Monday, June 28, 2010

The Protestant Work Ethic and the End of Religiosity

Has it ever been really noted to what extent a genuinely religious life (both its microscopic favorite occupation of self-examination and that tender composure which calls itself "prayer" and is a continual readiness for the "coming of God") requires a leisure class, or half-leisure - I mean leisure with a good conscience, from way back, by blood, to which the aristocratic feeling that work disgraces is not altogether alien - the feeling that it makes soul and body common. And that consequently our modern, noisy, time-consuming industriousness, proud of itself, stupidly proud, educates and prepares people, more than anything else does, precisely for "unbelief."

Among those, for example who now live in Germany at a distance from religion I find people whose "free-thinking" is of diverse types and origins, but above all a majority of those in whom industriousness has, from generation unto generation, dissolved the religious instincts, so they no longer even know what religions are good for and merely register their presence in the world with a kind of dumb amazement.

Beyond Good and Evil §58

No comments:

Post a Comment

Laugh away: