【专八】阅读练习:Religion and Rationality
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Yet the difference in tome and language must strike us, so soon as it is philosophy that speaks: that change should remind us that even if the function of religion and that of reason coincide, this function is performed in the two cases by very different organs. Religions are many, reason one. Religion consists of conscious ideas, hopes, enthusiasms, and objects of worship; it operates by grace and flourishes by prayer. Reason, on the other hand, is a mere principle or potential order, on which indeed we may come to reflect but which exists in us ideally only, without variation or stress of any kind. We conform or do not conform to it; it does not urge or chide us, not call for any emotions on our part other than those naturally aroused by the various objects which it unfolds in their true nature and proportion. Religion brings some order into life by weighting it with new materials. Reason adds to the natural materials only the perfect order which it introduces into them. Rationality is nothing but a form, an ideal constitution which experience may more or less embody. Religion is a part of experience itself, a mass of sentiments and ideas. The one is an inviolate principle, the other a changing and struggling force. And yet this struggling and changing force of religion seems to direct man toward something eternal. It seems to make for an ultimate harmony within the soul and for an ultimate harmony between the soul and all that the soul depends upon. Religion, in its intent, is a more conscious and direct pursuit of the Life of Reason than is society, science, or art, for these approach and fill out the ideal life tentatively and piecemeal, hardly regarding the foal or caring for the ultimate justification of the instinctive aims. Religion also has an instinctive and blind side and bubbles up in all manner of chance practices and intuitions; soon, however, it feels its way toward the heart of things, and from whatever quarter it may come, veers in the direction of the ultimate. Nevertheless, we must confess that this religious pursuit of the Life of Reason has been singularly abortive. Those within the pale of each religion may prevail upon themselves, to express satisfaction with its results, thanks to a fond partiality in reading the past and generous draughts of hope for the future; but any one regarding the various religions at once and comparing their achievements with what reason requires, must feel how terrible is the disappointment which they have one and all prepared for mankind. Their chief anxiety has been to offer imaginary remedies for mortal ills, some of which are incurable essentially, while others might have been really cured by well-directed effort. The Greed oracles, for instance, pretended to heal out natural ignorance, which has its appropriate though difficult cure, while the Christian vision of heaven pretended to be an antidote to our natural death—the inevitable correlate of birth and of a changing and conditioned existence. By methods of this sort little can be done for the real betterment of life. To confuse intelligence and dislocate sentiment by gratuitous fictions is a short-sighted way of pursuing happiness. Nature is soon avenged. An unhealthy exaltation and a one-sided morality have to be followed by regrettable reactions. When these come. The real rewards of life may seem vain to a relaxed vitality, and the very name of virtue may irritate young spirits untrained in and natural excellence. Thus religion too often debauches the morality it comes to sanction and impedes the science it ought to fulfill. What is the secret of this ineptitude? Why does religion, so near to rationality in its purpose, fall so short of it in its results? The answer is easy; religion pursues rationality through the imagination. When it explains events or assigns causes, it is an imaginative substitute for science. When it gives precepts, insinuates ideals, or remoulds aspiration, it is an imaginative substitute for wisdom—I mean for the deliberate and impartial pursuit of all good. The condition and the aims of life are both represented in religion poetically, but this poetry tends to arrogate to itself literal truth and moral authority, neither of which it possesses. Hence the depth and importance of religion becomes intelligible no less than its contradictions and practical disasters. Its object is the same as that of reason, but its method is to proceed by intuition and by unchecked poetical conceits.

1.As used in the passage, the author would define “wisdom” as [A]. the pursuit of rationality through imagination. [B]. an unemotional search for the truth. [C]. a purposeful and unbiased quest for what is best. [D]. a short-sighted way of pursuing happiness

2.Which of the following statements is NOT TRUE? [A]. Religion seeks the truth through imagination, reason, in its search, utilizes the emotions. [B]. Religion has proved an ineffective tool in solving man’s problems. [C]. Science seeks a piece meal solution to man’s questions. [D]. The functions of philosophy and reason are the same.

3.According to the author, science differs from religion in that [A]. it is unaware of ultimate goals. [B]. it is unimaginative. [C]. its findings are exact and final. [D]. it resembles society and art.

4.The author states that religion differs from rationality in that [A]. it relies on intuition rather than reasoning . [B]. it is not concerned with the ultimate justification of its instinctive aims. [C]. it has disappointed mankind. [D]. it has inspired mankind.

5.According to the author, the pursuit of religion has proved to be [A]. imaginative. [B]. a provider of hope for the future. [C]. a highly intellectual activity [D]. ineffectual.


1.C 一种有目的而又不带偏见对最佳事物的探索。答案在最后一段,这种愚蠢的秘密是什么?为什么宗教在目的上那么接近真理,在其结构和结果上,却没有理性的一切?答案很简单:宗教是通过想象来追逐理性,当它解释事件或阐明原因时,以虚构的想象来取代科学,当它训诫,暗示理想或者重塑抱负时,以想象代替智慧——智慧的意思是指有意识而又公正的追求一切好东西。 A. 通过想象力追求理性。 B. 不带感情的探询真理。 C. 追求幸福的短视的方法。 2.A 宗教通过想象力寻求真理,而理性的探索却运用感情。见难句译注3,理性(智)是非感情的。 B. 在解决人类问题上的宗教是一种无效的工具。 C. 科学寻求逐步解决对人类的问题。 D. 哲学和理性的功能是一样的。 3.A 宗教没有意识(不知道)其最终目的的。见难句译注4,说明宗教不管(几乎不关注)其目的,或不关心其本能的目标最终真确与否。 B. 宗教没有想象力。 C. 其成果是确切的,最终的。 D. 宗教很象科学和艺术。 4.D 它激起人类情感。第一段中说“宗教的挣扎与不断变化的力量似乎促使人追求某种永恒的东西,它似乎追求灵魂的最终和谐以及灵魂与灵魂所依赖的一起事物之间的永恒的和谐。” A. 宗教依赖于直觉而不是推理。第一段最后一句:宗教也有本能和盲目的一面,在各种各样的偶然实践和直觉中沸腾。可不久它又向事物内心摸索前进,然而不论从哪个方向来,都转想最终方向(最终多转想这个方向——直觉),文章的最后一句:宗教的目的和理想的目的一样,而其实现目的方法是通过直觉和无限止的诗一般的幻想来进行的。 B. 它不关心其本能的目标最终是否真确。 C. 它使人类很失望。 5.D 无效。第二段开始就点出:我们得承认宗教追求理性生活一直是很失败(流产了)。 A. 有想象力的。 B. 为未来提供希望的。 C. 是一个高度的智力活动。

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