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Excerpts from “Religion is not about God”, by Loyal Rue

“If religion is not about God, then what on earth is it about (for heaven sake)? It is about us. It is about manipulating our brains so that we might think, feel, and act in ways that are good for us, both individually and collectively. Religious traditions work like the bow of a violin, playing upon the strings of human nature to produce harmonious relations between individuals and their social and physical environments . . .

“Perhaps there are gods, perhaps not. I will not pretend to know one way or the other. The question of God’s existence simply doesn’t come into the business of understanding religious phenomena. Both the existence of God and the non-existence of God are perfectly consistent with the claim that religion is essentially about fiddling on the strings of human nature. . . The measure of a religious orientation is therefore not whether it gives an accurate account of divine reality, but whether it effectively manages human nature.”


Rue, Loyal. Religion is Not About God. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJ. 2005. pages 1-3