Freud - Illusions
An illusion is an error made because that person desires the error. Freud’s thinking is that people need to feel there is a god in order to feel secure in an insecure world. His conclusion is that people need to leave their parent’s home and venture into the world. In his time this meant that people had to reject religion because it provided a security that inhibited development.
I personally haven’t come across a piece of evidence that would make me reject my religion. I think this may be because I don’t want to reject my religion. The point I am trying to make is that rationality is not a worldview. It is just a tool that helps us accept things or reject things. Irrational things are rejected, and things that make sense are accepted. However, rational things are the things that make sense. A person’s worldview will influence whether things seem rational or not.
Therefore, my context and my experiences will form my truth. This is my attack on rationality and liberalism. What is true to me is a result of what I have come through. I will argue for this truth. All of a sudden rationality and the liberal ideal are nothing more than the reactions of the people who form the group to their collective experiences.
It is a lot like the internet, there is so much information out there and I can create my own context and truth about what is on the internet by favouring certain sites. It takes a much greater intelligence to comprehend what is on the internet.
Here is a question, if everyone got together and argued the question of what was on the internet would we come up with the truth? What place do charismatic personalities play? The truth is subjected to a popularity contest. However, the power the truth yields is formidable, so we are more comfortable spreading the power out, so no one can have it instead of one person.
So back to Freud, is religion an illusion? I think that just because I want something to be true doesn’t make it false. Also, I think that just because I want something to be false doesn’t make it so. I don’t think Freud’s strong rational position that religion is false because the more educated and developed believe it to be so is a strong position to take.
“Primitive” societies know a lot more than the developed Eurocentric societies give them credit for. This is based in a colonial history of needing to rationalize genocide and exploitation. Freud used the fact that Christianity resembled primitive societies as a basis for rejecting it. This is based on a racist notion that Europe is more developed than its “primitive” contemporary societies. By rejecting Christianity and accepting science as the new religion Western society can claim objective knowledge and play the role of God in the world, exporting the European agenda of resource exploitation across the globe.