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Marx and Tocqueville's Views on Religion

In: Social Issues

Submitted By teena646
Words 1996
Pages 8
Soci- 300
Classical Social Theory

Question 1. Compare and contrast the views of religion held by Marx and Tocqueville.

Religions, all over the world have always tried to find an association between mankind and nature and a relation between human beings themselves. One of religion’s main goals is to provide rules and guidance that create order and support for the people that follow it. However, the notion of religion and where it came from has been a subject of debate amongst many historians, thinkers, sociologists and philosophers. Karl Marx, the German philosopher, revolutionist, and sociologist, believed that religion was a manmade ideology. He did not believe that God made humankind; he believed we made God (Marx, 1978). Alex de Tocqueville did not believe in what I just previously mentioned. Instead, the Roman Catholic political thinker and historian believed that God created us and he was responsible for providing the people with the proper rules and keys to living in a materialistic and worldly place (Tocqueville, 1972 pp 359).
In this paper, I will be contrasting the different views of religion from the perspectives of Karl Marx and Alex de Tocqueville. With that being said, and although by now we know that both thinkers have different views regarding religion, some of their writings show otherwise and in turn, we will find some striking similarities between them.

Beginning with the ideas of Karl Marx; Karl Marx was known to be an atheist who strongly believed that religion was created by the people who had power over the less fortunate people. They created it as a tool to keep down the exploited and less fortunate class. The people, who Marx thinks created religion, were the ‘ruling class’ who were in charge of the society’s production. According to Marx, religion is like a drug for the people who are not living a good life or who are not...

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