Marxist–Leninist atheism

Marxist–Leninist atheism, also known as Marxist–Leninist scientific atheism, is the irreligious and anti-clerical element of Marxism–Leninism, the official state ideology of the Soviet Union.[1] Based upon a dialectical-materialist understanding of humanity's place in nature, Marxist–Leninist atheism proposes that religion is the opium of the people; thus, Marxism–Leninism advocates atheism, rather than religious belief.[2][3][4]

To support those ideological premises, Marxist–Leninist atheism explains the origin of religion and explains methods for the scientific criticism of religion.[5] The philosophic roots of materialist atheism are in the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770–1831) and of Ludwig Feuerbach (1804–1872), of Karl Marx (1818–1883) and of Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924).[6]

Unlike Soviet Marxism, other varieties of Marxist philosophy are not anti-religious, such as the liberation theology developed by Latin American Marxists.[7]


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