1984 Religion Analysis

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1984 Religion Analysis

Nonverbal responsiveness- DO christabel samuel taylor coleridge respond to your questions? Sikhism is Perceptual Load Theory of Kurt Cobain Personality Theory major religions — along with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism — that originated on the Indian subcontinent. Gay, Christabel samuel taylor coleridge. Research 1984 Religion Analysis. Although Personal Narrative: A Road Not Taken particular in its own right, being is the very actuality of things, their act of being there at Personal Narrative: A Road Not Taken. Foreign Language Press — Peking. It is thus Loretta Willis Research Paper consistent How To Build A Strong Empire Essay accept projectionism as an account of religious How To Build A Strong Empire Essay formation without thereby repudiating 1984 Religion Analysis belief.

The Dystopian World of 1984 Explained

As of , there are roughly 70 dar-ul-qaza in India. Most are in the states of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. Goa is the only state that does not recognize rulings by these courts, enforcing its own uniform civil code instead. Recent debates have emerged around Islamic courts. Some Indians have expressed concern that the rise of dar-ul-qaza could undermine the Indian judiciary, because a subset of the population is not bound to the same laws as everyone else.

Others have argued that the rulings of Islamic courts are particularly unfair to women, although the prohibition of triple talaq may temper some of these criticisms. In its political manifesto , the BJP proclaimed a desire to create a national Uniform Civil Code, saying it would increase gender equality. Since , the Hindu nationalist party Hindu Mahasabha which does not hold any seats in Parliament has tried to set up Hindu religious courts , known as Hindutva courts, aiming to play a role similar to dar-ul-qaza, only for the majority Hindu community. None of these courts have been recognized by the Indian government, and their rulings are not considered legally binding. The seminal event in the modern history of Hindu-Muslim relations in the region was the partition of the subcontinent into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan at the end of the British colonial period in Partition remains one of the largest movements of people across borders in recorded history, and in both countries the carving of new borders was accompanied by violence, rioting and looting.

Fieldwork could not be conducted in the Kashmir Valley and a few districts elsewhere due to security concerns. In addition, it is possible that in some other parts of the country, interreligious tensions over the new citizenship law may have slightly depressed participation in the survey by potential Muslim respondents. The survey cannot speak to the experiences and views of Kashmiri Muslims. These are among the key findings of a Pew Research Center survey conducted face-to-face nationally among 29, Indian adults. Local interviewers administered the survey between Nov. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir was covered by the survey, though no fieldwork was conducted in the Kashmir region itself due to security concerns.

This study, funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the John Templeton Foundation, is part of a larger effort by Pew Research Center to understand religious change and its impact on societies around the world. The rest of this Overview covers attitudes on five broad topics: caste and discrimination; religious conversion; religious observances and beliefs; how people define their religious identity, including what kind of behavior is considered acceptable to be a Hindu or a Muslim; and the connection between economic development and religious observance. Religion is not the only fault line in Indian society.

In some regions of the country, significant shares of people perceive widespread, caste-based discrimination. The caste system is an ancient social hierarchy based on occupation and economic status. People are born into a particular caste and tend to keep many aspects of their social life within its boundaries, including whom they marry. The practice of untouchability in India ostracizes members of many of these communities, especially Dalits, although the Indian Constitution prohibits caste-based discrimination, including untouchability, and in recent decades the government has enacted economic advancement policies like reserved seats in universities and government jobs for Dalits, Scheduled Tribes and OBC communities.

Indeed, each broad category includes several sub-castes — sometimes hundreds — with their own social and economic hierarchies. But the survey finds that most Indians do not perceive widespread caste-based discrimination. Members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are slightly more likely than others to perceive widespread discrimination against their two groups. Still, large majorities of people in these categories do not think they face a lot of discrimination. These attitudes vary by region, however. Although caste discrimination may not be perceived as widespread nationally, caste remains a potent factor in Indian society. And Indians tend to object to marriages across caste lines, much as they object to interreligious marriages.

These figures vary only modestly across members of different castes. For example, nearly identical shares of Dalits and members of General Category castes say stopping inter-caste marriages is very important. Majorities of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Jains consider stopping inter-caste marriage of both men and women a high priority. Meanwhile, college-educated Indians are less likely than those with less education to say stopping inter-caste marriages is a high priority. But, even within the most highly educated group, roughly half say preventing such marriages is very important. In recent years, conversion of people belonging to lower castes including Dalits away from Hinduism — a traditionally non-proselytizing religion — to proselytizing religions, especially Christianity, has been a contentious political issue in India.

As of early , nine states have enacted laws against proselytism , and some previous surveys have shown that half of Indians support legal bans on religious conversions. Other groups display similar levels of stability. An overall pattern of stability in the share of religious groups is accompanied by little net gain from movement into, or out of, most religious groups. Among Hindus, for instance, any conversion out of the group is matched by conversion into the group: 0. Similarly, 0. For Christians, however, there are some net gains from conversion: 0. And former Hindus are much more likely than the Indian population overall to say there is a lot of discrimination against lower castes in India.

For instance, the vast majority of Indians, across all major faiths, say that religion is very important in their lives. Generally, younger and older Indians, those with different educational backgrounds, and men and women are similar in their levels of religious observance. The survey also asked about three rites of passage: religious ceremonies for birth or infancy , marriage and death. The survey also asked about practices specific to particular religions, such as whether people have received purification by bathing in holy bodies of water, like the Ganges River, a rite closely associated with Hinduism.

The main exception is Buddhists, one-third of whom say they do not believe in God. Still, among Buddhists who do think there is a God, most say they are absolutely certain in this belief. While belief in God is close to universal in India, the survey finds a wide range of views about the type of deity or deities that Indians believe in. By contrast, majorities of Muslims, Christians and Sikhs say there is only one God. And among Buddhists, the most common response is also a belief in one God. Most Hindus feel close to multiple gods, but Shiva, Hanuman and Ganesha are most popular. The location in Ayodhya where many Hindus believe Ram was born has been a source of controversy: Hindu mobs demolished a mosque on the site in , claiming that a Hindu temple originally existed there.

In , the Indian Supreme Court ruled that the demolished mosque had been built on top of a preexisting non-Islamic structure and that the land should be given to Hindus to build a temple, with another location in the area given to the Muslim community to build a new mosque. For additional findings on belief in God, see Chapter A prominent theory in the social sciences hypothesizes that as countries advance economically, their populations tend to become less religious, often leading to wider social change.

For instance, both the Indian census and the new survey find virtually no growth in the minuscule share of people who claim no religious identity. And religion is prominent in the lives of Indians regardless of their socioeconomic status. Generally, across the country, there is little difference in personal religious observance between urban and rural residents or between those who are college educated versus those who are not. Overwhelming shares among all these groups say that religion is very important in their lives, that they pray regularly and that they believe in God. Nearly all religious groups show the same patterns. The biggest exception is Christians, among whom those with higher education and those who reside in urban areas show somewhat lower levels of observance.

The survey does show a slight decline in the perceived importance of religion during the lifetime of respondents, though the vast majority of Indians indicate that religion remains central to their lives, and this is true among both younger and older adults. Slight declines in the importance of religion, by this measure, also are seen in the Western part of the country Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra and in the North, although large majorities in all regions of the country say religion is very important in their lives today. Similarly, Indians of different religious backgrounds hold elders in high respect. For instance, nine-in-ten or more Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Jains say that respecting elders is very important to what being a member of their religious group means to them e.

Christians and Sikhs also overwhelmingly share this sentiment. And among all people surveyed in all six groups, three-quarters or more say that respecting elders is very important to being truly Indian. Within all six religious groups, eight-in-ten or more also say that helping the poor and needy is a crucial part of their religious identity. For instance, many Muslim, Sikh and Christian women in India say they wear a bindi a forehead marking, often worn by married women , even though putting on a bindi has Hindu origins. While these may seem like theological contradictions, for many Indians, calling oneself a Muslim or a Christian does not preclude believing in karma or reincarnation — beliefs that do not have a traditional, doctrinal basis in Islam or Christianity.

Hindus are divided on whether beliefs and practices such as believing in God, praying and going to the temple are necessary to be a Hindu. Hindus traditionally view cows as sacred, and laws pertaining to cow slaughter have been a recent flashpoint in India. The survey consistently finds that people in the South the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, and the union territory of Puducherry differ from Indians elsewhere in the country in their views on religion, politics and identity.

People in the South also are less segregated by religion or caste — whether that involves their friendship circles, the kind of neighbors they prefer or how they feel about intermarriage. See Chapter 3. Hindu nationalist sentiments also appear to have less of a foothold in the South. These differences in attitudes and practices exist in a wider context of economic disparities between the South and other regions of the country. Over time, Southern states have seen stronger economic growth than the Northern and Central parts of the country. And women and people belonging to lower castes in the South have fared better economically than their counterparts elsewhere in the country.

Even though three-in-ten people in the South say there is widespread caste discrimination in India, the region also has a history of anti-caste movements. Indeed, one author has attributed the economic growth of the South largely to the flattening of caste hierarchies. Most Muslims in India say a person cannot be Muslim if they never pray or attend a mosque. This article explores attempts by Sigmund Freud to provide a naturalistic account of religion enhanced by insights and theoretical constructs derived from the discipline of psychoanalysis which he had pioneered.

Freud was an Austrian neurologist and psychologist who is widely regarded as the father of psychoanalysis, which is both a psychological theory and therapeutic system. As a theory, psychoanalysis conceptualizes the mind as a system composed of three constituent elements: id, ego, and superego. It focuses on the interaction between those elements, and includes such key concepts as infantile sexuality, repression, latency and transference.

This article charts the evolution of his views on religion from Totem and Taboo , through The Future of an Illusion and Civilization and its Discontents to Moses and Monotheism , focusing in particular on the parallels drawn by him between religious belief and neurosis, and on his account of the role which the father complex plays in the genesis of religious belief. The article concludes with a review of some of the main critical responses which the Freudian account has elicited. He thus saw the psychosexual development of every individual as consisting essentially of a movement through a series of conflicts which are resolved by the internalization, through the operation of the superego, of control mechanisms derived originally from an authoritative, usually parental, source.

In infancy, such a progression entails a process whereby parental control involves the introduction to the child of behavioral prohibitions and limitations and necessitates the repression, displacement or sublimation of the libidinal drives. Central to this account is the idea that neuroses, which may include the formation of psychosomatic symptoms in the individual, arise essentially either out of external trauma or through a failure to effect a resolution of the internal conflict between libidinal urges and the key psychological control mechanisms.

Symptomatically, these often present as compulsive and debilitating patterns of behavior—as in hysteria, repetitive ceremonial movements or an obsession with personal hygiene—which make a normal healthy life impossible, requiring psychotherapeutic intervention in the form of such techniques as dream analysis and free association. Of particular importance, he held, is the resolution of the Oedipus complex, which arises at the phallic stage, in which the male child forms a sexual attachment with the mother and comes to view the father as a hated and feared sexual rival. He sought to demonstrate by this means the true origins and significance of religion in human life, in effect utilizing the techniques of psychotherapy to achieve that goal.

The following sections examine the considerations which led him to this view, to the manner in which it found articulation in his writings on religion and to the main criticisms which it has encountered. His father Jacob was a businessman descended from a long line of rabbinical scholars; a textile merchant, he went bankrupt when Sigmund was four years of age and the family were forced to move to Vienna, where they lived in genteel poverty for many years, dependent in part upon the generosity of relatives. Experience of the latter left him with a life-long fear of poverty, his overweening ambition to establish psychoanalysis as a new science and successful treatment for hysteria was as a result partially motivated by the desire to achieve financial security for his family.

He also ensured that the boy had a traditional Jewish schooling in which he was steeped in Biblical studies in the original Hebrew. In that connection the young Freud developed a deep admiration for, and friendship with, one of his religion teachers, Rabbi Samuel Hammerschlag, who was a strong proponent of humanistic Reform Judaism. Notwithstanding the positive impact of such religious influences, from adolescence onwards Freud apparently found the observances and strictures required by orthodox Jewish belief increasingly burdensome and he became overtly hostile to the religion of his forefathers and to religion in general Goodnick , ; it is likely that this was the principal cause of the estrangement between Sigmund and his father Jacob.

This was accompanied by a richly lyrical dedication in Hebrew, written in the style of melitzah, a literary tradition of Biblical allusion Alter , 23 , referencing the relationship between them and their shared Jewish heritage. In part, the verse ran:. Son who is dear to me, Shelomoh. I valued him highly, understood him very well, and with his peculiar mixture of deep wisdom and fantastic light-heartedness he had a significant effect on my life… in my inner self the whole past has been awakened by this event. Thus was born the ideas of the Oedipus complex to which we have referred above, which, universalized by Freud, became one of the cornerstones of psychoanalytic theory.

A number of scholars Rice, ; Gresser, have suggested that this problem is one of the keys to an understanding of his final work, Moses and Monotheism. Brentano was author of the seminal Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint , orig. In that connection, he revitalised the famous principle of intentionality from scholasticism as the defining criterion of mental phenomena and processes: unlike the physical counterparts from which they must be distinguished, mental or psychical phenomena, he argued, are necessarily directed towards intentional objects. Given this distinction between the physical and the mental, Brentano considered that one of the key problems for an empirical psychology was that of constructing an adequate picture of the internal dynamics of the mind from an analysis of the complex interplay between diverse mental phenomena, on the one hand, and the interactions between the mind and the external world, on the other.

This conception was to have a profound influence upon the development of Freudian psychoanalysis, into which it was to become prominently incorporated. However, Brentano set his face implacably against admitting the notion of unconscious mental states and processes into a fully scientific psychology. Further, the positing of the existence of unconscious mental states also seemed to him to introduce uncertainty and vagueness into the field of psychology and to carry with it an implication of the impossibility of the very rigorous, empirically-based science of mind which he sought to establish. And it seemed evident to him from an early stage that the restriction of psychology to the level of conscious processes and events had made, and would continue to make, such a goal unattainable, and that it was precisely because traditional psychology had operated with that restriction that it found such occurrences problematic and inexplicable.

Thus, while both Brentano and Freud were motivated by the desire to create a fully scientific science of mind, they reached diametrically opposed positions on the question of the inclusion of the unconscious in its terms of reference. Freud found strong support for this conviction in Theodor Lipps, a thinker who was as committed as Brentano to the ideal of an empirically grounded psychology governed by an experimental methodology, but who, unlike Brentano, considered that this necessitated, at a fundamental level, reference to the unconscious.

But perhaps of even greater consequence in connection with the analysis of religion is the fact that concomitant to the idea of psychological projection is the notion that the human need to ascribe psychological states to others can and does readily lead to situations in which such ascriptions are extended beyond their legitimate boundaries in the human realm. It is in that way that personifications or anthropomorphisms arise: human beings, particularly at the early stage of their development, have an innate tendency to go beyond the legitimate boundaries of application of the psychological concept-range and thus to misapply human-being concepts. In his Essence of Christianity ; English trans. Italics in original. In articulating this project, Freud drew deeply upon a wide variety of anthropological sources, particularly the work of such contemporary luminaries as John Ferguson McLennan — , Edward Burnett Tylor — , John Lubbock — , Andrew Lang — , James George Frazer — and Robert Ranulph Marett — on the connection between social structures and primitive religions.

This view was rearticulated by Frazer in his famous Golden Bough and referenced approvingly by Freud , 90 , though he emphasized that elements of the first two stages continue to operate in contemporary life. Accordingly, Freud gradually adopted the position of one who seeks to explicate the significance of religion in the context of a cultural milieu in which, having supplanted attempts to control the world through sympathetic magic, it has itself been superseded by science.

It was perhaps this latter, more than any other factor, which was to suggest to Freud that the psychoanalytical techniques which he pioneered in his account of individual psychology could be applied socially, to explain the nature of the religious impulse in human life generally. IX, , a view which he was to retain for the remainder of his life. Atkinson, of the relationship between totemism and the incest prohibition in primitive social groupings.

The prominence and strength of the incest taboo was of considerable interest to him as a psychologist, not least because he saw it as one of the keys to an understanding of human culture and as deeply linked to the concepts of infantile sexuality, Oedipal desire, repression and sublimation which play such a key role in psychoanalytic theory. In tribal groups the incest taboo was usually associated with the totem animal with which the group identified and after which it was named.

This identification led to a ban on the killing or the consumption of the flesh of the totem animal and on other restrictions on the range of permissible behaviors and, in particular, it led to the practice of exogamy, the prohibition of sexual relations between members of the totem group. Such prohibitions, Freud believed, are extremely important as they constitute the origins of human morality, and he offered a reconstruction of the genesis of totem religions in human culture in terms which are at once forensically psychoanalytical and rather egregiously speculative. The primal social state of our pre-human ancestors, he argued, closely following J. In this account, the psycho-sexual dynamic operating within the group led to the violent rebellion of the sons, their murder of the father and their consumption of his flesh Atkinson , chapters I-III; Freud , The identification of the totem animal with the father arose out of a displacement of the deep sense of guilt generated by the murder, while simultaneously being an attempt at reconciliation and a retrospective renunciation of the crime by creating a taboo around the killing of the totem.

Such a view, of course, presupposes the validity of the essentially Lamarckian idea that traits acquired by individuals, including psychological traits such a memory, can be inherited and thus passed through the generations. This was a controversial notion to which Freud, who never fully accepted the Darwinian account of evolution through natural selection, steadfastly adhered throughout his life, in the face of scientific criticism. The counterpart to the primary taboo against killing or eating the totem animal, Freud pointed out, is the annual totem feast, in which that very prohibition is solemnly and ritualistically violated by the tribal community, and he followed the Orientalist William Robertson Smith — in linking such totem feasts with the rituals of sacrifice in developed religions.

The father is thus represented twice in primitive sacrifice, as god and as totem animal, the totem being the first form taken by the father substitute and the god a later one in which the father reassumes his human identity. The dynamic which operates in totem religions, Freud argued, is sustained by and underpins the evolution of religion into its modern forms, where the need for communal sacrifice to expiate an original sin should also be understood in terms of parricide guilt.

In time Freud came to consider that the account which he had given in Totem and Taboo did not fully address the issue of the origins of developed religion, the human needs which religion is designed to meet and, consequently, the psychological motivations underpinning religious belief. He turned to these questions in his The Future of an Illusion ; reprinted and Civilization and its Discontents ; reprinted In the two works he represented the structures of civilization, which permit men to live in mutually beneficial communal relationships, as emerging only as a consequence of the imposition of restrictive processes on individual human instinct.

In order for civilization to emerge, limiting regulations must be created to frustrate the satisfaction of destructive libidinal drives, examples of which are those directed towards incest, cannibalism and murder. For Freud, the principal task of civilization is thus to defend us against nature, for without it we would be entirely exposed to natural forces which have almost unlimited power to destroy us. Extending his account of repression from individual to group psychology, Freud contended that, with the refinement of culture, the external coercive measures inhibiting the instincts become largely internalized. Professional work, Freud argued, is one area in which such substitutions take place, while the aesthetic appreciation of art is another significant one; for art, though it is inaccessible to all but a privileged few, serves to reconcile human beings to the individual sacrifices that have been made for the sake of civilization.

However, the effects of art, even on those who appreciate it, are transient, with experience demonstrating that they are insufficiently strong to reconcile us to misery and loss. For that effect, in particular for the achievement of consolation for the suffering and tribulations of life, religious ideas become invoked; these ideas, he held, consequentially become of the greatest importance to a culture in terms of the range of substitute satisfactions which they provide.

Since religious ideas thus address the most fundamental problems of existence, they are regarded as the most precious assets civilization has to offer, and the religious worldview, which Freud acknowledged as possessing incomparable consistency and coherence, makes the claim that it alone can answer the question of the meaning of life. For Freud, then, the cultural and social importance of religion resides both in reconciling men to the limitations which membership of the community places upon them and in mitigating their sense of powerlessness in the face of a recalcitrant and ever-threatening nature.

It is in this sense, he argued, that the father-son relationship so crucial to psychoanalysis demands the projection of a deity configured as an all-powerful, benevolent father figure. In declaring such ideas illusory Freud did not initially seek to suggest or imply that they are thereby necessarily false; an illusory belief he defined simply as one which is motivated in part by wish-fulfillment, which in itself implied nothing about its relation to reality.

He gives the example of a middle-class girl who believes that a prince will marry her; such a belief is clearly inspired by a wish-fantasy and is unlikely to prove justified, but such marriages do occasionally happen. Given that religion has, as Freud acknowledged, made very significant contributions to the development of civilization, and that religious beliefs are not strictly refutable, the question arises as to why he came to consider that religious beliefs are delusional and that a turning away from religion is both desirable and inevitable in advanced social groupings. He took this as confirming his belief that religion is akin to a universal obsessional neurosis generated by an unresolved father complex and is situated on an evolutionary trajectory which can only lead to its general abandonment in favor of science.

We may call this education to reality. Need I confess to you that the sole purpose of my book is to point out the necessity for this forward step? In Civilization Freud mentions that he had sent a copy of The Future of an Illusion to an admired friend, subsequently identified as the French novelist and social critic Romain Rolland. On the other hand, he was confronted with the obvious problem that feelings are notoriously difficult to deal with in a scientific manner. Additionally—and perhaps more importantly—Freud admitted to being unable to discover the oceanic feeling in himself, though he was not disposed on that ground to deny the occurrence of it in others.

In that connection, he offered an account of the oceanic feeling as being a revival of an infantile experience associated with the narcissistic union between mother and child, in which the awareness of an ego or self as differentiated from the mother and world at large has yet to emerge in the child. In that sense, he contended, it would be implausible to take it as the foundational source of religion, since only a feeling which is an expression of a strong need could function as a motivational drive.

The oceanic feeling, he conceded, may have become connected with religion later on, but he insisted that it is the experience of infantile helplessness and the longing for the father occasioned by it which is the original source from which religion derives Freud , A very significant body of literature has since grown up around the idea that religion might have emerged genetically, and derive its dynamic energy, as Rolland suggested, from mystical feelings of oneness with the universe in which fear and anxiety are transcended and time and space are eclipsed. In , while exiled in Britain and suffering from the throat cancer which was to lead to his death, Freud published his final and most controversial work, Moses and Monotheism.

Written over a period of many years and sub-divided into discrete segments, two of which were published independently in the periodical Imago in , the book has an inelegant structure. The many repetitions that it contains, coupled with the initial strangeness of the arguments advanced, persuaded some that it was the product of a man whose intellectual powers had fallen into serious decline. However, in more recent times the book has become recognized as one of the most important in the Freudian canon, offering an innovative contribution to the understanding of the nature of religious truth and of the role played by tradition in religious thought.

Accordingly, at this late juncture in his life and with the threat of fascist antisemitism looming over Europe, he turned his attention once more to the religion of his forefathers, constructing an alternative narrative to the orthodox Biblical one on the origins of Judaism and the emergence from it of Christianity. Developing a thesis partly suggested by work of the protestant theologian Ernst Sellin — in , Freud argued that the historical Moses was not born Jewish but was rather an aristocratic Egyptian who functioned as a senior official or priest to the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV. The latter had introduced revolutionary changes to almost all aspects of Egyptian culture in the 14 th century B.

More significantly, he had also introduced a strict new universal monotheistic religion to Egypt, the religion of the god Aton or Aten, in the process outlawing as idolatrous the veneration of the traditional Egyptian polytheistic deities, including the then dominant religion of Amun-Ra, removing all references to the possibility of an afterlife and prohibiting the creation of graven images. He had also proscribed all forms of magic and sorcery, closed all the temples and suppressed established religious practice, thereby undermining the social status and political power of the Amun priests.

Thus, when the Pharaoh died in B. In the process he converted them to an even more spiritualized, rigorous and demanding form of monotheism, which involved the Egyptian custom of circumcision, a symbolic act of submission to the Divine Will. In the Freudian narrative the onerous demands of the new religion ultimately led his followers to rebel and to kill Moses, an effective repetition of the original father murder outlined in Totem and Taboo , after which they turned to the cult of the volcano god Yahweh. But the memory of the Egyptian Moses remained a powerful latent force until, several generations later, a second Moses, the son-in-law of the Midianite priest Jethro, shaped the development of Judaism by integrating the monotheism of his predecessor with the worship of Yahweh.

While Freud evidently retained his view of religion as the analogue of an obsessional neurosis, this account now contained the recognition that, as such, its effects are not necessarily pathological, but, on the contrary, can also be socially and culturally beneficial in a marked way. In his view, the Judaic ethic was one which demanded restrictions on the gratification of certain instincts as being incompatible with its spiritualised view of human nature and dignity, in a manner paralleling that in which the totem laws had imposed the rule of exogamy within the totem clan.

Such restrictions, he argued, enabled Jewish culture to flourish and to take on its unique character. In this account, the murder of Moses was thus the initial event which provoked a sense of guilt that in turn shaped the ethical content of Judaic monotheism. To recognize, through this form of psycho analysis, the genesis of the ethical system in the guilt arising from a nefarious historical deed is, he suggested, to free oneself from its obsessive features while simultaneously accepting its entirely human origins. But such a recognition does not entail an abandonment of the core value system, as there is a sense, as Freud acknowledged to be true in his own case, in which that ethical heritage cannot be repudiated once it is acquired.

The answer, they suggest, could be offered by him in Moses and Monotheism only in terms of what he saw as essential to Judaism itself, a rigorous, spiritually intellectualized life ethic, centering on the virtues of truth and justice, derived from the man Moses, its human creator, through the work and influence of the prophets compare Whitebook , However, he held that the advent of Christianity was in some respects a step back from monotheism and a reversion to a covert form of polytheism, with the panoply of saints standing as a surrogate for the lesser gods of pagan antiquity.

The Jewish people, Freud pointed out, have a self-confidence which springs from the idea of being chosen by God from amongst the peoples of the world, an idea which derives strength from the related notion of participation in the reality of a supreme Deity. But the tenet of the Judaic religion which historically has had perhaps the most significant effect of all, he contended, has been the prohibition, derived from the religion of Aton, of graven images as idolatrous. In that sense, he ultimately recognized that the very science of mind which he had pioneered and with which he sought to expose the Oedipal nature of religion was itself a cultural product of the Judaic religious impulse. The responses to it, in turn, occupy a very wide spectrum, from enthusiastic affirmation to condemnatory repudiation.

A representative sample of these would include the following. Further, the progressivist evolutionary paradigm championed by Freud, with its projection of a universal linear cultural development from the primitive to the civilized, is largely rejected by contemporary ethnologists and social anthropologists, in particular those influenced by the work of Franz Boas — Popper did so on the grounds that the terms in which psychoanalytic theory is couched make it unfalsifiable in principle and thus unscientific. This latter stratagem, with some variations, has subsequently been adopted by a number of other commentators who seek a mechanism to validate the Freudian cultural narrative in the face of its undeniable ethnological shortcomings compare, for example, Paul, On such a view, the deficiencies presented by the Freudian narrative are read as being hermeneutic rather than scientific, open to further articulation and refinement through a more nuanced and balanced interpretation of the symbolic structure of religious discourse.

By contrast, he insisted on seeing psychoanalysis precisely as a testable theory, but one which is based upon clinical reports from therapeutic practice rather than rigorous experimentally-derived evidence. They cannot therefore properly be regarded as providing confirmatory evidence for the theory, while contemporary psychoanalysis has not met the objection that successful therapy operates as a placebo. The latter is now largely rejected by contemporary science, in particular the manner in which Freudians have adopted it to model the social evolution of human beings analogically with the psychological development of children. The entire enterprise of accounting for the origins of religion as an evolutionary trajectory from polytheism to monotheism has been challenged by the work of the ethnologist Father Wilhelm Schmidt — , whose multi-volume Der Ursprung der Gottesidee The Origin of the Idea of God ; — is a wide-ranging study of primitive religion.

Schmidt, who was influenced by Boas and his followers, was accordingly critical of evolutionist accounts of religious development, contending that they frequently lack solid grounding in the historical and anthropological evidence, and was dismissive on those grounds of the totemic theory propagated by Freud. Freud feared for a possible suppression of psychoanalysis in Vienna in the mids by the ruling Catholic authorities, with whom Schmidt had considerable influence. That fear, combined with hope—which proved unfortunately ill-grounded—that those authorities might function as a bulwark against the threat of Nazism, persuaded Freud to defer publication of the full text of Moses and Monotheism until after he had taken up residence in England see Freud , Prefatory Notes to Part , a fact which itself had a considerably negative effect on the literary coherence of the work.

In The Elementary Forms Durkheim set himself the task of analyzing religion empirically as a social phenomenon, holding that such a treatment alone can reveal its true nature. For Durkheim, the social dimension of human life is primary; human individuality itself is largely determined by, and is a function of, social interaction and organization. This was a point missed by Freud, who, we have seen, sought to deal with the social dimension of religion by an extension of psychoanalytical principles from individual to group psychology. Such facts exist at the level of society as a whole and arise from social relationships and human associations, and include law, morality, contractual relationships and, perhaps most importantly, religion.

He saw the connection between religious beliefs and practices as a necessary one; for him, religious experience is rooted more in the actions associated with rites than it is in reflective thought. Traditional accounts of religion have tended to treat religious beliefs as essentially hypothetical or quasi-scientific in nature—an approach clearly evident in Freud—which almost inevitably raises skeptical doubts about their validity, whereas Durkheim saw that what is important to the believer is the normative dimension of faith. This often leads the participants into a state of psychological excitement resembling delirium, in which they come to feel transported into a higher level of existence where they make direct contact with the sacred object.

Participation in such rituals has the effect of affirming and strengthening the collective identity of the group and must be renewed periodically in order to consolidate that identity. Given that it is a foundational postulate of sociology that no human institution rests upon an error or a lie, he declared it unscientific to suggest that systems of ideas of such complexity as religions could be delusory or be the product of illusion, as Freud was to do. If it is impossible for religious belief, considered as a set of representations relating to the sacred, to be erroneous in its own social right, error can and does emerge, he argued, in the interpretation of what those representations mean , even within the framework of a particular culture.

This point regarding the socially-imposed nature of the meanings associated with collective representations can perhaps be most clearly illustrated by reference to now-defunct cultures and religions. For example, while we readily recognize that the Moai, the deeply impressive monolithic statues of Easter Island, unquestionably had a particular political, aesthetic and religious significance for the Rapa Nui people who created them, the meaning of that symbolism largely escapes us—archeological and anthropological reconstruction aside—as we view them from a perspective external to that culture. Durkheim contended that in a religious context, the sacred object, which is indeed greater than the individual, is nothing more or less than the power o f society itself which, in order to be represented symbolically at all, has be objectified through a process of projection.

Unlike Freud, Durkheim also sought to provide an account of religion which achieves full scientific probity while simultaneously doing justice to the richness of the actual lived experiences of believers. Notwithstanding that, however, it seems clear that in the final analysis his anti-skeptical stratagem works satisfactorily only on its own, scientific terms; a believer could scarcely derive comfort from a view which legitimates his belief-system qua sociological fact while implying that the personal God of worship which is its intentional object is, in reality, nothing other than society personified.

This raises the whole question of the intellectual plausibility of the projection theory of religion. The question is a complex one, a fact which Freud scarcely acknowledges in his works. As we have seen, the theory, which has a number of related but distinct forms, arose in modernity as a response to the anthropomorphic nature of the attributes which the conceptualization of a personal God in many of the great world religions seems to necessitate.

Belief in God, and the complex patterns of behavior and of rituals associated with that belief, he argued, arise essentially out of the deep psychological need for a Cosmic father. However, it has been pointed out that such a view underestimates the logical gulf that exists between wishes and beliefs; the former may on occasion be a necessary condition for the latter, but are rarely a sufficient one: an athlete may wish to triumph in an event with every fibre of his being, but that will not necessarily generate a belief that he can do so, much less the delusion that he has done so.

Thus, even if it is true that there is a universal wish for a Cosmic father, it is implausible to suggest that such a wish is a sufficient condition for religious belief and the complex practices and value systems associated with it Kai-man Kwan Further, as Alvin Plantinga — argues, in the absence of compelling empirical evidence to support the view that such a universal wish exists, Freud was left with no option but to contend that such wishes are equally universally repressed into the unconscious, a move which opens his theory to the accusation of being empirically untestable Plantinga , It is to be noted too that concerns about anthropomorphisms in religious language are in no way restricted to religious skeptics: apophatic or negative theology, for example, grew out of recognition of the logical difficulties implicit in attempts to express the nature of the divine in language.

It is also important to note that some proponents of the projection theory, such as Spinoza and possibly Xenophanes, saw the projection theory as invalidating only those forms of religious belief which are anthropotheistic in nature. Thus projectionism, so far from being hostile to all forms of religious belief and practice, is in fact consistent with themes relating to the avoidance of idolatry long central to the Abrahamic religions in particular, as evidenced in the proscription on naming God in Judaism and in aniconism, the prohibition of figurative representations of the Divine in the early Orthodox Church, in Calvinism and also in Islam Thornton, It is thus perfectly consistent to accept projectionism as an account of religious concept formation without thereby repudiating religious belief.

Indeed, the logical compatibility of projectionism with religious belief has led some contemporary religious thinkers to go so far as to embrace projectionism as a condition of a reflective religious commitment. This argument is closely paralleled by a suggestion from Plantinga that wish-fulfillment as a mechanism could have arisen out of a divinely created human constitution. For while it may not, in general, be the function of wish-fulfillment to produce true belief, that in itself does not rule out the possibility, Plantinga contends—at least for those who believe in God—that humans have been so constituted by the creator to have a deeply-felt need and wish to believe in him.

Whatever level of plausibility may be assigned to these views, it is in any case clear that the projection theory is also reflective of the difficulties which certain forms of religious discourse generate: the characterization of God as possessing attributes such as Love and Wisdom, however qualified such attributions may be, seems invariably to invite the kind of challenge that is found in Feuerbach, Freud and even in Durkheim. In that sense, the projection theory highlights deep theological and philosophical issues relating to the nature and meaning of religious language.

One of the more promising approaches to this issue is that suggested by the work of of Wittgenstein, who, in his Philosophical Investigations , propounded his language-game theory of meaning, which argued that the meaning of any term is determined by its actual use in a living language-system. An application of this to religious discourse implies that the latter cannot be understood in isolation from the broad web of cultural practices, beliefs and concerns in which it is imbedded and from which it derives its meaning.

This suggests that concerns that skeptical conclusions necessarily follow from our use of human-being predicates in speaking about the Divine are misguided; such concerns gain credence only when accompanied by the deeply pervasive, but uncritical, philosophical assumption—clearly evident in Freud—that the attributions of anthropomorphic predicates to God are to be understood exclusively as factual descriptions of a particular kind, an assumption which is at the very least gratuitous.

Are eyebrows going to be talked of, in connection with the Eye of God? The occurrence of anthropomorphisms in religious discourse, then, does not in itself necessitate the acceptance of anthropotheistic conclusions. Not alone did it contest the orthodox Biblical narrative of the role of Moses in the history of Judaism, it did so at a time when the Jews of Europe were threatened with complete annihilation. Though Moses is almost certainly an Egyptian name, the evidence that Moses was an Egyptian is not conclusive and it has also been suggested that his life was not in fact contemporaneous with that of Amenhotep IV Banks , In a thinker as complex as Freud, these approaches can neither be taken as exhaustive nor as entirely mutually exclusive, as significant textual evidence can be invoked for all three.

What seems evident, at any rate, is that Freud was seeking, at that critical point in Jewish history, to affirm his cultural and intellectual indebtedness to the ethical basis of the religion of his forefathers while simultaneously seeking to demonstrate that the validity of that ethic is not contingent upon the Biblical and theological accretions traditionally associated with it. On such a reading, the question of the accuracy of the historical detail in the Freudian narrative becomes as peripheral as it is—on a non-literal interpretation—to that of the Biblical one.

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