sexta-feira, setembro 02, 2005

princípios / RELIGIÃO

"The predisposition to religious belief is the most complex and powerful force in the human mind and in all probability an ineradicable part of human nature. Émile Durkheim, an agnostic, characterized religious practice as the consecration of the group and the core of society. It is one of the universals of social behavior, taking recognizable form in every society from hunter-gatherer bands to socialist republics. Its rudiments go back at least to the bone altars and funerary rites of Neanderthal man. At Shanidar, Iraq, sixty thousand years ago, Neanderthal people decorated a grave with seven species of flowers having medicinal and economic value, perhaps to honor a shaman. Since that time, according to the antropologist Anthony F. C. Wallace, mankind has produced on the order of 100 thousand religions.
Skeptics continue to nourish the belief that science and learning will banish religion, which they consider to be no more than a tissue of illusions. The noblest among them are sure that humanity migrates toward knowledge by logotaxis, an automatic orientation toward information, so that organized religion must continue its retreat as darkness before enlightenment's brightening dawn. But this conception of human nature, with roots going back to Aristotle and Zeno, has never seemed so futile as today. If anything, knowledge is being enthusiastically harnessed to the service of religion. The United States, technologically and scientifically the most sophisticated nation in history, is also the second most religious - after India".
(Edward O. Wilson, 'On Human Nature', London, Harvard University Press, 1978, pág. 169)