Thus the whole of technology is aimed not at easing the burden of the working masses, but at the improvements requested by the wealthy classes, thus increasing the division between rich and poor, masters and slaves. There is no doubt that never before in history has such material success, i.e. For example, in Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason, or in Spinoza, Schopenhauer and especially Rousseau. ... We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without And thus, all the three previous methods of religious distortion- priesthood, miracles, and the infallibility of the Scriptures- were adopted wholeheartedly by Christianity. The most educated Comtist finds himself in a religious relationship that is incomparably lower than that of a simple person who believes in God, whatever the god, as long as it is infinite, and whose behaviour is derived from this faith. However he was also an outspoken religious thinker, educationist, activist, and paciﬁst. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. While in faith I found nothing other than a negation of reason, which was even more impossible than denial of life. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Added to all this, the applied sciences, such as technology and medicine, inevitably diverge from their reasonable purpose and adopt a false direction as a result of the absence of any religious guiding principle. It was now clear to me that in order for man to live he must either be unaware of the infinite, or he must have some explanation of the meaning of life by which the finite can be equated with the infinite. But the most important feast was in memory of the Resurrection, the reality of which I could neither imagine nor understand. Leo Tolstoy, abhorring organized religion, but drawn to the religion of the soul, and sympathetic to struggling sects, made an astonishing statement … (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). It was written in 1879 to 1880, when Tolstoy was of late-middle age. Against the attribution of sacred knowledge to books it was said that what is important is the spirit and not the letter, that man ought not to believe in human traditions, and that all the laws and the Prophets, that is all those books in which the writing is considered sacred, lead only to the fact that we should do to others as we would wish them to do to us. The first method of teaching conformity between action and reason is typical of those who profess some kind of religion and on the basis of its doctrines know what they ought to do, and what they ought not to do. The usual reply to this is that they are already inventing, and with time will have invented, devices to check the destruction of human life existing at the moment. religious) consciousness, which distinguishes man from the animals. The same division has always occurred in Christianity: complete inequality between men has been accepted, as well as division, not just according to their understanding of the doctrines into lay and cleric, but according to social status into those with power and those who must submit, which the teaching of St Paul acknowledges as ordained by God. In My Religion, Leo Tolstoy accuses the church of hiding the true meaning of Jesus, which is to be found in the Sermon on the Mount and the call to resist evil. The site is highly recommended as an introduction to Tolstoy's life and thought. On the whole it has been done unconsciously, because those for whom inequality is advantageous, the rulers and the rich, have tried to justify themselves in the eyes of the new religious teaching without having to alter their own position by using every possible means to instill a meaning into the doctrine that admits rule over others to feel justified in doing so, when passed on to the masses naturally gave them the idea that their submission to their masters was demanded by the religion they professed. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), And the cause of everything is that which we call God. The death of his brother Nikolay in 1860 had an impact on Tolstoy, and led him to a desire to marry. (Albert Einstein) It is indeed in these words that the whole problem lies. Geoff Haselhurst, Karene Howie, In the experimental sphere I said to myself, ‘Everything develops, differentiates, moving towards complexity and refinement and there are laws governing this process. If some advantage from these inventions and improvements, some small fragment, falls into the lap of the working classes, it is certainly not because they were intended for the people, but simply because by their nature they could not be kept from them. Tolstoy had not always been possessed of the religious ideas set forth in My Religion. The vast, poor and uneducated majority, consisting of people who with few exceptions are true believers, finding themselves slaves under the influence of hypnosis, think they believe in what is suggested to them beneath the guise of faith. The teaching which had promised me unity of all through one faith and through love, that very teaching, speaking through its highest representatives, told me that all these people were living a lie, that the thing which gave them strength of life was a temptation of the devil, and that it is we alone who are in possession of the only possible truth. The rest, the great majority of the population, accept as faith the hypnotism exercised over them and slavishly submit to everything demanded of them by their non-believing rulers and persuaders. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Since time immemorial man has striven to express the relationship between the finite and the infinite. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), It is impossible for there to be a person with no religion (i.e. Despite the fact that at no time and in no place have people ever lived without religion, the learned people of today say, we can and must live without religion. The main reason for the terrible cruelty between men today, apart from the absence of religion, is still the refined complexity of life which shields people from the consequences of their actions. But there was a limit to the amount of meaning that could be read into the rituals. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions. According to this theory the destruction of the weakest is a law which should not be opposed. The Buddhist has understood, and understands, his relationship with the infinite thus; in passing from one form of life to another, he inevitably suffers. As he writes; All the concepts we use to compare the finite to the infinite, and to arrive at an understanding of life, of the concepts of God, freedom and goodness, are put to the test of logic. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), As I turned my attention to what is done in the name of religion I was horrified and very nearly repudiated Orthodoxy. the absurd, as the main sign of religion. I can't recommend it more to anyone pondering Christianity, what it means to be alive, and the meaning of life. To claim that the supernatural and irrational form the basic characteristics of religion is much the same as noticing only the rotten apples and then claiming that the basic features of the fruit named apple are a flaccid bitterness and a harmful effect produced in the stomach. The second is for a person to perform actions under the influence of his emotions and then to invent intellectual explanations or justifications for them. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). The first is when he uses his reason to decide on the necessity, or desirability, of a certain action, or actions, and then acts on his reason. During certain periods in the existence of all human societies, a time has come when religion has first strayed from its basic meaning, and then digressed further and further until it has lost track of this meaning and eventually ossified in the already established forms, at which point it has come to have less and less influence on people’s lives. He may not know that he has a religion, just as a person may not know that he has a heart, but it is no more possible for a person to exist without a religion than without a heart. Raised in the Russian Orthodox Church, Tolstoy lost his religion at 18. This God, one in three, the creation in six days, the devils and angels and all the rest that I could not accept without going mad. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), Even if we accept the impossible and believe that in a thousand years social progress alone will have united the whole of humanity in one entity which will form a single state, with a single government, even then one must not forget that the struggle between nations and States that will have been abolished will turn into a struggle between the human and the animal kingdom. This explains how Matter interacts with all other Matter in the Universe, and thus provides the logical foundations for the fundamental morality of all major Religions, 'Do unto Others as you would have done unto thy Self.' After a life of debauchery, in his early 50s, he wanted religion — or some source of intellectual security — back. The first attempt at its publication took place in 1882 (Russkaya Mysl, No 5), but Tolstoy's work was removed virtually from the whole edition of the journal by Orthodox Church censorship. The Spiritual Works of Leo Tolstoy: A Confession, The Kingdom of God is Within You, What I Believe, Christianity and Patriotism, Reason and Religion, The Gospel in Brief and more Leo Tolstoy … In 1873, Tolstoy set to work on the second of his best-known novels, Anna Karenina . To know God and to live is the same thing. Science will arrange all we need and we need only science to guide us through life.’ This is what the scientists themselves say ... (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions), None of the important questions in life can be resolved by a rational person through considerations of the immediate results and consequences. Thus, due to the absence of religion, the people of today’s world have built themselves a very cruel, bestial and immoral life. A part of the infinite. And finally, the third step was taken when the childish originality of Nietzsche’s half-crazed thought, presenting nothing complete or coherent, but only various drafts of immoral and completely unsubstantiated ideas, was accepted by the leading figures as the final word in philosophical science. ‘Religion is obsolete; to believe in anything other than science is ignorance. in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society. (Leo Tolstoy, Confessions). Tolstoy had not always been possessed of the religious ideas set forth in My Religion. And this life, both of the minority who hold the means of hypnosis in their hands, and of the hypnotised majority, is terrible on account of both the cruelty and immorality of the rulers, and the oppression and stupefaction of the enormous working massses. Even for a Christian anarchist, Leo Tolstoy’s reading of the Bible was unusual. I have no doubt that there is truth in the teachings, but I also have no doubt that there is falsehood in them too, and that I must discover what is true and what is false and separate one from the other. Among them I met many deeply moral men with sincere belief. If religion is the establishing of a relationship between man and the universe, defining the meaning of life, then morality is the indication and explanation of those activities that automatically result when a person maintains one or other relationship to the universe. 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