Sigmund Freud Theory
This socialisation takes place through parents’ rewarding good behaviour and punishing bad behaviour. However, the parents are not always “in control” of their own feelings.
Sometimes they allow their own feelings of frustration and disappointment show (based in their feelings of inadequacy formed because of perceived pressures from other parents). The parent rewards the child for behaviour that is “approved”. Displays of anger or even violence demonstrate the parent’s disappointment. The child enjoys the warm feeling of satisfaction. The child feels guilt and shame at “letting its parent down”.These feelings of shame and guilt become established in the psyche as the conscience. 2 Conscience – Freud The Conscience at Work A person brought up in a strictly Christian family can experience powerful feelings of guilt if (or when! ) they begin to reject some of the values that they have been brought up to hold.
Sigmund Freud Theory Essay Example
Peter was brought up in a strongly Presbyterian family. When he was a child, he attended Church twice every Sunday. § The minister’s sermons would be delivered in powerful tones – the theme would usually be the punishment in hell waiting for the unrighteous. He would be made to wear his uncomfortable “Sunday Best” – there would be no Television, or toys or games. The day was spent in silent contemplation, Bible study or discussion groups. § Many topics were “taboo” – particularly sex. Alcohol was banned.
The women in the Church dressed modestly, and expected their daughters to dress the same. When Peter leaves home, and begins to experience aspects of the World previously forbidden to him, he may feel a certain guilt. For example, Peter’s first experience of alcohol may not simply leave him with a powerful hangover.He may also feel guilt. This feeling of guilt may (or may not) affect his decision making in future encounters with the demon drink. § These guilt feelings will be particularly powerful when linked to sexuality. § In particular, homosexuality, masturbation and sex outside of the marriage bond would give rise to guilt feelings.
The Christian Church appears to have behaved in such a way as to support Freud’s theory. St Augustine and St Paul are accused of establishing a climate of sexual repression through their teachings about sexuality: § §St Paul writes at length about the correct setting for a sexual relationship – in particular he argues that marriage can be used as a safety valve for the sex-drive. St Augustine provides a clearer example of the way that guilt can lead to a puritanical view of sex. St Augustine’s mother was a devout Christian. Augustine grew to resent her views, and as he grew he began to “experiment” with life. During his early years, he joined a sect (almost like joining a cult today). He travelled to Milan to study rhetoric, and took a lover (she later gave birth to a Son by him).
However, he began to feel increasingly uncomfortable about his hedonistic lifestyle. He began to look for less physical answers to his feelings, and at a particularly low moment had a conversion experience. On his return to North Africa he was (forcibly) ordained Bishop of Hippo, and he began writing some of the most influential works in Christian literature. 3 Conscience – Freud With reference to sexual intercourse, Augustine is quoted as saying “men should go to their task with reluctance”. Augustine also argued that the best relationship within a marriage was one of celibacy.His teachings affected Christian attitudes to sexuality. § This has led to a repression of sexuality within Christianity – the Church appeared to consider sexuality to be innately sinful.
Freud argues that this disapproval of sexuality has caused the repression of feelings of shame, leading to neurotic behaviour. The guilt felt by a person causes them to behave in a certain way. Does this mean that there is no place for God in Freud’s view of the Conscience? Freud’s argument is based on the idea that the Conscience is manufactured from experiences and conditioning.Aquinas and Butler argue for a more God-given conscience. There has not been a satisfactory attempt to explain how Freud’s version of the conscience can have God as its source – the best would appear to be that God provided the structure in which the conscience develops. Modern developments in Freud’s theory. Psychology now argues for a two-level conscience.
The ego forms a more mature The super-ego forms an conscience. It seeks to achieve under-developed conscience. a form of self-identity based on This is based on the mass of value and worth. The ego tries experiences of shame and guilt. o develop a “world-view” for The super-ego causes the the person which informs his person to behave like a child – direction through life. seeking approval, or obeying rules without question. It is possible to reintroduce the role of God into the development of the conscience.
The mature conscience seeks to establish self-identity based on ideas of value. Many philosophers have argued that the highest value is that of the greatest good (the Summum Bonum). Some even identify God with the highest good – it could therefore be argued that as the mature conscience is striving for the highest good. 4