Sigmund Freud believes that pornography is a good outlet for repressed desires; otherwise they could come out in worse ways, which for him was to become religious. Religion according to Freud is a mental illness. Therefore, I am going to explore his ideas of religion and God and how they link to pornography.
Ludwig Feuerbach is the person Freud built his psychological explanation of religion on. The psychological foundation, which Freud later developed, was based on Feuerbach theory of God being pure projection of the unconscious mind. Both Freud and Feuerbach concluded that religion is wish fulfillment. Freud believed religious doctrines are not the results of experience or deep thinking, but are refined fantasies; wish fulfillments in response to the basic needs of humankind. Freud’s ideas of wish fulfillment derive from his studies of childhood. He believed that the child during there early stages desire protection due to its vulnerability; this basic need motivates the child’s love and expectations towards the father. However, the child also wants to own the mother exclusively so their desire of having a strong protective father is destroyed due the rivalry between them. These needs of the earthly father being strong and protective are never contented so the child sets out to find a more powerful father who will fulfill its wishes. As a result, the father becomes idealized and projected into the image of God. Freud’s theory testifies humans feel a need for security and forgiveness, but these desires were unsatisfied in the early stages of infancy and childhood. As a result, humans invent a source, which obtains all the attributes, which will fulfill our desires: God.
The Oedipus Complex, according to the psychoanalytic theory of Freud, are feelings or desires originating when a child, especially a son, unconsciously seeks sexual fulfillment with the parent of the opposite sex. The theory derives from the Sophocles’ tragic drama “Oedipus Rex” where the central character kills his father and marries the mother. Freud believed that children are filled with dark impulses, which are erotic in intent including simple activities such as breast-feeding and thumb sucking to Freud were seen as having a markedly sexual character. In the Oedipus Complex, a boy around the age of three to five years old has become fixated on his mother and desires to possess her exclusively. The child then competes with the father for maternal attention and in doing so views the father as an obstacle between its desire and it being fulfilled. The child then desires to remove the father in order for them to be with the mother exclusively. However, this desire is never fulfilled. The child’s experiences of an erotic attachment to one parent and hostility toward the other parent forms an ensuing triangular tension which is seen as being the root of most mental disorders. The Oedipus complex is absolutely central in Freud’s thinking of religious belief, and symbolizes human jealousy and our desire to be loved exclusively. These unfulfilled desires humans feel at the early stages of life, force us to repress our sexual impulses and forget the jealousy we felt towards our fathers. These feelings are then transferred into our unconscious, which are then transformed into a religious faith. The exclusive love we desire is transformed into a God.
Now Freud believes that if we do not repress those desires, erotic impulses people would not end up having a mental disorder, that being religion. Freud says that we each have a super-ego, which is like an inner voice reminding us of social norms inculcated in us by our parents and authority figures in society. We need this voice in order to live in a happy law-abiding society. But is it immoral to go against social norms and to express our selves? The answer is no, according to Freud. There go for Freud pornography can be seen as a good way to express our selves without having to inflict our darkest desires on society. We our still able to express our selves, so repression isn’t included and still don’t hurt anyone. Therefore, pornography is a good thing to have.