Let My People Know

"A religion whose icon is–perhaps–the emptied bottle of liquor"


If the question "What is the purpose of society?" is answered by saying, that its purpose is to bring about a just division of economic resources, this answer creates a kind of religion which may be materialistic in its definition, but religious in its very essence. 

Whoever states that the purpose of man's life is to eat caviar, drink vodka and enjoy other people's suffering, also creates a religion – one which is both materialistic and hedonistic, and entirely atheistic. 

For here, too, there is the central religious element: 

Faith in a certain supreme, absolute value which is not questioned and which determines everything else. 

Such a religion may be quite unpleasant, and its god rather base, but it, too, is a religion, whose icon is, perhaps, the emptied bottle of liquor.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From an essay, "Science, Mathematics, and Religion: Three Fundamental Questions" by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz