explain the view that religion is the 'opium of the people'?
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- Thread Starter
- 21-10-2017 20:59
- Official Rep
- 24-10-2017 03:16
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- 24-10-2017 03:45
In its short form the quote makes a little less sense, the whole quote is "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people". Basically Marx was making a critique of mass and organised religion, just like opium (which back in the 1800’s was a very popular and powerful pain killer and medicine, people also used to smoke it) it helped people when they had an immediate issue, it eased pain, it made recovery that much better for the short term and was also a drug used to ‘escape’ and disconnect from reality. However, it was also very addictive, it cause many problems in society, it caused people to disconnect and to not fully engage, people became dependant.
Just like religion, Marx believed that religion was a barrier, that it slowed the progression of humanity, that it was a barrier to advancement and religion stopped people from thinking for themselves. He did however see the benefits of religion, but overall believed it to do more harm than it did good.