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Forgive me, Father…

“The weak point in all religions remains that they can never dare to confess to being allegorical, so that they have to present their doctrines in all seriousness as true sensu proprio; which, because of the absurdities essential to allegory, leads to perpetual deception and a great disadvantage for religion.  What is even worse, indeed, is that in time it comes to light that they are not true sensu proprio, and then they perish.  To this extent it would be better to admit their allegorical nature straightway: only the difficulty here is to make the people understand that a thing can be true and not true at the same time.  But since we find that all religions are constituted to a greater or less degree in this way, we have to recognize that the absurd is to a certain extent appropriate to the human race, indeed an element of its life, and that deception is indispensable to it.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, “On Religion” (emphasis in original, trans. Hollingdale)

Published inLit & Crit

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