criticisms of Freud

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  • Created on: 07-05-13 16:08
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  • criticisms of Freud
      • the theory of the primal horde and its link with the development of religion has been discredited- this is because not all societies grouped together in hordes.
        • Evans-Pritchard doubts that this ever happened and guilt cannot be passed on generation after generation
          • therefore the primal crime did not happen and even if it did guilt cannot be transferred
      • ' THE WOLF MAN' Freud argues that just because a young man named pankejeff witnessed sexual acts between his parents, it resulted in fear of wolves (because of his dream) and God.- he is bringing two completely irrelavent situations together- for example: you get hit by  a car- you will probably suffer traumas that are relevant such as fear of crossing the road and being  extra cautious - one will not suddenly be afraid of pigs
      • Freuds claims are subjective and are based on very little evidence.
        • he does not take into account: religions such as Buddhism where there is no  God OR religions with FEMALE deities e.g. goddesses OR religions with more than one God
          • he can therefore be criticised for constructing a theory to explain the societies and religions he is familiar with thus ignoring those of others.
      • freud ignores many positive aspects of religion
        • Winnicott- sees religion in  a positive way as it helps humans to adapt to their environment by providing comfort and familiarity.
        • Ann-maria Rizzuto-  science is as much of an illusion as religion- they both require us to interpret data and impose order on the world.
    • further criticisms:
      • if we acted out oedipus conflict society would not function.
      • religion gives society structure and provides authority and gives us a reason to submit to authority: we have to obey God and we will be rewarded in the afterlife- this makes society bearable.
      • religion allows sublimation to occur- the process by which sexual instinct is redirected into other activities such as art and culture. since the natural outlet is forbidden, our libido is forced into other activities
      • religion helps us deal with our fear of natural forces such as death- since we are helpless through religion we can control natural forces. furthermore we have a father figure who can protect us - it fulfills our wishes- someone to look out for us in  a harsh world.
    • conclusion for freud
      • does not really make a judgement on whether God exists.
      • he admits some aspects of religion have been beneficial to society HOWEVER he thought that religion can be used to justify doing bad things e.g. slavery then it allows you to repent.
        • e.g. 'one sinned then one made a sacrifice, and then one was free to sin once more'
      • he thought religion should be overthrown   since it causes conflict and science should replace it.


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