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?
See...I never felt a fear of hell, but I did fear "falling into the hands of satan"...you can imagine the battle in my mind when I was considering looking outside the Christian faith for answers. I went through months of doubts and confusion.
Ah yes, Satan. Does God's dirty work. Sorta like a hired thug so the big boss seems legit. In fact, first I concluded there was no Satan. Well then-> God had to go as well. So yeah, one might say Satan lead me to atheism. How ironic, don't ya think?
Yes. The threat of punishment and the fear of God was certainly a part of my religious upbringing and I didn't fully shake it until after college. The conscious-level fear was mostly gone by the end of high school, but still lingered in occasional flashes of terror that would spring up randomly.
** disobedience is the beginning of autonomy
You can buy an ebook copy of Michel Onfray. Atheist Manifesto for $2. That's a bargain. His discuses the disgusting attributes of the xin god-fiction and how god-proxies inside xian institutions use fear of eternal punishment as part of social control and indoctrination.
Fear of gods, of course, antedates xianity. One Greek philosopher Epicurus (340-270 BCE) adopted and adapted a materialist viewpoint in abolishing all transcendent fictions -- the invisible, incorporeal, other world -- the metaphysical garbage still embraced by all xian theology today.
Xians saw to it that most of the works of Epicurus and all the works of Democritus were destroyed. But, three Epicurus' letters to friends on the principles of his philosophy and some 40 maxims survived in a work by Diogenes Laertius -- On the lives of the most celebrated philosophers (200 CE).
Just search under Epicurus and also under 'the four-fold cure' -- the tetrapharmakon.
Yes, we Catholics teach that fear of the Lord is a gift, or the beginning of Wisdom.
That's a terrible modern English translation, though. In modern English fear has the singular meaning of fear of punishment/harm/terror, etc. That isn't the meaning at all, and if anyone in our faith actually tried to teach you to (modern English) fear God, or Hell, or some other such nonsense they would be getting the religion wrong. No different than someone teaching bad science.
The original Greek/Latin meaning refers to a form of filial love. It's the reluctance to offend or harm the relationship with another. So fear of your spouse would be a part of marriage; a reluctance to deliberately offend or bring harm to a relationship you value. Fear of our spouse is why we guys make a point of remembering our anniversaries ;-)
You can't tell children about the burning fires of hell without inducing a bit more fear than 'fear of offending'. The majority of people here who were religious state that they were just plain afraid - so Greek and/or Latin don't enter into it.
Don't worry, @Strega, I don't mind. I'll just keep providing evidence. I know it's hard to give up a deeply held belief in the inherent wickedness of someone else's tribe. There are probably good evolutionary reasons for that. At very least, I figure it's more a Bayesian process in terms of evaluating evidence.
Nah, it's just all the ass-raping of children. Then there are you continuous assertions that ass-raping of children is perfectly normal and everyone seems to be doing it - which doesn't speak well for the Catholic circles you frequent.
As I said, Heather, it's hard to give up a deeply held prejudice about another group, particularly when that prejudice makes us feel superior in some way. That aspect of psychology is very well known.
It's one of the reasons that proper religion is of value, because it provides a cognitive framework to work against such prejudice. One Heavenly Father by necessity means all are brothers and sisters. Groups of people don't "ass rape" others by virtue of their tribal identity, any more than Jews murder babies or westerners fornicate with goats. It's an unreasoned prejudice.
For atheists like yourself, there is apparently no alternative cognitive framework which calls into question that unreasoned prejudice against a whole group because of the actions of a few. Instead, the prejudice is viewed almost as a virtue, which you are proud to declare in public. It's virtuous to attack others unfairly, because they are inferior. The are not brothers and sisters. They are all ass-rapers/kikes/niggers or whatever, and we are superior.