Freud's Critique of Religion | MyPaperHub

Sigmund Freud presents an argument that attempts to explain the issue of religion. According to Freud & James, the Freudian argument, beliefs regarding religion are ‘fulfillments of the strongest as well as pressing wishes of human minds (112). Storr (12) assert that the secret of religion lies on the strengths that those wishes have. The paper will address the argument by Sigmund Freud in criticizing religion.

Freud believed that he had psychoanalytical valid argument in opposition of the honest viability of religious belief (Freud & James 112). By psychoanalytically valid, it implies an argument that has the capacity of convincing someone who acknowledges the fundamental principles of psychoanalytical rationalization as well as interpretation. Therefore, whereas Freud’s argument was not meant to convince the people who did not accept psychoanalytic diagnoses as true, his claim was nonetheless a strong one.

If the argument presented by Freud was as strong as he alleged it to be, the implication would be that anyone who, by means of his interpretation, persisted to hold on to the religious belief would in so doing reveal  him, that is, they would illustrate themselves to be adhering to the immature wishes. According to Idema (102), socially factual, the argument by Freud had a noteworthy effect on psychoanalysis on the advancement of psychoanalysis during the 21st century. His argument offered an orientation for analysis in the direction of those who professed religious belief. This explains why a critical examination of the argument by Freud is not an unfathomable issue. In comparison, the American Psychoanalytical Association formally distanced itself away from the arguments that were presented by Freud regarding homosexuality as a kind of a psychological illness. In fact, such sort of a stand point is regarded as being a type of discrimination (Lear 25). Is it not in any case possible that the argument presented forward by Freud in opposition to religious belief promote as similar prejudice against religious believers?

Freud distinctively presented an argument that religious belief is illusionary (Freud & James 112). Freud did mean this in a particular sense: a belief is regarded as an illusion if it is illusionary. This is typically a misfire during the process of forming a belief. Religion has achieved many good things to mankind (Idema 140). For example, religion presents individuals with real consolation within difficult times. It provides conviction as well as order in a world that is otherwise chaotic. Superficially, the assertion that religious belief is illusionary would appear to be self-undermining.

Freud notably argued that beliefs that relates to religion are illusionary. According to Freud, a belief is regarded as being illusionary if it results from a wish. This would characteristically be a misfire in the procedure of forming beliefs (Freud & James 112). For instance, if one believes that there is a dog on the mat, this results from, for instance, one taking oneself to be seeing a dog on the mat to be resulting- in the right ways- both one’s perceptual experience as well as the development of a propositional belief. Apparently, there may be other reasonable means to one’s beliefs.

Freud’s assertion that religious belief is illusionary appears to be threatening from within the standpoint of religious belief by itself. For example, if one purports the belief that Moses was given the Ten Commandments by God as resulting from one’s wishes, or the wishes of other people, that should attribute to one’s belief. However, if it does not, it will disclose a problem regarding someone and his epistemic relationship to the world (Freud & James 112).

How good is the Freudian argument in relation to religion? A logically valid argument ought to start with apparently true premises, and after that move by the rules of inference that are essentially truth-preserving to concluding that as a result, must be true (Freud & James 93). The argument by Freud is not aspiring to this sort of rigor; and therefore to disapprove it for lacking it would fail to spot the mark. Therefore, what sort of argument is Freudians’? Nevertheless, Freud offers an important insight into the system that leads to the religious belief. The argument that Freud is not compelling in leading people to make a conclusion that religion is a construct of mental action.

The argument presented by Freud appears to work as an interpretation (Lear 23). He points out something, for those individuals who are prepared to see it. By presenting an interpretation, Freud presumably supplies the illusion with which religious belief can appropriately be comprehended. As a result, Freud’s argument is impeccable. However, the question is how well is the argument presented by Freud being positioned in this case. Overall, this Freudian argument appears to shape a delegitimizing genealogy. Characteristically, genealogies are utilized in valorizing as well as legitimating. For instance, according to Freud’s argument, the claim by the Israelites in relation to them having a special relationship with God is legitimated by means of a genealogy that dates back to a time when God established a special relationship with Abraham (Freud & James 112).

Freud does not view in religion an intentional deception of human beings. According to Freud, religion is profoundly based on human psyche, probably too profound. It is thus significant to elucidate this point since it touches on a deep issue in Freud’s thought of religion (Freud & James 112). How is the argument presented by Freud persuasive? This is a question in relation to the rhetoric of the argument presented by Freud. Rhetoric studies illustrate how an argument guides the psyche along to persuade as well as whether the persuasion is justifiable.

In conclusion, none of the considerations by Freud impugns the idea that religious belief, can function as illusion. However, they do impugn the thought that religious beliefs at all times functions that way. Naturally, one may think that, indeed, religion does at all time function as illusion. Nevertheless, I do not think that there exist whatever distinctive psychoanalytic concerns that are in support of this kind of conclusion. There is as well nothing in the argument that Freud presents that ascertains a claim that has such a broad extent. In the spirit of the comprehensive Freudian psychoanalysis spirit, if a person wishes to understand the responsibility of religious belief in a given person’s life, there is no alternative for the analysis of that person. Religious belief has the capacity of playing different functions in people’s lives, and there is a room for speculation regarding the distinctive uses to which religious may be put. However, Freudian’s one-size-fits-all analysis levels the distinctions that were supposed to make a difference.


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