The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind.
- Sigmund Freud
FS says: Freud said basically the same thing about masturbation.
I think it’s dangerous to quote Freud out of context like this, given the historical significance of social Darwinism. One of the things social Darwinist rarely admit to is that the movement started as a way to define white Western society as the pinnacle of creation and to bestialize the “lesser” civilizations and races, labeling everything primitive that wasn’t white, secular and Western.
This logic then was followed to its inevitable and erroneous conclusion with the anti-semitism that continued (this time “justified by science!”) and anti-everything not German of the Third Reich.
Be careful what you say about religion. Its been said before and really aggressively and often coupled with violence and murder.
I’m not religious myself, but its inappropriate to bring ideas of social evolution like Freud’s into the discussion not only because it’s been proven so wrong as far as how civilization develops, but also been used for so many horrible things.
Try being atheist without needing to demonize or dehumanize or make religious people into lesser beings. It’s nicer, easier and a better and more moral way to express your beliefs.
Reminder: when you dehumanize, degrade, and ridicule those you are opposed to, you are doing exactly the same things that you protest them doing to you.