It is of immense importance to see intrinsically the philosophical perspectives of Friedrich schleiermacher and that of Karl Marx when accessing or approaching their respective religious views be it positive or negative . Both Friedrich and Karl Marx were in formed or educated separately and they held differing views contrasting sharply each others about life, nature and the cosmos entirely, however, somehow centering on religion as for Friedriech.
This time in question philosophical methods were used to explainor treat Christian doctrins. Fredrich and Karl separately discussed or wrote on religion philosophically.Karl Marx persistently criticized religious beliefs intensely regarding it as man made idea, he however, failed to realize , he was also positively treating religion in spite of his criticism. Fredrich on the other side was widely known during his life time as a theologian and preacher defended religion –Christianity to the later.
Scleilermcher known during his life time as a theologian, preacher and the shaper of Prussian church life and culture “Fredrich is generally recognized as the founder of modern protestant theology and the most influential theologian of the 19th century.His best work which is “the Christian faith” is a Christian dogma defending the Christian religion. As an individual formation of feeling of absolute dependence” (Lingsley Kanst 1972). Despite several movements who opposed religious beliefs like Christianity, Fredrich was convinced to defend religion- Christianity through his writing and teaching unlike Karl marx “a man of action and a thinker, a Jewish born from trier in the Rhine province of Prussia , he was born on the 5th of may ,1818” (Franz meting 1918) Marx from a humble beginning his father ,a lawyer devoted to kant .
His adolescent writing were of Christian devoted and a longing for self sacrifice on behalf of humanity marx at this point was a devoted Christian until later factors would later reshaped his life in another direction. Marx’s crucial experience at Berlin was his introduction to Hegel’s philosophy. At first he felt a repugnant spirit towards Hegel’s doctrines. .
It all started when he fell sick , he wrote to make to his father from intense vexation Marx at having to make an idol of a view later.Marx joined a society called “ the doctor club” whose member were intensely involved in the new philosophical movement , they developed the idea that the Christian gospels were a record not of historical but of human fantasized arising from man’s emotional needs that Jesus has not been a historical person –atheism Marx grew to become a religious critic of the highest level propagating religion as an emotional tool for existence. Fredrich schlieriemacher defensive approach to the criticism of religion brought him fame.As the author of Christianity during the 19th century his teachings and writings constituted a great foundation of religion – Christianity “ He maintained that the world and God are distinct, but correlative and neither can be conceived without the other can be chaos and God without the world could be empty phantasm” (David Ryanlanff 1919) But though God is transcendent he is eminent in the world in self consciousness it is clear and distinct here as friedrich defends religion using Christianity .On the other hand Marx maintained that “ religion is the opium of t he people” he further emphasizes that religion was institutionalized as a tool for social control .
People through their thoughts and quest for a better world brought about the idea of religion to control the way people think and behave to create peace and harmony . He saw Jesus as not a historical fact but a mere idea conceived and expressed for a purpose. For Marx the living man is the point of departure for human history Man instinctively seeks to satisfy certain needs which to him are primary to his existence .So the first historical fact is the production of means to satisfy those needs .
Mans’ nature and essential activity is a struggle with nature that must furnish man the means of satisfying his needs; drinks, food , clothing , development of his power and then his intellectual and artistic abilities . in their undertaking man discovers himself as a productive being who makes a living from his labor . “man humanizes himself by his labor, he again humanizes nature while he naturalizes himself .Man’s movement from one state to the other at the end it downs on him that ; all that is called history is nothing else than the process of creating man through human labor “(Alexander lille 1916) Marx’s idea of man as a being who humanizes himself by his labor is sharply contrasted by Fredrich Scheilermacher’s who conceives the process of nature and existence as in the light of the God being present as the basis of the unity of man’s nature in every transition from an act of knowledge to an act of will and vice versa.As far as man is also in all things, in as much as in everything the totality of the world and transparent basis is presupposed by virtue of their being and correlation .
the unity if man’s personal life amidst of the multiplicity of its function is the symbol of God’s presence” (Simon Gbanger 1976) Furthermore, Marx went on to establish his point by affirming that man has thus evident and irrefutable proof of his existence , his own creation by himself .Understood in its universal dimension , human activity reveals that for man “man is the supreme being” it is thus vain to speak of god ,creation and metaphysical problems fully nationalized man is sufficient unto himself . He has recaptured the fullness of man in his liberty . The other way round Fedrich saw God as the author of everything ,the beginning and the end. He said though God may not be conceived as the absolute cause of the world, the idea of the absolute causality symbolized in it may be taken as the best approximate expression of the contents of the religions consciousness.The unbroken connection between cause and effect through out the world becomes thus a manifestation of God .
He is completely eminent in the world . Thus no God without a world and no world without a God ’’ He said. Narrowing it down friedrich saw God as the creator of man or the cause of man and the world thus the entire universe and all its transactions are associated with God He made a point while explaining or recounting how God created the world and later man and when man sinned and later brought his son. Jesus Christ to stand for the sins of man that he may be forgiven his sins.
Marx not satisfied was on the other side claiming the independence and supremacy of man in the universe. He stressed the point that all stories of Jesus Christ and God are just tools meant for the social control of the universe, a calculated attempt to bring in love, peace, harmony etc . in the name of religion. Unfortunately friedrich came before Karl Marx otherwise Marx’s ideas could have suffered immense criticisms from fried rich owing to the fact that Marx’s positions or points have rather staggering foundations.First Marx claimed that “the satisfactions of man opens new doors for new needs” This is a clear function of cause and effect.
e jumped the primary effect of mans existence to that of his needs and so on . The question which stands is , Is Marx refusing the idea of cause and effect ? If yes then how come he exists as an effect? If no then why say “the satisfaction of man opens new doors for new needs” Marx clearly came out saying man has gone through the process of realizing himself through the nature that he is the authority, yet he is his own creator – a creator who doesn’t even know himself , who has to study or go through the process of realization to realize himself .Marx excellently furnished his own idea of man’s supremacy , his independence and refuses to agree with the existence of God , creation and metaphysical problems. How then can he account for his ideas, are they sensually perceived? if yes, how come the issue of God which he has thought of and actually meditated about to conclude that God doesn’t exist and man is supreme, if no, then how can he account for the existence of man using sense perception .Critically looking at the whole thing in spite of the fact the Karl Marx criticize religion or rather speaks ill of religion (opium of the people ) some elements still persist in his own argument which speak well and even bring to light the value of religion to our society .
Religion be it the opium of the people or a tool of social control , serves the purpose of maintaining peace and order in our various communities and it reaches out to the whole world to bring people together for one purpose thereby fostering peace , love and harmony .Following fried rich schleiermacher’s ideology religion also plays the role of peace, love and harmony but most importantly and uniquely aims for freedom through the forgiveness of sins and communion with God the creator of the entire universe. .And with regards to Christianity, at the end one might find himself in paradise, a place for the dead righteous or the righteous one’s whom have died in flesh.Interestingly, both friedrich schleiermacher and Karl Marx have played their own independent roles in the tries and tackles of religion, however , important to note is the fact that religion is but a word which carry with it a meaning which represents different ideologies in the universe and none of them can be said to be wrong since every one is independent of thought . The word is a subjective reality and not one that is objective , it contains no attachments , if you ask me- I would say religion is an act which represents the nature of man .