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  1. #21
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    MT,

    The OP talks about a number of recent threads (plural). It does nothing to support any of this alleged fear or hatred of god.

    And there's no merit in a claim that the fact that someone thinks the probability that god exists is very very low means that the person is in fear of god or hates him.

    What follows is that there's no merit in the OP.

    On top of it, the OP makes a ludicrous proposition that atheists may suffer from some unspecified (by the OP) psychological syndrome AND that they are dishonest in their response to the poll.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  2. #22
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    MT,

    The OP talks about a number of recent threads (plural). It does nothing to support any of this alleged fear or hatred of god.
    That isn't the "case" of the OP, that is the back story. don't get distracted by it.
    Also, if you have read some of the recent threads, it should be very clear and understandable why this question would come up.


    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    And there's no merit in a claim that the fact that someone thinks the probability that god exists is very very low means that the person is in fear of god or hates him.

    What follows is that there's no merit in the OP.

    On top of it, the OP makes a ludicrous proposition that atheists may suffer from some unspecified (by the OP) psychological syndrome AND that they are dishonest in their response to the poll.
    So, you don't intend to answer the question in the OP?
    Even after I went through all the trouble of copy and pasting it, and noting that it is the main question and everything? Geez, all that hard work for nothing.. see If I copy and past for you again.

    p.s. what do you mean unspecified syndrome? It asks if the possible motivation could be "theophbia". Or, possibly some other as yet unstated reasoned argument for putting it so low. It isn't posited as some sort of mental retardation, or handicap. A phobia is simply an unreasoned fear. So the OP is basically asking is it a reasoned explanation, or an emotional one that drives the low answers by atheists.

    Avoiding that question doesn't answer it.... or does it?


    Quote Originally Posted by ALLO
    And there's no merit in a claim that the fact that someone thinks the probability that god exists is very very low means that the person is in fear of god or hates him.

    What follows is that there's no merit in the OP.
    O.k.. o.k. in all seriousness.

    As the OP asks if that is a valid inference and you disagree, you have answered half the OP. (though not very well IMO)

    Now, would you mind answering the other half, and explain what is the motivation/reason behind giving an answer that the evidence does not support.
    Namely that the 50/50 approach is warranted by the evidence, while atheists put it much lower for now apparent reason.

    Now, without begging... what is the reason for putting it lower than 50/50 (as many atheists did)? If it isn't from an emotional reason (IE fear/hatred), what is the logical reason? If non can be given, then that does give credence to the implication that it must then be from an emotional reason, specifically a negative one.


    Again the OP asks a valid question.
    Quote Originally Posted by OP
    So, I ask all ODN "atheists" to step forward and explain why you are so certain that God does not exist. And if you are not certain, how can you maintain the position of being an atheist instead of an agnostic?
    Awww. you sly devil .. You got me copy N pasting again.

    You can note the lack of accusation of being motivated by fear in this portion of the OP. Instead it is asking for the logical reasoning. Assuming you have rejected what appears to be the only emotional reasons available, after all it can only be one of them, iether the emotional reason (which you reject) or the logical one.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That isn't the "case" of the OP, that is the back story. don't get distracted by it.
    Also, if you have read some of the recent threads, it should be very clear and understandable why this question would come up.
    I see. Well forgive us for reading the title of the OP, along with its rather strange attempt to support the claim within that title. We should have just disregarded it. Fine. Let's assume that that's ineed not the point of the OP.



    p.s. what do you mean unspecified syndrome? It asks if the possible motivation could be "theophbia". Or, possibly some other as yet unstated reasoned argument for putting it so low. It isn't posited as some sort of mental retardation, or handicap. A phobia is simply an unreasoned fear. So the OP is basically asking is it a reasoned explanation, or an emotional one that drives the low answers by atheists.
    A phobia is a mental syndrome. The OP suggests that atheists don't believe because they do believe and are scared of God. Or it suggests that they pretend not to believe because they are scared of God (and are liars). OR it suggests that they are in a condition where they themselves wrongly think that they don't believe because they are scared of God (some type of pathology arising from a claimed phobia; one that would certainly need some evidence and explanation).



    Avoiding that question doesn't answer it.... or does it?
    I'm not avoiding any question.


    O.k.. o.k. in all seriousness.

    As the OP asks if that is a valid inference and you disagree, you have answered half the OP. (though not very well IMO)
    I think I've answered it very well. There's absolutely no basis for claiming that such an inference is valid. This is exactly where the OP falls way short.


    Ok, I admit that I focused way too much on this silly claim that atheists are scared of something they don't believe exists, and thereby lost focus of what the writer really wanted. I'll address the OP In detail.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  4. #24
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Given that the choices for the origin of the universe are 1) that the universe is self-creating (which doesn't seem very logical) or 2) that it was created by a deity of some kind, why are ODN atheists so adamant that God does not exist?
    This is a false dilemma. It's not true that there are only two choices. The universe may have arisen from something else that was not a god. In fact, there's no merit in claiming that God is an option that deserves serious consideration at all. Why would it? All we can say is that the universe either always existed, self-created or was caused by something else. There's absolutely no room here for making any further claims about the nature and attributes of whatever it is that gave rise to the universe, other than that it must have been something that is capable of giving rise to the universe.

    And why would the idea of the universe self-creating not seem logical? And if indeed it's not logical, why would you assume that it hasn't always existed?



    In a recent poll , twenty ODN atheists self-identified as believing there is very low or zero probability of God existing. Why did they not choose "50 percent" probablity, or even the relatively moderate "Lower than 50 percent but not very low" position?
    Because there's no credible evidence for the existence of a god. Therefore, the only reasonable position is that the existence of a god (any of the thousands of heretofore proposed versions) is exceedingly less probable than the non-existence of a god.


    Is it because they are theophobiacs, and can’t get past their own morbid fear or hatred of God? Would acknowledging that God may exist and simply has not made Himself known to them be psychologically impossible? Is it just less frightening to the subconscious for them to claim "There is no God" rather than admit "I don't know God"?
    What person in their right mind would ever posit that there exists something (specific) that has not made its existence known? There must be a reason to claim that something exists. And if it hasn't made itself known, there is no such reason. The only reasonable conclusion is that it's exceedingly unlikely to exist.


    If so, what is it in their lives that caused this morbid fear or hatred of God, and prevents ODN atheists from recognizing that they are really agnostics? And why are they not willing to think logically, and admit that if they really do hate God, then they may actually believe that He exists?
    I can't speak for the others, but I'm certainly no agnostic. And I'm certainly not in fear of something that most likely doesn't exist.
    Last edited by Allocutus; February 19th, 2011 at 12:43 AM.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  5. #25
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    Angry Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    theophobia [ˌθɪəˈfəʊbɪə]
    n
    (Psychology) morbid fear or hatred of God
    theophobiac n

    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/theophobia

    There have been many debates on ODN about whether God exists. Atheists, while asserting that there is no reason to believe in God, have never proven God does not exist. And recent threads by atheists suggest they have a very real fear or even hatred of God.
    How does one fear and hate what they don't believe exists?

    From what I understand it isn't the idea of God they fear but the idea of calling it truth. When the schools teach dogma over science there will be ignorance. The last thing we need is to get less aware.

    Not only that but there are many different religions and sects within each that it would be too difficult to pick one creation myth out of the pile and call it the Way.

    Given that the choices for the origin of the universe are 1) that the universe is self-creating (which doesn't seem very logical) or 2) that it was created by a deity of some kind,
    There is a third. 3) The universe has always been and so had no need of the ever elusive "first cause".

    why are ODN atheists so adamant that God does not exist? In a recent poll , twenty ODN atheists self-identified as believing there is very low or zero probability of God existing. Why did they not choose "50 percent" probablity, or even the relatively moderate "Lower than 50 percent but not very low" position?

    Is it because they are theophobiacs, and canít get past their own morbid fear or hatred of God?
    Often (and I certainly don't speak for all Atheists although I was one for a time) they have only one or two versions of God to go by. They stopped listening when tne religion they knew got sickening. Many Atheists when arguing God will forget Abraham wasn't the only one that came up with a concept. Theism is a broad subject indeed and to dissmiss God as non-existant does seem a bit on the odd side for anyone wishing to take the time to argue the point.


    Would acknowledging that God may exist and simply has not made Himself known to them be psychologically impossible? Is it just less frightening to the subconscious for them to claim "There is no God" rather than admit "I don't know God"?
    Because "I don't know God" acknowledges there is a God to know. To me, Agnosticism is likely the smartest bet. Suspending judgement until more evidence is heard.

    The rest of the o/p doesn't pertain to me but I'm interested to see the responses.

  6. #26
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    theophobia [ˌθɪəˈfəʊbɪə]
    And recent threads by atheists suggest they have a very real fear or even hatred of God.
    No, recent threads don't suggest that because they don't fear something that they don't believe exists.

    Given that the choices for the origin of the universe are 1) that the universe is self-creating (which doesn't seem very logical) or 2) that it was created by a deity of some kind,
    False dichotomy.

    why are ODN atheists so adamant that God does not exist? In a recent poll , twenty ODN atheists self-identified as believing there is very low or zero probability of God existing. Why did they not choose "50 percent" probablity, or even the relatively moderate "Lower than 50 percent but not very low" position?
    Presumably because its silly to believe in a magic person who casts spells to create things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    If I'm incorrect then I'm not to blame. The OP has not specified at all what particular claims it's basing itself on or what threads they are located in. It's very difficult to fight with an unidentified and invisible enemy.
    Excellent point!
    And have you ever noticed that an invisible enemy and a non-existent enemy look very much the same?

    Incidentally, after seeing you post multiple times about atheists I thought for a moment to caution you about speaking on behalf of a group that you are not even a member of but after considering that everything you said was perfectly accurate (as it pertains to me, anyway) I decided to do what any wise person would do - and I'll shut up about it. Keep up the good work!

  7. #27

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    And recent threads by atheists suggest they have a very real fear or even hatred of God.
    The atheistic criticisms of God on this forum, as Alloc says, are either based on the idea that God is immoral or illogical. It is not hateful to examine what people claim God has done and draw conclusions about him based on that. It is not hateful to use the brain God supposedly gave us to come to the conclusion that he doesn't exist.

    Given that the choices for the origin of the universe are 1) that the universe is self-creating (which doesn't seem very logical) or 2) that it was created by a deity of some kind, why are ODN atheists so adamant that God does not exist?
    Having a strong position on something does not equal hatred. Even if the atheists believe that the universe is self creating, and that's wrong, they are simply deluded, not hateful.

    In a recent poll , twenty ODN atheists self-identified as believing there is very low or zero probability of God existing. Why did they not choose "50 percent" probablity, or even the relatively moderate "Lower than 50 percent but not very low" position?
    This only proves that they have a strong conviction that God does not exist. It doesn't even prove anger or resentment, let alone hatred.

    Is it because they are theophobiacs, and can’t get past their own morbid fear or hatred of God? Would acknowledging that God may exist and simply has not made Himself known to them be psychologically impossible? Is it just less frightening to the subconscious for them to claim "There is no God" rather than admit "I don't know God"?
    Admitting that there is no God is the height of bravery. A person who believes that there is no God must contend with the fact that there will be no cozy heaven for them to go to once they die. Their bodies will rot here. They must contend with idea that their entire lives have no ultimate purpose, and that the universe doesn't care about their problems, their emotions, their happiness or their sadness. They must contend with the fact that there is no cosmic justice, and that all the world's criminals who get away with the most heinous crimes will never be punished. Their very own existence is a chemical accident. Indeed, it could be said that it is religious people who fear the stark truth of the universe, and hide from the world's realities behind comforting beliefs of a nice afterlife, cosmic justice for the world's slimeballs, the idea that their lives ultimately mean something, etc.

    If so, what is it in their lives that caused this morbid fear or hatred of God, and prevents ODN atheists from recognizing that they are really agnostics? And why are they not willing to think logically, and admit that if they really do hate God, then they may actually believe that He exists?

    So, I ask all ODN "atheists" to step forward and explain why you are so certain that God does not exist. And if you are not certain, how can you maintain the position of being an atheist instead of an agnostic?

    Why are you certain that you are not actually theophobic, and repressing a true belief in God?
    Given that you have yet to present a shred of evidence that atheists hate God, it is rather arrogant of you to assume that atheists are atheists due to fear, and not due to the application of logic, or personal experiences that made them disbelieve in the existence of God, or finding God's actions abhorrent, or illogical. In short, there are plenty of reasons why someone could become an atheist, so the fact that some atheists are vehement in their denial of God does not necessarily imply hatred of God.

  8. #28
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    There have been many debates on ODN about whether God exists. Atheists, while asserting that there is no reason to believe in God, have never proven God does not exist.
    Nor do we need to, as far as I'm concerned. You're aware of the argument from ignorance fallacy?

    If not, let me give you an excerpt from wiki so as to not require you to click the link above.

    It asserts that a proposition is necessarily true because it has not been proven false (or vice versa). This represents a type of false dichotomy in that it excludes a third option, which is: there is insufficient investigation and therefore insufficient information to "prove" the proposition to be either true or false.
    This is precisely what an assessment that there is 100% probability of the existence or non-existence of god entails. You voted 100% probability in the positive, and yet you have exactly as much evidence for the existence of god as every atheist on this forum has against the existence of god. Would you care to explain your surety to us?

    And recent threads by atheists suggest they have a very real fear or even hatred of God.
    I'd like to see some examples, if I may. Please list for me here the threads (with links) to which you refer.

    Given that the choices for the origin of the universe are 1) that the universe is self-creating (which doesn't seem very logical) or 2) that it was created by a deity of some kind, why are ODN atheists so adamant that God does not exist?
    I will echo my peers in that this is likely a false dichotomy. Personally, I don't engage in conjecture about where the universe came from. The answer to the question will hardly change the nature of my existence as I know it. Aside from my own prevailing apathy on the matter, I tend to reside in the camp of, "I don't have enough evidence either way to make a judgement, and I certainly don't trust my own limited human understanding to be as arrogant as to believe there's not some third option of which I may yet be unaware." Such applies to the idea of evolution vs. creationism. I don't have any investment whatsoever in the question of where man came from.

    In a recent poll , twenty ODN atheists self-identified as believing there is very low or zero probability of God existing. Why did they not choose "50 percent" probablity, or even the relatively moderate "Lower than 50 percent but not very low" position?
    17 of them were "not 100% probability," somewhat-to-significantly shy of the surety you, yourself, expressed in that very same poll. My guess is that the 17 of us who voted less than 100% employ different standards of evidence than you and the 3 atheists who expressed 100% certainty. That makes 17 of the 20 you mention what Dawkins himself calls "weak atheists," because we accept that our own human knowledge is necessarily limited and as such possibly flawed. It's a simple restatement of "atheist-leaning agnostic." If you're hung up on the fact that we default to the negative position, those 17 people who voted less than 100% certainty that god doesn't exist, I'm not sure I understand why that is, or why it even matters. We are essentially "agnostic."

    Is it because they are theophobiacs, and canít get past their own morbid fear or hatred of God?
    Is it because [christians] are homophobiacs, and can't get past their own morbid fear and hatred of gays?

    Would acknowledging that God may exist and simply has not made Himself known to them be psychologically impossible?
    Would acknowledging that gays are humans beings and simply have different wiring with regard to who they're attracted to be psychologically impossible?

    Is it just less frightening to the subconscious for them to claim "There is no God" rather than admit "I don't know God"?
    Is it just less frightening to the subconscious to say, "God hates fags!" than to admit "Gays are people, too." ?

    If you don't appreciate the implications of my restatement of your position here, then please consider the implications of your statements before you come out with something like this in future. How can you possibly expect that an atheist won't respond to this attack on his character in a hostile manner? If you meant to ask this question of a specific atheist, or a specific group of atheists who have expressed the sentiments you speak of, you should have addressed them specifically, not the 20 people who voted in the last two options of the poll in question, or "all ODN atheists" as your second-to-last paragraph suggests. I, for one, do not engage in the sort of petty bull you've alleged in this thread. I also do not engage in the dishonesty you suggest, I don't appreciate your implication that I do.

    If so, what is it in their lives that caused this morbid fear or hatred of God, and prevents ODN atheists from recognizing that they are really agnostics? And why are they not willing to think logically, and admit that if they really do hate God, then they may actually believe that He exists?
    This might make sense if you could demonstrate that those of us you've addressed have somehow engaged in behavior that suggests we "hate" your god.

    So, I ask all ODN "atheists" to step forward and explain why you are so certain that God does not exist. And if you are not certain, how can you maintain the position of being an atheist instead of an agnostic?
    This is no more complicated than the fact that you (the theist, especially the theist who professes 100% certainty) and I employ different standards of evidence. I could elaborate, but at this point, I'm unconvinced that you care about the answer to this question. I'll wait until such time as you have responded before I go too deeply into this.

    Why are you certain that you are not actually theophobic, and repressing a true belief in God?
    Why are you certain that you aren't actually homophobic, and repressing a true sexual desire toward the same sex?

    Or better yet...

    Why are you certain that you're not actually atheophobic, and are repressing a lack of faith in god?

    Again, what do you expect my answer to be here?

    You addressed all atheists on ODN, only three of whch professed "certainty" as to the non-existence of god. Why are you stating explicitly that "ODN atheists" are "certain?"
    Last edited by ladyphoenix; February 21st, 2011 at 08:46 AM. Reason: correcting some badly-flowing wording
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  10. #29
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    I think the OP is nothing more than projection.

    I as an atheist cannot fear God. You can only fear things that you believe to exist whether rational or irrational. I am certain God doesn't exist, therefore there is nothing to fear at all.

    If I fear anything it's the fundies whom hide behind religion to support there warmongering and hatred for others.

    I do not hate God. There is no God so there is nothing to hate. I don't even hate the idea that people are delusional enough to fall for religion. I think it's SAD....but I don't hate God.

    I think evensual has come to terms with what maybe a chink in the armour. HE realizes that indeed the atheists are right and perhaps he's illusion of reality is starting to crumble. Rather than realize that it is the religious that haven't come to terms with reality, he projects his fears onto the atheists.

    It's OK. we shall patiently wait for you to join on on the "dark side". We shall be your support group and help you put your mind back together and show you the joys of logical thought and reason.

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    In spite of it's posted definition, "theophobic" is a loaded term when applied to atheists. It really only amounts to say: "you don't believe because your afraid."

    It ignores the fact that it's a sickness, ie: abnormal fear.

    By definition, theophobiacs - people walking around with a morbid fear of God - are believers in said entity that scares them. The OP implies that atheist are "scared believers" and maybe are not really atheist, but there is no support at all for this contention.

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Some atheists hate God. That is, they find their interpretation of God's character from the Bible detestable. Usually this interpretation is sharply different than the mainstream Christian view of God--that is, theophobiacs who hate God are hating a different object than mainstream Christians.

    (Which interpretation, the atheists' or the Christians', is more reasonable or more probable is perhaps a debate for another time.)

    I think talk of theophobia is mostly just ad hominem distraction from the actual arguments being made about God's existence or lack thereof. Just like atheists who talk about religion being the opiate of the masses, or being an evolutionary adaptation, or theism being an emotional/psychological crutch.

    It's all just a distraction from the arguments themselves. Why a particular belief is held is not a question at issue; the question is whether the belief is true. So it doesn't even matter whether atheists are theophobic. Suppose they all are; suppose every single atheist is afraid of God. It remains true that if atheist arguments are sound, then theists are in trouble. So the question is still, are atheist arguments sound?
    Last edited by CliveStaples; February 22nd, 2011 at 06:44 AM.
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogue Cardinal View Post
    I think the OP is nothing more than projection.

    I as an atheist cannot fear God. You can only fear things that you believe to exist whether rational or irrational.
    Actually, that's not accurate. At the subconscious level people have lots of fears that they are not aware of yet those fears manifest at the conscious level in our day-to-day life all the time. One clear example of this is a fear of heights. A person doesn't know why they have a fear of heights, they just are. They have no belief or lack thereof to justify why they are afraid of heights.

    We have all kinds of fears below the surface of the conscious mind that we're not aware of yet such fears do often affect our choices, our lifestyle, and different areas of our life in subtle ways.
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Actually, that's not accurate. At the subconscious level people have lots of fears that they are not aware of yet those fears manifest at the conscious level in our day-to-day life all the time. One clear example of this is a fear of heights. A person doesn't know why they have a fear of heights, they just are. They have no belief or lack thereof to justify why they are afraid of heights.

    We have all kinds of fears below the surface of the conscious mind that we're not aware of yet such fears do often affect our choices, our lifestyle, and different areas of our life in subtle ways.
    In your example, it's pretty clear why someone would fear heights, because they believe that they could fall- whether rational or not.

    An atheist would have to believe there is a God to fear his wrath, whether rational or not.

    I agree that perceiving theists as afraid of God is nothing more than projection, that was my initial reaction to the Op. And as I stated earlier, I have known many theists who fear God, and many who even admit to being angry with or hating God, but never an atheist.

    I was brought up Baptist.. the only thing I feared back then was what God could NOT protect me from. Which incidentally, is what caused me to become an atheist.. and at no time did I fear God.

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Some atheists hate God. That is, they find their interpretation of God's character from the Bible detestable. Usually this interpretation is sharply different than the mainstream Christian view of God--that is, theophobiacs who hate God are hating a different object than mainstream Christians.
    A significant number of atheists hate the accurate, legitimate, canonical, Christian view of God. You're not giving atheists enough credit, and you're ignoring the fact that the legitimate interpretation of the Christian God is not an interpretation that the entire planet will necessarily view favorably.

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Great Khan View Post
    A significant number of atheists hate the accurate, legitimate, canonical, Christian view of God. You're not giving atheists enough credit, and you're ignoring the fact that the legitimate interpretation of the Christian God is not an interpretation that the entire planet will necessarily view favorably.
    A significant number of atheists hate a God that is perfectly good, perfectly just, and perfectly loving, and never does anything even slightly wrong, unjust, or unloving? I suppose some atheists like Hitchens don't like the authority that God possesses, but that doesn't strike me as the principal reason that atheists hate God. I think most atheists hate God because they think He does things that are wrong (genocide, endorsing slavery, etc.).
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakti View Post
    In your example, it's pretty clear why someone would fear heights, because they believe that they could fall- whether rational or not.
    The simple fear of falling is a normal survival instinct. The "fear of heights: An abnormal and persistent fear of heights. Sufferers experience severe anxiety even though they realize as a rule that heights pose no real threat to them)" is another issue altogether that has a deeper cause below the surface of our conscious awareness. In some people such a fear controls and dictates much of their choices until they choose to meet it head on.
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Usually this interpretation is sharply different than the mainstream Christian view of God--that is, theophobiacs who hate God are hating a different object than mainstream Christians.
    You are perpetuating the same error then the OP does.

    Theophobiacs do not hate God, they fear Him, and by definition, they are believers.
    In small doses, being a God fearing Christian is even touted as a virtue in some circles.
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The simple fear of falling is a normal survival instinct. The "fear of heights: An abnormal and persistent fear of heights. Sufferers experience severe anxiety even though they realize as a rule that heights pose no real threat to them)" is another issue altogether that has a deeper cause below the surface of our conscious awareness. In some people such a fear controls and dictates much of their choices until they choose to meet it head on.
    But it's obvious that there is an underlying irrational belief there.

    I don't see how that correlates to the Op. Especially since those with a fear of heights seem well aware of the phobia....

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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vandaler View Post
    You are perpetuating the same error then the OP does.

    Theophobiacs do not hate God, they fear Him, and by definition, they are believers.
    The definition given in the OP of "theophobia" is:

    morbid fear or hatred of God

    It is possible to be a theophobiac who hates God but doesn't fear Him (cf. homophobics who hate homosexuals but do not fear them).

    In small doses, being a God fearing Christian is even touted as a virtue in some circles.
    In mainstream Christianity, "fear of God" does not mean "being afraid of God." Rather, it means something more like "Understanding that God is much, much greater than you, and that His will can impact you greatly." It's more about recognizing the supremacy of God than about experiencing some sort of emotional/psychological horror.
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    Re: Are ODN "atheists" theophobiacs?

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    A significant number of atheists hate a God that is perfectly good, perfectly just, and perfectly loving, and never does anything even slightly wrong, unjust, or unloving?
    But that's just it. They view the exact same God that Christians claim is perfectly good, just, etc. and think that he is not. They aren't criticizing a God of their own invention; they're criticizing the same God that Christians worship/

    I suppose some atheists like Hitchens don't like the authority that God possesses, but that doesn't strike me as the principal reason that atheists hate God. I think most atheists hate God because they think He does things that are wrong (genocide, endorsing slavery, etc.).
    That atheists view these incidents with contempt, and Christians view them favorably is evidence that both parties are judging the same God, and thus atheists are not "hating a different object than mainstream Christians."

    ---------- Post added at 12:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:39 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    In mainstream Christianity, "fear of God" does not mean "being afraid of God." Rather, it means something more like "Understanding that God is much, much greater than you, and that His will can impact you greatly." It's more about recognizing the supremacy of God than about experiencing some sort of emotional/psychological horror.
    That's called understanding and awe. It's not fear.

 

 
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