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· "Religion is an illusion based on human
· Believed we created religion due to:
­ Inner Psychological conflict
­ The conflict between Nature & Civilisation
­ The Helplessness & fear of natural causes…read more

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Inner Psychological Conflict
· Freud argued that religion is due to a
collective neurosis ­ the results of a neurotic
· Meaning religion stems from the unconscious
· As well as being the results of traumatic
memories…read more

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Inner Psychological Conflict
· Freud's iceberg analogy forms his idea
of the unconscious
· Our collective neurosis is rooted within
out unconscious mind / psyche
· When we try to repress [`forget'] a
memory we `push' it further down into
our unconscious
· As much as we try to repress the
memory it can sometimes `spill' into
our conscious which is shown as
anxieties or obsessions
­ This can be like religion because you have
to ritually pray
Religion & Neurotic behaviour both include: Specific ritualistic behaviour
i.e. Prayer & washing hands Both feel guilty if they do not complete the act…read more

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Inner Psychological Conflict
The root of religion is in the unconscious!
Freud describes our collective neurosis as the
When a child's mother gives more attention for the father they feel hatred and
guilt towards him because they have the mothers attention
But because they also respect the father, they feel guilty of their jealousy
Ambivalence! - Conflicting feelings
So in result they repress these feelings in the unconscious, which is very hard so
they neurotic behaviour may occur
So... We have now gained inherited guilt
This is because our past ancestors known as ­ primal horde (Early primitive humans)
felt ambivalence toward their Alfa male
The junior males killed off the Alfa, and then felt guilty so held rituals & worshiping
prayers for him as an apology [Animism ­ belief natural things have dignity like rocks]
This guilt has then been inherited and passed down in our collective neurosis…read more

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Conflict between our nature & civilisation
· Freud felt that our natural desires and the ways of society are at conflict
· For example, society is dependent on rules, and these rules are at conflict
with our natural desires
· An illustration of this is ­ killing or stealing both are against the law, but it
is natural for us to do so
· Freud felt that religion was created to prevent us from
committing things like stealing ­ by following religion it keeps us
to the 10 commandments and the law because it gets us to
· This is known as sublimation ­ a process to redirect our natural
desires to other acts
· Freud felt that we should stop using religion as a way to stick to rules and we
should not commit our natural desires for ourselves this way it'd be better for
ourselves & society…read more

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