What if this fear was conceptualized in another way, for example, as respect?
In my research on ancient culture and religion, I tend to find that the fear and control aspects were overstated by 20th century thinkers within their various leftist, liberal or humanist schools of dogma. Much of ancient tradition was held together by awe and reverence, with all of its positive connotations.
This could possibly be true. Even the word fear has changed in its meaning over time. A god fearing man is not a man who fears god in the modern sense of the word. He is a man who is aware of god's capability and destructive power and thusly shows a genuine respect. I suppose you could say that fear in its older form is the awareness of the power of something (this is what causes modern fear) but rather than being afraid one gives their admiration.
You two are right. I just have to say that you will feel whether scared or reverently amazed depending on your intellectual perception, that's the exoteric/esoteric perception of God's fear.
No. Materialism is just a lack of belief in the absence of evidence.
Materialism and positivism are not the same thing.
A wider, less limited perspective on reality? I call bullshit. Where's your proof? If you don't have any, get the fuck out of town.
Perhaps what nous is talking about it's an intuitive perception of reality, which is not brought by science, but that in some way or another, it does conform our conception of the world. This could be merely reduced to psychological reasons, in more detail, to neurological reasons, understanding the right hemisphere as the source of religion. On the other hand, if there's a divinity, or a divine principle, it could be understandable that all mystic perceptions could be translated into physical phenomena in order to be remembered and transmitted from a brain to another. Perhaps our human design (I'm not creationist lol) is an organization of matter, aware of itself, which needed religion in order to complement (not to substitute, nor to be substituted by) science.
Obviously I have a subjective (not solipsist) approach towards spirituality, and I think that religion, in spite of its corruption as a social product, is there to help others to awake this perception. Finally, in my opinion, religion is the preservation of its literature.