domingo, diciembre 06, 2009

Freud on religion and unhappiness

Religion restricts this play of choice and adaptation, since it imposses equally on everyone its own path to the acquisition of happiness and protection from suffering. Its technique consist in depressing the value of life and distorting the picture of the real world in a delusional manner-- which presuposes an intimidation of the intelligence. At this price, by forcibly fixing them in a state of psychical infantilism, and by drawing them into a mass-delusion, religion succeeds in sparing many people an individual neurosis. There are, as we have said, many paths which may lead to such happiness as is attainable by men, but there is none which does so for certain. Even religion cannot keep its promise. If the believer finally sees himself obliged to speak of God's 'inescrutable decrees', he is admitting that all that is left to him as a last possible consolation and sourse of pleasure in his suffering is an unconditional submission.

- From Sigmund Freud's Civilization and its Discontents.

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