Religion! Is it the Opium of the masses?

by DJK 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • DJK

    Why do you feel you need religion? Sorry, I am an Atheist and I had to ask this question.

  • stillajwexelder

    the need to believe there is more to life than being born living and then dying

  • Carmel

    Personally, any world view (cosmology) can become a crutch if one stops thinking, examining, re-considering, etc. Even your atheism is a form of opiate if you refuse to consider dispationately evidence that would challenge your conceptions, whether long held or recently adopted.

    Many judge religion by a very narrow window of experiance, extrapolating from one or two data points and drawing conclusions that would likely be moderated if time were taken to look deeper. "Religion" is not a monoliting "one size fits all" term. There is a broad spectrum of religious experiances, most all with common denominators, yet dramatically different in practice.

    So, yes many folks of the "religious" type are pretty blinded to any other outlook, then too, I meet wonderful openminded refreshing religous people all the time that readily acknowledge that they have a strong faith but are willing to consider other views.

    How about you?


  • frankiespeakin

    Religion is by nature very addicting. In order for it to survive it has to be. It is better to think for yourself than let a religion tell you what to think. I don't think all religion is harmful, it all has harmful and good with some more harmful than others.

  • Carmel

    Sorry for all the typos and misspellings. Hit the wrong button before proof reading!!!

  • kid-A

    For the record, I think Marx got this one wrong: Opium produces far more pleasure than religion!

    I prefer to think of "religion" as the "valium" of the masses....

  • restrangled

    Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right:

    Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

    Karl Marx

    Do you think that Marx was saying that there was no need for religion or do you think he was describing religion?

    r's hubby

  • garybuss

    Without religion, I can't be an atheist, which I'm not. Why are you sorry you're an atheist DJK?

  • Merry Magdalene
    Merry Magdalene

    Good questions.

    First, some more context for answering the opium question:

      Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and the protest against real distress. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions.
      Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right

    I have found from my time as a Pagan, as a Christian, and now a Muslim, that more often than not the individuals and groups with which I have had involvement did not use their religious faith, hope or beliefs as an opiate leading them to live in fantasy and avoid the challenges of the real world. Rather, faith gave them hope and comfort of a better world hereafter while at the same time encouraging them to do their utmost to make this world a better place and to always do their best to alleviate oppression and suffering.

    The only exception to this, in my personal experience, was my time as a JW.


  • Warlock

    Everyone has their opium.


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