“… Theon taught his daughter that all religions that pretend to teach the truth were to a great extent false and fraudulent. He explained to her that his very own profession of astronomy and astrology for only for other people.
By instructing her in all religions she grew to know them comparatively, and so none took possession of her to the exclusion of new truth. To have a religion thrust upon you, and be compelled to believe in it or suffer social ostracism, is to be cheated of the right to make your own.
In degree it is letting another live your life. A child does not need religion until he is old enough to evolve it, and then he must not be robbed of the right of independent thinking by having a fully-prepared plan of salvation handed out to him.
The brain needs exercise as much as the body, and vicarious thinking is as erroneous as vicarious exercise. Strength comes personal effort. To think is natural, and if not intimidated or coerced the the man will evolve a philosophy of life that is useful and beneficent.
Religious mania is a result of dwelling on a borrowed religion. If let alone no man would become insane on religious topics, for the religion he would evolve would be one of joy, laughter and love, not one of misery, woe and horror.
The religion that contemplates misery and woe is one devised by priestcraft for a purpose, and that purpose is to rule and rob. From the blunt ways of the road we get a polite system of intimidation which makes the man pay. It is robbery reduced to a system, and finally piously believed in by robbers, who are hypnotized into the belief that they are doing God’s service.
“All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final,” said Theon to Hypatia. “Reserve the right to think for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all.”
Reading “Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great Teachers”