Even believers in God say that one's faith in the divine can be simply an internalisation of one's deepest aspirations and longings.  We go a step further and say there is no reason to agree with anybody who says they are not worshipping an extension of themselves that they tell themselves is somebody other, a supreme supernatural father.

Religion asks us to take an "innocent until proven guilty approach".  How can we?  They say you find God for he is in your heart so they are saying God is somehow revealing himself to you.  We cannot give the benefit of the doubt here.  It would be like saying, "John was found with the bleeding knife in his hand when Dean was stabbed to death but this proves nothing for what if some alien ray from another world controlled him just for those two seconds when Dean died?"  God is in fact even more important than anything for he is supposedly the reason why anybody at all thinks murder is wrong.  No God would ask you to risk letting the religious take advantage of you. 

You may be outsourcing the goodness and badness and everything else in you to this higher power. Outsourcing is pretending that things that are in you are in fact in a god or somebody or even something else. Why are you doing that? Why are you lying that what is in you is in fact not?

This is false humility for you need to hide your pride even from yourself otherwise others will see it.

If you see no answer to your problems, the temptation will arise to generate a placebo.  You will do this by trying to feel that something has to happen that makes things tolerable or better.  That is dangerous if it is not true.  You cannot banish reality with good thoughts and good feelings.  Also you are telling yourself that the problem is you and you are being too negative.  That is harmful too.  This in religion is often dressed up as, "Evil is a mystery and God's ways are beyond our comprehension."  The doctrine is a projection of your desire and need for a placebo.  Also we adopt the doctrine not because we are able to prove it is a mystery but because others say it is and that influences us.  There is a group placebo happening.  Mystery looks humble but it is not.  It is a very big claim.  To say nobody knows who killed Jane needs as much proof as saying Jack did it.  A claim is a claim.  As with mystery, you need proof for such a big claim.

And you may hate others so that you wish to see only God in them so you can bypass your true evaluation of them. If your good does not belong to you but to God it is the same for their good. You don’t want to see how good they are so you outsource it to God.

Well you cannot maintain that God is the source of all good without pretending that he is the reason you are good not you. He is the only real source of good and all you are doing is letting his love and good flow in an out of you.

Why are you saying the good that is in you is in God not you?

Why are you saying the bad that is in you is in God not you?

God can be a projection of your ideal self - and by ideal self we don't necessarily mean a really good self.

Something inside us is there. We may see it a a threat.  We may see it as horrible.  So we sense it within us but instead of letting ourselves deal with that we prefer not to deal with it.  So we use diversion.  We sense it in others instead even if it is not in them at all.  It is like how the person who wants to steal or fears they might have to do it starts to get too suspicious of their innocent friends.  We do not like the fact that our reality detectors are skewed for we know that reality is not about us and errors have many risky consequences. We fear how we know so little and how truth will always bite back.  If you want to be a sort of God, you deal with how you cannot be by saying you pray and have faith in God.

God can be a sign of indirect self-worship when you are only interested in gaining something from faith and your ideas about God.  Your devotion to God masks the real object of devotion, yourself.

If you think God is merely something we worship to hide the fact that we worship ourselves then why God? Why does it take that shape?

What do the experts say?
C S Lewis said that if God is wish-fulfilment then the fact that this wish fulfilment is so common indicates that there probably is a God. He denies that wanting something to be true makes it true. But he denies that argument works in the case of God. He thinks God makes us need him to exist. But a God of wish-fulfilment is not a God. Plus most people in the world have other ways of dealing with their wishes. They may be content believing that the idol around the corner is their god. Most people are engaging in wish-fulfilment but the style of the wish-fulfilment differs from person to person. God is only one style. The need for wish-fulfilment then has nothing to do with God. It could be God or anything at all.
It is argued by some that even if God is a psychological projection, he can still be real. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is thought that God can use a projection to make himself known and create a relationship with the person. For example, you can want to believe in maths and want maths to be true. Thus it is a projection. But its being a projection does not make it untrue. We want maths to be true for we see we need it and cannot reason without it. The same cannot be said for God.
Freud believed faith in God was not just a projection of the desires and needs a person has, but also there was a reverse projection in the form of believers feeling they had turned their present bad situation on its head by turning to God.
Fromm argued that psychological projection was caused by a need to fit in with authority. It is about fear of the authority. Fromm saw projection not as paranoia but as masochism. God is authority. If Fromm is right, then because God is the ultimate and supreme authority, psychologically projecting a God must be maximal masochism. Maybe you have a sadistic streak which is why you want others to be masochistic too!
Feuerbach argued that many have a psychological need for belief in God and the afterlife and because of this dependency they accept belief in these things and in religion to deal with it. He believed that belief in God is a psychological projection, in other words, you need a friend and you make up one to fulfil this need. Hans Kung agrees with this (page 50, Eternal Life?). He says that if this is behind belief in God, it does not mean there is no God. True. But it means we worship an idol not the real God if there is one. Feuerbach's argument has been used by anti-religionists to demonstrate that religious faith is a neurosis or a delusion and dangerous.
Feuerbach said we worship God, who does not exist, because we want to express our dependence and helplessness. Against that Christians say, it could be insisted that unbelief in God could arise from our wish to be independent of God. Unbelief could be wish fulfilment too. True. But if unbelief is making a huge effort to be right then it is not wish-fulfilment. Believers assume God exists on paltry evidence or just because their parents told them he exists. That is wish-fulfilment.
Feuerbach held there was no God for God is just a psychological projection we use to get certain psychological benefits. He said this because he noticed that there are emotional reasons for believing in God. Against this it is said that if we are to be sceptical about anything people believe just because part of them believes it because they want to then we will believe nothing people say. But this is a misunderstanding. Feuerbach was not saying God is just a psychological projection because people want to believe. If they let themselves be guided by the evidence then he is not. He was saying that if the reasons for worshipping God are too emotional then God is a psychological projection. It is possible to have evidence for God and still worship him not because he exists but because you please yourself in doing so.
Suppose there is no evidence for psychological projection or against it. People have to tell us if they follow God for their feelings or because they have evidence of a relationship with him. But they are not going to admit it if it is psychological projection. Psychological projection would mean their worship of God is self-deception. The only sure way would be to observe how they claim to love and worship God and how they behave in a way that is inconsistent with that love. Most believers make little effort to promote God. They do not put him first. They may believe in fatalism and still act as if their fate is in their hands not God's.

Hans Kung said that atheism can be a psychological projection too. That is only true of people who for some reason don't want God to exist, perhaps they see God as a father-figure and they hated their own fathers. I would say he is right. But surely belief in God being a projection is more likely than acceptance of atheism?  It is easier.  You are not going to use mathematics as a projection of yourself the way you can use a person.  How you think of a person real or not says a lot about you.  An atheist projector and a religious one cannot both do the outsourcing to the same extent.


To say I am always right will make people avoid me. They will laugh at me behind my back. To move this sad arrogance to a God who is always right is a neat trick. It means I think he is doing the “never wrong” for me. Discuss.

Well is it humble for you to talk and act as if you know somebody is incapable of erring?  You are trying to be arrogant in such a way that you can still get along with people.  You would do this to protect yourself.  This is actually one of the most obvious instances of projection.

Psychological projection must never be underestimated. And because it is protecting something with a lie it may be impossible to detect in most if not virtually all cases. You depend on the person to search themselves and tell you. But can you trust them as the problem is their lying?  No.  There is no humility where people need you to ignore things and help support your lie.  Religion says pride is replacing yourself with God.  In that it is right for once!


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