Marxism and Religion

What do Marxists see religion as preventing individuals from?
Having a true understanding of themselves and their situation, rather than working to benefit society as a whole by providing social solidarity and acting as 'social glue'
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What do they see religion working to maintain?
Class divisions and the power of the ruling class
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What is the first key function of religion?
It is used by the ruling class as an instrument of oppression
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What is the second key function of religion?
It is used by the working class to cushion the effects of oppression, promoting false consciousness, people are then unable to see exploitation, oppression+social relations as they really are
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What does 'Opium of the people suggest'?
Religion is a dangerous set of beliefs that distorts reality by persuading people to tolerate life now in return for rewards in the afterlife.
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What is opium?
The drug of the people- they are addicted to religion
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What does religion teach us about work?
'The rich man at his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly and ordered their estate'
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What does religion teach us about work 2?
Jesus was a carpenter and his disciples were 'fishermen'
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What does religion teach us about work 3?
The prophet Muhammad worked as a shepherd
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What does religion teach us about work 4?
In the past it was accepted that Kings had 'divine' (God-given) power and therefore could not be challenged or questioned
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What does religion teach us about work 5?
Catholicism teaches that the Pope's authority and power comes from Saint Peter- the heir to Jesus' ministry. In Catholicism the Pope is the highest authority
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What does religion teach us about work 6?
In ancient Egyptian beliefs it was said that the Pharaoh Kings (the living embodiment of the God (Horus) upon their death entered the heavens to become Osiris- power was based upon divination
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What does religion teach us about work 7?
R/C dominant ideology essentially suggests that work is normal and that everybody has to work- it is a natural part of life
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What does religion teach us about work 8?
Marx points out that passing on this dominant ideology to the w/c is only half the job, it is up to the r/c to make the w/c feel like they are the ones who ultimately benefit from working, they also need to create a false consciousness among the w/c
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Religion is the opium of the people...
...a spiritual gin that dulls the pain of oppression.
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What does religion ease?
The suffering of alienation
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What does religion act as an escape from?
Suffering and oppression in this life with promises of a perfect life after death. 'The meek shall inherent the Earth'
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What does religion offer hope of?
Supernatural to solve problems on earth
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What does religion provide an explanation and justification for?
Inequality, e.g. The Hindu belief in resurrection justifies the unequal Caste System
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What do they see religion working to maintain?

Back

Class divisions and the power of the ruling class

Card 3

Front

What is the first key function of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is the second key function of religion?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What does 'Opium of the people suggest'?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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