Lucretius Philosophy and Religion

Lucretius was one of the philosophers that declared war on religion because of its effects on members of society. He was of the view that religion does not play positive role to the life of an individual, but instead it only confuses individuals to believe in what does not exist under the real condition. His writings influenced other philosophers such as Karl Marx who observed that religion is simply an opinion of the mind.

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Lucretius was of the view that matter is something cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, religion is not something can be created because it is an inner working of nature. In other words, divine power can never be created out of nothing. When people see things happening in the environment, they wonder what could be going on. They attribute the happenings in the environment to a certain supernatural power such as a god.

To Lucretius, this leads to unnecessary anxiety because people are fooled to believe that there is a power behind any force of nature. The philosopher proved beyond reasonable doubt that things happen because nature occasions them. When something changes to a different state of matter, there is no energy lost hence the changes taking place in society are just but the changes that nature permits. In one instance, the philosopher noted that nature resolves everything into its component atoms and never reduces anything to nothing (Lucretius 33).

He gave an example by suggesting that everything would vanish in case things were perishable in all their parts. According to him, there would be no need to separate atoms and loosen the things that tie them together. Things do not just disappear without encountering certain type of force. In this regard, matter no limit both internally and externally meaning that the universe is infinite. Molecules have the ability to subdivide into halves several times because matter has no limit.

The philosopher noted further that the earth is not bounded in any direction because this would definitely establish the limit. In this regard, the eye would only follow the movement of an object to a certain extent. Nothing exists outside the universe meaning that everything takes place on earth. In this case, the idea that exists in heaven is a mere rhetoric that aims at confusing the public. As far as morality and ethics is concerned, Lucretius aimed at freeing humanity from the chains of religion whereby people were instructed to obey the supernatural that was unseen. His analysis aimed at liberating people from fear since he promoted a clearer understanding of nature.

The source of fear according the philosopher is death. He suggested that people should not fear death because it only exists to those alive. After death, nothing is known about it. Therefore, people are urged to live their lives comfortably and enjoy to the fullest whenever opportunities present themselves. This leads to unethical behavior because people would not be guided by any rule. Definitely, it would bring social conflicts because people would be violating the established societal rules and regulations. Some would be anxious to test the new things once they understand his theory.

Karl Marx noted that religion is the opium of the mind meaning that it only brainwashes individuals to believe in a certain system that does not serve their interests. Religion in this sense promotes divisions and oppression in society. In fact, religion is the property of the ruling class meaning that it is used to subjugate the poor.

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Works Cited

Lucretius, Carus. The Way Things Are. Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1993. Print.

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