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|Table of Contents for World Religion and World Politics|
The Cause of the Fate of Terrestrial man
Belief in divine revenge and favourFor the majority of people on this earth their daily fate is an impenetrable mystery. They do not understand why some people are subjected to incredible sufferings and difficulties while there are others whose fate is a perfect dance on roses. Since an unhappy as well as a happy fate can begin already in infancy, the beings in question apparently could not themselves have been the cause of it. Life, viewed from this perspective, becomes one great "Why?"
Religions have tried to give an answer to this question. In the unhappy or dark fates one has wanted to see the punishment of an angry God or gods and in the light or happy fates the favour or grace of God or the gods. In the belief in a divine providence one has been able to see this providence as merely a being or beings with quite earthly human weaknesses or tendencies, beings that could feel both anger and the desire to punish, vindictiveness and the urge to persecute.
From such a way of thinking it has become natural to feel that one must do something in order to please the gods or godheads and thereby come into favour and become one of the Godhead's favourites. For this reason the old religions are full of sacrificial ceremonies: one sacrificed the best one owned, even if it was one's own children.
In Judaism, where one had reached so far in evolution that one believed in one God as the creator and maintainer of everything living, one had, nevertheless, not gone further than perceiving this god as a god of strife and revenge who had to be worshipped in fear and trembling.
The Old Testament's account of Abraham, who was ready to sacrifice his son Isaac to the Lord, but who at the last moment was saved from doing so by an angel of the Lord, shows that the thought of human sacrifice was not alien to the Jews during a certain period, although they later went over to sacrificing animals instead.
Bloody sacrificing of people and animals has been a part of divine worship among all peoples during a certain period of their evolutionary history, and the sacrificing of animals still takes place on the earth to this very day. But are we, in our civilised age, not finished with human sacrifice? We should be, but nonetheless the image of an angry godhead is still so strong in people's superstitious minds that one of the great world religions has a human sacrifice as its primary dogma.