"Trying to take a long view of things, is it conceivable that one could find anything durable in a falsehood?
I'm convinced that any pact with the Church can offer only a provisional benefit, for sooner or later the scientific spirit will disclose the harmful nature of such a compromise.
Thus the state will have based its existence on a foundation that will one day collapse.
Being weighed down by a superstitious past, men are afraid of things that can't, or can't yet, be explained - that is to say, of the unknown. If anyone has needs of a metaphysical nature, I can't satisfy them with the Party's Programme."
It is not opportune to hurl ourselves now into a struggle with the Churches. The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death. A slow death has something comforting about it.
The dogma of Christianity gets worn away before the advances of science. Religion will have to make more and more concessions. Gradually, the myths crumble. All that's left to prove in nature is that there is no frontier between the organic and inorganic.
Originally, religion was merely meant as prop for human communities. It was means, not an end in itself. It's only gradually that it became transformed in this direction with the object of maintaining the rule of priests, who can only live to the detriment of society collectively. [NB: The Koran does not encourage a priesthood. It encourages us all to read the Koran and to exercise our reason while interpreting it.]
The instructions of a hygienic nature that most religions give, contributed to foundation of organised communities. The precepts ordering people to wash, to avoid certain drinks, to fast at appointed dates, to take exercise, to rise with the sun, to climb to the top of the minaret - all these were obligations invented by intelligent people. The exhortation to fight courageously is also self-explanatory. Observe, by the way, as a corollary, the Muslim was promised a paradise, peopled with houris, where wine flowed in streams, a real earthly paradise. The Christians, on the other hand, declare themselves satisfied if after life they are allowed to sing hallelujahs!
The more Christianity clings to its dogmas, the quicker it will decline [because science has already impregnated humanity].
It is possible to satisfy the needs of an inner life by an intimate communion with nature, or by knowledge of the past.
Only a minority, however, can at the present stage of the mind's development, can feel the respect inspired by the unknown, and thus satisfy the metaphysical needs of the soul. The average human being has the same needs but can satisfy them only by elementary means. That's particularly true of women, as also of peasants who impotently watch the destruction of their crops. The person whose life tends towards simplification is thirsty for belief and dimly clings to it with all his strength.
Nobody has the right to deprive simple people of their childish certainties until they have acquired others that are more reasonable. Indeed, it's important that the higher belief should be well established in them before the lower belief has been removed. We must finally achieve this. But it would serve no purpose to replace an old belief by a new one that would merely fill the place left vacant by its predecessor.
Nothing dies unless it is moribund.
There was a time when the ancient world was divided between systems of philosophy and the worship of idols. It is not desirable that the humanity should be stultified and the only way of getting rid of Christianity is to allow it to die little by little.
A movement like ours must not let itself be drawn into metaphysical digressions. It must stick to the spirit of exact science. It is not the Party's function to be a counterfeit to religion.
Science cannot lie, for it is always striving according to the momentary state of knowledge to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith. It is Christianity that is the liar. It is in perpetual conflict with itself.
If at this moment we were to eliminate religions by force, the people would unanimously beseech us for a new form of worship."