No Room for Superstition

Michael McAlister Blog Leave a Comment

Mary Midgley over at the Guardian suggests that we quit seeing ourselves as God, thereby reversing the trends that accompany this mindset:

If we ask, then, what religious change is most urgently needed today, the best answer surely is that we should debunk and explode this anthropolatrous superstition. We do not need it. Its bad practical effects are clear, not only in the mass of silly climate change denial which infests the internet but, more subtly, in the extreme slowness with which peoples and governments still respond to obvious dangers. But it is also bad in itself, psychologically and spiritually. It is bad religion. Self-worship is an appalling habit, which vitiates the deep understanding of human life that serious humanism calls for.

Not to take anything away from Mary’s points, I would still add that simply seeing everything as God-in-action might serve the same purpose. Recognizing the One in the Many leaves little room for superstition and its concomitant folly as long as the practitioner has an opportunity to test this insight in an environment where it can be unpacked with a good dose of wisdom and care.

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