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Since you originally placed this question in the “Karl Marx” section, part of my answer to this will address issues raised by Marx. The other part will be personal.
Personally, religion is not important to me. Although I was raised in a religious household, I have not been religious myself since I was a child. In large part, this is because I do not have faith in the leaders of any organized religion. It seems to me that most religions are run by hypocrites who are partly or mostly in it for their own gain. I have a hard time believing that I should go to a church and listen to someone who is no better than me tell me how I should live.
Marx assumed that religion was important to most people. He said that the ruling classes used it as the “opiate of the masses.” That is, they used it to keep the masses of people drugged so they would not realize how badly they were being abused. Today, I do not think religion can be used in that way in most Western societies. Most Western countries have moved away from organized religion. Therefore, I do not think that religion can work as the “opiate of the masses” in most modernized countries today.
On a personal note, I feel that my spirituality and beliefs are very important to me. With that being said, I do not feel that religion holds any significance for me. Religion is more of an organized structural collection of beliefs followed by a group of people, and I have a hard time with the idea that such a large group of people can have the exact same beliefs without discrepancy. What that says to me is that there’s a whole bunch of people in each religion who don’t fully believe what their religion dictates, and that is just good old fashioned hypocrisy in my book. I think that how one interprets the sacred and chooses to worship divinity is a very personal journey that each person must travel on his or her own terms.
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