Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

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Spence Publishing Company, 1999 - Religion - 174 pages
Despite its pretensions to cool-headed rationality, modern atheism originated in the irrational, psychological needs of a few prominent thinkers. Paul Vitz subjects the apostles of atheism to the same psychological analysis with which they attempted to debunk religious belief. The psychological source of their militant atheism, he shows, was the absence of a good father.

Professor Vitz argues that psychoanalysis actually provides a more satisfying explanation for atheism than for belief. A biographical survey of influential atheists reveals that disappointment in one's earthly father frequently leads to a rejection of God.

Atheism is not psychologically determined. Each man, whatever his experience, ultimately chooses to accept God or reject him. Yet the cavalier attribution of religious faith to irrational, psychological needs is so prevalent that an exposition of the psychological factors predisposing one to atheism is necessary.

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Contents

Intense Atheism
3
FREUDs UNACKNOWLEDGED
9
ABUSIVE AND WEAK FATHERS 1
34
Jean dAlembert
40
Sigmund Freud
47
Theists and Their Fathers
58
Edmund Burke
64
François René de Chateaubriand
71
Samuel Wilberforce
77
Albert Schweitzer
85
Abraham Heschel
91
POLITICAL ATHEISTS
104
EXCEPTIONS
122
A Personal Account
130
Conclusions
139
Copyright

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