Essay about Sin and Virtue in the works of Freud and Dante

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Religion is arguably most influential when concerning politics, society, and individuality. This belief system provides most people with somewhat of a 'guideline' on how to live their lives on a daily basis, depending on which religion one follows. One of the major underlying aspects of religion, Catholicism or Christianity in particular, is to show guilt or sorrow to God for one's own sins and to ask for forgiveness on Earth so when Judgment Day comes the gates of heaven will open. A follower of Christianity is expected to follow the divine doctrine (e.g. The Ten Commandments) and any deviation requires repentance. If one does not ask for forgiveness for his sins, the common belief is that he will be sent to Hell upon death, spending an…show more content…
(36). Religion constricts an individual?s ability to explore different paths to happiness, thereby mentally situating him in a state of ?unconditional submission?.
Civilization also puts enormous expectations and restrictions on individuals and these are in the form of examples such as art, beauty, sexuality, customs, taboos, law, order, and justice. The rule of law is placed above individual instincts and causes man to suppress his instinctual urges in order to coincide with society. As Freud states ??it is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct?? (52). This causes sublimation in the human mind, or channeling primal urges to other psychical or physical activities. Freud claims that man?s primal instinctual behavior is aggression and this aggression could disintegrate civilization, therefore it is highly repressed by society and consequently, the mind. ?His aggressiveness is introjected, internalized, it is?sent back to where it came from?his own ego. There it is taken over by a portion of the ego?as super-ego?? (84).
This aggression harbored in the super-ego is then channeled toward the ego creating feelings of guilt. Freud declares that a sense of guilt is the direct result of the conflict between the need for the authority?s love and the impulse towards instinctual satiety, and if this instinctual need cannot be satisfied aggression will ensue (100). A sense of guilt is arisen within when

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