- "The one person this publication may injure is myself."
- "It is possible that cultural development lie ahead of us in which the satisfaction of yet other wishes, which are entirely permissible today, will appear just as unacceptable as cannibalism is today."
- "It goes without saying that a civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves prospect of a lasting experience."
- "scientific work is the only road which can lead us to a knowledge of reality outside ourselves. It is once again merely an illusion to expect anything from intuition and introspection; they can give us nothing but particulars about our own mental life, which are hard to interpret
- "Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brainworkers."
- "But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted. Men cannot remain children for ever; they must in the end go out into the 'hostile life'. We may call this 'education to reality'."
- "The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest till it has gained a hearing."
- "in the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience"
- "No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere."
"But the less a man knows about the past and the present the more insecure must prove to be his judgment of the future."
"in general people experience their present naively"
"For masses are lazy and unintelligent"
"It is only through the influence of individuals who can set an example and whom masses recognize as their leaders that they can be induced to perform the work and undergo the renunciations on which the existence of civilization depends."
"New generations, who have been brought up in kindness and taught to have a high opinion of reason, and who have experienced the benefits of civilization at an early age, will have a different attitude to it."
"If no culture has so far produced human masses of such quality, it is because no culture has yet devised regulations which will influence men in this way, and in particular from childhood onward."
"every civilization rests on a compulsion to work and a renunciation of instinct and therefore inevitably provokes opposition from those affected by these demands, it has become clear that civilization cannot consist principally or solely in wealth itself and the means of acquiring it and the arrangements for its distribution; for these things are threatened by the rebelliousness and destructive mania of the participants in civilization."
"mental assets of civilization"
"It is possible that cultural development lie ahead of us in which the satisfaction of yet other wishes, which are entirely permissible today, will appear just as unacceptable as cannibalism is today."
"It is not true that the human mind has undergone no development since the earliest times and that, in contrast to the advance of science and technology, it is the same today as it was at the beginning of history."
"external coercion gradually becomes internalized; . . . man's super-ego takes it over and includes it among its commandments."
"strengthening of the super-ego is a most precious cultural asset in the psychological field. Those in whom it has taken place are turned from being opponents of civilization into being its vehicles. The greater their number is in the cultural unit the more secure is its culture and the more it can dispense with external measures of coercion."
"There are countless civilized people who would shrink from murder or incest but do not deny themselves the satisfaction of their avarice, their aggressive urges or their sexual lusts, and who do not hesitate to injure other people by lies, fraud and calumny, so long as they can remain unpunished for it; and this, no doubt, has always been so through many ages of civilization."
"unprivileged classes will envy the favored ones their privileges and will do all they can to free themselves from their own surplus of privation."
"it is understandable that the suppressed people should develop an intense hostility towards a culture whose existence they make possible by their work, but in whose wealth they have too small a share. In such conditions an internalization of the cultural prohibitions among the suppressed people is not to be expected."
"It goes without saying that a civilization which leaves so large a number of its participants unsatisfied and drives them into revolt neither has nor deserves prospect of a lasting experience."
"mental wealth that comes into consideration in estimating a civilization's value"
"additional assets in the shape of ideals and artistic creations"
"narcissistic satisfaction . . . This satisfaction can be shared in not only by the favoured classes, which enjoy the benefits of the culture, but also by the suppressed ones, since the right to despise the people outside it compensates them from the wrongs they suffer within their own unit."
"No doubt one is a wretched plebeian, harassed by debts and military service; but, to make up for it, one is a Roman citizen, one has one's share in the task of ruling other nations and dictating their laws."
"the suppressed classes can be emotionally attached to their masters; in spite of their hostility to them they man see in them their ideals; unless such relations of a fundamentally satisfying kind subsisted, it would be impossible to understand how a number of civilizations have survived so long in spite of their justifiable hostility of large human masses."
"the most important item in the psychical inventory of a civilization. This consists in its religious ideas in the widest sense - in other words in its illusion."
"the principal task of civilization, its actual raison d'etre, is to defend us against nature."
"There are elements which seen to mock at all human control: the earth, which quakes and is torn apart and buries all human life and its works; water, which deluges and drowns everything in a turmoil; storms, which blow everything before them; there are diseases, which we have only recently recognizes as attacks by other organisms; and finally there is the painful riddle of death, against which no medicine has yet been found, nor probably will be. With these forces nature rises up against us, majestic, cruel and inexorable; she brings to our mind once more our weakness and helplessness, which we thought to escape through the work of civilization."
"the first step: the humanization of nature. Impersonal forces and destinies cannot be approached; they remain eternally remote. But if the elements have passions that rage as they do in our own souls, if death itself is not something spontaneous but the violent act of an evil Will, if everywhere in nature there are Beings around us of a kind that we know in our own society, then we can breathe freely, can feel at home in the uncanny and can deal by physical means with our senseless anxiety. We are still defenseless, perhaps, but we are no longer helplessly paralyzed; we can at least react. Perhaps, indeed, we are not even defenseless. We can apply the same methods against these violent supermen outside that we employ in our own society; we can try to adjure them, to appease them, to bribe them, and, by so influencing them, we can rob them of a part of their power."
"a man makes the forces of nature not simply into persons with whom he can associate as he would with his equals - that would not do justice to the overpowering impression which those forces make of him - but he gives them the character of a father. He turns them into gods, following in this not only an infantile prototype but a phylogenetic one."
"but man's helplessness remains and along with it his longing for his father, and the gods. The gods retain their threefold task: they must exorcise the terrors of nature, they must reconcile men to the cruelty of Fate, particularly as it is shown in death, and they must compensate them for the sufferings and privations which a civilized life in common has imposed on them"
"And thus a store of ideas is created, born from man's need to make his helplessness tolerable and built up from the material of memories of the helplessness of his own childhood and the childhood of the human race . . . the possession of these ideas protects him in two directions - against the dangers of nature and fate, and against the injuries that threaten him from human society itself. here is the gist of the matter. Life in this world serves a higher purpose; no doubt it is not easy to guess what that purpose is, but it certainly signifies a perfecting of man's nature. it is probably the spiritual part of man, the soul which in the course of time has so slowly and unwillingly detached itself from the body, that is the object of this elevation and exaltation."
"over each one of us there watches a benevolent Providence which is only seemingly stern and which will not suffer us to become a plaything of the over-mighty and pitiless forces of nature. . . . In the end all good is rewarded and all evil punished, if not actually in this form of life then in the later existence that begins after death. In this way all the terrors, the sufferings and the hardships of life are destined to be obliterated. Life after death . . . brings us all the perfection the perfection that we may perhaps have missed here."
"Now that God was a single person, man's relationship to him could recover the intimacy and intensity of the child's relation to his father."
"religious ideas have arisen from . . . the necessity of defending oneself against the crushing superior force of nature."
"Everything was the son-father relationship. God was the exalted father, and the longing for the father was the root of the need for religion."
"the father-complex and man's helplessness and need for protection."
"let us transport ourselves into the mental life of a child. . . . the mother, who satisfies the child's hunger, becomes its first love-object and certainly also its first protection against all the undefined dangers which threaten it in the external world - its first protection against anxiety . . . the mother is soon replaced by the stronger father, who retains that position for the rest of childhood. But the child's attitude to its father is coloured by a peculiar ambivalence. The father himself constitutes a danger for the child, perhaps because of its earlier relation to its mother."
"When тthe growing individual finds that he is destined to remain a child for ever, that he can never do without protection against strange superior powers, he lends those powers the features belonging to the figure of the father; he creates for himself the gods whom he dreads, whom he seeks to propitiate, and whom he nevertheless enthrusts with his own protection."
"Religious ideas are teachings and assertions about facts and conditions of external (or internal) reality which tell one something one has not discovered for oneself and which lay claim to one's belief."
"All teachings demand belief in their contents, but not without producing grounds for their claim."
"When we ask on what their claim to be believed is founded, we are met with three answers, which harmonize remarkably badly with one another. Firstly, these teachings deserve to be believed because they were already believed by our primal ancestors; secondly, we possess proofs which have been handed down to us from those same primaeval times; and thirdly, it is forbidden to raise the question of their authentication at all. . . . a prohibition like this can only be for one reason - the society is very well aware of the insecurity of the claim it makes on behalf of its religious doctrines."
"Credo quia absurdum" - I believe because it is absurd (attributed to Tertullian)
"One may require every man to use the gift of reason which he possesses, but one cannot erect, on the basis of a motive that exists only for a very few, an obligation that shall apply to everyone."
"When children were being told a story and were listening to it with rapt attention, he would come up and ask: 'Is that a true story?' When he was told it was not, he would turn away with a look of disdain. We may expect that people will soon behave in the same way towards the fairy tales of religion"
"psychical origin of religious ideas: . . . they are illusions, fulfillment of the oldest, strongest and most urgent wishes of mankind. The secret of their strength lies in the strength of those wishes. ... the terrifying impression of helplessness in childhood arouses the need for protection - for protection through love - which was provided by the father; and the recognition that this helplessness lasts throughout life made it necessary to cling to the existence of a father, but this time a more powerful one."
"An illusion is not the same thing as an error; nor is it necessarily an error."
"What is characteristic of illusions is that they are derived from human wishes."
"Illusions need not necessarily be false, unrealizable or in contradiction to reality."
"we call a belief an illusion when a wish-fulfilment is a prominent factor in its motivation"
"scientific work is the only road which can lead us to a knowledge of reality outside ourselves. It is once again merely an illusion to expect anything from intuition and introspection; they can give us nothing but particulars about our own mental life, which are hard to interpret, never any information about the questions which religious doctrine finds is so easy to answer."
"We shall tell ourselves that it would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent Providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be."
"a psychologist should now try to rob mankind of a precious wish-fulfillment and should propose to compensate them for it with intellectual nourishment."
"The one person this publication may injure is myself."
"it has ruled human society for many thousands of years and has had time to show what it can achieve. If it had succeeded in making the majority of mankind happy, in comforting them, in reconciling them to life and making them into vehicles of civilization, no one would dream of attempting to alter the existing conditions. But what do we see instead? We see that an appallingly large number of people are dissatisfied with civilization and unhappy in it, and feel it as a yoke which must be shaken off; and that these people either do everything in their power to change that civilization, or else go so far in their hostility to it that they will have nothing to do with civilization or with a restriction of instinct."
"religion has lost a part of its influence over human masses precisely because of the deplorable effect of the advances of science."
"God alone is strong and good, man is weak and sinful. In every age immortality has found no less support in religion than morality has."
"the greater the number of men to whom the the treasures of knowledge become accessible, the more widespread is the falling-away from religious belief"
"CIVILIZATION HAS LITTLE TO FEAR FROM EDUCATED PEOPLE AND BRAINWORKERS."
"If the sole reason why you must not kill your neighbour is because God has forbidden it and will severely punish you for it in this or the next life - then when you learn that there is no God and that you need not fear His punishment, you will certainly kill your neighbour without hesitation, and you can only be prevented from doing so by a mundane force."
"it is not a good plan to transplant ideas far from the soil in which they grew up"
"Religion would therefore be the universal obsessional neurosis of humanity"
"turning-away from religion is bound to occur with the fatal inevitability of a process of growth, and that we find ourselves at this very juncture on the middle of that phase of development."
"a state of blissful hallucinatory confusion"
"We have become convinced that it is better to avoid such symbolic disguisings of the truth in what we tell children and not to withhold from them a knowledge of the true state of affairs commensurate with their intellectual level."
"Men must be freed from a neurosis"
"A believer is bound to the teachings of religion by certain ties of affection."
"But I will moderate my zeal and admit the possibility that I, too, am chasing an illusion."
"we are justified in having hope for the future - that perhaps there is a treasure to be dug up capable of enriching civilization and that it is worth making the experiment of an irreligious education."
"A man who has been taking sleeping draughts for ten years is naturally unable to sleep if his sleeping draught is taken away from him."
"bitter-sweet - poison from childhood onwards."
"But surely infantilism is destined to be surmounted. Men cannot remain children for ever; they must in the end go out into the 'hostile life'. We may call this 'education to reality'.
"to know that one is thrown upon one's own resources. One learns then to make a proper use of them."
"That sounds splendid! A race of men who have renounced all illusions and have thus become capable of making their existence on earth tolerable!"
"The voice of the intellect is a soft one, but it does not rest till it has gained a hearing."
"in the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience"
"our god λόγος is perhaps not a very almighty one"
"Science has many open enemies, and meny more secret ones, among those who cannot forgive her for having weakened religious faith and for threatening to overthrow it. . . . how young she is, how difficult her beginnings were and how infinitesimally small is the period of time since the human intellect has been strong enough for the tasks she sets."
"There are various fields where we have not yet surmounted a phase of research in which we make trial with hypotheses that soon have to be rejected as inadequate"
"No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere."