Religion: Man’s Attempt to Find Meaning

I wanted to share more from the introduction of the book, “A History of God” by Karen Armstrong.

“Yet my study of the history of religion has revealed that human beings are spiritual animals. Indeed, there is a case for arguing that Homo sapiens is also Homo religiosus. Men and women started to worship gods as soon as they became recognizably human; they created religions at the same time as they created works of arts. This was not simply because they wanted to propitiate powerful forces; these early faiths expressed the wonder and mystery that seems always to have been an essential component of the human experience of this beautiful yet terrifying world. Like art, religion has been an attempt to find meaning and value in life, despite the suffering that the flesh is heir to. Like any other human activity, religion can be abused, but it seems to have been something that we have always done. It was not tacked on to a primordially secular nature by manipulative kings and priests but was natural to humanity.

Indeed, our current secularism is an entirely new experiment, unprecedented in human history. We have yet to see how it will work. It is also true to say that our Western liberal humanism is not something that comes naturally to us; like an appreciation of art or poetry, it has to be cultivated. Humanism is itself a religion without God-not all religions , of course, are theistic. Our ethical secular ideal has its own disciplines of mind and heart and gives people the means of finding faith in the ultimate meaning of human life that were once provided by the more conventional religions.”

There’s one more passage I will share in a few days, but chew on this one and let me know what you think.

Author: Steve

It's not about you unless it's about you!!

3 thoughts on “Religion: Man’s Attempt to Find Meaning”

  1. It’s altogether possible, and quite reasonable.

    Unless God is true. And there is no way to argue that, one way or the other.

  2. Hey Dorsey – I was waiting for some others to chime in before I comment but it looks like everyone is sleeping.

    Anyway… I actually read it that as soon as we became human we worshipped “gods” not “God” and as a result created religions. Humanism, she concludes, is also a religion, albeit one without gods. Is it possible that man is evolving to the point where the idea of God or gods is no longer necessary ?

  3. I think it’s a fair assessment of where things are. I was most intrigued by the suggestion that we are, by nature, wired for the presumption of God, and that the attempt to shed that presumption requires a determined act of the will.

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