Counterpoints: Karl Marx and Czeslaw Milosz on Religion

Karl Marx: "Religious distress is at the same time the expression of real distress and 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 a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions."1

Czeslaw Milosz: “Religion used to be the opium of the people. To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life. But now, we are witnessing a transformation, a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, we are not going to be judged.”2

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Courage and Godspeed,

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1. Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right.
2. Czeslaw Milosz, "Discreet Charm of Nihilism" (The New York Review of Books, November 19, 1998); HT- Always Be Ready