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Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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Ben Wood

th October 18 , 2012 **Essay due November 8 ** th - focus on one theory, and a particular part of the theory - one scholarly work should be used - limitations should be included  Otto: numinous, wholly, sacred Freud  The founding father of psychoanalysis  Wrote several books about religion such as Totem and Taboo, The Future of an Illusion, Civilization and its Discontents, Moses and Monotheism  Developed ideas of the unconscious mind  Created a method of treating patients with mental disorders  Cognitive therapy etc.  Tried to understand religion through psychological approach  Explained what he considered to be the origin of religion and religious beliefs and how they have become established  Religious beliefs function by personifying or humanizing nature and give us the feeling that we can have some control over the forces of nature  According to Freud, this involves giving the forces of nature a paternal quality  Human beings would crave the security of their father in childhood, who would reassure their children about the world – Freud  For Freud, divine beings (which are personified forces of nature) are given three sorts of work: 1. To protect humans from nature 2. To help humans deal with bad circumstances 3. To help the individual deal with the hardships of being in civilization (like giving up our personal desires) – “how he in visions us to be on the most basic level, which is extremely violent, cannibalistic, uncivilized people” – Professor Wood  Religious beliefs are influential because they seem to protect the individual from the forces of nature, which represent some of the oldest and most basic desires of humanity  Religious beliefs also seem to solve the early father complex that Freud argues humans possess. He writes, “with God now a single being, relations toward him could recover the intimacy and intensity of the child’s relationship with his father”  He argues that religious beliefs are illusions, by which he means something very specific  Religious beliefs are illusory because they: - Cannot be proven - They are improbable - They contradict reality - They are not based on experience - They are not based o
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