The anthropological materialism of Feuerbach about the essence of man and religion
Ludwig Feuerbach was born in the family of a lawyer. While studying at the Theological Faculty of Heidelberg University, he fell under the influence of Hegel and entered the University of Berlin at the Faculty of Philosophy. But his fate developed in such a way that he experienced many disappointments - in the philosophy of Hegel and in the "civilized" life. Until his death he lived in the village. His main works, which he wrote there - "Criticism of Hegel's Philosophy," "The Essence of Christianity," "The Fundamental Provisions of the Philosophy of the Future," build the foundations of a new philosophy that is characterized as anthropological materialism.
One of the components of this philosophy iscriticism of idealism. Feuerbach calls German classical philosophy idealistic, because it tries to bring the outside world out of thinking. This leads to the dominance of dogmatics, the alteration of religious views in a philosophical manner, to a kind of "refined religion". Simply, if the usual religious beliefs are dominated by theism - the belief in a personal God, then in German philosophy - the impersonal Spirit, cognizable by the intellect. The anthropological materialism of Feuerbach rejects Hegel's dialectic as a type of discussion in which truth is lost. The new philosophy must overcome Hegel's philosophy in alliance with the natural sciences in order to understand the real, not imaginary, possibilities of man. Moreover, one should raise the question of the essence of man, because the unity of being and thinking is meaningful only in man, because man is the unity of spiritual and bodily substance, and its essence is in experience, in sensuality.
Anthropological philosophy in the Feuerbach systembecomes a universal science. His whole teaching is imbued with anthropology. Nature for Feuerbach is identical to matter. It is eternal and diverse, infinite, mobile, defined by space and time. This is the only reality - there is nothing outside it. Man, as it were, completes nature - there is nothing below man and above him. "In the contemplation of nature and man all the mysteries of philosophy are contained," says the philosopher. The variety of human feelings reflects the diversity of nature. Cognition is possible precisely because of sensuality.
Feelings do not deceive us and are notsuperficial - they are quite enough for the knowledge of any phenomena. Feelings are universal - they have thoughts, and in thoughts - feelings. The anthropological materialism of Feuerbach puts forward the idea that thinking is based on sensuality and supplements it: "With feelings we read a book of nature, but we understand it by thinking." Thus, thinking is necessary only to find the hidden meaning of things. However, in practical terms, from the philosopher's point of view, this thinking does not, and should not - practice is hostile both to philosophy and to feelings, it is dirty and haggish.
Unlike the modern philosopher atheists,the anthropological materialism of Feuerbach regards religion not as an empty deception-it originated from the fear and difficulties of the primitive man, and also from the inherent desire for the ideal of man. "God," Feuerbach concludes, "is what a man wants to be." Therefore, the essence of religion is in the human heart. The development of religion corresponds to the stages of historical development. When man was completely dependent on nature, religion was natural, and when man created an ideal and placed it outside himself, worshiping an abstract person, religion became spiritual. This is evidenced by such religious concepts as, for example, the Trinity, which in fact is a symbol of the family.
The anthropological materialism of Feuerbach deducesthe essence of Christianity and, in general, religious feelings out of love. The problem of religion is the unattainability of the ideal - this means that if the ideal is realized, religion will disappear (because a person does not have an organ of superstition, the philosopher is sarcastic). Man is driven by his passions, above all, by selfishness, and therefore freedom for man is the creation of conditions for him, when he can do what he wants. The driving force of ethics is reasonable egoism, which is most fully expressed in love, because it best embodies the relationship between the "I" and "you." Therefore, the spiritual religion, according to the thinker, needs to be replaced by the cult of a natural and loving person. Summarizing the anthropology of Feuerbach, Engels once observed that he "wants to throw all people into embrace to each other, regardless of gender and age".