HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

Is God Something we Invent to Comfort Ourselves With?
 
Nobody seems to really love God very much.  A loving relationship with God can only be possible if there is give and take on God's side and yours. God and you both have to become vulnerable.  God cannot really give for he cannot be hurt or made vulnerable.  So it is no wonder that believers are more in love with their ideas of God than God.  It is really just about them.

Religion regards God as a person who has made all things and who is all-powerful and all-knowing and all-love. It says that atheists debunk a caricature of God and not God. Religion arrogantly accuses atheists of not knowing what God means while boasting that it does know. Oh the arrogance! Humans are prone to error and prejudice so what gives religion the right to boast that its vision of God is accurate and not a caricature? No wonder psychiatrists think that God is based on wishful thinking.
 
And if God does not exist, then though atheists might caricature religion's perception of God, they cannot be said to be caricaturing God.
 
Freud said that the worship of God and belief in God is not about whether there is such a being or not but about comforting ourselves - its an attempt at wish-fulfilment. This the Projection Theory.
 
Christians say this view presumes that there is no God whereas the right thing to do is to look at the evidence first and then make up one's mind. Christians reject the thought "The worship of God and belief in him is us trying to comfort ourselves with this notion (it's a wish projection) which means the notion is false."
 
The reply is that the Projection Theory is not saying there is no God. It is only addressing the psychological attractions of worship and belief. Even if there is a God, you may still be worshipping a God that is your own invention or projection.
 
Freud also said that God was based on your own father. You invent a father in the Heavens modelled on your own father.
 
I would prefer if he had said that God was a projection modelled on your father or mother or both. Though God is described as male, many Christians go on as if they were safe in God's arms and womb and are attracted by the feminine emotions they attribute to God.
 
Freud did however notice that religious people acted the same way as neurotics. He saw religious ritualism as showing that religion was a form of obsessional neurosis.
 
Christians say that Freud's theory was just his prejudice because he never psychoanalysed any believer in God and found the psychological causes. Apparently no such psychoanalysis has ever been attempted.
 
Freud became a psychoanalyst just because he was an atheist so it was more than just a prejudice. All the psychoanalysis he undertook confirmed him in his atheism. He did not need to attempt psychoanalysis specifically to find out the causes of belief in God. Indeed why would he have done that and discredited his profession? He was against religion and considered it dangerous but he didn't want to go so far as to treat everybody who believes as being on a par with manic depressives or schizophrenics.
 
Christians say the projection theory cuts both ways. If Christians for example might be kidding themselves that there is a God because they want a father figure atheists could be kidding themselves that there is no God fro they don't want to believe that they have to answer for their actions to a deity. Perhaps some atheists had bad fathers and hate God because they see God as a father figure. Certainly it may be unkind for religion to make out that God is father.
 
Christians say that the reason we desire God is because there is a God. This when studied carefully is an admission that Freud was right.
 
An excellent proof that Freud was right is from prayer. People feel good about praying for prayer is based on trust in God and it feeds that sense of trust. Trust is a feeling that the bad will pass and better days will come. But evil by definition is uncontrollable. If God allows evil for a greater purpose as religion says, it follows that he may have to put up with evil forever.
 
Also if one prays for something and doesn't get it, the failure will be blamed not on God but on the person's alleged lack of faith. Jesus said that prayers made without faith are not replied to by God. This is like how psychics also blame their failures on lack of faith. The person shows a wish to distort the evidence that prayer does nothing special. If prayer is the basis of his faith in God, then his faith is a projection of his own desires.
 
Having to do something or believe something in order to be okay with God or right with him invariably makes you superior to those who do differently. You will look down on them. God is the supreme good so those who do not believe or worry about God are therefore evil and inferior to you the believer. Belief in God invariably makes you proud even if that pride takes the form of displays of humility. You become not humble but "humble". Belief in God is not about God but about you.
 
The believers in God complain that there is no proof or good evidence for Freud's theory. But is there any for their insistence that he is wrong? No.
 
We must accept Freud's theory of God as being wish fulfilment as being a good one and of being better than any alternative view.
 
Also, trust in God and religion is all about trust in the good and honest intentions of those who set up beliefs about God and who set up religion. Faith is not really put in God or in religion but in the intentions of those who claim to reveal and explain and verify them.

 

John exists. To believe in John means you sense him as a person instead of sensing him just as an object or thing. To believe in him as an object is to believe in him as an object but not really in him. You need to believe in John as a person to really believe. To believe in John as an object is to believe in the wrong John. It is to give yourself the wrong perception of him and excluding him from being perceived as he really is.

Apply the point I am trying to make to God. Belief in God as a something or an entity is misplaced because of the perception issue and means believing in the wrong God. Even a God like God is not God. It is not enough. Only God's grace then can give you a perception of God that elevates you to the real God. 

 

Another reason a God like God that is not God is not good enough, is that God is about faith not belief. Faith is like belief but is about finding and exploring a relationship with God and is probably best understood as meaning loyalty that is forged by a very close mutual relationship. Belief is impersonal but faith is personal and about love and relationship. To objectify God and believe in that is not to believe in God at all. You must see him as the supreme love and connect. Belief in God then can be atheistic in its own way.

 

Belief in God as infinite tender love is supposed to help fix what is wrong with human nature which is why idolatry even an accurate image of God can be an idol is so corrupting and needs opposition and challenge.


Belief in God is good for nothing unless it is a part of faith. Belief in God in a sense is not even really possible without being a part of faith. Belief in God as in object is too degrading to God to be called proper belief.  God and relationship go together.


To consider true belief in God which means faith then demands a bias. God is that which is true but which is too good to be true which automatically means bias.

 

When you consider how bare belief in God turns God into an idol and even faith risks too much bias which is also idolatry but not as bad it is wise to assume the believer is not adoring or promoting God but a projection.  They are projecting their darker needs and selfish ones and not just their noble ones on to a God figure.