A number of thinkers have very controversial takes on the issue of religion versus atheism. They question different areas like the existence of religion or its origin. There are atheist scholars that construct the necessities of religion for its utility function and not for what it actually stand for. The line between faith and disbelief can be blurred once a person does not have a concrete grip on his or her convictions of faith and why they have it.
Not knowing why a person believes in something or blind obedience to a certain norm can cause a person to have rickety beliefs that can lead to a change of mindset in the end. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending upon what the person believed in first. Most thinkers defeat the concept of religion based on the fact that they see it as a mere illusion created by some entity. For some, this entity is society while for others it is created by economics or by as a part of human development.
The point of religion is pretty clear for such advocates of atheism and they would much rather stir clear of it because of their own perceptions. They place reason above anything else. But upon reviewing such an approach, there is reason to believe that at some point, reason cannot explain things. It simply cannot overcome a lot of areas in the life of an average person that can lead to a confusion of what other concept can be used. As most religious scholars would say, when reason ends, faith begins. Now where would this fit in the whole scheme of things if there was no religion.
If it were true that religion is just a bunch of idealism placed to give false hope for the lesser fortunate individuals, how does misfortune affect the richer folks? Is it conviction on them to live a better lifestyle? Conviction cannot exist if there is no religion. How come society did not instead establish a bond based on something entirely different, like accumulating wealth and bettering their personal growth as humans? Is it because sometimes, all the knowledge, talent, skill, wealth and power in the world cannot simply suffice for a person to be fully satisfied?
This paper would reflect on three main theories regarding religion and how these theories can only cover only a section of the world’s realities in relevance to religion. The Illusion of Religion According the Sigmund Freud, personality and religion have a significant link with each other. There is a continuous need to find a balance out of the opposing powers that are present in the world (Pals 61). The personality of the person becomes the venue wherein the struggle for that balance occurs (Pals 62).
There are drives that are physical while some are from the immovable outer world wherein the weight of the demands of society carries much significance (Pals 62). It is a difficult task because the ego would be the one to find ways in order to balance and accommodate such contending forces (Pals 62). Considering that personality and religion were closely related one of Freud’s major concerns was to find where belief can be situated in the sequence of normal emotional growth (Pals 33). Under this premise, religion can root in the personality either in the childhood or adulthood stage of the person (Pals 33).
However, the acceptance of this pattern would influence a view on religion that would be different from the conventional form; it would be seen to either appear during adulthood of human race to symbolize the mark of maturity of civilization or belongingness if it appears in the childhood of human race (Pals 33). Focusing on the Freudian perception of religion, he does not see religious teachings as truths that were revealed by God and that they are not logical (Pals 72). The fact that they are not seen a neither by Freud was because religion was not based on conclusions that were confirmed by scientific evidence (Pals 72).
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 14 November 2016
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