God responds too much to our desires for him not to be a human invention.

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Parent debateThis argument is used in the debate Does God exist?.
Argument forThis argument is a justification of The concept of God is a human invention.
Argument againstThis argument is an objection to Humanity has a mysterious need for transcendence.
Keywords: God[ edit ].


The image of God responds to an infantile desire (the need to be protected by the father): "As for religious needs, their connection with the infantile state of absolute dependence, as well as with the nostalgia for the father that this state arouses, seems to me irrefutable [...]" (Freud, The Future of an Illusion).


“God, or the absolute dream, or the dreamed-of absolute: an infinity of love, justice and truth... I'm for it, like most people, I mean, I'd prefer it to exist; but that's not a good enough reason to believe in it, and it's even a good enough reason to reject it. Some people are astonished by this: "If you prefer God to exist," they say, "then you must believe! But no, on the contrary! It's precisely because I'd prefer God to exist that I have strong reasons to doubt his existence. I'd also prefer there never to be another war, poverty, injustice or hatred. But if someone tells me that's going to happen tomorrow, I think he's a dreamer, mistaking his desires for reality - or a terrorist, if he pretends to impose his dream on me. Why would I prefer God to exist? Because he corresponds to my strongest desires. If I were inclined to believe, that would be enough to dissuade me: a belief that corresponds so closely to our desires, there's good reason to fear that it has been invented to satisfy them (at least fantastically). After all, let's face it, reality is not in the habit, to say the least, of fulfilling our expectations to such an extent.”

André Comte-Sponville, The spirit of atheism, Albin Michel, 2006.


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