Home / Freethought and Humanism: Atheistic and Theistic (Deism) / God's Emotions: Second Series Concerning the Psychology of Religion By Valerie Tarico (Part 2)
God's Emotions: Second Series Concerning the Psychology of Religion By Valerie Tarico (Part 2)

God's Emotions: Second Series Concerning the Psychology of Religion By Valerie Tarico (Part 2)

The first four videos of this series are here.  This continues with part five of the series.

The next video Tarico discusses "God with a Temper" and Christians' description of an angry deity. She also relates anger to humans, its relation with our interactions with other people, and how it may relate to the angry Christian deity.

We often think of anger being the domain of powerless, frustrated people, but the opposite may be true. In a study by Sells, Tooby, Cosmides stronger men and more beautiful women were more anger prone than their less beefy and more ordinary counterparts. Who is more powerful than God?

In part six of God's Emotions, Tarico discusses pleasing a deity with supplication, adulation, and subservience.

According to cognitive scientist, Pascal Boyer, most supernatural beings regardless of their physical form, have human psyches, including emotions. The God of the Bible is no exception. Sermons and sacred texts that wax eloquent about God's anger are just one of many clues that most of the Bible writers related to God as a high status human.

The God of the Bible wants seven things similar to humans in high status positions.

  • Attention (On thee will I meditate night and day);
  • Praise and admiration (For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised);
  • Subservience (I will bow before the Lord my maker);
  • Dependency (Ask and it shall be given);
  • Uncritical Compliance (. . . receive the kingdom of God like a little child)
  • Exclusivity (Thou shalt have no other gods before me . . . For I am a jealous god);
  • Gratitude (. . . for this unspeakable gift . . .).

She discusses how humans are social information specialists, how all social animals compete for resources, and establish hierarchies.

Part seven discusses love and narcissism, which she titles the video The Stepford Jesus.

We want our lovers and spouses to have intuitive access to our wishes, to know what we want before we even ask. In a similar vein, the quest of the mystic is to be one with God, to be consumed by his presence. The quest of the "servant-leader" is to be the hands and feet of God. But because we are human, what people want, inevitably, is that God becomes a channel through which they can work their will in the world.

In this episode, she stated that there are similarities between what we want from our spouses and what we want from God. Humans desire unconditional love, despite our imperfections, and Christians view God as the unconditional lover, who forgives their imperfections.

[T]he Bible says in many places that God is merciful, generous, and full of grace. It also says that he is loving, and I think the writers meant it– in part because we humans don't know how to conceive of a person-god without emotions. How would we relate to a Spock-god? How would he respond to our emotions?  Imagine baring your deepest feelings to an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent supercomputer in the sky– who doesn't love you. Persons without emotions are the stuff of comedy or tragedy.

In the eighth episode, Tarico discuss how "God wants what I want" in relationship to the Christian God's emotions.

You can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do. ~Anne Lamott

Tarico discusses how the Christian god hates what Christians hate and love what Christians love, thus creating a "social balance". People assume that God shares their priorities and perspectives.

In the final part of this series, Tarico closes with "man-made gods".

Man is, and always has been, a maker of gods. It has been the most serious and significant occupation of his sojourn in the world.
- John Burroughs

Just as our ancestors looked to the natural world and human societies to describe what lies beyond, she says we do the same.

Careful, repeated observations of the natural world, however meticulous, will never allow us to say whether there is another realm beyond the reach of our senses and our ability to process information. But they do allow us to understand the intricacies of the natural order, ourselves included. And they allow us to examine our god-concepts in light of what we know about ourselves.

About Mriana

Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery", who grew up in the Church of God, Anderson Indiana. After she became an adult, she joined the Episcopal Church, but later left the Church and became a humanist. She has two grown sons and raises cats. Mriana raised her sons in the Episcopal Church, but in their teen years, they left the Church and she soon followed. One of her sons became a "Tao Buddhist" and the other a None, creating his own world view. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
  • Deborah_B

    It is very true that the godly emotions directly correlate to its worshipers' emotions.

    By the way, I love the Ceiling Cat picture!

Scroll To Top