Day: November 23, 2013

What gods are good forWhat gods are good for

“A progressive renunciation of constitutional instincts, whose activation might afford the ego primary pleasure, appears to be one of the foundations of the development of human civilization.  Some part of this instinctual repression is effected by its religions, in that they require the individual to sacrifice his instinctual pleasure to the Deity.  ‘Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.’  In the development of the ancient religions one seems to discern that many things which mankind had renounced as ‘iniquities’ had been surrendered to the Deity and were still permitted in his name, so that the handing over to him of bad and socially harmful instincts was the means by which man freed himself from their domination.” – Sigmund Freud, “Obsessive Actions and Religious Practices” (ed.  Gay)