(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Man In The Modern World"

RELIGION AS AN OBJECTIVE PROBLEM
science; and the applications of scientific discovery in this field will
have as their goal what we may call the Socialized State. The re-
ligious impulse, itself one of the social forces to be more fully compre-
hended and controlled, will increasingly find its outlet in the pro-
motion of the ideals of the Socialized State,
Exactly how all this will happen no one can say—whether the
religious impulse will again crystallize into a definite religious system
with its own organization, or will find its outlets within the bounds
of other organizations, as it does for instance in the Communist party
in Russia. We can, however, on the basis of the past history of re-
ligion, make a further prophecy. We can be reasonably sure that the
inner momentum of logic and moral feelings, combined with the outer
momentum derived from increasing comprehension and control, will
lead to an improvement in the expression of this socialized religion
comparable to the progress of theistic religion from its crude begin-
nings toward developed monotheism.
Accordingly, we can prophesy that in the long run the nationalistic
element in socialized religion will be subordinated or adjusted to the
internationalist: that the persecution of minorities will give place to
toleration; that the subtler intellectual and moral virtues will find a
place and will gradually oust the cruder from their present pre-
eminence in the religiously-conceived social organism.
We can also assert with fair assurance that this process of improve-
ment will be a slow one, and accompanied by much violence and
suffering.
Finally, we can make the prophecy that part of this process will
come about through interaction between two expressions of the
religious spirit—one which strives to identify itself with the Socialized
State, the other which reacts against the limitations thus imposed and
strives to assert and uphold values that are felt to be more permanent
and more universal. The cruder and more violent is the socialized
religion, the more will it encourage such reactions. Already in Nazi
Germany such a reaction has taken place among certain elements of
the Protestant churches, who feel that their principles embody some-
thing higher, more lasting, and more general than anything, however
intense, which is at the basis of a nationalist and racialist conception
of social aims.
This is the one domain in which traditional religion, with its uni-
versalist monotheism, will in the near future have a real advantage
over socialized religion, which for some time will inevitably be bound
up with nationalist states.
It is probable, however, that a universalist Humanism (and probably
139