StudentShare solutions
Triangle menu

Freud on Civilization and Religion - Essay Example

Nobody downloaded yet
Naturally, civilization and religion have held the interest of many philosophers and sociologists alike. The well-known Austrian psycho-analyst and neurologist Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939) was one of them, who held the view that mankind would be better off without belief in God - "It would be an undoubted advantage if we were to leave God out altogether and admit the purely human origins of all the precepts and regulations of civilization." (PBS 2). This essay shall briefly discuss the basis on which Freud places his argument to denounce civilization and religion, in the book “The Future of an Illusion” (1928). Freud scorns at any attempt to differentiate between culture and civilization; they provide on with two aspects of the same thing – the mastering of natural forces by collectively acquired knowledge and power to satisfy man’s individual needs and, in order to facilitate and distribute/regulate “attainable riches” (Freud 8-9). And culture or civilization selectively permits certain actions and condemns some others which lead to “privations” – in other words they are the frustrations caused by unfulfilled instincts, like incest, cannibalism etc (Freud 17). These “external compulsions” become “internalized” in the process of forma “super-ego” (Freud 18) which then judges within a wide range of such acquired information as to what is permissible and what isn’t permissible. This then becomes the greatest tool in the hands of culture or civilization....
Religion, Civilization and Freud
According to Freud, man has devised the concept of God - a father-figure whom he dreads and always reveres, seeks to propitiate, and looks to for constant protection as the consequence of his own human limitations and weaknesses. Religion, therefore is born out of culture, primarily due to "the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature;" secondly, there was a pressing need to correct the perceived "imperfections of culture" (Freud 37). His perception of religion and its origins thus explained, he gradually builds his arguments against religion and civilization, stating that despite having had thousands of years to show what it can achieve, it has hardly done enough for mankind (Freud 60); and unlike scientific theories and laws, the dogmas or religion discourage testing and probe for proof, on grounds that they deserve to be believed, and they have been already tested and handed down since times of yore, and they were unquestionable (Freud 45). He denounces these arguments stating for example, while the scientific theory that the earth is globe can be proved and its accuracy ascertained, religious dogmas were full of "contradictions, revisions, and interpolations; where they speak of actual authentic proofs they are themselves of doubtful authenticity" (Freud 46). Freud questions that if religious truths solely depended "on an inner experience" for proof, "what is one to make of the many people who do not have that rare experience" (Freud 49) He concludes of religions that they are "illusions, they do not admit of proof, and no one can be compelled to consider them as true or to believe in them." (Freud 55).
Freud states ...Show more


Man has come a long way from his ape-ancestors. The evolution of man from his apish origins is marked by his civilized behavior. Existence of religion and recognition of self as a creation of God is another feature that differentiates man from the rest of the animal kingdom. …
Author : zachary43
Freud on Civilization and Religion essay example
Read Text Preview
Save Your Time for More Important Things
Let us write or edit the essay on your topic
"Freud on Civilization and Religion"
with a personal 20% discount.
Grab the best paper

Check these samples - they also fit your topic

Sigmund Freud
Due to his contribution, he has been regarded as one of the twentieth century psychology’s controversial and influential thinker. In regards to his legacy, several works have been developed by other major thinkers. Similarly, out of opposition to Freud’s ideologies, other new theories have developed.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
How Do Nietzsche and Freud Differ in Their Evaluation of Civilisation
Two of the most prominent thinkers in this mode understanding then are Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche. Although these theorists are many times characterized as holding diametrically opposing views, it’s clear that to a great extent their embracement of irrational human urges as fundamentally contributing to the makeup of civilization places them within the same school of thought.
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Freud and Happiness
Freud and Happiness. Most people desire to be happy in life and this proposition can be viewed as definitive and true. Yes, the desire for happiness in life is paramount and the vast majority would say that the ultimate purpose for life is happiness. Happiness is not objective, it is subjective, and it can vary from person to person depending on their understanding or perspective of happiness (Freud 16).
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
'civilization and its discontent, Sigmund Freud
Question 4 In Freud’s terms it is impossible tom escape the view that people often use false principles of measure because of their quest for power, success and prosperity for themselves and esteems the qualities in other people while underestimating true value of life.
3 pages (750 words) Essay
Psychoanalysis, Religion and Salvation
In spite of the Freud bashers, the complete disregard of contemporary psychoanalytic theory in undergraduate textbooks, the pressure of managed care and graduate schools' focus on empirically validated treatment models, psychoanalysis appears to be entering an exciting new phase: new research in cognitive psychology, infant studies, and trauma support long-held psychoanalytic concepts (e.g., the unconscious, defenses, dissociation, the importance of early childhood experiences, etc.).
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
Nietzsche and Freud Views on Religion
In Freud’s book, “Totem and Taboo”, Freud postulates the ideas regarding the nucleus of primitive religion by adopting psychological concepts This research enabled Freud to form a nexus between the genres of psychology and religion. Critics have pointed out this fact as being instrumental for the rise of a phraseology called psychological reductionism in the schools of comparative religion .
15 pages (3750 words) Essay
or who worked with mental patients in Vienna prior to 1959 and is considered one of the founding fathers of modern day psychology because of his development of the psychoanalytic theory. Originally trained as a neurologist, Freud’s work with his patients, frustrated by a
10 pages (2500 words) Essay
However, in modern times civilization is described as an end. It is expressed as the state of advancement of society in terms of culture, science, technology, literature,
2 pages (500 words) Essay
Freud: Human Happiness in Civilization and Its Discontents
He adopts a model which is further developed, when compared to those of Darwin; Darwin did not ascribe to progressivism, unlike Freud. Freud’s model maintains that civilization is progressive, and that in a similar manner to the development process
7 pages (1750 words) Essay
Socrates and Freud
Part 1 of his book presents his sociological appliance of psychoanalysis. Freud’s religion analysis as a combined neurosis that holds up civilization, functions as a combined super personality (Freud 27). I agree with Freud’s
6 pages (1500 words) Essay
Hire a pro to write
a paper under your requirements!
Win a special DISCOUNT!
Put in your e-mail and click the button with your lucky finger
Your email
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment
Let us find you another Essay on topic Freud on Civilization and Religion for FREE!
Contact us:
Contact Us Now
  • About StudentShare

  • Testimonials

  • FAQ

  • Blog

  • Free Essays
  • New Essays
  • Essays

  • The Newest Essay Topics
Join us:
Contact Us