Author delves into psychological reasons behind the widespread denial of God
Contact: Kevin Wandra, 404-788-1276, [email protected]
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 7, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Sigmund Freud claimed that once a child or youth is disappointed in or loses respect for his earthly father, belief in a heavenly father becomes impossible. A child's tumultuous relationship with their father is the determining factor in the widespread rise of atheism, claims Dr. Paul Vitz in his controversial new book, FAITH OF THE FATHERLESS: The Psychology of Atheism.
As a former atheist, Vitz exposes atheism to the same psychological analysis that atheist apologists have used to debunk religious belief. FAITH OF THE FATHERLESS shows how psychoanalysis is actually a better explanation for the denial of God. Being disappointed in one's earthly father, whether through death, absence or mistreatment, often leads to a rejection of God. The crisis of fatherhood in our culture has us in the midst of a 500-year period of adolescence that glorifies aggression and sexual exploitation, according to Vitz.
A biographical survey of influential atheists of the past four centuries -- Freud, Friedrich Nietzche, Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins, among many others -- shows that this "defective father hypothesis" provides a consistent explanation of the "intense atheism" of these thinkers. A survey of the leading defenders of Christianity over the same period -- G.K. Chesterton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Edmund Burke, among others -- confirms the hypothesis, finding few defective fathers. Vitz concludes with an intriguing comparison of male and female atheists and a consideration of other psychological factors that can contribute to atheism.
Throughout FAITH OF THE FATHERLESS, Vitz does not argue that atheism is psychologically determined. He provides an exposition of the psychological factors predisposing a person to atheism and strongly confirms the essential importance of the role of a good father in a family.
"In deploying Freudian theory against atheism itself, Paul Vitz has proven beyond a doubt what's missing from secular accounts of secularization, namely, actual human beings," says cultural commentator Mary Eberstadt. "His thesis is intellectual jujutsu of the first order."
Vitz is a former professor of psychology at New York University and was an atheist until his late 30s.
For more information, to request a review copy, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Vitz, please contact Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or [email protected]) of Carmel Communications.