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How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflic

The concept dates back to antiquity and could certainly play a role in the formation and development of religionsProjection theories of religionbecame increasingly popular during the modern era, especially among thinkers of a materialistic bent. A whole array of philosophers and social scientists have advocated some form of projection theory. Thomas Hobbes and David Hume posited that religion began as the anthropomorphism of natural phenomena. Ludwig Feuerbach argued that god is the projection of humanity’s positive attributes and ideals. Marx and Engels, modifying Feuerbach, saw religion as an epiphenomenon of the social structure. Friedrich Nietzsche was also influenced by Feuerbach. Emile Durkheim similarly saw religion as a projection of social norms and values. Sigmund Freud claimed that god was a heavenly projection of a father figure.[2] The modern cognitive science of religion also includes ideas similar to earlier projection theories. In this variant, one of the elements of religious cognition is “theory of mind,” which allows humans to project agency onto inanimate objects or posited supernatural beings.[3] Much like Hobbes and Hume, Stewart Guthrie, a forefather of this cognitivist tradition, views anthropomorphism as central to religion.