Pals Essay

1493 Words Oct 19th, 2008 6 Pages
Freud
Freud sees no benefit to the practice of religion, he instead classifies it the same way one would a patient with psychological neurosis. He parallels the habitual practice of devotion and spiritual belief to that of compulsive actions that serve only to perpetuate our lack of maturity as a species. According to Freud religion was initiated as a result of guilt over a prehistoric murder of the tribal/pack leader of early human ancestors. The further premise is that the monotheistic worship of a father figure stems from the victim of this prehistoric murder being the father of his attackers. The subsequent erection of totems and creation of rituals were in response to a remembered guilt over this first event. Freud’s explanation
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Marx looked at religion through economic terms. He believed that the economic realities humans lived in determined behavior and through such peoples religious needs. Those that lived in poverty needed religion to reassure them that life was not pointlessly arduous, but the acceptance of religion kept them from seeing that their acceptance was what imprisoned them. The true ideal would be to destroy all social class and govern for the good of the people. This ideal left no room for religion. People that are practicing religion would be dividing their devotion to the socialist system and would subsequently undermine the revolutions that would need to take place to ensure the bourgeois class was overthrown permanently.

Weber
I find Weber to be much more intricate in the details and turns his analysis takes, and also much closer to a scientific approach than Freud ever got. He takes a close look at the ties between social …and religious beliefs…. His view of religious formation varies from Marx and Freud in that he doesn’t see religion stemming directly from a economic or social cause or oppression, but while the same effects may be gathered Weber suggests that religion is the pivotal factor that has determined the path of economics and social behavior. At first this seems like a chicken and egg question, but

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