Unformatted text preview: omes Nature, which in the end is a collection of laws in
which one HOPES there is a unifying purpose. But the vast majority of the world, even in the so-called
civilized countries, worship taboos, symbols, have a modified polytheistic belief or a personalized God, still
attempt to persuade the Power in their own behalf, to act favorably to their own purposes and follow those
who claim knowledge of the divine and inscrutable,--the priest, minister, rabbi, the man of God, in a phrase.
A part of religious feeling arises in civilized man, at least, from the feeling of awe in the presence of the vast
forces of nature. Here science has contributed to religious feeling, for as one looks at the stars, his soul bows
in worship mainly because the astronomer, the scientist, has told him that every twinkling point is a great sun
surrounded by planets, and that the light from them must travel unimaginable millions of miles to reach him.
As the world forces become impersonal they become more majestic, and a deeper feeling is evoked in their
presence. Science aids true religion by increasing awe, by increasing knowledge.
A great factor in religion is the longing to compensate for death and suffering. Religion represents a reaction
against fear, horror and humiliation. It is a cry of triumph in the face of what otherwise is disaster "I am not
man, the worm, sick, old, doomed to die; I am the heir of the divine and will live forever, happy and blessed."
Whether religious teaching is true or not, its great value lies in the happiness and surety of those who believe.
In its very highest sense the religious life is an effort to identify oneself with the largest purpose in the world.
All cooperative purposes are thus religious, all competitive nonreligious. The selfish is therefore opposed to
the altruistic purpose, the narrow to the broad. Good is the symbol for the purposes that seek the welfare of
all: evil is the symbol of those who seek the welfare of a person or a group, regardless of the rest...
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This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course PSYCHOLOGY 110 taught by Professor Kannan during the Spring '11 term at Anna University Chennai - Regional Office, Coimbatore.
- Spring '11