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Featured Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Nakosis, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Earlier this week, I was watching one of the Christian-content religious channels on television (there are two such ‘church channels’ in my city) and I was listening to the televangelist say that “even if you have no friends in this world, God will be your friend.” Immediately after hearing these words, I was struck by how much “God” sounds like the imaginary friends that children sometimes invent to keep themselves company. If your child were to tell you that she played with “Magna” all afternoon, and you know she was alone in her bedroom the whole time, you might worry about your child’s emotional well-being. What, then, should we think when adults say they talk with “God” (or “Jesus”)? Given that there is no more tangible proof for the existence of “God” (or “Jesus”) than there is for “Magna,” are we not justified in asking if “God” (or “Jesus”) is merely an imaginary friend for adults? Indeed, “God” appears to serve the same purpose for adults that “Magna” serves for little children: providing comfort and companionship when no actual human is available.
    Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults? – Dangerous Intersection

    So, people have experiences with God that they are convinced is real. I don't doubt this, having had such experiences myself. A real issue though is adults when claim to know the difference between real and imaginary. The difference being they would conscious of creating an imaginary deity and having this knowledge of conscious creation, they'd know positively themselves as being the source of the character.

    However what if it is not a conscious creation? What if the unconscious mind were capable of creating the experience of such a deity/entity unaware to our conscious knowledge?

    Consider when you dream, you dream of someone you know or perhaps a stranger. You didn't consciously create them, are not directly controlling their actions. They act completely autonomous of your thoughts, you have no direct control over these individuals you experience in your dreams.

    Is it not possible for the God or gods you experience to be one such creation of your unconscious mind? And/or if you do not believe this is the case, how would you know. How could you test it?
     
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  2. Maximus

    Maximus the Confessor

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    Nope
     
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  3. epronovost

    epronovost Active Member

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    I don't think we can compare god belief and imaginary friend belief except in some rarer case linked to serious mental health issue. God belief is more complex and subtle than that.
     
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  4. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Except that it would stand to reason that an adults imaginary friend would be more complex than a childs imaginary friend simply because the adult would be more complicated and subtle.
     
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  5. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    Of course God is an imaginary friend.

    It's a mental puppet people use that can be made to say or do whatever people like.
     
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  6. osgart

    osgart Nothing my eye, Something for sure

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    People literally subject themselves to statements in the Bible. And they are doing it sincerely. So it falls that the mental puppet is their best objective interpretation of what Bible says.
     
  7. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults?

    G-d helps his messengers/prophets against all odds. Doesn't that prove that G-d is most real, please?

    Regards
    ____________
    [58:22]کَتَبَ اللّٰہُ لَاَغۡلِبَنَّ اَنَا وَ رُسُلِیۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ قَوِیٌّ عَزِیۡزٌ ﴿۲۲﴾
    Allah has decreed: ‘Most surely I will prevail, I and My Messengers.’ Verily, Allah is Powerful, Mighty.
    The Holy Quran - Chapter: 58: Al-Mujadalah
     
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  8. PureX

    PureX Veteran Member

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    For some, yes, God is basically an imaginary friend. But for most, God is much more then that, if that at all.
     
  9. Unveiled Artist

    Unveiled Artist Veteran Member

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    Yes and no. Imaginary friend devalues their perception of god. No one would agree with that. It also makes god into a person and not all theist believe god in that manner. It also belittles god as fake even though imaginary friends can be just as important as real ones.

    God is experience. Unless you question their experiences (questioning god), one can say they believe in fairies and it would make no sense at all.

    I mean, do you question your experiences if you were close to a loved one who passed away etc? Do you say what if my loved one was an imaginary friend just because he or she isn't present anymore? Why do you keep heirlooms and photo albums and such if they don't exist?

    If someone said your loved one doesn't exist and you were close to that person, what defense mechanisms will be thrown up?

    It goes deeper. I don't know any believer from "any" religion I asked here that "stick with it" to question is or her own experiences. There's a mental blocker and it has nothing to do with imaginary friends.
     
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  10. Ancient Soul

    Ancient Soul The Spiritual Universe

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    You are wasting your time, he's an atheist, he will never understand.
     
  11. Heyo

    Heyo Well-Known Member

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    I guess questions like this have lead to the creation of the science of psychology. The realization that the mind is capable of making itself the subject of study, the question "why does my brain/mind function in that way?".
    And for a psychologist it would be rational to define "god" as a function of the human brain.
     
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  12. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    It could also go into a type of psychosis.

    The kind you see a ventriloquist suffer from when he get here she gets so involved with the character, the puppet, it actually becomes so real to them it's actually difficult to separate that from the reality.
     
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  13. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    I believe that God is real, but God is not anyone's friend because God has no partners, according to my beliefs.

    “And now concerning thy reference to the existence of two Gods. Beware, beware, lest thou be led to join partners with the Lord, thy God. He is, and hath from everlasting been, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, detached from all things, ever-abiding, unchangeable, and self-subsisting. He hath assigned no associate unto Himself in His Kingdom, no counsellor to counsel Him, none to compare unto Him, none to rival His glory.”
    Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 192

    So, if my beliefs are true that means that having a "personal relationship" with God is impossible because that would be bringing God down to a human level.

    According to my beliefs, we can only relate to God through His Manifestations, who act as Intermediaries between God and man.
     
  14. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    The difference is, imaginary friends are in the imagination of a person. Is Bible imaginary book, purely in someone’s mind? If not, then Bible God is not imaginary person in someone’s mind. Perhaps it could be said that it was imaginary friend for some ancient person who then wrote about Him. But I don’t see how that would work, because Bible is written in long time period by many people and has lot of history and other teaching. And Bible has also information that I think people could not have written without God being real.
     
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  15. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Does the same apply to the X-Men?
     
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  16. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Right wing fabrication regurgitator...so they say.
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    There's no comparison. Your typical childhood imaginary friend
    is very different from God, who has vast real estate holdings & a
    massive bureaucracy with officials wearing really big hats.
     
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  17. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Veteran Member

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    Excellent logic. :)
     
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  18. lukethethird

    lukethethird Well-Known Member

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    Is God merely an imaginary friend for adults?
    Depends on how one defines 'merely.'
     
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  19. 1213

    1213 Well-Known Member

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    By what I know, the one who imagined it had no intention to claim it is a true story.
     
  20. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    So then as long as the author makes the claim it is real...
     
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