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CAN FREUD EXPLAIN ATHEISM? - Wagner - - German Life and Letters - Wiley Online Library
Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Oct 01, Vikas Lather rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. After reading this psychological criticism of religious ideology, if you are not absolutely convinced that religion is invented by unattractive men to externally coerce women and children which gradually internalized then you are, indeed, in significant need of religious philosophy, from which you shall have no escape for your own good and for the good of others.
I have re-read it after a long time, and what a delight! Freud took considerable care to call religion as an "illusion" not an erro After reading this psychological criticism of religious ideology, if you are not absolutely convinced that religion is invented by unattractive men to externally coerce women and children which gradually internalized then you are, indeed, in significant need of religious philosophy, from which you shall have no escape for your own good and for the good of others.
Freud took considerable care to call religion as an "illusion" not an error because it is derived from human wishes. As he puts it, "When questions of religions are concerned, people are guilty of every possible sort of dishonesty and intellectual misdemeanour". The voice to end religious terror must not rest until it will gain hearing from everyone.
No longer we should be ashamed of our sexuality, critical reasoning, or scientific transformations. We should distrust those who want us to feel guilty of having pleasure or trying to advance humanity towards further perfectioning.
We should never be scared or reluctant to speak against religious oppression because it is the source of energy for traditional and conservative men to reproduce cultural terror and infect us at our deepest integrity, by deceiving ourselves in believing that if it weren't for god, we would not be good or kind to one another or that we would not participate in the battle for social justice.
As the history of great men from Voltaire to Ambedkar has shown us, revolution begins when the idea of god is eliminated from our imagination. View all 3 comments. Shelves: psychology. Freud's approach to religion is narrow and unappreciative. Being Jewish, the paradigm for him is the Hebrew Bible's god, a focus which is hardly sufficient to account for such atheistic religions as Zen or Theravada Buddhisms or for the mystical streams which can probably be found in all traditions, including the Judaic.
Further, he fails to account for the more intellectual traditions such as found in the Logos theology of an Origen in the ancient world or a Kant in the modern--traditions whose Freud's approach to religion is narrow and unappreciative. Further, he fails to account for the more intellectual traditions such as found in the Logos theology of an Origen in the ancient world or a Kant in the modern--traditions whose mystical elements are most clearly shown in Plotinus and his followers.
Even within Judaism, beyond its mystical elements, there has arisen in Reconstructionalism a dialogic theology which may be, in part, a constructive religious appropriation of Freud which answers his objections. Still, at least as regards certain theologies as formulated and appropriated by some, Freud's critique may be on target. There are certainly, as the Reconstructionalists note, sociological associations. A monarchical, patriarchal society will tend towards something like the god of early catholicism. A more egalitarian and democratic society will favor, in Christianity, a low christology.
So, similarly, the child of an authoritarian patriarch may be strongly attracted to and repulsed by a deity of such character. Here, on both the broader, sociological ground and within the narrower domain of family psychology, Freud's Future of an Illusion has some continuing relevance. Ironically, Freud was himself as attracted to religion as he was repelled by it, as witness his fantastical Moses and Monotheism or his life-long fascination with parapsychology. Indeed, the psychoanalytic "school" he founded had its own cultic qualities.
View 2 comments. Dec 16, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: religion-theology , philosophy , nonfiction , psychology-and-cognition. Freud, in most modern opinions, oscillates wildly between being beautifully right and spectacularly wrong. This book contains some of his most piercing insights and acerbic wit. Freud analyzes the old dinosaur of religion as he saw it, finding it to serve as a type of cure for a childlike helplessness in the world. He delves briefly into his idea of a 'father complex', but this idea is well applied here - modern theorists have built off of his ideas here to an astonishing degree.
He also re-examin Freud, in most modern opinions, oscillates wildly between being beautifully right and spectacularly wrong. He also re-examines the role of religion in modern life, saying that it is very appealing to those who are most downtrodden in society - again, a statement that history has gratified.
However, Freud also says that having a society totally reliant on atheism would also be a fault, too. A profoundly interesting book, and one of the great ideas in history is here - one with which many still grapple. View 1 comment. Sep 18, Jonfaith rated it liked it Shelves: theory. But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted.
Men cannot remain children for ever; they must in the end go out into 'hostile life'. We may call this 'education to reality. Need I confess to you that the whole purpose of my book is to point out the necessity for this forward step? This isn't exactly theory, but more a prose poem or maybe agitprop. Freud deftly employs a dialogue method aiming for some persuasive measure, though accepting that his words aren't likely to influence the unwilli But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted. Freud deftly employs a dialogue method aiming for some persuasive measure, though accepting that his words aren't likely to influence the unwilling.
He does paraphrase his opponents well. While remaining a plea, the text is an eloquent one. His style is adroit and drenched in wit see Freud's thoughts on Prohibition. There is much to be said about a sociology of the murderous: denizens who would overthrow the yoke of civilization at the first opportunity. Here's to austerity measures and prayer in schools. Mar 09, Neil rated it really liked it. Their truth must be felt inwardly, and they need not be comprehended. And if not, why this one in particular? Jan 12, Tom LA rated it it was ok.
Perhaps relevant in his times, but utter BS today. Our life is, essentially, a dream. If you are pessimistic enough to call any religion a collective illusion or neurosis, then you should have the courage and intellectual honesty to call your entire life, religious or non religious, an illusion and a neurosis. There are countless intelligent people who entirely miss the point of religion or spirituality. They look at it straight from the scientific perspective. From there, it becomes a dialogue Perhaps relevant in his times, but utter BS today.
From there, it becomes a dialogue in different tongues that can never take anywhere. Very often it is not down to ignorance or desire to argue: I find that some minds especially the ones more inclined towards math and science struggle with the body of knowledge called "humanities", because it comes with its baggage of not-clear-cut concepts and ever-shifting realities. As a rule, these type of minds excuse the generalization, but it is a pattern that I have observed are also not that great at managing human relationships, which is another field where you NEVER find clear-cut answers and resolutions, but without a doubt the most important one.
Sep 25, [Name Redacted] rated it it was ok. Freud was an accidental a genius, a man who parroted back theories that were already in development in his time and social circle -- the main difference with Freud's take was that it stuck. Sadly, this book follows the trajectory of far too many Freud works, in that it is principally a "dialog" between Freud and a laughably credulous strawman.
For a more interesting and insightful look into the same subject, I recommend comparing his "Moses and Monotheism" which is unintentionally hilarious! Is Science an alternative?
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Is it too an illusion that's also bound to doom with time? Jul 14, Roy Lotz rated it it was amazing Shelves: highly-recommended-favorites , religion-mysticism-theology , germanophilia , misanthropology. In some ways, it is like a prelude to Civilizations and its Discontents , dealing with the pull between individual desires and the function of the civilization at large.
In culture, Durkheim sees everything that pulls the individual above his biological limitations and makes him a more perfect being. For Freud, culture is a repressive mechanism that dooms most men to unfulfilled desires and neurotic tendencies. A little bleak. He even indulges in a rhetorical flourish, by imagining an antagonist to argue against his points. He should have listened to himself more often. He was a smart dude. Oct 21, Andy rated it did not like it.
Freud really loses me when his books get into more speculative social criticism, but this one was especially thin. Before I got to it, the editions of Freud's earlier works assured me that "The Future of an Illusion" would contain Freud's devastating arguments against religion, but where are the arguments? He writes in this book as if the arguments have already been made, and here he is only elaborating on some of the secondary questions that arise now that religion has been intellectually debun Freud really loses me when his books get into more speculative social criticism, but this one was especially thin.
He writes in this book as if the arguments have already been made, and here he is only elaborating on some of the secondary questions that arise now that religion has been intellectually debunked. So he has his own Idiot Questioner raise stupid objections on behalf of the religious and Freud, not surprisingly, has all the answers. I don't buy it. Illusions, as referred to here, are nothing more that a person's inability to accept reality.
Religion is one such illusion, but a necessary one in a time when science and it's understanding by the everyday man is at such a low point. Freud gets a lot of crap nowadays for the obsession with Oedipal type thoughts but he remains a good read. This is a short little book on religious illusions that was pretty thoughtful and optimistic.
I liked it, but if I'm delusional in thinking it was good, I will accept the counter arguments and hopefully be less neurotic afterwards. Jul 12, Graciela rated it liked it. Freud's arguement is fascinating, timeless and ultimatly flawed, but truly thought-provoking. Feb 11, Timothy Ball rated it it was ok. Can't help but think of Nietzsche after reading this in respect to Freud and Jung splitting. Freud was a great mind but there's something monumental missing from his internal dialogue: "Two friends.
They were friends but have ceased to be, and they both severed their friendship at the same time: the one because he thought himself too much misunderstood, the other because he thought himself understood too well and both were deceiving themselves! It was also the first piece I have read from Freud.