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God complex

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A God complex is a colloquial term used to portray a person who acts so arrogantly that he or she might as well believe he or she is a god (self-deification).


Scholarly research

There are few academic works specifically addressing god complexes, although a great deal can be found about narcissism.

According to the book All Mighty: A Study of the God Complex in Western Man, by Horst Richter (ISBN 0-89793-028-2), authoritarian compulsions are related to the rebellious stage of childhood development. Richter argues that the arrested development of such compulsions leads to denial of suffering, self-doubt, and death, and an expectation of servility for women, minorities, and lower class.

Concept used to criticize modernity

A particular use of the god complex is to be found in basic attempts to criticize modern societies. Some groups of people, especially those bound by their own culture to live in a God-based mental universe, usually advance the theory that a collective god complex, rooted in what they call the utopianism of the French Enlightenment lies at the basis of Western modern civilization and is considered by some to have led to the reign of terror that afflicted all of Europe beginning in the late 18th century. Details of such theory are available online at this United States conservative christian movement website. [1]

For a defense of the rationale of modern times from a mainstream philosopher, see Hans Blumenberg, "The Legitimacy of the Modern Age" (Frankfurt, 1966 [in German], Cambridge, 1983 [in English]).

Napoleon Bonaparte

The French Revolution may well, in the opinion of some, illustrate the destructiveness of arrogant reforms attributable to god complexes. The purported god-like intention of intellectuals to reinvent the world, and in particular the retroactively claimed god complex of Napoleon Bonaparte, may have been in some opinions the catalyst for the twenty years of war that ensued. A collective god complex, rooted in the utopianism of the French Enlightenment, is considered by some to have led to the reign of terror that afflicted all of Europe beginning in the late 18th century.[2]

See also

  • God
  • Dunning-Kruger Syndrome
  • Self-efficacy
  • Playing god
  • Pride
  • Arrogance
  • Freethought
  • Natural philosophy
  • Freedom of thought
  • Superiority complex
  • Messianic complex
  • Megalomania
  • Narcissism
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "God_complex". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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