Numerous debates have been produced relating to the ideology of atheism and religion. These arguments have been raised by scholars and individuals who believe that their opinions are irrefutable. However, both religious leaders and atheism propagators are surprised to learn that the arguments related to the existence of God lives on for centuries. These arguments were all refuted immediately they were implied. Some of the genuine arguments given consideration are those that emerged with the past hundred years. Feuerbach, Marx, and Freud propagated these arguments. Therefore, this paper will scrutinize some of their ideologies and concepts in relation to their beliefs on religion and existence of God.
Ludwig Feuerbach explains his ideologies in The Essence of Christianity in a way that makes him to be rendered an intellectual attack on Christianity. He explains that the theology should be referred to as anthropology since man is seen to project his attributes to reasoning and affection through creation of his species. The anthropological being in this case is God, who decides to create man in his image. He explains that God wanted to attain wish-fulfillment whereby man is expected to be happy with the ideology of religion as it is used to satisfy the majority of the personal wishes of man (Feuerbach 31). At the same time, he explains that the creator uses the miraculous nature to free the people from the law of morality filled with evil instantaneous. He implies,
"The distinctiveness of the subject and the predicate uniqueness unmistakably evidenced by the progressive development of religion is indistinguishable with the progressive nature of human culture” (Feuerbach 20).
On the other hand, he explains that the religion is filled with egoism whereby when one feels close to God, his ego will be increased. The individual will be given an opportunity of learning how to estimate the nature. He explains that it is not possible for a man to have his worth greater than that of God. Through religion, God is seen to lower his worth to be lesser than that of a man for the sake of saving humanity (Feuerbach 30).
The Future of an Illusion is the works of Sigmund Freud that gives his expression of religion to the lives of human beings. He explains that the religion is all about therapeutic projection of a fatherly figure responding to infantile helplessness. The world has been made to believe that they cannot live without religious beliefs as it is built on primordial experience. Individuals have been made to understand that they are in a quagmire of infantile helplessness (Freud & James 145). Moreover, the expression of father-God is a concept that is an expression of foreign reality and patently infantile. Religion has made people believe that it is unfair and painful for the people who are friendly to humanity will not be enjoy the best viewpoint of life.
The ideologies propagated through his works of Theses on Feuerbach. His expressions indicate that the philosophers have been able to explain the world through looking at the changes taking place in it. He continues to imply that religion is being used a tool to oppress individuals with the use of the superstructure. He argues that the religion has been used as a legitimate power that exists within the power structure which is applicable during the oppression and exploitation of masses. In keeping with Marxist’s expression; “Religion is the opium of the people" is used to make the people in the right of oppression so long as it is in the name of religion.
In my own view, the concept of Hermeneutic of suspicion shows some of the ideas initiated by the three authors. A writer or an individual gives an idea without being self-conscious in this process. After this revelation, individual usually come to consciousness realization and sometimes forget their work ever existed. For instance, hermeneutic of suspicion related to the works of Karl Marx is on the issue of brainwashing the lower class. He talks of religion to be a ritual; institution and ideology which is being used in the society to brainwash them and make them believe they are in the lower class due to the power that wants them to be there. According to his sentiments, the lower classes have no right to fulfill their self-actualization of consciousness. It is not true as majority of the religious people globally believe that the supernatural being who in this case is God enables them to move from one class to another. Another concept in this regard is related to the ideologies portrayed by Freud.
The hermeneutic of suspicion associated with Freudian ideologies implies that the artistic and intellectual expression towards a product will make an individual have an unconscious expression towards it. It will make them be lured towards it fully without creating resistance to it. According to him, this element has been used by religious leaders in making their followers believe in the existence of God.
Feuerbach, Ludwig. The Essence of Christianity. New York: Harper, 1957. Print.
Freud, Sigmund, and James Strachey. The Future of an Illusion. New York: Norton, 1975. Print.
Marx, Karl, and Joseph J. O'Malley. Critique of Hegel's 'philosophy of Right'. Cambridge [England: University Press, 1970. Print.