Religion is the Opiate of the Masses
“Religion is the opium of the people”, wrote Karl Marx in 1843, often paraphrased as the ‘opiate of the masses’ as above.
I was reminded of this today while discussing life and other things with a friend whom I was visiting in the hospital.
Not sure how the topic came up, but he was waxing lyrical about how religion was simply a means of controlling a population. This from a 78-year-old Irish Catholic.
I said that as far as I knew all religions had been created by humans and NOT a God of any variant.
A Drug of Addiction
Don’t we have here a drug, as can be construed by Mr. Marx’s comments, that we, as the people or the masses, are being hooked on by the pushers of this religious nonsense? I think so.
Suffering Does Not Last
We went on to discuss how in his early years in Ireland he was constantly disappointed, (NO read disgusted) by The Church’s exhortation that suffering was only temporary (an earthly thing since time in Heaven didn’t exist), and poor people, in particular, should remember that they will be rewarded in the afterlife. This, of course, kept them from trying to better themselves, because, why would they? This was temporary, the afterlife was forever – unending.
As the aforementioned poorer class of people was probably not very well educated, this belief was perpetuated; and the weekly gatherings that were forced upon the members of these groups by threats of missing out on the afterlife as well, if they didn’t attend, continued the travesty.
This was far from the beginning, though. These unsavoury tactics had been going on for millennia.
From the earliest of times, humans have created groups of men who have been designated as having greater significance in the scheme of things (the so-called religious leaders). Let’s look at this.
Religion - Defined
Religion is often defined as “, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”. Man-made. Yes?
“There are an estimated 10,000 distinct religions worldwide, but about 84% of the world's population is affiliated with one of the five largest religion groups, namely Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism or forms of folk religion”.
Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic Abrahamic faiths, the other two being Christianity and Islam. But the oldest form of religion would probably be Zoroastrian, sometimes called the official religion of ancient Persia.
Is one of the world's oldest surviving religions, with teachings older than Buddhism, or Judaism, and far older than Christianity or even Islam. Zoroastrianism is thought to have arisen “in the late second millennium B.C.E amidst semi-nomadic pastoralists in the Central Asian Steppelands,” according to Dr. Jenny Rose, a scholar of the religion. Its name comes from Zarathushtra, to whom the earliest texts of the religion (the Gathas, or “songs” of praise to Ahura Mazda) are ascribed. He was known to the Greeks as Zoroaster, hence the name we know today.
Do As We Say
Now have a read of this, “In Zoroastrian thought, good and evil are strictly divided. The deity Ahura Mazda (the “wise lord”) establishes everything good, whereas Angra Mainyu (the “destructive spirit”) is the source of everything evil, bringing chaos to the orderly world. The chaos and confusion of evil are spoken of as “the lie,” in contrast to the order, right, and truth of Ahura Mazda.
I mean isn’t this – the oldest known religion, just a system of man-made control? Do as I (we) say and all will be well. Or else chaos.
Hmmmmm, So this bollocks is not new. Not at all.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments.