An analysis of freuds critique of religion essay

He notes that taboos such as that regarding incest still play a significant role in modern society but that totemism "has long been abandoned as an actuality and replaced by newer forms".

An analysis of freuds critique of religion essay

This conflict exemplifies a basic structure: Due to its origin in the individual history of the subject, this principle is always merged with the figure of the father, and to uphold it has been a major interest of the powers that represent civilization.

All major Western religions glorify the submission to the father by creating a Father-God. In this way they mediate the acceptance of prohibition and of the reality principle. Their function is to bridge desire and the law. What leads to drive renunciation?

Why does it occur originally? If so, does this not apply to the father himself, who comes to represent the law?

Freud repeatedly observes that guilt plays a fundamental role in the psyche, and that it mainly operates unconsciously. It is the main force in the psychic causality that leads to drive renunciation and towards the development of intellectuality.

In his answer, Freud takes recourse in an anthropological theory of his time, which claims that at the origin there was a murder of the primal father.

This murder, according to Freud, is the missing link that explains the functioning of prohibition in the economy of the drives. Freud believed, more so towards the end of his life, that there is a truth in religion: This implies, however, that for him, the murder of the primal father really happened — there must have been a corpse at some time.

The parricide is forgotten repressedand religion is the symptom formation that preserves the memory of it in an encoded form. During the last fifteen years of his life, he devoted considerable effort to the attempt to analyze religion and culture from a psychoanalytic point of view.

A series of important essays are created: Convinced of the truth of his psychoanalytic discoveries, he proceeds to test and apply them to questions that are of central concern to the philosophers and theologians in the Western World. The history of civilization is a struggle to control nature, internal as well as external.

The belief in God is seen as an attempt to reconcile humankind with its embeddedness into nature that is mostly experienced as traumatic. Freud interprets the formation of religions in terms of their function in this conflict between nature and culture, or between the ego and the drive.

The Fraud of Freud | The Vineyard of the Saker

Religions are remarkable compromise formations: Religious dogmas are not the results of experience or thinking, but they are refined fantasies, wish-fulfillments in response to the most basic needs of humankind. The strength of the illusion is therefore reciprocal to the strength of the need.

An analysis of freuds critique of religion essay

The central religious fantasy, a Father-God, draws its material from the childhood experience of the human being: But since the real father cannot remedy the fragility of human life, and since it does not end with childhood, a stronger and more powerful father is needed.

In this way the father becomes idealized and projected into the image of God. The wish for protection, powered by the actually felt need, explains the strength of the religious belief. Although this is an inadequate response because it hides from the believer her or his real loneliness and the extent of the vulnerability, Freud can come to understand religion in general as a useful neurotic and even psychotic symptom.

Religion is a defense, a response to the experience of utter helplessness or dependency. The mechanism is driven by a fundamental dialectic.

Freud against Freud

The conversion of dependency into the feeling of protection repeats a childhood experience, namely the replacement of the real father with a fantasy product.

The direction of the movement is a progressive de-realization. Dependency turns into its opposite based on the delusional construction of a second, divine reality, which de-realizes the concrete materiality of human life. The process is familiar to Freud from his reflection on psychosis, but now he encounters it in a different environment.

Subsequently, his position is sharply critical towards religion, yet optimistic about the possibility to overcome it. We know that a human child cannot successfully complete its development to the civilized stage without passing through a phase of neurosis sometimes of greater and sometimes of less distinctness.

Most of these infantile neuroses are overcome spontaneously in the cause of growing up, and this is especially true of the obsessional neuroses of childhood. The remainder can be cleared up later still by psycho-analytic treatment. The precipitates of these processes resembling repression which took place in prehistoric times still remained attached to civilization for long periods.

Religion would thus be the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity; like the obsessional neurosis of children, it arose out of the Oedipus complex, out of the relation to the father.

In this perspective, the secularization movement is simply the sign that societies mature; they outgrow and overcome the need for religions. Optimism and faith would be rooted in a realistic commitment to the ethical rules that facilitate the social life of human beings. Thus I must contradict you when you go on to argue that men are completely unable to do without the consolation of the religious illusion, that without it they could not bear the troubles of life and the cruelties of reality.Disease Control Priorities In Developing Countries: T+ 18 MB: The Model Preacher: Comprised In A Series Of Letters Illustrating The Best Mode Of Preaching The Gos.

Sigmund Freud (May 6, –September 23, ) was a physiologist, medical doctor, and father of psychoanalysis, and is generally recognized as one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the twentieth century. He was an Austrian neurologist and the co-founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology.

Sigmund Freud: The following has been adapted from the Wikipedia website. Jun 11,  · Secondly, since the concept of religious experience developed by James and Dewey is different from Freud’s concept of religion, Freud’s criticism hits one aspect of religion (i.e.

religious doctrines) but misses another aspect of . by Jimmie Moglia for the Saker blog.

An analysis of freuds critique of religion essay

I first read Freud’s writings when, probably unconsciously, I believed that if everybody says the same thing, it must be true. Freud’s extraordinary theories and mystifying lingo had many admirers and promoters. Sigmund Freud Essay - Sigmund Freud Sigmund Freud was the first major social scientist to propose a unified theory to understand and explain human behavior.

No theory that has followed has been more complete, more complex, or more controversial. Sigmund Freud's views on religion are described in several of his books and regarded God as an illusion, based on the infantile need for a powerful father figure; religion, necessary to help us restrain violent impulses earlier in the development of civilization, can now be set aside in favor of reason and science.

A Criticism of Freud on Religion