Karl Marx And His View On Religion

1390 words - 6 pages

Karl Marx and His View on Religion

Karl Marx, the founder and main advocator of his Marxist philosophy, wrote the Communist Manifesto in 1848. This document was the basis for all of his thoughts and ideas of the world at the time being. One of the major topics that he spoken on was how religion affected the society and how it was an institution that was not actually necessary to exist.

Marxist VS Religion


Marx saw religion as an evil that existed in society and that it brought down all the people that believed in that religion. Marx said that, ?It [religion] is the opium of the people,?[1] and in saying this, Marx meant that religion was contagious on society. Once the society had a taste for the religion, they became totally engulfed it in, and then they do not want to get out of that way of live because they see it as a good way to live. Then even if people wanted to get out of the religion it was hard to get out because the whole society had already been infected by the ?opium.?

With the idea of equality of all people no matter what race or previous financial situation, the concept of a god was in complete opposition of the Marxist philosophy. ?Marx?s idea of God as a projection of alienated human beings whereby God becomes in rich proportion as humanity becomes poor.?[2] Marx is criticizing society and their overall views of how religion should be treated. The society is letting God become the main focus of their lives, and since they are giving almost all their attention to God, they are becoming oblivious of the other members of the society and the relationships between each other.

As society was becoming distracted by God and religion, Marx felt that the entire social class system seemed to be breaking down. Even though religions preached that people be peaceful and kind to all others, it was in fact unable to do this. There was always constant separation between the different creeds and even conflicts between different sects of the same basic religion. ?For in so far as society is viewed as class divided and religion as a source of social stability, then it follows that religion is an instrument of class domination.?[3] In saying this, Marx means that religion does not accomplish what it was intended in doing, and not only has it failed in one of its true goals, but it has done a one-hundred eighty degree turn to do the opposite of its aim. People originally made up religions as a way of life, but Marx criticizes it no longer exists in this fashion. The state of religion that Marx hates is when the religions begin to make the man.[4]

A major belief of any religion is the belief in the spiritual aspect of one?s life. Marx denounces this because anything spiritual is merely a surreal thought that has no relevant backing to it. ?Marx teaches that spiritual as well as physical faculties are inherent in the human...

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