Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bottle complex

This must count as one of the oddest theories I've ever come across. Especially in the religious context fropm which it emanates.

Professor's Theory At Free Church Assembly 

Professor  Eric S. Waterhouse, speaking at the Evangelical Free Church Assembly at Blackpool to-day, told of  a young man who set forth the theory that God was but a projection of the father, a kind of superfather.

"I asked him," said the Professor, "if he had ever considered a theory of my own that the popularity of bottled beer among a large section of the populace was due to a regression to the childish craving for the bottle that had been the stay and comfort of childhood, and that when the child was deprived of this sort of joy it created unconscious bottle complex which led to desire for beer in bottles."

The young man watched him "pathetic perplexity" and said he not heard of the theory.

"Professor Waterhouse complained of the lack of the sense of awe in free Church worship.

"It is not love of priestcraft that fills Roman and high Anglican places of worship," he said, "but the fact that they provide something we have ceased to provide. The Free Churches should learn worshipcraft." "
Gloucestershire Echo - Wednesday 06 April 1932, page 6.

It's hard to know where to start with that hairy heap of bollocks.

Let's see - for a start not all children would have drunk from a bottle. Many would have been breast fed. And, at that time, it was unusual to drink beer straight from the bottle. Most would pour it into a glass like civilised people.

There was a big upsurge in the consumption of bottled beer between the wars. But the explanation was much simpler: a lot of draught beer was crap. Bottled beer was more reliable and relatively immune from doctoring or watering by the publican, unlike draught beer.


Rod said...

Ron -
Our mutual friend, Peter Haydon, says that the only people who should be allowed to drink from the bottle are babies and pirates.

Anonymous said...

he was being rhetorical about the bottles.. the example of the bottles was a counterargument to illustrate the flaw in the argument that god was merely a projection of the father.

Michael+ said...

I think the professor was mocking the young man in that particularly unfunny churchman way, with the "pathetic perplexity" intended to show its supposed effect. The young man put forth a modern theory that would prove God to be a mere psychological projection. So the professor throws back an equally ludicrous hairy heap of bollocks in order to show that you can use psychology to "prove" any silly thing. His point is that too many Evangelicals had drifted from awesome wonder, provided in worship, to a place of trivial theorizing about God.

How one is supposed to do any theology without a glass of beer is anybody's guess.