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Civilization and Its Discontents by Freud

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Civilization and Its Discontents by Freud

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  • June 28, 2008
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Freud hoped to lesson human unhappiness by diminishing civilization's imposition of guilt upon us. Freud argued that people were unhealthily because they suppressed their sexual instincts. Civilization and Its Discontents explains why Freud believes we should catering to our impulses and desires in spite of societal laws. Although Freud believes surrendering to our inclinations will help us live happier and healthier lives; society has not found a way to escape the consequence of guilt, therefore we have not achieved what Freud had hoped for.

In Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud expresses his frustration with society as it inhibits one from having complete sexual freedom. Freud also communicates the idea that marriage hinders one from achieving their sexual fulfillment. Freud explains: Present-day civilization makes it plain that it will only permit sexual relationships on the basis of a solitary, indissoluble bond between one man and one woman, and that it does not like sexuality as a source of pleasure in its own right and is only prepared to tolerate it because there is so far no substitute for it as a means of propagating the human race. (Civilization and its Discontents, pg. 60) Freud's opinion that it is not natural for us to confine out sexuality to one man or one woman may be accurate, but if society ignored this law we would lose order. Also, Freud argues that society will be happier and healthier if they yield to their desires; but how can one attain happiness when they are overwhelmed with guilt. Perhaps society is to blame for our guilty consciousnesses, but Freud cannot forget that people do not only fear society, they fear God as well.

Freud would agree that civilization should simply eat, drink, and be marry; after all this is his cure for an unhealthy person. Society has by no means achieved what Freud hoped for.; how can anyone trust this solution? Civilization has learned that there are consequences for eating and drinking...