Read Sigmund Freud, “Our Attitudes Towards Death.” 1. What does Freud mean when he says that, psychoanalytically speaking, we are all convinced that we are immortal? 2. Why does Freud think it’s strange that we’re so much more considerate to those who have died than to the living? 3. How do we find “compensation” (he might also have said consolation) for death in art? How does that work? 4. What about war? How does Freud suggest that war offers another sort of “compensation,” another way of working through our fears about death?
- There’s a discussion of primitive culture’s relationship to death that includes a comparison with Christianity. According to Freud, what do they have in common?
- What are the “ambivalent emotions” that Freud thinks people felt towards others who died, whether family or enemies in war?
- According to Freud, how did religion arise from our emotional conflict about death?
- Freud says that primitive people felt guilt about murder but today, civilized people (in times of war) do not. Do you agree? Explain.
- Turning again to the unconscious mind, Freud says two things: it denies our own death and it constantly wishes for the death of others. But he goes on to say that while in primitive times this conflict gave rise to ethical theories and “soul” theories, today it doesn’t. Today it gives rise to war. Here’s Freud: “At the present day this ambivalent conflict no longer results in the development of ethics and soul theories, but in neuroses which also gives us a profound insight into the normal psychic life.” Question: what are the neuroses that the unconscious emotional conflict is giving rise to today and how is understanding those neuroses giving us insight into normal psychic life? Your answer to this question (really two miactinne nantic to hp a lift10 Innrwar than the met