feuerbach philosophy religion

Love, too, rules on the Stock Exchange, in so far as it is not simply a sentimental figure of speech, for each finds in others the satisfaction of his own urge towards happiness, which is just what love ought to achieve and how it acts in practice. By the way, there exists a very close connection between alchemy and religion. The possibility of purely human sentiments in our intercourse with other human beings has nowadays been sufficiently curtailed by the society in which we must live, which is based upon class antagonism and class rule.

To him, history is altogether an uncanny domain in which he feels ill at ease. Likewise, he is known for drafting, under the outside pressure of Napoleon, the Bavarian Penal Code, which laid the groundwork for Bavarian law throughout the succeeding centuries. Ludwig Feuerbach, in full Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach, (born July 28, 1804, Landshut, Bavaria [Germany]—died September 13, 1872, Rechenberg, Germany), German philosopher and moralist remembered for his influence on Karl Marx and for his humanistic theologizing.
But the urge towards happiness is subject to a double correction. Frederick Engels

226 quotes from Ludwig Feuerbach: 'As we expand our knowledge of good books, we shrink the circle of men whose company we appreciate. For, Feuerbach explains, philosophy freed us from the abstractions of religion only to encase our attributes in another, even more sinister, layer of abstraction. We have no reason to curtail it still more by exalting these sentiments to a religion. What Feuerbach has to tell us about morals can, therefore, only be extremely meagre. They remain mere phrases, and even Starcke has to admit that for Feuerbach politics constituted an impassable frontier and the “science of society, sociology, was terra incognita to him”. Feuerbach’s morality either presupposes that these means and objects of satisfaction are given to every individual as a matter of course, or else it offers only inapplicable good advice and is, therefore, not worth a brass farthing to people who are without these means. The philosopher’s stone has many godlike properties and the Egyptian-Greek alchemists of the first two centuries of our era had a hand in the development of Christian doctrines, as the data given by Kopp and Bertholet have proved.
This further development of Feuerbach’s standpoint beyond Feuerbach was inaugurated by Marx in 1845 in The Holy Family. Friedrich Feuerbach's Religion of Future was interpreted as a practical concept of a secular and public education to bring democracy forward.

And love, which is to unite all, manifests itself in wars, altercations, lawsuits, domestic broils, divorces, and every possible exploitation of one by another. In the form he is realistic since he takes his start from man; but there is absolutely no mention of the world in which this man lives; hence, this man remains always the same abstract man who occupied the field in the philosophy of religion.

According to Feuerbach, both religion and Hegelian philosophy have deprived the human being of natural absoluteness. Religion is derived from religare [“to bind”] and meant, originally, a bond.

The existing positive religions have limited themselves to the bestowal of a higher consecration upon state-regulated sex love — that is, upon the marriage laws — and they could all disappear tomorrow without changing in the slightest the practice of love and friendship. Feuerbach posited that religion is a “projection” of ideal human values into the cosmos “out there”.

Only very exceptionally, and by no means to this and other people’s profit, can an individual satisfy his urge towards happiness by preoccupation with himself. Yes, that was indeed immoral; nowadays, however, equality of rights is recognized. Now relations between human beings, based on affection, and especially between the two sexes, have existed as long as mankind has. And neither the most spirited utterances of Feuerbach nor the strongest eulogies of Starcke can hide the tenuity and banality of these few propositions.

The latter’s ethics, or doctrine of moral conduct, is the philosophy of right, and embraces: (1) abstract right; (2) morality; (3) social ethics [Sittlichkeit], under which are comprised: the family, civil society, and the state. For Feuerbach, religion is the dream of the human spirit. But from the abstract man of Feuerbach, one arrives at real living men only when one considers them as participants in history. And here we are again struck by Feuerbach’s astonishing poverty when compared to Hegel. “One believes one is saying something great,” Hegel remarks, “if one says that ‘man is naturally good’. According to Feuerbach’s theory of morals, the Stock Exchange is the highest temple of moral conduct, provided only that one always speculates right. Friedrich Feuerbach's Religion of Future was interpreted as a practical concept of a secular and public education to bring democracy forward. Feuerbach’s assertion that “the periods of humanity are distinguished only by religious changes” is decidedly false. Was there ever in antiquity between slaves and masters, or in the Middle Ages between serfs and barons, any talk about an equal right to the urge towards happiness? A historical movement is fundamental only when it is rooted in the hearts of men. Even his dictum: “Man as he sprang originally from nature was only a mere creature of nature, not a man.

And that is what Feuerbach resisted,and therefore the year 1848, which he did not understand, meant to him merely the final break with the real world, retirement into solitude. But since when has it been valid? Religion is, in Feuerbach’s opinion, man’s earliest but indirect form of self-knowledge, and every advance in religion may be said to be an advance in self-knowledge. In other words, religion is nothing more than a human projection or abstraction into the cosmos of ideas that have purely human origins. If he loses his money, his action is ipso facto proved to have been unethical, because of his bad reckoning, and since I have given him the punishment he deserves, I can even slap my chest proudly, like a modern Rhadamanthus. True, he has intercourse with other men; however, each one of them is just as much an abstraction as he himself.


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