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God As A Cognitive Reservoir


Legion
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I want to run an idea by you guys and it's pretty simple. What do you think of the notion of God as a cognitive (i.e. mental/emotional) reservoir? The idea is that in good times when things are going well for people they thank, praise and worship a construct of their own minds and this fills the reservoir, so to speak. Then when times are bleak and things are rough for people they draw upon this very same construct for encouragement and strength.

 

What say you?

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Guest Babylonian Dream

Such an idea fits the modern conception well, but the more primitive religions (I say this because virtually all of them had this in common) were more of agency attribution gone crazy. Everything had to be intentionally caused by something. This isn't just a logical fallacy continually hammered out by creationists, it's something we're wired from birth to assume, simply because its more useful when trying to escape a predator, than would be trying to figure everything else out first:

 

1) Is that bunch of matter 35 ft from me moving towards me? Yes.

2) Is that matter moving towards me, now 10 feet away alive? I presume so.

3) What is that bunch of living matter, now 2 feet away from me, about to do? ..... *crunch crunch*

 

So much easier to skip 1-2, not to mention the myriad of other steps you'd have to take in between, as you'd actually survive that way. The problem is, we're not longer in such a survival situation. We still ascribe agency to everything because we are wired to.

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That's very similar to the concept of projection in one of the schools of psychology. God is,at any given time, who people want him/her/it to be. With the imposition of institutional religious authority, there is much mental gymnastics to be done to form this projection into an image one can live with. There are the theological constructs that religion imposes upon people's minds. You might say that god becomes a combination of personal projection and the collective projection of religious authorities. But the end result is similar: god is the product of human psychology and human intellectual struggle.

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