Is religious fanaticism actually Stockholm Syndrome with God as our captor?

Asked by: CanWeKnow
  • Finally, I understand religion!

    Every theistic religion with rules has this problem. Definitely any religion with a "hell" fits the definition. Hell is an abusive doctrine--any parent who threatened their kids with what is supposed to happen in hell would end up in jail, but when they hide it in religious terms, it's considered acceptable. Saying "do what I want or I'll kill, torture, or hurt you" is an abusive statement, and that's exactly what the vast majority of theistic religions do, with a "good" god as aggressor.

    Ultimately, if people treated each other the way these deities treat their followers, most of the world would be locked up in jail. That should be enough for anyone to realize that Stockholm Syndrome applies.

  • This is absolutely the case

    The very existence of the term 'God-fearing' is indicative of the wrathful nature of a God whose actions in the bible are wrathful, vengeful, and utterly horrific even by the standards at the time.

    The constant reminder from much religious scripture that humans are inherently sinners from birth and must redeem themselves following standards that even the bible indicates are impossible to fulfill is simply a way of breaking down anyone's desire to follow any other way of thinking. If people are brought up to fear their god because of his past and possible future actions; if they feel ashamed to be sinners from the outset and a resultant desire to redeem themselves in the only way they are told is possible (devout faith and subservience to an impersonal deity); if a person is taught to fear god this much, then they eventually feel that there is no other choice but to "love" their god so that he may love them back.

    Much like the captors in the scenario of classic Stockholm syndrome, god keeps his flock captive with overwhelming fear of negative consequences if they don't follow and worship him devoutly. The atrocious acts in the bible - for example slaying of babies, unarmed men, ripping open pregnant women's stomachs to slay the baby; oh the irony of god's apparent aversion to abortion even though he was willing to encourage his followers to abort babies in the most horrific manner possible - are meant to instill fear and keep followers in line. This method is very effective at doing so as well since around 1/5 of the world claims to be some form of Christian. How can someone that lives in fear and eventual awe of god's absolute power not grow up to eventually feel that this fear they actually feel is genuine love?

  • Just look at the symptoms.

    What is the one thing that Religion wants to spread the most? They want us all to know that we are all sinners, the world is ending, God is all powerful, our lives will be terrible without him, and that in order to be saved we must submit to the will of God.

    We are people who will exclaim to the world how much we love God. We love that in his infinite benevolence He has granted us reprieve from the torture of the Devil. We identify with Jesus and his plight to forgive sin through his own sacrifice. We find favor with God in order to be saved from sin. We are willing to do ANYTHING to promote God and his plan for eternal happiness. We become martyrs, we devote our lives to religious service, we give Him 10% of our earnings, and we sometimes circumvent laws in order to serve God and spread his message. In extreme cases we will kill our own family members, wage holy wars, and commit divine suicide. All in the name of God.

    Allah Akbar! God is Great! Shahad Shahid! I will become a martyr for God! Praise the Lord! May angels surround you! Only God is worthy of such praise. God is perfect! I wouldn't want to live in a world without God!


  • Save Your Soul...

    ...Is a loaded statement. First it implies we have a soul. Then it implies a threat and a reward. “We’re born sinners”. Right from the start the hostages are being blamed for their situation. The only way out is to love the hostage taker. The hostage taker can do no wrong in the eyes of its hostages. Classic stockholme syndrome.

  • God--the ultimate captor????

    Definition of Stockholm Syndrome: "feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor.
    Argument: Religion teaches all things come from God, in the beginning there was only God, etc. This means everything wonderful comes from God, But so does everything horrible. If you glorify and praise God for saving you from the horrors he has created, you are totally a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.
    When you praise God for delivering you from the devastation of a tornado or hurricane, you should be cursing him for sending it in the first place.

  • What else is there to replace religion?

    Religion isn't about what we know it is about what we hope. So many cling to it like a security blanket that living without it is like going through life without a cellphone. So many look for an answer of why bad things happen and having a God with a plan gives them one.
    As a 55 year old I've come to realize that putting my faith in an alien being that doesn't know the first thing about being human is simply foolish. I feel people should believe more in those that are there than one that we hope is there.

  • Stockholm Syndrome or sociopath. Pick your poison.

    All mainsream religions have a God that condones rape, slavery and genocide. The ideology is morally bankrupt. Their holy books have explicit passages defining rules for slavery and women are treated as property. EVERY type of theist that I've debated has flatly refused to admit that their god condones it despite the clear passages in their holy book (Torah, Bible, Qur'an). Try leaving the Islamic faith. You'll be killed. What is a fundamentalist? Someone that follows their holy book to the letter. So what does that say about the book? About the ideology? Apologists that are not extremists generally live under secular laws. So they can't rape, enslave or kill according to their holy book. These people are the problem. They are the ones promoting a batshit crazy ideology that clearly endorses immoral behaviour yet behave as though they have the moral high ground because they are religious. Despite the fact they follow secular laws not biblical. For an intelligent human being (which there are plenty that believe in a religion) to conclude God is good, they must have some form of Stockholm syndrome. Otherwise they are somewhere on the sociopath spectrum. We are currently going through a phase of even atheists apologising for Muslims? Tough questions need to be asked. If you subscribe to an ideology that condones rape, slavery and genocide you have to be held accountable. That doesn't mean Muslims, Christians etc should be attacked, but we have to be honest and stop being complicit in terrible ideologies

  • The Cosmic Tony Soprano

    A god who eternally condemns imperfect humans (imperfect through no fault of their own) to eternal torture for being theologically in err is certainly not a loving, forgiving god that I would want to know, let alone grovel before. And this eternal torture is for a life that only lasts for 60 or 70 years, more or less. The punishment seems a tad extreme - quite the overkill.

    Christianity is tantamount to a celestial protection racket. What’s worse, according to the Bible, god allows us to be born into this life of automatic condemnation KNOWING THAT MOST PEOPLE WILL GO TO HELL ANYWAY (Matthew 7: 13-14).

    At any rate, the god of the Bible endorses misogyny, slavery, infanticide and genocide. That anyone in this day and age (or ever) would want to worship this barbaric, Iron Age god is a testament to the fact that all people desperately need comfort and order in an often harsh and chaotic world and life, and that some will do or believe ANYTHING to mitigate that harshness and chaos.

    To conclude, the vast majority of Earthly parents accept and love their imperfect children without resorting to threats of torture if they do something wrong (or telling their children that everything they do, even the good things, are worthless). Apparently, most of us are more moral than the god of the Bible.

  • Without a doubt, Religion is the definition of Stockholm syndrome

    It's about a person being under the total control of someone (or at least imaginating it) and assuming this person has a good reason to make him suffer. The "hostage" is being gratefull for even a lack of cruelty or abuse from the part of this superior being. It's about a person chosing to submit to someone who, at least in is mind, is responsible for anything, good or bad happening to him.

  • Without a doubt, Religion is the definition of Stockholm syndrome

    It's about a person being under the total control of someone (or at least imaginating it) and assuming this person has a good reason to make him suffer. The "hostage" is being gratefull for even a lack of cruelty or abuse from the part of this superior being. It's about a person chosing to submit to someone who, at least in is mind, is responsible for anything, good or bad happening to him.

  • Nope nope nope, he is our loving Heavenly Father. We simply need greater understanding.

    No, he is just as mad, upset and heartbroken as we are when bad things happen. He "weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right." (Elder Gary E. Stevenson) He never inspires hate, Satan does that. He allows things to happen out of necessity, we were all given our free agency. We all have a right from God to decide what we will do, evil or good. We all needed this right, otherwise this life wouldn't be the test it was designed to be. This life is (at times) a TOUGH test. We all signed up for this in the previous life. Learn more at

  • That's a little much

    I can understand the framework of the argument because there is a big "don't make him mad" thing going on with organized religion, but the impression I get is a lot of deeply religious people have from the start been glad to be a part of it, it's not often you find somebody brought into religion kicking and screaming that has elected to embrace it on their own.

  • Why do we force the blame on religion.

    What kind of religion is actually the same everywhere? I'm not going to say "all" but the vast majority of religions are practiced in different ways around the world.
    But it does happen, one example, christianity...
    Many fundamentalist christians raise their children to think that must stick to a strict code or they shall burn in hell, but that they should love him.
    People who don't believe in god in these families are excommunicated and are cut off from the families interely!
    The are effectively pointing a gun to their head and making them believe in god, or they shall destroy their world!
    Its disgusting, I'm also saying that many christians don't do this so if anyone is gunna get angry at me, just use the hate on other people...
    But actually does that not mean that the family are the captors and god is just who trying to make you love and actually the familly are in the wrong.
    People should not blame religion for being a sham, they should blame the people running the sham.
    Religion is not bad in anyway, the people who are running are bad

  • Context is Everything

    Not every religion is constructed in such a way that equating it to Stockholm Syndrome is entirely possible. However, their are fanatics of for every view point I've encountered. I'd hardly equate the evangelizing in the Video Game community of why the Genesis was better than the SNES because of "blast processing" to Stockholm Syndrome, but it is similar to Religious Fanaticism. Fanaticism of all type has more to do with the human desire to convince everyone our choices are right, and give ourselves an "Us vs Them" group think mentality. Some people might have a personal experience that they could equate religion to Stockholm Syndrome, but it isn't an accurate claim for all religious fanaticism.

  • Religion IS Stockholm Syndrome, but God is not the captor.

    Consider what we know about religion comes from other humans.

    The Stockholm part of this scenario comes from people using God as a tool to act as the captors, making the religious fanatics the victims.

    Disregarding whether the ideologies are true or not, any deity they describe is not the captor.

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Vox_Veritas says2015-12-07T22:16:06.303