Sigmund Freud VS God

Religion is festooned with a plethora of bad Ideas, false promises and doomsday predictions. These belief systems expend vast amounts of our time, energy, blood and money. This has been going on for centuries, and as our ability to make war has increased the danger from religious extremism has escalated exponentially. There is a hidden hierarchy here that I begin to see more and more as I delve into research, watch documentary films and read articles on faith and the lack thereof.

It seems that, religious ideology in society, has a pattern akin to Freud’s model of the human psyche. Religious extremists dream up the really crazy stuff, they take their holy text to mean literally anything that allows them to support their agenda. Many holy books are amazingly flexible in their ability to support the most barbaric acts known to man in the name of god. In this example this part of Freud’s hierarchy could be considered the ID.

Of course religious extremists are always wanting to spread these ideas far and wide and so when word reaches the masses a discussion often follows. The bulk of the population acts as a filter, applying their own morality to these extreme ideas. In most cases the danger of extremism is at the very least diluted if not destroyed altogether. When, in rare instances these ideas pass through this filter unchecked the results can be horrific. Wars, Ethnic Cleansing/Genocide and the like are all examples of what happens when this sort of “filtration system” for ideology fails to do the job. When this happens, the process of non-thinking called “faith” is usually to blame. This is the reason that even moderate religion can be a danger. The greater the level of faith the more likely this mechanism akin to Freud’s ego will fail.

We humans are basically good on the whole. We’ve learned our morality over thousands of years and as time goes on we are able to employ our innate morality to an increasing degree. One might even argue that this concept is at the root of the rise of atheism or the plague of “lazy faith” depending on your personal perspective. However you choose to spin it our collective consciousness functions as the superego of society. In many cases the transition from a theistic to an atheistic world view has to do with an objection to the shameful moral teachings inherent in most religious texts. This is the reason there are so many denominations in religion. Deplorable ideology from the holy text is discarded or explained away so that faith can live on with a new brand name.

Religion is, in a way is like cigarettes. It doesn’t matter if you smoke regular, light, extra light, menthol, with or without a filter, it’s all bad for you to varying degrees. Although the jury may still be out on secondhand smoke there’s no denying that the aroma of it is often enough to entice those who have quit to relapse back into being a smoker. This is why the focus should be on children. Kids raised in religious doctrine, are more likely to relapse into faith later in life even if they break free from religion earlier in life. This is because once a core ideology is installed into the human psyche and deeply rooted into the unconscious mind below the level of awareness, it is forever there to “inform” the conscious mind which believes most of what it is told no matter how ridiculous. This is how people like Francis Collins can be perfectly rational, and be brilliant in an area of science that conclusively proves evolution by natural selection and yet remain religious. The religiosity comes from religious ideology placed in his subconscious mind in childhood.

So in conclusion, the simple solution that may prove nearly impossible to implement (in the short term) is to fortify the ego! It may happen naturally. As humans evolve we may gradually abandon religion and become better and better equipped to filter out extremist ideology in society. If we want this to happen faster we need to keep religion away from children until they reach an age when they are able to appreciate it for what it is. It is essential that our children’s moral compass be set by the best ideas we have at the present time, not bronze age mythology, fear and totalitarianism. Science doesn’t currently have all the answers, but we know more now than at any other point in our collective history. Our best chance lies in using the best information we have. This information, never has, and never will come from religion.

blog comments powered by Disqus