Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

Can emotional trauma in childhood be a factor leading to skepticism in adulthood?

Anthropology, Economics, History, Sociology etc.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#1  Postby carl » Dec 10, 2014 11:35 pm

While various psychologists suggest theism falls into Freud's "projection theory" - an emotional wish fulfillment and a product of our need and desire for security, some also suggest atheism may also be a form of wish fulfillment. But how?

Paul Vitz (PhD, NYU Professor of Psychology, ‘Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism’, ed. 10/13), states: “Disappointment in one's earthly father, whether through death, absence, or mistreatment, frequently leads to a rejection of God...". His survey of influential skeptics of the past four centuries often (though not always) revealed a traumatic childhood while, by contrast, a similar survey of influential theists of the same period revealed strong, loving relationships with their fathers and/or father figures.

A similar argument was made by journalist John P. Koster, Jr. in his book ‘The Atheist Syndrome’. Like Vitz, he also argues what often lies at the root of atheism in some individuals is the lack of a solid father figure, thereby allowing unbelief to become dominant later in life.

This 'Defective father' theory is consistent with the familiar argument "If a loving and powerful God exists, He would not allow evil to exist in this world; but evil does exist, therefore, there must be no God."

More specifically applying this argument to one's childhood: "If a loving and powerful God exists, He would not let this (tragedy or misery) happen to me, therefore, there must be no God."

If suffering - specifically in one's childhood - is one possible emotional factor (of many) which can predispose a person toward skepticism in adulthood, this model of psychology would undoubtedly predict a significant increase in skepticism and atheism in today's society where fatherless homes, abandonment, and abuse of children is at epidemic proportions.

Furthermore, the public display of anger with which many prominent atheists respond to theists and theism in general has not gone unnoticed by psychologists, who have made this issue a topic of study: "In studies on college students, atheists and agnostics reported more anger at God during their lifetimes than believers." (Julie Exline, Psychologist, 'Anger at God Common Even Among Atheists', CNN Report, January 2011). While many theists and atheists might claim their philosophical conclusions are based solely on rational grounds, there is little doubt emotional factors are most definitely involved.

Interestingly, Jesus also noted the heated emotions with which the religious leaders of his day, who were jealous and bigoted, opposed him when he said, "They hated me without a cause." (John 15) referring to their emotional but irrational hatred of him.

Also, while some view the atheists' anger as directed at God, many atheists explain their anger as directed, not at a nonexistent God, but at religion for the following reasons:

a) Religions and its followers spread hatred and cause wars and suffering.

b) Religions are greedy agencies by which money-hungry preachers falsely obligate an unsuspecting populace to give money under the guise of donating to ‘God’s work’.

c) Religions forcibly indoctrinate people, especially children, when they are too young to choose their own beliefs of their own free will.

d) Religious institutions subdue those 'freethinkers' who criticize them. This was especially true in past centuries where skeptics were ostracized and forcibly censored by the Catholic Church, especially in Europe.

In regards to the depravity listed above by many atheists, the apostle Paul seems to be in agreement with those atheists when he wrote in 1 Timothy 6: "...men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that Godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself."

It is notable that all of the above reasons, however true, can be summed up not so much as an argument against God's existence, but rather an argument against how God is depicted in various religions and how his followers act.

In addition, while the use/misuse of various religions have certainly caused wars, massive injustices, and forcible indoctrinations to be sure, the identical charges can also be leveled against atheism - in fact even more so – notorious regimes in history have been noted to adopt atheism as their national platform upon which their public schools and society were based, and committed horrific genocides of unimaginable proportions (on this note, some atheists point to power-hungry individuals as the culprit rather than atheism, but this argument hardly satisfies in light of the magnitude of the genocides which required a large number of 'followers' who believed in, and carried out the ideology of the atheist dictator - an atheist 'Crusades' episode, so to speak).

Those who point an angry finger at religion and the 'Crusades', can and should also point that same finger at atheism for identical reasons, but by and large, they simply don't. Therefore, one might conclude another factor - possibly a psychological/emotional factor - may be involved, in addition to the rational ones commonly used.

Historical figures of the past who have had a history of being deeply wounded and traumatized through rejection, abuse, absence(death) or abandonment by a father or father-figure (and to a lesser degree, a mother or nanny, or forcible indoctrination at a religious institution), also became vocal anti-religious agnostics and atheists, as adults. Is this a mere coincidence?

Here is a brief overview of some of history's prominent skeptics and a few contemporaries:

Jean Meslier (died 1729): Considered by many to be the first in history to write an extensive, in-depth text solely dedicated to the support of atheism titled ‘Clear and Evident Demonstrations of the Vanity and Falsity of All the Religions of the World’; in it he states: "If God is incomprehensible to man, it would seem rational never to think of Him at all". In his early childhood, his overbearing and unloving father forcibly sent him away into the priesthood at a young age.

David Hume (died 1776): His skepticism is clearly seen in his words, "Examine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world, and you will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men's dreams" and “Epicurus's old questions are still unanswered: Is he (God) willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence evil?”; his father died when he was 2 and as far as is known, he had no father-figure in his lifetime.

Denis Diderot (died 1784): Known for his words "It seems to me that if one had kept silence up to now regarding religion, people would still be submerged in the most grotesque and dangerous superstition." and "Scepticism is the first step towards truth."; he had a longstanding strained relationship with his overbearing father who eventually disowned him - resulting in hardship and poverty for most of his young adult life; his sister died from overwork and abuse in the convent which fueled his growing hatred of religion; in his novel 'La Religieuse' he depicts his sister as a woman forced to enter a convent where she suffers abuse at the hands of the other nuns in the convent.

Baron d’Holbach (died 1789): Best known for the remark, "All children are atheists, they have no idea of God."; author of 'Good Sense without God' and 'Chrisitanity Unveiled' in which he accuses Christianity and religion in general for impeding the moral advancement of society; his mother died by age 6 and his father abandoned him by age 12; he was eventually raised by a relative. His childhood was so painful that, as a prolific writer in adulthood, he never mentioned anything about his childhood.

Arthur Schopenhauer (died 1860): Known for his words, "Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think"; his father committed suicide when he was 17; he hated his mother and viewed her as selfish, superficial and calculating, in marrying his father only for his wealth; his mother eventually severed all ties with him when he was a young adult.

Ludwig Feuerbach (died 1872): He wrote, "Though I myself am an atheist, I openly profess religion in the sense just mentioned, that is, a nature religion....I know further that I am a finite moral being, that I shall one day cease to be."; he theorized that God was simply a psychological concept, an outward projection of man's inward desire for power; his father, whom he viewed as a tyrant, eventually abandoned the family to be with another woman when Ludwig was 9.

Karl Marx (died 1883): He famously remarked, “Religion is the opium of the people” and “In the country of reason, it is an area in which (God’s) existence ceases”; he loathed his Jewish father and saw him as cowardly for converting under pressure to Lutheranism; regarding Darwin’s book "Origin of Species", he said: "This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our views.”; known as the ‘Father of Communism’ and ‘Father of Modern Genocide’; the most brutal regimes in history adopted his atheistic and evolutionist philosophies to murder millions.

Friedrich Nietzsche (died 1900): Best known for his remarks, "God is dead" and “Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man?”; he loved his father but viewed him as weak and sickly - indeed his father died when he was 5; his brother died 2 years later; according to one biographer, Nietzsche was "passionately attached to his father, and the shock of losing him was profound"; regarding his atheistic views, Nietzsche wrote "In former times, one sought to prove that there is no God - today one indicates how the belief that there is a God arose and how this belief acquired its weight and importance: a counter-proof that there is no God thereby becomes superfluous."; his writings are widely credited as the driving force behind German militarism which was responsible for up to 14 million deaths.

Samuel Butler (died 1902): Gay novelist who once wrote “Prayers are to men as dolls are to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them seriously" and "What is faith but a kind of betting or speculation after all?"; he was beaten regularly by his father who pressured him into the priesthood. About his father, a priest, he said, “He never liked me, nor I him; from my earliest recollections I can call to mind no time when I did not fear him and dislike him…. I have never passed a day without thinking of him many times over as the man who was sure to be against me.”

Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain (died 1910): Although considered by some to be a deist, he is mostly known for his atheistic sayings: "Faith is believing what you know ain't so" and "If there is a God, he is a malign thug." His experiences with suffering in his own family made him particularly critical of any idea of God in general; not only did he endure the deaths of several siblings during his childhood, but his father died when he was 11.

Vladimir Lenin (died 1924): He bitterly renounced his belief in God upon the death of his overbearing father at age 16 and his beloved brother when he was 17; known for his words, "Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism..."; he supported Darwin's theory and said: "Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, and hence immutable"; his dictatorship was responsible for 2 to 3 million deaths.

Leon Trotsky (died 1940): Self-proclaimed ‘Irreconcilable Atheist’ and Darwinist; he had a hostile relationship with his father who he viewed as cruel and who sent him away from home at age 8 to study religion; as an adult, Leon eventually abandoned his own family including 2 daughters for another woman. He denied both the existence of God AND absolute morality by stating, "We call our dialectic 'materialist', since its roots are neither in heaven nor in the depths of our “free will”, but in objective reality, in nature...There is place within this system for neither God nor Devil, nor immortal soul, nor eternal norms of laws and morals."; he took intellectual pride in being a Darwinist and said, "Every educated person since Darwin has labeled themselves an “evolutionist”. But a real evolutionist must apply the idea of evolution to his own forms of thinking"; he masterminded the murder of hundreds of thousands of Russians.

Benito Mussolini (died 1945): known for "daring God to strike him dead" on many public occasions during his speeches; he hated his alcoholic father who beat him regularly and forcibly sent him away to a religious boarding school at age 9; Benito later persecuted the Church and was responsible for up to 500,000 deaths.

Joseph Stalin (died 1953): His alcoholic father beat him and his mother regularly and eventually abandoned the family when Joseph was young; his overbearing mother forced him to enroll in a Greek Orthodox priesthood school; after reading Darwin's "Origin of Species", he stated: "God's not unjust, he doesn't actually exist. We've been deceived.” He made atheism and Darwinism the official ideology of Russia and flooded the media and schools with atheistic propaganda; he crushed the Russian Orthodox Church and was responsible for up to 60 million deaths.

Vladimir Lenin (died 1924): Bitterly renounced his belief in God following the death of his father and beloved brother when he was a teen; as a Marxist himself, he said: "Atheism is a natural and inseparable part of Marxism..."; he supported Darwin's theory and said: "Darwin put an end to the belief that the animal and vegetable species bear no relation to one another, except by chance, and that they were created by God, and hence immutable."; his dictatorship was responsible for 2 to 3 million deaths.

Kate Millett (born 1934): Feminist/bisexual author of 'Sexual Politics' , she was raised in a devout Catholic home. When Millett was 14, her alcoholic and abusive father - whom she feared, abandoned his family to live with a 19 year-old girl. Devastated by her father, she eventually rejected anything she deemed as a 'patriarchal tradition' and has spent her life "filled with rage" according to her sister; Kate favors Wicca, which she views as a type of female empowerment; her writings rail against "the central myth of the Judeo-Christian imagination" where "God is male - and a white male at that".

Sigmund Freud (died 1939): Famous for his ‘Oedipus Complex’ theory, he once wrote, "The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology" and "Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race...Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind."; when he was young, his father yelled at him, "There will come nothing of this boy!" of which young Sigmund suffered recurring nightmares; he viewed his father as a coward and a disappointment for his father's personal and business failures and someone who made the family suffer.

Michel Onfray (born 1959): Author of ‘Atheist Manifesto’; he was sent away by his parents at age 10 to an orphanage run by Catholic priests, who he says abused him and others. At the religious institution, he not only felt abandoned by his father and mother, but developed a hatred for the church that ran the orphanage and for organized religion in general.

Ernest Hemingway (died 1961): Known for the quote, "All thinking men are atheists". At an early age, he discovered his father's apparent lack of courage, later depicted in his short story, 'The Doctor and the Doctor's Wife'; his father, who was a physician, committed suicide when Ernest was 29 and left him emotionally scarred - the theme of a father's suicide was frequently included in his short stories; he was also bitter toward his hot-tempered mother who, during his childhood, often dressed both him and his older sister as girls; by the time he himself committed suicide in 1961, he had endured the tragic suicides of several family members.

Margaret Sanger (died 1966): Her alcoholic father spent the family’s finances on alcohol while allowing his 11 children to suffer bitterly from cold and hunger; Margaret blamed her father for her mother’s death; during her mother’s funeral she fumed at her father, "You caused this. Mother is dead from having too many children!"; she favored not just abortion but even infanticide and was known for her remark "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it"; advocate of eugenics (biological evolutionist-based attempts to develop a superior race through selective breeding of humans and mandatory sterilizations of the "unfit"); founder of Planned Parenthood - America's largest abortion provider responsible for the deaths of millions of preborn children.

Bertrand Russell (died 1970): In his book, 'Why I Am Not a Christian' he wrote, “The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men...”; his mother and sister died when he was 2 and his father died when he was 4 so his puritanical Presbyterian grandmother took him in; in an interview, Russell's daughter later stated that the strict, joyless and ascetic faith of his grandmother was “the only form of Christianity my father knew well” and “My father threw this morbid belief out the window”; as a boy he had multiple nannies with whom he became extremely attached but all eventually left him; the last nanny whom he loved most, left him when he was 11 after which he became inconsolable; through the death and/or abandonment by those he loved, he often had thoughts of suicide as a teenager.

Mao Zedong (died 1976): Darwin was his favorite author; he stated "Religion is poison." and "Chinese socialism is founded upon Darwin and the theory of evolution."; He made atheism the official ideology of China and flooded the media and schools with atheistic propaganda; lived an opulent lifestyle while the common people starved; his regime was responsible for up to 70 million deaths; ironically, he viewed his own abusive father as an overbearing tyrant.

Jean-Paul Sartre (died 1980): He wrote, "Existentialist despair and anguish is the acknowledgement that man is condemned to freedom. There is no God, so man must rely upon his own fallible will and moral insight."; his father died when he was 2 years old; when he was 12, his mother remarried but his relationship with his stepfather was full of conflict; various biographers theorize his feelings of abandonment may have led to the repeated appearances of failed father-figures in his writings.

George Carlin (died 2008): His father was an abusive alcoholic; his parents separated when he was two months old. He described his relationship with his mother as difficult; he often ran away from home. He once said, "I don't have any beliefs or allegiances. I don't believe in this country, I don't believe in religion, or a god, and I don't believe in all these man-made institutional ideas"; his anger and sarcasm toward religion was a common theme in his comedic routines.

Jim Jones (died 1978): His abusive and alcoholic father was reportedly associated with the Ku Klux Klan; because of his tumultuous relationship with his father, he didn't speak to him for "many, many years"; he said: "Off the record, I don’t believe in any loving God. Our people, I would say, are ninety percent atheist...I felt somewhat hypocritical for the last years as I became an atheist...you feel tainted, by being in the church situation. But of course, everyone knows where I’m at. My bishop knows that I’m an atheist...He must have spent twenty thousand dollars traveling around, hoping to get my denomination to remove me, because I was so atheistic.” (The Jonestown Institute audiotape, 1976); he responsible for the 1978 mass murder/suicide of 908 members of the People's Temple cult in Guyana, including the executions of several members of the press and a visiting U.S. politician.

Paul Dirac (died 1984): Nobel prize winner who once said "The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination....I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way." Paul had a strained relationship with his overbearing father since early childhood; as a boy, his father required Paul to speak to him only in French, which was so difficult for Paul he could barely express anything at all to his father; he was relieved when his father died, stating "I feel much freer now, and I am my own man."

Jeffrey Dahmer (died 1994): His father was mostly away from the home during his early childhood; described his childhood family life as full of "extreme tension" between his parents, he told his grade school teacher he felt neglected; his mother suffered from a psychiatric disorder; during an interview he said: "If a person doesn’t think there is a God to be accountable to, then—then what's the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That's how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all just came from the slime. When we, when we died, you know, that was it, there is nothing." (ref: Interview with Stone Phillips, Dateline NBC, 11/29/94). He reportedly became a Christian in prison before his death.

Albert Ellis (died 2007): Known for his words, "For that again, is what all manner of religion essentially is: childish dependency"; in his autobiography he described both his parents as distant and uncaring; during an illness which required a hospital stay lasting almost one year, his parents rarely visited him; his father, a businessman, was rarely home and eventually left the family while Albert was in his teens; his mother struggled with bipolar disorder.

Jill Johnston (died 2010): Known for her book, 'Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution’ wherein she stated men were the “enemy” and all religions “continue the oppression of women invoking the words and deeds of the exclusive male deity”; at an early age she was abandoned by her father, who never attempted to contact her afterwards; an obsession with her father is apparent throughout her writings; as an activist, she encouraged all women to live completely independent of anything she deemed as having male characteristics, stating, "Until all women are lesbians there will be no true political revolution" and "Gay men, however discriminated against, are still patriarchs".

Sam Harris (born 1967): Known for his argumentative and angry temperament ever since his father left the home due to his parents’ divorce during his childhood; began to question the existence of God after both his father and also his best childhood friend suddenly died while Sam was still in his teens. In his book titled ‘There is no God (and you know it)’, he wrote, “But what was God doing while a hurricane (Katrina) laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters... Only the atheist has the courage to admit the obvious: these poor people spent their lives in the company of an imaginary friend.”

Daniel Dennett (born 1942): Known for stating, "Go ahead and believe in God, if you like, but don't imagine that you have been given any grounds for such a belief by science" and "I think religion for many people is some sort of moral viagra."; he had a distant and brief relationship with his father, a covert counterintelligence agent who died in a mysterious plane crash when Daniel was 5.

Larry Flynt (born 1942): Pornography publisher who once said "Religion has caused more harm than any other idea since the beginning of time. There's nothing good I can say about it. People use it as a crutch”; his father was mostly absent in his life, first due to his father’s military service overseas, and then due to his parents' divorce when his father returned from the military; young Larry eventually ran away from home when he was 15 because his home life was intolerable.

In his book, 'That's Just Your Interpretation: Responding to Critics Who Challenge Your Faith' (ed. 11/01), philosopher and theologian, Paul Copan, states, "We all bring background issues with us when encountering religion. Sometimes these factors may diminish or undermine one’s ability to trust in the Being who is the Ultimate Father Figure.... negative family circumstances may be twisted into a reason to blame God and turn from Him."

This scenario might be best illustrated by atheist-activist and founder of American Atheists, Madalyn Murray O'Hair (died 1995). She had a tumultuous relationship with her father, who was often absent from the home, overbearing in his treatment of the family, and she often felt rejected by him.

According to Madalyn's own son, William Murray (quoted in 'The Atheist: Madalyn Murray O'Hair' by Bryan F. LeBeau, ed. 2003), he recalled a dreadful day when she attempted to kill their own father with a butcher knife and screamed, "I'll see you dead. I'll get you yet. I'll walk on your grave!"

In fact, Madalyn Murray O'Hair became so angry with men in general, she only wanted a girl for a child. William Murray said, "One of her favorite stories—I've heard her repeat it many times—is that when I was born and the doctor told her, 'It's a boy,' she asked him if there wasn't some way he could put it back."

He continued: "It is my opinion that my mother's maniacal campaign to remove all references to God in public schools and government, plus her heated atheistic campaigns over the years stem back to this issue. Madalyn Murray was mad at men, and she was mad at God, who is male. Rather than confront her conscience, she determined to deny God's existence and refused to accept any moral constraints. She had to destroy all references to God, because if there were a Diety, He could make demands on her life."

In her diary, which was found after she had been murdered by her office manager at American Atheists, she made the following admission: "I have failed in marriage, in motherhood, and as a politician." Also in several entries, she wrote, "Somebody, somewhere, please love me."

While some skeptics reviewing her life might conclude her anguished diary entries are mere reflections of an unhappy individual, by contrast, theist Paul Copan saw a tragic dichotomy and concluded: "The heart-rending irony is that she committed her life to fighting against the God who truly loved her."

Without diminishing the tragedy and pain of childhood trauma revealed in this very brief survey, one can conclude that, while for many skeptics there may be little emotional involvement in the formation of their personal philosophy, the 'Defective Father' hypothesis, nonetheless, appears to be valid for some.
Last edited by carl on Dec 11, 2014 6:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#2  Postby OlivierK » Dec 10, 2014 11:51 pm

You don't actually know how to test a hypothesis, do you, carl?
User avatar
OlivierK
 
Posts: 9826
Age: 54
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#3  Postby scott1328 » Dec 10, 2014 11:56 pm

I think Carl could have saved us all a wall o' text and simply linked to this
User avatar
scott1328
 
Name: Some call me... Tim
Posts: 8695
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#4  Postby Ironclad » Dec 11, 2014 12:04 am

While I did read a brave and unique piece of work ( a touch of, tl;dr also crept in here n there, I'd admit) that, sir, is a massive pile of shit. I congratulate you.
For Van Youngman - see you amongst the stardust, old buddy

"If there was no such thing as science, you'd be right " - Sean Lock

"God ....an inventive destroyer" - Broks
User avatar
Ironclad
RS Donator
 
Name: Nudge-Nudge
Posts: 23882
Age: 51
Male

Country: Wink-Wink
Indonesia (id)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#5  Postby Jerome Da Gnome » Dec 11, 2014 12:20 am

Very interesting, thanks!

:cheers:
The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.
-Albert Camus
User avatar
Jerome Da Gnome
Banned User
 
Name: Jerome
Posts: 5719

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#6  Postby kennyc » Dec 11, 2014 12:32 am

Carl that is one pile of steaming shit.
Kenny A. Chaffin
Art Gallery - Photo Gallery - Writing&Poetry
"Strive on with Awareness" - Siddhartha Gautama
User avatar
kennyc
 
Name: Kenny A. Chaffin
Posts: 8698
Male

Country: U.S.A.
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#7  Postby Matthew Shute » Dec 11, 2014 12:37 am

Once I realised what you were up to, carl, I decided to just scan over this. TL;DR for this kind of propaganda. What a waste of pixels.

It also looks like you're back to blaming Marx and Nietzsche for the deaths of millions, despite chairman bill putting you right about this when you did it before.

carl wrote:Karl Marx (died 1883): [...] known as the ‘Father of Communism’ and ‘Father of Modern Genocide’; the most brutal regimes in history adopted his atheistic and evolutionist philosophies to murder millions.


So an academic, Marx, is somehow responsible for psychopaths like Stalin and Mao twisting an economic theory into a totalitarian quasi-religion and using the power this gave them to murder millions? Right...

carl wrote:Friedrich Nietzsche (died 1900): [...] his writings are widely credited as the driving force behind German militarism which was responsible for up to 14 million deaths.


Nietzsche hated nationalism and herd mentality, and he was disgusted by anti-Semitism (Wagner's anti-Semitism is one of several reasons Nietzsche fell out with the composer, calling Wagner a decaying anti–Semitic Christian).

Even his "will-to-power" has probably been grossly misunderstood:

Nietzsche wrote:I have found strength where one does not look for it: in simple, mild, and pleasant people, without the least desire to rule—and, conversely, the desire to rule has often appeared to me a sign of inward weakness: they fear their own slave soul and shroud it in a royal cloak (in the end, they still become the slaves of their followers, their fame, etc.) The powerful natures dominate, it is a necessity, they need not lift one finger. Even if, during their lifetime, they bury themselves in a garden house!

(Nachlass)


One of the most bizarre quirks of history is the Nazi treatment of Nietzsche. He would have despised everything about them.

So, yes, as for your armchair psychologist routine, and holding up Jeffrey Dahmer and Jim Jones as somehow representing atheism, it's a bit pathetic. There's a whiff of desperation about it, carl.
Last edited by Matthew Shute on Dec 11, 2014 1:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Change will preserve us. It is the lifeblood of the Isles. It will move mountains! It will mount movements!" - Sheogorath
User avatar
Matthew Shute
 
Name: Matthew Shute
Posts: 3676
Age: 42

Antarctica (aq)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#8  Postby CdesignProponentsist » Dec 11, 2014 12:49 am

Hey Carl,

I'm a skeptic because I'm genuinely in love with this reality and I celebrate it by trying to discover everything there is to discover about it before I leave this place, and not wasting my one and only life as a Kool-aid drinking drone.

Skeptic ≠ pessimist

I truly feel sorry for those unwilling to challenge their own beliefs.
"Things don't need to be true, as long as they are believed" - Alexander Nix, CEO Cambridge Analytica
User avatar
CdesignProponentsist
 
Posts: 12683
Age: 53
Male

Country: California
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#9  Postby igorfrankensteen » Dec 11, 2014 1:13 am

So....you're saying that only atheists are skeptical about anything?

Interesting thesis. But I don't see any mention of it in the body of the writing.
User avatar
igorfrankensteen
 
Name: michael e munson
Posts: 2114
Age: 67
Male

Country: United States
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#10  Postby Matthew Shute » Dec 11, 2014 1:20 am

CdesignProponentsist wrote:Hey Carl,

I'm a skeptic because I'm genuinely in love with this reality and I celebrate it by trying to discover everything there is to discover about it before I leave this place, and not wasting my one and only life as a Kool-aid drinking drone.

Skeptic ≠ pessimist

I truly feel sorry for those unwilling to challenge their own beliefs.


Well put. Carl makes scepticism sound like some weird aberration, as if there's something suspect about actively weeding out errors. How else are we to reduce the likelihood of falling into delusion? Should we pray very hard that god doesn't lead us astray about anything, even the question of his [god's] existence? What a vicious circle that would be.
"Change will preserve us. It is the lifeblood of the Isles. It will move mountains! It will mount movements!" - Sheogorath
User avatar
Matthew Shute
 
Name: Matthew Shute
Posts: 3676
Age: 42

Antarctica (aq)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#11  Postby Arcanyn » Dec 11, 2014 4:05 am

The lack of a strong mother figure is clearly the reason why Christians don't believe in Asherah.
Power doesn't corrupt, it reveals. Only when someone is free from constraints and consequences do they show their true character.

Sign the petition for the William Lane Craig/David Icke debate here:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/craigickedebate/signatures
User avatar
Arcanyn
 
Posts: 1478
Age: 36
Male

Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#12  Postby carl » Dec 11, 2014 6:14 am

Ironclad wrote:While I did read a brave and unique piece of work ( a touch of, tl;dr also crept in here n there, I'd admit) that, sir, is a massive pile of shit. I congratulate you.


LOL!

but what is tl;dr?
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#13  Postby carl » Dec 11, 2014 6:16 am

CdesignProponentsist wrote:I'm a skeptic because I'm genuinely in love with this reality and I celebrate it by trying to discover everything there is to discover about it before I leave this place, and not wasting my one and only life as a Kool-aid drinking drone.

Skeptic ≠ pessimist

I truly feel sorry for those unwilling to challenge their own beliefs.


on all your points, Agreed.
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#14  Postby carl » Dec 11, 2014 6:23 am

Matthew Shute wrote:Carl makes scepticism sound like some weird aberration, as if there's something suspect about actively weeding out errors. How else are we to reduce the likelihood of falling into delusion?


Say what?

I don't make skepticism out to be weird, nor do I discourage actively weeding our errors - in fact I encourage it.

I suspect you simply scanned the opening post without understanding the point, which is, that the entirety of humanity, no matter how rational we may think and claim we are, we have background emotional issues, and often fairly substantial ones, which steer the course of our personal philosophies, whether it be theism, atheism, or...

I hope you're not claiming your personal philosophy and position, whatever it may be, came about solely on rational grounds. We are both rational AND emotional creatures with all sorts of blind spots, insecurities, prejudices, and too many other issues to list...
Last edited by carl on Dec 11, 2014 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#15  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 11, 2014 6:25 am

carl wrote:
Ironclad wrote:While I did read a brave and unique piece of work ( a touch of, tl;dr also crept in here n there, I'd admit) that, sir, is a massive pile of shit. I congratulate you.


LOL!

but what is tl;dr?

To Long; Didn't Read
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31081
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#16  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 11, 2014 6:25 am

carl wrote:
CdesignProponentsist wrote:I'm a skeptic because I'm genuinely in love with this reality and I celebrate it by trying to discover everything there is to discover about it before I leave this place, and not wasting my one and only life as a Kool-aid drinking drone.

Skeptic ≠ pessimist

I truly feel sorry for those unwilling to challenge their own beliefs.


on all your points, Agreed.

So you admit your OP is nonsense?
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31081
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#17  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 11, 2014 6:26 am

carl wrote:
Matthew Shute wrote:Carl makes scepticism sound like some weird aberration, as if there's something suspect about actively weeding out errors. How else are we to reduce the likelihood of falling into delusion?


Say what?

I don't make skepticism out to be weird, nor do I discourage actively weeding our errors - in fact I encourage it.

I suspect you simply scanned the OP without understanding the point, which is, that the entirety of humanity, no matter how rational we may think and claim we are, we have background emotional issues, and often fairly substantial ones, which steer the course of our personal philosophies, whether it be theism, atheism, or...

I hope you're not claiming your personal philosophy and position, whatever it may be, came about solely on rational grounds.

That would be a false front indeed.

Atheism isn't a philosophy.
And rational skeptics always try to eliminate emotion from their 'personal philosophies'.
Except when the topic is personal emotions of course.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31081
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#18  Postby carl » Dec 11, 2014 6:29 am

No, I am in agreement with his points, which are not in disagreement with my opening post. Did you read and understand the OP or did you just scan it? This may answer our point of confusion.
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#19  Postby carl » Dec 11, 2014 6:37 am

Thomas Eshuis wrote:Atheism isn't a philosophy.


Mirriam-Webster: phi·los·o·phy

: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
: pursuit of wisdom
: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means
: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
: a system of philosophical concepts
: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the philosophy of war>
: the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group

atheism is indeed a type of philosophy unless words have no meaning in our discussion here.

You also said "And rational skeptics always try to eliminate emotion from their 'personal philosophies'.
Did you read the OP or just scan it? Any of us may try to eliminate emotion' but, as humans, this is an impossibility. Unless you're Spock of course.
Last edited by carl on Dec 11, 2014 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
carl
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: carl
Posts: 275

Country: usa
United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Skepticism: Link to Emotional Trauma in the Early Years?

#20  Postby Thomas Eshuis » Dec 11, 2014 6:44 am

carl wrote:
Thomas Eshuis wrote:Atheism isn't a philosophy.


Mirriam-Webster: phi·los·o·phy

First of all, get your definitions from a more reputable source than Mirriam-Webster, which cannot even correctly define atheism.

Secondly none of these apply to atheism.

carl wrote:: a discipline comprising as its core logic, aesthetics, ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology
: pursuit of wisdom
: a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means
: an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs
: a system of philosophical concepts
: a theory underlying or regarding a sphere of activity or thought <the philosophy of war>
: the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group

atheism is a type of philosophy unless words have no meaning in our discussion here.

It isn't because atheism isn't a belief, pursuit of anything, discipline, analysis, system, theory.
It's the absence of a belief in gods.

carl wrote:You also said "And rational skeptics always try to eliminate emotion from their 'personal philosophies'.
Did you read the OP or just scan it? Any of us may try to eliminate emotion' but, as humans, this is an impossibility. Unless you're Spock of course.

Where did I say it's completely impossible to ignore your emotions?
Bit hypocritical to accuse others of not reading your post and then proceed to do the same.
Sure, you cannot completely ignore your emotions, but you can recognise them and dismiss any reasoning that's based on it, instead of rational arguments and/or evidence.
"Respect for personal beliefs = "I am going to tell you all what I think of YOU, but don't dare retort and tell what you think of ME because...it's my personal belief". Hmm. A bully's charter and no mistake."
User avatar
Thomas Eshuis
 
Name: Thomas Eshuis
Posts: 31081
Age: 31
Male

Country: Netherlands
European Union (eur)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Social Sciences & Humanities

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest