Jump to content

God Obssession


chad
 Share

Recommended Posts

Recently, I watched an interview that featured Salman Rushdie -- the author of the controversial novel entitled Satanic Verses that outraged the Islamic world -- and the main topic was Religion and Reason. Eventually, the interviewer asked Rushdie what constituted his personal belief system or Religious paradigm, and he stated that he was a hard-line atheist. Subsequently, the interviewer commented that atheists are simply the flip side of the religious coin, and Rushdie responded, "Yes, of course, everyone knows that atheists are obssessed with God."

 

I'm wondering, from your own perspective and opinion of atheism, how would you interpret that claim? In fact, are atheists obssessed with God? How so? And why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought, personally, that was a very good statement when I watched the show. I don't think it is an obsession with God being real, but rather with all the religious crap that comes with people's assumption that God exists. For me, once I saw the truth that WAS NOT Christianity, it has been hard for me to just watch everyone around me continue believing crap. However, I am also always seeking to understand more about the world in which I live and am especially interested in science. I am also interested in seeing if there are any arguments FOR God's existance because I've been unable to find any. I am very open to having my mind changed on what I think about God, but no one has given verifiable evidence yet. I guess it is probably kind of like an obsession because any time a topic wanders anywhere near the topic of God or science in relation to religion, I am there. But it's really a love of the truth and the accomplishments of THINKING and SCIENCE that I am obsessed with and want to promote in this generally-devoid-of-thought-world.

 

But my fiancee and I laughed when he said that on the show because it does seem true. I mean, look at me, I am posting on ex-Christians, debating Christians until I can't type anymore when it probably won't change their minds. However, I am always hoping to say something that will at least help them be more liberal and less intolerant with their beliefs. I just want people to think, and I want to share the information I have learned about the world as well as hear what other people have learned so I can grow in knowledge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only "obession" with the Abrahamic god is one of focusing on the enemy and working hard against it, the same as all non-xians who truly love other things and just want a world free of the nonsense these cults have caused.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read the transcript of that interview, too.

 

And yes, I do think we agnostics and atheists are obsessed with God. In fact, I got a religious studies degree. :HaHa:

 

I think it's pathogenic in some, but for me, it's merely a curiousity. I think we tend to continue to read about religion because we live in such a religious society. I seek to understand other people, even if I don't agree with them. Most of us were religious at one point, too... so keeping in touch with religiousity in all the varied forms helps to keep us grounded in reality and less tempted to return to faith out of desperation when tough times hit, or when existential crises come up. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I think I wouldn't say that I'm obsessed with God per se, but with the ideas, philosophy and thoughts surrounding the subject of God and religion of any kind. Like Pandora say, it's a curiosity to understand better. But I think if there weren't any threats of fundamentalistic religion that could tear the world apart and force itself on my life, I probably wouldn't be as concerned about the issue. God wouldn't be as important concept to ponder for me, if we only had fair and tolerant religions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to mention that we were all burned by religious fanaticism. Maybe like Batman obsessing over crime after his parents were killed, we can't let alone what altered our lives so profoundly.

 

That's how it feels to me, anyway. :shrug: I'm definitely obsessed about it, but much like a cancer survivor always has the big C in the back of their mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there is some truth to that. I've actually noticed that I do have a God obsession. I think about God all the time, whether or not I believe in him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can only speak for myself, but I would say I spend more time talking/thinking/discussing the topic of religion or theology more than others. Well 'cept maybe the stock market :) .

 

I think the reason I spend so much time on it is there was always a part of me that did wish god was real, so I keep an open mind for some proof or good argument that I may have overlooked. Although at this point all i've heard is the same old boring arguments regurgitated over and over in different form, as if that's supposed to make a difference. And "proof"?

Here it is ------>

 

 

 

 

 

 

:lmao:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the reason to this obsession comes from the same reasons I got religious to begin with. It's probably a deep wish to understand mysteries. Life is a mystery, and the world is a mystery, and it would be nice to know the answer to this chaos. It's just a wish to know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Merriam-Webster defines obsessive:

1 a : tending to cause obsession b : excessive often to an unreasonable degree

obsession:

1 : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation <an obsession with profits>

 

So I would think that it's when it turns fanatical, rigid, superior, and/or intolerant.

 

Any belief system can become obsessive. What I have seen of Atheists on this site, just seems to show a great interest in learning and educating other aspects on the subject of God.

 

I did not read the Rushdie book, nor did I see the interview. Does he have a disturbing preoccupation with unreasonable ideas? I always thought it was the Muslims after Rushdie to kill him, were the obsessive ones. :eek:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Predicated upon the definition of atheism – generally a lack of belief in any sort of Gods – obsession with God, from an experiential standpoint, probably constitutes a compulsion to simply think about one’s lack of belief and give continuous expression to such in some way, shape, or form. So the question arises as to what fuels this two-fold compulsion?

 

Based on the response of everyone thus far, an atheist’s obsession with God seems to be fueled by one or a combination of the following three reasons:

 

(1) A passion for Truth seeking, or what I would label a philosophical spirit. Some people, including myself, are possessed by a drive to simply search for and eventually hit the epistemological jack-pot of existential Truth that philosophy has been ardently pursuing for centuries. And since religious/theological ideologies comprise a huge portion of existential truth claims in terms of the entire philosophical spectrum of truth claims, Atheists are naturally obsessed with addressing what they perceive to be the dubious quality of these religious/theological claims to ultimate Truth, in hopes of contributing to humanity’s progression towards a “Grand Theory of Everything (Steven Hawkings)” via the process of elimination. But, as I just alluded to, a multitude of other truth theories exist within the spectrum of philosophy/science; and atheists are certainly not obsessed with other such theories. In fact, an authentic Truth seeker or philosophical spirit would tend to be obsessed with a more balanced, representative sample of all Truth claims rather than focusing on a disproportionate amount of time/energy on refuting one, measly theory (viz. Christianity). After all, one who is genuinely concerned with discovering ultimate Truths presumably recognizes that equally weighing the rationale merit of all postulates and exploring the totality of the philosophical/scientific landscape is more conducive to discovery than concentrating on a single claim (imagine the minimal likelihood of finding your keys in only one room of your house as opposed to searching the entire house...within reason of course). I said all that to say this: Besides the atheist’s noble search for Truth, perhaps a deeper dynamic is at work regarding the source of his God obsession.

(2) A fear of once again being exploited and painfully duped by the existential comforts of Religion–to avoid relapsing into the self-sabotage of using religion as a crutch in the face of life’s hardships, only to be stripped of stability by the inevitable failure of that crutch. Adopting the position of Atheism is often preceded and then beget by some sort of religious indoctrination or voluntary devotion to a set of religious doctrines (if I had a nickle for every time I heard an Atheist attribute the evolution of his unbelief to a passion for biblical study, I’d be filthy rich). Ironically, therefore, Atheists may be more intuitively and emotionally susceptible to religious temptation–insofar as religion provides its devotees with an impressive array of emotional amenities/luxuries and atheists, whether consciously or subconsciously, long to enjoy those amenities again, as before their de-conversion (reverse backsliding). Hence, their obsession with maintaining a high level of God consciousness (viz. the logical fallacies); which serves to protect their psyche from succumbing to the very appealing but essentially the very false promises of religion ever again (fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me). Simply put, the atheist’s obsession with God is just another way of describing a perfectly normal defense mechanism that the normal human psyche erects against that which has caused it pain/harm, right? Maybe not. The healthy disposition of the psyche to develop defense mechanisms is not necessarily equivalent to or does not necessarily entail an obsessed state of mind. For instance, a good deal of cancer survivors, despite the profound trauma they’ve endured, do not engage in a hyper-diligent mission to keep potential cancer threats and cutting edge treatments in the forefront of their minds. Instead, they usually relegate their cancer-experience to the memory banks as a valuable life-lesson, a source of wisdom to draw from when needed along life’s journey, and then move on to live life in the same manner that life was lived before cancer (accompanied by some distinct lifestyle changes of course). In effect, it doesn’t come to dominate their mental life much like God does for the atheist who has survived the emotional cancer of fundamentalism/religion. The same can be said on behalf of many others who’ve been profoundly influenced by the pain of various life experiences (i.e. a wounded war veteran or violent crime victim, etc....)–these tragedies and many others don’t categorically engender an obsession with the tragedy itself or a significant number of elements related to the tragedy. I said all that to say this: Besides the atheist’s effort to maintain a defense mechanism, perhaps a deeper dynamic is at work regarding the source of his God obsession.

(3) A ethically charged crusade to eradicate the world-wide cancer of fundamentalist religion. This “righteous indignation” is rooted in the harm fundamentalism has inflicted upon the atheist’s heart/mind, which compels his humanitarian sensitivities to prevent the same from happening to his fellow man. Not to mention the fact that your run-of-the-mill atheist is understandably poised to rid the world of fundy religion on the basis of historical precedence and the resulting oppression/terror (i.e. Burning at the stake and Islamic Fascism, etc...). Although the atheist’s fight against the bane of fundamentalism is morally honorable, I’m not convinced that it is the primary origin of his God obsession.

You’ve heard it a thousand times: “actions speak louder than words”. The insight of this old adage is the elementary way of articulating behavioral psychology’s main, methodological principle–that the only procedure to gain empirical info concerning an individual’s mental condition and its contributing causes is to systematically study his behavior–period. In light of that principle, an interesting question materializes: exactly what would count as fighting against the negativities of fundamentalist religion for the purpose of rescuing the rest of humanity from it’s abusive grasp, particularly in terms of the atheist’s behavior/actions? Note that the answer to this question is crucial if we are to determine whether the God obsession of the atheist is really grounded in a crusade to destroy the dysfunction of fundy religion. So, what kind of evidence would confirm that this is actually the case–that the atheist’s obsession with God is synonymous with a mission to push fundamentalism into extinction?

I’m confident that atheists, in general, possess enough common-sense about human nature and the dogmatic nature of fundamentalism to know that merely arguing with various Christians on this and related forums is more of an exercise in intellectual entertainment and futility than an exercise in leading the battle against fundamentalism (I hope so, anyway). Perhaps, then, writing a series of anti-fundy articles to one’s local newspaper would be sufficient evidence. Perhaps supporting Bush’s “war on terror” would be sufficient evidence. Perhaps becoming a member of American Atheists and plugging into various activist endeavors is sufficient evidence. Perhaps voting “atheist friendly” or “non-fundy” on every available venue is sufficient evidence...so on and so forth. If the atheist accounts for his God obsession as a “righteous” fight against fundamentalism, but he is not currently engaged in at least a hand-ful of the above or related behaviors/actions, I’m ready to cautiously conclude that his account is not corroborated by adequate evidence. Ask yourself: What specific aspects of fundamentalism am I presently opposing and what specific strategies of opposition am I employing? If you are incapable of rendering a detailed answer/explanation, you are probably obsessed with God for reasons not as ideal as you initially thought. I said all that to say this: Besides that atheist’s fight against fundamentalism, perhaps a deeper dynamic is at work regarding the source of his God obsession. I’m open to any reasonable hypothesis at this point. I’ll attempt to formulate my opinion as to this deeper dynamic in a future post.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

:grin:WOW Chad! I hope to see you post more often! That was thoughtful and articulate!

 

I will add another theory I have seen, that Atheist post on here, they are tired of how they are treated. Their belief systems are most often over ridden by the Christian movement. Many have said they are persecuted in many situations for choosing to be Atheist. However, I have NOT found Atheist to be obsessive on this site...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Hannah

I think the main reason i come on this site and are generally 'obsessed' with god is i want to be reasurredthat im not wrong or crazy. when i see people convertring people in the street i rush home and come on here to comfort myself. Also i think i want o gain more knowledge and understanding.

 

I think htere is an element f truth saying that athiests and agnostics are obsessed. However nealry everyone who posts here is amaerican, and im guesseing most of youb live in red states> I guess you come on becasue you live in such a relgious place that you need the support. I lie in the UK whereby as an agnostic i would never have come on here simply beacue i didnt need to or care about it. Very few of my friends are christians and the rest just get on with thoer day to day life. None of them feel the need to discuss christianity. This is beacue the christianity that 99% of us encounter is liberal or at least liberalish. I have attended an anglican church all my life (im 18) not every week as i got older by certainly twice a month. Until i met a fundamnetlaist this year i didnt know the doctrine of eternal damnayiion for non believers existed. Most agnostics in the UK will also be ignorant if i was and regularly attended church. Therefore they seek no help or support as they have no threats.

 

Needless to say the encounter with this fundamentlaist has turned my life around - and reuined my first year of univeristy _ i was placed in a house with her. I went back to my church and all of the aglican vicars and curates supported me and even they were in shock. So yeh i can see hwy althiest tend to be obsessed with god. At my low point this year, ii would stay in my room, not eat or talk to anyone and spend at least 6 hours a day surfing the net for answers, sufferenig from insomnia etc.

 

The one thing i wish for is that this rabid fundamneltaism does not spread in the UK, which at this time it is seeming to do. Although it is still a predominantly secular country. Even the archibispohop of caturbarbry (*leader of the anglican church) has condemned fundamentalism for being 'too religious'. He says that the church of england and most chirstians can no longer relate as tese people have gone too far.

 

Sorry i have gone wildly off topic for which i must apolgise for ( also for my spelling)

 

I see athistuist obsission with god to be a healthy thi8ng in one respect. I have always gone with the 'live and let live' thing. I would not express mt views to a christian who finds happines from this etc. EG. my mother is not as strong as i am and i dont think could cope if i told her all i know. However she is a similar christian to what i used to be - fairly watered down when compared to fundamentlalist statnatds - her husband (my father) is an agnostic and this dodes not bother her in the slioightlest - infact she seems to be choosing lay ins in favour of church thessese days.

 

Anyway my point is that as an agnostic/atheist i see no reason to dash these peoples belilefe system. However with fundameneltaist being so agrgressive and destructive i think it may be time to start making our reasoning and belief heard. If such people enforce their beleifes on us - maybe we should 'save' them. althiesm is growing rapidly but is still in tiniy proportions, i fear fundamentalism is also growinf and we have a responsibilty to do something about it. Im sure as peope of america some of you are, but in the UK i feel something should be done before it is too late. And for this reason i think athiests and agonostics should be obsessed to counter the obbsession of fundamnetalists.

 

Sorry off topic again

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recently, I watched an interview that featured Salman Rushdie -- the author of the controversial novel entitled Satanic Verses that outraged the Islamic world -- and the main topic was Religion and Reason. Eventually, the interviewer asked Rushdie what constituted his personal belief system or Religious paradigm, and he stated that he was a hard-line atheist. Subsequently, the interviewer commented that atheists are simply the flip side of the religious coin, and Rushdie responded, "Yes, of course, everyone knows that atheists are obssessed with God."

 

I'm wondering, from your own perspective and opinion of atheism, how would you interpret that claim? In fact, are atheists obssessed with God? How so? And why?

 

We are far from being obsessed with God at all. We are just very concerned about bringing sanity back into our society and dispelling the god myth from the minds of such superstitious beliefs. Especially fundamentalist Christianity and all the craziness that comes with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are far from being obsessed with God at all. We are just very concerned about bringing sanity back into our society and dispelling the god myth from the minds of such superstitious beliefs. Especially fundamentalist Christianity and all the craziness that comes with it.

 

As long as you're tolerant, open minded, flexible, and don't have a superior attitude, I don't see anything wrong with that opinion. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Guidelines.