Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sociopaths and theology

People often express a certain level of discomfort with the thought that sociopath minded people exist in the world. I'm not a theologian, but it seems that many common deities or religious beliefs directly suggest sociopaths or implicate sociopathic traits. For instance, the Christian's Jesus (because it is his special day) may have seemed friendly when he was in his mortal incarnation, but as the God of the Old Testament he has been called "the ideal sociopath."

A part time theologian friend of mine has been working on a theological "take on sociopathy" based on "theological anthropology":
Theological anthropology is the academic name given to the study of the human in relation to God. Both in terms of the innate nature of human beings (e.g. body vs. soul, body vs. soul vs. spirit, or monism) and in terms of the biblical doctrine of imago dei (we are somehow an "image of God"). What this doctrine entails has been hotly debated through the centuries. The primary issue is one that is connected to the notion of theodicy (the so-called problem of evil). If God is Good and we are made in God's image, why are we "bad", i.e. sinful? The traditional explanation is original sin, but that doesn't help much because there is so much disagreement about what that means, too. One can ask, as certainly many have in the past about gay people, "Is the sociopath made in the image of God?" If we hypothesize that sociopaths, as homosexuals, can attribute their status to some combination of (a) pre-natal disposition; (b) post-natal socialisation and (c) personal affirmation, then what does that mean for theological anthropology?

So we must explore the concept of "conscience." The conscience is what humans are endowed with--an internal guide--to tell us God's will and help us do the "right thing." The "right thing" has always been defined, or at least seriously impacted by, human notions of what is right and good. To explore this, Kierkegaard posits the "Knight of Faith." This figure places her faith in herself and in God; she is not influenced by the world. This is the Individual writ large, without connections and pretensions. Kierkegaard (or really his pseudonym, Johannes de Silentio) identifies two people as Knights of Faith--Mary, Mother of Jesus and Abraham. He uses the biblical story of Abraham to demonstrate the relation of ethics to the Knight of Faith. The world, with its ethics, would find Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his only son completely abhorrent. Abraham operates, however, in a realm of faith. He draws the knife to pierce his son's heart, because that is what God (the sublime) demands. This connected with what Kierkegaard calls the teleological suspension of the ethical.

In any case, it seems society would likely label Abraham as psychopath or sociopath if he had murdered his son. In fact, the world would probably do so if it discovered that Abraham even was willing to do so. I think some sociopaths are like the Knight of Faith. What is ethical or conscience-driven, in a teleological sense, is much less clear than society wants to think. Who is to say that any particular sociopath is not a Knight of Faith, formed in the image of God? My point is, how can we judge this, as humans in the world? We can certainly say that certain behavior is criminal and must be addressed and punished . . . my point is not to abolish human law. But to recognize that what is considered a crime or a violation of standard decency or ethics is a human judgment is important.

Then, of course, there are passages in the Bible that show God acting like what modern-day psychologist might deem a "sociopath." Some Protestants refer to this as via negativa or divine darkness. I've been thinking about this, too. Perhaps sociopaths are more directly the image of God. And that is why many of us admire them and are fascinated on some level we don't completely understand.

97 comments:

  1. the great comedy is that god is a sociopath.

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  2. the great comedy is your face, beeeeeyatch!

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  3. I'd be more inclined to say that god is a narcissist, I mean tossing people into eternal fire because they used his name wrong doesn't sound as sociopathic as narcesistic.

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  4. ısıss∀ ɟo sıɔuɐɹℲ ˙ʇSApril 24, 2011 at 6:13 AM

    O Divine Master, make me an instrument of your chaos.
    Where there is love, let me sow hatred.
    Where there is pardon, injury.
    Where there is faith, doubt.
    Where there is hope, despair.
    Where there is light, darkness.
    Where there is joy, sadness.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to console, as to be consoled;
    to understand, as to be understood;
    to love, as to be loved.
    For it is in receiving that we give.
    It is in being pardoned that we pardon,
    and it is in living that we are unborn to temporal death.
    Amen.

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  6. ısıss∀ ɟo sıɔuɐɹℲ ˙ʇSApril 24, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Oops! So I did. Hehe.

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  7. God doesn't toss people into eternal hell fire because they use his name wrong. as a matter of fact we'd all be dead if God punished us everytime we did something wrong. i believe GOD is patient. but if humans lived beyond a hundred years we still wouldn't change. only very few humans are capable of changing, especially negative, wicked behavior. It's his house,so he makes the rules; and humans break it eventually so no point in blaming GOD.

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  8. This concept of the "teleological suspension of the ethical" has been a comfort for me personally. I say this because many acts and tendencies I see in myself and others turn out to be the most forward moving and proactive endeavors. I see the point in morality codes, yet "living" beyond them is where the creative juice is. I stress the word "living." Isn't our EasterMan known as the "living God." This is one reason I am so drawn to biographies and anthropology as a social science, because both cover the real story and not a limited ideal.

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  9. watch all the sheep come to the defense their shepherd. Why be a wolf in sheep's clothing? be a shepherd.

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  10. i never understand how the average person's morality is so much better than that of a sociopath. when 80% of the population believe like this guy/girl

    "It's his house,so he makes the rules; and humans break it eventually so no point in blaming GOD."

    I agree that might makes right.

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  11. Every intelligent person knows that atheism rules, and subjectivity is for dumbasses, which is why I only view the world objectively. Science is the *only* morally valid way of looking at life, the universe, and everything. Quite frankly I expected much more from such an open-minded bunch of people than this softheaded twaddle.

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  12. how do you view chaos objectively? how can science be a morally valid way to view life when morality is not logical?

    logic dictates that humans stop breeding immediately and plundering the planet that sustains them. yet humans insist on their suburban dream. the logical people i've met, the so called atheists, are as driven by their need for creature comforts as the religious ones.

    i think you have to go beyond blind belief systems to see it for what it is.

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  13. Didn't christ die on the cross to absolve man of original sin? (I studied a lot of theology growing up but I don't recall much x-tian stuff because the big 3 are some of my least liked).

    Old Testament god is very much sociopathical. He didn't give a shit for his creations. No empathy, no emotions (except maybe rage and disgust), do play with as he saw fit.

    Anyways, Happy zombie jesus day.

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  14. @Wet... you can't technically break the house rules because god gave man free will. At the same time he apparently punished people that don't live up to a standard. Like a cop saying you can come voluntarily or be arrested on the spot.

    @Luno... Science is the only objectively logical stand point. However there is no intrinsic 'moral' viewpoint to science. It simply is. Humans create ethics and morals and apply them to such things. Nature/science doesn't care. It just is.

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  15. Luno, Excellent point, yet you are confusing the role of factual science to the role and purpose of the humanities. The objective view of science and its, at times, atheist stance has great purpose. The subjective exercise of the arts and humanities another. Which is an exercise in imagination and invention. Yes, give me facts you can prove and give me the works of Shakespeare, the Bhagavad Gita or recycled new expressions such as World of Warcraft, or A Game of Thrones to stimulate the complexities of the unseen gravity between primal instinct and cooperation we all face.

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  16. Haven, well said. Yes, it just is.

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  17. Why do people get so offended when you make a joke about their disabled sibling?

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    1. They feel the same way and feel bad about it

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  18. The bible was created by a sociopath, non sociopaths can get on their knees and kiss my foot, you niggers should be thankful.

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  19. God is more of a narcissist than a psychopath, he is indifferent, not evil. Satan is a psychopath.

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  20. Atheists are sheep in wolfs clothing.

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  21. god's bad little sheep

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  22. kiss your feet? first you kiss my beautiful black ungrateful empath behind :)

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  23. The Old Testament God was not without mercy or salvation and his numerous prophets would council and chastise the kings of old to help them realise the fault of their ways.

    And neither is mercy alien to the sociopath. Instead it is a gift and not a compulsion. Sociopaths may be closer to God's real image but they still harbour sinful tendencies and without a conscience their walk in life is that much harder to reach redemption should they even seek it.

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  24. God is an image of how the elite work, accuse others of what you are guilty of. You can't win because when you stand up to them you are branded unstable or a misfit, Satan is the perfect example of Gods narcissistic injury, he is the victim of histories greatest smear campaign.

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  25. Not this god shit again.

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  26. God is like sex and politics- charged and and never really solved.

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  27. Religion debate. About as pointless as anything ever will be. However lets proceed down this corridor anyways. Yes god is a narcissist and has some sociopathic traits. He wants everyone to believe he is perfect and yet makes a shit load of mistakes. He wants to be loved before anyone else no matter the cost. Bla bla bla. I'm sure some of you must be familiar with the Kabal. The mystic side of Judaism. In that Evil was a part of god. One side to his many.

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  28. "He wants to be loved before anyone else no matter the cost"

    Admired or feared, not loved.

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  29. One big projected mask in the sky. The whole thing gives me a headache sometimes. Projection, metaphor and analysis addiction. There is no cure, thank god.

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  30. Love and admiration . . . not the same obsession of the divinely obedient and inspired?

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  31. Science is a human construct. It's a language. It only exists because of us and is the template we made to overlay everything. It's not quite true that it 'just is'.

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  32. As well intensioned as it might be religious machinery can chew people up.

    An awful lot of what is done in my name has nothing to do with me and is often, even if unintensional, very contrary to my purposes.

    But everything can be sumed up in my son, it's all about him.

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  33. I don't accept science.

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  34. goths and punk rockers are sheep in wolves clothing, they should be put in a pile and shot.

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  35. nah, you're just trying to get us to kill goths and punk rockers.

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  36. Question for all sociopaths:

    Are there some lines that you'd rather not cross?

    For example, if somebody offered you one million dollers to rape and murder a young child, would you do it without hesitation, or would you refuse the offer. S's are meant to have no conscience or morals, but for some reason when I think of some ver obvious examples of sociopaths, such as John Gotti, I can't picture them doing something like that. I mean, think about Tony Soprano, who is clearly a sociopathic character, can you imagine him doing something like that?

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  37. "Are there some lines that you'd rather not cross?"

    No.


    "For example, if somebody offered you one million dollers to rape and murder a young child, would you do it without hesitation"

    I'd do without thought, providing I was guaranteed to get away with it.

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  38. John Gotti and Tony Soprano are sociopaths not psychopaths.

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  39. I never got the way people say 'spare the women and children' woman, a child, man or a dog, they are all the same to me.

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  40. "John Gotti and Tony Soprano are sociopaths not psychopaths."

    Ye, that's what I've been wondering about, the difference between a socio and a psycho. When I think of a psychopath, I picture a person who'll kill his girlfriend for cheating on him and then think nothing of it. When think of a sociopath, I picture a person who'll kill his girlfriend for cheating on him, feel some amount of regret for his actions, but then quickly rationalise his actions, forget about it, and move on.

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  41. No, I didn't mean it like that. I can't feel guilt or remorse in the way most people can, but I can feel a certain amount of shame, it's not strong and I'll get over it quickly, but it's there. I think the sociopaths are more reckless than psychopaths, they hate authority and are often in a criminal orginization or a street gang, they need a sort of brotherhood and anyone outside that brotherhood is the enemy, be it police or a rival gang, the psychopath is a lone wolf and there are debates that they might even be a sub-species.

    Personally I think Gotti was a classic narcissist, he had all the hallmarks, I'm not sure where he got his moral code from.

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  42. "the psychopath is a lone wolf"

    How so?

    Do you mean that they operate alone and don't need or want friends, or that they have friends, but couldn't care less about them, and feel seperate?

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  43. Here is something that isn't every really mentioned. Pride. I'm a very prideful person. Some actions are beneath. Now for a million dollars I'd rape and kill my own mother but that is beside the point. If I had millions of dollars already at my disposal then I wouldn't really feel the need to do it. So an action like that I really ask myself what do I really get out of it.

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  44. "Do you mean that they operate alone and don't need or want friends, or that they have friends, but couldn't care less about them, and feel seperate?"

    The second, they use friends and family.

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  45. My dad is a sociopath, an ex alcoholic and a former wife batterer he was taken away from his parents and put in an istitution for troubled youths, he got out when he was 18. He has a moral code and loves animals whilst I have abused animals. I talked about a scam I was setting up a while back whilst talking he said that scamming people is evil, so I suspect he has a set of values, I didn't even need the money from the scam It was for fun.

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  46. Cue long comment from Zwanq about psychopathy vs socipoathy

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  47. I think a lot of people with a conscience would rape and kill a little girl for a million if they were guaranteed to get away with it.

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  48. Zoe, Soulfulpath, Haven, and Medusa:

    I wholeheartedly agree, but I do like to play devil's advocate, so thank you for your thoughts :)

    It's a popular viewpoint, to be sure, but it's also a myopic one.

    Instead of rejoicing in the very different ways that art and science enrich our understanding of life, the universe, and everything people are increasingly seeking one 'correct' explanation for any observation based on scientific reasoning. Yet they simultaneously claim the constructs of science, morals, and ethics as absolutes.

    I can only guess that most humans need to make order and meaning out of chaos, but God is dead, so aggression and hostility towards all that is not clearly understood – especially the terrifying beauty of the complexities and unpredictable randomness of the universe - has become a new religion every bit as intolerant as others.

    ---

    Anonylon:

    Oh, I don't doubt they would – especially live on TV with a glamorous host, boisterous crowd, and enthusiastic group of contestants.

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  49. Zoe,

    according to logic your goal is to pass on your genes. so you should do everything possible to gain power and money so your genes can be most successfully passed on.

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  50. Haven well said.

    I just hate god out of spite. I really don't care if there is a god or not. Even if he is real, he doesn't interfere with the world anyways so why should i care?

    I really admire the guy. Give me everything you have now and i will give you everything times ten after you are dead. Brilliant big lie PR move

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  51. Zhawq is absolutely and succinctly correct on this one.

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  52. "Every intelligent person knows that atheism rules, and subjectivity is for dumbasses, which is why I only view the world objectively. Science is the *only* morally valid way of looking at life, the universe, and everything. Quite frankly I expected much more from such an open-minded bunch of people than this softheaded twaddle."

    I see only 2 kinds of intelligence here. Ego based and Pussy Power based.

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  53. I love that we attach such impunity to our ideas of intelligence.

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  54. Being an agnostic or atheist are really the only 2 positions one can take as an intelligent person without rationalization. Sure an intelligent person can be a Christian, Francis Collins the head of the human genome project is a devout believer, however this requires that the person excludes his or her belief from being processed and examined in the same fashion they would do with all other information. You cannot disprove god per say, but you can disprove the Christian god and Allah, as a matter a fact I believe Epicurus did so in 28 AD, and Thomas Paine had a good old college go with “The Age of Reason” the religions have been disproven, it just so happens that believers will cling to whatever consolation they can get.

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  55. zwang, you haven't got a vicious bone in your body, find another blog.

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  56. Luno said...
    Zoe, Soulfulpath, Haven, and Medusa:

    I wholeheartedly agree, but I do like to play devil's advocate, so thank you for your thoughts :)


    ha me too. i wonder if we were to put together all our different perspectives and beliefs, if we could reconcile them somehow, if we'd be closer to the truth.

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  57. Wet said...
    according to logic your goal is to pass on your genes. so you should do everything possible to gain power and money so your genes can be most successfully passed on.


    aren't cockroaches then the most successful species? they can live anywhere and consume practically anything.

    can anyone tell me what the point of money and power is? fine if you're born with it, but to spend an entire life struggling for bigger and better stuff, for a job where you can tell others what to do, seems pointless. you end up old and decrepit just like the poor guy. and the poor guy probably enjoyed life more.

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  58. agnostic rules out in public. you can scope the crowd and learn everyone's language

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  59. I am a scientist, an em-path, an atheist, and someone who has actually taken a philosophy class where the problem of evil was a topic.

    The problem of evil is very simple and works like this:
    If god is all knowing AND god is all good; How does evil exist?

    Answer:
    1) god cannot be all good.
    OR
    2) god cannot be all knowing.
    OR
    1&2

    Most people overlook the obvious answer to this riddle which is: god does not exist.

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  60. Evil is what threatens quality of life or life itself. Because everything to do with life is so fragile and death is so difficult to accept, God is neccesary.

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  61. Thats obvious too

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  64. @Zoe 4/25/11 >> can anyone tell me what the point of money and power is? fine if you're born with it, but to spend an entire life struggling for bigger and better stuff, for a job where you can tell others what to do, seems pointless. you end up old and decrepit just like the poor guy. and the poor guy probably enjoyed life more. <<

    At least you have kept something from him. Sometimes all that is necessary to win is that someone else lose.

    The sociopath learns to treasure others' losses, because sometimes they are all he gets for his trouble.

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  65. Let me see....... God was angry at Humans so he sent a flood to kill ALL living things. What had dogs and cats done to deserve such a horrible death? God as genocidal. He ordered ALL living things to be killed in Jericho. He could have had the Isrealites just go around and avoid the place but I guess he needed another massacer. See my earlier question about dogs and cats. God goes into maniacal rages. That is a mark of a very unstable mind. The Old Testament is full of the WORST of HUMAN behaviour perpetrated by a so called ADVANCED being. Excuse me but aren't truelly advanced beings supposed to be EVOLVED beyond infantile smash the toys when you get mad rage? People who defend him keep defining him in HUMAN terms. What an example of HUMAN ARROGENCE. Supreme beings should be evolved beyond human weaknesses to be considered SUPREME.

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  66. Simple test:

    Is God omnipotent?

    If he is, he knows everything that has, does, and will ever happen. He knows exactly what you will do tomorrow. Therefore free will is a complete illusion and you can't be held accountable for your future actions because they are pre-ordained. That busts the whole basis for most religions.

    If God doesn't know what you will do tomorrow, then the whole argument about what you do in this life influencing what happens in the next might be plausible. But then God couldn't be omnipotent, could he? Pretty much busts the supreme being argument.

    Most believers splutter a bit when they encounter this argument, the more intelligent ones rationalize that God gives you choices and knows the outcome of all of them. The decision is apparently still yours, but that doesn't really change things at all - either he ultimately knows what you are going to do or he doesn't. Either way there's a gaping hole in the believer's argument.

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  67. Man "knows" as much about God, as an insect knows about man.
    Can the human mind grasp the concept of a Being that ALWAYS
    was?
    The only hope we have in even partially understanding God is the
    Bible. But even "descerment" is a gift of God.
    The best way to understand God is to yeild yourself up to Him.
    NOT through religion, but through FAITH. Faith can work miracles,
    but it has to be sustained and nurtured by GOD.

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  68. I have often wondered about the clear character differences between the old testament God and the incarnation of God in Christ. What makes the most sense to me is that the inconsistencies that exist have more to do with what we project onto the idea of God than the character of God him/herself. I look at the bible as a document that gives insight into an ever evolving relationship.

    As for man being made in God's image- couldn't that simply mean- Our Creator has endowed humans with free will and the capacity to chart our own course. To be like God is to take an active role in shaping your own destiny, whatever that may look like.

    We become more evolved when we take responsibility for our lives and the consequences of the choices we make. That is what it means for us to be "made in the image of God". What is sad is how few people actually take full advantage of that honor, instead being content to blame external circumstances for the way their lives turn out.

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    1. My understanding from my exposure to Christianity is that accepting Jesus' sacrifice absolves one of all sins and gives one a free pass to heaven. The entire basis seemed to hinge on a single verse:

      "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

      That verse, which appeared to be the entire focus of religious recruitment, absolves any believer of personal responsibility. In essence, by accepting Jesus, all sins are forgiven. Since all sins are forgiven, all sins are forgivable. Since all sins are forgivable, committing sins has zero spiritual consequence. I'm hardly perfect, but 95% of the Christians I've met openly live more sinful lives than I.

      Another point that was made, and that I see made by many people calling themselves Christians, is that there is no reason NOT to believe in Jesus. If heaven and hell are real, believing saves you, regardless of how you live your life. Not believing damns you.

      Another point is that the anti-gay agenda is a Christian agenda. The basis of the religion thus becomes, "All sins are forgivable, except the ones that make us feel uncomfortable."

      I don't understand why misogyny, bigotry, and hatred are exemplified by Christianity when Jesus did not demonstrate those traits. In fact, the entire base of Christian public policy is in direct opposition to what Jesus said. Just a couple examples:

      "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"

      "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."

      "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."

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    2. "Our Creator has endowed humans with free will and the capacity to chart our own course."

      That's quite the statement. I don't even know what I'll think or feel next, so I don't know how I've got free will, and I don't think you have it either.

      In any case, in heaven, will there be free will? Will there be sin?

      Consider the possibilities: free will exists and so does sin. Blacks do drive-bys in heaven. Gangs of gypsies still pickpockets. Jews commit financial swindles. Men and women still commit adultery, steal things and are prideful. This is absurd. Why have heaven if it is like what we've got now?

      Alternatively, in heaven, free will exists, but no sin. This sounds impossible. How is there free will if you can't sin? This is impossible.

      Alternatively: heaven has no free will (and sin exists or doesn't) - God is entirely in control. Although we've got free will while alive (so you say), in heaven, we are robots and do whatever God wants. This is absurd. If you have free will, you won't exist in heaven - it will, at best, be a puppetized version of you. I suggest you enjoy life - it is fleeting.

      Indeed, if God is all powerful and kind and wants us to believe in him and live in heaven, why not just skip the life on earth stuff and bring heaven on? If the point is to "get" to the afterlife, and this life isn't great, why not just skip to the afterlife already?

      In any case, God or no God, free will or no, heaven or no, things are exactly how they are right now. Somehow you are alive. I hope you enjoy it.

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    3. @ anonymous-

      There is a long history of philosophical disagreement over the existence of free will. Sam Harris, who I admire very much argues against free will in a compelling fashion and makes some of the same points you do. Because I consider him to be far more eloquent than myself I entertain no illusion that my spelling out my reasons for believing in free will (despite the good points you raise) will change your opinion.

      So instead of arguing with you I'd like to agree heartily that a heaven populated with automatons sounds highly unappealing. As a child I remember deciding that I might want to try my luck in hell instead of sitting through endless hymn singing in heaven.

      I'd also like to suggest that the reality of free will exists alongside the reality of inevitable destiny - not in place of it. The way I currently tolerate this confusing paradox is that I consider the experience of existing in a human body with a variety of external experiences to be integral in becoming who we are. That's a convoluted way of saying that we are all in the process of becoming more "ourselves". Without the actual experiences of consciously choosing everything we do (even if the choice itself was somehow predetermined) we would not be able to experience the consequences of those choices in real life. Each set of consequences changes the actor, and the larger patterns that result from an individual acting on and being acted upon determines the trajectory of character.

      That is why the human experience matters. Heaven and Hell strike me as being static experiences because human motivation and environment are no longer interacting with each other. In a sense, we only know who a person ultimately is by where they land at the moment when their consciousness ends.

      To be conscious and human is to exist is a state of flux (for simplicity's sake I call that free will even as I acknowledge and agree heartily with the limitations of that understanding). That means- we are in the process of co-creating the person we will ultimately become even as we are a product of what we've already experienced.

      @ Erik Anderson- I feel a similar disgust for mainstream Christianity's hypocrisies, inconsistencies and self righteous forgiveness of personal sins that are recommitted without fear of consequences.

      You referenced John 3:16, which most modern Christians would point to as the cornerstone of the Christian faith as giving a carte blanche for not having to experience divine consequences for sins if the "get out of jail free card" of faith in Christ is pulled.

      The disingenuousness that this inspires in many Christians is addressed in a brilliant fashion by Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book "The Cost of Discipleship". Bonhoeffer decries the disingenuous as "cheap grace" and makes it very clear that engaging in cheap grace is to miss the point of faith in Christ. The way I interpret this verse is to focus on the word "believe". To believe is to do something more than recognize on a feeling or intellectual level. It is to experience internal change. My take-away is- understanding the life's work of Jesus Christ on more than a superficial level has a sort of organizing effect on the personalities that choose to believe. Something fundamentally shifts within their identity that causes a reorientation of priorities that goes beyond anything that can be accomplished through manufactured effort. It's an organic experience, not unlike a chemical reaction. The reality of Christ's impact is that of a transformative agent.

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    4. He certainly brought God closer to women. Christian women in developing countries report a greater sense of self worth because they have a male "relative" who always listens to them. Jesus is someone they can talk to and for some of them, this is the first man who has ever listened to them without beating or raping them.

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    5. There was a compilation of everything Jesus said (according to the King James version of the Bible) on wikipedia, so I read that. It's interesting that you focus on the word "believe", because many of the things Jesus said indicated that true belief is powerful.

      It's also interesting how he focuses on children, and how easy it is for them to believe. There's certainly truth to that, because the more you know about the world, the harder it is to believe that there is more to it than what you can see. A child and an elderly believer need to put in vastly different amounts of work to receive the same reward.

      I already live my life close to the way Jesus describes.

      "Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty."

      "The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

      "Peace be with you. Receive my peace for yourselves. Take heed lest anyone lead you astray with the words, 'Lo, here!' or 'Lo, there!' for the Son of Man is within you."

      I want inner peace, and I am the way I am because it gets me closest to peace. The fact that Jesus teaches the way I live my life is compelling. I've discovered the truth of that through trial and error. I suppose I can continue to live my life well, and use what he's said as a primer for improvement. It's really unfortunate (and hilariously ironic) that his teachings aren't incorporated into any organized religion. A lot of people could really benefit from what he's said.

      Delete
  69. "Fulfilling spiritual life can never come through imitation,
    it must shine through our particular gifts and capacities
    as a man or woman on this earth. This is the pearl of great price."

    --Jack Kornfield

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  70. 'In honouring our own unique destiny,
    we allow our most personal life to become an expression of the Buddha in a new form.'

    --Jack Kornfield

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  71. Great blog again :) I've thought of many of the things that ME talks about, but regarding borderlines rather than sociopaths. Being a borderline myself, I have to live with myself, and get to analyze and examine what bpd is really about, and what the field of psychology has accurately come to understand about this personality type, and what they may be wrong about. There are so many aspects of it that I can see being beneficial in other societies throughout history especially where violence was so common place, or how the borderline chameleon traits could allow them to survive, or even get ahead in life. We have constructed a society where we are obsessed with safety, security, rights, and morality (not that I'm entirely against it), but it is causing borderline and sociopathic characteristics to manifest themselves in strange ways. We're so limited on how we can express our true selves. I've started writing a book on bpd, and how some of the traits were actually venerated in history, but now the "dark triad" is seen as being at the bottom of the totem pole. We're generally hated by society now. I'm hoping to get others to examine bpd a bit differently, and provide some insight in to some historical figures on what may have been going on psychology, and where we are headed with all of this with advancements in psychology.

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    Replies
    1. Please tell us when it goes to press. I definitely will buy a copy!

      Delete
    2. Right on Dr. G
      Good luck. I'd be interested in reading also. Keep us posted.

      Delete
  72. I agree Jesus = the ideal sociopath. But it's weird because he also radiates empathy and I believe it to be real (not an act). But in my mind, I equate empathy with Satan, or compassion towards your self. So I believe Jesus was a Satanist. In my philosophy though, 'Satan' is what you could call a fully integrated, fully loving person, who exudes empathy towards everyone (no exceptions). It is the attainment of spiritual perfection that we should all strive for as individuals.

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  73. There is no one but Satan, IN Satan.

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  74. But like not the christianized version. Satan is a healer god, to me the name represents total confidence. Secure firm, stable, unconquerable.

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  75. And to me I believe love your enemies, and so that means don't resist them.

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    1. were you sexually abused as a kid ?

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  76. There is no one but you. In a myriad of forms.

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  77. God is everyone, so that would include sociopaths.

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  78. Inspiration from divinity comes through the repitlian brain. (see triune brain)

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  79. Psycho people desperate to "belong" will just live in misery. Look at Scorpius (the zodiac sign Scorpio), he doesnt want to belong. He´s an outsider. Some misguided scorp "sleepers" suffer from the same problem: trying to be extreme at heart in mainstream society. Will not work. Psychopaths in church, it has to be one of the greatest mismatches of all. Its not good for them. Like being the ugliest kid in school signing up for a beauty competition. Or a geek with asian brand mc applying for membership in a 1% biker gang. Satanism or witchcraft probably is not the answer either. But finding fitting shoes is rather important. Maybe if the thought of being the thing everybody in the room detests, Satan, somehow is vital to the psycho, church may work? If they believe in christian esoteric stuff like Lord/Satan as two sides of the same coin and that they fit into that picture? It will be a very lonely experience, solo work for sure.

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  80. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a God.

    Carrie

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  81. SOCIOS WILL NEVER DENIE here to try to find a way to justify their desire to inflict pain to human beings and animals and destruction etc. Pain is bad and we, the empaths will never acept this idea. Restrain your evil selfs to explain to the world how you are. Stop to try to manipulate media.Go to suffer yourself in hands of another monster like you. What you want? Laws to accept you like gays? Gays are not monsters. Wake up.

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  82. God is not a sociopath. Jewish people follow the old testament, because they believe God hasn't risen yet, so Judiasm is a religion. As far as athesists, they think they are God, wanting people to give them special attention. I think an athesist is a sociopath because they want to make up lies and use common sense. Common sense didn't teach anyone facts unless they went to school. athesist just want attention all day. they could shut up and go away.

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  83. How To Stop A Divorce And Save Your Marriage?(Dr.Brave).


    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly email this wonderful man {bravespellcaster@gmail.com},i f you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to "bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{bravespellcaster@gmail.com}, Thanks..

    ReplyDelete

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