In the reading, I introduce the concepts of “small ‘r’ religion” and “Capital ‘R’ Religion.”

1. In the reading, I introduce the concepts of “small ‘r’ religion” and “Capital ‘R’ Religion.”

A. Is this a meaningful or useful distinction to you? Explain.

B. Do you agree with me that at a time when almost half of Americans say that they don’t belong to any organized religion (a “Capital ‘R’ Religion), offering people the notion of a “small ‘r’ religion” might be very useful. (Remember, it’s more fun when you don’t agree with me.)

2. Ehrenfeld’s argument, in the chapter titled “False Assumptions” (from his book, The Arrogance of Humanism), is that human endeavor is never perfectible. That we can make progress, but we can’t reach a state of perfect success. But, he says, we don’t pay attention to this and have adopted an ideology, almost a religion, that humans are perfectible. He calls this “Humanism.” That when we come across something that isn’t working well or we reach a point when we aren’t sure what to do, we just need to think and work harder, and we will come up with an answer. Always.

If, says Ehrenfeld, we keep exercising this arrogance, we will continue to waste time and money on things that won’t work, and we should, instead, accept our limits, face our problems, and learn to do the best we can.

What do you think of this? Is humankind inherently imperfectible? Or have we just not yet found the ways to solve all of our problems, but we certainly can?

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