We can go round and round in a circle about this and at the end it come to each ones opinion.
Me? I am a fan and always have been and will be of automation.
When you fly at night everyday for a year, in imc, encounter icing with only boots to save you and shooting approaches to mins during winter months, in your generic six pack, with a black and white GPS that lags 3 -8 seconds in those approaches as a SINGLE pilot, you will appreciate automation. I don’t doubt how good of a pilot I am, but you better believe I was scared Every. Freaking. Time. I was shooting those approaches.
Commercial airliners will not go away from automation(at least not in my lifetime) , but hey, no one is going to stop you from puttering around in your 1961 c172 shooting approaches to minimums to test your “skill” as a pilot. If you are carrying pax why would you even want to risk it.
That said, as a pilot you should test your skill, but not at others expense. Automation does not (imo) prevent accidents, but it does minimize the workload in the cockpit and it is your job as a pilot not to get complacent.
Just my opinion :)