This is why the Christian God, the Jewish God, Buddha or any African God, for example, are wise, just and powerful1. All of man’s characteristics are gathered and joined in a larger than life, larger than man figure, with all of these characteristics projected on a grand, infinite scale. Feuerbach himself states that God is “of mans species-essence, the totality of his powers and attributes raised to the level of infinity”2.
Feuerbach’s atheism may, for some part, resemble the classical atheism to which Marx himself adheres. However, we may notice that in Feuerbach’s case, God is not a non-existence, he is a creation. We may argue that Feuerbach implies the creation by a small group of people (the clergy, the religious class that exists in every society) of an infinite figure that will reflect the ambitions and needs of the entire mankind. Gods are images of the people itself and, in this sense, will reflect the main characteristics of those people.
So far, we have stated that, according to Feuerbach, God is an image of man. Nevertheless, we are aware that in all monotheistic religions, God is the Supreme Being of the existential Universe, the most powerful element of the Universe. A creation of man has become more powerful than the Creator itself. Substituting the Creator and the Created, Feuerbach states that it was man that created God and not the other way around. This anti-theological (I would not consider it necessarily atheist, looking at atheism in its stricto-sensum definition of denying God’s existence altogether) paradox leads to alienation: man is separated from its own creation, which has become more powerful than himself. For Feuerbach, the subject (man) has become the object, hence the state of alienation in which he finds himself.
Marx intervention is not necessarily on the conceptualization of religious alienation, but on the causes of this religious alienation that Feuerbach