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Sigmund Freud Civilization Die Weltanschauung 1918 By Weltanschauung then I mean an intellectual construction which gives a unified solution of all the problems of our existence in virtue of a comprehensive hypothesis a construction therefore in which no question is left open and in which everything in which we are interested finds a place It is easy to see that the possession of such a Weltanschauung is one of the ideal wishes of mankind When one believes in such a thing one feels secure in life one knows what one ought to strive after and how one ought to organize ones emotions and interests to the best purpose If that is what is meant by a Weltanschauung then the question is an easy one for psychoanalysis to answer It is inadmissible to declare that science is one field of human intellectual activity and that religion and philosophy are others at least as valuable and that science has no business to interfere with the other two that they all have an equal claim to truth and that everyone is free to choose whence he shall draw his convictions and in what he shall place his belief Such an attitude is considered particularly respectable tolerant broad-minded and free from narrow prejudices Unfortunately it is not tenable it shares all the pernicious qualities of an entirely unscientific Weltanschauung and in practice comes to much the same thing The bare fact is that truth cannot be tolerant and cannot admit compromise or limitations that scientific research looks on the whole field of human activity as its own and must adopt an uncompromisingly critical attitude towards any other power that seeks to usurp any part of its province Of the three forces which can dispute the position of science religion alone is a really serious enemy Art is almost always harmless and beneficent it does not seek to be anything else but an illusion Save in the case
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