Programme 9 - Psychology | Science & Belief

Programme 9 - Psychology

Programme 9 - Psychology

For School discussion groups: Science_and_Belief__Teachers_Notes_.pdf
For Church discussion groups: Science_and_Belief_Church_Notes.pdf

This programme equips learners to consider and respond to these questions:
• Who do you think provided the more accurate assessment of religion: Freud or Jung?
• Is it helpful to regard either religion or atheism as a mental virus?
• Do we have free will?

The idea of religious belief arising from desire, as wish fulfilment, is attributed to Sigmund Freud, father of psychology. He describes religion as akin to an infantile delusion.

Religion is comforting for some, challenging for others. So Freud’s account may be partial, rather than comprehensive. C G Jung offered a contrasting psychology in which the image of God is at the core of the healthy personality.

Richard Dawkins describes religion as a harmful virus, transmitted from parents to children, infecting generations: but might the opposite be just as arguable? Atheism as the virus?

The possibility that free will is illusory is also explored in this programme: when we experience choice, is that freedom, or delusion? Brains, physical, are determined—but is the mind un-robotic, free to choose? How can you tell?

Back to ‘Science & Belief: The Big Issues

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