October 23, 2007
[Mary Lefkowitz is professor emerita at Wellesley College and the author of "Greek Gods, Human Lives" and the forthcoming "History Lesson."]
Gods, or God?
Prominent secular and atheist commentators have argued lately that religion "poisons" human life and causes endless violence and suffering. But the poison isn't religion; it's monotheism. The polytheistic Greeks didn't advocate killing those who worshiped different gods, and they did not pretend that their religion provided the right answers. Their religion made the ancient Greeks aware of their ignorance and weakness, letting them recognize multiple points of view.