Dangerous Thought #12 – God Won’t Let You Grow Up

The Joy of Prayer is real  –  like the love one feels for a father or mother. 

The feeling of connection to God which one has during prayer is similar to one’s love of Dad and Mom. And there is a good reason for this.

Thanks to evolution we are born with a strong desire to find our parents – it is an unshakable drive and we would die without it.
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And finding that parent is very satisfying indeed. Food, safety and comfort is soon to come your way as your parents protect you and reassure you that all is well.

As we grow, this infantile drive naturally fades as we lose our baby hair, baby teeth, baby skin and ultimately we find our individuality through independence.

But in religion, the baby’s longing for the parent is not allowed to die off.
Instead, this drive is re-directed through indoctrination from the real parent toward an imaginary God. And not surprisingly, the joy of praying to that God can be just as profound as when one is talking to a parent. A belief in a God is a continuation of the parental assurances one received as a child.

And God is better than a real parent in that way. Because this super parent is accessible at all times, and unlike real parents, will never die or leave you.  And just as parents make plans for you when you are young, God has a plan for you, too. Only grander. In a world of uncertainties this can be very comforting.

So religion is the continuation of Mommy & Daddy.
The neurologists and psychologists* have confirmed that Jesus was right all along:


“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
– JESUS (Matthew 18:3)


We are biologically wired for this feature to die off.
But Priests, Pastors, Imams and assorted gurus keep it going. For a fee.

It is a childlike dependence on a fantasy.
Next time you see grownups praying together have some sympathy and take a moment to consider they have been taught to act like a group of adult babies; to mutter supernatural wishes to a super parent.

And worst of all, any attempt to question the God is roundly forbidden. It is met with a cry of ‘blasphemy.’ One is told to shut up, be loyal and have faith in the Holy ‘Father’ despite the complete lack of any evidence that any of it was ever real.


“One must be born again” 
– Jesus (John 3:8)


No, Thanks.
Been there. Done that.


* “Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.” –Sigmund Freud, New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis,1933.
“Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.” –Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion, 1927
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About Atheist Max

I'm a former Christian who became Atheist in middle age. My blog is a journal of how I lost religion and discovered a better life. For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State
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5 Responses to Dangerous Thought #12 – God Won’t Let You Grow Up

  1. Actually it is Progressive government with its false promise to end poverty and create utopia that exploits the flaws in human nature.

    Prayer is what human beings do. Human beings are in a state of prayer 24/7, 365.

    The problem is that human beings, of all creatures are not able to fulfill their nature like all the other creatures do.

    So prayer, like every other ability of man, must be learned, practiced diligently until it becomes a virtue (an excellence).

    Further, prayer is actually a manifestation of God’s will, not the will of the individual human being.

    The atheist rejects prayer firstly because he has no idea what it really is, and secondly because it doesn’t conform to the central dogma of atheism, that is, “Everything just happens all by itself.”

    That human beings create civilizations which are powered by religion is strong, irrefutable evidence that human beings have somehow surpassed evolution.

    For what other creature other than man, masters, controls, designs and even destroys the environment created by nature?

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    • Lauren Beck says:

      In response to your point that no other creature (besides humans) controls, designs and even destroys their environment: Beavers build damns & clear forests. Blue-green algae made the oxygen atmosphere, slowly undermining its own global dominion. Ant colonies significantly alter environments, especially considering their scale. Pachyderms (the elephant & mastadon family) destroys trees & forestland, and so exerts selective pressure in favor of grasslands and deserts. Oh, and bacteria or viruses form symbiotic relationships with multi-celled organisms and then later take over and kill their host.

      Not all atheists reject prayer. (There are atheist traditions within Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism–over half the global population–which embrace prayer.)

      If human beings are in a state of prayer 24-7-365…how is it something that must be learned? I didn’t learn to breathe–it’s part of my default setting. Neither can I choose to reject breathing…there are enough physiological and psychological consequences which ensure that even a brief experiment will return results which dissuade me from trying it again. If I suffer a trauma which stops my brain from coordinating my breathing, i die. There is no middle ground, no time to re-learn, b/c I have lost an essential part of being alive.

      I agree that government can create destructive illusions and exploit the less appealing aspects of human nature–just look at the controversies over Constitutional Law: some believe the Constitution is a sacred document, arguing for a strict adherence to the written word and the implied intentions of the founding fathers…others believe in the Constitution’s sanctity and that its values can be translated to the realities of industrial, digital life. Still others think the constitution was simply a founding document of a rebellious offshoot of England, shaped by English politics and economics, establishing first slavery (and eventually wage slavery) in favor of an exploitative mercantile and proto-industrial system–inherently opposed to basic human values. Faith goes beyond the church doors. Not all faith is bad. Faith should be scrutinized. Good faith, faith worthy of someone’s dedication, will not only endure but will be better for it.

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      • Atheist Max says:

        Lauren,
        You said, “In response to your point that no other creature (besides humans) controls, designs and even destroys their environment…”

        I don’t see where I said that.

        In any case Atheists don’t believe in a god so they don’t pray. but Atheists may meditate, contemplate or reflect. They may use music or poetry for this – but there are no prayers to a god.

        As an Atheist, I have no faith in anything. But I do have confidence in countless millions of things based on past performance: Love, gravity, laws of nature, red lights, etc…

        “Faith in oneself” is not a real thing. One already has evidence of one’s existence and knows what similar people have already accomplished and the evidence shows that pushing limits is attainable – pushing limits is not about faith.

        Confidence in one’s own determination is sufficient – one does not require or benefit from using a word like ‘faith’.

        To have Faith is to pretend something is true despite any evidence that it can ever be true.
        Confidence based on past experience is always the better choice.

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  2. The one thing I would respond to any atheist is this. I as a Christian do live by faith. I have never seen heaven. I have never seen God with my own eyes. My intellect and reason tell me that He exists. The witness of the apostles and the martyrs tell me that He exists. The complexity of all created things tell me that He exists. But in the end, I will not know for certain that He exists until I die and I see Him. But, at the same time, you don’t know that, for a fact, there is no God. You have no way to prove beyond all doubt that there is no God. You have never died, come back, and seen for a fact that there is no God. And yet, eternity is the consequence of your disbelief as well as my belief. That is why atheism does not make sense to me. You are wagering your eternity on the FACT that there is no God. There is no life after death, either in complete union with God, Heaven, or complete separation from God, Hell. If I am wrong, what have I lost? Even on Earth,the Christian life is a life of trying to do unto others as I would have them do to me. My life on Earth is blessed because of my union with God, even right now, here on Earth. If there is no God, I will have lived a very happy life on Earth, and then go into oblivion. What have I lost? If you are wrong however, you lose a very great deal, your immortal soul, into the place created from the beginning for all who willfully reject God and His love and mercy. Who exactly is the one who is acting against reason?

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    • Atheist Max says:

      I don’t claim that God does not exist. I only say I do not believe in any god I have yet heard about.

      I don’t say your God is impossible – only that I do not believe that it is real.

      If someone had evidence of some kind I would be glad to learn of it.
      In the meantime, it seems that all religions should be treated very skeptically until such time as a god can be agreed upon by all people.

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