Catholics teach that the fear of god is a gift from the holy spirit.

Fear = Wisdom? Really?

I used to fear GOD. It was real to me and a constant source of stress. Perhaps when atheists speak of new found freedom, some of it is really the shedding of fear. Did you ever "FEAR the LORD? and if so, how did it feel to ditch that fear?

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But we fear God because he's all powerful. He can do anything he wants to do and we are his creation so we are subject to him. that why we should fear his wrath. but he's loving too. Jesus died for us so we can have grace and be forgiven so now we dont need to fear him anymore.

Yeah, yeah. I've heard it all before, Mercedes. I know how it goes.

You say God exists. I ask for evidence. You have none. So I don't believe you.

The rest that comes after it-- sin, human sacrifice, forgiveness, eternal torture in hell, the problem of evil, yadda yadda-- is academic. You never make it past step one: God.

Should we refer her to the "Debunking the Bible" thread that that one theist guy started?

But we fear God because he's all powerful.

Is he now? Can god microwave a burrito so hot that he can't eat it?

He can do anything he wants to do and we are his creation so we are subject to him.

Again, you need to provide evidence that your particular god exists, and then you still need to provide solid reason why we should subject to him. You are the creation of your parents, do you kneel, bow, and grovel at their feet? Do you blindly obey every word they say? I don't think so.

If we are not okay with regular slavery, why should divine slavery be any different?

that why we should fear his wrath. but he's loving too.

That is the worst definition of love I have ever heard.
I love you, but you should be terrified of me...but love me. How does that make sense? How can you love something that demands your love and fear.
Forced love is mental abuse. If you wish, god's way of love is mental rape. He forces his love on you, whether you want it or not, and punishes you if you refuse it. Replace the word love with "dick" and you have rape.

Jesus died for us so we can have grace and be forgiven so now we dont need to fear him anymore.

So, god, who created the original sin, all knowing, all powerful, allowed us to fall, then he got mad because we did something he knew we would do all along. Then he created a place to punish us for a crime he knew we would commit but did nothing to stop it. Then he sent himself to be sacrificed to himself, so he can convince himself to forgive us for a crime he created, a crime he allowed us to commit, and from a place of torture that he created to send us for that crime.

What kind of loving god does any of that nonsense?! Why not just forgive? If he is loving, why go through with all this torture and misery? Why not just say "Hey folks, I fucked up. I created you without any intelligence and you didn't know any better when I told you not to eat the fruit... Sorry, all is forgiven, here, come back to the garden, there will be punch and pie for everybody. Oh, also, hey snakes! Here are your legs back. I realized that I knew all along that Satan was disguised as a snake, that it wasn't really one of you who tricked the idiot humans... I was just so angry at my omnipotent lack of foresight and I wrongly took it out on you guys. Forgive me?"

See, much better solution. No need for torture, damnation, bloodshed or human sacrifice.

God is like a mafia boss.
He walks into your china shop with a baseball bat and says, "Hey, you have some really nice stuff... Would be a shame if something happened to it. Here's how it will be. You give me 10% of your income, do what I tell you, and I'll make sure you nothing happens to that pretty family of yours when I come back here to settle some scores."

If there even was a God/dess S/He would not be an @$$#*!e; nothing to fear; someone filled your head with bs man; wake up and enjoy your life while you can; you wont get another one. good luck; peace

fear what, a fairy tale ?

Men have been cultivating fear as a control device for thousands of years. It's not just a Christian thing. The threat of punishment or death yields pretty reliable compliance, around the world.

I find the reference in 2 Peter 2:4 rather interesting. Tartaros is the Greek name for a special place in Hades, a fiery wasteland in which souls of the damned would be tormented forever. Possible influence from Greek mythology? Also, I find the references to Sheol interesting. According to Ecclesiastes, Sheol is the place of the dead. It's described as a dark, gloomy place where everyone is in a dormant state, unaware of everything.

Nature didn't design us to be intellectual. It took a lot of man-hours of intent and design to shape our culture into what we are these days. Maybe what we need now is more woman architects in charge?

I think the fear of Hell was the most diabolically brilliant marketing tool ever devised. Just think of it: you convince people that there is this place you go when you die where you burn and suffer for eternity. Then you set your product up as the only way out! Who wouldn't buy it? I cannot begin to describe the freedom I felt when I ditched this bullshit that the Catholics had instilled in me. Liberation beyond description.

Having a vivid imagination-and being forced to read Dante was an issue for me. Onwards Christian Soldiers. Some religious simply refer to the earth as hell, and then do their best to make it that way.

Ah, yes, @Tim.  It is liberating to feel no responsibility to others, no consequences for your own actions.  The question is whether it's healthy.  Is it healthy for society?  Is it healthy for the individual?

Among young people in the U.S., I seem to see a tendency to replace God/natural law with regular law.  Things are wrong because they are against the law.  That's an American secularist trend, which is perhaps why our legal system has run so amok compared with much of the rest of the world.

We see that play out on Wall St.  If it's not technically against the law, it's OK.  Even if the consequences of that approach indirectly fall on others. 

Isn't it much more rational and sound to teach people that there is universal law, with personal consequences?  Law that applies even if you've dodged or corrupted human law.  Norms that help other members of the community issue social sanctions against unethical behavior, rather than celebrate wealth and power? 

@ Prof. Robert

 “It is liberating to feel no responsibility to others, no consequences for your own actions”. 

I don’t see where Tim said that or even implies it. As for the “sins” of Wall St. I do not think it is fair to blame the young people of America for them as you seem to suggest. They are more likely to be the victims of the debt it has caused. So maybe we should give their laws a chance. I agree it is more rational to have laws that come from open debate than from edict. The universal and evolved laws that are understood to be human laws are much more meaningful for the wellbeing of any society.

Fearing the lawmaker does not for good law and even less expectation of justice than that of laws made through consent and open discussion that engender our respect for them. Lawmakers cannot demand respect if they are feared.

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