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Psych 80A lecture 4 Ralph Quinn Freud's Theory of Illusion

by: Chelsea Miller

Psych 80A lecture 4 Ralph Quinn Freud's Theory of Illusion Psych 80A

Marketplace > University of California - Santa Cruz > Psychology > Psych 80A > Psych 80A lecture 4 Ralph Quinn Freud s Theory of Illusion
Chelsea Miller
GPA 3.74

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Freud's Theory of Illusion -His two main arguments against religion in relation to science
Psych and Religion
Class Notes
Psyhcology, religion, ralphquinn, Sigmund Freud, theoryofillusion, Science, lossoffaith, existentialloneliness, childhoodobsessionalneurosis, neurosis, relgiouswishfullfillment, OedipusComplex, repression, projection, primogenitor, darwin, ontogeny, reapitulates, Phylogeny, totemism, communion, libido
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Chelsea Miller on Saturday October 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Psych 80A at University of California - Santa Cruz taught by Quinn in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Psych and Religion in Psychology at University of California - Santa Cruz.


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Date Created: 10/08/16
Lecture 4 Psych and Religion *Psych and Religion outlines are not included in these notes due to copyright. These  are my personal notes from lecture—if you need the outline they are provided on  ecommons. Lecture 4 10/4/16 How did religion change from being considered dominantly a world view to becoming  something less than that? What has changed in the west? ­our world view has dramatically changed because of science Psychology as a social science played a part in the decline of academic study of  religion. Ralph’s experience: in childhood religion provides safety, security, protection, and  power. ­power through prayer to heal of guide people to Heaven when faced with death Yet the cocoon of religious space can all be explainable, and in losing faith there is a  sense of innocence and power that is lost but there is a gain in individual responsibility. ­transition from magical to personal Freud: central character that removed the relationship between psychology and religion.  Existentialist position/argument: we must accept our basic aloneness in this  existence  We are thrown into this world and we are personally responsible for what  happens o There are no grand schemes, no guardian angels  Consolation of religious illusion: without this we have to accept that we are no  longer the center of creation, no longer the object of the tender care of a  benevolent presence/God o No longer like a child, but is it like life that we have to grow up—we must  venture into the hostile world  Education for reality o As a psychologist we must face that reality or difficulty of finding our way,  the difficulty in seeing facts of evidence because it holds great sorrows  Religion’s place of the overall development of human kind is in childhood  obsessional neurosis (something done for comfort as a child) o Freud wants to help us overcome these neurotic tendencies so that we  can grow up Lecture 4 Psych and Religion  Obsessional neuroses are a part of the anxiety disorders o The formation of religion is a way to control the existential anxiety  associated with childhood and adult helplessness  A ritualized response to the helplessness that life throws at us  Primal existential anxiety is at the core to create religious  illusion/religious wish fulfillment   A rich store of ideas is formed or born of the need to make  tolerable the needs of mankind o “our benevolent God will not allow us to face hardship of life, suffering, and death alone and without a  purpose   Freud wants us to let go of this illusion and not turn to it o Be able to stand alone, grown up—sometimes scared and helpless but  seeing clearly without and veils of neurotic illusion   Marx called this opus of the masses If religion is nothing but wishful thinking to help us overcome our anxiety it is better to  face life squarely and live with uncertainty and terror. ­it is better to base morality in science not religion Scientists focus on the facts and data—provable not the supernatural or unexplainable Freud’s first argument  We are essentially helpless in the face of enormity and unpredictability of life,  especially as small children  This essential helplessness gives rise to an overpowering anxiety exactly like  what happens in childhood obsessional neurosis  Just like in childhood obsessional neurosis we create a compulsive ritualized  practice to release the anxiety—the creation of a divine providence/being to  guide and watch over us (religious wish fulfillment  Freud’s background  ­three part personality: id (the most primitive/aggression and sex), ego (control id in  childhood), superego (moral control of the id) ­sex drive—libido  ­Freud was predominantly a male psychologist Freud’s second argument  Lecture 4 Psych and Religion  The libido follows the path of narcissist need in small children—when born you  are a sexual being, and the libido attaches to objects or people for satisfaction o The mother is the first love object  Immediately meets instinctual needs: protection, food o Later she is replaced by the stronger, bigger father—the need for  protection transfers  For male children the relationship with the father is a danger because of the early feelings about the mother (Oedipus complex). The father is feared no less than  he is longed for and admired o Jealousy, possession, and rivalry shows itself at about 3 years of age  These feelings about the father are repressed and when the child grows up they  are projected into the heavens to create the gods—the need for protection and  fear o Religion also controls the superego in our sexuality Freud was also a biologist and had a great devotion to Darwin ontogeny recapitulates  phylogeny—study of this history of the development of any individual of a species will  replay/summarize the development of the entire species ­this is also true in the Oedipal complex and formation of religion  Individual ambivalences towards fathers was originally played out at the  beginning of human history through the primogenitor (the first father) o Human beings lived in packs/hoards/tribes and all females were under the domination of a strong, brutal, jealous male. o Father of the primal hoard seized all women for himself and his sons were  seen as possible potential rivals to the father so they were either killed or  driven away  o The sons, one day, banned together and overthrew the primogenitor and  killed and ate the father  This led a brotherhood amongst the sons and to totemism­the first  ritualized ceremony, early start of religion, due to the feelings of  remorse and fear of this act happening again o This is still seen in Christianity—communion: eating the body and drinking  the blood of Christ  These deep roots are parallel lines that descend into our unconscious (Oedipus  complex and primal history) Summary Lecture 4 Psych and Religion  Religion is an elaborate wish fulfillment, a giant illusion created to control and  tranquilize anxiety which arises in childhood and adulthood when faced with the  uncertainties that come along with life and death.  Religion is a result of primitive sexuality and aggression which coalesces in  childhood to possess the mother and kill the father. This Oedipal complex is  repressed than later projected inot the haves creating the gods which we fear  and long for. This also is a replication of the beginning of time and can be seen  today through the act of communion Freud’s theories don’t automatically disqualify all beliefs and experiences that can’t be  explained: religious and spiritual.


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