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If this definition is correct, then every reformer is religious and every self-seeker, though he wear all the
symbols of a religion and pray three times a day, is irreligious. I admit no man or woman to the fellowship of
the religious unless in his heart he seeks some purpose that will lift the world out of discord and into harmony.
The power of the human being to believe in the face of opposed fact, inconsistency and unfavorable result is
nowhere so well exemplified as in religion. I do not speak of the untold crimes and inhumanities done in the
name of religion, of human sacrifice, persecution, religious war,--these are parts of a chapter in human history CHAPTER XVI. 131 outside of the province of this book and almost too horrible to be contemplated. But men have believed (and
do believe) that some among them knew what God wanted, that certain procedures, tricks and ceremonies
conveyed sanctity and surety; that cosmic events like storms, droughts, eclipses and epidemics had personal
human meanings, that Infinite Wisdom would be guided in action by the prayers of ignorance, self-seeking
and hatred, etc., etc. The savage who believes that his medicine man's antics, paint and feathers will bring rain
and fertile soil has his counterpart in the civilized man who believes that this or that ceremonial and professed
belief insures salvation. Faith is beautiful in the abstract, but in the concrete it is often the origin of
superstition and amazing folly. However crudely intelligence and honest scientific effort may work, they
soar in a heaven far above the abyss of credulity.
 It would be amusing were it not sad to see how remarkably well some philosophers use their intelligence
and logic to prove the invalidity of intelligence and logic. They praise emotion, instinct and "intuition" and
such modes of knowing and acting, yet their works are closely argued, reasoned and appeal throughout to the
intelligence of their readers for acceptance.
True religion in the sense I ha...
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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