- God complex
A God complex is a psychological state of mind in which a person believes that they have supernatural powers or god-like abilities. The person generally believes they are above the rules of society and should be given special consideration. Historical examples include Gaius "Caligula" Caesar, who declared himself to be divine.
There are few academic works specifically addressing god complexes, although a great deal can be found about
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 attempts to criticize modern societies. Some groups of peopleWho|date=September 2008, 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.Fact|date=September 2008For 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] ).
French Revolutionmay well 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. [ [http://www.renewamerica.us/analyses/050930hutchison.htm Historical roots of the culture war ] ]
In Theatrical Releases
In the movie "Malice", Dr. Jed Hill, the character portrayed by Alec Baldwin, was accused of having a "God complex". Dr. Hill gives a brief discussion about his God complex while being deposed for having removed a healthy ovary from Tracy Kennsinger, portrayed in the movie by Nicole Kidman.
List of people who have been considered deities
Messiah complex (self-concept)
* [http://www.mclemee.com/id97.html McLemee.com] - 'The Shrink with a God Complex' Ronald Hayman "Newsday", (April 22, 2001)
* [http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2003/september10/caligula-910.html News-Service.Stanford.edu] - 'Did Caligula have a God complex? Stanford, Oxford archaeologists find evidence that depraved tyrant annexed sacred temple', John Sanford (September 10, 2003)
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