|In this article I would like to resolve three issues: |
A) What is the essence of religion?
B) Whether its essence is attained in this world, or in the next?
C) Whether its purpose is to benefit the Creator, or the creatures?
At first glance the reader may not understand the three issues that I set before me in this essay. For whom is it who does not know what religion is? Not to mention it rewards and punishments, that are destined to come mainly in the afterlife. Not to mention the third issue, for everyone knows that it is to benefit the creatures and to guide them to delight and happiness, and what else need we add?
Indeed I have nothing more to add. But because they are so familiar with the three concepts from infancy, they need not add and further examine them for the rest of their lives. And that shows of their lack of knowledge in these exalted matters, which are necessarily the very foundation upon which the whole structure of religion is based.
Therefore you tell me, how is it possible, that a child of twelve or thirteen years of age, can already thoroughly grasp these subtle notions, and so sufficiently, that he will need to add no further concepts and knowledge in these matters for the rest of his life?
Indeed, here lays the problem! For this rash assumption brought with it all the recklessness and wild conclusions that have come into our world in our generation! And it brought us to a state where the second generation has almost completely slipped from under our hands.
The Absolute Good...