Pol 381 midterm revision.docx

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Political Science
Harald Bathelt

Pol 381 midterm revision Question 1- Marx says that, "religion is the opium of the masses." What does he mean by this? How would Hobbes respond to this view of Marx? Definition – religion makes you escape from reality, not realize it, an expression of the soul of soulless conditions. The reference to opium in this case, indicates that opium is a painkiller, which tends to disguise a problem and thus, they don’t really cure anything. This marx believes is similar to religion. Marx Hobbes 1.people will not demand real happiness 1. similarity: hobbes has a similar account until they give up the illusion of happiness to marx, he thinks that human beings create that religion provides. For example, when religion because we are scared of what we Jesus said "blessed are the poor”, he didn't don’t have an answer to, such as to what do anything to end poverty. So religion or happens after we die. So he thinks that specifically Christianity teaches that we religion is somewhat fake, which in turn is should be satisfied with the way things are, very similar to marx. which he believed was customary with religion. Link – marx thought that religion should 2. difference: differs from marx on the point and could be removed completely and that religion can be eliminated. Hobbes hence did not want any religion in his so thinks it will always be apart of human called socialist experiment, because he felt nature, links this to the state of nature, that it would take power away from which is embedded into every man. government or the sovereignty. As a result, Therefore, given that this state of nature he he had rated the role of the government implies, illustrates that humans are very highly as a way of directing a country’s sufficiently similar in their mental and people. Counter: however, Marx suggested physical attributes, then it is the state of that this could only be possible if you nature which makes all people curious change the material conditions of man about the causes of events, which in turn itself, thus it cannot be destroyed in a inclines people to adopt religious beliefs purely mental way. where these beliefs would differ between the different religions. In conclusion, unlike marx’s argument that religion can be eliminated, hobbes did not think it was possible. Counter argument for point 2 from hobbes 3. hobbes to some extent agreed to the fact and link from marx- on the other hand, the that religion provides people with illusions, quote can be misleading, because marx was but that human nature depicts the need for not philosophically opposed to religion. humans to grasp onto these illusions in the Nevertheless, he thought that religious hope of a better life. He does however belief or views is important to an oppressed disagree with Marx’s notion that man people, as at the end of the day, it gives creates religion. them hope of a better life in another life. These oppressed people, like the effect of disguise that opium provides, need illusions. However, marx also did not believe that god creates man, but rather that man creates religion and a mythical god. Counter argument to above- on the other 4. while hobbes was not a complete hand, marxs notion that “religion is..”, materialist like marx, he did agree that indicates that he seems to be more of a religious beliefs stem from fear of the materialist, since he regards religion to be unknown, where he says “anxiety of the illusory, where only the physical world time to come”, is one of the main causes of exists. His main point towards this, was that religious beliefs and ideals. He indicates religion had no valid content and therefore, that it is this fear which accompanies a arises from a sense of fear and ignorance. sense of ignorance in people’s minds. While As a result, only reason can be the true hobbes did not directly agree that god is not source of knowledge. the creator of man, he still agreed with Marx’s belief that god is something which stems out of human fear. 5. hobbes’ approach to marx’s statement that ‘religion is the opium of the people’, as his prmary concern was to understand the role that religion plays in humans’ lives and why people hold religious beliefs. Unlike, marx who was very rational and philosophical in his approach to religion, Hobbes’ approach to religion is not only philosophical, but also tries to deal with religion from a body of ideas view and as a social and psychological phenomenon. Question – compare and contrast locke and Spinoza on toleration Thesis- To locke, toleration is a policy and is the mark of a true Christian, one is not a true Christian If he is not tolerant. Characteristic mark of the true church is toleration. Moroever, toleration must also be directed towards all mankind and even those that are not christians. On the other hand, Spinoza believes toleration is apart of human nature. However, unlike Locke, he believes that toleration should be controlled by the sovereign, where it has to enable the mental and physical capacity of human beings. Locke Spinoza Point 1-Lockes theory on toleration is Point 1- By contrast the toleration of essentially a theological conception, Spinoza is essentially philosophical and asserting that it is for every individual explicitly anti-theological. As a result, he not just to assume responsibility for argues that it is the freedom of thought seeking the salvation of his or her soul and speech that is the primary goal of but… to perform openly that form of toleration, while the salvation of souls worship by which he or she seeks should not play a part in the notion of salvation. Therefore, he emphasizes that toleration, which Spinoza concedes, may toleration revolves primarily around in a given society be desirable. freedom of worship and theological discussion, placing little emphasis on freedom of thought, speech and persuasion beyond what relates to freedom of conscience Point 2- unlike Spinoza, lockes Point 2- In contrast, in Spinoza, freedom theological conception of toleration, of worship, far from constituting the suggests that toleration should be core of toleration, is very much a conformed in a resentful way towards secondary question, a topic which he certain groups of people and forceful in discusses only briefly and peripherally. denying toleration to other groups. For in Spinoza toleration has primarily Moreover, this leads him to argue to do with individual freedom, not a towards three limitations of toleration. coexistence of Churches, and still less the Firstly, the tolerance regarding the form freedom of ecclesiastical structures to of worship prescribed by a sovereign increase their followings, expand their authority, can only be adhered to an resources, and build up their educational organized congregation, such as jews or establishments. In the democratic christians. The second limit is locke’s republic of the radicals it is not therefore perception of catholics, and whether the aspiration of individuals for spiritual they should be tolerated, because the redemption which drives the push for secular authority is not obliged to permit toleration, as in Locke and the Churches which claim an authority, such mainstream Enlightenment, but rather as that of the Pope. Thirdly, he strongly the quest for individual liberty, freedom excludes toleration towards atheists. of thought rooted in systems of thought This is because, since they reject any sort based on ‘natural reason’ and, of divinity, do not participate in any form consequently, incompatible with, and of worship and do not believe in the opposed to, the Churches’ theological salvation of souls, then by definition they conception of God and man are not allowed toleration. He believes this to be the case, because ‘taking away god, dissolves all’. Point 3- in contrast to Spinoza, Locke Point 3- Spinoza deals more with the indicated that the concept of toleration notion of the freedom of speech and the should be used to address the press than is allocated by Locke’s view relationships between the state and on toleration. Therefore, Spinoza limits other religions other than Christianity, the expression of views, which not only as well as the differences between each inhibits freedom but also endangers the religion. Therefore, to locke toleration State. Spinoza then concludes ‘that the can be seen as a tool to indicate how the state can pursue no safer course than different churches should react with regard piety and religion as consisting each other, as well as to how far solely in charity and that the right of the toleration should extend to worshippers. sovereign, in the religious sphere should be restricted to men’s actions, with everyone being allowed to think what he wishes and say what he thinks.’ Point 4- on the other hand, Locke Point 4- Nevertheless, Spinoza did not emphasizes that divine laws and in turn view toleration as highly as Locke did, to truly be able to follow your religion, because he thought that the chief toleration has to deemed a necessity, objective should be freedom and the thus people must display toleration state, with less emphasis on toleration amongst each other, as a basis in life. towards religion. Question 3- What is the proper relationship between religion and politics? Compare and contrast Hobbes and Spinoza on this question. Thesis- Hobbes takes seriously religion as a social force and, having little use for it as a path to salvation, perceives religious pluralism as a threat to the prime objective of his political theory: social order. On the other hand, Spinoza believes that Religion mingles too much with politics, it is about intolerence towards beliefs or religious expression Hobbes Spi
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