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Wed October 6 2010.docx lect notes.docx

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Joseph Bryant

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Lec 4 Wed October 6 2010: Lecture notes – continued scientific theories of religion Ludwig Feuerbach- offers a historic-phyllisophoical anaylisis of religion Theology of anthropology – divin predicates are human based on an imaginary projection Feuerbach holds onto that humans project onto the divine all their highest hopes and their anxieties, as is raveled by the oredicates commonly attached to God: all knowing good, compassionate, loving The divine is a symbolic representation or expression of humanity‟s unfulfilled promises and aspirations- religion is an unrecognized institution Feuerbach- „Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness of in heaven, but in earth in the realm of reality Religion is the unveiling of man‟s hidden treasures page13 Every advance in religion is an advance in human Providence is the conviction of man of the infinite value of his existence- god loves for me is nothing than myself love deified page 105 The ultimate essence of religion is revealed by the simplest act Religion as alienation – empowering the divine entails the dimunation of man; in seeking supernatural deliverance humanity avoids full responsibility for its own affairs and injusticeness, our hopes in imaginary beings of our own projection, human beings shirk responsibility Wittgenstein – if fleas to develop a rite, then it would refer to the dog- projection theory Karl Marx- takes on Feuerbach as a point of departure- religion a projective alienation Feuerbach simply sees religion as the imaginary realization of the human essence – this is too abstract (Marx- the human essence is no abstract inherent in each single individual. In its reality it is the ensemble of social relations) What are the social-historical conditions that prompt human beings to externalize their own powers and values and attribute them to hypothetical, imaginary beings (deities)? Marx will focus on social alienation (Feuerbach attends to existential alienation)- Marx will establish that human tendency to look for divine solution is rooted Enlightment criticisms of religion as organized superstition – to be supplanted by reason, science- for Marx this critique is too one sided – the focused on the social control, the held that religions are somewhat like self serving corrupt organizations where the priest extracts great benefits , they are pedaling superstitions so that they can greater power and benefits . Marx believes that humanity can become its own destiny by science- an advocate for science. He things superstitions are con games, gains that priests benefits: “Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and also 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 spiritless conditions” – this passage is Marx explain how Feuerbach thinks religion is imaginary while it is real distress, it is a protest against real distress. If the world was as we wished it would be, would we need religion as a practice? He points out that religion is here, and it does carry a utopian impulse, and a promise that things will be better for us and that death is not the end. Marx uses the existence of religion of index of how wrong the world is…..Marx is saying religion is then is carrying a critique of how the world really is. Marx is saying that religion is a social expression of how the human condition is like and it shows us humans that we are aware of how the world is so inadequate, that‟s why he argues that we humans create these religious social gatherings because of inequality. Religion is more a product of social conflict than existential pan human problem. Feuerbach does not answer back to this but if he ever did he would have said that since death is in the picture there is still a ego centered quality to it and hold on to his belief, and that death is the end of the road, we need to retain. In the part where religion is sigh- it is religion is pain, it‟s a tough world. So religion Marx argues provides function of providing heart of a heartless world. Religion is thus a spiritual quest for human dignity……religion is a product of social alienation- humanity living in exploitation, oppression, conflict- societies divided into rulers and ruled, privileged and dis privileged classes, owners and producers…. But ultimately, religion remains narcotic, a sedative- producing illusory rather than real happiness: „It is the opium of the people”- opium marx meant was a pain killer dealing with injuries and creates a ufiric feeling of warmth and happiness and containment. “The transcending of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their
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