Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

Patrick H

When the worship of God is just selfish
It is easier for people to throw their idols out on to the dump than it is to drive out the idols in their heads and imagination.
Religious people often believe and/or act as if good is a person and that person is God. They inconsistently treat God as goodness one minute and as a person the next. It is like they call rules good and worship the rules in the form of God. We can engage in reification. Reification would be when you think that something that is merely an idea is a real thing. For example, take justice. It is not a thing. We always have to try and stop ourselves from thinking it is! The risk of reification is very great for our minds do not really like thinking in abstract terms and it leaves us emotionally cold. You would need to be extremely devoted to God and able to provide incredible evidence for his existence to avoid suspicion of reification. In fact a believer should be assumed to be engaged in reification until proven otherwise. An excellent example of something akin to reification takes place when Catholics pretend that a wafer is Jesus Christ. To say something becomes Jesus without changing is pretending.
Though a morality based on rules is callous when there is no attention paid to the individual case, the morality is STILL callous if it does. Why? Because the motivation is to fulfil a rule and not a person even if the person benefits. To worship good as God is to worship evil and that worship manifests and thrives on our selfishness.
We conclude that the person who worships God, worships himself or herself by proxy.
If a man invents a God or a version of God, and a religion worships and preaches this God even centuries later in one sense it worships the man’s creation. It treats the man's doctrines about God as God. It worships an idol made from doctrine. It adores not God but how God is seen. Whether there is a real God or not that is what is happening. That is one sense. In another sense it worships it own creation for it participates in and enables his inventing and his invention. It invents again what was invented before. It renews his invention and makes it its own. Man does not invent God and get others to worship. He gets others to invent with him.
People want to believe in something that can make life okay or bearable in times of trouble. That’s what’s attractive about believing in God.
And how does faith in God make life bearable? Because no matter what happens we tell ourselves God has a plan and we have an extremely important and indispensible role to play in that plan. We use God to delude ourselves about our absolute importance.
It is delusional because it contradicts the notion that if God is perfect and free he was under no obligation to make us or make our lives the way they are. It is irrational. So believers have to adore something that cannot really be called a God in order to feel okay about living.
If you think God is merely something we worship to hide the fact that we worship ourselves then why God? Why does it take that shape?
C S Lewis said that if God is wish-fulfilment then the fact that this wish fulfilment is so common indicates that there probably is a God. He denies that wanting something to be true makes it true. But he denies that argument works in the case of God. He thinks God makes us need him to exist. But a God of wish-fulfilment is not a God. Plus most people in the world have other ways of dealing with their wishes. They may be content believing that the idol around the corner is their god. Most people are engaging in wish-fulfilment but the style of the wish-fulfilment differs from person to person. God is only one style. The need for wish-fulfilment then has nothing to do with God. It could be God or anything at all.
It is argued by some that even if God is a psychological projection, he can still be real. The two are not mutually exclusive. It is thought that God can use a projection to make himself known and create a relationship with the person. For example, you can want to believe in maths and want maths to be true. Thus it is a projection. But its being a projection does not make it untrue. We want maths to be true for we see we need it and cannot reason without it. The same cannot be said for God.
Freud believed faith in God was not just a projection of the desires and needs a person has, but also there was a reverse projection in the form of believers feeling they had turned their present bad situation on its head by turning to God.
Fromm argued that psychological projection was caused by a need to fit in with authority. It is about fear of the authority. Fromm saw projection not as paranoia but as masochism. God is authority. If Fromm is right, then because God is the ultimate and supreme authority, psychologically projecting a God must be maximal masochism.
Feuerbach argued that many have a psychological need for belief in God and the afterlife and because of this dependency they accept belief in these things and in religion to deal with it. He believed that belief in God is a psychological projection, in other words, you need a friend and you make up one to fulfil this need. Hans Kung agrees with this (page 50, Eternal Life?). He says that if this is behind belief in God, it does not mean there is no God. True. But it means we worship an idol not the real God if there is one. Feuerbach's argument has been used by anti-religionists to demonstrate that religious faith is a neurosis or a delusion and dangerous.
Hans Kung said that atheism can be a psychological projection too. That is only true of people who for some reason don't want God to exist, perhaps they see God as a father-figure and they hated their own fathers. I would say he is right. But surely belief in God being a projection is more likely than acceptance of atheism?
Feuerbach said we worship God, who does not exist, because we want to express our dependence and helplessness. Against that Christians say, it could be insisted that unbelief in God could arise from our wish to be independent of God. Unbelief could be wish fulfilment too. True. But if unbelief is making a huge effort to be right then it is not wish-fulfilment. Believers assume God exists on paltry evidence or just because their parents told them he exists. That is wish-fulfilment.
What helps those who need comfort and a sense of meaning in life is belief. Belief is your creation, your self-empowerment. So its not God that helps but belief in God. But why does the belief need to be in God? Why not believe in your power to find strength within, a strength that is all your own? That would be better and more effective.
Feuerbach held there was no God for God is just a psychological projection we use to get certain psychological benefits. He said this because he noticed that there are emotional reasons for believing in God. Against this it is said that if we are to be sceptical about anything people believe just because part of them believes it because they want to then we will believe nothing people say. But this is a misunderstanding. Feuerbach was not saying God is just a psychological projection because people want to believe. If they let themselves be guided by the evidence then he is not. He was saying that if the reasons for worshipping God are too emotional then God is a psychological projection. It is possible to have evidence for God and still worship him not because he exists but because you please yourself in doing so.
Suppose there is no evidence for psychological projection or against it. People have to tell us if they follow God for their feelings for because they have evidence of a relationship with him. But they are not going to admit it if it is psychological projection. Psychological projection would mean their worship of God is self-deception. The only sure way would be to observe how they claim to love and worship God and how they behave in a way that is inconsistent with that love. Most believers make little effort to promote God. They do not put him first. They may believe in fatalism and still act as if their fate is in their hands not God's.
Why is it that religions with the most charm and charisma and dynamism get the converts? The answer is that it is not so much the message that gets the converts as those who sell it. Enthusiasm is contagious. If religion were really about God, people wouldn’t be so easily swayed by what others say and feel in making up their minds. It is about fitting in with the neighbours or the family or becoming part of an exciting plan. The religious person, though claiming that God comes first, in fact puts God in a niche so it is themselves they are really out to satisfy. They are not interested in God except as a fantasy tool to please themselves with.
Good gives us pleasure. That is why it attracts us. When we do good, we do it not because it is good or because God wants us to but because we want to. Therefore we are our own God. We are lying if we pretend to oppose erotica on television or abortion or injustice for the love of God.
The Mormons worship a God the Father who is little more than a resurrected man with magical powers. The Catholics worship a God the Father who is completely different: he is spirit and totally unlike man. Put a Catholic theologian and a Mormon theologian in a room and each one will be convinced his God is real and that the others is false. But one of them is wrong despite what he thinks and feels and no matter how many good works he says his view of God inspires him to undertake. One of them is creating his God. One of them is serving himself by serving his own creation. That is what many people would think. I would go a step further. Since psychologically they feel the same and their faith works the same way, BOTH of them are creating their Gods. Both of them are idolaters. Atheists are idolaters too but at least we are honest about it. We admit that we prefer this world and ordinary life to any God. When the believer is outraged at blasphemy against his God, it is outrage against his own creation and therefore himself that he is worried about.

No religion can rely on miracles or reason to justify belief in its view of divinity. When anyone starts to believe in God they are just inventing a God for themselves plus a creed for themselves that happens to be similar to that of the other members.  If they were in another religion they would invent another kind of god. When your God is your creation, you are adoring what you want him to be not what he is. You are preferring your desires to the real God if he exists. In truth, you are worshipping yourself and indirectly worshipping the Devil who likes this. When you believe in God without evidence you are worshipping what you have imagined - a mental idol. When you are in love with someone you don’t know, you are in love with what you imagine that person to be and not the person in reality. It is the same with God.

What about people who believe in a bad God? It seems at first that if God were just a mental idol nobody would want to have an evil one. Some people like fear and are addicted to creating their own problems. They are masochists and/or sadists who would like to have a bad God to worship.

If there is a God and Jesus Christ, then they cannot be worshipped for there is no evidence that we should worship. No matter how much closely imagined versions of them resemble them they are not intended to be them. The Church denies the Father and the Son in a subtle way thus it is drunk with what it calls the spirit of antichrist (1 John 2:22,23; 4:2,3).

Religion is not devotion to God if God is good for it resides on blind faith which is dangerous and bad. It is obvious that it is malign to blindly believe whatever you want. Religion is base self-gratification therefore the adoration of God is insincere and is really done out of selfishness. It is self-worship and it is criminal for the religious rules that go with it are a great source of misery.
Now books like The Case for Faith * have hypocrites like Peter Kreeft who said of Rabbi Harold Kushner’s book, When Bad Things Happen to Good People, that Kushner’s God who doesn’t have the power to eradicate all suffering but is doing his best is not worth believing in (page 52, The Case for Faith). Kreeft means he doesn’t want to believe in this God. This is a terrible insult to a God who might be trying his best. Surely a God who suffers for us to try and help us is better than Kreeft’s God who is perfectly happy in Heaven and who doesn’t need to struggle? Which God is the best role model?
It is interesting that Kreeft is admitting that he will not believe in a God unless God is worth believing in. He only believes for himself and not God at all. He is declaring what he thinks worth believing is more important than God.
On page 63, Kreeft says that because we wrecked the world with our sin, God has the right to just forsake us and leave us in the mess. It was our choice and so he couldn’t be accused of being unfair. But then Kreeft says that he doesn’t see how we could love God if he did that so God became man in Jesus Christ to sort it all out and bring us to repentance. God helped because God is loving. So if God didn't help he would be degrading himself by being hard and unloving. So it follows then that Kreeft is wrong to say God had the right to forsake us!
Kreeft on page 74 quotes the Protestant theologian John Stott, as saying that he wouldn’t be able to believe in God if God hadn’t participated in human suffering and done something about it by becoming man to die a horrendous death on the cross. Again we see the theme, “I don’t care what God is. I will believe what I want about God. It’s me, me, me. Even if I suffer for this God, I am suffering for my pride and its not really God I am suffering for.” Since unfair suffering is the big objection to belief in God, it follows then that faith should start with the cross not with reasoning that there is a God and then deciding he died on the cross. Also it wouldn’t be very human to believe in God without being horrified about human suffering and wondering what God did about it. If God is about love then we have to start with the cross and reason from that point that there is a God. The apostle Paul said he knew nothing but the cross of Christ and focused on nothing else. The bottom line is that we end up worrying more about suffering, ourselves, than God. Again this is all about pleasing yourself and not really about God.
Not surprisingly Kreeft says that nobody is really morally good and quotes Isaiah from the Bible to argue that all our good works are filthy rags before God because they are stained with self-interest (page 61). So Kreeft then should admit that his beliefs in God are more to do with self-interest than concern for truth or even God! Kreeft is Peter Kreeft’s real God and God is his smokescreen.
Loving the sinner and hating the sin is impossible. Can you trust the sinner and not the sin? Can you punish the sin and not the sinner? Can you curse the sin and not the sinner? Can you ostracise the sin and not the sinner? Christians are fully aware of the hypocrisy - they don't believe anybody who tells them they hate their Christianity but love them. Christians call to hate. They demand that you hate and then do the additional evil of lying about it that it is really love you do. People would have little time for God if they didn't think he loved them despite their sins and those of their loved ones. They want a crutch and a God who orders others to love them despite their sins. They invent a God who can do this impossibility to console themselves. Because he is based on self-deceit, they are prone to hate anybody who sees through their lies.
God religion is commanded to hate sin. You would also be bound to hate evil acts that are not sinful. For example, a person who mistakenly believes that babies are demons and goes and murders them is not sinning but doing a good work in his heart. The results however are evil. The Catholic would have to hate the Protestant worship of God for he would see it as erroneous for the Protestant is outside the one true faith, the one true system of worship that God has set up. Nobody hates sin and misplaced good very much and as long as that is the case they can be held to be adoring an idol that may look like the real God if he exists but which actually is not. In so far as you do not hate what God hates, you do not love God but a caricature of him. To love God is to hate what he says is evil.
To ask one to hate sin is to ask one to hate sinners. To also ask one to love sinners is asking one to pretend to love. The Church boasts that it can love the sinner and hate the sin. Its a lying boast and the Church even goes as far as to say that it is an extreme sin to doubt that loving sinners and hating sin is possible. There is no point in believing in God or wanting God if loving the sinner and hating the sin are contradictory. The Church's worship of God is based on self-righteous pride. The Church hates and maligns those who see the deceit of loving sinners and hating sin.
To say that John does bad, whether he is deliberately bad or not, is to say that if bad is hateful then John is hateful. If bad is not hateful then why counsel to hate sin? It is never sin we hate but what sin says about the person. Sin indicates that the person is hateful assuming sin is to be hated. To hate the sin and to love the sinner makes out that there is a distinction without a difference. It is like saying, "I hate your Christianity but admire your religious notions." "I oppose everything about you and everything that you do but I don't oppose you." "I am glad you are alive but I am opposed to the fact that you are breathing."
It is bad enough for an unbeliever in God to say, "Love the evil person but hate and detest the evil they do." But it is worse for a God believer to say that for they believe that evil is not just hurting a person but insulting God so evil is worse if there is a God. God deepens hypocrisy and the deceit and darkness of the human heart. Its black evil appears as an angel of light. Imagine how bad it gets if the belief in God and the adoration of him is just hypocrisy!
The believers tend towards hypocrisy. This itself does not prove the doctrine of God to be a blight. But it shows he will not really have men as custodians of his revelation. Following Messiahs and Popes and Prophets is just asking for trouble. It’s really idolatry.
The God of the Church then is an expression of hypocrisy. The Christians treat their ethical opinions as if they were God's will and an expression of what God is like. This is idolatry and self-serving.
If God exists and supports say the Roman Catholic Church as the only true Church he can look after it. If the Church is mocked and if somebody denies a treasured doctrine such as that Mary was sinless the Catholics get bigoted and insecure. They will want to retaliate and often will retaliate. This is a sure sign that they sense their faith is not of divine origin. Why else would they act in a way so inconsistent with the doctrine of God?
Most people do not have the knowledge and intelligence to know what they are talking about when they talk about God and their true religion. The more stupid I am in relation to my friend, the more it is the image I have of that person that I have the relationship with and not the person.
The Christians invent a God of lies - he is their special idol. They make him not out of wood and metal but out of the desires and fears they have. To worship your own invention is to worship yourself. Stephen the first Christian martyr reminded the Jews how they believed in the right God who lived in the Temple. Yet he attacked their view as idolatry on the basis that there is nothing special about the Temple for God dwells everywhere. The Temple is just as sacred as anywhere else. He illustrates how shockingly easy it is to be idolatrous and not know it. You can worship the real God in idolatrous fashion without it being noticeable.
When I praise God, I do it because it is the strongest desire I am aware of that moment. I do it to gratify myself so I am not doing it for God at all. Even if I give away every penny I have to help the poor and give my right arm to save lives, I am doing it to satisfy a desire in me. I wouldn’t be doing it unless I wanted to fulfil my desire to do so. It is the fulfilling of desire I am doing it for – I am doing it for me after all. Accordingly, the praise I give to God cannot go to God for it is not his to take. I am doing it for myself. Religion is a den of thieves for it wants God to steal from you and eggs him on. We know that desire is fundamentally and entirely selfish for you like the desire better than the desired and what is desired is only what you have feelings for and feelings want to be gratified. Therefore the person who claims to love God is carrying the following attitude: “My desire for God is more important than God who is the infinite good and the infinite majesty therefore I am better than God. God means nothing to me though I am but an insignificant worm in this big vast universe unlike him. But only fulfilling my feelings matters. Therefore I am more important than God and God has no importance.” If people do not like the selfishness that ethical egoists and objectivists and Humanists practice they should chew on that for a while. Belief in God does not promote selflessness and humility at all but egotism which even those who practice egoism recognise as a serious defect and something to be challenged. Better to be an Humanist or ethical egoist or an objectivist than a believer.
You are not yourself if you are controlled by your anger or hatred or if you do things that cause others to become your enemies. You are not truly selfish when you are controlled by theses forces inside you. You need to be free from them to be yourself - to be a true egoist. It is simply false that you need to have hate and anger and a desire to trample on others to be selfish. The opposite is the truth. If religious people live what we call good lives that is all the more reason to suspect that they idolatrously pretend that they worship God. They worship themselves.
Trying to and wanting to feel good is always selfish. It is taking the risk that you will put your happiness in front of the happiness of others or another. Believers want to feel good and that is what they want the idea of God for. When you wilfully do wrong to another, the reason is because you want to find happiness in doing the wrong. If you do good for another in order to feel good that is selfish. It is not the helping you care about but about how it makes you feel.
Rather than waste time indirectly adoring yourself in the form of God why not drop God and adore yourself directly? You will be hated if you have the honesty to admit that you do that. People don't like threats to their own self-glorification. Their egos are fulfilled when they get people to adore the idol they have created to hide the fact that their devotion is all about themselves. I hope you clearly see why believers want others to believe in their God and religion? It is for their own self-aggrandizement.
Devotion to God is a cynical tool with which the believer inoculates herself against the truth of atheism and by implication supports opposition to atheists. Its offensive. And even more so when God by default implies that every action and thought should be dedicated to his honour.
If you feel there is a God and that he is right to let so much evil and suffering happen then you are callously condoning the evil. It is different if you really believe there is a God and have solid evidence that he is right. You would consider a person good who believed in his neighbour's innocence in the face of a murder accusation if he had sound reasons for believing. But if he merely feels the person is innocent and that is why he contends that the person is innocent, he is just a side-taker and unfair. He is a do-gooder. It is not a feeling matter. It is too serious for that. You do not have the right to condone the horrors that God seems to have allowed to befall an innocent baby just because of your feelings. That is revolting.
At some level one knows that one is inventing his or her perception of God, so that person can turn vicious if religion and God are questioned by atheists and agnostics and humanists. Also, if there is a God, they are in reality his enemies and servants of the Devil. If we have to believe in God through psychological projection then clearly there is unlikely to be a God for he has not given us the tools to find him as he really is. If my motive for belief in God is my self-interest and my fulfilment, then I am not interested in what is true about God but only what works for me. An atheist searching for God would be better off and a better person.
People like to worship what they have imagined because then they worship an image of a god or God that they can modify and control if they feel they want to. You do not fear a God you make in your imagination. It is fundamentally dishonest to worship what you have imagined as if it were a real God. It shows no respect for a real God if there is one and its is being dishonest with yourself and by implication others.
Do we impoverish ourselves by projecting the best in us or the best we can be unto God? Yes. We do not want to see the best in ourselves if we project the best on to God. What about projecting the best we can be unto God? We make God into an ideal. But we know what the ideal is. So why do we project it on to God? Why not just have the ideal? We want to push the ideal away and tack it on to God for we think we will never be good enough or perhaps we don't want to be ideal people. Neither of those is healthy or decent.
People think religion sets up moral boundaries by giving us a moral God. How can that work for long if belief in God is really belief in a fantasy-playmate? The whole point of moral boundaries is that you have to adhere to them no matter if you agree with them or not.
Freud argued that as being neurotic too often meant being religious that being religious was an illness and a neurosis. Christians say that if it is true neurotic people are usually religious that does not prove religion was the cause. They say that religion stirs up passion and zeal which is why people with neurosis are drawn to it. But you will find this passion and zeal only in a few Churches and as soon as the service is over that is the end of the passion and zeal. Neurotics have been devoted mostly to dull and boring religion. So the conclusion is unavoidable - being religious and devoted to God is a symptom of mental illness.
Some believers build hospitals. They say they do it for God is compassionate and caring. What is the link? Why should God's compassion and concern be a motivation? They must mean they do it for God in his compassion commands it. You should have compassion in your heart and then go and help. Don't help because God says so.
The only right reason to be interested in God or to believe is when such belief can make us more compassionate. But if you need this belief to make you compassionate then you are not compassionate by nature but have to manipulate yourself to be compassionate. So clearly belief in God and interest in God are not down to laudable motives. No wonder the good results of the belief are few and far between. A genuinely good doctrine is measured not by its ideals but by the positive effect it has on people. If Catholicism were genuinely holy it would not have as many hypocrites.
Religion is idolatry. To honour the God who is the creation of the Catholic Church is really to honour the invention of the Church and to honour the Church. Nearly all religion if not all religion is man-made. Even if it is teaching God's truth, the truth is given not on God's authority but man's. For example, if Mary is the boss and she sends Jane to order to me to do something and I obey, the real authority I am following is Jane's. Not Mary's. Jane's. Jane could be lying or mistaken about the command. She becomes the authority and is sent to me by Mary. I become my authority even if I am in an authoritarian religion. If John gives me information he got from God, I believe John not God when I accept that information. Idolatry means you want to reject God in favour of being your own God or worshipping what you want. It is ultimately proclaiming that you put yourself first. It is making yourself the real determinant of religious authority. It is indirectly proclaiming your own godhood and superiority to the god. Jesus and the apostles were clear. Idolaters are barred from the kingdom of Heaven. To accept baptism or circumcision as an entry into religion is making a pact with Satan to go to Hell if you believe in Satan and Hell.
Karen Armstrong says that if people imagine God has the same feelings and experiences as them they do indeed make a God in their own image but that this is fine as long as it is not an end in itself. Most people would think that creating a perception of God that fills your own needs is fine. They would say that God can use that to show you what he is like. They would say amid all the human ideas and projections about God there is sufficient truth.
Her proposition is dangerous for it is too easy then for violent people to view God the way they would like him to be.
And if you create a God to fulfil your needs, that is making this idol an end in itself. Armstrong has been a whitewasher for years.
Also, in so far as you worship a God made up to fulfil your own needs, you do not worship God at all. The Jewish prophets argued that if you make your own gods they are not gods. You end up deluding yourself that what has no life or feelings as a person who can help you. The idolater runs the risk of losing humanity and sanity if they have not already done so. It is strange to make images and then sacrifice your prayers and maybe yourself to them. You are better than them so it would be more logical to worship yourself. The idolater does not seek mastery over his base desires but seeks the power to manipulate by getting on the good side of his idols and gods.
One thing for sure is that it is not right to manipulate people to think they need belief in God when this belief is really a hidden form of belief in themselves. My worship of God is the worship of my belief and therefore of me.
Christian Solutions to the Problem of People Worshipping What they want God to be not what he is
1 Jesus alone is the image of God and shows us what God is like. The closer we get to him the more we will adore God as he is.
2 Prayer for prayer is about God finding us not us finding God.
3 Make many sacrifices just for God.
4 Know yourself so that you will be less likely to create an image of God based on wish-fulfilment. This means you critically look at how culture, society and psychology help you understand yourself and understand the divine.
1-3 the problem is that it is the people who are worshipping the god they want to imagine who are carrying them out. Take the thought that God is to find us and we are not to find God. Believers actually confirm their wish-fulfilment God addiction with that doctrine. The idolater thinks his god of stone and wood finds him too.
For Christians, point 1 is the one you have to have if you cannot have them all. Christians then are dealing with the problem of idolatry by encouraging it. Instead of going to God himself you look at Jesus. That is what making a God in the image you want him to have means. Want proof? Anything we know of Jesus is second hand at best. Plus he gave us a useless example in the Bible. He did no good works - he did magic to help people which is not the same thing. Its lazy goodness. There are no stories of him finding beaten up Samaritans and taking care of them until they are better. The teaching is full of hyperbole and hard to interpret. And important matters are completely left out. He had a nasty tongue and was abusive to the religious leaders. If some are to be believed, Jesus was God meaning he was responsible for the murders of gay people and adulterers and idolaters that God commanded in the Old Testament. Jesus was very clear that those writings were God's error-free word. Jesus in fact was so useless that the Catholic Church dealt with the problem by canonising saints as role models. Catholics like to think that they see Jesus at work in the saints. That is just a rationalisation. You could make a role model out of Herod the Great with logic like that.
4 is the only one that is any good. However, you can do the research and still not gain self-knowledge. You can still mistake what is in yourself for divine activity. You can still fail to know God.
People give you the ideas about God. You never know God in himself for you would be as wise if God if you did. You get your knowledge second-hand. You make the message about God invented by others your own message. It's the same principle as making somebody else's message your own message.  It becomes all yours then.  You might have got it from somebody else but now that you have made the message your own you might as well have created it yourself. Psychologically it is the same.
Nobody has the right to order anybody what to worship. See that you honour and worship yourself by worshipping whatever pleases you. It is really yourself you are pleasing and worshipping. It is you, after all, that decides if the god or whatever is worth worshipping in the first place.
It is important that you realise you are worshipping yourself. The God concept implies that worshipping anything but him is sinful so devotion to God is an insult to yourself. Then you are worshipping yourself and pretending you don't as if there is something wrong with being your own God!
If you create a God and create your faith in God, do you not realise that you are the real God all along? You worship what you create anyway so worship yourself. If I make a god of gold and silver, am I not worshipping myself indirectly? Yes for I worship the work of my hands. I worship what I want and need. If I make my own God and/or if I make my faith in my God, then it is plain that I must be greater than this God. I must be for they depend on me. Religion says that to adore God is to adore a real being and not something I invent for myself. But even if God is real, that does not mean that what I worship is real. I could be adoring my perception of God - a perception that happens to be right - but this is not adoring God.
The danger is that you are denying your own value by indirectly worshipping yourself. If you are confident and value yourself properly you won't need to hide your devotion to yourself. Lying to yourself about it is a sign that you fear self-esteem as if it were something bad. It is poor self-esteem.
This danger only happens if you don't let yourself see that if you give thanks to gods, goddess, spirits and angels that you are thanking what you have created in your own mind. You see and hear these friends in your imagination. Your imagination makes your gods. They are mental idols. To communicate with them is to communicate with a tool created by your subconscious mind. It is to communicate with the deepest recesses of your own personhood. You are splitting your personality to have a two way relationship. These are possibly the beings that spiritual mediums commune with.
No idol is right for everybody. It seems that if worshipping an idol makes you a better person and a happier person then by all means do it if there is no other way. This is indirect self-worship. We all agree that to worship money or our beauty is to worship ourselves though we are not money and we are not beauty. We are called selfish if we do these things. We should be called that for adoring God too!
Start with the self-knowledge that when you worship anything that it is yourself you worship..
Trust yourself as the only divinity that you can have in your life and you will find that many of life's fears and worries will vanish.