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Ludwig Feuerbach: God as a Human Creation.
Pages 16 (4016 words)
Ludwig Feuerbach was precisely what he espoused in his philosophy: a product of his environment, and of the Zeitgeist that characterized mid-19th-century Europe. The Prussian state in which he lived was one of the most reactionary governments in Europe.
As is common with intolerant states, the autocratic Prussian system justified itself through a derivative conservative creed rooted in a combination of country, Christianity and a compatible philosophy (Harvey, 2007). The reaction of Feuerbach and others of the German intelligentsia, animated by the revolutionary ferment then rising in Europe, was to cast aside the Hegelian philosophical orthodoxy of the day in favor of a radicalized view of the world, man’s place in it and what Feuerbach considered man’s naivete concerning theology. Feuerbach and his colleagues contended that “faith” and the supernatural basis of Christian doctrine was incompatible with rationalist thought and philosophy (Harvey, 2007). The ascendancy of the wealthy and powerful was based on a systematic exploitation of the majority of people, who simply lacked resources and social standing. From this standpoint, Christian practice had no practical use in that it could not improve the lot of the dispossessed. The writings of Feuerbach and his fellow “Young Hegelians” led to repressive measures by the Prussian state, particularly toward the university intellectuals. Feuerbach emerged from this experience a confirmed materialist and atheist and, in his evolving philosophy, he came to reject Christianity as an “absolute” religion, instead embracing rationalism which he believed more truly explained the world and the development of human society as a consequence of natural phenomena (2007). ...
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