"Religion is the opium of the people"
- Religion is an illusion, acting to opiate the pain of oppression.
- It does not bring true happiness, it only makes life bearable.
- Most religious movements originate in working classes because of their oppression.
- It is a tool of the ruling class and produces a false class conciousness.
- FALSE CLASS CONCIOUSNESS: Diverts peoples attention from real source of problems and helps to maintain ruling class power, stops a revolution.
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Marx & Engles
Religion dulls the pain of oppression by...
- Promising eternal bliss in life after death.
- "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into heaven." - Bible
- Virtue of suffering.
- Offers hope of supernatural intervention.
- Justify's social order- God made and ordained social structure.
- Poverty is punishment for sins.
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Religion and Social Class
- Adopt religious beliefs to justify their position tot hem selves and others.
- Christian slave owners use the bible "slaves obey your owners."
- Indian Caste system. (Brahman --> Untouchables)
- Slavery System.
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Evaluation of Marxism
- People still look to religion as a source of hope.
- More relevant in LEDC's
- More relevant in Karl Marx's time
- Explains brain washing acts of terrorism e.g. 9/11
- Even in socialist societies- religion is still prominent e.g. Underground religions in China.
- TURNER- There is no evidence for peasant going to church in medieval times (many may not have gone for religion but the social aspect.)
- HAMILTON- Religion sometimes acts as an ideological force and helps bring about change.
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