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Religion is the Opium of the People...

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posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 05:21 PM
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This explanation was from another site and I thought it was spot on!! Enjoy...


This quote is reproduced a great deal and is probably the only Marx quote that most people are familiar with. Unfortunately, if someone is familiar with it they are likely only familiar with a small portion that, taken by itself, tends to give a distorted impression of what Marx had to say about religion.

Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.

Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right
Usually all one gets from the above is “Religion is the opium of the people“ (with no ellipses to indicate that something has been removed). Sometimes “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature“ is included. If you compare these with the full quotation, it’s clear that a great deal more is being said than what most people are aware of.

In the above quotation Marx is saying that religion’s purpose is to create illusory fantasies for the poor. Economic realities prevent them from finding true happiness in this life, so religion tells them that this is OK because they will find true happiness in the next life. Although this is a criticism of religion, Marx is not without sympathy: people are in distress and religion provides solace, just as people who are physically injured receive relief from opiate-based drugs.

The quote is not, then, as negative as most portray (at least about religion). In some ways, even the slightly extended quote which people might see is a bit dishonest because saying “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature...” deliberately leaves out the additional statement that it is also the “heart of a heartless world.”

What we have is a critique of society that has become heartless rather than of religion which tries to provide a bit of solace. One can argue that Marx offers a partial validation of religion in that it tries to become the heart of a heartless world. For all its problems, religion doesn’t matter so much — it is not the real problem. Religion is a set of ideas, and ideas are expressions of material realities. Religion is a symptom of a disease, not the disease itself.

Still, it would be a mistake to think that Marx is uncritical towards religion — it may try to provide heart, but it fails. For Marx, the problem lies in the obvious fact that an opiate drug fails to fix a physical injury — it merely helps you forget pain and suffering. This may be fine up to a point, but only as long as you are also trying to solve the underlying problems causing the pain. Similarly, religion does not fix the underlying causes of people’s pain and suffering — instead, it helps them forget why they are suffering and gets them to look forward to an imaginary future when the pain will cease.

Even worse, this “drug” is administered by the same oppressors who are responsible for the pain and suffering in the first place. Religion is an expression of more fundamental unhappiness and symptom of more fundamental and oppressive economic realities. Hopefully, humans will create a society in which the economic conditions causing so much pain and suffering would be eradicated and, therefore, the need for soothing drugs like religion will cease. Of course, for Marx such a turn of events isn’t to be “hoped for” because human history was leading inevitably towards it.

So, in spite of his obvious dislike of and anger towards religion, Marx did not make religion the primary enemy of workers and communists, regardless of what might have been done by 20th century communists. Had Marx regarded religion as a more serious enemy, he would have devoted more time to it in his writings. Instead, he focused on economic and political structures that in his mind served to oppress people.

For this reason, some Marxists could be sympathetic to religion. Karl Kautsky, in his Foundations of Christianity, wrote that early Christianity was, in some respects, a proletarian revolution against privileged Roman oppressors. In Latin America, some Catholic theologians have used Marxist categories to frame their critique of economic injustice, resulting in “liberation theology.”

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.




posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 05:42 PM
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I haven't really digested all you have written, but your argument is not new. The first thing that comes to my mind is the "Meth" reaction to the "Opiate" which has seduced a sect of society and what do we do now?



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:02 PM
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If religion is the opiate of the masses, then politics is the coc aine and crack. Whipping them into a frenzied, orgy of hoots and jerky indignant movements and an enflated feeling of self-gratitude.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:20 PM
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Originally posted by the owlbear
If religion is the opiate of the masses, then politics is the coc aine and crack. Whipping them into a frenzied, orgy of hoots and jerky indignant movements and an enflated feeling of self-gratitude.



Religion and politics are the same body of the two headed beast - same agenda, same tactics.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by pityocamptes
 


If it is true that pain relief comes from religion, then the easing of pain equally comes from faith in the myth that God does not exist. The pain and fear created by knowing that the world around us is created and designed leads to the knowledge that actions have consequences. The atheist eases this fear into a false sense of security by fashioning the myth that God is in our imaginations. By doing this, fear is eased. If actions have consequences beyond the grave, then fear is a real threat to future existence if God is real. If fear can somehow be placated by a false myth, which goes against reason and common sense, then a false sense of security is reassuring to the individual. It seems that we see a point of reflection. When truth reflects, only one side is an accurate reflection.

How can we know which is correct? Can we know?

The answer to these is yes. If we can produce our domain of existence, then we can accurately take credit for our reality. If we cannot produce our domain of existence, then something else must. We do two things in this world to produce our reality. Beyond and before these two things, we do none of it. We think and we move. Apart from this, the body is produced, the world turns, the sun shines and nature is our resource. We did not produce this. We think and we move. That's it. Nothing more.

The answer is obvious. We are the consciousness moving the created bio-mechanical machine. The machine is produced by awe inspiring complexity and engineering. To the nano-degree of design, our bodies are the result of engineering. Nothing more can be said to give proof that religion is a reflection of something true to reality. The myth is to believe otherwise.

Religion is outreach to others in the name of the one who reached out to us first in love.




edit on 14-10-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by SuperiorEd
reply to post by pityocamptes
 


If it is true that pain relief comes from religion, then the easing of pain equally comes from faith in the myth that God does not exist. The pain and fear created by knowing that the world around us is created and designed leads to the knowledge that actions have consequences. The atheist eases this fear into a false sense of security by fashioning the myth that God is in our imaginations. By doing this, fear is eased. If actions have consequences beyond the grave, then fear is a real threat to future existence if God is real. If fear can somehow be placated by a false myth, which goes against reason and common sense, then a false sense of security is reassuring to the individual. It seems that we see a point of reflection. When truth reflects, only one side is an accurate reflection.

How can we know which is correct? Can we know?

The answer to these is yes. If we can produce our domain of existence, then we can accurately take credit for our reality. If we cannot produce our domain of existence, then something else must. We do two things in this world to produce our reality. Beyond and before these two things, we do none of it. We think and we move. Apart from this, the body is produced, the world turns, the sun shines and nature is our resource. We did not produce this. We think and we move. That's it. Nothing more.

The answer is obvious. We are the consciousness moving the created bio-mechanical machine. The machine is produced by awe inspiring complexity and engineering. To the nano-degree of design, our bodies are the result of engineering. Nothing more can be said to give proof that religion is a reflection of something true to reality. The myth is to believe otherwise.

Religion is outreach to others in the name of the one who reached out to us first in love.




edit on 14-10-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)

edit on 14-10-2011 by SuperiorEd because: (no reason given)




I think your idea of WHO god is, is flawed. Given the amount of research myself and others have done in a project, it is quite clear that the ancients were correct and wrong in ascribing "god" to an alien race that visited Earth eons ago.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 07:05 PM
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reply to post by pityocamptes
 




I think your idea of WHO god is, is flawed. Given the amount of research myself and others have done in a project, it is quite clear that the ancients were correct and wrong in ascribing "god" to an alien race that visited Earth eons ago.


How so? Correct and wrong at the same time? How do you know my idea of who God is? You can find out here. LINK



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 07:16 PM
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Originally posted by SuperiorEd
reply to post by pityocamptes
 




I think your idea of WHO god is, is flawed. Given the amount of research myself and others have done in a project, it is quite clear that the ancients were correct and wrong in ascribing "god" to an alien race that visited Earth eons ago.


How so? Correct and wrong at the same time? How do you know my idea of who God is? You can find out here. LINK




Because you seem to ascribe reality to an invisible entity that made all things.

Quote from your link:

Einstein made the observation that reality is seen as TIME, SPACE, MATTER and ENERGY. Oddly enough, God said this several thousands years earlier in the first verse of the Bible. The odds of this being an accident are staggering. This alone should give us pause when considering the accuracy of God's word.


Correct me if I am wrong, but you believe in the god of the bible or some deity in general that created/made all things, correct? It would seem your link is trying to link science to an all knowing invisible entity (described as god in the Bible, etal) responsible for all life.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by pityocamptes
 


I reckon if Karl marks was alive today he would say that entertainment is the opiate of the people.

Entertainment in all its forms is what turns people into sheeple.

The constant diet of entertainment in all its forms is telling the "we the people' to leave government to the wealthy elite.



posted on Oct, 14 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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reply to post by pityocamptes
 




Correct me if I am wrong, but you believe in the god of the bible or some deity in general that created/made all things, correct? It would seem your link is trying to link science to an all knowing invisible entity (described as god in the Bible, etal) responsible for all life.


Yes. The God of the Bible. This truth is rather obvious if you consider science. No accidents with God. Purpose is in every domain you can describe by science. The only myth is trying to reason around a reality encoded with digital information into mere chance.

The cause is greater than the effect.

No more needs to be reasoned with this simple sentence. If the effect was greater than the cause, then the effect would rule entropy to chaos. An observer is necessary for what is observed. They are mutually dependent. Matter does not exist without an observer and choice collapses the wave of indeterminate probability to allow the cause to rule the effect. This is the governing nature of the laws of physics. Laws are governed by the cause and not the effect. For God to be a false conclusion, we would need to reason that the effect is the ruling cause. This is unreasonable.

We start with this understanding and then reduce all religious texts down to their essence to find the single word that matches nature, philosophy, reason, logic, physic and purpose. The one that stands out is the Bible.

In the Beginning (Time), God created the heavens (Space) and the earth (Matter). Let there be light (Energy).



posted on Oct, 15 2011 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by pityocamptes
 





TV is the opiate.
Religion is kind of a common denominator.

People all share beliefs regarding the origins of man and many other unanswerable questions.
The ideas they have in common are sometimes called religions, just differing theory's and ideas... grouped.


Animals live their entire lives and do what they do without wondering about where they came from. Their mother is about as far back as they go. Are we better off for wondering? When we get all the answers will they be in time to save us from ourselves?

Religion is groups and our tendency to form them.

We all think.."A"
We are the A's.
We relate easily to other A's.
We know some B's but we don't really understand them because we were brought up to be A's.
And the B's will say the same.

I don't think "religion" calms people and gets them NOT to think like an OPIATE would/does.
An opiate is a pacifier.

Religion is a uniter as well as a divider, can be a pacifier but is also a troublemaker.
It is as much an instigator as inspiration.

Religion fills in the blank spaces in our education with answers and theories and yet, I DO NOT KNOW. From the atheist to the evangelical - is all anyone can say.

We have to consider that some basis of "religion" might actually stem from human memory.
Traditions and belief that stems from a real memory of - or retelling of, accurate truth.



posted on Oct, 15 2011 @ 01:12 PM
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A group of people gathering together of same thought and purpose - - - share an energy euphoria.

I experienced it many times in my 60 year search for god (result Atheism).

Being part of the group/belonging - - you are drawn in - - you do experience a euphoria - - you think you are right and everyone else is wrong.

Its funny how some believers refer to other beliefs as a Cult. They ALL have a cult affect.

Only when you completely sever yourself from that environment do you realize the euphoria hold it had on you.

I'm not saying religion is the only same thought and purpose group - - - but it is the largest as a whole (combining all god beliefs).

I actually experienced this same Phenomenon when I worked in corporate Los Angeles. Up on the 30 something floor of the (what is now) the AT&T center. I was looking down at the "little people" below - - feeling like I was superior in my ivory tower. Which helps me understand how the "elite" think they are right about what they do.

So yes - - ANY group that thinks alike shares a euphoria energy and can easily be manipulated.

Religion is just the largest most obvious and easily accessible.




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