Archive for the ‘Feuerbach’ Category

Religion is just the imaginary sun which seems to man to revolve around him, until he realizes that he himself is the centre of his own revolution

October 7, 2009

Religion is just the imaginary sun which seems to man to revolve around him, until he realizes that he himself is the centre of his own revolution…(Humans)   look for a superhuman being in the fantasy reality of heaven, and find nothing there, but their own reflection.

Karl Marx, Zur Kritik der Hegelschen Rechtsphilosophie, in  Werke, 4 vols (Berlin, 1959-1961), vol.1, p.379, 488

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

ibid. Introduction

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.

The foundation of irreligious criticism is: Man makes religion, religion does not make man.


It is true that much of religion can be explained away as man’s wish fulfilment. But the gospel does not offer a god forn those who cannot explain everything (a god of the gaps). Nor does it offer a wish fulfilment (this is either the prosperity gospel or a mere ‘fire insurance’ Christianity). The gospel tells men what they don’t want to hear – not what they do want to hear. It assaults their pride by mocking their pretensions to self-righteousness or moral worth. It humbles men and is scoffed at as offensive to man’s sensibilities – cf. the Pharisees and all those who rejected the offence of Jesus’ cross.

Marx is attacking religion – but not the gospel.

Creating god in man’s own image

August 24, 2009

Consciousness of God is human self-consciousness, knowledge of God is human self-knowledge. By the God you know the human, and conversely, by the human, you know the God. The two are one. What God is to a person that too is the spirit, the soul; and what the spirit, the soul, are to a person, that is the God. God is the revealed and explicit inner self of a human being…The historical progress of religion consists therefore in this: that what an earlier religion took to be objective, is later recognized to be something human. What was earlier religion is later taken to be idolatry: humans are seen to have adored their own nature. Humans objectified themselves but failed to recognize themselves as this object. The later religion takes this step; every advance in religion is therefore a deepening in self knowledge.

Ludwig Feurbach,Essence of Christianity, 1841, ch.1

No doubt humans do created gods in their own image, but did he, could he know that is always what occurs?

The Wish for God and God’s Existence

August 24, 2009

Why in fact should I not be permitted to wish? Why should I not be allowed to wish that the sweat, blood and tears, all the sufferings of millenia, may not have been in vain, that definitive happiness may finally be possible for all human beings – especially the despised and downtrodden?…May I not feel an aversion also in regard to the idea that the life of the individual and of mankind is governed only by the pitiless laws of nature, by the play of chance and by the survival of the fittest, and that all dying is a dying into nothingness?

It does not follow – as some theologians have mistakenly concluded – from man’s profound desire for God and eternal life, that God Exists…But some atheists, too, are mistaken in thinking that what follows is the nonexistence of God and the unreality of eternal life.

Hans Küng, Does God Exist? p.301

God as man ‘projected’

August 24, 2009

The Divine Being is nothing other than the being of man himself, or rather, the being of man abstracted from the limits of the individual man or the real, corporeal man, and objectified, i.e., contemplated and worshiped as another being, as a being distinguished from his own. All determinations of the Divine Being are, therefore, determinations of the being of man.

Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, (1841).Essence of Christianity: Introduction, §2 The Essence of Religion in General

…the secret of theology is nothing else than anthropology – the knowledge of God nothing else than a knowledge of man!

Ludwig Feuerbach, Essence of Christianity: Part II, The False or Theological Essence of Religion, Chapter XXI. The Contradiction in the Revelation of God

It may be true that ‘(some) people project religion’ but it does not follow from that that ‘all religion is projection’.