Sigmund Freud

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Freud in his laboratory

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was the founder of psychoanalysis, an atheist and pseudoscientist. Despite the scientific rejection of most if not all of his theory, Freud remains powerfully influential among amoral and atheist scientists.

Jewish by birth, in 1938 he left fled Vienna and persecution by the Nazis to North London, England, where he lived until his death in 1939.

Freud did more than perhaps any other man to insidiously conflate atheism with science, religion with mysticism, more than LaPlace, Darwin, or even Marx... While groundbreaking, his theories set back psychoanalysis for more than half a century.[1]

Anti-religious works

Freud wrote two works disdainful of religion, Moses and Monotheism, and The Future of an Illusion. He concurred with Marx in regarding religion as the result of ignorance. For this reason, his work continues to be invoked by atheist elitist doctors who wish to treat faith as a mental illness.[2] Along with Marx, he is seen as a founder of the modern atheist political program.

Theories

Freud is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, especially involving the mechanism of repression; his symbolic interpretation of dreams; his redefinition of sexual desire as mobile and directed towards a wide variety of objects; and his therapeutic technique, especially his understanding of transference in the therapeutic relationship and the symbolic interpretation of dreams as sources of insight into unconscious desires. [3]

Freud proposed that the human psyche consists of three parts -- ego, super-ego, and id -- and that defense mechanisms are an attempt by the mind to resolve conflicts between the super-ego and the id. According to Freud's personality theory, the id represents the innate animal-like drives and instincts of the human being, consisting primarily of sexual and aggressive impulses. The super-ego consists of the learned rules and norms of the human being in their environment, derived from sources such as parental values, societal expectations, and religious teachings. When the id introduces impulses into the consciousness that are in conflict with the "rules" of the super-ego, anxiety can arise. For example, if one feels sexually attracted to the spouse of a family member, the super-ego promptly springs to action to remind us that these impulses are entirely unacceptable and offensive. The conflict between the id and the super-ego is thus born and the ego must resolve it or experience great anxiety.

Pseudoscience

Freud's theories are viewed by some as unscientific because they lack falsifiability, as pointed out by Karl Popper.[4] No one has ever been able to do any experiment that showed any merit to any of Freud's work. Freud lied about his own subjects to make it appear that his psychoanalysis had some benefit.[5]

While Freud's theories have not withstood empirical testing, his therapeutic methods continue to have a lasting importance in psychotherapy. As recently as 1987 approximately 75% of practicing therapists relied on Freud's psychoanalytic ideas in therapy. (Pope, K.S., Tabachnick, B. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1987). Ethics of practice: The beliefs and behaviors of psychologists as therapists. American Psychologist, 42, 993-1006). Among the techniques instituted by Freud that are still in use today are talk therapy (simply talking through problems), free association (allowing the client to say whatever comes to mind), and transference (promoting an emotional relationship between the therapist and client in order to aid in the healing process).

Much of Freud's psychosexual theories and his tripartite model have failed any empirical investigation. Psychoanalysis as a clinical method has in many cases been shown to be as effective as other talk therapies,[6] but this is not likely to reflect the accuracy or inaccuracy of the underlying theories, but rather the positive effect of talking about one's problems.

Sigmund Freud died of maxillary cancer at the age of 82.

World War II

In order to prevent Nazis from banning psychoanalysis as "Jewish science", Sigmund Freud thought he needed a non-Jewish spokesperson for the psychoanalysis movement. He choose Carl Jung, an early supporter who later diverged from Freud's psychiatric theories.

References

  1. Gregory Zilboorg, Freud and Religion: a Restatement of an Old Controversy, 118. Statement written in the 1950s; Freud's psychoanalysis continues to be applied to the detriment of patients.
  2. Gregory Zilboorg, Freud and Religion: a Restatement of an Old Controversy, 49.
  3. See also The Unconscious Before Freud, by Lancelot Law Whyte, 1979
  4. Popper, Karl R.: 'Science as Falsification', Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge (London, 1963)
  5. "The verdict has been uniformly negative: Freud as a scientist, metapsychologist, and diagnostician of society emerges as a quack. This view has not greatly perturbed true believers." [1]
  6. Different types of therapy