Religion, like nations and individuals, passes through the regular gradation, first of infancy, when religious ideas and thoughts are crude in the extreme; the age of Puritanism, when innocent women and children are burned at the stake for witchcraft, when with gloomy faces and in unsightly dress the poor fanatics sacrificed every pleasure on the altar of duty; the time when Sunday was a day of horror to children from its gloom, a day when every innocent amusement was forbidden. After religion’s infancy comes youth. At that stage, the absurd dress and gloomy faces were not considered essential adjuncts to religion, but free discussion was not allowed upon religious subjects. Everything must be taken for granted, without any investigation on the part of the people. After youth comes manhood, the time when reason has full sway, when superstition and credulities form no part of religious teaching and thought. People are able to think, to reason for themselves. After the age of manhood, comes old age and that is the stage of agnosticism. Questions are being asked, and ideas propounded which must not be overlooked nor treated with contempt. All questions asked in a fair spirit, must be answered in a fair manner. It is not sufficient to say, “it is so”, but good and tangible reasons must be given to prove the truth of an assertion. We are now in the stage of “old age.” Agnosticism and Infidelity are wide spread. After old age comes decay and the decline of the absolutely orthodox. From time immemorial, every religion has passed through the same gradation, of infancy, youth, old age and decay finally comes philosophy.
“BUT as for us, we stand above. I do not know whether Bulgaria is at war with England; but if so, it is evidently the duty to God and man of every Bulgarian to knock the block off General Haig. At the same time, if that Bulgarian does not respect Kings College Chapel, or uses my first edition of Adonais for pipe lights, I will knock his block off if I can catch the Bulgar at it.” [via]
“Dogmatization is the opposite of routinization, in which spiritual realities are affirmed so strongly that it becomes a duty that must be done for others, humanity, the environment, but never for one’s self. The idea of growth becomes simply another goal on a long list of goals, and the genuine joy it offers is lost in its metamorphosis into duty. (Geburah/Mars)” [via]