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Marx and Religion

3). That means humanity derives new consciousness of the ultimate apart from religious practice and tradition, which is in the background of Feuerbach's distinction between Christianity and Judaism. But in that consciousness, which may be progressively secular, is contained the seeds of new conceptualizations of what is now called God. That explains his statement that what is atheism today "will be religion tomorrow" (p. 4). In other words, new ideals of consciousness will always present themselves.

In Theses on Feuerbach, Marx criticizes the fact that Feuerbach did not go far enough in analyzing the experience of estrangement between mental and physical human experience. He criticizes the concept of "an abstract--isolated--human individual," which is divided between consciousness and material reality. But it is not enough to criticize religious abstraction by asserting that secular abstraction is really the essence of man. The abstraction is the problem: The essence of man is no abstraction inherent in each single individual . . . [but] the ensemble of the social relations" (Marx, Theses, p. 2).

Secular idealism, like religion, is preoccupied with what is intangible, ideal, or immaterial, which is somehow meant to be more real than material reality. It is another way of drawing a distinction between (1) a theoretical idea, which can be talked about and thought about but which cannot b


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