Marx's view of religion

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  • Explain Karl Marx's understanding of religion. [30]
    • Remember: Casey, Calls, Point of Entry, 3 Times, Especially, In and About, Ann of Obedience, Stupid Variables
    • Casey and Calls:
      • Capitalism and Communism, Marx feels that religion is a large factor in developing Capitalism, he believed that the wealth that Capitalism associates with and the hierarchy system is a product of the same values in religion
        • He wanted to create a more communist society but, didn't intend for it to go to extreme lengths that often result in dictatorship
        • UK AND USA
    • Point of Entry
      • Product of the Economy. He believed that religion was a product of the economy relating to the issues in society
        • Church's are often very rich, for example in the UK, and established state, the Church of England receives great finances from the government and owns a lot of land, as it has throughout history
        • Doesn't allow equality, something which Martin Luther King, who was a Christian, 'had a dream' to achieve
          • Used the Bible Quote "Let justice roll on like a river" Amos 5:24
    • 3 times
      • Marx believed in three criticisms of religion
        • Irrational
        • servile
        • hypocritical
    • Especially
      • Enlightenment
        • More of an naturalistic approach to religion, links more to Buddhism and metaphysical definitions, it is used by theists and atheists alike
    • In and About
      • Illusion and Alienation - this is Marx talking about the irrational side of religion and the lack of truth within it. An example of this is through the idea that religion is a falsity that alienates out mind
        • This links to and is synoptic with Freud who said that religion was an illusion and created womb regression and lack of psychological maturity
        • "Alienation - men are dominated by their own creation" (Coser)
    • Ann of Obedience
      • Acceptance of Oppression
        • This is Marx's belief that because of religion people allow society to oppress them because of the idea that they will achieve more in another life.
          • Proletariat and Bourgeois
          • "pie in the sky" (Marx)
          • "Religion is the opium of the masses" (Marx)
          • Synoptic to Augustine and  Iranaeus because they believed that suffering and evil was needed for us to truly understand the concept and nature of God and the questions of theodicy
    • Stupid Variables
      • Surplus Value
        • Religion creates this hierarchy of wealth, despite arguments in the bible that are against it. such as surplus value meaning the owners of a company make huge profits, but the workers, often in developing countries can only just get by
          • "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven" Matthew 19:23


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