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Strengthening Your Atheism - The Psychological Explanation for Religion
Home | Introduction | The Embryonic and Parental Shell Theory | Father and Mother Figures in Religions | The Fittest Religion Survives | Different Ways to Cope with Theists | Questions and Answers | Contact Us | How to Get Involved | Links
Father and Mother Figures in Religions

In my main article I presented the Embryonic and Parental Theory concerning the origin of religious beliefs over the ages and amongst nations, stating that the drive for religion is basically an urge for the replacement of the loss of the ultimate protective shell constituted by the womb in embryonic state and by the parents in early infancy.

The concept of religious beliefs providing alternative parental supervision and protection is dominant in all major religions.

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In Christian prayers and scriptures God is frequently addressed as "Our Father".
In large sections of Christianity, such as Catholicism, Gods representatives on earth (priests) are addressed as "father" as well.
"Mother" Mary is a prominent figure called upon in times of need for comfort and motherly love.
The nun in charge of a convent is given the title of "mother" as well.

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In Judaism too, God is frequently addressed as "Father". Though Judaism is a religion that stresses the unity of the One God maybe more than any other monotheism, Judaism uses different names for that one God when referring to his different facets (judging and punishing as against loving and caring).
More interesting even for our discussion is the fact that in Hebrew prayers God is addressed alternatively in male and female gender. (Hebrew is a gender-sensitive language with two separate words for "you" (or "thou"): a male and a female version.
The Jewish sages explain that this is to stress that God applies both the strong and disciplinary actions of a father and the softness and caring of the mother.....

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In Islam too, God is addressed as Father throughout prayers. Islam having strong roots in both Judaism and Christianity, this is hardly surprising, but it no doubt offers the same comfort to its millions of believers.

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In the Far East many prominent religions, in Japan, China, India etc., proclaim that in fact the gods ARE the ancestors (sometimes reincarnated in animals or objects). This is maybe the clearest case of the protective shell being provided by the actual (deceased) parents and ancestors, now given divine and supernatural powers to look after us.

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In history, another clear example are the Greek and later the Roman religions. Here the gods are themselves parents, father Zeus/Jupiter and mother Hera/Juno running their own divine families on the Olympus and in addition, taking care of the mortals down below. Zeus representing everything a father stands for and Hera patroness of motherhood.

O.K Now let's see why certain religions are so successful.

The Fittest Religion Survives



Cornelis Mondt - Atheism for Everyone