Religion Used to Be the Opium of the People

“Religion used to be the opium of the people.  To those suffering humiliation, pain, illness, and serfdom, religion promised the reward of an after life.  But now we are witnessing a transformation: a true opium of the people is the belief in nothingness after death, the huge solace, the huge comfort of thinking that for our betrayals, our greed, our cowardice, our murders, that we are not going to be judged.”

Czeslaw Milosz, The Discreet Charm of Nihilism

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

One thought on “Religion Used to Be the Opium of the People

  1. That got deep, fast. Yes, the push for the idea of Nothingness at the end is to absolve and not require accountability in any way. Nihilism has been pushed by various movements in economics and transhumanism to unleash the basest form of human behavior. Since Scientific Materialist Rationalism did not kill religion (in the last few decades it has lifted the need for a religious practice), nihilism finds root in the young because they live relatively comfortable lives without responsability.

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