Darwin Bedford wearing a T-shirt depicting the international symbol for a wastes container with a religious cross in place of the wastes.

"Everything said in the context of a god being real is mere nonsense."

Darwin Bedford,
Atheists.net author 

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Convergence of Transference Sustains the God Singularity
by Darwin Bedford, Atheist Activist  
e-mail: darwin@atheists.net


The title of this article is a sentence and a statement — "Convergence of transference sustains the God singularity."  Perhaps a good start to understanding this statement is to explore the definitions of its words — click here. 

To paraphrase:  The acceptance of the idea of "God" is comprised of unconscious transference involving multifaceted intrapsychic experiences.  An example of transference follows.

Thousands of years ago people believed the world was flat.  There are various stories told about people wanting to know "What holds up the world?"  The answer generally given was that the world rested on the back of giant elephant.  You can surmise how this made sense to people because the elephant was the largest of animals and they were strong and could carry a heavy weight.  But, what they did not realize at the time was that their question of What holds up ...? had been unconsciously transferred from the world to the elephant.  Sometime later the question was raised "Well what holds up the elephant?  The answer for this question came much easier than it did for the first because there was already a president set an acceptable answer.  The answer given was that the elephant stood on the backs of four giant turtles.  You can surmise how this made sense to people because water was flowing off the edge of the world which was resting on the back of the elephant and turtles were strong and solid and didn't mind the water.  So again the people's question of What holds up ...? was unconsciously transferred from the elephant to the turtles.  Eventually the people realized this and asked "Well what holds up the turtles?"  Something new had to be given for an answer because it was obvious that the usual answer was not going to work.  The best answer that the intellectual authorities could come up with was that it's turtles all the way down.  The question of What holds up ...?  had been postponed to ... "All the way down to where and how far is that anyway?"  Now we know the world is a globe and is being held together by gravity.  However, perhaps this question is still alive today in the form of "How is there gravity?" or even "Where did God come from?"

Which leads us to the definitive no-God analogy.  The answer generally accepted by the majority today, to the question "How did the universe begin?" is "God created it."  What the adherents to this answer refuse to acknowledge is that by way of transference the question of the beginning of the universe has become "How did God begin?"  Is God the created son of another?  Is it gods all the way down?  The writer personally feels that it is ridiculous to consider that there was even a time before the beginning of the universe as nothing can come from nothing.  However, this logic assumes the complete denial of the existence of the spiritual realm (a non-material spirit world).

It may be more prudent to answer "How did the idea of God begin?"  Before theism there was polytheism and before gods there were just spirits or spooks.   People are always looking for answers and as our linguistic abilities developed so too developed ideas of why things are the way they are and why things happen the way they happen.  It is relatively easy to bring concepts into being, but, once brought into being they are difficult to rid of.  There is a tendency to build upon them rather than discard them.  So too does our conception of God have a history of development.       

Simplicity has far more appeal than complexity.  Early gods were also related to the unexplained such as fire and wind.  Things are simpler with only one spook instead of many.  With one god the overwhelming awe of beauty and complexity of the world around us can be explained with one answer.  This is transference of complexity into simplicity.

Another quality that accompanies God is that of Him being a super-overseer, a super-ruler, and generally not unlike a super-parentAdults sometimes joke "I want my mommy" as usually it is the mother that comforts a child.  And usually fathers are the providers of safety and are the final authority.  In the minds of some believers God may be assuming these roles.      

The fear of death or the desire not to die is another factor that is merged with the idea of God.  So too is the idea of life-after-death (the transference of life to life-after-death) converged with God.

Believers in God also have a lifelong partner and an always-present sense of belonging.  So the desire to belong and not be alone is converged with God.  You get all these things with one decision or leap of faith when you subscribe to the God story.  Unfortunately, once a person decides that he or she believes that there must be a single God responsible for all of creation the next behavior mode is to make that decision right.  Like the alcoholic who habitually associates with others who drink, a person tends to align himself with a set of ideas about God.  If a person decides not to stay with the religion of their upbringing then he or she may decide to subscribe to an alternate religion or piece-together ideas to form a set of beliefs.  As a result of this there are many conflicting ideas regarding God.  Groups of people having conflicting ideas of how one should live their life with God creates a very unhealthy atmosphere for the planet.   

We have had a look at some of what keeps God in place in this age of reason.  Perhaps as this transference neurosis or relationship and the distorted misattribution surrounding God is exposed, and it no longer goes undistinguished as such, then so will the support for the concept of God in the real context.  In the title of this article, God  is qualified as a singularity to appease those that feel God is just an idea or a conception rather than an established reality of nature.  There may not be the need to qualify God as over time, meanings of words change.  Sometime in the future it may be understood that when God  is made reference to, that it is the myth of God that is being referred to—just as the Greek gods are considered myth today.   

Current statistics support that there may soon be a critical mass of non-believers that will trigger such a paradigm shift.  Here is a quote from the American Religious Identification Survey, "the greatest increase in absolute as well as in percentage terms has been among those adults who do not subscribe to any religious identification; their number has more than doubled from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001; their proportion has grown from just eight percent of the total in 1990 to over fourteen percent in 2001." 

The question is not whether a critical mass will be reached but rather when it will be reached.  The denouncing of religion is rampant on the Internet.  Perhaps it will take only one generation of Internet savvy people or perhaps it will take longer.

Definitions of the words comprising the title:
convergence:  1:  the act of converging and especially moving toward union or uniformity; 
 2:  the state or property of being convergent  
 3:  independent development of similar characters (as of bodily structure or cultural traits) often associated with similarity of habits or environment 
transference:  1:  an act, process, or instance of transferring : CONVEYANCE, TRANSFER 
 2 the redirection of feelings and desires and especially of those unconsciously retained from childhood toward a new object (as a psychoanalyst conducting therapy)
 3 the unconscious transfer of experience from one intrapsychic or interpersonal context to another 
sustain:  1:  to give support to 
 2:  to supply with sustenance : NOURISH 
 4:  to support the weight of : PROP; also : to carry or withstand (a weight or pressure) 
 5:  to buoy up <sustained by hope> 
 6:  (a) to support as true, legal, or just  (b) to allow or admit as valid <the court sustained the motion> 
 7:  to support by adequate proof : CONFIRM <testimony that sustains our contention> 
God:  1:  capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshiped as creator and ruler of the universe 
 2:  a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality 
 3:  a person or thing of supreme value 
 4:  a powerful ruler 
singularity:  1:  something that is singular : as (a) a separate unit (b) unusual or distinctive manner or behavior : PECULIARITY 
 2:  the quality or state of being singular 

Thank you for the time that you have taken to read this post.  I enjoy reading comments that people may have regarding articles that I write so I invite you to e-mail me at darwin@atheists.net.  
(Written and posted by Darwin Bedford, January 1, 2002)

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Darwin Bedford—active on the internet since 1996
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