Man's Need To Anthropomorphize

Marty Hamrick
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Man's Need To Anthropomorphize

Man's Need to Anthropomorphize


I firmly believe that the the reason people believe in God is man's inborn desire to anthropomorphize everything. We want to put a human face on everything and relate to everything as if it's a member of our family. If we have pets, we see them as our children, often referring to ourselves as a dog or cat's "mommy" or "daddy".On instructions to things we put faces on inanimate objects to make a point. Instructions to care for your VCR tapes can show pictures of a VHS tape lying in the rear window of a car with a sweaty human face, it's just our nature to personify.
This is clearly not an accurate way to view the world. Anyone who knows anything about animals for example will tell you that your dog or cat does not relate to you as "mommy" or "daddy". They're personifying in their own way, they see you as the dominant alpha of the pack or pride, that's why your cat brings freshly killed mice or snakes to your doorstep as a trophy, they are giving back to the alpha who provides food, just as they do in the wild.

Why should the universe be any different? The religious imagine a celestial father figure in their gods and attribute all human characteristics of fathers, functional and dysfuctional to them. God(s) in this viewpoint possesses all of the emotions and with them, the faults of every human being, such as anger, jealousy and possesiveness. Yet the religious have a caveat as usual, saying that God's attributes are "perfect" and ours are "flawed" or of "sin nature" so God is given carte blanche excuse for everything.

It just seems to me that man's need to anthropomorphize has been one of his downfalls with respect to understanding. If you tried to train your dog the same way you did your kid, it wouldn't work very well and if you attempted to train your kid with the same methods you use for your dog, then I'm sure the Child Protective Services would want a word with you at some point at the very least.

That said, why then do we hang onto the apparent error that the universe has a human face? The answer is easy because it's more emotionally comforting to believe that we have celestial parent(s) than to try to face the obvious alien unknown.

If observation on a micro and macrocosmic scale mean anything, to me, it seems that the cosmos is cyclical. Galaxies expand and contract, planets spin on an axis, giving rise to seasons, atoms have their protons, neutrons and electrons orbiting in similar fashion. Given this observation, it seems unlikely to me that the universe behaves in the linear mode of beginning, middle and end, but more like a constant cycle of birth, death and rebirth. This, to me negates the idea that there will ever be a final state for the human soul or spirit,if indeed such a thing really exists.

Now, if we remove the idea of anthropomorphization, what other concepts of God,life after death and other issues can we come up with?