Sigmund Freud on Religion

“The whole thing (religion) is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life.”

This is a quote from Words of Wisdom: Sigmund Freud blogger.

Although I believe that religion, God, or spirituality have a “reasonable” dimension to them and does have a reality of its own, many of our beliefs are not reasonable at all and prevent us from doing what we can and must for global happiness.  So, for instance, the view by many that one must believe in this or that for salvation is based on the belief that: 1) there is a God; 2) He wishes to save us; and 3) we must follow His message to attain salvation; or 4) in the alternative be bound for Hell.  What is obviously missed in this scenario is the illogic of posing a God who is all powerful and loving yet unable to communicate his message effectively, or the fact that we are not that special- we share the pain and suffering with many other living things, including a dogs and cats who go through the cycle of birth and death.  The belief in God also may lend to a false sense of security and moral righteousness which may be used to exploit non-believers or take no action, on issues such as the environment, because there is a false sense that “everything will be okay” because there is a God. In some cases, religion is used to justify pain and suffering rather than alleviate it- for instance, the concept of Karma may be falsely used to say that a child who is starving is deserving of it.

I do not think I am successful in communicating my agreement with some of what is Freud is saying. I guess what I am saying is that sometimes the path to happiness is very simple- yet we invent concepts and deities that take a very long road to something that is in plain sight.