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Marx's Views about Religion - Research Paper Example

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The author concludes that Marx views religion as distracting and misinforming people from the actual forces of human history. Famously, he called this the opiate of the masses. He argues that it is fundamental relationships surrounding the means of production that explain how history progresses.  …
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Marxs Views about Religion
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Download file to see previous pages In the second method, which conforms to real life, it is the real living individuals themselves, and consciousness is considered solely as their consciousness” [Marx, 1997: 245]. It will be argued in the following that this is the guiding thread for his critique of religion. His critique of religion, it will be argued is a critique of metaphysics. His aim in the critique is to refute the idea that history is marked by spiritual progress, and in turn, replace this with progress defined by a class struggle, and in particular, the material relations surrounding the means of production. Thus, the relationship between his critique of religion and his political economy is the replacement of spiritual progress with that of the class struggle.
Concerning the issue of research methodology, the following analysis will pay careful attention to what is employed by Marx. His approach to this issue includes textual interpretation. That is, he provides analysis of key texts like the philosopher, Georg Hegel. Second, his methodology in the following is historical interpretation. In particular, he focuses on economic history but also social history. 
“The German Ideology” is his most decisive criticism of religion. And, while a critique of religion, it is largely a criticism of one of his philosophical predecessors, Georg Hegel, and moreover, criticizing the many students or followers of Hegel in the nineteenth century [Marx, 1997: 342-3]. In his most influential work, The Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel maintained that history is defined by progress where consciousness unfolds in progressive phases toward a form of absolute knowledge. Thus, the reformation can be regarded as a change of consciousness that emancipates the individual consciousness from the determination of the consciousness by the church. In turn, this change of consciousness or of thinking helps to shape and change history itself.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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