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When Karl Marx said Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature the feeling of a heartless world just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions It is the opium of the people He was trying to summarize his very controversial point of view that religion is a crutch that people fall back on to escape the physical reality People use it as a reason to get up in the morning and suffer another day of backbreaking labor so they can afford to buy bread to feed their families as opposed to stealing what they want need for fear of being punished in the after life He felt that religion gave people a way to deal with grief and problems in their lives but like opium he felt that religion took hold or peoples lives and gave them a false sense of hope Needless to say Marx was an Atheist from the Greek a without and theos deity which commonly and loosely refers to denial of the existence of a higher power The meaning of atheism has varied considerably in history even the earliest Christians were labeled atheists because they denied the existence of the Roman gods In Western culture where monotheism has been the dominant religious belief atheism has generally referred to the denial of the existence of a transcendent perfect personal creator of the universe To be an atheist does not mean no religious beliefs For there are high religions such as Buddhism and Taoism that do not assume the existence of a supernatural being Marx was a militant critic of religion generally and of Christianity particularly He pointed out the ultimate conflict of interest in the Catholic Church during the 19th century The time when he lived The fact that the church was telling people that their lives would be better in heaven if you gave money to the church and that life on earth was a
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