Is Freud entirely negative on religion

Topics: Religion, Faith, Psychology Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: January 5, 2014
“Freud is entirely negative on religion” To what extent do you agree? (15 marks) Freud argues that religion is a symptom of collective neurosis, which is a mental imbalance of the Id, ego and superego. This is definitely a negative view as Freud is suggesting that all religious people are suffering from a mental imbalance and that is the only reason they believe in religion. Freud saw a link between his patients that were suffering from neurosis and religious people. For example he saw ritualised behaviour in neurotic’s methodical washing of hands and in religious people genuflecting. Freud does say that religion is important as it controls society and without it there would be anarchy. People wouldn’t see the need to behave if there is no God because they would believe there would be no eternal consequences for their actions. For example someone may murder another person if they believed that nothing would happen to them when they died, however due to the presence of religion the murderer may think more carefully since the threat of eternal damnation is hanging over them. Freud also saw religion as an illusion, that is not to say that it is false or untrue the mind has merely tricks you into believing in religion as it helps you in a time of crisis. This is negative as Freud is suggesting that God is not real and cannot be objectively tested, which disagrees with religious belief. An illusion is a distortion of the senses and it is usually shared by most people. For example the illusion that we are all free to do what we want, when in reality we cannot for fear of being prosecuted. Freud would say this is exactly like religion, we choose to believe in an illusion because it allows us to continue living in an ordinary manor. However, although Freud saw religion in this way he also believed it was comforting and gave us a sense of protection. Freud believed we needed this as we cannot cope with the harshness of the world, for example when we do something wrong,...
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