Religion has been a controversial topic among philosophers and in this paper I am focusing
on Christianity. There have been many critiques on Christianity throughout history and the two
philosophers I am concentrating on are Marx and Nietzsche. I also will look at how Freud’s
concept of illusions was influenced by Marx and Nietzsche in his attack on Christianity. My goal
of this essay is to identify the influence Marx and Nietzsche had on Freud’s critique of
Christianity and define an illusion and discover whether or not illusions are helpful and good or
bad for humans.
First, I want to identify who Marx and Nietzsche are and their critiques on religion. Karl
Marx (1818 –1883) was a German philosopher who believed that humans invented religion to
escape the reality of their social conditions (Solomon, 2016, pp. 178). Friedrich Nietzsche
(1844–1900) was also a German philosopher who believed that Christianity was preventing
mankind from freely exercising human instinct and will (Solomon, 2016, pp. 179). Nietzsche
argued that religion “extinguishes the spark of life,” and was the excuse to stay in denial of the
fact that humans have a lack of power over reality (Solomon, 2016, pp. 179). Although these
philosophers influenced Freud’s attack on Christianity, he put a more psychoanalytic flare into
“Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist and founder of the
psychoanalytic school of psychology” (Solomon, 2016, pp.182). Freud’s ideas about religion
developed from the critiques of philosophers Marx and Nietzsche. Freud reduced religion down
to the illusions of an insecure child (Solomon, 2016, pp.181). According to Merriam-Webster
dictionary an illusion is...
... middle of paper ...
patients by saying that religion is preventing those patients from being the “Superman” that
embraces everything and “lives it laughingly, instinctively, fully, and dangerously (Kreis,
2012).” Not depending on some higher being to see them through their struggle with cancer, but
instead depending on one’s self to will through.
In conclusion, there have been many critiques on Christianity throughout history I have
covered three controversial ones. Marx believing that religion is an escape from reality.
Nietzsche argued that religions blocks humans from freely exercising will and instinct. Lastly
Freud believed that God was an illusion of a father-figure to an insecure child. Illusions are not
always bad and can be good and helpful to humans in some cases. Freud played off of both Marx
and Nietzsche’s critiques in his development of his attack on Christianity.
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