Explanations fo religion

  • Created by: lizpots99
  • Created on: 03-06-18 09:44

Psychological - Feuerbach

Feuerbach believed that religious belief stemmed from humanities need for certain things, uch as a need for pretection and love. We project what we want onto what we call God. For Feuebac humans worhipped human nature.

He argues that imagination can cheat reason and that we are misled by ideas of God, which can lead to false and damaging ideas. .

Humanity projects the best aspects of humanity onto an imaginary being we call God. For example, humanity wants to feel protected so we created an omnibenevolent God. We want to feel significant so we says that God values everyone and that he is omnipresent or immanent. We want justice and some form of certain morality so we create a just and moral God who rewards the good and punishes the bas

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Psychological - Freud

Freud argued that the origin of religion is psychological and described it as a universal obsessional neurosis. 

For Freud the mind is made up of three layer: the ego which is the conscious self of which we are aware, the it the unconscious self (repressed), and the super-ego which is the socailly constructed morality which comes from our socialisation (heteronomy).

Freud argued that people want an afterlife as it is a comforting idea to find meaning in life whereas in fact it is actually an illusion - he described God as humanity's imaginary friend. In normal Freudian spirit, he links ideas of parental relationships to God. He finds close connections between relationship with God and that with parents. A mother is caring, loving and comforting (like God), while Father is strong and protective (like God)

However, Freud can be critiqued by the fact, that often when children leave home they lose faith, rather than gain it. Similarly to Anselm's ontological, Freud sets our evidence to support his original point, rather than base his idea on evidence.

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Sociological - Marx

Karl Marx argued that religion was an illusion created by those in power (the bourgeoisie) to keep the oppressed from rising up for the revolution - he referred to it as 'the opium of the masses'. To a religious believer those who are meak and good will be rewarded in the afterlife, and those who are bad or evil will be punished. This stops the oppressed from rising up as they believe they will recieve justice in the afterlife - any potentially revolutionarry actions are extinguished for the sake of the eternal soul.

Organised religion is often controlled by those in power, which was especially true of the Chruch of England (seeing as it was originally created by the head of state, King Henry VIII), which seemed to benefit the wealthier classes, reinforcing the poisinous social class system  

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Sociological - Durkheim

Durkheim held a functionlist positivist view of society - a consensus theory. 

He believed that when people thought they were experiencing the almighty power of something outside themselves, they were actually experiencing the power of their society. He saw God as a symbol of society itslef, the same way Feuerbach saw God as a symbol of human nature. 

Durkheim suggested how religion holds people together in society as a form of shared belief and value consensus. Therefore, unlike Marx, he argued that religion s good for society as it holds people together, when communities have religion to bind them. He sees God given facts and the idea that people are being controlled by God, are actually socially constructed facts, and a recognition of the rules of society.

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