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3 Bumps

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.

~Richard Burton

This is profound to me. Is the idea of God nothing more than a projection of ourselves? The part of us who thinks they deserve to be worshipped and thought of as divine?


Asked by IhartU at 7:39 AM on Feb. 23, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
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Answers (24)
  • Seeing as there is no evidence based on objective facts that a god exists, the only place to find god is on the pages of a sacred text, written by man, coming from the mind of man. God is a hypothesis. Man can't help but to project himself into the hypothesis, there would be no other way to identify with the character. If you think about it, what part of man wants to be worshiped as if he is somehow greater than another man? The ego/mind. There is nothing that divides us amongst each other more, than the mind. So the god hypothesis is thought to be the unmoved mover, the infinite, omnipotent one, and man identifies with that notion, enabling an illusory sense of humility and division, in what is nothing more than ego. The ego wants to want, more than it wants to have. In the case of the god hypothesis, this incessant, unfed addiction is made manifest.

    Answer by clarity333 at 11:14 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • I like this quote! I like it a lot, in a tongue in cheek kind of way. I certainly know a lot of people who profess a belief in God and yet, at heart, are still out for themselves. They missed that part about loving their fellow man, apparently!

    In terms of personified deities, I think it's interesting too. I was never able to see God in terms of 'personhood.' To me, that just seemed so.... limiting. I always just thought of God as vast, formless, all-encompassing everything... the 'fertile void' which is empty of form but gives rise to all forms. However, I know people who find that concept too broad or vague and would prefer to relate to God as a father figure or mother figure. I think it's just the way that different minds work that make these concepts more or less approachable... in the sense that our idea of God is a projection of our own minds, I think we are all 'making God in our own perspective.'

    Answer by Freela at 4:25 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • God lives in us, so yes he is a projection of ourselves.
    Some of us anyways.
    Some people are filled with piss and vinegar.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 7:41 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • There is some truth to this, but it isn't the whole truth....we each have a divine spark, and there is a Creator, our divine spark comes from the Creator, but we do have a tendency to view God in an image that we can understand because we have a limited ability to understand...

    Answer by Anna92464 at 7:42 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • I really don't feel I deserve to be worshiped, I'm one part of a greater creation. I just feel a really strong belief that there is more to our universe then we can see. When I pray I can connect to this spiritual universe, that's why my faith is important to me. 

    The quote is very jaded, there are so many different experiences people can have when it comes to religion or faith I don't think it's as blanketed and one dimensional as Richard Burton felt.


    Answer by RyansMom001 at 7:54 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Well I've already answered this in the past to the point of agreeance. This is one of the reasons the same God can vary among those who profess belief in him. I think it goes very much in tandum with the following quote.

    "You can safely assume you have made God in your own image when he hates all the same people you do."- Anne Lamott

    Though one professing belief in a God might claim they are separate, ask the same person of a hot-button issue and see what happens........excuses are made to justify their hate for one thing while absolving themselves of another and even believers in teh same God will disagree. This is because they have personified theur God with their own personality. Now ask how many of them are certain they'll be with God after they die........You won't find a single one that claims to know other than "They are Saved' while condemning others.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 10:08 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • This is not profound. Study of the bible shows that this attitude is and has always been of Lucifer the fallen angel , the god of world (not Creator) . You are finding out that this is his characteristic and many humans have followed accordingly.

    Answer by ptomom678 at 12:01 PM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • This may be my new favorite quote! Man has always created his gods to reflect his sexual preferences, his prejudices, his morals. You know that your god is a creation of your own mind when he hates the same people that you do (gay-bashers, anyone??), and wants the same things that you want.

    Answer by witchqueen at 11:44 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • Anna, where does this idea that we have 'limited ability' to understand come from? To me, this makes humans sound like pee-brained morons who lack the brain capacity to get the 'jist' and this very idea can and is used to control religious people and make the idea of God seem more plausible. It's like an excuse- it makes no sense because you just can't understand because you're too stupid...


    Comment by IhartU (original poster) at 7:45 AM on Feb. 23, 2011

  • I think this is probably true if you think of God or god(s) as beings, but I'm not sure it's true of those who think of the concept of God as an impersonal force or the Universe itself. That's a concept of God that's not anthropomorphized at all, so it's not projection of any human qualities.

    Answer by pam19 at 8:37 AM on Feb. 23, 2011