The Conduct of Life

By Benedetto Croce; Arthur Livingston | Go to book overview
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XLIII
The Religious Spirit

THE philosopher denies religion, but only in so far as religion is mythology. He does not deny religion as faith, as reverence, as the religious attitude of mind.

Even the most critical of philosophies must become a faith at each stage in its development; that is to say, it must continually assume certain bodies of fact to be true, to be established beyond discussion, and therefore to be valid as premises and foundations for conduct. When faith is so understood, the religious spirit is not intrinsically different from it; and the two terms might well be taken as synonymous and interchangeable were it not that the word "religion" is sometimes used to bolster up a defective form of faith where the "truths" that are repeated and "professed" as beyond discussion are lifeless and inert abstractions. (When this situation becomes apparent we are invited to remedy it by turning to a

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