What Was Karl Marx Thinking When He Said Religion Is The Opium Of The Masses?
Opium is an addictive drug that makes you lethargic and inactive, and therefore harmful to your health and mind. So in this case religion causes people to become distracted and uninvolved with matters (I think Marx was probably thinking political ones) with unhealthy results.
Religion is not the problem. It can be a cool balm use to comfort an affliction to some or to make sense of man's existence. Its how it has been used to control people. The same with the denial of education. An educated person can make more rational decisions because they have tools to assess and analyze. Where as a person only given religious instructions by a foreign culture to harness a person's conscious choices can promote weak mindedness(turn the other cheek) or unleash warlike mentality(jihadism) like we see going on today. Political idealism both capitalism and communist is man made just like most religious theory-but for the benefit of who? What we call God don't need religion, a church, war defense or promotion-nothing. Until we are educated beyond what we are socialized to believe, life will remain the same.
While communism was (is) officially atheistic, religion was allowed to continue, but with severe restrictions as to activism and expression. The reason religion was tolerated is that Marx knew that the religious wackos would take comfort in the (fake) promises of religion for comfort in heaven, and so would not cause as much trouble in the here and now because of the communist oppression and economic failure.
I've studied Marx quite a bit. In regard to that quote, he was probably talking about it being the escape and relief for the miserable working classes. He was talking about people's lives being so miserable that they needed something better to look up to. Some higher ideal, that this (what they had in everyday life) is it.
It was his observation on the control which religion actually exerts on it's adherents, plus the fact that those adherents were more concerned about their souls than their material bodies. Much the way drug addicts feel about their addiction, even to death.
Opium is a metaphor used to put down religion, saying that it does no good but sedates people and prevents people from thinking for themselves, and future progress.
Even for religion, the saving grace throughout the centuries is due to religious orders who do not succumb to the world's idealogy, but to the simple vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. It is those people who help us to stay on the path of righteousness.
Religion is not the "Opium of the Masses". Religion is suppose to be "glasses for the Masses" because it helps us to see the truth through the lens of faith.
by pisean2823117 years ago
what do u guys think about karl marx comments?
by James Agbogun8 years ago
What is your opinion on the above quotation?
by intellagentleman5 years ago
Who is Carl Marx and what did he mean by "Religion is the opiate of the masses" ?
by cjhunsinger3 years ago
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Do you believe that the concepts of SIN and EVIL are a man-made religious concepts used asa guilt inducing means to control the masses and making them subservient to a religious authority? Or do you strongly believe...
by Will Apse22 months ago
Quote:Humans suppress areas of the brain used for analytical thinking and engage the parts responsible for empathy in order to believe in god, research suggests.They do the opposite when thinking about the physical...
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