Christianity Makes Men; Atheism Makes Infants

Some atheists have claimed that religion infantilizes man by rendering him dependent upon some other for purpose, meaning, direction in life, etc. Apparently these atheists have never observed the stages of human development. I have children, and while they do depend on me for all that they have (e.g. food, safety, clothing, knowledge, correction, discipline, etc), they do not depend on me by choice. My sons, instead, want me to provide them with things, but they want absolute independence. Sure, they’re cuddly and sweet; however, that all comes to an end when they are reminded that they are not in control.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child (Prov 22:15a, KJV). It is the adult, and not the child, who has learned that he is not in control of all things, and it is the adult who has learned to submit himself to others in order to receive knowledge, wisdom, and assistance in general from others who have what they themselves lack. The child, by contrast, acts on his every impulse, considers only himself, kicks against all authority, harms himself and others in the process, and eventually comes back to his parents to apologize once he’s seen how foolish he has been and how right his parents have been all along.

Ironically, the atheist believes that religion infantilizes individuals because it makes them functionally identical to wise adults. There is a reason why impulsive men are said to be acting like children when they rebel against authority, refuse help, and live from impulse to impulse without ever considering the ramifications of their behavior with respect to their own lives, the lives of others, and society in general.

I have yet to meet an infant who wants to be subject to the authority of his parents, even if his parents’ laws can literally save his life. There is a reason why child-safety locks exist. Children, because they are impulsive and utterly opposed to authority, cannot always be trusted to do what they are told – even when what they are told to do is meant solely for their individual benefit.

How, then, does religion infantilize men? How, moreover, does atheism mature individuals? Religion (i.e. Christianity) teaches individuals to act responsibly, with regard for others, with regard for their own well-being, with regard for society at large. Atheism teaches individuals to ignore the needs of others, to seek only one’s own well-being, to refuse correction from others, and to rebel against all authority, even those authorities whose intention is solely the well-being of the atheist. Christianity makes men. Atheism infantilizes men.

Soli Deo Gloria.

-h.

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11 thoughts on “Christianity Makes Men; Atheism Makes Infants

    • hiram says:

      Seriously? lol

      Firstly, the word abba does not mean “Daddy,” but something like “Beloved/Dear Father.” So, no, it isn’t “baby talk.”
      Here’s a discussion on the word:

      http://books.google.com/books?id=vmjHzI-6fDwC&pg=PA231&dq=abba+meaning&hl=en&sa=X&
      ei=U468U6DGFaSejAKL8YCQDg&ved=0CEUQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=abba%20meaning&f=false

      Secondly, the recognition that one is indebted to one’s father, as I’ve noted already, is an indication of one’s maturity.

      -h.

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      • Linuxgal says:

        My father did many things to prepare me for my life independent from him, but the most important thing he did was make it absolutely clear that I was not indebted to him. Those things were free. Gratis. Latin root word for grace.

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        • hiram says:

          Do you recognize that your father did many things to prepare you for life?

          Yes.

          That is all that I am saying when I say “indebted.” I don’t mean it in a strict sense, but in a colloquial sense. Your father gave you gifts, and you recognize that as an adult.

          Don’t we say things like “I’ll do anything for [x] since s/he was so kind to do [y] for me?” This is the kind of colloquial indebtedness I’m talking about.

          Children are selfish and do not recognize that their existence is literally upheld by the choices of others.

          Children falsely believe themselves to be independent. So do atheists.

          The free spirit attitude belongs to the irresponsible and childish, not the mature.

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          • Linuxgal says:

            Since we agree that atheists and theists recognize they are in a network of dependency established by our father, that brings us to the crux of the argument, which is simply the identity of that father. Atheists identify our father as our actual human father, and also those giant human beings upon whose shoulders we stand, starting with Galileo. And we reject the Sky Father as our father, because that father has been entirely an absent father, particularly at Auschwitz.

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            • hiram says:

              We agree that God is the Father of us all, insofar as they means he is the Creator of all humans.

              I don’t know what you means by “the Sky Father,” but I assume you mean the God of the Bible. If that is the case, then I don’t stand in agreement with you.

              Biblical teaching, from the Old Testament into the New, identifies God as Father in two senses, viz. (a.)of all humanity and (b.)of a chosen/elect group of people.

              So God was never absent in Auschwitz, he was present with all who trust in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.

              These are God’s people; therefore, they are God’s children in the special/spiritual sense of the word.

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  1. Atomic Mutant says:

    No, the reason why it is said that they act like kids is to degrade them, to save the authority that is being questioned. Same old tactics as always, if you don’t have any arguments for your case, try to attack your opponents instead, try to keep them small. Doesn’t work and doesn’t paint a pretty picture of your position.

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  2. EMil Wentzel says:

    Sometimes I want to give a person the benefit of doubt, but this time I really wonder if the writer of this blog post had any idea of what”infantile”means. The idea that god, and in particular your god, somehow helps develop healthy adults is, to use your words, infantalising! By teaching our children that their actions have consequence and that they themselves are responsible for those actions, that is how you raise conscientious adults.
    I have never submitted to anyone for knowledge! I have listened and asked questions of those who I thought had more understanding of a subject, but never felt the need to view at their feet and worship and praise them. I respect them, but in return they have given me respect as a student or simply an interested individual.

    Atheism teaches nothing! It is one facet – the disbelief in god/s. Atheism through means of denying the influence of unseen imaginary beings on our actions, encourages a person to be me aware of how what they do affects others. Most atheists are more attuned to the desire to protect both other people as well as THIS world we live in.

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    • hiram says:

      From dictionary.com:

      Infantilize – to treat or regard as infantile or immature.

      I know what the word means, EMil.

      You say that “By teaching our children that their actions have consequence and that they themselves are responsible for those actions, that is how you raise conscientious adults.”

      I agree. And this is exactly what atheism cannot produce in individuals, for the reasons I express in my post.

      It isn’t that children don’t believe that their actions have consequences, however; children just don’t think their actions have consequences for anyone else besides themselves.

      You also say: “I have never submitted to anyone for knowledge!”
      But yet you are taking my post as a source of knowledge of my internal beliefs, are you not? Are you an expert in every field of science for which you hold certain ideas to be true?

      If not, then you are submitting to another for knowledge. Since you want to talk definitions, here is what dictionary.com says the verb “to submit” means:

      “to give over or yield to the power or authority of another (often used reflexively).”

      We ALL submit to others for knowledge, and this is most clearly seen in our personal interactions with one another. You are not, nor can you be, an expert in what another person thinks, perceives, believes, and admires, for instance, but can only “yield to the authority” of another by accepting his testimony about himself as true.

      Regarding atheism teaching nothing, however, I don’t think you are following my post very well. Atheism, as it isn’t a person, doesn’t teach anything. That’s absolutely correct. However, insofar as atheism makes a statement about anything in the world, it holds implications for that about which it makes a statement.

      This is a kind of indirect teaching, as is assumed in the sentence “Experience teaches us that [x]” or “Science teaches us [x]” or, to use your example, “Atheism through means of denying the influence of unseen imaginary beings on our actions, encourages a person to be me aware of how what they do affects others.”

      -h.

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      • EMil Wentzel says:

        So…because I reject YOUR idea of god, I’m immature? (I’m trying to be open here.)

        And if that is the statement you’re making…What about Hindu men/women/adults? What about Muslims? What about [insert religious group here]? Are they all, every single one of them, immature because they don’t accept christ as their master?

        Being infantalised is more than just about being treated as immature, but rather incapability of being mature. When I look at people who follow religions, particularly christianity, most of them seem to believe that they can actually blame the “devil” for their bad acts. While others are living some kind of externalised “goodness” out of utter fear of the retribution from their god. For me, I think that the statement “religion infantilizes individuals” would be true. These people aren’t even attempting to do better because of an internal motivation, but rather this perceived external force.

        I’m not an expert at everything, but I know that. Heck, I’m even willing to admit, I’m not all knowing in my field of work…but I get to learn everyday.

        As for submitting to someone’s authority, I may have respected the authority of another person, but I still don’t accept everything they say as absolute fact. I would still verify the content of they offered by going to other sources. And that “(often used reflexively)” as in automatically, without conscious thought, is what shows immaturity; doing things without actual thought is not conscientious.

        As for knowing what your internal universe looks like, you’re right, you are the authority there…but you’re the one who has to submit to that concept, NOT ME! As for someone telling me what’s going on in their head (or even me telling someone else what is going on in my head) – *shrug* – They could be telling a lie. I have a different persona when I’m out in general public, and its almost opposite who I am when I’m not around strangers… which persona would you trust as the authority on me? Should you even believe me?

        “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus…” (Galatians 3:26-28)

        That is why, you can remain a “Child of god” while I’ll be on my merry way, growing and learning how to be a mature, responsible adult in the world I’m in.

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        • hiram says:

          EMil, my post is an exercise in polemical rhetoric. I’m responding to atheists, not other religions.

          Now, you say:

          “Being infantalised is more than just about being treated as immature, but rather incapability of being mature. When I look at people who follow religions, particularly christianity, most of them seem to believe that they can actually blame the “devil” for their bad acts. While others are living some kind of externalised “goodness” out of utter fear of the retribution from their god. For me, I think that the statement “religion infantilizes individuals” would be true. These people aren’t even attempting to do better because of an internal motivation, but rather this perceived external force.”

          This may be your experience. However, your experience isn’t textually derived. In other words, it may be your experience but it isn’t what is supported by the text of the Bible. And, more importantly, it isn’t the position that I hold to or express in this post. So the ideas that one can “blame the devil” or act “out of fear of utter retribution from their god” or that religious persons act out of fear of a “perceived external force” are not relevant to the discussion here.

          You also say:

          “As for submitting to someone’s authority, I may have respected the authority of another person, but I still don’t accept everything they say as absolute fact. I would still verify the content of they offered by going to other sources. And that “(often used reflexively)” as in automatically, without conscious thought, is what shows immaturity; doing things without actual thought is not conscientious.”

          Submission to another’s authority doesn’t require that you take everything they say as absolute fact.

          Verification of my internal states, as I’ve noted already, is impossible. So while you have a problem with submission as a reflexive epistemological phenomenon, you and I, and in fact all humanity, does this on a daily basis.
          It is an inescapable fact of being-in-the-world. I rest upon your own knowledge of your own internal life to know what you are like.

          You can lie to me about who you are, and that’s exactly the point I was making.

          Finally, if you are human being, then you are someone’s child. You may not be a child with respect to the level of physiological and psychological development you have reached, but you are a child of someone else.

          -h.

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