Thursday, May 10, 2012

Pessimistic Religion & Its Effects On Society

"Pessimistic religion is quick to point out our failures, hastens to remind us of our inability to solve them on our own, then demands we place our faith and trust in a deity of its own invention, whose track record for alleviating human suffering is spotty. Why the moral, logical, and spiritual bankruptcy of this dismal worldview is not readily discerned and acknowledged by otherwise intelligent persons is beyond me.

The rejection of human goodness, resourcefulness, and power, coupled with a belief in a 'celestial rescuer,' hinders our ability to face our problems squarely, assess our challenges realistically, and overcome them creatively and decisively. In that sense, negative religion is the enemy of human progress. Those who hold such views should be treated graciously, but their religion should be recognized for what it is - an outdated, implausible, superstitious faith, whose contributions to the modern world are negligible, whose harm is substantial. Whenever it dominates a culture, people are diminished, progress is scorned, and prejudice is sanctified, all in the name of God, whose goodness comes always at the expense of human virtue. By this I mean that for God to be a rescuer, humans have to be fallen and corrupt, in need of a savior. Thus, in negative religion, it is logically impossible for both God and human to be simultaneously virtuous. Those who believe that religion should uplift our spirits and expand our minds should soundly reject any religion that asserts such a bleak and twisted view of human nature."

~Philip Gulley The Evolution of Faith: How God Is Creating A Better Christianity (2012)

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