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In Sigmund Freuds The Future of an Illusion Freud suggests that humanity is driven by instinctual wishes that they suppress such as incest cannibalism and a lust for killing What keeps humanity from acting upon these wishes and resulting in the break down of civilization are the moral laws of that civilization In EuropeanWestern civilization these moral laws are based on religion specifically Christianity and Judaism Religion creates a moral system by which those that do evil are eternally punished and those that do good rewarded thus keeping society in line In addition to preventing humankind from acting on its instinctual wishes Freud states that religion also helps humanity exorcize the terrors of nature and reconcile men to the cruelty of fate Freud 22 Freud argues that since humanity sought to have these three wants need for the control of society protection from nature and compensation for suffering satisfied it created God and religion Because of this fact Freud says that religion is an illusion a fulfillment of our oldest strongest and most urgent desires Freud 39 Although Freud recognizes that EuropeanWestern civilization rests on religion he argues that humankind would be much better off if it were to give up religion He says that religion represses the ignorant masses and prevents truly free scientific thinking Freud argues that society should cast religion aside and replace with an ideology value system based on knowledge science and reason At this point however Freuds argument falls apart Religion plays a highly valuable role in our society and it is impossible to replace or remove it Freuds reason for believing that religion should be cast away rests in psychoanalytic thought He argues that religion is a universal neurosis arising out of the Oedipus complex of childhood Freud believes that humanity created God in the image of its own father He comes to this conclusion by looking at the many aspects of our relationship with God In Christianity and
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