Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by NEO_CON, Sep 16, 2006.
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Christianity is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights and democracy? The foundation of western civilisation? I'm sure assorted Athenian philosophers would have something to say about that...
Religion is mans worst vice, and Christianity Europes.
without any religion this world would be a far better place. I think civilisation has grown out of these fairtale books
To say that Christianity (or any other religion) gave democracy and a respect for reason etc to Europe is to completely ignore the overwhelming contibution of both Greece and Rome. Infant Athenian democracy would have been snuffed out at birth if the Greeks had lost to Persia at Marathon and, without Hellenistic influences on Christianity (and the Hellenised religion's subsequent spread throughout Europe via the Roman Empire), the world would be a fundamentally different place.
Speaking as a God-fearing agnostic/polytheist (depending on what day of the week it is), I would say, as I've said before here, that religion plays an important role in imparting moral guidance and societal control systems (which are essential) on to the overwhelming majority of the population who are too stupid/ignorant/lazy to work such things out for themselves. In 'the West' we are essentially faced with three choices:
1. Allow and support to rise in religious faith and dogmaticism - it might be bollix, butr it keeps society in order;
2. Teach everyone Kantian philosophy at an early age and hope they understand the whole 'categorical imperative' thingy; or
3. Continue with mass secularisation wherein the great mass of the population don't understand why they shouldn't just do whatever the feck they want, and see where that leads us.
Obviously we've been trying #3 for the last 50 years or more, Neo-Cons (to go back to their intellectual bedrock, whatsisname, Chicago Uni professor from the 1950's)) favour #1. Personally I favour #2, but I do see the problems with it...
I see a muslim Europe in your future with that attitude.
I believe that religion has brought dogmatic evil upon the world for too long, but I am terribly aware that as we have become more secular and moved aware from the 'guiding moral light' of religion, we have failed to replace it with any other kind of viable philosophy that preaches values of humanism and charity for one's fellows.
I think this has had a deep impact upon the moral fabric of our society and left us somewhat adrift.
While I don't really understand what is going on , I do think it has something to do with globalization and the effects on both traditional societies(ME) and industrial societies(West)
As I understand it, Neo-conservatism adopts the attitude that religious faith is to be encouraged among the masses, as it provides a moral framework for the conduct of society (doesn't really matter what religion it is, but in the west is obv. Christianity). It doesn't really matter a damn what the leaders think (as leaders, they should be able to understand the Kantian argument), but it's a lot easier to say to the masses 'be good, otherwise you'll go to Hell' rather than 'be good, because otherwise [..insert long philisophical, scientific and socielogical discourse].
I'd suggest then that we need better masses
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
You may be thinking of Leo Strauss.
Sparta, circa 300 BCE. Every male citizen is a soldier and expected to contribute to society and become well-rounded via philosophical study. The ignorant masses (the Helots) do what they like as long as they contribute enough to society to let us, as defenders of the state, focus our energies entirely to the practice of war and the study of philosophy. Perhaps we could dispense with the institutionalised pederasty but, apart from that, sounds good to me!
In school I couldn't understand Kant. I can't still understand Kant . If only in the middle east they could ,we would, be all , better off.
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