Sigmund Freud
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A Criticism of Freud on Religion

Over the last few blogs, I have been taking an interest in Freud and his views on religion. As you know, Freud was a psychologist and psychoanalyst who dispelled religion as an illusion.

In my last blog, I explored the positives of Freud on religion by asking ‘Is there any Truth in Freud on Religion?’. Today, I am criticising Freud on religion.

Criticism of Freud

Sigmund Freud with Hans Public Domain

Criticism of Freud on Religion

1. Freud against Freud

Freud could be used against Freud if the child wishes his father dead isn’t this what receives expression in atheism? Therefore atheism could be seen as a projection of the nonexistence of the father and of course the heavenly father. Atheism would then be wish fulfilment.

2. Freud’s Contradictory Approach

Freud’s usual principle in dealing with these patients was that is explanations had to be acceptable to them without this personal acceptance is analyses were invalid through his study of dreams, Freud agreed that the person most likely to know the meaning of the dream is the person who dreamt it themselves. Freud, however, did not apply the same principle in his analysis of religious belief. Isn’t this contradictory or double standards?

3. Isn’t Everything to do with Sex?!

A main criticism of Freud is that his ideas are too bound up in the Oedipal complex. Freud’s approach has been referred to as a catchall hypothesis can’t anything be given a sexual association?

4. Is the Sexual Gratification a search for God?!

Perhaps it’s actually the other way around! We could turn Freud’s theory on its head and say that it isn’t libidinal sexual gratification people are seeking religion, it is God they’re really seeking in the sexual gratification in!

5. What about the Liberal Religious Believers?

A key criticism of Freud is that he could be accused of taking very literal or conservative views of religious meanings. He does not consider believers who are liberal in their religious beliefs and acknowledge the fact that the Bible is open to interpretation.

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