Civilization and Its Discontents Chapter Abstracts for Teachers

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Chapter 1

• A friend of Freud’s says that he believes that the ‘oceanic’ feeling of belonging to the universe is the origin of the religious impulse.

• Freud says that the religious impulse does not make sense to him, as he cannot feel this oceanic feeling, and sees the origins of religion elsewhere.

• Freud speculates that the religious feeling had its unique development in human beings who are defined by their maturation from childhood to adulthood.

• The real source for religious sentiment, according to Freud, is the child’s fear of helplessness and fear of the father’s authority.

Chapter 2

• Dismissing religion as an infantile system, Freud says that what is clear from human behavior is that men are driven by what he calls the pleasure principle.

• While happiness can come from many places, Freud says that suffering comes from three places principally: the body, the world, and other...

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