Quote of the Day 1-16-14 (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Posted: January 16, 2014 in Christianity, Philosophy, Quotations, Religion
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English: Print of the philosopher Arthur Schop...

English: Print of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer with his signature appended. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“The power of religious dogma, when inculcated early is such as to stifle conscience, compassion, and finally every feeling of humanity.

“One may say generally that duties towards God and duties towards humanity are in inverse ratio. It is easy to let adulation of the Deity make amends for lack of proper behavior towards man. And so we see that in all times and in all countries the great majority of mankind find it much easier to beg their way to heaven by prayers than to deserve to go there by their actions. In every religion it soon comes to be the case that faith, ceremonies, rites and the like are proclaimed to be more agreeable to the Divine will than moral actions; the former, especially if they are bound up with emoluments of the clergy, gradually come to be looked upon as a substitute for the latter. Sacrifices in temples, the saying of masses, the founding of chapels, the planting of crosses by the road side, soon come to be the most meritorious works, so that even great crimes are expiated by them, as also by penance, subjection to priestly authority, confessions, pilgrimages, donations to the temples and the clergy, the building of monasteries and the like…

“Those devils in human form, the slave owners and slave traders in the [United]  States of America … are, as a rule, orthodox, pious Anglicans who would consider it a grave sin to work on Sundays, and in confidence in this, and their regular attendance at church, they hope for eternal salvation.”

Arthur Schopenhauer, Religion, A Dialogue

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Quoted in The Heretic’s Handbook of Quotations


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