First Son: It’s better to have no religion than false religion. False religion can mean human sacrifice.

Me: Well son, I can see why you might say that. Yes, if your false religion led you do things that displeased God when you thought you were pleasing him, things like sacrificing humans, then false religion would certainly be a problem. But there is something in the human heart that senses that this world is not the ultimate reality, that there is something greater than all this, and that leads us to search for God. And so even if you have a skewed picture of God, you’re still responding to that human impulse, and that’s a good thing. So in that way, it might be better to have a religion which was wrong about some things than no religion at all.

First Son: I like the way you can always take the opposite view.

(I didn’t get into the notion that human sacrifice echoes the Christian notion that a human sacrifice was indeed necessary for atonement – it’s just that our human was also God, and so was able to suffer the penalty and also overcome it. So in some sense, those human-sacrifice types were on to something, maybe…the blood of bulls just wasn’t going to cut it…)


  1. Cubeland Mystic says

    I have to agree with you. I suspect a few devout pagans, and reverent agnostics kept me from going over to the shadows. There had to be more than just this. Good discussion. It would been better if you all were having it at my house.

    Play day? Meet you El Centro.

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    From Lawrence of Arabia: “I think you are one of these desert-loving English. Arabs do not like the desert. We like water and green places. There is nothing IN the desert.”
    He wasn’t speaking of El Centro, but he wasn’t far off. Just push the extra two hours and come play in San Diego.

  3. AnotherCoward says

    Mighty fine discussions happening at Casa Lickona lately. What’s driving all of this?

  4. Matthew Lickona says

    Thanks. It’s not so much that the conversations have changed in character. More that I’ve started reporting on them more often.

  5. I suspect that fatherhood can sometimes get in the way of an objective mind. What makes a religious way of life better than no religion? Everyone still meets in Heaven, and that means all paths lead there. A “false religion” is often used as a wedge between a “chosen” faith and a “non-chosen” faith to gain favor.

    What is this “human impulse” you speak of? What of those humans who choose not to join a “religion”? Does this make them less than faithful to Life?

    Some people do not believe in the “same” God as you and that does not make them better or less than you.

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