Who is Carl Marx and what did he mean by "Religion is the opiate of the masses"

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  1. intellagentleman profile image57
    intellagentlemanposted 7 years ago

    Who is Carl Marx and what did he mean by "Religion is the opiate of the masses" ?


  2. profile image0
    jami l. pereiraposted 7 years ago

    Marx’s relationship with and ideas about religion are more complex than most realize. Marx’s analysis of religion has flaws, but despite them his perspective is worth taking seriously. Specifically, he argues that religion is not so much an independent “thing” in society but, rather, a reflection or creation of other, more fundamental “things” like economic relationships. That’s not the only way of looking at religion, but it can provide some interesting illumination on the social roles that religion plays.
    Karl marx was a revolutionary communist ,theorist, philosopher,sociologist ,historian .

  3. Monisajda profile image73
    Monisajdaposted 7 years ago

    I think that Marx's reputation suffered a lot because Stalin and Lenin leaned on many of his theories thus making it repulsive to average person who doesn't want to be associated with communism.

    These exact words mean that religion serves the poor uneducated masses of hardworking simple man as a source of hope. There was no hope for hungry hardworking abused by system (feudal or during an industrial revolution and thereafter) people. Rich had everything and poor had nothing. Religion was a salve for their souls, they could look forward to a reward in the afterlife.

  4. intellagentleman profile image57
    intellagentlemanposted 7 years ago

    Well i must say that you both had great answers to this question. agreed.

  5. Billie Pagliolo profile image61
    Billie Paglioloposted 6 years ago

    "Opiates are a type of analgesic meaning that they reduce or modulate the sensation of pain so that it (the pain) is more bearable..." Marx, I believe, chose this metaphor to describe how religion, with it's promise of hope in the after-life serves to make the pain of life more bearable and the masses more calm and controlled. The danger is that an opiate, like religion, can dull the senses.  It calms society into accepting what they perceive is their fate since everyone dies and their reward is in heaven.  Illustrations as to how this security blanket of religion and the hope of life after death plays out politically both in radical Eastern religions and radical Western religions are in the news daily.  At the extreme, religion and it's after-life promise caused individuals to divert the basic instinct for their very own survival, reject a natural instinct for empathy, and fly planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon.  At it's slightly more moderate expression, at least in the short term, religion results in belief in Apocalypse which leads to apathy concerning human-kinds' present impact on issues of nuclear proliferation, global climate change, and disparity of distribution of wealth. At the most individual level, religion is what keeps us in the same pattern as our parents - the same socio-economic class and at the same level of accomplishment.  It's the sighed resignation of "Well, that's it, ya know" and the embracing of contentment with "the way things are... because everything happens for a reason, doncha know?"


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