The quote below is from a Wiki article entitled Imaginary Friend. Near the end of the article it mentioned that psychologists disagree as to whether this belief constitutes a serious psychiatric disorder. That aside I would like to concentrate on the possible religious aspect this predominantly mental disorder may hold. When you read the quote you will notice a strong resemblance to theistic belief. I would argue that the Imaginary Friend syndrome is not restricted to young people but is an adult illness as well. People tend to not include God belief as imaginary but if you read the quote below then it sounds hauntingly real that a majority of the world suffers from this malady. Why God belief is excluded is anyone's guess.
From Wiki: Imaginary friends and imaginary companions are a psychological and social phenomenon where a friendship or other interpersonal relationship takes place in the imagination rather than external physical reality. Imaginary friends are fictional characters created for improvisational role-playing. They often have elaborate personalities and behaviors. They may seem real to their creators, though they are ultimately unreal, as shown by studies. The first studies focusing on imaginary friends are believed to have been conducted during the 1890s.
Imaginary friends are made often in childhood, sometimes in adolescence, and rarely in adulthood. They often function as tutelaries when played with by a child. They reveal, according to several theories of psychology, a child's anxieties,fears, goals and perceptions of the world through that child's conversations. They are, according to some children, physically indistinguishable from real people, while others say they see their imaginary friends only in their heads. There's even a third category of imaginary friend recognition: when the child doesn't see the imaginary friend at all, but can only feel his/her presence.
Personally I have never had an imaginary friend. I am an atheist also. Is there a correlation? I'm sure there are atheists who did or still do have an imaginary friend. However the question is this: Is God real in the worldly sense (physical, spiritual) or is he only real in the mind of those who are affected by a mental disorder? I could easily understand God knowing He's a theist's imaginary friend. I could even accept God if I was convinced that His existence is really due to some internal wiring in the brain. I could not be critical of any theist if I knew they were afflicted in such a way.
What did you think about he last line of the quote? Does it relate to adulthood too?
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