religion and psychology

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  • Created by: jessie
  • Created on: 30-01-14 15:26
what is an illusion
a belief derived from human wishes
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what is repression?
the name given to the process whereby the mind subconsciously takes unpleasant memories and locks them away in the mind
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what is the unconscious mind?
it contains basic drives such as breathing and forgotten memories
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what is the conscious mind?
the part of the mind which contains our present thoughts and emotions
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what is the psyche?
the technical term for the mind
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what conclusion does the psychological study of religion make
The God worshiped by believers is first and foremost a construct of the human mind
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what is Freud's theory of religion
that religion is an illusion based on human wishes
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it is created by the mind to help us overcome...?
inner psychological conflict, stress which stems from the structure of society, fear of the dangers of the natural world
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what did Freud mean by the term ' illusion' when applied to religion
that it answers the inner needs of the person
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what is Freud's first argument as to the psychological purpose of religion?
religion as an aid to overcome inner psychological conflict
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what is religion seen as ?
a form of neurotic illness
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what is a neurotic illness?
involves physical symptoms but has no physical cause but is rooted in the mind
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where does it stem from?
the unconscious mind
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what is it a result of
incompletely repressed traumatic memories
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what is the trauma?
it is sexual in nature
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what conclusion is then made?
therefore religion is an illusion resulting from sexual difficulties
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what did Freud believe?
that the construction of the mind and the development of the human personality led to deep inner conflicts, invariably sexual in nature
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what is the minds solution to this?
to lock away the trauma in the unconscious mind
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what did Freud's work with with patients who were suffering from hysteria led him to conclude?
in addition to the conscious areas the mind also contains unconscious parts which we cannot normally acess
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what did Freud's work with on hypnosis led him to realise?
the unconscious mind comprises of a vast store of information about events that we consider long forgotten
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when was the link with religion made by Freud
when he noticed close similarities between the behavior of his patients in relation their obsession and that of religious people to the object of their worship
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from this what did Freud conclude?
religion was of neurotic behavior caused by traumas buried deep within the mind
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what was the libido for Freud?
the body's most basic urge and the one most capable of causing psychological problems within the development of the individual
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where does the trauma that lies behind neurotic behavior result from?
problems in the sexual development of the child
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what is the Oedipus complex?
the desire to possess the mother and the ambivalence towards the father
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what does the sexual development of the child result in?
trauma
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what is the Oedipus complex?
a universal sexual trauma
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what can happen to it even if its buried
it can reappear in the form of religion
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what is the primal horde?
the social unit in primitive societies
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what were hordes
groups of people arranged a single dominant male who had total authority over the group and held claim over all the females
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what is significant about hordes?
the strength of the feelings of hatred/ veneration by the younger males towards the dominant male was so great that the father became idolised and transformed into the totem of the group
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what relation does this have to religion?
it helps to explain why religion is universal and why the concept of God is such a powerful one
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how does religion stem from sexual guilt?
Freud presents a complicated argument which shows that the natural reaction of the mind was to control feelings of guilt by transferring it away from itself and on to surrounding objects and people
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what was the first stage of this development?
animism
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when suffering what was the minds defence to do?
to create idols ( totems)
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what does this involve?
this involves investing stones, trees or animals with spirits
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after doing this what can the mind do?
redirect the feelings of guilt on to the idol and can make amends through prayer and sacrifice
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what is the mind then able to do?
to control the feelings of guilt
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in effect what is the idol ( totem)
a transformation of the father
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what does Freud point out?
that the gods are regarded with the same ambivalence as was the original father figure
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what does Freud then conclude from this?
that religion is therefore an illusion created by the mind to help us come to terms with the powerfully ambivalent emotions suffered during sexual development
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what is it a means of?
resolving this inner conflict
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what is sublimation?
the process by which the sexual instinct is redirected into other activities such as culture and art
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what is another reason the mind creates religion?
as an illusion to overcome the conflict between our natures and civilisation
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what does religion provide
a reason to submit to authority
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what does it do?
explains our suffering in terms of the need to obey an omnipotent God
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what does it promise?
reward for suffering in the afterlife and makes society bearable
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what does religion therefore provide?
the necessary motivation for sublimation to occur
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what relation does this have to the libido?
it forces it into other areas such as music and art
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what else is religion an illusion to help us overcome?
our fear of natural forces
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what does Freud believe the natural human response to being confronted by natural forces is?
one of panic and helplessness at the our defencelessness and solitude
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what does religion help by doing?
creating the belief that the natural forces are no longer impersonal and that we are no longer powerless for through religious devotion we believe that we can control them
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what does religion provide?
for the adult a father figure who can protect just as the father protected the child
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what does Freud not provide?
any logical proof against the existence of God
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what does he believe that religion is?
not beneficial
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what does he believe religion has been used to for?
As a tool against the oppressed to keep them oppressed.
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what was Freud's suggested alternative?
to replace religion with a scientific rational understanding of the world
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what was Freud's final conclusion?
the pain of removing religion would be more than justified by the benefits
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in which ways has Freud's workbeen attacked?
the historical and anthropological evidence regarding the primal horde, the psychological evidence regarding the Oedipus complex, Freud's dependence on a narrow selection of evidence, conclusion that religion should be overthrown
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what happened to his primal horde theory?
it was discredited
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why so?
because the primal horde never happened and could not transmit guilt even if it had taken place
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how does it weaken the Oedipus complex?
since the primal crime was an important illustration of its effect on society
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Card 2

Front

what is repression?

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the name given to the process whereby the mind subconsciously takes unpleasant memories and locks them away in the mind

Card 3

Front

what is the unconscious mind?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

what is the conscious mind?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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what is the psyche?

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