Page:The Necessity of Atheism (Brooks).djvu/322
THE NECESSITY OF ATHEISM
and this and that, there should be some intimation of WHY? But no—none.
It is a fact, the significance of which cannot be exaggerated, that the measure of the civilization which any nation has attained is the extent to which it has curtailed the power of institutionalized religion. There are a score of great religions in the world, each with scores or hundreds of sects, each with its priestly orders, its complicated creed and ritual, its heavens and hells. Each has its thousands or millions or hundreds of millions of "true believers"; each damns all the others, with more or less heartiness, and each is a mighty fortress of Graft.
The Middle Guard
It is terrible to die of thirst at sea. Is it necessary that you should salt your truth that it will no longer quench thirst? Nietzche.
Indeed, history, down to the present day, is a melancholy record of the horrors which can attend religion: human sacrifice, and, in particular, the slaughter of children, cannibalism, sensual orgies, abject superstition, hatred as between races, the maintenance of degrading customs, hysteria, bigotry, can all be laid at its charge. Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.