Monday, August 28, 2017
The Psychology of Islam, Part Three: Theology of the Fatherless
In "The Psychology of Islam, Part 1: The Defective Father Hypothesis," we learned that Muhammad's traumatic childhood experiences would produce three psychological results: (1) he would rebel against authority and tradition; (2) he would have a problem with father figures, and especially with viewing God as a heavenly father; and (3) he would have some difficulty forming normal relationships with other people. In "The Psychology of Islam, Part 2: Muhammad's Rebellion," we examined the historical evidence to see if our first expectation was confirmed, and we found that it was completely confirmed. Now, in "The Psychology of Islam, Part 3: Theology of the Fatherless," we test our prediction that Muhammad's childhood experiences would affect his view of father-figures and his view of God.
I've watched all three of David's videos on this theme so far, and I'm looking forward to Part 4. Wood offers some brilliant analysis. He does it about as well as it can be done (with very entertaining funny moments -- Wood is a good actor), though I don't know if this kind of psychologizing can hold up under critical scrutiny, or if it just dissolves like so many other psychological theories.
For example, I'm a little skeptical of one of the theories discussed in one of the videos: that on average, atheists tend to have bad relations with their fathers, whereas theists have comparatively good relations with their fathers. It wasn't entirely clear from David's presentation, but it seemed like the conclusion was drawn from a relatively small sample of people, perhaps a dozen or so famous atheists and famous theists. Was the conclusion in fact based on a larger sample of people? Social scientists should be able to replicate the evidence and find the conclusion confirmed again and again if it is accurate.
Still waiting for #4, David.
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