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Equus by Peter Shaffer Dr Martin Dysart of Peter Shaffers play Equus is a man faced with the modern dilemma of Sigmund Freuds problem of religion It is a problem which must be asked of religious scholars such as Ninian Smart and states briefly this religion was once a powerful and driving force in the lives of human beings but now we have evolved to such a point where we realize it to be an object of useless expense which we no longer need Freud believes he has solved the problem while Dysart is confused and unsure I do not believe as did Freud that the problem of religion is so easily solved Freud established his view of religion in his books Totem and Taboo and The Future of an Illusion He was fond of allegories and compared mans need for God with a childs need for a father He says And thus a store of ideas is created born from mans need to make his helplessness tolerable and built up from the material of memories of helplessness of his own childhood and the childhood of the human race Future of an Illusion-18 He adds that like a child we felt a need for protection thus we created a divine father and established a moral world-order to ensure the fulfillment of the demands of justice 30 Religious belief is an illusion says Freud because it is motivated by a wish fulfillment without basis in what we know about reality They cannot be proven nor can they be refuted and thus they must be rejected But Freud does not say that currently we can live without religion for without it the world might very well fall into chaos Religion has done a great service in taming asocial instincts but man can do better Freud saw humanity as an adolescent a child who is still bound to the
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