Religion is defined as a belief. It is associated with discipline, either in mental, physical or psychological (Howe 1). It is identified as what underpins logic and emotions in everybody. In recent years, the place of any religion in the society has significantly been contentious. Unsurprisingly, there have been factions that compete within the religion that is contained in the society. Whatever the form, religion may have major social impact in certain societies. This can either be evil or good (Howe 1). In fact, religion plays a role in the world today since there is no person who does not need something to believe in. Usually, any organized religion constitutes a code of ethics. This guidance by the highest power, regardless of the name of the deity, often serves as a foundation for a sense of wrong or right (Howe 1). This is essential to any civilized society. This paper will highlight whether religion does better or worse in the world today.
According to Karl Marx, religion is the expression of economic injustice and material realities (Olson 3). Ultimately, religious problems are the same problems in the society. It is a symptom and not the disease. Marx believed that oppressors use religion to make people feel better about any distress they experience as a result of being exploited or being poor. Through religion, men are ruled and oppressed by their own unconscious creation (Olson 3). Religion is dialectical material. He held the view that the eventual reality is material. Therefore, it is established on deductive logic and divine revelation.
Marx holds that the religious suffering is the expression of the real suffering as well as the protest against the real suffering (Olson 3). It is a sigh of the oppressed. In fact, it is the people’s opium. This is because it gives a soul in soulless conditions. It results in an illusory happiness. Besides, as an opiate of the masses, Marx argues that it makes people think that they have found a form of salvation and security Nevertheless, the comfort is simply an illusion. Further, Marx proposed that there is no meaningful progress in the society unless men discards drug like superstitious believe in religion.
According to Marx’s dialectical materialism of religion, intuitive reasoning and deductive logic are never sufficient to demonstrate reality (Olson 3). He argues that only through experience can dialectical reasoning be attained. Marx believed that religion is a tool of suppression. It is used to maintain order besides nullifying dissent. Quite often, it used to scorn the non-believers so that when a person questions the right to govern or an existence to deity, resentful repugnance is generated in the individuals who impose censorship (Olson 3).
Freud and religion
According to Freud, religion is an illusion that is based on human wishes (Rusinek 6). It is created by the mind that helps individuals overcome their inner psychological conflicts, stress which stems from the societal structure, and fear of dangers of the natural world (Rusinek 6). Freud thus argues that religion is a form of neurotic illness that stems from a person’s unconscious mind. The traumatic memories are the results of religion. Invariably, the trauma is sexual in nature (Rusinek 5). As result, religion is an illusion that is created by sexual difficulties.
It is clear that Freud believed that as a result of religion, man has developed wish-world (Rusinek 6). They have developed a wish world as a result of psychological and biological necessities. The illusion created by illusion makes man develop instinctual desires (Rusinek 8). Religion influences the world. It is through religion that people attempts to get control over the sensory world. Religion is thus mankind’s Oedipus complex. Freud argues that at its roots, religious rituals are like neurotic obsession acts. It makes people acquire taboos or prohibitions
Therefore, the author of this paper holds the views of both Freud and Marx with regard to the impacts of religion in world. Basically, a religion sets out to always be realistic. It encourages members of a society to achieve a common good. Religion provides a code of behaviour in the society. Just as Marx argued, through religion, dialectical reasoning can be attained only through believing in a given religion. It is through religion that that people get experience to dialectically argue. Through believing in a certain religion, an individual is able to consider the status of those who are less fortunate in the society.
Just as was proposed by Karl Marx, religion has continuously been used as an oppression tool. It is tools used by many to suppress either the majority or the minority (Howe 1). Religion has been used to nullify dissent and to maintain order. It has been used to thoroughly scorn the individuals who do not believe. It has been used to scorn the non-believers so that when a person questions the right to govern or an existence to deity, resentful repugnance is generated in the individuals who impose censorship.
Generally, at a personal level, it fulfills the role of providing hope in difficult situations. As well, it provides a sense of belonging. Sadly, the religion’s personal attributes are swamped by its consequences in the society. Therefore, it the author of the paper argues that religion leads it believers to the opposite direction. This is because it results in suppression, censorship and domination of the minority by the majority.
Howe, L. D. Religion in Society. 2001. Web. 24 September, 2012.
Olson, E. Marx vs. Durkheim: Religion. 2004. Web. 24 September, 2012.
Rusinek, S. Freud as a Critic of Religion. 2009. Web. 24 September, 2012.