Godfearing

ParanoidAgnostic
ParanoidAgnostic's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: 2007-05-20
User is offlineOffline
Godfearing

I've heard many people describe themselves as godfearing christians, as though this is a good thing. I find this symultaneously confusing, depressing and enraging. Confusing because these same people talk about how much they love God and how benevolent he is. Depressing because these people are living their lives in fear. Enraging because someone indoctrinated them with this fear.

To me the sort of god that makes us fear him is not worthy of worship. He deserves to be challenged.

Would anyone here describe themself as godfearing? If so.

1 ) Why is godfearing something to be proud of? 

2 ) Why are you afraid of a loving benevolent god?

3 ) How do you love someone you fear?

4 ) How do you have a full life when you live in constant fear?

5 ) How do you justify inflicting this fear onto children?

6 ) How is someone that instills fear deserving of your worship?

7 ) Would you challenge a human being who ruled through fear?

8 ) Why wouldn't you challenge a god who ruled through fear? 

Oh, a lesson in not changing history from Mr. I'm-My-Own-Grandpa!


theotherguy
theotherguy's picture
Posts: 294
Joined: 2007-01-07
User is offlineOffline
When I was a christian, I

When I was a christian, I lived in constant fear. I feared I would screw up at any time, and asked Jesus for forgiveness after every minor transgression (Oh, I looked at that girl with wrong thoughts in my head, sorry Jesus! Oh, I didn't put a quarter in the collection bin today, sorry Jesus!) And then I thought, what if Jesus thought I didn't really mean it? And then I had to make sure I really meant it. It was like doubethink.

 It was terrifying really. I have the same sentiment about people who claim to be "godfearing", because if it was anything like the fear and paranoia I experienced in my delusional belief in an all powerful sky being, then I really feel sorry for them.


Textom
Textom's picture
Posts: 551
Joined: 2007-05-10
User is offlineOffline
The meaning of "fear" in

The meaning of "fear" in "Godfearing" is an archaic meaning that isn't used much anymore except in this context. 

It doesn't mean "fear" as in being afraid.  It means to have an attitude of transcendent respect and awe.  It was used by Jacobeans in this sense, so it made it into the KJV Old Testament in phrases like "fear of God" and in the frequent command "fear thy God."

Even a lot of Christians don't know this, though, but use the term the way they've heard others use it, which is correct, but has picked up unwanted connotations as the definition of "fear" has evolved.

"After Jesus was born, the Old Testament basically became a way for Bible publishers to keep their word count up." -Stephen Colbert


Rigor_OMortis
Rigor_OMortis's picture
Posts: 557
Joined: 2006-06-18
User is offlineOffline
1. It isn't. Being

1. It isn't. Being constantly afraid of something renders you (on any NORMAL occasion) as completely paranoid, and instantly changes your home to a padded cell. Not the same with religion, it seems.

2. I couldn't be. That's why I'm an atheist.

3. I couldn't. That's why I'm an atheist.

4. I wouldn't. That's why I'm an atheist.

5. I would never do that, let alone justify that. That's why I'm an atheist.

6. It isn't. That's why I'm an atheist.

7. Yes. The worst that could happen is to be sentenced to death. At that moment, I would have nothing else to lose, regardless of how many people that help ruling through fear I take out.

8. If such a god existed: "It is useless to try and break stones with eggs." (Chinese proverb)

 

Inquisition - "The flames are all long gone, but the pain lingers on..."
http://rigoromortis.blogspot.com/


todangst
atheistRational VIP!
todangst's picture
Posts: 2843
Joined: 2006-03-10
User is offlineOffline
Textom wrote: The meaning

Textom wrote:

The meaning of "fear" in "Godfearing" is an archaic meaning that isn't used much anymore except in this context.

It doesn't mean "fear" as in being afraid. It means to have an attitude of transcendent respect and awe. It was used by Jacobeans in this sense, so it made it into the KJV Old Testament in phrases like "fear of God" and in the frequent command "fear thy God."

 

It means the type of negative respect we grant lions and lightning for some, whereas for others, it means the positive respect of awe as you note. 

"Hitler burned people like Anne Frank, for that we call him evil.
"God" burns Anne Frank eternally. For that, theists call him 'good.'