Examine Karl Marx’ Sociological Critique of Religion Essay Sample

Karl Marx was born on the 5th of May 1818 and died on the 14th of March 1883. He was a German philosopher. economic expert. sociologist. historian. journalist and radical socialist. Throughout clip. his thoughts played a important function in the development and apprehension of societal scientific discipline and the socialist motion. nevertheless I will concentrate on Karl Marx’s positions on faith ; peculiarly his review of faith. Harmonizing to Karl Marx. faith is like a societal establishment as it is dependent upon the stuff and economic worlds in a given society. It is seemingly the ‘creature of productive forces. ’ as Marx wrote. ‘The spiritual universe is but the physiological reaction of the existent universe. ’ Marx believed that all spiritual. moral and political life that exists is rooted in economic sciences. He stated that people have demands and desires ( stuff and societal etc ) and society constructions itself to run into those demands and desires. Due to this belief. this has given rise to a capitalist society. where the workers produce goods and services and rich industrialists and landholders profit from their labors. Marx believed that faith can be understood in relation to other societal systems and the economic constructions of society.

He believed that faith is dependent upon economic sciences and nil else – in fact. the thought and utilizations of spiritual philosophies are even slightly irrelevant. So. in simpler footings. this is really a functionalist reading of faith: understanding faith is dependent upon what societal intent faith itself serves. non the existent content of its beliefs. Karl Marx’s sentiment on faith is that it is an semblance that fundamentally provides a ground to maintain society running merely as it is – and faith takes our highest dreams. hopes and aspirations and alienates us from them. enveloping them onto a higher and unknowable being that spiritual people call God. Marx stated three grounds for disliking faith ; foremost he stated that faith is irrational. He argued that faith is delusional and the fact people worship ‘being’s that are non known is disregarding world and the existent affairs of life. which shouldn’t be the instance. Second. Marx argued that faith is hypocritical. Even though it may hold some valuable rules such as bring people together at church. it sides with the oppressors. Jesus advocated assisting the hapless. but the Christian church merged with the oppressive Roman province. taking portion in the captivity of people for centuries.

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Last. faith slightly denies all that is dignified in a human being by doing them more prone to accepting the position quo. Marx adopted as his slogan the words of the Grecian hero Prometheus which supports the last point. “I hatred all Gods. ” with add-on that they “do non acknowledge man’s uneasiness as the highest deity. ” Despite Karl Marx holding many noteworthy quotation marks. Marx’s most celebrated statement about faith comes from a review of Hegel’s Philosophy of Law: “Religious hurt is at the same clip the look of existent hurt and the protest against existent hurt. Religion is the suspiration of the laden animal. the bosom of a hardhearted universe. merely as it is the spirit of a spiritless state of affairs. It is the opium of the people. The abolishment of faith as the illusive felicity of the people is required for their existent felicity. The demand to give up the semblance about its status is the demand to give up a status which needs semblances. ” Associating the following few points to the above transitions. Marx is stating that faith is created to do semblances for people. particularly the hapless. Economic position and bounds prevent them from happening true felicity in life nevertheless faith tells them that their sadness is worth it because in the following life. they will be happy – they will happen true felicity.

To what extent is Karl Marx’ review valid? ( 12 )
Marx’ suggested that ‘man makes faith. ’ This could a valid suggestion to some extent as faith may hold non been divinely ordained and may hold been created for power tools. In the past it is clear that it has been used to command societies and maintain position quo within communities which may hold been the exclusive ground why faith was created. for illustration when the Roman Catholics implemented the thought of snake pit in order to have a better attending at church in order to have more offerings. God may hold merely been someone’s figure of imaginativeness to do this power widen even further ; nevertheless despite this position. we don’t cognize for certain the exact ground as to why faith was created. whether it was made for power or an existent religious ground. Marx besides. in a celebrated quotation mark of his. stated that faith was ‘the bosom of the heartless world’ proposing that despite faith holding negative facets to it. in the nineteenth century industrialised Europe. faith did in fact aid people significantly.

Concentrating on one hard facet – work – faith helped to ease people’s heads. Often working was tough. unsafe and frequently stray people from a sociable life as they had to work long hours for small wage. However. faith helped consolidate this by conveying everyone together at church. leting them clip to loosen up and socialize. and their one a twenty-four hours off which was orientated around a shared belief of God. Durkheim besides supports Marx’ point by saying that the different activities within faiths such as rites and mass make communities cohesive. which farther validates Marx’ point on faith. As people did be given to come together on Sunday’s to observe their same believes etc ( and they still do now ) rather often. we can perchance reason that faith does assist people escape from their problems and allows them to get away to a different ‘universe’ one time in a piece – doing Marx’s point slightly valid.

Another facet to Marx’s sociological review of faith is that he suggested that faith causes disaffection of people as it separates them from the ‘real world’ doing them make bogus semblance and misconceptions. To some extent this is true ; if we look at specific occupations. e. g working in a dark factory. you would be alienated from the outside universe as you’d be working long. unsociable hours merely to do a life doing physical and psychological disaffection.

Marx besides provided unfavorable judgment by proposing that people who believe in a faith have a danger of concentrating on life after decease. He states that faith can dissemble the existent demand to happen existent life replies and work out jobs such as unfairness and inequality ( by concentrating on life after decease. people accept the unfairness and inequality in the universe as they believe better is still to come ) This is slightly true as no 1 really knows what happens after decease. so why should we set possible false hope. dreams and aspirations into something that may non of all time exist or into a godly figure known as God.

It is frequently the instance that throughout Marx’s review of faith. he separates the people he talks approximately into two clear cut groups – the labors. which are the on the job category and the opinion category known as the bourgeories. However. even though this isn’t a review of faith – it is one facet he uses to assist organize his review. However. this separation of two groups seems far excessively simple for me to decently understand as it’s difficult to divide people into two groups wholly. Even though Marx’ may hold had an easier clip making it during the clip he was composing his review. this point no longer applies now as society and categories are far excessively complex to divide into merely two groups. This. for me. lowers the extent to which Marx’s sociological review of faith is valid as his chief points he uses to construct up an statement appear to be far excessively reductionist.

Marx believed that faith was a ‘creature of productive forces’ and stated that eliminating faith would do the universe a better topographic point. However. this review of faith is non valid at all as old ages on ; faith is even bigger and more recognized by people today. There are diverse communities of multicultural people which expand twenty-four hours by twenty-four hours. so the possibility of eliminating such a popular. accepted and needed thing would be extremely impossible. Even if such thought was brought into suggestion. this would do uproar and rebellion immediately by the many faithful out at that place. However. Marx’ may hold thought it could hold been possible in the yesteryear as he didn’t cognize how much faith would play such a large portion in the word but besides he didn’t cognize how the influence of media and cultural events would assist develop and spread out faith in the universe. The fact that Marx was so nescient in believing it could hold been eradicated reduces his cogency majorly. Marx hints that a alteration that is needed is a radical alteration ( the working category lifting up to dispute the opinion category ) nevertheless societal alteration has shown over clip that in order for it to be successful. it needs to be a long term development so it is slow and unafraid otherwise it can gyrate out of control.

Other sociologists and historical people have besides argued about the sociology of faith. Max Weber argued that faith was a mechanism of society. Weber saw society as an being of 1000000s of persons. stating that faith serves as one system that helps the being to modulate and alter itself to last. Compared to this position. Durkheim believed that faith was a societal gum whereas Weber advocated a more prod-active function for faith. saying that faith provides an ethical model in which societal alteration can take topographic point.

Personally. Marx considers some genuinely of import facets on faith nevertheless the extent to which his cogency can be measured is rather hard. Time has changed majorly since his thoughts were foremost presented which can do it rather difficult to use certain facets of his review to state of affairss now ( due to development of engineering and media influences etc ) so despite the cogency of his review possibly one time being rather strong. now I don’t believe it is as strong. particularly since it has been explored and criticized by so many.