Monday, May 1, 2017

Our Father...Who Wasn't There


 Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens, are known collectively as "The Four Horsemen of The New Atheism." Their self-anointed task isn't simply to convince people in the 21st century that God doesn't exist, but that faith is useless, detrimental, and even irrational. Dawkins, an English biologist, wrote a book entitled The God Delusion that went to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2006 and remained there for a long time. The idea that God is irrational gets its roots in the theories of Sigmund Freud. (That's not to say all psychologists/psychiatrists are atheists or subscribe to his ideas). Freud's criticism of the belief in God is called The Projection Theory. According to this theory, God is a projection of our own unconscious desires. As Freud wrote in his book The Future of an Illusion, "...the terrifying impression of helplessness in childhood aroused the need for protection...which was provided by the father...Thus the benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fears of the dangers of life."

 It certainly doesn't help matters with Jorge Bergoglio telling us "Atheists go to Heaven," as these "New Atheists" seek to rob as many people of Faith as possible. The Vatican II sect is too busy spreading their own Modernist errors which lead to atheism; most of the credible challenges to atheism come from conservative Protestants. One notable exception is Dr. Paul C. Vitz, a Vatican II sect conservative psychologist. He published a book in 1999 and revised/expanded it in 2013 to address the New Atheists entitled Faith of the Fatherless, The Psychology of Atheism. His thesis (and book) is nothing short of brilliant.

Dr. Vitz, a retired professor of psychology at New York University and Senior Scholar at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences at Arlington, Virginia, received his PhD from Stanford University, and was himself an atheist until his late 30s. He performed an extensive study on all the major atheists, and came to a startling discovery; they had dysfunctional fathers! Freud's Projection Theory commits the genetic fallacy in logic. This occurs when you try to discredit an idea based on its origin. Even if belief in God came from an unconscious desire for a father-figure, this doesn't prove God non-existent. Perhaps the very reason we have such a desire is because Our Creator made it innate within us to seek Him out.

Dr. Vitz flips the Projection Theory on the atheists. He suggests to them that perhaps the reason they don't believe in God is precisely because He is seen as a loving Father, and they resent their own earthly fathers. This doesn't logically prove atheism false, but it certainly takes the wind out of the sails of their argument. Maybe it's not God that comes from a psychological "defect," maybe it's atheism! Nothing I could write in a short post could do justice to this book, which I hope you will seek out and read. Dr. Vitz develops a theory of his own, but too extensive for the purpose of this post. I will set out what he has to say about the New Atheists and give a brief snapshot of The Defective Father Hypothesis. 

Defective Father Hypothesis

 1. Dr. Richard Dawkins. Born in 1941, Dawkins is a retired biology professor from Oxford University in England. He hates all religion, but has an especially intense hatred of Christianity. He was an only child, born in Kenya to a father who worked in colonial agricultural service. Richard was happy in Kenya, but his father uprooted him while young to return to England. Dawkins was placed in a boarding school called Oundle, which was run by the Anglican sect. He was a good student with an interest in biology, and claims he was a "typical" Anglican until his twenties when he found a better explanation for the world in the teachings of Charles Darwin. Significantly, Dawkins had little contact with his parents, especially his father, once he began Oundle. He was sexually abused by one of his teachers; a pedophile with strong ties to the Anglican sect. This strong negative association with religion and fathers would set him up for his "atheistic conversion." 

2. Dr. Daniel Dennett. Born in 1942, Dennett is a philosopher and cognitive scientist. He is co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies and professor of philosophy at Tufts University, having obtained his undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford. Dennett is perhaps best known for his book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomena (2006). He considers God as a meaningless idea generated by the human mind. 

 Born in Boston, Massachusetts, young Daniel and his family moved to Lebanon during world War II, where his father was a counter-intelligence agent for the United States government. His father died in an unexplained plane crash in 1947, when Dennett was only five years old. Shortly thereafter, he moved back to the U.S. with his mother. Dennett has written in his autobiography, "In my youth some of my friends were the sons of eminent or even famous professors at Harvard or MIT, and I saw the toll it took on them as they strove to be worthy of their father's attention. I shudder to think what would have become of me if I had to live up to my father's actual, living expectations and not just those extrapolated in absentia by my friends and family." Dr. Vitz comments that this is odd. There is no sense of loss, and Dennett "shudders" to think what it would be like if he had a father growing up! Psychologically speaking, Dr. Vitz terms this an act of rationalization and denial. 

3. Christopher Hitchens. Hitchens was born in 1949 and died in 2011 from complications due to esophageal cancer. He was an English-born journalist (later a U.S. citizen) best known for his attacks on religion, most notably, his work God is not Great; How Religion Poisons Everything (2007). He hated God because he despised the idea of a Supreme Being in control of everything. Hitchens was a libertarian, and considered God an obstacle to liberty. He came to reject God for other reasons as well. His father was cold, and aloof. He rarely spoke and was a Naval officer in England. Hitchens refers to his father as the "Commander," ostensibly due to his being head of the household, as well as his military rank.

 His father sent him to boarding school from age 8 to 18, after which he attended Oxford. He had little interaction with his father, and the few positive words he had for him were his admiration for his military record fighting the Nazis. Hitchens' father admired athletic prowess, and Christopher disappointed him as he was small in stature and an intellectual. Hitchens was very close to his mother, Yvonne. When he was a twenty year old student at Oxford, his mother told him she was bored with his father and was having an affair with a former Anglican "priest," Reverend Timothy Bryan. Both had become followers of the 1960s New Age "guru" Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Shortly thereafter, for reasons not entirely clear, Hitchens' mother and Timothy Bryan had made a suicide pact, and died together at a hotel in Athens. Hitchens blamed his father and the religious ex-Anglican minister for the death of his beloved mother. 

4. Dr. Sam Harris. Little biographical information is known of this neuroscientist born in 1967. He grew up in a secular home with a non-practicing Quaker father, and a non-practicing Jewish mother. He was an English major in college, and became famous when his book The End of Faith became unexpectedly popular. He went back to school and received a PhD in neuroscience to try and prove God a product of the human mind. Harris despises Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, but has an affinity for Buddhism. Harris may be an exception to the hypothesis of Dr. Vitz. However, if Harris has a "dismissing personality style" (which would account for his detachment from his past), he would be more prone to "impersonal force" religions (like Buddhism) as opposed to traditional forms of monotheism. 

Conclusion
There is nothing new about the New Atheists in terms of real arguments, only in terms of their hostility towards God, and their quest to extirpate Him from society. Dr. Vitz writes a compelling account of abusive, weak, or absent fathers in the lives of most prominent atheists. Remember this the next time someone wants to attribute your faith to some "psychological defect." While the "Defective Father Hypothesis" and the "Projection Theory" do not refute or prove atheism from a logical viewpoint, Dr. Vitz gives us much food for thought. 

 How we are raised will have an impact on our inclinations towards right and wrong, good and evil, God and atheism. St. Joseph was held up as the standard for fathers to follow prior to Vatican II. Now, look at what the Vatican II sect has brought upon the world. Divorce and "remarriage" are at an all-time high, with adulterers allowed to receive the Novus Bogus "communion" cracker. Sodomites are getting "married" and raising children, while Bergoglio says, "Who am I to judge?" So-called "single mothers," once a social stigma, are now common place and are allowed to function as "lectors" and "Eucharistic (sic) Ministers." Those of us who were born during Vatican II have seen more dysfunction arise in families and society than ever before. I cannot bring myself to think what those who are raised in the current culture prepared by Vatican II (and moved forward by Frankie) will turn out to be.    

21 comments:

  1. In my opinion Sam Harris is controlled opposition.

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    1. Could you please explain exactly what you mean by that?

      ---Introibo

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    2. I think this sums it up pretty well:

      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Controlled%20opposition

      I know it's urban dictionary, but the entry isn't vulgar.

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    3. Ok, I guess I'm a bit dense on this one; Sam Harris is a government agent sent to spread atheism?

      ---Introibo

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    4. Anonymous 2:34 PM, I think you may have some wires crossed. Sam Harris might be a New World Order agent but I don't think he matches the description of controlled opposition. Also, controlled oppositions are not used only by governments but other organizations as well. More accurately and appropriate to this forum, the term would apply to the SSPX Salza/Siscoe team. The semi-trads are a controlled opposition par excellence and no doubt John Salza never left the Masonic Lodge.

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    5. My guess is that he meant that leaders of the so-called "alt-right" like Sam Harris and Milo Yiannopoulos are really neocon-zionist shills (paid controlled opposition). Sam Harris in particular came out against Trump's travel ban, so it could be argued that he's placed in an alt-right leadership role as a divide and conquer strategy. He's really a Democrat pretending to be right-wing just to split conservatives apart. Milo split the base as well with the pedo stuff.

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    6. I don't know how anyone could consider Harris "conservative." Harris is an opportunist and militant atheist. Yiannopoulos is a practicing sodomite. I don't understand why it can't be that simple. Creating convoluted conspiracy theories seems to be a past time for some.

      ---Introibo

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    7. Sam Harris IS NOT Alt-Right!!
      Secondly,Sam Harris is Jewish as his mother is Jewish.
      People with a Gentile Mother and Jewish Father must complete all the formalities and rites of Judaism and attend Temple more than twice a year to be considered Jewish.
      If they have a Jewish mother and Gentile father,they're considered Jewish.
      I don't know who Sam Harris works for but I am utterly convinced he's controlled opposition.
      I think most mainstream voices in news (Alex Jones being one of them) and political/social commentary are controlled just like S.Harris.
      Why would our (((govt))) want the average American troglodyte to know truth sense and reason?
      Wouldn't want to awaken the drooling sleeping masses would we?

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    8. You are correct that someone born of a Jewish mother is considered Jewish. Harris had a secular upbringing and finds Christianity, Judaism, and Islam loathsome.

      You don't know who is "controlling" him, but someone is pulling his strings. Oh boy. Is it simply because his mother was a Jew that you believe he is "controlled opposition"? What evidence do you have? Why only Harris--is Dawkins "controlled opposition"? Dennett? This whole line of thinking seems bereft of reason.

      ---Introibo

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    9. My line of reasoning is Sam Harris is famous for being an atheist.
      He is boring dull uninteresting unoriginal yet he is famous and featured as a guest on media outlets.
      Has it ever occurred to you a country that provides abortion,sodomite marriage,no fault divorce,funding to planned parenthood,and provides security for sodomite Dyke parades may not have your best interest at heart?
      Has it occurred to you this same country's ruling elite may promote people who tell you "God is Dead" "there is no afterlife" "Jesus is a crutch for weak stupid people".
      I'm open to being wrong I never said I was correct.
      My original post said
      "in my opinion".

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    10. Did you know Jews consider themselves a race?
      One example is Geddy Lee from Rush.He's a militant atheist yet according to Geddy
      "I bathe in the beauty of Judaism" (Judaism being a racial construct rather than a spiritual construct)
      This isn't an anti-jewish statement,just a simple heads up.

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    11. As you refined what you meant, it does seem plausible. The rulers of our country are mostly godless and will promote the same. That makes good sense. You also stated it was an opinion, and --as re-stated--has merit.

      ---Introibo

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    12. Thank you for posting my reply.
      God bless you

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  2. There has always been "dysfunctional" families and there always will be. A fact of life. Granted they are more than likely getting more prevalent. I was raised in the pre- Vatican II era and my family was dysfunctional to the max on both sides. My Father used to beat my Mother until she was black and blue all over and she had multiple sclerosis. Did I use my resentment toward my Father as an excuse to reject God - no!! Psychologists are always looking to make excuses to corrobate their theories. I believe it is as simple as having a love of the truth. Jesus said "I am the way the TRUTH and the life". People want to believe lies. People prefer darkness instead of light. Only the TRUTH will set you free!! (If you WANT to be set free).

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    1. I agree with you. The purpose of Dr Vitz's book was not to "prove" atheism is a result of your father being dysfunctional, but rather to show that the Freudian idea of the Projection Theory was as plausible as his theory in favor of God, thereby offering a defeater for the argument against God.

      ---Introibo

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  3. Speaking of people blaming God for evil and for having a horrible family life...
    Today at work,I was very tired & extremely stressed over various issues.
    Someone who is very good at starting arguments while "looking" like an innocent lamb did something to me to start an argumemt with me.
    I was so tired,stressed,angry,etc...this person KNEW if I responded I would've went from zero to 100 in .2 seconds.
    So,I simply said "OK" and walked away while metaphorically eating humble pie.
    My point to this long story is we can blame and finger point all we want.Its us who choose our sins and fate,not God.
    It wasn't fun nor enjoyable eating dirt in front of people nor did I enjoy allowing this person to irritate me.
    I chose to accept being humbled and submitting to Gods ways not Man's ways.
    Having a horrendous temper helps.
    I knew I couldn't responded or it would have become an ugly scene quickly.
    This person isn't worth me losing my job and my family losing their provider.(which is the role God assigned to me)

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    1. Thank you for this wonderful reminder. God bless you.

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    2. You're welcome
      God bless you

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  4. A very good article! I have recently been bombarded with ads from PETA. These PETA people are for the ethical treatment of animals and for the unethical treatment of persons. They are pro-abortion and for assisted suicide. Like everything else in this world they have their priorities backwards!!

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    1. I'm convinced,(I am open to being wrong)based upon their actions,words,and beliefs,that most celebrities and leftist action groups are pure Luciferian.
      Satan's goal is to kill every last human on earth.
      It's perfectly fitting that these people would place animals above the sanctity of human life.
      Theyre obeying their masters commands.

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