Lewis Vs. Freud: Does God Exist?
C.S. Lewis makes a far more convincing argument for the existence of God in Mere Christianity than does Sigmund Freud in The Future of an Illusion. Both works reflect on what religion really is; Lewis stands for the view that religion is about truth and attempts to prove that God must exist, whereas Freud claims that religion is actually about idiocy and is created by humans as a form of wishful thinking. He describes it as an illusion, a made up social construct of humanity. Humans crave protection and reacted to feelings of helplessness by creating religion. “God is the exalted father, and the longing for the father is the root of the need for religion,” he says (Freud, 39). He continues on to say that religion is made of assertions about facts of reality and argues that the motivation for believing in religion is wish-fulfillment (an illusion). Lewis agrees that humans indeed look for someone to protect us and to provide moral order but that that person is God. He feels it is only through a relationship with God that people can find true happiness. He explains that it is not coincidental that every human has a moral premise as to what is right or wrong (the Law of Human Nature), stating that human beings have an idea that they ought to behave in a certain way. Because this rule of right and wrong has to be real, not made up by ourselves, we shall admit that there is more than one kind of reality (Freud, 20). Lewis effectively convinces the reader that there must be something above and beyond the ordinary facts of men’s behavior.
Both Lewis and Freud have somewhat cut-and-dry theories with little room for adjustment. Both authors tenaciously argue for their personal beliefs while giving the reader no option to stand in between. To them it is simple—God or no God. Though Lewis and Freud disagree about whether or not God exists, they both stress the importance of the existence of a higher power and agree about the...
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