Monday, March 04, 2013

I've Met Atheists Who Are Not Really Atheists

One of my offices

(Note: I have met some real atheists (AKA "hard atheists") in my life who arrived at their atheism, at least partly, via logical processes. For example, in my PhD studies in Philosophy at Northwestern University.)

I recently met with a man who contacted me about his son. "He's become an atheist," he told me, "And he's only 15 years old."

After hearing the man's story I wondered if his son was really an atheist. I am certain he didn't arrive at atheism through some logical, rational process. I have met many "atheists" like this.

"I'm not sure your son is actually an atheist," I told the man. "He's angry with you and his mother for the ways you both treated him, and at you for divorcing her. This is his way of getting back at you, because you raised him as a "Christian". Now he's scouring the Internet looking for reasons to justify his "atheism"."

The man hung his head and said, "You are right."

"The best thing you can do now is to love your son and listen to him."

I told him I'd link him to some things I've posted re. NYU Psychology Professor Paul Vitz, who turned Freud's projection theory of atheism on its head in Vitz's psychology of atheism studies. Here they are!

Vitz's Psychology of Atheism (Theory of the Defective Father)