A sociopathic god?

Does Christianity breed sociopaths? Or just attract them?

A certain brand of Christian often likes to accuse atheists as being amoral. But, from what I’ve seen, these Christians are the ones filled with hatred and intolerance. Instead of loving their enemies, they choose to threaten to murder them.

Nearly every out atheist I know has seen and heard Christians advocating the most heinous acts of murder and torture of atheists, merely because we have come to a different conclusion than they have about the significance of a series of ancient texts.
The threats that they make are usually quite shocking, though I’m sure not in the way they intend them to be. I can’t even pretend to understand the intent of their sociopathic ravings. All I see is a severely disturbed person no different than Jack the Ripper or the Boston Strangler (ok, a bit different. those people were actually interesting).

It’s like what Lisa Simpson said to Mr Burns. “You’re evil. and when you try to be good, you’re even more evil”

Sociopaths are, of course, those, that for some reason most likely neurological in nature, are incapable of discerning the difference between good and bad.

Dr Martha Stout says:

“Socipaths are not few and far between. On the contrary, they make up a significant portion of our population.   … For any individual living in the Western world to get all the way through life without knowing at least one such person, in some capacity or other, is virtually impossible.   People without conscience experience emotions very differently from you and me, and they do not experience love at all, or any other kind of positive attachment to their fellow human beings.

Perhaps this is why they are drawn to religion? Not being able to feel not love or compassion for their fellow humans, perhaps they attempt to garner love from a god. A love they would never have to repay.

And perhaps it is why they do not believe that those without religion can be good? Since they do not have the ability to discern good and evil themselves, perhaps they think that no one else can either. Not being able to make any judgment themselves on what is good or bad, they just assume that any action that is different from their own is bad. Merely asking if someone is a Christian or not is a simple solution. It does not take any compassion or logic. Only a single check mark.

Rev’d C. J. Connor points out

“…In the Church nowadays, the characteristics of the Christian Sociopath have become rather idealized and admired”

This does seem true to me. Christians appear to be told to demand a special place in society. That their religion alone should be given special privilege and they they should not a apologetic about their xenophobia.

Is it ingrained in their religion? Are sociopaths naturally drawn to Christianity because of it’s message: Torture all those who are not like us? The message is all over the bible but one of the more overt passages is the flood story in Genesis in which Yahweh kills his own children in a flood and blames it on them. Wasn’t his fault. Classic passive agressive behavoir. I bet god beats his wife, too.

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24 Comments on “A sociopathic god?”

  1. […] are you doing over there, honey?’ and he says, “Oh, writing a blog.’ and then this is what you get, you truly know why you love the […]

  2. Joshua McGee Says:

    “Perhaps this is why they are drawn to religion? Not being able to feel not love or compassion for their fellow humans, perhaps they attempt to garner love from a god.” — is there a parallel with addiction?

    Alcoholics or other addicts trying to give up substances will tell you that they absolutely cannot have alcohol (or whatever) in the house, absolutely cannot go to cocktail parties / other drug events, etc. When you cannot control yourself when it comes to a drug, you put yourself into a little artificial bubble (most people can safely have an old bottle of Vicodin in the house, blah blah.)

    Are sociopaths putting themselves in bubbles? If you cannot natively feel compassion, does it help to immerse yourself in an artificial bubble that tells you that big rewards (eternal life, euphoria, etc.) are attainable — and big risks are threatened — based on how compassionate your *behavior* is? Further, do plodding NT parables help sociopaths understand what compassionate behavior, a foreign idea, might entail?

  3. cookiE Says:

    Maybe you live in the bubble which you accuse sociopaths of hiding in …

    If God did not exist, than wouldn’t sociopaths be at no fault for being manipulative and self serving elitist. In fact, these traits better suit them for survival. Atheist may believe that morality can exist without God, but any “good” sociopath would successfully argue this to be comeplete B.S. While most humans TRY to exists symbiotically with their population, sociopath/pyschopaths/etc. are of a parasitic nature. Perhaps the only reason Nice people still exist today is because being nice allows the population to florish. Likewise, Sociopaths continue to exist in a smaller quantinties by taking advantage of others. They do not overun the population probably for the same reason that mosquitoes and leeches are not crawling all over our bodies 100% of the time. Because no one likes a parasite. This disgust of parasitic things is the true fundamental basis of any morality not related to religion. People do not like it when things are taken from them without any benefit in return. When someone steals or kills it directly victimizes a person without providing any benifit for one of the parties. People do not allow these parasitic acts to occure because natural selection has created people opposed to parasites (Why? because if your too nice you wont survive long). Therefore, morality is only an expression of the symbotic majority which is opposed to parasitic beings. In truth there is nothing wrong with being a parasitic creature because it is simply a way of existence.

    Furthermore, true Sociopaths are not as religious as you seem to think. They may belief in some form of religion if it suits their purposes, but you are probably relating pathetic ignorance with sociopathy. That is a mistake. People who have done terrible things in the name of religion would never even consider doing those things to their family: A sociopath would. Also, there are sociopaths using religion to manipulate others into doing their bidding, but this is only a method of deceit and those sociopaths/psychopaths/narcissits could not really care less about God. Even if they did involve themselves in organized religion, there would not be any concern about other people or their decisions. They would only be in religion for the perqs and wouldnt really understand any of it. Truthfully, having to do lovey dubey church stuff all day every day would make most sociopaths mad with boredom. I dont think it would fufill them at all, unless they believed they were going to live forever and were special.

    P.S. God definitely has some sociopathic tendencies. So maybe being a
    little sociopathic is okay.

  4. lee Says:

    Sociopaths can believe in God. If there is no God then issues of good and evil are inconsequential. As cookieiE stated “in truth there is nothing wrong with being a parasitic creature because it is simply a way of existence.” If there is no god then your will, if you have one, simply doesn’t matter. Sure you can be a good and moral atheist but personally I think masturbation would be a better use of one’s time.
    On the other hand, if God (as Biblically revealed) is real, then who I am (sociopath, saint or both) takes a back seat to who HE is.

  5. lee Says:

    “God definitely has some sociopathic tendencies. So maybe being a
    little sociopathic is okay.”

    We are after all, made in His image.

  6. brax Says:

    I’m a diagnosed sociopath and I definitely believe in a “higher power” but never will I or have I been drawn to religion, its the most pointless activity ever…

    • Well, you’re head and shoulders above a lot of people. Organized religion is nothing but a series of sermons by people who can’t write a proper sermon. The songs can be nice, though the singing is usually bad.

    • Joshua McGee Says:

      Thank you. This is, honestly, humbling and informative. I think laypeople throw around words with technical meanings rather carelessly; I do so all the time. So, really, thank you.

      On more of a wisecrack level, it appears that, in the analysis of Christians and sociopaths, Universal Heretic was being extremely unkind to the sociopaths.

  7. Tim Says:

    It is instinct alone and a VERY successful instinct. I ranks right up there with making babies. Making babies is really nice to think of, but there is another way to bring you genetic line into domination than having more children (especially when times are very hard and people are dying in war, famine or plague. That is by deciding that YOU are right and THEY are wrong and EVIL and killing them all but sparing their women only. Taking all their farms and reproducing as much as possible your genetic line survives the hard times. Looking at the belief systems you see very cleary that bred in behavior (a very well bred German shepard dog) having its genetic reward. These folks are not good. These folks are not cruel. These folks are like alligators in a theme park that bite eachothers faces off to get to a fish thrown their way. There IS love in the pattern BUT it is ONLY for the ones in the brotherhood of Alligators of the religious system. Others will die. Sociopaths? No they are surviving reptilian minds that we deny exit.

  8. Thea Says:

    These comments and the startling quantity of stupidity that they contain surprise me.

    And this coming from, before you make baseless assumptions, someone who does not believe in the Judeo-Christian God.

  9. Thea Says:

    And to that end: before you begin to sympathize with, show support for, defend, or glorify any so-called “sociopaths”, please do the rest of humanity a favor and look up what the word actually means, who these people are, and what they do.

    You don’t have to be a goddamn christian or even religious to be a decent human being. Truly sociopathic are psychologically (and quite literally physiologically) incapable of being “good people”. Sure, sociopaths are parasites. And being one isn’t evil– for an animal.

    But we are not JUST animals; we are human for a reason and we have evolved beyond our basic instincts. Life for human beings is no longer about evolutionary odds or survival. Because of that, we need to recognize the fact that a parasitic existence– one of violence and cruelty, greed, selfishness, and apathy –is unacceptable.

    • Victor Says:

      Yeah, I know what a sociopath (ASPD) is. The post is directed to those that follow dictums over compassion and was written after I was told that the only reason not to murder or rape is because we’re told not to in the Bible. Sounds pretty antisocial to me. Very reminiscent of the Christian Reconstructionalsists that literally want to stone homosexuals to death and the Quiverfull Movement that treats their children as ticks on a Christian census counts.

      That being said, not really sure what you’re getting at. Not all people can contribute equally to society, but I wouldn’t refer to any human as a “parasite”.

    • mcgees.org Says:

      Because of that, we need to recognize the fact that a parasitic existence– one of violence and cruelty, greed, selfishness, and apathy –is unacceptable.

      Isn’t that rather the point of the post? I’m not trying to be combative; what in particular are you contesting.

      we are human for a reason

      I don’t understand. Could you elaborate?


  10. Bokonon Says:

    Sociopathic preachers seldom quote the words of that bleeding heart Jesus. They refer to Paul who tells them that all you have to do is believe the right stuff and you’ll be eternally rich.

    If you worship mammon but call it by the name of Jesus, who would know the difference? Sociopaths can’t tell Christ from the antichrist.

  11. gerome Says:

    So parkinson’s, retardation, alzheimers, adhd, autism, and other brain conditions are mental but sociopathy is not? ok????? please venture out of the ice age with your thinking.

  12. gerome Says:

    I am beginning to think that most people are sociopaths. I know I am not one, although I have some of those thoughts that you speak of, but they are not at the forefront of my mind, I abhorr them,.I don’t act on them. I dont think the sociopahic person has these controls and that is the result of faulty neurotransmission. I am not agnostic, either. I used to be a devout Christian. Not sure now. Still searching for answers. Look at the world. It is too strange not to have been created by something or someone. There is evil, but sociopaths also have an initial drive to be good or good would not exist in the world. There would be nothing but evil. None of you have the answers and neither do I. That is the first thing we need to understand. An evil entity is the author of confusion. Perhaps a good creator is being held captive by an evil force. Perhaps our ancestors were on to something. Perhaps there is a good God.

    • mcgees.org Says:

      “Perhaps a good creator is being held captive by an evil force. Perhaps our ancestors were on to something. Perhaps there is a good God.”

      Perhaps you’re off your meds?

  13. gerome Says:

    I also believe sociopaths experience all the decent and good moral emotions but that those emotions are very tiny and the bad emotions or neurotransmission override the good thoughts. I think there could be a cure. I know I was cured of my anxiety by taking medication. I think there might be a cure for sociopathy. I think I saw it happen once.

  14. gerome Says:

    “I bet god beats his wife, too.” I got it the same way you came up with your two cents.

  15. gerome Says:

    God has a wife? Are you sure about that? So, you think people look at your blind ‘theories’ and don’t laugh too? Get over yourself.

  16. This is a complicated issue, and I’ve worked on it for a while. I wrote a book called Christians and Sociopaths to address some of what many are talking about here.


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