Question: Religious Experience is just an "obsessional neurosis". 30 marks
Sigmund Freud openly stated that Religious experience is merely an "obsessional neurosis" that cushions us from the harsh realities we face in our day to day lives. He believed that when in need of comfort people have the tendency of turning to religious teachings and even religious experiences such as a prayer which is a sort of worship whereby people have a form of communication with God or even by attending a sacred place like a church to get a numinous experience.
By reducing religion to a pathological symptom, Freud distanced himself from the possibility of transcendent experience. Instead of viewing religion as a context for self-reflection and acknowledgment of the divine, he reduced the function of religious ritual to the "taming" of sexual feelings.
Freud felt that Religious experience is best explained in terms of psychological influence acting on personality factors that are ultimately based on childhood traumatic experiences which involve our parents. Freud believed that religious experiences arise from the primal horde theory. This is a concept which states that one powerful and dominant male figure leads everyone, and this figure is almost always the father.
Freud went on further to say that as humans we are conditioned to be in fear when faced by morality and therefore we need some sort of comfort. For children, this comfort comes from our father and later in life, we look for it in religion and turn to the "father in the sky" whom we call God.
Freud came up with the idea that in a human society there are hordes in which the dominant males choose the females whom they want to mate with; Within the horde there are younger males who become resentful and feels jealousy. This eventually leads them into killing the dominant figures within the group.
After the death of the father they set his figure as totem and soon after the horde starts to experience a traumatic...