RLG210Y1 Lecture Notes - Categorical Imperative, Polytheism, Fetishism
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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,
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
„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 real
happiness. The demand to give up the illusions of their condition is a demand to give up a
condition that requires illusion. The crtisim of religion is therefore the germ of the critism of of
the valley of tears whose halo is religion…..The critisicm of religion disillusions man so that
man can think, act, and fashion his own reality….
„The criticism of religion turns into the criticism of the earth”- religion is a distorted rep of
how things really are Marx says.
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.