has dealt with the nature and source of religion
in many of his writings. The abstract of these comments is the idea that religion is reducable to a universal neurosis
Freud deals with religion in three main writings of his. They are "Moses
", "Totem and Taboo
", and "Civilization
and its Discontents".
Though Freud sees monotheism as a more psychologically mature progression of religion than that of polytheism
, he sees the slaying of the primal father
as the main source for the inner need for God.
This idea can be seen in such religions as Judaism
where its followers consider themselves to be God's "chosen people". This reflects the psychcial need to be accepted by the illusionary father figure.
In "Civilization and its Discontents" Freud responds to French
author Romain Roland
and his idea of the "oceanic feeling". The oceanic feeling is one that many people claim to experience in which they feel infininte
and universal, or at one with the world. Roland proposed that this personal oceanic feeling is the same feeling that prompts religious icons to found their religion (such as did Moses and Jesus
). Freud argues that religion is born solely to fufill the needs that the father can provide such as security, and religious ritual
is just a shell for this 'oceanic feeling'.
In the favor of religion, Freud does recognize that religion is resposible for many of the accomplishments that society produced such as fine art
, and science
. He does go on to state that religion has
exhausted its use in modern society, and psychoanalysis
is to take its place in solving the personal problems of individuals and comforting them in thier times of need.