Inventing God

Jon Mills, author of Inventing God, is interviewed on his new book.

Jon Mills, Psy.D., Ph.D., ABPP is a philosopher, psychoanalyst, and clinical psychologist. He is Professor of Psychology & Psychoanalysis at the Adler Graduate Professional School in Toronto and is the author of many books in philosophy, psychoanalysis and psychology. Recipient of many awards for his scholarship, he received the Otto Weininger Memorial Award for lifetime achievement in 2015, given by the Canadian Psychological Association. He runs a mental health corporation in Ontario, Canada.

In this controversial book, philosopher and psychoanalyst Jon Mills argues that God does not exist; and more provocatively, that God cannot exist as anything but an idea. Put concisely, God is a psychological creation signifying ultimate ideality. Mills argues that the idea or conception of God is the manifestation of humanity’s denial and response to natural deprivation; a self-relation to an internalized idealized object, the idealization of imagined value.

After demonstrating the lack of any empirical evidence and the logical impossibility of God, Mills explains the psychological motivations underlying humanity’s need to invent a supreme being. In a highly nuanced analysis of unconscious processes informing the psychology of belief and institutionalized social ideology, he concludes that belief in God is the failure to accept our impending death and mourn natural absence for the delusion of divine presence. As an alternative to theistic faith, he offers a secular spirituality that emphasizes the quality of lived experience, the primacy of feeling and value inquiry, ethical self-consciousness, aesthetic and ecological sensibility, and authentic relationality toward self, other, and world as the pursuit of a beautiful soul in search of the numinous.

The Philosophy & Psychoanalysis book series is dedicated to current developments and cutting edge research in the philosophical sciences, phenomenology, hermeneutics, existentialism, logic, semiotics, cultural studies, social criticism, and the humanities that engage and enrich psychoanalytic thought through philosophical rigor. With the philosophical turn in psychoanalysis comes a new era of theoretical research that revisits past paradigms while invigorating new approaches to theoretical, historical, contemporary, and applied psychoanalysis. No subject or discipline is immune from psychoanalytic reflection within a philosophical context including psychology, sociology, anthropology, politics, the arts, religion, science, culture, physics, and the nature of morality. Philosophical approaches to psychoanalysis may stimulate new areas of knowledge that have conceptual and applied value beyond the consulting room reflective of greater society at large. In the spirit of pluralism, Philosophy & Psychoanalysis is open to any theoretical school in philosophy and psychoanalysis that offers novel, scholarly, and important insights in the way we come to understand our world.

Inventing God

  • Inventing God

    Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality, 1st Edition

    By Jon Mills

    In this controversial book, philosopher and psychoanalyst Jon Mills argues that God does not exist; and more provocatively, that God cannot exist as anything but an idea. Put concisely, God is a psychological creation signifying ultimate ideality. Mills argues that the idea or conception of God is…

    Paperback – 2016-07-22
    Routledge
    Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

Other Books by Jon Mills

  • Underworlds: Philosophies of the Unconscious from Psychoanalysis to Metaphysics

    1st Edition

    By Jon Mills

    The first book of its kind to provide a detailed analysis of the history of the unconscious from the underworlds of Greek and Egyptian mythology to psychoanalysis and metaphysics, Jon Mills presents here a unique study of differing philosophies of the unconscious. Mills examines how three major…

    Hardback – 2014-04-02
    Routledge

  • Conundrums

    A Critique of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 1st Edition

    By Jon Mills

    2013 Goethe Award Winner! This is the first book of its kind to offer a sustained critique of contemporary psychoanalytic thought favoring relational, postmodern, and intersubjective perspectives, which largely define American psychoanalysis today. Conundrums turns an eye toward the…

    Paperback – 2011-12-22
    Routledge

Books Edited by Jon Mills

  • Humanizing Evil

    Psychoanalytic, Philosophical and Clinical Perspectives, 1st Edition

    Edited by Ronald C Naso, Jon Mills

    Psychoanalysis has traditionally had difficulty in accounting for the existence of evil. Freud saw it as a direct expression of unconscious forces, whereas more recent theorists have examined the links between early traumatic experiences and later ‘evil’ behaviour. Humanizing Evil: Psychoanalytic,…

    Paperback – 2015-12-14
    Routledge
    Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

  • Other Banalities

    Melanie Klein Revisited, 1st Edition

    Edited by Jon Mills

    Melanie Klein is one of the few analysts whose body of work has inspired sociologists, philosophers, religious scholars, literary critics and political theorists, all attracted to the cross-fertilisation of her ideas. Other Banalities represents a long over-due exploration of her legacy, including…

    Paperback – 2006-02-09
    Routledge

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