Answer all these TWO questions, each question about 150-200 words.
Question1. In chapter two, Freud asserts that if life truly has meaning, then the only solution is religion. However, he views religion as impractical and unrealistic. Freud then speculates that in its’ simplest form, the purpose of life may lie in finding happiness. He relates this to the “pleasure principle”, and acknowledges that this feeling can only be known in comparison to pain.
He also notes that happiness varies for every person, and that one cannot fully achieve happiness. “The programme of becoming happy, which the pleasure principle imposes on us, cannot be fulfilled; yet we must not- indeed, we cannot- give up our efforts to bring it nearer to fulfillment by some means or other” (Freud, Pg. 54).
What are the three threats that may cause unhappiness according to Freud? And what are some possible ways that we can avoid this?
Do you think that present-day people find meaning in attaining happiness? And do you agree with Freud, that it is impossible to fully achieve happiness? Why or why not?
Question 2: “The derivation of religious needs from the infant’s helplessness and the longing for the father aroused by it seems to me incontrovertible, especially since the feeling is not simply prolonged from childhood days, but is permanently sustained by fear of the superior power of fate” (Pg:35)
Freud believes that the idea of religion came from the need to get out of the helplessness from death, danger and life’s cruelty. As infants our parents provided the support, nurturing and protection we needed. But as we grow up we see the death and suffering so humans made this divine father that will watch over us and protect us. According to Freud, this is all just a delusion or a neurosis.
For the purpose of my questions let’s assume that Freud is right in saying that religion is just a delusion to fulfill our needs. If this delusion makes people happy and gives their lives meaning is it really a problem? How might our world be different tomorrow if everyone gave up religion?
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