http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/2000/06/Faith-Of-The-Fatherless.aspx

Long, airy, and often repetitive, this article summarizes that atheists are so because of poor relationships with one’s father. The three page article makes the claim that popular and socially active atheists were investigated and the report resulting reflected poor relationships or even missing father figures from those atheists’ lives. The entirety of the article hawks a book called “Faith of the Fatherless” written by psychologist Paul Vitz of New York University. While the repetitive nature of the article mentions very famous people, it seems to be one large advertisement for the book. So the question remains: Do issues with one’s father, such as a poor relationship, create a likelihood that one will be an atheist? What does it all mean?

Perhaps it is time for some background. My loco parentis father figure and I got along infamously. He was very patient with me when I struggled with learning to read a clock, math, and spelling words. His instruction and guidance included conservative Christian ideals, morality, and values. He was supportive. He often took my brother and I on “jobs” with him, as he was a master electrician and keen to have one of us follow in his footsteps. Our relationship was caring, nurturing and affectionate. When our family went through tough problems, he was always there assisting us when we needed it. He was strong, ethical, and intelligent, often encouraging us to live to our potential. While I could have done with less “god”, “Jesus” and the “holy ghost”, his guidance is still reflected upon. In no way was my parenting completely appropriate to prepare me for adulthood, I did manage to mature and succeed as a responsible member of society.

My biological father, whom I did not meet until I was in my teens, and I struck a very deep and personally gratifying relationship right at start. My father and I are very close, we call each other once a week and check in with one another when very positive things happen to one of us. He and his wife, whom I call “Mon”, are very important people in my life. My father’s love, and my mom’s love, have more than made up for any time lost. My father and I have much in common, our relationship is healthy, and he is supportive. He is a good friend, provides sound guidance, and does not actively impose religious ideals, morality, and values down my throat. He is a prideful hippie, liberal with his political views serving as a polar opposite my loco parentis. I enjoy spending time with him and actively enjoying each other’s company, sharing opinions, and generally sharing each other’s lives with one another. The relationship with my father, while absent in my early years, is strong to the present day.

The basis of Vitz’s book, that atheists develop out of faulty relationships with their father figures, is erroneous. It is but a sample of the stretching of the imagination in order to attempt to give some “reason” why some people lean away from the notion of “god” and lack any belief in any deity or deities. Those who are unable to cognate why or how atheists become faithless and lack any belief look for the rationality of it to be something tangible, straining terribly to place the atheist in the box with the appropriate label as that is all they can comprehend. There must be a predefined reason that atheists would be atheists, a profound and stirring reason, something that one without proper acquaintance can point to as the foundation of the faithless. The inability of the religious to see atheists as responsible, reasonable, rational, moral, and healthy leads to the grasping of straws labeled with reasons, rationality, and probable cause that would result in a lack of the belief in “god”. Failure to understand that atheists are faithless and without belief is due to evidence or lack thereof that logically disallows the deity or deities proper probability of their existence. There remains the question of “why?”

One who enjoys the illusory “god” protecting, forgiving, and loving them from some unseen place have manufactured for themselves an alternate reality based on perceived notions, textual declarations, and the masterful manipulation of the person in the pulpit. This world, created from religious tenets and texts, is one where everyone is required to worship the all knowing, all seeing, all creating, all loving “god”. Their societal organization depends solely upon the acceptance of “Jesus Christ” as one’s “personal savior”, the worship and acknowledgement of “god” and “his” power, and that all people (especially those who are without any “god” faith or belief) must also conform to their world, their reality, and their faith; for it is “god’s” will that all people come to “him”. Any variant or complication of their status quo is labeled in a manner for their understanding, no matter the logical and realistic nature of the “disturbance”. There is always an answer for the abnormal in their perception, be it “evil”, “sinful” or “perversion”, all the answers are tailored to fit preconceived notions nicely arranged in the boxes of absolutism. The absence of these comforts, to them, is alien, therefore lacking an absolute definition for immediate sorting until one can assign meaning and understanding, resulting in misunderstanding, mislabeling, and manipulation of true facts to fit their needs.

The newest development, fatherless “faith”, is the latest absolute box for proper sorting of atheists. Even though the box is inaccurate, bordering on the absurd, and outright ridiculous; the radically weird application of “faithful” intellect is typical of religious “reasoning”. The lack of proper understanding that atheist families are functional as religious families (to some, more healthy families are atheist families) to the most basic degree dominates the article and its unreasonable labeling for an appropriate box. The question of the religious is “How can one not believe in god?” They do, in an attempt to rationalize things, go to great lengths to bend logic and reason to their will in answering this question. Without any real definition, the religious assign reason that is applicable to them; in order to fit their dysfunctional societal view into faulty, illogical resignation of reality which is a surreal normative status quo. The true definition of an atheist is one who lacks the belief in a deity or deities. It is not a mystery or unexplained phenomenon, requiring some sort of dysfunctional labeling. It is simple. One person does not become an atheist for any reason other than a lack of belief. The simplistic nature of being an atheist is complicated by the religious perception that it is dysfunctional, immoral, incorrect, and defiant of the control of religion’s far reaching arm of influence that confounds their absolute societal norms.

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