• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe Psychological challenges to religious belief

Extracts from this document...


a) Describe Psychological challenges to religious belief There are two main contributors to the arguments posed against religious belief: Freud and Jung. They were both philosophers whose theories have grown to be famous this does not mean to say, however, that they agreed with each other. Freud believed that religious belief was born from infantile obsession with a father figure. In Freud's opinion, people use religion to fulfil wishes deeply rooted in mankind such as the assurance that death is not the end and that there is someone watching over us and caring for us. Freud believed people seek comfort from personifying the elements and believing that they can influence them by the behaviour. One of Freud's most memorable points was his belief that religious belief was a neurosis. In his famous book Totem and Taboo Freud gives a suggestion for the beginnings of religious belief. ...read more.


We long for an omnipotent eternal father; God fulfilled this desire. In conclusion Freud believed religion beliefs sprung from psychological imbalances and people's deep-rooted insecurity, the "universal obsessional neurosis of humanity." Jung agreed with most points, however, he also argued that some consider that the sense of moral obligation could have a divine source and therefore moral arguments are not ruled out. Apart from this they were in agreement with most of their arguments and worked closely together until they had a disagreement which led Jung to reject Freud's conclusions. He rejected Freud's conclusions that religion is a neurotic illness causes by sexual trauma and that it is a dangerous entity to be exposed and overthrown. Jung believed that religion springs from the structures of the mind which generate certain kinds of images (called archetypes). God given images are generated by the God archetype. ...read more.


Although Jung may be less extreme, his ideas of fulfilling the 'God archetype' are also just a theory and cannot be proved. A religious believer might also question his theory that religion only flourishes still because it is healthy for the mindset and helps to balance a person. On the contrary a religious believer might argue that being a practicing Christian for example, does not lead to contentment. After all, if you know what the right thing is to do, and have a sense of obligation to do what is right, you will not always be able to do things that please yourself and must sometimes do things for others which may not give yourself immediate gratification. In conclusion, both Freud and jung put forward valid challenges to religious belief, however, neither of their theories can be proved. However, religious believers cannot prove their theories to be false and therefore we may say that their theories are successful in challenging religious belief but not in undermining it. Charlie Matthews 12CAS 28/04/2007 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Psychology essays

  1. Anti-social Behaviour Coursework

    to empathise Possessed less ability to empathise Were less egocentric Were more egocentric Locus of control - Individual differences in how we see the world and our ability to control it - Two extremes, 1) Internal locus of control - People who attribute events that happen to sources within themselves.

  2. A Study of Freud and Jung on the Values of Religious Belief.

    In further development of Freud's idea of man and man's creation of God, in relation to the value of religious belief, Freud puts the Oedipus complex at the core. Freud felt that civilisation had advanced because of man's inability to cope with the Oedipus complex (1923 p253/Rizzuto p15).

  1. A Critical Examination of the Sexual Life of Man In Sigmund Freud.

    The menstrual cycle begins in females, spermatozoa and viable egg are produced and male experience voice change and a sudden acceleration ion growth. Puberty generally occurs in female around the ages of 12 - 13 years and in males about 13 - 14 years; but there is much individual variation.

  2. A study of the psychology of belief with reference to the influence of Freud. ...

    In an attempt to rid themselves of these feelings of guilt the person develops idols or Gods. By doing this they feel they can repent for their guilt by worship or sacrifice to these idols. Initially the idol may be a representation of the child's Father yet later on, in

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work