25 Religions As A Group Destiny

Religions, too, belong to group destiny.

They develop out of prior religious institutions, which no longer fit the times and the thoughts of the people. Gradually new views spread, and provision has to be made to allow the former thoughts of coming generations to be exteriorized. Then the subversive attitude of mind spreads until it is so general that the new religion can be supported by it.

Upon the scene so prepared appears a founder of the new religion. Sometimes he remains unknown. The new phase of religion succeeds where many attempts had failed because the time was not yet ripe to allow them to take hold.

A theocracy is the rule by priests in the name of their God or gods. The priests rule; if the gods ever do rule by direct mandate, they soon leave all to their priests, who attend to mundane affairs for the benefit of the priestly hierarchy. The priests look after the welfare of the people chiefly for their own prosperity.

For backward doers some features of a theocracy permit a good schooling in morals, just as slavery was permitted to let doers get a training.

The morals taught are substantially the same in all religious systems, and are no worse in a theocracy than in other systems.

The group destiny of those who live under a theocracy is notable. There all worldly and ecclesiastical power is in the hands of priests. Lands, offices, possessions, revenues and exactions of all kinds are obtained by priests in a measure unnecessary for "spiritual" guides. Their real object is to satisfy their human love of power, luxury and lust. As long as they unite temporal power with their priestly office, they hold the
common people in ignorance, credulity, bondage, poverty and fear, and cow powerful nobles.

So it was in India, in Judea, in Egypt, with the Aztecs, and during the Dark Ages in countries where the Roman Catholic Church had temporal power.

The group destiny of the common people is the exteriorization of their childish thoughts.

These keep them in subjection to priests, whom they believe to be representatives of God.

However, that is usually the only way in which backward doers can be taught morals and can progress at all.

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