The Paradox of Humanity - Sigmund Freud

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Ameer Al Dagher
December 7, 2010
PHIL 251

The Paradox of Humanity
In every task of human life, we face difficulties that would strain the way we function and inhibit us from reaching our goals. Whether its money, love, or any kind of desire, we face the same problems every day. Despite the entire breakthrough in technology, human satisfaction remains insatiable. In Civilization and its Discontents, Sigmund Freud sheds the light on this dilemma’s aspects. Because of the brutal period of time, World War I, in which the book was written, we find the tone to be pessimistic. Nevertheless, it comes so close to reality and breaks down the contradictory nature of humans. In this book, Freud argues the contradicting natures of civilization vs. the nature of human desires. He argues that it is hard to have an organized society and still act upon our human instincts to the fullest. By introducing the concept of happiness and how it can be achieved, Freud basically says cannot achieve happiness and still function in a civilized society. This is due to a variety of factors that shall be discussed. As for the consequences of this unreal reality, it is constant dissatisfaction and not attaining the ultimate goal of life: happiness. To simplify this complex issue, Freud starts by defining the nature of human beings. Freud divides the human into three parts: super-ego, ego, and id. The super-ego is the voice of judgment, control and regulation. Guilt is one of the ways the super-ego punished a person, letting him know to be careful. The ego is the representation of one’s decisions, capacity and rational being. It represents us throughout the day through what we say and do. The id is the part of us that is responsible for out desires and basic instincts. Looking the contradiction of these three natures, it is naturally expected to have trouble when it comes to dealing with yourself or the outside world. A constant fight goes on to satisfy each of these different parts....
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