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Feuerbach Explanation of God

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Feuerbach takes Hegel's basic insight that God is Spirit (one self-consciousness in two places, one infinite and the other finite) and draws the conclusion that God is nothing except human Spirit. In other words, since the only part of Spirit that we ever really experience is the finite, human part, why do we even need to assume that there is a divine side?  The divine side only knows itself through the human side, so maybe what the human side really knows when it knows God is about itself, about what human really means. One sort of funny example Feuerbach uses is of a bird that believes in God: "If God were an object to the bird, he would be an object to it only as a winged being – the bird knows nothing higher, nothing more blissful than the state of being winged. How ludicrous would it be if this bird commented: “God appears to me as a bird, but 1 do not know what he is in himself.” The highest being to the bird is the “bird-being.” Take from it its conception of “bird-being,” and you take from it its conception of the highest being. How, therefore, could the bird ask whether God in himself were winged? To ask whether God is in himself what he is for me, is to ask whether God is God; it is to raise oneself above God and to rebel against him."

Feuerbach explains that if a bird believed in God it would believe in God as winged because that is the perfect condition of the bird (the bird knows "nothing more blissful than being winged"). The bird would know itself perfectly when it recognized that its God was the reflection of its most blissful existence. What does Feuerbach think humans discover about themselves when they know God as the reflection of their most perfect and blissful existence?

Summary

This question belongs to religion and discusses about Feuerbach’s explanation of God.

Word count: 407

 

 

 

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