Thursday, March 16, 2006

The God Complex

Did you ever notice that the superior are supposed to have LOWER standards of conduct to live up to? That's anti-logical, isn't it?

For example, many parents still think it's okay for a parent to hit a child. However, if that little person turns around and hits the big one back, that's a sin. But let's run a logic check on that. Why should a child have to live up to higher moral standards than an adult? Shouldn't it be the other way around? And, if the size difference matters, shouldn't it rather be okay to hit someone bigger and wrong to hit someone smaller?

Again, for example, it's okay for males to fight when pushed around or insulted, but the "weaker sex" must never hit anybody because that's disgusting. Huh? The "weaker" sex is the one that should have its hands tied? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Especially since women are inferior because they get shook up all the time while men are calm and dignified, aren't women then the sex that is unfit to live up to the higher set of standards? Can you imagine doing this in sports? Women would have to compete against men and on a tilted playing field with stricter rules for women than men. (She scratches her head.) Since time immemorial, traditional values have said that men may hit men, women, and children; women may hit only children; and children must never hit anybody, but it's okay if they kick the puppy.

I don't get that.

You can probably see where I'm going with this.

The examples of such double standards that are upside-down to boot are endless.

Like this: traditionally, and to this day in male-dominated Islamic socities where women are regarded as inferior and less resistent to temptation than men, women are nonetheless are held to much higher standards of moral conduct than men. So, if a boy cats around, that's nothing, especially if it's with an infidel. But if a girl does, she can be stoned to death.

If a tennis star insults, abuses, intimidates, and humiliates linespeople for the entertainment of the viewing public on worldwide television, we must cut him slack. Because he is losing and mad about a line call. But if, for any reason whatsoever you or I treat somone on the street that way, it would be bad. If a movie star says something utterly stupid on late-night TV, she's clever. But if you or I say the same thing anywhere else, we're idiots.

Take any dictator or other potentate -- he always has a lower set of standards to live up to than those he lords it over. It's okay for him to do things it would be wrong for anyone else to do.

Hence a deed is judged by whodunnit, not by what it is.

This anti-logic has corrupted conventional attitudes toward the Deity. He gets an infinitely low set of standards to live up to. It is good for him to do things it would be evil for us to do.

[TIMEOUT: To be fair, I must note that there have always been great religious thinkers who saw how wrong this is. In fact, many of the parables Jesus of Nazareth told were a way of saying, "Think, people. God ain't that way -- he's this way, and the same rules apply to him as to us." Indeed, if people believe that humans are made "in the image and likeness of God," they should realize that.]

So, it's easy to see why Narcissistic Personality Disorder was first described in psychiatric literature as "the God Complex."

Just what is a god? What can we say about one?

God is very important — all important. Others exist for his sake, not their own. That is, they are to fulfill his desires, not their own. Their conduct is to glorify him, not themselves. They are here to serve him, not their own interests. He doesn't pay them for their services: they owe him everything, including any sacrifice. Notice that, in any other context, his rights with respect to them amount to property rights. They are rights of ownership.

The owner of property is the judge of its worth. He has a right to take a sledge hammer to it if he wants. By virtue of his ownership of others, a god is therefore the judge of their worth. He too has a right to destroy his property if he wants. In fact the ancient words for "god" and "idol" were synonymous with "king" and "master" and meant "judge." He is to ultimately judge us as worthy of keeping (saving, preserving) or not. If not, he condemns us like a worthless building and fires us = throws us away (into Hell).

But he himself is never to be judged. To fault him in any way is unthinkable. He is righteous by virtue of who he is, not what he does. For example:

  • It would be wrong for anyone to order the extermination of all the original inhabitants of a conquered land. Yet God ordered the Israelites to exterminate all the original inhabitants of Palestine. In fact, he became so angry when they left a few alive that he made the earth swallow up a whole tribe.
  • It would be wrong for us to stand by and do nothing while our innocent child was tortured and killed. In fact, people go to prison for "failure to protect" their children. But God handed over his only begotten son for that purpose and then forgave the guilty parties on the grounds that the falsely accused victim paid their debt of punishment for them.
  • It would be wrong for us to stand by and do nothing about pain and suffering that we could alleviate. Yet people buried alive in an earthquake beg God to at least let them die quickly but are denied their petition and suffer a protracted death for no conceivable purpose except possibly to punish them.
  • If the President's subordinates do something bad on his authority that he knew about before they did it, we impeach him. But God is not faulted for allowing the episcopal and monastic Inquisitions to curse, loot, and burn in his name and claiming his authority for 900 years.
In other words, a god has the right to do anything. Whatever he does is right because he did it.

This is, of course, a double standard. A god needn't abide by the standards he sets for others. Nobody holds a god answerable for anything. What would be wrong for others to do is okay for a god to do.

Now, just what is a narcissist? What can we say about one?

A narcissist is very important — all important. Others exist for his sake, not their own. They are to fulfill his desires, not their own. Their conduct is to glorify him, not themselves. They are here to serve his needs, not their own. He doesn't pay them for their services: they owe him everything, including any sacrifice. Notice that, in any other context, his rights with respect to them amount to property rights. He is the judge of his property's worth and has the right to abuse or trash it if he wants. He himself is never to be judged. To fault him in any way is unthinkable. He is righteous by virtue of who he is, not what he does. So, he need not live up to the standards he sets for others or even the standards of common decency. He is answerable for nothing. Nothing he does, no matter what, is wrong, though the same things would be very wrong for others to do.

Once you notice all these parallels in godhead and narcissism, it is no wonder that the victims of narcissists always complain that she thinks she's God.

Now, on the lighter side, here's a little northern comfort for those abused by somebody suffering from the God Complex.

Just what is an infant? What can we say about one?

An infant is very important — all important. Others exist for its sake, not their own. They are to fulfill its desires. They are here to serve its needs, at the expense of their own. Their eyes are mirrors to see itself glow in 24-7. It doesn't pay them for their services: they owe it everything, including any sacrifice. Notice that, in any other context, its rights with respect to them amount to property rights. It judges their performance and hits or screams at them for not knowing and providing whatever it wants at the moment. Yet it is never to be judged. To fault it in any way is unthinkable. It is righteous by virtue of being an infant, not by virtue of what it does. So, it need not live up to the standards of common decency. It is answerable for nothing. Nothing it does, no matter what, is wrong, though the same things would be very wrong for grownups to do.

So, the next time a narcissist acts like an infant toward you because he thinks that makes him a god, be sure to notice that wet diaper and the pacifier in his mouth. :-)
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