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Religion According To Marx Essay, Research Paper
?Religion comes from the oppressed, but benefits those at
the top? Lenin: ?Religion
is a kind of spiritual gin in which the slaves of capital drown their human
shape and their claims to any decent life.? Religion dulls the pain caused by
oppression. It does nothing to solve the
problem; it is a bad attempt to make life more bearable. Salvation from bondage and misery by promised
after-life Promises people will be rewarded for their
virtue Offers hope of supernatural intervention to
solve problems on earth Often justifies social order and a persons
place within it Helps people at the bottom accept their situation. Marx: ?Religion
is an opiate of the masses? Prevents any form of revolt, as
it threatens eternal damnation, good for social control Helps produce false consciousness Diverts people?s attention away from real source of oppression and keeps
ruling class in power Criticisms of Marxist Theory Turner argues there is no single, dominant ideology; there is a different
ideology for each class Engels argues he saw early Chrisitian
sects as radical challenge to authority of Roman Law. LIBERATION THEOLOGY (Neo-Marxist) Maduro: ?Religion
is not always a conservative force? Religion one of the few things
that can stimulate revolt Recently, Catholic priests have
acted against interests of bourgeoisie Interpretations of religion can show it is critical of rich and powerful Turner: Religion
rises from a material base Relates to physical and economic
aspects of social life Religion doesn?t have universal role, not important part of ruling-class ideology. Families no longer
hold the wealth ? multinationals etc: Religion less needed, for passing money
down etc. Religion is an
optional extra in capitalist society. Criticisms of Neo-Marxist ?
to show WC were ever especially religious. ?
act for change
still credits mass of population with little independent action. Religion acts as a tool of social
control, maintaining the existing system of exploitation and reinforcing
the existing stratification order. Paul Tillich Religion
encompasses that to which people are most devoted or that from which they
expect to get the most fundamental satisfaction in life. Putting Tillich’s and Luther’s
definitions together, it is possible to see that religion does not necessarily
have to be involved with shrines, temples, churches, or synagogues. It does not
need complex doctrines or clergy. It can be anything to which people devote
themselves that fills their lives with meaning. Consequently,
religion provides adequate answers to the basic questions posed above.
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