Fromm – A Religious Man

This is a continuation of Atheism, which was a continuation of Reincarnation And Life After Death.

“I have said that man is asked a question by the very fact of his existence, and that this is a question raised by the contradiction within himself – that of being in nature and at the same time of transcending nature by the fact that he is life aware of itself.  Any man who listens to this question posed to him, and who makes it a matter of ‘ultimate concern’ to answer this question, and to answer it as a whole man and not only by thoughts, is a ‘religious’ man; and all systems that try to give, teach, and transmit such answers are ‘religions.’  On the other hand, any man – and any culture – that tries to be deaf to the existential question is irreligious.  There is no better example that can be cited for men who are deaf to the question posed by existence than we ourselves, living in the twentieth century.  We try to evade the question by concern with property, prestige, power, production, fun, and, ultimately, by trying to forget that we – that I – exist.  No matter how often the thinks of God or goes to church, or how much he believes in religious ideas, if he, the whole man, is deaf to the question of existence, if he does not have an answer to it, he is marking time, and he lives and dies like one of the million things he produces.  He thinks of God, instead of experiencing being God.”

-Erich Fromm


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1 Response to Fromm – A Religious Man

  1. Pingback: Atheism, Cont. « Active Philosophy

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