Theories Of Morality

In this essay, I argue for the rejection of Freud’s suggestion that morality is a harmful burden to human life. My first argument asserts that Freud solely focuses on the external societal demands of morality, but neglects that morality also comes from within. Secondly, although Freud is correct in some of his assumptions about moral restriction, he only focuses on the negative aspects and disregards the positivity that can come from these constraints. Lastly, I argue that Freud exaggerates his claims about the nature of humans, and wrongly universalizes the suppression of instincts as a burden to all individuals. Freud might object to my arguments in a number of different ways. For instance, he might say that the negative aspects of human …show more content…
He believes that civilization is responsible for our unhappiness, and our desire to live up to societal expectations causes feelings of neurosis. Although I do agree with Freud that much of our anxiety stems from the demands of civilization, I also believe that there are positive aspects of moral restriction that will ultimately dominate over the negatives. For instance, moral restriction provides us with a sense of right and wrong. Without this, humans would act out of impulsivity and those who were stronger would always dominate the weak. Furthermore, Freud sees cultural, religious, and legal demands as factors that burden us and cause us to repress our natural urges and instincts. However, he neglects the positivity that comes from having cultural worldviews and a religious faith to believe in. Thinking in terms of terror management theory, individuals use religion and culture as a way to cope with the realization that we all someday, will die. Without this sense of hope and cultural attainment that morality provides, anxiety would overpower us, even more than the burden of restriction alone. Another positive aspect of morality is that it provides a sense of safety and order. Freud is correct in saying that we must suppress our natural urges in order to gain protection and stability. However, the alternative is that we are able to fulfill all of our desires, but there will always be someone stronger to overpower. Through the formation of communities, society prevents the strong individuals from taking control of the weak. Thus, by agreeing with Freud, we could rid ourselves of morality, give in to our natural instincts, and face the possibility of dying or being conquered by those more powerful. On the other hand, in disagreement with Freud, we could choose to live morally. Yes, we may face moral burdens once in a while, but at least we will have protection, order, and

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