Is there any truth behind Nietzsche saying that religion is the opium of the masses?

Asked by: bothsidesguy
  • In a way it is

    With the way that religion is bought and sold today, and with all the problems in the world caused by it,I think that there is some grain of truth in it.It can be like adrug that people think will make them feel better,and it some ways,it does! We all have to have something to believe in!

  • Although Marx said it...

    The statement still holds true. Religion has and will be used as a political force. Regardless of what good we may be able to do with it, we've demonstrated that governments can either rally troops or sedate the unrest with religion.

    When you're a developing child, the more people around you who believe the same thing, the less likely you are to question it. It becomes ingrained as a truth and part of your world view.

    If a person is less likely to question their religion, and their government knows this, then religion becomes a perfectly suitable tool for control.

  • I would say yes.

    Religion requires a certain mindset which allows coping with problems through belief in something that is not real. In the same way opium (or other drug users) dulls the sense away from reality. It is this dulling of reality (coping) that is equivalent to religion. Religion is an escape from reality that allows people to feel good, but its not rational.

  • Religion promotes close minded ness .

    With the major religions such as Christianity, it is like Opium. Your mind is poisoned with scientifically disproven beliefs such as a flat Earth, a 6,000 year old Earth, and even the craziest, homosexuality is unnatural.
    This is why religion is like a mind numbing substance and it only further promoted by the world by rewarding religious organization with tax exempts, or by putting the use of a religion in the U.S. pledge of allegiance. Religion also promotes violence and extremism more often than other opinions.
    This is why religion is an opium of the mind.

  • DRUGS are the way to heaven

    Those who don't agree have sinned and belong to Satan himself. DRUGS! DRUGS! DRUGGSSS!!!!! I tell you, you must listen to me, drugs can make everybody safer. If everybody is high, that means we are all in heaven! Drugs make us see the future and therefore enhance our vision.

    ~El Chapo

  • It was Marx that said it, but yeah

    People in societies with class difference and/or bad education need a gateway to escape from reality, religion is one of those gateways. It gives the illusion that there is someone who cares, even when the government and/or society doesn't. This is why it still exists. People need answers, and when they don't know/understand science, they turn to religion. Religion also has a use in keeping populations under control. It is a very useful tool in controlling the lives of people and preventing revolt. This is why it is the opium of the masses, it is used to brainwash people into doing whatever the ruling class desires.

  • First off, Who said Opium was bad?

    Just like a drug, religion has bad side effects and good effects. These effects can be temporary or permanent depending on how often the "drug" is used. When Nietzsche said "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him" I took it as a sort of anguish, since he makes claims against science as well. Religion may work like a drug, but it was a fairly useful one.

  • A simple crutch

    An initial easy way to explain what was not understood, and promulgated to abort ones responsibility for their own actions or lack thereof. Since mankind crawled out of the cave, various concepts have been put forth to explain why we are here and is this all that there is. A crutch of fantasy has been the easiest answer.

    Posted by: ic2
  • Ok, how about

    No. Religion is not an opiate. The people who claim that are closed minded themselves to the good that religion can do to a community. Just because they had a bad experience with religion, doesn't mean it's all bad. It's the people that mess it up. Religion is not an escape from reality; rather, religion has always been about community building, inclusion, and a set of higher ideals and morals to live by. Secular sets of ideals will do, but the problem with them is that they are always relative to each person. And when everyone decides what is right for themselves, the worst in humanity comes out.

  • Because Marx said it.

    The person who said it was Marx. Nietzsche did not say it. This is because Marx said it. It, being the suggestion that "religion is the opiate of the masses," is attributable to Marx. After further investigation, you will find that the passage was from Marx and not Nietzsche. I think I've made my point.

    Posted by: kbub
  • Marx Said it and No

    1) Marx said it in his critique of Hegel.
    2) Religion provides a moral framework for most people, secular moral frameworks are equally valid, but religion provides an ethical guide for most people throughout the world
    3) Most historical abuses of religion can be better attributed to geo-political struggle for a finite resources, or hyper-nationalist state actors.

  • First of all...

    Get your facts straight. Karl Marx said that. To answer the question, no religion is not an opiate. It is capable of providing great personal fulfillment and communal bonding, regardless of whether or not it is true. In addition, unlike opium, there are absolutely zero side effects involved. Religion is an asset to the masses.

  • Are you serious?

    If anything, atheism is the opiate of the masses. It denies the existence of a higher power, which releases one from all moral obligations. After all, if there is no God, then there are no repercussions from ones immoral behavior. It's not easy being a Christian. Our sinful nature rebels against God. We must strive, constantly, to keep it in check. So it's actually harder being a Christian than it is to be an atheist. So you really can't call it an opiate.

  • Marx said to Nietszche while sipping starbucks..

    However, the onus of the sentence is on the masses. So religion is an opiate for some. But in any situation you cannot blame the opiate, as Marilyn Manson said without humor, or tact, "I dont like the drugs but the drugs like me". The danger is never the opium, but the ingestor of the opiate. Religion can be ab/used. It is the masses who are passively aggressive & anasthetised to pain. It is in their ignorant bliss that tyranny reigns?

    Posted by: fazz
  • Religion has provided real hope

    People need hope in this world and religion has been effective in meeting that need. Religion has not provided the masses with an illusion of hope, hence the comparison to opium is false, but something "real" that people can cling to. If people didn't have such hope, they would not have survived the ills of this world.

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