Talk:Self projection as god

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Origin of the Term.

This article claims that the term SPAG was coined by a Vince Skolny, and cites in Footnote 1 an article by him dated Ocotber 13, 2009.

I believe that the term was in common usage before then. As far as I can discover, it was coined by a forum poster named DTE, and took off from there. The earliest reference I can find is on the atheist forum WhyWontGodHealAmputees in a post dated Feb 1, 2007:

"I believe that all religion is self-projection as God, which is why no Christian takes seriously the Bible applies what he likes and only what he likes to himself and to others."


That post doesn't actually use the acronym SPAG, but if you search the current WWGHA forum for SPAG, it finds dozens of usages before October 2009: for example, one from July '08:

"You are lending characteristics to God based on how appealing they are to you. That's called Spag.",351.msg5211.html#msg5211

May I suggest that in the light of this, the edit attributing the coinage to Vince Skolny be undone?


Gnu.Gnu Ordure (talk) 12:31, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Hey, it's a wiki, go ahead and change it. You obviously know what you're talking about which is better than most! Jack Hughes (talk) 12:46, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Looks fine to me as a first reference, but there's a difference between casual use of a phrase like that and actually "coining" it as a stand-alone term. References to the above should be made, however. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 12:50, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi Jack, thanks for the welcome. I did consider doing the edit, but I thought I should provide my reasoning in a little detail first. (Also, on a technical level, I'm not sure how to delete a footnote - will all the other footnotes be re-numbered automatically?)

Hi Armondikov. I wasn't going to add anything to the article regarding the origin of the acronym, or to attribute it to DTE, I was just going to remove the atrribution to Skolny. But having said that, I just noticed this post by Assyriankey on the '07 WWGHA thread (June 17):

"Self projection as God ? I like that concept. I wonder if it's ever been used on this forum. We could abbreviate it as SPAG maybe ?"

Now that looks like a coinage, doesn't it? And as I said, the term did spread through WWGHA and then to other forums and blogs...

Fair enough. It's best to add it in rather than completely remove any attribution to elsewhere. It's possible the ideas evolved independently with the same, catchy acronym. It's possible it was explained better later, as it doesn't look like those specific posts go into very much detail outside the "hey, I have a catchy soundbite to use". Scarlet A.pngnarchist 13:49, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi, ADK. That's a fair point. But I've been looking into it further; DTE used the term many many times through 2007, and I've so far found five acknowledgments by other members that he did coin the acronym. This is one of his posts from a thread he started called "The American Civil Religion and Self-Projection as God" (May '07):

Note that that post also contains a reference to the acronym.

... and this is a post by another poster in August '07 explaining SPAG in some detail (which also acknowledges DTE as the coiner):

I think that's sufficient evidence to attribute the coinage to DTE. If you agree, I'll make the edit.

Gnu Ordure (talk) 14:56, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Sounds fine to me. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 15:45, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

OK. Also added a bit of historical background and another link. Thanks for your help. Gnu Ordure (talk) 16:29, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Cheers for the extra references. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 16:30, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi ADK. Oh dear. I've found out that Skolny is DTE!! Damn. I considered that possibility, but it seemed unlikely given the two-and-a-half year gap between the first usages. But other members at WWGHA say they are the same person.

So I apologize if this has been a waste of time. I'll edit Skolny's name back in there, but leave the reference as it is. I've contacted Skolny/DTE so he can change it if he wants to. Gnu Ordure (talk) 14:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

That is actually hilarious. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 14:33, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Hey, I'm glad someone's amused. How do I get all this egg off my face? Gnu Ordure (talk) 14:51, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

Hi Concerned Resident. I contacted DTE via WWGHA and asked him the initials of his real name. He replied by simply telling me his name - Vince Skolny. So they are the same person. I'm just about to reply to him and let him know about the amendments here, so hopefully he'll join in this discussion about the re-write. Gnu Ordure (talk) 21:16, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Sw-wiki's edits[edit]

Can anybody actually understand what these are about? I went back to a pre- Sw-wiki version of the page and had no trouble understanding it. Now it's a mass of references to shit that we don't have on the site. I know nothing about this topic so can somebody tell me if this is honest improvement, whitewashing, or bullshit. –SuspectedReplicant retire me 22:20, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

I was going to wait for the editing to settle down before reviewing it. TBH, I wasn't that hot on the concept even in the last form the article was in. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 22:23, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to do a rewrite on this entire article. I looked at some of the sources, and they appear sensible. The problem is that the article has a lot of scope creep (mainly my fault). The philosophical aspects added would be better presented in a concise essay format rather than as lists. I can take try to take a look at that this weekend. I'd say leave the edits for now. The reference names are a mess; but I'll deal with that in the rewrite. I think his work is genuine and interesting. It's the article in general that's lacking focus. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 23:12, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Working on a rewrite[edit]

I'm going to work on rewriting this over the next week or so. I'll incorporate changes added to the existing article if they fit the new format. The rewrite is going to be far shorter and more focussed on the actual topic itself. The current version drifts a little too much in to discussions of morality and theology that are handled elsewhere. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 23:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Not that you need it, but you have my blessings. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:17, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Cheers, your eminence. I'm almost embarrassed about the state I left this in. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 23:23, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Very well, my son. Scarlet A.pngnarchist 23:28, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
My draft is up at User:Concernedresident/spag. I've tried to significantly shorten the article as I don't think this subject requires a long-winded explanation. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 16:17, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

SPAG as a scientific theory[edit]

SPAG seems to be a psychological theory - an attempt to explain the origin of theistic belief. Does it have any scientific evidence to support it? There is none presented in the article. (((Zack Martin))) 12:03, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Is it a scientific theory? It's labelled in the article as a phenomenon, so it's more of an observation than a theory. I'm wondering what sort of "scientific evidence" you're looking for to back this up. A poll? Cow...Hammertime! 21:49, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
I refer you to the theory-ladenness of observation. --X — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 00:27, 08 October 2013 (UTC)


I think God should be capitalised in this context. We're talking primarily about monotheists. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:41, 3 June 2012 (UTC)


The abbreviation of this is so weird to me, because for me SPAG means Spelling And Grammar, as in microediting.±Knightoftldrsig.pngKnightOfTL;DRlavishly loquacious 01:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Error in Syllogism[edit]

This article has it mixed up and oversimplified. Christians (the non-fideist variety, anyway, such as Catholics) hold that morality is intellectually knowable. You couldn't function if you didn't have the capacity to know it to some degree. For instance, the main arguments against homosexuality that the Church teaches are not theological, but philosophical. So there's nothing wrong with the syllogism. Do atheists seriously think that every time a moral question needs an answer, religious people refer to their religious leaders? Please, tell me I'm wrong or I'll lose any faith in humanity I have left. The criticism should emphasize that God is used to rationalize any morally questionable behavior. You can likewise be mistaken in moral reasoning. Christianity doesn't mean the suspension of proper mental operation. --X — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 00:27, 08 October 2013 (UTC)


Can one logically conclude hereby that 'god is a form of ectoplasm'? (talk) 18:12, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Other than the fact they're both fictional I don't see the similarity. Christopher (talk) 18:16, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Another question[edit]

Are we humans 'Self projection #by# God(s)'? Anna Livia (talk) 15:47, 12 January 2018 (UTC)