Germans reconsider religion

#1
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0915/p01s01-woeu.html


Germans reconsider religion

some may be surprised at the receptivity in Germany this week to visiting Pope Benedict XVI's message: Europe needs to rethink the thesis that secularism and economic progress go hand in hand.

Christianity, and nothing else," he wrote, "is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of western civilization. To this day, we have no other options [to Christianity]. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter
Some people have claimed that the presence of Muslims in these societies, and the possibility of Turkey coming into the European Union, might actually reinforce in the long run the Christian identity of Europe because it will remind Europeans of what they've been and make them want to recover that," says Timothy Shah at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life in Washington
 
#2
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...
 
#5
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.
 
#6
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...
 
#8
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.
 
#9
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...
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)
 
#10
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].
 
#11
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
 
#12
Chalky said:
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
 
#13
AndyPipkin said:
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...
You may be thinking of Leo Strauss.
 
#14
AndyPipkin said:
Chalky said:
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
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! :D
 
#15
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].
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.
 
#16
wedge35 said:
AndyPipkin said:
Chalky said:
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
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! :D
Which particular aspect of Spartan society do you most admire? Just asking! :twisted:
 
#17
yank_eyetie said:
AndyPipkin said:
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...
You may be thinking of Leo Strauss.
Indeed I am.
 
#18
AndyPipkin said:
wedge35 said:
AndyPipkin said:
Chalky said:
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
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! :D
Which particular aspect of Spartan society do you most admire? Just asking! :twisted:
Obviously the fact that Lycurgus set the gymnopedia (festival of the naked boys) as central to the functioning of a manly and aggressive state! Hehe! Well, that or the annual Helot hunt - imagine if we were let loose on the chavs with impunity once a year!
 
#19
wedge35 said:
AndyPipkin said:
wedge35 said:
AndyPipkin said:
Chalky said:
AndyPipkin said:
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 :p
Heh. If you know where they can be found, I'm right behind you!
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! :D
Which particular aspect of Spartan society do you most admire? Just asking! :twisted:
Obviously the fact that Lycurgus set the gymnopedia (festival of the naked boys) as central to the functioning of a manly and aggressive state! Hehe! Well, that or the annual Helot hunt - imagine if we were let loose on the chavs with impunity once a year!
So long as I don't have to (a) drink bull's blood mixed with vinegar as my main evening meal every night; or (b) take it up the arrse, it all sounds good 8)
 

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