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Is God A Sociopath?

I’ve been thinking lately about God, assuming He exists. Mainly, I’ve been thinking about the Judeo-Christian biblical conception of God, and asking myself, crazy as this sounds, if He exists, Is God a sociopath?

I pose this question seriously, and apologize in advance for offending anyone by probing this idea. But consider:

You are expected to worship Him.

You are expected to acknowledge His perfection.

You are expected to live by His standards.

You are expected to fear His Judgement.

You are expected to please, not disappoint Him.

You are expected to do penance when you’ve strayed from His rules.

You are expected to be in awe of, and fear, His omniscience.

You are expected to be in awe of, and fear, His omnipotence.

You are expected to prize His love, and fear His wrath.

You are expected to seek, and follow, His guidance.

When He feels unheeded, He licenses Himself to unleash cruel, violent, devastating rages (see the Flood, among countless other examples).

He is a punisher.

He is perfect.

He has no guilt; yet He instills guilt.

He “made,” and he “works,” the world and universe from “above,” sitting in Judgement of all who deviate from Him.

He is infallible.

He is unaccountable.

He is callous—a cause of, and silent witness to, untold violence and suffering in the history of humanity.

He is “entitled—”to judge, and punish, as He likes.

He is controlling to a highly pathological degree, for all the reasons stated above.

He is merciful, so long as you heed Him. Otherwise, He can be merciless.

He expects to be idealized and treated like a God.

He rages, and inflicts the cruelest of punishments, when He feels defied.

His word is the bible.

Now you tell me: If I were describing a human being in these terms, what conclusion would you draw? I suspect, if you weren’t feeling defensive, that you’d conclude that we’re talking about someone with a case of seriously malignant narcissism edging, perhaps, into the realm of sociopathy?

But, of course, I’m describing the Judeo-Christian God.

Think about this: from the earliest age, this is your almighty Father figure. You are taught to worship Him, seek His love, His mercy, accept His perfection and infallibility.

You are taught that His word is final; His wrath is justified; to feel shame before His eyes.

You are taught to have to work hard to earn your way back into His good graces, and to be grateful for His forgiveness.

His judgement is final, and even terrifying.

Now if this is the Father figure we’ve been raised to heed and idealize from birth, is it not fair to wonder how much this relationship—with God—might predispose us to end up with a sociopath?

Does one’s adult relationship with a sociopath not replicate, in certain ways, one’s relationship with God?

I pose this as food for thought, nothing else. But I will follow-up this post in the next several weeks, to further flesh out my thoughts, factoring in, as well, your initial feedback.

(This article is copyrighted (c) 2010 by Steve Becker, LCSW.)

Posted in: Steve Becker, LCSW

Your comments implied what you assumed.

In the book, “In Sheep’s Clothing”, by George Simon Jr., PHD, he ended his book with a chapter called, “Undisciplined Aggression in a Permissive Society”. In this chapter, which I actually felt was controversial because elsewhere in the book he tried to remain focused on the subject matter, which was manipulative people, here he talks about society as a whole and also interjects his opinions which lead me to believe he is a religious right winger.

Either way, he used a sign hanging in prison as his example. He said the sign informed visitors that there would be no firearms, drugs, tobacco products, or illicit substances allowed beyond this point. Then he mentioned he thought it was almost ridiculous- because any unscrupulous person intending to sneak in a pack of cigarettes or drugs would simply ignore the the sign.

He went on to say: “the overburdening of those already carrying the burden of responsible social functioning is an outgrowth of another disturbing trend. That trend involves society’s increasing reliance on laws, restrictions, and regulations to govern our conduct…. There is an old adage that “you can’t govern morality.” ….”persons of character don’t need a law to dictate their moral conduct whereas persons of deficient character don’t pay much attention to or respect the law.”

Well he is talking about captialism and society and our freedom, but I also find this applies to the Bible. The book of Deuteronomy was an entire book written explicitly to outline proper and improper behaviors and it does count, even if it is the Old Testament, because this went hand in hand with the 10 Commandments, which were also from the Old Testament, yet still revered today. This statement by the author supports my viewpoint about the Bible not affecting morality.

Deuteronomy is pretty harsh- in a time before Christ when people were not yet saved for their sins, some of God’s laws and punishments seemed extremely cruel- and were actually contradictions to the commandments. Thou shalt not kill, and at the same time, kill those among you who sin. Take them to the gates and stone them to death.

The world is watching right now as an Iraqi woman accused of cheating is possibly to be stoned to death. Everyone stares at the Muslims as if they are so cruel and barbaric. You can’t look at them that way and judge that they are cruel or barbaric if your own God believed in this punishment as well and you defend Him, and it.

I’m going to have to take a break from this blog and leave for awhile. I can’t believe this argument is STILL going on! I came here to heal and learn-not to debate Christianity with atheists or people that believe other things.

I’m at the point in the recovery process where I just want all drama gone from my life. The wife of N/S coming to my work made me think of all this again and made me preoccupied with it again. Being on here kind of feels the same way. Reading and posting about these messed up people like my ex just makes me think about it more and I just don’t have the energy. I am only now focused on getting in the best shape I can to get my job back so I can move on with life. I’m moving on-finally!! 🙂

I qualified for my gun permit on Saturday and should receive it in 6-8weeks–YAY!!

I just wanted to say bye and see ya later to everyone. Oxy, ErinB, Hens,Shabby,onestep-I love ya’ll and my ultimate thanks to you. Hurtnomore-good luck at college. I am so appreciative for all the help.

Peace out ya’ll!!!

erin1972, I’m only posting again on this thread to say…
LOVE YOU TOO!!!!!
You are fabulous!!!!!! 🙂

I posted several times about this not to knock or disprove how people have a right to believe, but only to counter the charge which sees God as a sociopath. Which is the whole point of blog discussions in the first place- agree or disagree with the topic. If this site intended not to discuss religion, God, or the Bible why make it a major point of conversation to begin with? Silly.

I have faith and trust that Donna will know when to end this thread, if at all. Until then I simply wont/cant come to this comment thread as its not helping my healing and I dont feel I can be helpful, productive or learn anything from the negative comments in general. Heres hoping for more peace and understanding and non -judging between posters on this thread

Erin 1972,

I have enjoyed reading your posts and have been following your recovery, I will miss hearing about your journey but wish you the very best. Keep your chin up and believe in yourself, you’ll get into the academy and be a wonderful policewoman.

Take care!!!! I have faith in you!

First I want to thank Steve for his courage in posting this and a number of other articles which I believe he had to know would risk some very negative reactions but would also be very thought provoking. Secondly- I doubt that I am the only person on this list who was raised as a Jew- I am not currently a practicing Jew- I identify myself as agnostic, spiritual and as someone who definitely stays away from wholeheartedly joining any organized religion or movement whether Christian, Wiccan, Buddhist, etc.. I have found that when one takes on the role of an unquestioning disciple or follower and gives up their reason and critical thought, discernment and judgment to that of a “leader” there is always a risk. I may not always get it right but I would rather gather the facts and consider the sources and possibilities and make my own decisions based on what I believe is my own strong internal ethical and moral sense. My experience with the Sociopath was that he was able to make me doubt and ignore that internal voice that guides me well. Sometimes that reliance on the external “word of god” or whatever other external authority one listens to can twist the internal moral/ethical compass or what for some is perhaps the internal word of God.

Philomela

Hey Steve,

I like this little list, not because it knocks God, but because it exposes the root problem of the Sociopath: They are God, and nothing and nobody else matters.

In Genesis, the Devil tries to set himself up as a god, to make Eve question her morals, turn on her husband, and blame God for her bad decisions. He calls bad good, calls God a liar and makes Eve feel stupid for believing in Him.

It’s not God who is the sociopath, it’s the Devil. He loves nothing better than to undercut and hurt the people he promises to reward, and you just know he was saying Ha Ha Ha as he watched Adam and Eve being thrown out of the garden.

The issues raised on this thread have been debated enough. I have removed the most recent argument and closed this thread to further comments.

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