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Warning: Do not read this message while operating heavy machinery, drinking a milkshake, or only have a single oar in the water. Side-affects may include drowsiness, loss of matter control, and soul irritation.

The Old Testament records a momentous shift downward in the history of the Israelites when, desiring to be like other neighboring nations, they demanded a king. God warned them through his prophet that having a king would lead to greater troubles. Nonetheless, the Israelites asked and God granted them a king. Within a few centuries, Israel became divided, then fractured, then broken and eventually taken into captivity in Babylon. An unheeded warning often becomes the hardest lesson to learn.

The New Testament reveals through the gospels, the life and words of Jesus of Nazareth, whom his followers maintain performed miracles, restored crippled limbs and healed the sick, and spoke directly to and cast out demons from possessed people. Jesus claimed sin was the human problem with God. The degree of sin was never an issue. His solution to the problem of sinfulness was confession (admitting one's sins) and repentance (turning away from sin.) Jesus extended God's favor (called grace) to those willing to seek God's forgiveness. As a result, believers could be relieved of the burden of guilt for their sins, while accepting the earthly consequences for them.

Over a century has passed since the principles of Modern Psychology first slipped into human consciousness through the teachings of Mr. Freud. As a result, the notion of God, along with the concepts of demonic possession, supernatural miracles, and "hearing from God" were discarded by secular society as impossible. While some knowledge has been gained into understanding the human mind through psychological practices, the invasive nature of psychology's doctrines have generally relegated faith as delusional. One side-affect of psychology in American society seems to be a narcissistic dissatisfaction with life, followed closely by an endless quest for a panacea or "magic pill."

Sinners are now referred to as patients or clients. Confessional is now a forty-five minute therapy session. Congregational meetings are known as "group counseling." Communion can be purchased with a prescription at the local pharmacy. Instead of praying to God, one must learn to get in touch with their "inner child" to find "closure." There is no hope beyond treatment in psychology. You either get better than you were or change the dosage level and type of medication.

Perhaps you don't trust psychologists and therapists. Worry no more. There are ample self-help books on the market to guide you step-by-step on the road to recovering whatever it is you think you've lost. No long lines or appointments are required.

The doctor will be you now.

The Gadfly

The Gadfly


The following comments are for "The Freudian Slip"
by TheGadfly

Thank you for adding to the stew, Windchime. My point, in general, focuses on the self-centered versus the God-centered. From that vantage point, sin is never addressed as the "root cause." As you well know, treating the symptoms (self-focus) never provides a cure for spiritual sickness.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 8, 2006 )

Psych & Religion
This is an interesting angle.. My fav. line is "psychology...relegated faith as delusional." I wonder if this is possible for American society because we have the "luxury" or the option to think that way (with all that's available to us for help, as you stated). After all, whether the religion is true or false, faith in it is what makes it reality for the believer. I think there's a relative relationship between the advancement of a society and others like, say, third world countries. This also applies to an individual's status and lifestyle; hence, even in America, there are still many believers vs. nonbelievers. IMO, it's kinda sad to see people looking for quick solutions to problems. It reminds me of something Chris Rock said, "Do you go to sleep at night and wake up in the mornin? Well then I got JUST the pill for you!" Anyhow, this is very thought-provoking. Keep writing~

( Posted by: FurryNippleRing [Member] On: June 9, 2006 )

Great thoughts
THank you FNR for making me chuckle. You raise some interesting issues.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 9, 2006 )

Magic Pill
I think that the effects of studies in psychology have caused a vast majority of people to fuse the principals of both religion and psychology to create a sceptical outlook on life unless, when in time of need, the voice of GOd sounds like a barking horn, herald of better times. I am not sure, like Windchime, that Freud and his compadres have affected (or afflicted, you choose) the society with their words to a point where God is replaced by a blue placebo for anyone who wakes in the morning and sleeps at night.
But ask yourself, was the US of A ever that religious? Sure, we say, In God we trust, yet that is where it stops. Our facilities to better the conditions of life are out to make a bigger profit than ever; though if you think about it, why would a God-centered society withhold a perscription because a certain amount in cash could not be achieved? Of course, it can be said, look at others, we are no worse. Being no worse than the worst is not something I wish t be. So yes, I must agree with you on certain points Gadfly. And I must also thank you for a great essay and read.


( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 10, 2006 )

USA and faith
Thank you, Siah, for sharing your thoughts on the essay.

Anyone who studies the history of our nation (absent recent revisonism) will discover men of great faith who believed freedom was a gift from God. During our own Civil War, some of the greatest men of faith were marshalled in the struggle for the survival of our Constitution.

The 1900's produced some of the most ungodly ideas and theories about "modern thinking" the world and our country ever adopted. Psychology was merely one contrivance to change our way of thinking and shift our focus away from God and toward self-sufficiency from God.

Karl Marx's writings ruined the lives of millions of Asian and Eastern European peoples with the advent of communism, yet many of its principles have seeped into our own governance from more liberal advocates.

We have been so conditioned by decades of "psycho-babble", most people cannot recognize its influences. Our justice system is heavy-laden with it. Our views on sexual deviance have been obscured by it. The United States in particular is obsessed with it.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Personally I think that Marx's words were not cause for all the deaths. His followers adapted the words and used that as a decoy to shield their own needs. Never has a communistic state (in its true true form) been achieved. Why? Dunno, human fragility and hunger for power?

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Wow. It's like you've sworn allegiance to the cause of ignorance, and condemned yourself to goosestepping along in perfect obedidence to the commands of idiocy. I mean, I admire your committment, but you've got to take a good look at what you've committed yourself to. Committment alone is no virtue.

The biggest problem is this: you don't know what you're talking about. For one, Freud's body of work involves a lot more than you realize. A great deal of it is bullshit. But some of his ideas were quite perceptive, and their general accuracy and predictive value have been confirmed multiple times since his day.

Second, most psychologists aren't Freudians. Freud is discussed in only a few backwards psychology departments these days. His presence is now limited to cultural studies and history of philosophy and psychology. Those of his ideas which survived the test of time have been assimilated into much more powerful frameworks.

The religious nonsense you mention had been on its way out for at least 150 years in England and North America before Freud started writing. He didn't initiate it, nor did he popularize it. In this case, you're actually giving him too much credit. At the time Freud wrote, most educated people were either agnostic or deistic (much like the founding fathers), thus even those who accepted say, the existence of God, had rejected the dogmatic apparatus that came with it.

Whether rejection of religious nonsense leads to dissatisfaction with life actually has a great deal to do with whether one was once religious. The evidence is pretty clear: if you've been taught that everything of value, all meaning, all ethics, all purpose is based in religious ideas, you can fall apart when those ideas crumble. Those who have been raised with little or no religious influence don't face that problem, because the collapse of religion is of little interest to them.

Has psychology (not the same thing as Freud, recall) played a role in forcing religion into the light? Absolutely! Does it deserve all the credit for this? Not at all. We mustn't forget the contributions made by philosophy, biology, physics, geology, paleontology, anthropology, sociology, history, medicine, chemistry and, of course, religious studies and theology. I've left out a few, but you get the point.

The biggest contributions to religious disillusionment were made by religious leaders and writers themselves. All these other disciplines did was clear away some bullshit, so the words and deeds of these leaders could be glimpsed spin-free.

And that quest for a "panacea or 'magic pill'" that you mention? That's what motivates religious believers in the first place. No doubt psychoanalysis (the kind of psychology that Freud founded) ended up being a panacea to some. In that case, all it did was replace the religious sort of ideology with another. Those who have truly grown out of religion realize that panaceas, supernatural or not, are childish things best left behind with teddy jammies and tricycles.

And then you go on to a diatribe comparing religious nonsense to pop psychology nonsense which is really quite funny. I liked that bit. But not only does it have nothing to do with Freud, it has little or nothing to do with psychology either. It's "pop psychology," the pap you find on Oprah and Dr. Phil and Psychology Today. Actual psychology isn't involved, and you won't find that bullshit in any reputable university (maybe in one of those online diploma-mill universities, though). So you're right: it's crap. Just the wrong kind of crap for the purposes of this article.

Now I feel like an asshole for being so harsh. Forgive me if I've become a jerk here. I suppose my ire was raised, as it always is, by the spectacle of someone criticiszing without understanding. Criticism is a good and noble thing. Yet before you engage in criticism, you have to take the time to understand what you're criticizing. Otherwise you mislead not only yourself, but others, while leaving the target of your objections untouched.

In this case, like most cases in most forums, I found someone criticizing on the basis of ignorance instead of knowledge, and it pissed me off.

There's an awful lot to be criticized in psychology (well, all of it should be criticized, as with everything else. I mean there's an awful lot to reject). To find it, first you need to understand your subject.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Viper Man
You are being to harsh man. At least sugar coat the thing. But you did shine some light on it. I was thinking more of Dr.Phil when I was reading this than Oprah (woman psycho-analyzing me, BAH) Oh but you do add much thought to this piece. Thanks viper.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

banana peel vs Freudian slip
Interesting parallels here. The wrong pill or treatment or the "wrong" faith can leave one worse off than before. The main problem is a culture that mutates faster than the inhabitant apes. Go with Marx bros. vs Karl- laughter is best medicine.

( Posted by: drsoos [Member] On: June 11, 2006 )

Communism and Pseudo-intellectualism
Siah, the words of Karl Marx may not have literally killed anyone when he penned them, but his ideology certainly pitted classes against one another. His contempt for religion and capitalism gave V. Lenin and company ample ammunition by which to topple the Czar and send Russia and its neighbors into 70 years of spiritual and ideological darkness. I doubt if Mr. Marx could have personally killed as many folks as his ideas did in the failed experiments with communism globally.

Viper, while I appreciate your spin on Freud and religion, I could not disagree with you more. If as you espouse, much of what Freud write was crap, then the intellectuals of his day would not have embraced it as readily as they did. Entire institutions would also not have followed suit.

As for science and other disciplines contributing to the rejection of faith in God, the founding fathers of America apparently did not reject God whole-heartedly. Many of those "free-thinkers" are counted among some of the most brilliant minds of their time and, in retrospect, to date.

Your assertion that somehow believing in God makes a believer less-than-scholarly is both specious and absurd. The superiority of so-called "educated" people in this context shows an arrogant bias and extreme closed-mindedness.

As a Christian, I do not reject the discoveries of science. Yet those who put more faith in science more often than not reject faith wholesale, as if science was infallible. This is not only foolhearty, it demonstrates a degree of gullibility many pseudo-intellectuals label those who exercise faith.

If you choose not to believe in God, so be it. I would not choose to insult you by calling you ignorant.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Very cute, Droos. Humor is a good remedy.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

Ideology is exactly that, an set pattern of ideas. If someone adapts it and applies it, woe on them. Second, Lenin had a different form of communism. He used the farmers, something that Marx wouldn't do, he said that the industrial workers would start the revolution. So Lenin is a very bad example. And if you want to keep going, Stalin's communism was called Stalinism, a very etchy version of communism.
So Marx, on his own, did not do much. It was his believers. Just like Jezus. I can't say that Jezus is to blame for the crusades, nope, His believers (crazed, may I add) did that.

( Posted by: Siah [Member] On: June 12, 2006 )

The Crusades

There is a pattern forming in your examples, which I hope (in a roundabout way) makes my original point. The conventions of Mankind (e.g. Freudian Psycho-babble) apart from God, take well-intended notions and subvert them for their own ends. In theory, Communisim seems almost utopian, yet when men try to apply it in practice, totalitarianism results. Science splits the atom, Mankind creates the atom bomb.

Absent a moral absoulte, Mankind remains hopelessly corrupted. It does not matter if we can understand the human mind any better, when the lesser minds of men are intent on world domination, pursuit of self-interest, and godlessness.

As for the Crusades, historians record the Crusades were a response to the invasion of Muslims, who systematically conquered and subjugated the lands held by the Roman Empire. Most of the tripe regurgigated in modern versions always paint Christian Crusaders as a group of power hungry lnad-grabbers. This could not be fiurther from the historical record. Most of the barons and lords who went into the Crusades did so to help those who had been oppressed by the Muslim hordes. The majority of those warlords died in battle or came back paupers, having used their own wealth to fund their campaigns.

It is politically incorrect to view Christianity in a noble light, in the media. He who controls the microphone sways the masses. That's a convention of psychological warfare, adapted by the military, vis-a-vis Doctor Freud.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

I get what you're saying. There used to be a time before the invention of psychology when folk recognized evil and they called it evil. They did not worry about offending the devil or evil. These days you can't call the devil or evil by their true names no more, lest you are accused of being insensitive. These days the devil and evil are called by many different names, i.e., 'goodness challenged' and so forth. Evil and good are all jumbled in a big bowl of political correctness. Everyone is confused. Morality has been compromised. Black is white. White is black. Good is evil. Evil is good. Everything is grey and there is no longer a right side or wrong side, there is only somewhere in-between. All is good and good is all.

I get it.

( Posted by: TINKER [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

No time
Wow, I'm just give up on you Gadfly, till you graduate high school, learn some history, and put down whatever you're smoking. I don't have the time to correct everything you say.

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

Thank you
Thank you for your positive comments, Tinker.

Viper, your insults and arrogance only lend credibility to my arguments.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: June 13, 2006 )

controversy is amazing
tinker finaly complemented some one call the press

( Posted by: schindees [Member] On: July 7, 2006 )

Thank you for commenting, Schindees

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: July 8, 2006 )

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