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“‘The greater the perfection a soul seeks, the more dependent it is on God’s grace, and the help of God is more necessary, more necessary for it each moment. But without God’s help, a soul can do nothing’…..(for he believed that one can do nothing without the help of God).” -Lawrence of the Resurrection
"From being objects of love, the gods are transformed into a subject of study...Increasingly erudite and diminishingly alive, less and less felt but more and more intellectualized--such, from now on, it seems, is to be the inescapable evolution of mythology." -Jean Seznec
Throughout our entire life there has been religion that have guidelines to how we live. For example, in christianity you cannot curse or you will be punished by God. In Judaism, God is the supreme ruler and his rules take priority over civil rules in the eyes of many Jews. Sigmund Freud said:
"In the future of an illusion, the latent content behind religious conceptions remains associated with the 'father complex,' but here this is linked to the helplessness that elicits innate infantile desires for wish fulfillment." -Sigmund Freud
There was once a man named J.S. Mills who expressed the idea that the strength of religion is not due to religious beliefs exactly, but instead the results of authority, early education, and public opinion. We will be looking at it from a psychological perspective instead of a religious perspective. So the questions are: What do psychologists say to religion? What causes this false happiness? Is religion a good thing psychologically or only religiously?
"In the dark recesses of our mind we all believe in image magic" -Sigmund Freud
"A severe critique of images and their inherent seductive power, on the one hand, and an obsessive fascination with images, on the other.....This ambivalent attitude towards the power of images has had tremendous impact on how historians of art and religion approach their objects." -Kocku von Stuckrad
"However, in the modern era, the tradition of blaming the religions of neighboring communities from the Judaistic perspective of
monotheism will invite more conflicts today than a solution." -Solomon Victus
Judaism is the worshipping of God through the scriptures based off of Abraham's preaching. In Solomon Victus' quote he is trying to state the fact that religion leads to conflict no matter what ethnicity, religion, whatever you come from. Chapter XV of the Talmud: Regulations Concerning the Typing and Untying of Knots on the Sabbath
The knot of the camel-drivers (made on the guiding-ring) and the knot of the seamen (made on the bow of a ship); just as one becomes culpable for tying them, so also one becomes culpable for untying them. R. Meir said: "One does not become culpable for any knots that can be untied with one hand."
Just the title shows the power it has over Jews. Every chapter in the Talmud has regulations and specific instructions on actions a normal human does in their daily lives such as Chapter XXI: Regulations Concerning the Pouring Out of Wine from Vessels Covered with a Stone (Which Must Not Be Lifted), And the Clearing off of Crumbs, Etc., From the Table.
"It is illusion that allows us to construct, believe in, assimilate, or play with our household and personal Gods in a creative and life-enhancing way." -Lisa M. Cataldo
Christianity is the belief of believing in God through the life and teachings of Jesus. Lisa M. Cataldo in this quote is conveying that it is us that created God and not God that created us. It is through a person's imagination that God is with them and from that comes the belief of the Christian God. In Christianity, a man named Jesus created miracles around the world in the name of "God" or "Father" and was crucified by the Romans for blasphemy in their eyes. Christianity states that Jesus took all the "sins" of the human race with him when he was crucified on the cross so that we would be "purified". Jesus is symbolized as bread representing "His body" and wine representing "His blood".
"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." -Matthew 5:48
This quote shows over-exaggeration at it's fullest. In this world there is no such thing as a "perfect" being and the phrase "practice makes perfect" is somewhat defective per se. To be "perfect" is to be uninteresting. People in the world live to get better at a skill or skills.
Why does it matter?
In truth, both Christianity and Judaism are the same religion but have two separate ways of living them. From a psychologist's perspective, religion is the result of stress, over-imagination. The stress comes from work and many other things. One example is the stress common from fitting in with the rest of the crowd. Another is the idea that you have to be perfect. There is one man who stated this:
"There is always someone better than you at something." -Charles A. Goods.
There is no perfection in this world. There is always someone greater than you and it is only through commitment and hard work that you can overcome the obstacles necessary to surpass a person. Commitment and realization of the truth is the foundation for humanity's desire for greatness and it is what pushes us to overcome any obstacles on their way to achieving that goal.
The other cause of religion is over-imagination or illusion. Humans normally go to religion because of the individual's needs for happiness that are granted by basking in the illusion of their God. One of the greatest illusions of Christianity is the day when God will take all the Christians to heaven while everyone else burns in hell on earth. The greatest illusory tool is the hope of an Ultimate Justice. People say that we call it a illusion because of the "truth" of the knowledge it gives you. The term "illusion" when we apply it to religion has nothing to do with the validity of what a religion says or gives but instead what Sigmund Freud says:
"What is characteristic of illusions is that they are derived from human wishes."
or in other words, we call it a illusion because people go to it in order for them to feel comfortable, have their desires granted, and to feel like they have some support whenever they act. In reality, religion is actually labeled as a mental disorder in the fourth volume of
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(American Psychiatric Association, 1994).
Psychologists study the mind and how it works. From their perspective religion is bad since worshippers show signs of neurosis, meaning
"Religion is would thus be the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity; like the obsessional neurosis of children, it arose out of the Oedipus complex, out of the relation to the father." -James DiCenso
In other words, there are two sides to religion, Religion and Oedipus complex. Religion soothes the anxiety and fear created by humans by giving them the answers they want. Religion gives us from the role of a parent the talk about how only good people are rewarded and the bad people are punished even if it isn't while you are alive but is instead after you die. The Oedipus complex side gives us from the role of the stranger per se. It represents the brutality of the superego compared to the ego. When you suppress an impulsion like aggression, the oedipus complex takes over from the deprivation of aggression in the form of the super-ego and increases the aggressiveness of the normal ego. All-in-all to psychologists, religion is harmful to humanity even if it can provide support for a short time. All we can hope for now is for the people to realize the truth and then move on.
Victus, Solomon. "Monotheism, Monarchy, Monoculture: Ecological Concerns and Nature Worship." Asia Journal of Theology 24.2 (2010): 179-196. Advanced Placement Source. EBSCO. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
Cataldo, Lisa M. "Multiple Selves, Multiple Gods? Functional Polytheism and the Postmodern Religious Patient." Pastoral Psychology 57.1/2 (2008): 45-58. Advanced Placement Source. EBSCO. Web. 21 Oct. 2010.
Matz, Lou. "The Utility of Religious Illusion: A Critique of J. S. Mill's Religion of Humanity." Utilitas 12.2 (2000): 137. Advanced Placement Source. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2010.
DiCenso, James. "Religion as Illusion: Reversing the Freudian Hermeneutic." Journal of Religion 71.2 (1991): 167-179. Advanced Placement Source. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2010.
Bjorck, Jeffrey P. "Faith, Coping, and Illusory Control: Psychological Constructs with Theological Ramifications." 195-206. Christian Association for Psychological Studies, 2007. Advanced Placement Source. EBSCO. Web. 26 Oct. 2010.
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