Unformatted text preview: ve used the word has faith in it, the faith that there is a purpose in the universe,
though it seems impossible for us to discover it. In the personal character it seeks to establish altruistic feeling
and conduct, though it does not rule out as unworthy self-feeling or seeking. It merely subordinates them. It
does not deny the validity of pleasure, of the sensuous pleasures; it does not set its face against drinking,
eating, sexual love, play and entertainment, but it urges a valid purpose as necessary for happiness and
morality. It does not glorify faith as against reason, emotion as against intelligence; on the contrary, it holds
that reason and intelligence are the governing factors in human life and only by use of them do we rise from
So the religious life of those we study will be of great importance to us. In the majority of cases we shall find
that social heredity, tradition and backing will play the dominant role, in that most, in name at least, live and
die in the faith in which they were born. We find those who identify form and ceremonial with religion (the
majority), others who identify it with ethics and morality, and who can conceive no righteousness out of it.
Then there is the strictly modern type of person to whom right conduct is held to have nothing to do with
religious belief and who measures Christian, Jew, Mohammedan and agnostic by their acts and not at all by
their dogma, and who thus relegates religion, in the ordinary use of the word, to a rather useless place in
human life. Orthodoxy, piety, tolerance and skepticism represent attitudes towards organized religion:
altruism, sympathy, good will, and fellowship are the measurements of the unorganized religion whose
mission it is to find the purpose of life.
We have spoken throughout of man as a mosaic of character, and we must modify this statement. A mosaic is
a static collection, whereas a man has character struggles, balance and overbalance. Really to know a man is
to get at the proportionate power of his va...
View Full Document
- Spring '11