Is God a psychological crutch?

From answer to Quora question: "Is God a psychological crutch?"

Thanks for the A2A Joel.

I would begin to answer your question in this way:

1) Is marriage a psychological or emotional crutch? Why do people feel the need to express commitment to each other in a ceremony or by signing legal documents? Does this indicate they have weak minds or fickle hearts?

2) Is having children an emotional crutch? Why do people reproduce when clearly the Earth has far too many people in it already? Are people just stupid, are they needily creating "little selves" to affirm their own ego, or are they just slaves to a biological urge that makes them feel better about their life's purpose?

3) Is friendship an emotional crutch? Do people make friends because they are afraid to be alone? Why do they seek out friends when they can get a job, buy a house, drive a car, etc. without them?

4) Is ideology an intellectual crutch? Do people adhere to various beliefs, philosophies or ideologies because they can't think for themselves? Are objectivists, libertarians, anarcho-capitalists or neocons people with incredibly weak minds, who need to be spoon-fed every thought and value they are allowed to have?

5) Is compassion a social, emotional and psychological crutch? Why is compassion venerated by so many people when it isn't required to be successful in business, gain wealth, or attain power and influence in society? Is it just an opiate to medicate away ambition in the weak-willed, so that they truly exceptional will have less competition?

6) Is "rationality" a crutch of the highest order? A huge body of research indicates that what we believe is "rational" is actually just "rationalization;" emotional reasoning that justifies our beliefs and choices. So when someone insists that they are being "rational," is this just a way of excusing themselves from responsibility for their emotional impulses?

7) Is Quora a psychological and social crutch? Do people ask and answer questions on Quora because they have no social life and are intellectually incapable of researching and evaluating data on a given topic? Does Quora just provide the illusion of engagement, education and edification, and distract participants from true emotional, social and intellectual growth?

Hopefully you appreciate where I am going with this line of inquiry. EVERY human tendency or behavior can be viewed as a crutch in some way. Therefore to argue for or against "God being a psychological crutch" inevitably leads to straw man arguments and other logical fallacies (see List of fallacies). This is inescapable when engaging in such grandiose generalizations, without evaluating each specific person in each specific context. Thus we can only responsibly ask things like "How did Timmy's belief in God impact his decision-making with respect to having sex with Tina during their high school senior camping trip?" or something equally targeted and confined.

My 2 cents.


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