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Freud and Neurosis Sigmund Feud believed that religion was simply an illusion His theory is based on the belief that human impulse is to murder and be promiscuous If that assumption is correct then his theory that religion is helping to prohibit these impulses can have some merit However since it is impossible to ascertain the nature of man it is impossible to determine whether religion is actually helping to prevent these impulses Freud claims that moral prohibitions would not be obeyed by a majority of people if there were not external coercions but there are many people who are not religious and yet do not murder or have sex with anyone they want Thus seems unlikely that religion alone could help to renounce these impulses Freud of course would say that other things can serve as sublimation for the sexual urges but this theory cannot be tested because you can never find a person who is free of every thing which might be seen as sublimation Like Durkheim Freud saw religion as originating in the realization that there is a force greater than the individual However where Durkheim saw that force as society Freud saw the force as nature which is superior In an effort to relate to and eventually influence that nature man personifies nature in the form of gods Since many ancient religions have gods that are of natural origin this theory makes sense Religion would be to the ancients what science is now explaining earthquakes and tornadoes as acts of the gods In fact Freud claims that as people become more educated about scientific matters they will become less religious Here again though there is no proof for this statement There are many very scientific people who are still religious For some their scientific research causes greater belief in religion and the existence of a greater power The biggest problem
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