Monday, April 5, 2010

Christianity is the origin of capitalism

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There is a belief among some Christians that religion actually gave rise to Christianity. This idea was suggested to me in my early 20s. He must have studied a different period to me because I had always associated religion with the political and religious oppression of the Dark Ages.
Years later I would learn more about the period in history which placed this notion in his mind. It was the Calvinists of Switzerland, and he probably took some comfort from Thomas Aquinas who also had some notional support for freedom from tyranny. Adam Smith was a Christian too, and perhaps John Locke.
It is safe to say that anyone in this period is going to espouse to be a Christian, even if they are not, precisely because these periods were periods of oppression. We even have this legacy today…why is it that no one talks about religion and politics. Ok, you won’t be executed, but in those days people were, so they were more cautious. Today you are merely marginalized or alienated.
The point is that Christianity was incidental to the development of religion. Certainly there was the concept of ‘divine rights’ but most of these philosophers did not argue them on the basis of divinity, but rather on the basis of logic, which is the counter-point of faith and mystic revelation. The implication is that philosophers did not seemingly have much integrity, and not much scope for honesty about their religious beliefs. To be fair, the clergics and followers would have pulled them apart if they preached anything which contradicted the church. Look what happened to Galileo.
Andrew Sheldon
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon