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MATURITY IN RELIGION
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VOLUME XI, NO. 28 JULY 9, 1958 MATURITY IN RELIGION CONSIDERABLE space has been consumed in these pages by the frequent suggestion that the new psychologists—a loose "movement" growing largely out of the influence of modern psychotherapy—seem to have a stronger grip on the realities of the contemporary human situation than any other category of thinkers in our time. The reason for this, it has been further suggested, is that the ideas of these men are in part a sympathetic response to human need; the psychotherapists work, not so much with theories of human nature as with the hungers of the heart, the disorders of the spirit. So, of necessity, they have become at least part-time philosophers. It now seems time to look in another direction and to acknowledge another sort of achievement in contemporary thought. The occasion for this new focus of interest is an article in the Saturday Evening Post (the temptation to add, "of all places," is resisted with difficulty) by Paul Tillich, sixth in a series of Post articles generally titled "Adventures of the Mind." Dr. Tillich teaches in the Divinity School of Harvard University and is among the most influential thinkers of our time in the field of religion. Before he left Germany in 1933 to escape punishment for his outspoken anti-Nazi feelings, he taught theology and philosophy in leading German Universities. This Post (June 14) article by Dr. Tillich is called "The Lost Dimension of Religion." The only serious criticism that might be made of it is that it does not pursue to some kind of finish the implicit conclusions it contains about conventional religion. These conclusions are revolutionary. It may be ungracious to say that if those conclusions had been made explicit, the Post would not have published the article; nor, by a parity of reasoning, would Dr. Tillich be teaching in the Harvard Divinity School. Perhaps it is better to say that the presence of Dr. Tillich at Harvard and of his article in the Post are signs of health in our society, and that one should make the most of both. What does Dr. Tillich say that is so important? Modern man, he says, has lost the dimension of depth in religion. What is the dimension of depth? Depth in religion means persistence in the queries: "What is the meaning of life? Where do we come from? Where do we go to? What shall we do? What should we become in the short stretch between birth and death?" Depth in religion means that some answers to these questions will be returned—answers which touch the incommensurable realities in human life. "Religion," says Dr. Tillich, "is the state of being concerned about one's own being and being universally." People do not ask these questions with any seriousness, today. Religion, Tillich says in effect, has become superficial and ineffectual. Why? People have lost comprehension of religious symbols. As Dr. Tillich puts it: The reason that the religious symbols became lost is not primarily scientific criticism, but it is a complete misunderstanding of their meaning; and only because of this misunderstanding was the scientific critique able, and even justified, in attacking them. The first step toward the nonreligion of the Western world was made by religion itself. When it defended great symbols, not as symbols, but as literal stories, it had already lost the battle. In doing so the theologians (and today many religious laymen) helped to transfer the powerful expressions of the dimension of depth into objects or happenings on the horizontal plane. There the symbols lose their power and become an easy prey to physical, biological and historical attack. The expression "horizontal plane" is Dr. Tillich's way of speaking of the plane of life which is without inwardness—the world where man's MANAS Reprint - LEAD ARTICLE 2 physical triumphs have measurable value and his goals precise location. It is the plane where everything which has reality must be a "thing," capable of definition. Dr. Tillich explains: If the symbols of the Saviour and the salvation through Him which point to the healing power in history and personal life are transferred to the horizontal plane, they become stories of a half-divine being coming from a heavenly place and returning to it. Obviously, in this form, they have no meaning whatsoever for people whose view of the universe is determined by scientific astronomy. If the idea of God (and the symbols applied to Him) which expresses man's ultimate concern is transferred to the horizontal plane, God becomes a being among others whose existence or non-existence is a matter of inquiry. Nothing, perhaps, is more symptomatic of the loss of the dimension of depth than the permanent discussion about the existence or the non-existence of God—a discussion in which both sides are equally wrong, because the discussion itself is wrong and possible only after the loss of the dimension of depth. To this we should want to add only the consideration that an adequate symbol of "God" seems practically out of the question, unless the idea of God be distributed to include both the manifest and the unmanifest deity. The manifest deity can have endless symbols, but hardly anything less than illimitable Space, representative of all-containing reality, could stand for the unmanifest deity. Bad symbols for deity are probably responsible for the debate about the "existence" of God, which Dr. Tillich deplores; in fact the word "God" is itself so closely tied to the horizontal level of religious ideas, that Dr. Tillich can hardly straighten out this difficulty without using another term entirely for what God, in this context, is supposed to signify. There is no doubt, however, about the fact that the "depth" of Dr. Tillich's thinking gives him powerful leverage, when he turns to specific criticism. He says in fewer words, with as much or more point, what other critics have said of Billy Graham and Norman Vincent Peale: Volume XI, No. 28 Answers given today [to the questions of depth] are in danger of strengthening the present situation and with it the questions to which they are supposed to be the answers. This refers to some of the . . . major representatives of the so-called resurgence of religion, as for instance the evangelist Billy Graham and the counseling and healing minister, Norman Vincent Peale. Against the validity of the answers given by the former, one must say that, in spite of his personal integrity, his propagandistic methods and his primitive theological fundamentalism fall short of what is needed to give an answer to the religious questions of our period. In spite of all his seriousness, he does not take the radical questions of our period seriously. The effect that Norman Vincent Peale has on large groups of people is rooted in the fact that he confirms the situation which he is supposed to help overcome. He heals people with the purpose of making them fit again for the demands of the competitive and conformist society in which we are living. He helps them to become adapted to the situation which is characterized by the loss of the dimension of depth. Therefore, his advice is valid on this level, but it is the validity of this level that is the true religious question of our time. And this question he neither raises nor answers. What Dr. Tillich is saying, almost in so many words, is that we cannot codify religious truth. It will not live in a catechism nor survive embodiment in a creed. These instruments are only instruments; they may be good or bad instruments (or symbols), but never more than instruments. What he is saying is that the Church, any church, can never be more than a symbolic portal to religious truth. There is no salvation by association. The questions of depth in religion may seem to have a "literal" character, but the answers that can be put into words are always symbolic or merely representative. This means that when a man begins to think about the ultimate questions, and begins to formulate answers for himself, he enters upon a perilous program which will end in despondency and defeat unless he early grasps and acknowledges the limitations of all precise answers to such questions. Hence the attraction of the horizontal-type answers, and the many MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 3 beauties of the scientific method for those who welcome it as a substitute for the indefiniteness and vagary of religion. Dr. Tillich defines the human situation: He who realizes that he is separated from the ultimate source of meaning shows by this realization that he is not only separated but reunited. And this is just our situation. What we need above all—and partly have—is the radical realization of our predicament, without trying to cover it up by secular or religious ideologies. The revival of religious interest would be a creative power in our culture if it would develop into a movement of search for the lost dimension of depth. The real certainty, in other words, is born only from a blessed uncertainty. To recognize this, not verbally, but in life and human decision, is to undertake the vocation of man. Here, for one thing, lies the real tolerance. Tolerance, until this sort of thinking came along, was in danger of becoming a weasel word. It was a "nice" way of falling into the morass of relativism and of avoiding, thereby, any need for rigorous thinking. There are canons of thought, there is a logic of abstract thinking concerning the nature of things. This discipline is called metaphysics. But a man can be exceedingly skilled in the manipulation of metaphysical concepts without ever reaching the garment-hem of truth. The truth is mysteriously born of inwardness in perception—from searching for the answers to the questions in depth. Metaphysical ideas, like symbols, are the instrumeets of search; they help, you might say, in the interpretation of symbols, and vice versa; but metaphysics becomes casuistry when pressed beyond the limit of its competence, just as symbols and allegorical communication become the well-worn grooves of bigotry and dogma. Dr. Tillich has an able colleague and ally in Prof. W. T. Stace, professor of philosophy at Princeton University. Like Dr. Tillich, Prof. Stace attributes the rise of modern skepticism to the mistakes of religious thinking: What it [skepticism] shows is that all religious language must be taken as symbolical, and not as literal. The moment you take your religious doctrine Volume XI, No. 28 as literal, you find that it results in contradictions, for instance between the goodness of God and the evil in the world, or between God's unchangeability and His activity and His infinity. These contradictions are the stock in trade of the skeptic. His business consists in pointing them out. He always necessarily wins because the contradictions are real and cannot be evaded by subterfuges. The common defense put up by religious men has always consisted in vainly trying to explain the contradictions away, which cannot be done. This is why conventional Christian apologists always appear so weak. They evade difficulties by pretences such as that pain and evil do not really exist. It is in this way that the literal interpretation of religious doctrines has scepticism as its necessary and inevitable result. The foregoing is from Prof. Stace's Time and Eternity, published by the Princeton University Press. In a later volume, Religion and the Modern Mind, he again deals with matters paralleling the content of Dr. Tillich's article: A man may attach himself to any church, or to none. He may be disgusted with the superstitions into which institutional religions degenerate, and with the shams and hypocrisies which they engender. Or he may have seen the literal falsity of their creeds, and because he has been taught to take them literally and thinks there is no other way, because he fails to see their symbolic truth and function, he rests in a mere negation. He may then call himself an agnostic or atheist. But it does not follow that he is irreligious, even though he may profess to be. His religion may subsist in the form of a sort of unclothed religious feeling, unclothed with any symbols at all, inarticulate, formless. Each man, in an institutional religion or out of it, must find his own way. And it is not justifiable for those who find it in one way to condemn those who find it in another. Here, again, is the thread of the meaning of true tolerance—the recognition that each man must find his own way, "in an institutional religion or out of it." What tolerance does not mean is that the gifts of the mind, the capacity for clear thinking and impartial judgment, are without value in the quest for religious truth. Dr. Tillich's development of the same point— the religious content of skepticism—is very similar: MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 4 It often happens that . . . people take the question of the meaning of their life infinitely seriously and reject any historical religion just for this reason. They feel that the concrete religions fail to express their profound concern adequately. They are religious while rejecting religions. It is this experience which forces us to distinguish the meaning of religion as living in the dimension of depth from particular expressions of concern in the symbols and institutions of a concrete religion. If we now turn to the concrete analysis of the religious situation of our time, it is obvious that our key must be the basic meaning of religion and not any particular religion, not even Christianity. But what is the true ground of the religious life, of the philosophic quest for meaning? Dr. Tillich has made it very clear what he thinks it is not. He does show how the tensions of the novel, the dilemmas of poet and playwright, the painter's struggle to bring to unity disparate elements of form, the architect's denudation of modern buildings of decoration—that all these forms of creation represent the posing of religious questions, with attempts at solution. But Dr. Tillich has no ready compass to point to the source of religious truth, except for his proposal that the first step is in honest recognition of the alienation which has resulted from the location of all values on the "horizontal" plane— or in "literal" versions of religion. Prof. Stace, however, speaks directly to this question: All men, or at least all sensitive men, are mystics in some degree. There is a mystical side of human nature just as there is a rational side. I do not mean merely that we are potential mystics . . . I mean that we have the mystic consciousness now, although in most of us it shines only dimly. This is proved by the fact that, as with poetry, the utterances of the saint or the mystic call up a response in us, however faint it may be. . . . Why has the phrase of Plotinus, "a flight of the alone to the Alone," become famous and echoed down the ages? . . . It is not mere nonsense to men who, though they do not claim ever to have had anything which they would call a recognizable "mystical experience," yet possess spiritually sensitive minds. . . . Deep down in us, far below the threshold of our ordinary consciousness there lies that same intuitive non-discriminating mentality which in the Volume XI, No. 28 great mystic has come to the surface of his mind and exists in the full light of conscious recognition. The import of such writing is the restoration of man—individual man—as his own religious authority, his own revelator, and his own priest. This was the meaning of the Reformation, which got sidetracked by the rise of institutional Protestantism and the struggle for the renewal of a qualified authority in the dissenting churches. These modern philosophers of religion are completing the Reformation and returning to the Renaissance its lost soul—the soul which got mislaid when Humanism became "scientific." Another philosopher of religion, William Ernest Hocking—who belongs with those active in this work of the restoration of the spiritual dignity of man—writes clearly on the limits of science in respect to man. In his recent volume, The Coming World Civilization (Harper), he says: A truthful science will admit that in the strict sense of the term there is no science of man; there is science only of the mannikin, the robot. Man embodies the duality of the world, the events which are his life flow both from reasons (including ends) and from causes; but they flow from causes only by the consent of his reasons. If he fails to eat he will die; but his instinctive eating is none the less an act of rational will. The life process of man is end-seeking, involving an organism of causes; it is definitely not one of causes excluding ends. And the end-seeking is a function of his interpretation of reality. In a living universe it may become a phase of love; and that love a participation in a purpose which is the final cause of the whole. On the validity of this interpretation, a truthful science passes no judgment. But the untruthful science has permeated our incipient world civilization, and is especially deadly where the course of science has entered new ground. The vices of the West become the poison of the East, which has acquired no immunity. . . . The character of the ensuing stage of history will depend much on whether with this perversity there can go also the specific remedy already potentially present in the West. In these writings on religion by some of the most thoughtful men of our time, the touchstone we have applied is the endeavor to discern where MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 5 they direct their appeal. So far as we can see, they appeal to man. Dr. Hocking, for example, when he comes to speak of "God," says that religion "raises the question whether 'God' may be precisely this, the ingredient of being in all beings, the 'I am'." For Prof. Stace, the search for truth lies with each man—he must find his own way. A similar mood pervades the work of Dr. Tillich All three are addressing the mind, the free mind without partisanship or allegiance to anything other than the principles which the searching mind may reveal to itself. This, it might be said, is the heart of religious thought—of the religious thought which can be communicated by one man to another. There is that other thought, of course, the thought beyond speech—ephemerally captured by the poets, intimated by Plotinus in his flight of the alone to the Alone, suggested by the Kabalists who speak of Ain Soph talking to Ain Soph, and by many others—expressed in that strange but universally understood cipher of the mystical philosophers of every age. But the two forms of thought need to be pursued together. Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 6 REVIEW "CRIME AND SOCIAL ACTION" GEORGE GODWIN'S above titled history of the major theories of "criminal man," a compact but wellresearched volume (Watts, London, 1956), is another excellent book on human attitudes toward crime, recalling The Offenders by Giles Playfair and Derrick Sington—reviewed in MANAS for March 12. A helpful introduction to Crime and Social Action is provided by the publishers: Man, it has been said, is the proper subject for the study of mankind: so the criminal himself for the study of crime. This observation provides a unifying theme for the contributions to criminology made over two centuries by men working in widely diverse fields, ranging between social philosophy and magistracy; anthropology, psychiatry and endocrinology; humanitarianism, law reform, forensic medicine, and scientific crime investigation; biology and biochemistry. The author's method transforms what might otherwise have been a book for the specialist into one with a broad appeal to the general reader. He traces the gradual emergence and development of two powerful forces that have radically changed the attitude of society to the criminal: humanitarianism and scientific method; and to illustrate their influence on the education of public opinion he describes the work of those outstanding men and women whose varied lines of approach have led to the establishment of the many-sided science of criminology. Beginning his account with Lombroso, who sought to prove an anatomical basis for criminality, the author outlines the researches of those who, like Goring and Wertham, investigated the physical and psychological characteristics of the criminal. He then turns his attention to those, among them Elizabeth Fry and Romilly, who campaigned for a more enlightened treatment of the wrongdoer, for the combination of rehabilitation with punishment, and for the reform of prisons and of penal law. Consideration of the legal aspects of the subject leads to an examination of Daniel M'Naghten's trial and of the M'Naghten Rules, whose validity in the light of current psychiatric theory is such a controversial issue today. To conclude this very comprehensive and well documented study of changing social attitudes to the Volume XI, No. 28 criminal, the author reviews the development of scientific techniques in the detection of crime, from the anthropomorphic classification of Bertillon to the contributions of modern forensic science—techniques that, together with methods, humane and scientific, of preventing crime and rehabilitating the offender, can bring about a reduction in the dimension of the criminal element in society. Crime and Social Action will be especially useful to those who are looking for arguments against Capital Punishment with proof that much of current practice is based upon theories of criminology which were converted into judicial opinion before the middle of the nineteenth century. While Mr. Godwin does not enter into lengthy debate on the death penalty, he gives many reasons for the replacement of the famous M'Naghten Rules. (The "M'Naghten Rules," established by the English courts in 1843, provide that a man accused of a capital crime may not claim diminished or limited responsibility at the time of his offense, and that he must be adjudged "sane" if he was aware that his act was "wrong." Furthermore, under the M'Naghten Rules, the offender had to prove himself "insane" to avoid the full penalties of the law.) On this point, for example, he quotes from Sir Alexander Cockburn, who defended the insane M'Naghten at his trial, and who later became Lord Chief Justice. When Cockburn appeared before a Select Committee of the House of Lords after his appointment as Lord Chief Justice, he argued strongly for a complete revision of the legal definition of insanity which had been supplied by the rulings in the M'Naghten trial. He then said: I have always been strongly of opinion that, as the pathology of insanity abundantly establishes, there are forms of mental disease in which, though the patient is quite aware that he is about to do wrong, the will becomes overpowered by the force of irresistible impulse; the power of self-control when destroyed or suspended by mental disease becomes, I think, an essential element of irresponsibility. When in a criminal trial the issue is that of insanity, then the duty of determining moral responsibility rests on society. It rests upon society as represented by the law and by psychological medicine, and, unfortunately, the two do not see eye to eye. An improved understanding of insanity has been sought by many a jurist like Cockburn, and one discovers, through Mr. Godwin, that the problem has MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 7 not always been one for solution by the specialists in psychological medicine and the courts, but rather a general issue of public opinion. As always, revisions of attitude and theory have preceded reforms in judicial proceedings. The appointment of a Royal Commission on Capital Punishment, and the publication of its Report in 1953, were the outgrowth of years of research—largely inspired by those who rebelled at the "revenge psychology" which seems so obviously a part of the death penalty. As Mr. Godwin explains, the Royal Commission was precluded, by the terms which called for its existence, from recommending total abolition of capital punishment. And the moderations which were suggested are, in Godwin's opinion, not likely to be adopted. However, he remarks, "the expenditure of £23,000 of public money, and the labours of ten distinguished men and women, should not be written off as wasted. For this Commission served the valuable purpose of indicating the general trend of thought, or what is sometimes termed the climate of opinion of the times." In his chapter, "Judgment of Death," Mr. Godwin says: As to capital punishment, the weight of the evidence and modern opinion suggest the time has come for its abolition. Writing at a time when the criminal law was harsh and horrible, Dr. Colquhoun, that great magistrate, had this to say of capital punishment: "The Roman Empire never flourished so much as during the era of the Porcian Law, which abrogated the punishment of death for all offences whatsoever. When severe punishments and an incorrect police were afterwards revived, the Empire fell." If the capital penalty is, in fact, a deterrent, then we should expect least murders in those States that impose it, most murders in those that have abolished it. The precise opposite appears to be the case. followed by an upward curve of the murder graph. But it is not. The following States have abolished the death penalty: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Columbia, Costa Rica, Denmark Equador, Finland, Holland, Portugal, Queensland (Australia), Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, and New Zealand. In none of these States has there been any increase in the murder statistics. Since Mr. Godwin's work is less an interpretation than a history, one must turn to his concluding page for a statement of the author's general point of view: What conclusions, if any, may be drawn from the contributions to criminology described in the foregoing pages? They have been made by men working in widely differing fields, ranging from the social philosopher to the police magistrate, from the anthropologist to the psychiatrist and endocrinologist; they include the humanitarian and the criminal law reformer; the forensic expert and the scientific investigator; the biologist and the biochemist. We see how the earlier view of punishment as the payment exacted by society of a debt due from the wrongdoer has been replaced by the ideal of his reform, punishment being limited to the furtherance of that purpose. We find evidence of an increasing consciousness of guilt in society when crime can fairly be attributed to social injustice, to poverty or racial discrimination. On the other hand there is abundant evidence that crime frequently manifests itself in conditions of social security and well-being; and that, in such cases, the causes are either the biological heritage or defective working of either body or mind. So the truth would seem to be that the causes of crime are manifold and that to dogmatize involves that sort of danger which befell Lombroso with his rigid theory of "criminal man." No country within the circle of so-called civilized States has a higher murder rate than the United States, yet capital sentence is passed, and capital punishment is the 1aw of the States of the Union, with the exception of eight of them. Let us consider the matter from another standpoint. If the capital penalty is the essential deterrent, then its removal should, logically, be Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 8 COMMENTARY GOD AND MAN AT HARVARD BY wholly unplanned coincidence, Dr. Paul Tillich appears twice in this issue of MANAS—he is admired in our lead article, and censured (by implication) in "Children . . .and Ourselves." Mr. Bartley's obscure phrase, quoted in "Children," implies that Dr. Tillich is on the side of Prexy Pusey in his drive to restore to Harvard University its ancestral Christian orientation. Bartley's idea is that, "for the sake of Professor Tillich's Courage to Be," the student who is won for the Christian fold will lose "the Courage to Think." leads him to feel justified in trying to make the minds of the students at Harvard go in the same direction as he has gone. One may grant that his intentions are of the best, and that he has ample precedent for what he is doing. Yet the question remains: Is what he is doing consistent with the highest ends of education? It seems a good idea for both faculty and students at Harvard to keep on debating this question. The implication here is that Dr. Tillich has been retained to lend an air of sophistication to salvation at Harvard. The company in the Divinity School—Reinhold Niebuhr and George A. Buttrick—certainly adds to this impression. Except for what may be called—for lack of a better term—Dr. Niebuhr's "neo-orthodoxy," this assemblage comes close to being ideal representation for the Christian religion, as we read the contemporary record. But is the best possible representation of Christianity what is wanted in a "free" university? Is a university which sets the mode of approach to religion in a Christian context, really "free"? From what is quoted from Mr. Bartley, he obviously thinks not, and it is difficult to disagree with him. At the same time, one can admire the breadth that Dr. Tillich gives to the Christian viewpoint. If to Dr. Tillich or Dr. Buttrick, Harvard would add, say, Dr. Suzuki, and a man like Dr. Radhakrishnan (supposing one could be found), for a study of religion that, initially, regards all insights as of equal value, Mr. Bartley would find much less to complain about. Then, while we are proposing a faculty, we might suggest Dr. Ducasse, Dr. Julian Huxley, and Dr. E. A. Burtt, to round out the department. The point is this: Dr. Pusey has apparently made up his mind about religion, and the sort of religion he has made his mind up about apparently Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 9 CHILDREN . . . and Ourselves RELIGION AND EDUCATION—I FROM most kindergartens to most universities— sharpening at the university level; especially, at the present time, in a controversy at Harvard—a Great Debate continues on the proper relationship between education and religion. This is hardly a new issue. Ever since it became possible for there to be American education in an atmosphere free from sectarian indoctrination, apostles of reason have decried the transmission of beliefs, intact, from parent or priest to youth. And those opposed to the agnostic position have maintained, as does the president of Harvard University, Nathan Pusey, that religion should provide the central orientation in our culture. There is no doubt that President Pusey and other intellectual Christians are sincere in their conviction, but the real question is whether or not such men perceive the crucial value in keeping educational institutions free of indoctrination. From its Latin derivation, the word religion has two meanings which are almost opposite in implication. Religio may signify a "binding together"—the uniting of men of all shades of opinion in a common faith in certain fundamental principles. But Religio also may mean "a binding fast"—as in a tying of the beliefs of the young to preordained articles of faith. The New Republic for April 21 contains a lengthy article on religion at Harvard, written by William Bartley, a second-year graduate student. Bartley charges that Harvard's impressive program in the interests of revitalizing the religious consciousness of youth, endangers Harvard's status as a "free university." Since President Pusey was elected in 1953, the Harvard Divinity School has added six million dollars to its endowment, and replaced the Divinity School faculty with such well-known theological names as those of Tillich, Niebuhr, Buttrick, and others Volume XI, No. 28 of similar international repute. In other words, an effort is being made to identify Harvard, and by implication other universities in America, with the Christian tradition. Mr. Bartley objects, because he feels that even the gentlest of pressure toward a specific religious tradition frustrates the aim of the "free university"—which is to encourage every student to think for himself. Mr. Bartley quotes with approval some remarks by Raphael Demos, a Harvard professor of Natural Religion, who has contributed to the Harvard Alumni Bulletin. Dr. Demos suggests what was the pre-Pusey approach to religion at Harvard: At Harvard, of course, we make no effort to indoctrinate. . . . Rather, we try here to spread before the mind's eye of the student the various viewpoints and values so that he may make his own choices among them. Monolithic education is as bad as monolithic government. . . . Some of us teachers believe in taking the student to the woods and losing him there; the process by which the student finds his way back constitutes his education. But in the process he may get confused and baffled; there is no good education without some suffering. Now President Pusey has boldly asserted that this approach is far too wishy-washy for the present needs of the world, remarking that what is required "is leadership in religious knowledge . . . of which we now have a most gaping need. . . . The whole world now looks to us for a creed to believe and a song to sing." With such statements Bartley takes issue. He points to the Harvard Report (1945) on General Education in a Free Society, observing: During its discussion of an ideal curriculum, the Harvard Report has stated, ". . . given the American scene with its varieties of faith and even of unfaith, we did not feel justified in proposing religious instruction as a part of the curriculum." As the Student Council Report on Religion at Harvard astutely pointed out last year, this statement in no way meant that Conant's committee thought that instruction about religious subjects and problems had no place in the curriculum. Making use of a distinction between "instructing in" and "instructing MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 10 about," or between "preaching" and "teaching," the point of the Harvard Report was that "instruction in" or "preaching" of a certain religious dogma has no place in the curriculum of a free university. Elsewhere in the report the importance of studying about Christianity was emphasized. Nonetheless dozens of articles and books, including College of Wooster President Howard Lowry's The Mind's Adventure, and William F. Buckley, Jr.'s, God and Man at Yale, have vigorously attacked the report for "suggesting that the university omit instructions about an important part of the common heritage of humanity." tradition of reasonable difference and rational debate." These Harvard men, like Demos, will continue to take their students to the woods, hoping that some, at least, will be educated in the process of finding their way out. This article is a report from one student who is still deep in the woods, who sees no prospect of early escape, and whom others may therefore regard as lost. He prefers to think that he has found at least a part of himself there and that he will not be lost totally until—for the sake of Professor Tillich's Courage to Be—he loses the Courage to Think. Since the appearance of Mr. Bartley's article, the New Republic has received a barrage of counter-criticisms—inevitably from Christians, and usually from Christians who hold academic degrees. It is apparently their desire to make Bartley appear "anti-religious," and it seems to be their assumption that only in the Christian tradition may one discover true "spiritual values." To be sure, the matter is not stated so boldly or baldly, but this view emerges. For the intellectual Christian there seems, unfortunately, to exist no real distinction between philosophy and religion. Bartley insists that such a distinction does exist, and that it is precisely this distinction which must be preserved by education. And so, despite the charge that Bartley is guilty in many instances of special pleading, we can hardly fail to be on his "side." He summarizes: For an approach to this subject from the other end of the educational scale, we take our text from Jean McKee Thompson. "Religion," she has written, "may be defined as man's response to wonder." Appreciative, creative, soul-satisfying religion is built, we think, on this foundation. For wonder is the intuitive corollary of intellectual curiosity. "Natural religion" begins with the individual, not with a creed, whether theistic or atheistic. What the present enthusiasts of religion at Harvard appear to overlook is the point of view expressed in C. J. Ducasse's A Philosophical Scrutiny of Religion. It is a point of view which, we should like to believe, will eventually guarantee that every university be "free" in regard to religious traditions. Dr. Ducasse wrote as follows: Some Harvard men—and they are not solely in the Philosophy Department—will continue to urge, with White, that "a big question need not call for a big or pompous answer, as the dialogues of Plato show." Sharing with White "the conviction that the main instrument of philosophy is careful reasoning, and that therefore even those who deal seriously with theological problems" should "resist the notion that they can be solved in a cheap and misleading way," these men will "spurn the irrationalism and the double-talk which can so often confuse the central questions of philosophy and theology" and will therefore "share a common platform with each other even when they cannot accept each other's conclusions." Theism and secularism are each vigorously on the aggressive today. The first urges "return to God" as the only and the sure remedy for all the ills of the time. The other sees no hope of doing away with these except through advance and application of scientific knowledge. Secularism points to all the stupidities, cruelties, and futilities which throughout recorded history have been perpetrated in the name of religion; and the protagonists of theism point, on the other side, to the all too patent fact that science has not given man either wisdom or virtue, but has only put into his hands unprecedented powers; and that, armed with them, he now seems in imminent danger of destroying all his values or even his own species altogether. Believing, with White, that "a dull uniformity of doctrine can kill the spirit of philosophical investigation," they will encourage the "great For many reasons, the author of this book finds it impossible to align himself with either of these contenders. For one thing, the tacit identification of Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 11 theism, commonly with Christian monotheism, or even, a little more broadly, with monotheism in general, seems to him highly arbitrary, whether monotheism be conceived personalistically or as impersonal pantheism; for polytheism appears to be a more plausible and more defensible form of theistic belief than monotheism. Moreover, and notwithstanding the again common tacit assumption to the contrary, polytheism is not necessarily a lower form of religion than monotheism—even granting that some monotheistic conceptions may justly be ranked as morally higher than some—though not than all—polytheistic ones. But further, the also widespread tacit identification of religion with theism in some form, seems historically quite indefensible, since there have been and there still are religions in which worship of a God or gods has no part. Mr. Bartley, on this view, seems to have the better side of the argument now going on at Harvard. Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 12 in an overadjusted society, he points out, is always an amateur: FRONTIERS In Praise of the Unadjusted Man ONE of the joys of reading Albert Jay Nock is that in his books you find sprightly, intelligent, and informative matter concerning issues which, in the hands of other writers, are almost always dealt with in a partisan spirit. Nock, in other words, wrote to disclose what he thought to be the truth, and not to fortify a "side" in political controversy. When Nock died, the gap he left in American letters belied the title of his last major book, The Memoirs of a Superfluous Man. It is with some pleasure, therefore, that we tardily discover a writer whose stubborn independence of mind recalls the work of Albert Jay Nock. This is not to suggest that Peter Viereck has the same opinions as Mr. Nock, but only to say that you can read Mr. Viereck with growing confidence that there is no need to suspect him of hidden alliances. The Unadjusted Man (Beacon, 1956), is certainly a book to own. Mr. Viereck seeks balance; hence, he is "liberal" and "conservative" by turns. A good text on his own position is the following paragraph: Modern industrial societies tend to oscillate between two extremes: an anarchic perversion of individualism, a tyrannic perversion of unity. The anarchic individualism of the commercialized kind of democracy is atomistic, based on cash-nexus rivalry, not on inner independence. At the other extreme, the tyrannic unity of statism (by going far beyond the humane needs of what we have called the new legitimacy) is mechanical, without traditional organic roots; to hold together, it ultimately requires the coercion of the police-state. Mr. Viereck tries to walk the high wire of the unadjusted man. It stretches across a lot of uneven country—not only uneven to begin with, but country that has been unconscionably cluttered by the polemics and slogans of generations of political controversy. It is his intention to take the serious business of life away from the experts and the specialists. The free man Volume XI, No. 28 An amateurish life is a life of harmonious proportion because it alone finds time to cultivate the complete human being, public and private, cerebral and emotional. A free society requires not only free ideals, free institutions, but free personalities. The free personality is an "amateur" in both senses: I. he who does things for love, not utility; 2. the non-technician, not yet deprived of creative imagination by expertise. Clemenceau remarked against professional soldiers: "War is too important a matter to leave to generals." We may add: atom bombs are too important to leave to scientists; freedom too important to leave to political theorizers; literature too important to leave to English departments. It is impossible to summarize this book, which is as valuable in its wealth of illustration as it is in its exposition of principle. There are numerous and salutary "switches" in which the author shows the same weaknesses cropping up on both sides of the political ledger. He exposes the changing fashions in slogans: The same ear-to-the-ground literati who quoted Henry Wallace in the 1930's and 1940's are now often sloganizing neo-conservatively about original sin, the need for a tragic sense, the need for roots. The truth behind these phrases remains as indispensable as ever. . . . But that truth sounds hollow when it reflects no personal concern with the human predicament but an in-the-swim glibness. Mr. Viereck's primary interest, we suppose, is to direct attention to the values overlooked by those loosely called "liberals" in the "conservative" point of view, and to give a proper meaning to the term, "conservatism." But since these terms are labels, and since his book is largely a book against any kind of labelling, a book which seeks for actual meanings instead of relying on the feelingtone of labels, almost any brief characterization of the volume is likely to be at fault. More interesting, here, might be an attempt to characterize the broad realities of human nature which supply Mr. Viereck with his subject-matter. MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 13 The people he writes about are, on the whole, the people who, for one reason or another, would like to have a hand in devising the order of human society. If we allow these people the best possible motives—a generosity hardly justified by history—we narrow the problem of order down to certain unmistakable facts. First, the people who concern themselves with the need and design for order are a small minority. Second, these people find themselves obliged to think a great deal about how to get the great majority to do what they "ought" to do. Accordingly, political argument centers on the question of what people ought to do, and on how to get them to do it. The eighteenth century has the distinction of being the period in Western history when some of the leaders in the argument about political order decided that it was wrong for such questions to be decided by a handful of sagacious managers. The revolutions of the eighteenth century sought to give to all the people the power to shape their own order. But in the twentieth century, other revolutionary leaders concluded that it was necessary to take the power back from the people, at least for a time. Their view was that the people could not, would not, use the power wisely, and had not sufficient inclination to learn. But in order to give the impression that the revolutions of the twentieth century were steps forward, instead of backward, these leaders declared that they were acting in behalf of the people, expressing the people's will, and serving their good. These pretensions were by no means hypocritical at first, although they often become so. As a result of these several historical transactions, you can find represented on the contemporary scene practically every brand of political and religious assumption about the nature of man, and in every conceivable combination. And for every ideological thesis, you can find some historical situation which is supposed to prove that it "won't work," or that it works only at Volume XI, No. 28 the cost of some honored value which no selfrespecting man should be willing to desert. In such an epoch, power tends to become brazen, and philosophers tend to become anarchists. It is a time of the multiplication of sects and devotion to simplistic formulas, as refuges from the widening Void. But it is also a time when tough-minded thinkers like Mr. Viereck, who are unable to embrace a view as "impracticable" as anarchism, come out for unblinking honesty and for a renewal of the principles which can be recognized as sustaining forces in the societies of the past. Let no reader suppose that what is said here is intended as an unqualified endorsement of Mr. Viereck's judgments and opinions. He makes and has far too many of these for any reviewer (especially a non-specialized, "amateur" reviewer) to evaluate. What is important about this book is its intentions and the example it sets. Mr. Viereck is not "trying to be fair" to some "other side." He is simply stating his opinions. For example: It is mere romanticism to ignore the reality of industrialism and flee into some never-existent idealization of the Middle Ages. What is deadly is not the industrial gadgetry itself nor the material prosperity itself but the overadjusted smugness, selfsufficiency, and betrayal of spiritual traditions that accompany this gadgetry, this prosperity, unless these become servants, not tyrants of man. In their different ways, the starting point 150 years ago of both aristocratic conservatism and democratic socialism was their shared fear that the middleclass laissez faire liberalism was allowing mechanization to become not the servant but the tyrant of man. In their historical and European origins, conservatism and socialism are both psychological reactions against the intolerable cash-nexus mentality of the nineteenth-century burgher. Mr. Viereck's defense of Capitalism is not one to gladden the hearts of the jingo patriots of the twentieth century: The usual capitalist defense of private property against socialists sounds appalling, especially in the ears of idealistic artists and scholars, because of its grubby materialist basis. If the issue is debated on that basis alone, then trade-unions of Europe and the MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 14 majority of intellectuals of Asia and Europe are justified in strongly sympathizing with the socialists, who at least have a generous breadth of vision. Yet it is the socialists who are wrong, the American kind of capitalists who are right about the need for a widely diffused possession of unmolested private property. The capitalists are right, not in sloganizing about a maximum laissez faire (which they themselves fail to practice whenever they can get tariffs and state subsidies) but in insisting upon some minimum level of property beyond which not even the kindliest state may intervene. However the proper argument for their excellent case is not their profit-motive but the fact that capitalist private property has also a nonmaterial, moral function. It educates its possessor in the moral qualities of sturdy independence, sense of responsibility, and the training of judgment and character brought whenever free choice is exercised in any field, including the economic field. It is these moral qualities, not the gluttonous material ones, that have historically associated the rise of personal liberty with the rise of personal property. To recognize this concrete historic fact about property and liberty is not, be it added, the same as abstracting that fact into a vast, rigid ideology of Manchester liberalism or into an imagination-stifling cash-nexus. . . . how much such big-business materialists and socialist materialists resemble each other! They differ on non-essentials: on economic theory, on the boring wrangle about whether the fat swine or the lean swine of materialism should hog a bit more of the economic trough. But they agree on certain essentials: a mechanistic view of life, utilitarianism, the unpleasant duty of dutiful pleasure-seeking, faith in bigger and better progress, in sterile efficiency, in doctrinaire apriorism. To these goals both sacrifice what the conservative cherishes: all that is warm, concrete, human in human nature, everything precarious, diversified, unpredictable, unorganized, unadjusted. Of this book, we conclude that it is a tract for individuals, that it will do nothing but irritate the men of parties, of whatever stripe, and perhaps disturb a few of them into wondering what it would be like to rebecome an individual. Regardless of the number of businesses Mr. Viereck may have started and the payrolls he may have met, we find it necessary to point out that the scope of "free choice" in the economic field in the United States is diminishing day by day. He doubtless knows this, and deplores the fact, but would doubtless also admit that a point is reached in the development of the Capitalist State where the freedom attached to personal property becomes as "symbolic" as the "democracy": enjoyed by the citizens of the Communist State. For a lot of "free enterprisers" caught in the monstrous machine of industrial economics, their "property" has about as much meaning as "that little tent of blue which prisoners call the sky." Naturally, there is a freedom under American Capitalism which does not exist in countries where the State runs everything. The editors of MANAS are extremely sensible of the fact that a paper such as they publish could not even get started, much less survive, in an authoritarian socialist society. Yet the point of this comment appears in another way in The Unadjusted Man: Volume XI, No. 28 MANAS Reprint July 9, 1958 ...
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