Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

Front Cover
Spence Publishing Company, 1999 - Religion - 174 pages
9 Reviews
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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Review: Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

User Review  - Goodreads

The author tries to imitate the scientific method - forming a hypothesis (bad relationship with the father increases the chance for atheism), looking at evidence (various examples throughout history ... Read full review

Review: Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

User Review  - Goodreads

Great book on the understanding of how people who have no relationship with their father have a hard time recognizing God as a loving father much less if he exist. Read full review

Contents

Intense Atheism
3
Freuds Unacknowledged
9
Abusive and Weak Fathers
34
Minor Atheists
51
Theists and Their Fathers
58
Edmund Burke
64
Francois Rene de Chateaubriand
71
Samuel Wilberforce
77
Abraham Heschel
91
Political Atheists
104
Exceptions
122
A Personal Account
130
Conclusions
139
Notes
149
Index
166
Copyright

Albert Schweitzer
85

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About the author (1999)

Paul C. Vitz is professor emeritus of psychology at New York University. His other books includeSigmund Freud's Christian Unconscious and Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism

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