Is fervent faith, and Stockholm Syndrome, comparable?

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Mitch's picture
Is fervent faith, and Stockholm Syndrome, comparable?

"Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors."

A combination of the illusion of complete control, backed by physical 'evidence' of constant life-threatening power, results in a subject finding a single entity as being both the beginning - and end - of every one of the subjects life experiences. In this way, I think there could be comparison between the behavioral characteristics of the fervently faithful, and those who suffer a form of Stockholm Syndrome.

Do you agree, or disagree? What difference - if any - would concluding for either side make in the way you interact with the faithful? Or for people suffering diagnosed Stockholm Syndrome, for that matter.

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Mitch's picture
I'm disappointed that this

I'm disappointed that this topic has elicited no responses. Damn. I think it is interesting.

Thanks to the 19 of you who looked, at least.

ThePragmatic's picture
Hold your horses. :)

Hold your horses. :)
This is an international site, and there are time differences to take into account.

At the moment, my brain is to fried to make the connection you describe in your topic.

Pitar's picture
"I'm disappointed that this

"I'm disappointed that this topic has elicited no responses."

And, impatient as well.

Stockholm Syndrome is a bunch of crap. So is the notion of a god and the influences people have fallen under related to it. In that contrast, they are both similar.

People tend towards the pretense that an event can be morphed into a phenomena, then a psychological condition, provided the right kind of people are hired to do the study. Give a guy a diploma and the next thing you know he's hired to be one of those guys cited as "experts agree in studies made..." I'm not promoting anarchy but I am promoting the notion that you should remain guarded about what you are spoon fed as fact. This defines the atheist so stick to the creed.

Stockholm Syndrome is a slick name, no? It sounds really good. It's like a band name and a lot better than some I've heard. But, it insinuates a certain behavior for a given set of describable criteria. I would like to think it embraces all the conflicting emotions at their respective peaks suffered by a hostage but it can't. The research is not taken first hand by the staff performing the study. Such studies never can. Whatever data the so-called research fellows compile, most of it is contrived from subsets of behavioral patterns nicely packaged to force their conclusion. So, I think we can dismiss the "syndrome" out of hand as just another set of diplomas banging heads together looking to make names for themselves. But, as a band name I think we're onto something.

That leaves us with the other part of your "fervently faithful", who can be compared to an ardent sports team fan base. My odds are on the sports team fan base for empirical evidence of a worthwhile undertaking.

"Go Bulls!" is so much more real and heartfelt than "Go god!"

ThePragmatic's picture
I know too little about

I know to little about Stockholm syndrome to make any informed reply.

I can certainly see the resemblance with religion in that it is essentially as if their god is holding them hostage, saying "I don't want to hurt you. Just do as I say and I will be good to you. But if you disobey me I will hurt you really bad."

But what I am missing from the resemblance is that in the case of Stockholm syndrome the captors are themselves in trouble and under threat to get punished. With this element missing, there is no feeling sorry for the god holding humanity as hostages.

goodspear's picture
You are right to say that God

You are right to say that God doesn't want to hurt us. He made a way to save us! And it is reasonable to me that if I want to live in His House that I should go by His rules. Why is this so difficult to understand? Pride is what threw satan out of heaven. He wanted to live in God's house with his own rules too...and this won't work. So you can look at it anyway you want to, but as I see it, if you want to do your own rules, then you won't live in God's House. But don't be all mad that He gave you the opportunity to live with Him.

ThePragmatic's picture
First of all, I'm NOT saying

First of all, I'm NOT saying "God does not want to hurt us".

I said:
"it is essentially as if their god is holding them hostage, saying "I don't want to hurt you..."
I'm compairing your belief to a hostage situation.

"it is reasonable to me that if I want to live in His House that I should go by His rules. Why is this so difficult to understand?"

It's not difficult to understand. You just don't seem to grasp that some people don't have any belief in your god. I do not think he exists at all. I think your god is in your head, and only there.

"Pride is what threw satan out of heaven"

Well, no. I don't think pride can throw anything. If he was thrown by someone, it would have been your god.

"don't be all mad that He gave you the opportunity to live with Him."

I haven't heard anything from him. Not a peep. I'm not holding my breath...

goodspear's picture
I am no longer a hostage of

I am no longer a hostage of the enemy. Since I have become a believer in Christ I have been set free and I now have a choice on what to do, there was always a way that seemed right to me before I knew Jesus, but that way led me to death in one way or another and I never understood it, until His Holy Spirit came into my life. I am free now. "We have thought that man is made for freedom. He is. But freedom can come only through obedience. I am free from the policeman if I obey the laws he represents--within the framework of the laws he represents I am free. The larger the unit I obey, the larger the freedom I enjoy. If I obey the laws of the United States, I am free within the boundaries of that country. When I am disciplined to the Kingdom of God and obey its laws, then I am free within the limits of its area. But its area is universal; therefore I am universally free. The Christian, disciplined to the Kingdom of God, is the only universal person, universally free. He is a cosmic person. The thing works the other way. If you are disciplined to yourself and your desires, then you are free within the area of yourself and your desires. You have chosen a small unit of allegiance, hence you become small." E. Jones Everything has a moral law in it and when we go against it, it goes against us. I have no positive feelings for my old enemy and I will see him thrown in the lake of fire one day, I have been set free from his deception by the blood of Jesus!!! If you don't know Jesus, the enemy of your soul has his hands wrapped around your throat as he promises you freedom and you are held captive under his spell and yet embrace him.

Mitch's picture
Thank you all for responding.

Thank you all for responding. It's a relief to know I've been heard.

Ronda, I think here your comment has served as a bit of a 'case in point' for my initial proposal of likeness between faith, and Stockholm syndrome.

Mitch's picture
Ronda, imagine - for just a

Ronda, imagine - for just a second - that no one is watching.

In that instance of time, and space, you know you exists as a conscious entity only because you can experience yourself. Imagine that there is - for just that immediate second - only you. Imagine that it is possible to be - truly - alone.

You might feel fear, and you could also feel awe; this moment is yours to create. Utterly. For that brief second, you experienced life beyond god. In that second of imagination, you are what you would call an atheist.

I imagine this is how god might have felt, before he created anything - that is, were he not simply a projection of ourselves.

Jeff Vella Leone's picture
Ronda just a question, to see

Ronda just a question, to see if you are moral or not:

If the christian god appeared to you in the flesh one day and wanted to test your faith like he did with Abraham:

"Ronda, take the knife and go to the town square and offer your son as a sacrifice to me."

Would you do it, like Abraham did?

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