illusive religions: Sigmund Freud's The Future of an Illusion Essay

illusive religions: Sigmund Freud's The Future of an Illusion Essay

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In Sigmund Freud’s, The Future of an Illusion, he studies religious foundations and the influence of religion on civilization and social principles. As he explores the psychological depths relating to religion, he also portrays a scientific and rational civilization. In turn, he reveals his hope for an ideal world where humans surpass their feelings of helplessness and insignificance to live in an improved civilization based on reason and the increase of knowledge. Through his analysis and ideas, Freud is able to incite feelings of doubt surrounding religious beliefs and their validity.
Humans desire to have control over the many things which affect them. Being unable to control something, especially something which can cause damage and suffering, instigates feelings of helplessness and fear but also a strong curiosity to understand what super power is behind this uncontainable and unpredictable force. To repress these feeling of powerlessness, civilization humanized the force of nature and at the same time, reintroduced it as manipulable, by establishing religious ideas. Not only did religion dismiss the threatening wickedness of nature but it also protected against Fate and atoned for the suffering endured on Earth. It has been surmised that without the conviction that a powerful, benevolent being is offering protection, people would find life unbearable. Interestingly, Freud connects this strong desire for protection to a child’s vulnerability and dependence, calling this concept the father-complex. He uses psychological analysis and reasoning to explain a knowledgeable and very believable reason for why religion was created in the first place. Religion was structured in response to adults “longing for a father... and their ...


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...restricting ones beliefs and refusing rational ideas, religion cripples a person’s ability to reason and limits their minds strength. It is science and rationalizing that leads to a growth in intellect and with that comes greater opportunity for power and success. Although, through science some ideas are proven false, only science gives reliable answers.
Throughout The Future of Illusion, Freud consistently epitomizes a clear claim that reason is to be trusted as the only unfailing logic. Utilization of analogies and examples allow for a better understanding of his meaning. Any possible discrepancies of logic he successfully examines and clarifies. By effectively exemplifying reason, knowledge and rational intelligence as the only dependable substantiation; he instills religious doubt by explicating its absurdity of claims, lack of validity and illusory foundation.

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