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Projection theory

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Projection theory is a theoretical concept put together by those who do not believe in a personal God to explain how such a belief came to be embedded in human cultures across the world. The conclusion that is reached is that it is psychological tendency to create a god force with human like qualities that match the cultural norms of the society. German philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach viewed this as an unconscious way to deal with uncertainty. Karl Marx used a derivative of it to chastise religion as the 'opiate of the masses' and Sigmund Freud picked up the same theory, but added the idea of wish fulfillment as to the driving force.[1]

Interestingly, Paul Vitz, in his research into atheism, turns the tables when he finds that there is a correlation between atheism and absent or abusive fathers. He therefore concludes that far from there being a need to make up God, there is actually a need to create atheism as a way to put distance from a missing father influence.

A.C. Ewing (1899-1973) proposed a variation of this; what might be called 'a reverse takeover bid': if religion, specifically the concept of God, is an unhealthy capitulation to father-figures; it is not obvious that emancipation from such an affliction (as in present day secular, atheistical society) has been markedly an improvement on meta-ethical behaviour.

References

  1. http://blogcritics.org/archives/2005/04/05/000148.php
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