Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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dorkmaster
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Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

#1

Post by dorkmaster » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:22 pm

Hey guys, it's been quite a while since I've posted, but I have found myself in an interesting situation.
I am currently a third year college student, and to fulfill a graduation requirement, I signed up for a class on philosophy. Upon arriving day one, the professor writes on the board, "There is no God, therefore belief in God is irrational, therefore give up belief in God". The whole class has been on the concept of God's existence and how individuals should live in society. We have read several books on philosophy, starting with Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Plato's The Trial and Death of Socrates, Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and finally we are finishing up Freud's Future of an Illusion. Everything leading up to Freud has involved arguments I have seen and heard refuted or supported in different ways, but now with Freud I haven't been able to find much in terms of refutation. Specifically, Freud's arguments that religion is obviously an illusion, that religious practices involve 'rituals' that fulfill his view of the human libido: incest, cannibalism and murder, and just in general the complete lack of concrete or philosophical proof of God's existence.
The professor is very atheist and his classroom demeanor makes it difficult to try and challenge what he says. He seems to have 'refutations' for all of the class's proofs of God's existence, and, as I'm sure you could guess, it seems to be harming my faith more than I had anticipated. To be fair, I seem to be the only one in the class with any experience dealing with philosophy. The class's reaction was that of pure shock on the first day while I remember thinking to myself, "Oh, he's one of THOSE..." Haha. Anyway, in your experiences, what refutations have you discovered regarding Freud? Any help is greatly appreciated!

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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

#2

Post by B. W. » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:09 pm

dorkmaster wrote:Hey guys, it's been quite a while since I've posted, but I have found myself in an interesting situation.

I am currently a third year college student, and to fulfill a graduation requirement, I signed up for a class on philosophy. Upon arriving day one, the professor writes on the board, "There is no God, therefore belief in God is irrational, therefore give up belief in God". The whole class has been on the concept of God's existence and how individuals should live in society. We have read several books on philosophy, starting with Descartes' Meditations on First Philosophy, Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, Plato's The Trial and Death of Socrates, Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling, and finally we are finishing up Freud's Future of an Illusion. Everything leading up to Freud has involved arguments I have seen and heard refuted or supported in different ways, but now with Freud I haven't been able to find much in terms of refutation. Specifically, Freud's arguments that religion is obviously an illusion, that religious practices involve 'rituals' that fulfill his view of the human libido: incest, cannibalism and murder, and just in general the complete lack of concrete or philosophical proof of God's existence.

The professor is very atheist and his classroom demeanor makes it difficult to try and challenge what he says. He seems to have 'refutations' for all of the class's proofs of God's existence, and, as I'm sure you could guess, it seems to be harming my faith more than I had anticipated. To be fair, I seem to be the only one in the class with any experience dealing with philosophy. The class's reaction was that of pure shock on the first day while I remember thinking to myself, "Oh, he's one of THOSE..." Haha. Anyway, in your experiences, what refutations have you discovered regarding Freud? Any help is greatly appreciated!
Wow, 3rd year in college and this is your first such encounter? I find that amazing...you were not hit each and every year.

Well, for starter, Freud is dead...

Now if your Prof is an honest atheist - then making a remark to him during one of his rants like that ... Freud says life is an illusion.... then interrupt him and say - Freud is dead... and the bible said the Jewish people would be gathered twice back into their own land as a nation. That happened and Freud is dead.... Which of the two define illusion? Cite Isaiah 11:11 and have him read it aloud and ask - how can that be misinterpreted?

See what he says. I am a bit more gutsy and did these kind of things in college to several of my Proff's - I got in quite a few good one liners. My grades did not suffer and yes, I was made out to be the enemy of all humanity but Jesus did remind us that this would happen to us in Matthew chapter 10.

If all is illusion - so what? then...

...ask if would be okay for the entire class to cheat on his next exam... Moral relativism and no absolutes, all an illusion - then he should assign all the class an A and dismiss class rest of the season so you students have some free time to unstress from all the assignments piled on from the other classes.

Well, that's me but you are you and call it how you and Lord decide together.
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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by Kurieuo » Sun Nov 24, 2013 11:20 pm

Really? I thought Future of an Illusion had no real argument being made personally.

More of a "telling" than anything either evidential or reasonable. It is one perspective from how an Atheist (Freud) sees the world and people in it given his beliefs.

If any argument is being made, then here is one easy refutation. It commits a big irrelevance fallacy. Whether one is experiencing an illusion has no relevance to the truth of whether God exist. Rather, the evidence for and against God's existence, both logical and experienced, should be rationally justified on there own merits.

Many things are also assumed, without offering any proofs. For example, such as there being some sort of schism between science and belief in God ("religion") such that the two are contradictory. Ergo, why I don't think an argument is really being made but rather more of a telling a story of how things must be in Freud's view of a world without God.

If your professor is trying to imply the discussion is largely settled that there is no God on the board, then I laugh. There would be relatively few who in philosophical journals would make such a bold statement. Either he reads very little philosophy or he just has his head up his...

If you can get yourself a hold of Reason and the Heart by William Wainwright. It is like a counter argument to Freud/Kant from a Christian perspective.
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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by jlay » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:58 am

I would simply ask him, "is you role to teach us how to think, or what to think?"
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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by Proinsias » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:29 pm

jlay wrote:I would simply ask him, "is you role to teach us how to think, or what to think?"
Nailed it

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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by The Protector » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:30 pm

I know this is late and the class is over, but I have a somewhat unique perspective so I thought I'd reply; I am Actually in my third year of a doctoral program in clinical psychology. What's more, my program is quite psychodynamic in orientation (influenced in various ways by the Freudian tradition and those that branched off of it).

It is important to understand Freud's distinction between an illusion and a delusion: a delusion is a belief that is held as a result of unconscious wishes, etc that is obviously false/disconnected from reality. An illusion, on the other hand, is a belief that is held as a result of unconscious wishes, etc, whose veracity is indeterminate. In other words, an illusion isn't necessarily a false belief (though Freud thought it "likely incorrect"), but its veracity holds no bearing on why the belief is held.

Also, Freuds own theory can be used to demonstrate that atheism is no less an illusion. Whenever someone (especially a non-psychologist) tries to use Freud to "prove" faith in God is false, respond that Freud's (or your interlocutor's) atheism was actually a manifestation of his unconsciously held Oedipal wish, as they have "killed" the ultimate father figure. I've dropped this on some of my professors and they were actually pretty receptive to it.

Finally, though Freud was a really smart guy and got a lot of things pretty close to correct, he also had some pretty out here ideas that were outcroppings of his modernist, materialist worldview. I wouldn't be too concerned about his views on religion (or sexual development, for that matter).

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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by The Protector » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:46 pm

Also, as a therapist, I think the fact that this guy structured his entire philosophy class on demonstrating that atheism is true sends up big red flags psychologically. "Methinks the lady doth protest too much." The prof desperately wants atheism to be true.

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Re: Sigmund Freud's Future of an Illusion

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Post by domokunrox » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:55 am

Well this is an interesting topic that flew under my radar. As already stated, I know your class is done, but I'll just add my 2 cents.

I'm rather surprised that this teacher is as bold as you say he is, clearly teaching an agenda rather then allowing your class to examine everything and give it all a fair shake. If you actually lodge a formal complaint to the Dean about it, they would quickly change their attitude. People should lodge a complain because I doubt anyone can seriously get any academic worth out of it. Pretty much any philosophy teacher or anyone who has taken philosophy seriously as a career that I've encountered (I'm encountered quite a few) all agree that AT LEAST there is an impersonal god (somewhat similar to Einstein's position). Even some of the most anti religious teachers I've chatted with at least have the stones to admit that their position isn't based on evidence. Rather, they have no qualms admitting that their position is simply how they personally feel about it.

If I was in your class the first day, I would have raised my hand and said that what he has wrote on the board clearly begs the question, and how can a philosophy teacher make such ridiculous critical mistake? Where did they get your teacher? Off the street? On an internet message board?

In regards to Freud, fear not. Freud's philosophical statements makes about as much sense as a career McDonald's cook telling a NASA scientist about the laws of motion. FUD.

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