an excellent case for creationists.
     
  20. 10usNE1

    10usNE1
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2000
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    0
    Chekmate, I hope that I never get too old to appreciate the wisdom that my earthly AND my heavenly father has for me. If that is juvenile.....so be it.

    Cindy
     

Share This Page

Loading...