October 31st, 2010


QotD: Religion = Madness

The links between obsessive-compulsive rituals and religious rituals have long been noted. Naturally, Freud had something insightful to say about it. In his 1907 essay "Obsessive Acts and Religious Practices," he implicitly linked the two. In a marvelous sentence, he describes obsessional neurosis "as an individual religiousity and religion as a universal obsessional neurosis." In a similar vein, the psychoanalyst Robert Paul has more recently described religion as "the neurosis of civilization."
--Sapolsky in The Trouble with Testosterone p265