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Dominico Nguyen
April 19, 2010
20th Century Philosphy
Dr. Robert Vigliotti

There are three models for explaining the relationship between religion and science including the Conflict, Independence, and Dialogue model however Sigmund Freud believes that Conflict model is the best model to explain these two factors together. Before one can understand Freud argument better one must examining all three of these model in order to see how Freud agree with the Conflict model and disagree with the Independent and the Dialogue model.
First of all, the Conflict model shows that religion and science are rivals of one another. Ian Barbour, a philosopher, gave us several examples of this model. He compares scientific materialism and biblical literalism. According to Barbour both seek knowledge with a sure foundation that of logic and sense data. Another example that he made was about Richard Dawkins. Dawkins mainly uses evolution to show that God does not exist and that every living creature was created by chance rather then a design. Dawkins, Francis Crick, Carl Sagan, and many other naturalists, all took an approach against religion, by claiming that everything was physical in nature including consciousness, logic, and reason. The second model is the independent model which is the model where science and religion work separately from one another. An example of someone who took this approach was Karl Barth who read the bible literal. Barth mainly states that one has to be careful when he or she allow science and religion to work together. For example, Barth mainly believes that faith and reason can not compliment one another rather they have to work separately from one another. Stephen J. Gould also used the Independent model when he says that theologians study religion, and scientists should study science.
The last model is the Dialogue model which shows science and religion working together to find common ground.( Sweetman 234) This model is especially accepted by Catholic church. For example both St. Augustine and St. Thomas agree with the idea that says all truth is in one. Meaning what is true in science must also be true in religion. St. Augustine mentions three points in Genesis that can not be questioned such as the fact that God created the universe, out of a design plan, and that human were at the top of the tree of life. All this can not be change, however, how god created the universe can be questioned by science. St. Thomas uses the dialogue method by agreeing on that the big bang theory did happen and that it was part of contingent serious that God who is a necessary being have created. (Sweetman 38)

Although each model has a reasonable argument showing how is the best model, Freud believes strongly that the Conflict Model has the best argument.
Freud begins his argument saying that there are three forces that tend to dispute against science, but religion alone is a serious enemy of it. Art can sometimes show scientists that they are wrong in their observations, but it is always harmless and beneficent, because it does not seek to be nothing but an illusion. Philosophy can dispute science using rational observations to prove that a certain scientific theory like evolution is wrong. However, most of the time, philosophy is looked at as a science. Turning back to religion Freud defines it as an attempt to get control over the sensory world. He says we are placed, by the mean of the wish-world, which we have developed inside us as a result of biological and psychological necessity. Secondly, he says religion also tend to imposed upon thought in the interests of its own preservation is by no means without danger both for the individual and for society. (Freud 1)
Freud says that the scientific spirit is reason. He emphasizes on the fact that every human being can use reason to answer all the problems and concerns of the world without any affiliation to religion implication. He calls reason the forces which may be expected to exert a unifying force among men. He even defines reason as something that should dictate the human mind because the nature of it guarantees that it would not fail to concede to human emotion. Reason is the strongest unified force that would help men of all race and culture for further unification. On the other hand, religion brings mankind far away from that development because it tends to oppose so many things in our culture. He says “ Religion depressed the value of life, and distort the picture of the real world in a delusional manner which presupposes an intimidation of the intelligence.” ( Freud 65) For example, religion tends to stop women from expressing their sexuality to it fullness. It prohibits women from dressing in an immoral manner and it prevents women from having sex with whomever they want for pleasure. For example religion only allows women to have sex inside marriage with the purpose of procreation. It does not allow women to have sex outside marriage because it is a sin that could bring their soul into Hell for eternity if they do not repent.
Freud says science allows men to see that human reason allow men to freely do what he wants without anyone telling him what to do, in order for he or she to be happy. Freud believes that every men and women have an ego, an id, and a superego inside their brain. And when these three part in the brain work scientifically together it led them to make various decisions in life. For example, men have an ego that tends to force them to do what they want for pleasure. However, there is the id that controls this pleasure. And the superego which is considers as the consciousness which balance both the id and the ego allowing men to make a proper decision.


For example, a man wants to have a pizza, but he does not have the money to pay for it. The ego tends to push men to go steal the pizza. However the id controls this ego allowing the superego to make a proper decision to borrow money from his friend to purchase the pizza. ( Deigh 167)
Freud says that many people connect themselves to religion because they think it is the only things that make their life meaningful which allows them to be happy. However, Freud disagrees with them because he thinks a person can be happier without religion in their lives. He believes religion can be a factor that makes you unhappy because it restricts men from doing so many things that would make them happy. For example, he says that religion says that looking at pornography is a sin and if someone were to endorse themselves in these magazines they would be unhappy because they have made their soul unhappy. Someone who accepts this view might believe that reading pornography makes them unhappy when in reality is does not. He says reading these material might actually make one more happy because it increase the Eros (whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, the races, people and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.) which allow you to have sex better.

Freud says “Man who sees his pursuit of happiness come to nothing in later years can find consolation in the yield of pleasure of chronic intoxication, or he can embark on the desperate attempt at rebellion seen in a psychosis.” ( Freud 65) Men can only be happy if he puts love at the center of his life. The love that he emphasizes on is sexual love. First, this kind of love allows men to freely enjoy an intense experience of pleasure through their sensations. Secondly, it allows men to recognize that when beauty is present before them, they must enjoy it. For example, if men were to see a woman who so beautiful and it so attractive to him. He must quickly take the opportunity to engage this woman in a sexual relationship. On the other hand, someone who is a religious person might be afraid to fall into sin and turn away from this beauty. This can only make him unhappy because he did not get the opportunity to have sex with this woman.
I strongly disagree with Freud on this matter, because someone who take their religion seriously might still engage this beautiful in a relationship but in a Christian way. Meaning, rather than engage this women in sex treating her as an object, he might engage her in a conversation that can strengthen his relationship with her which led them toward marriage.
Freud obviously views human being as an object because to him everything is physical by nature and anything that non-physical does not exist. For example, when he examines the structure of the brain he sees that there are neuron, electron, proton, cerebellum, and axiom, and to him that all that exists in the brain. Memory, imagination, and human consciousness itself are viewed by some philosophers as non-physical entities. Freud says they wrong. These things only exist when different chemicals in the brain work together which created these memory or imagination.


For example, a man was about to make a decision about what he is going to eat for lunch. He has a choice between the hamburger and some fruit. He ends up choosing the hamburger not by his own free will, but it was chosen because of how the chemical in the brain were working together.
Last, Freud also says that man can never be truly happy because each person views happiness in a different way. However, it not impossible to achieve this happiness it just takes time. And some men might achieve this happiness quicker. Other men who are so caught up with their religion might never be happy because he has fallen so deeply into a delusion reality that there no way to escape it. This reality makes men tend to do what there God wants them to do. They never make their own choice in life. For example, when they are about to have sex outside marriage they would run away from it, this decreases their eros inside of them which make them more unhappy.
Once again I disagree with Freud, because I believe that when someone who does God’s will, will be more happy, because our body, soul, and heart are make for God use alone. Mankind, are imperfect being who need God proper guidance to truly live a happy life. Beside that, Eros kind of love must be combines with agape love (fatherly love) allowing one to truly be able to love other the way God love them.
In conclusion, there are three models for explaining the relationship between religion and science including the Conflict, Independent, and Dialogue model Freud believes that the conflict model work the best because religion and science cannot work together. I disagree with him. I believe the dialogue model work the best. First of all, the Dialogue models allow science and religion to complement one another. The Conflict model does not do that. Instead it makes science and religion become rivals with one another. The Independent model makes science and religion work separately from one another. The Independent model is not rational when it ignores religion implication. For example the independent model might be able to use science to say how the big bang created the universe but it could never answer who created the universe which of course the answer is God. On the other hand, the dialogue model is historical inform, it fair to both science and religion, it open to both discipline, and it involve rigorous thinking. The Conflict model do not provides historical evidence.

Word Cited Page

Deigh, John. "Freud". April 19,10 <http: www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1918freud-ciwelt.html>.
Freud, Sigmund. Civilization and Its Discontent. New York: Norton Publication, 2005.
Freud, Sigmund. "Modern History Sourcebook: Sigmund Freud: Civilization & Civilization & Die Weltanschauung, 1918". April 19,10 <http: www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1918freud-ciwelt.html>.
Brendan Sweetman, Religion : British Library Press, 2007
Brendan Sweetman, Religion and Science: British Library Press, 2009