will come for men when they are dead; some hold that this ought to and will take place whilst they are alive. They all agree on these points: Man is imperfect. But he can improve himself. All men are brothers.
It is a matter of great importance to study the points upon which various religions are in agreement. If three men have only this one thing in common, that they happen to be able to speak a language which each of them understands, they have much more chance to get on, than when one of them only understands English, the second only Arabic and the third nothing but Chinese.
This is the case with religions. If a Christian tells a Social Democrat that his soul is immortal, and that he will hereafter be punished or rewarded, the Socialist does not understand. But when the Socialist tells the Christian that he believes all men to be akin, the Christian and he understand each other.
Religion, as understood by most people, is like Art. Both console men for the ugliest aspects of life. True art therefore cannot be pessimistic. Pessimism in art degrades it to a study of pathology. Art and religion have been the anaesthetics which Man has evolved to soothe the pain of his soul. That pain was far greater than bodily pain, otherwise anaesthetic medicines would have been invented first.