Freud Religious Illusion

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First, I will discuss Feud’s account of the roots of religion, its function in society, and the arguments for its preservation (which are primarily voiced by Freud’s imaginary interlocutor). Freud begins Future of an Illusion by discussing the conditions which gave rise to the religious illusion. He describes the state of angst and frustration that man experiencing while being suppressed by the demands of culture. Culture forces him to internalize his natural destructive, anti-social, violent, and sexual tendencies, thus creating a tension and hostility that boil under the surface. Culture also requires man defy his natural inclination towards laziness. It forces him to work for the very culture that represses his natural instincts, further…show more content…
The realities of nature and of fate plague the existence of every man and to which they are powerless to escape. The primary reality is what Freud calls the “painful riddle of death”, for no man can escape the force of the realization of their eventual annihilation. Thus the state of man is in perpetual fear, angst, hostility, and frustration, yearns to attain some balance of power. The result of this is a yearning for power is the birth of religious ideas for man, in his attempt to combat his own helpless existence, humanizes the natural forces that seem to be bearing down on him. In this way man can “alleviate some of his angst” since humanizing these natural, inevitable forces can as this can allow us to defend, rebel, appease, and bribe them. This process of humanizing nature culminates in the formation of a father-like deity. In this way man can regress to a neurosis of infantilism; where the father is both feared and revered, offers protection and wish-fulfillment, and has answers to all of life’s most difficult questions. In this state, man becomes docile and submissive to the demands of culture and can shy away from the harsh realities of nature. Hence, Freud describes the religious illusion as having a threefold task: to exorcise the terror of nature, reconcile one to the cruelty of fate, particularly death, and lessen the burden for the suffering of instinctual repression brought on by the demands of

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