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False Consciousness

According to Marx religion serves as a source of false consciousness. Religious teachings encourage oppressed individuals or groups to accept the economic, political, and social arrangements that constrain their chances in this life because they are promised compensation for their suffering in the next world.

This kind of ideology led Marx to conclude that religious teaching inhibits pro- test and revolutionary change. He went so far as to claim that religion would be unnecessary in a truly classless society that is a property less society providing equal access to the means of production. In the absence of material inequality, exploitation and injustice would not occur.

The conflict theory underestimates the way people are inspired by religion to confront social and economic inequalities. Sometimes religion is a catalyst that inspires change and justice.