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Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs

By applying psychological methods and interpretive frameworks to religious studies, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung attempted to accurately describe the advantages and disadvantages of religious beliefs.

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According to the views expressed by Freud in his The future of an illusion, religious belief can have several positive implications for an individual but religion is only an illusion and to become mature, an individual should get rid of this fantasy structure which is neurotic and dysfunctional. However, Freud pointed out several advantages of religious belief in the early stages of individual development. Firstly, religion acts as a protection mechanism that enables people to deal with their fears of natural forces and provides them with an illusion of control over natural forces. Secondly, religion encourages people to reconcile to the cruelty of their fate. Thirdly, religion helps people to deal with their fear of the afterlife representing death as not the end of life but the beginning of a new form of existence. Regardless of these benefits of protection, according to Freud, religion remains only an illusion and may cause harm to a believer in case if the truth is discovered. Additionally, religion disproves and shames several basic needs of each individual which can lead to psychosis.

A more positive view of religion was offered by Carl Jung who developed Freud’s ideas of the unconscious and distinguished between the personal and collective unconscious and presented religion as an important component of the collective unconscious. According to Jung’s theories, religion is a valuable source of archetypes defined as basic images and forms which are crucial for adapting to life in society. The religious experience enables an individual to transfer the archetypes from the unconscious to the realm of consciousness.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, February 2). Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/sigmund-freud-and-carl-jung-religious-beliefs/

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"Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs." StudyCorgi, 2 Feb. 2021, studycorgi.com/sigmund-freud-and-carl-jung-religious-beliefs/.

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StudyCorgi. "Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs." February 2, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/sigmund-freud-and-carl-jung-religious-beliefs/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs." February 2, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/sigmund-freud-and-carl-jung-religious-beliefs/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung: Religious Beliefs'. 2 February.

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