Freud, Marx, Weber, and Geertz's Views on Religious Practices

Topics: Religion, Sociology, Bourgeoisie Pages: 4 (1494 words) Published: November 4, 2008
Freud sees no benefit to the practice of religion, he instead classifies it the same way one would a patient with psychological neurosis. He parallels the habitual practice of devotion and spiritual belief to that of compulsive actions that serve only to perpetuate our lack of maturity as a species. According to Freud religion was initiated as a result of guilt over a prehistoric murder of the tribal/pack leader of early human ancestors. The further premise is that the monotheistic worship of a father figure stems from the victim of this prehistoric murder being the father of his attackers. The subsequent erection of totems and creation of rituals were in response to a remembered guilt over this first event. Freud’s explanation of sacrament based on the etchings of totems that represent the early father figures is a clear example of his taking historic license. Freud’s disdain for religion is a good reflection of his liberal application and interpretation of science. He practiced science the same way he belittled others for practicing religion, loosely and conveniently. I found that there was little that he said that I would put any stock in. Not just because he scorns religion, but that he does it with little experience, less study, and an extreme amount of liberty taken with science and history. Much of what he proposes is based upon arguments that are supported only by his own beliefs that he offers as evidence for his own proposals. Marx

Marx seems to not see religion merely as a subconscious neurosis, but as an actively negative expression of oppression. He even goes so far as to suggest that the chief purpose of religion was to provide excuses for societal oppression through class systems and subsequent exploitation. Marx’s outright rejection of religion is in nothing short of sarcastic phrasing. He seemed to see it as his mission to reveal the “falsehood” of religion (133). He spent years systematically campaigning to annihilate...
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