Post-Modernism and the Evolution of Morality, continued
In fact, the closer our understanding of reality (as reflected in the stories that we tell ourselves about how things are) approximates the real thing, the better our understanding will be as a guide to life. Of course, not everyone is going to accept such a getting-back-to-basics. There is a story, for example, about an encounter between Jesus and the Grand Inquisitioner:
Apparently, Jesus returned to earth sometime near the beginning of the Spanish Inquisition; but as soon as the Church of that day found out about it, he was arrested and thrown into prison, where he was confronted by the Grand Inquisitioner and informed in no uncertain terms that he could not be allowed to interfere with the Church’s policies and programs. “You should have known that the nonsense you taught — tolerance for sinners and a kingdom based on love — was no basis on which to build a religion. We have had to work hard to mould your doctrine into something that can be sustained, and we are not going to let you ruin it all now.” Whereupon, Jesus kissed the Grand Inquisitioner and departed, as if by magic, from out of the prison. And from then on, the Church’s ideas about salvation were promulgated with vigor throughout the land.
Well, as it turned out, not only did the Inquisition continue, but the Christian church’s doctrines also contributed significantly to the Holocaust which was to follow. And, as someone has remarked, no religion can be considered valid that doesn’t take into account burning children.