Hi, 60 + years ago I developed the following deceptively simple proposition which I am presenting here in the hope that, on the basis of understanding it, it will receive a just and honest, unbiased and rational consideration as to its merits, primarily, in regards to offering an explanation of the importance of "Christian" related religions to the development of, and to the survival of 'this sophisticated civilised society.

*It is not part of a religious debate. It has nothing to do with the veracity of The Bible, of God, of ones religious convictions or of Christianity per se* only to do with the influences of their creeds and doctrines.

The basis of the proposition is that this Free Sophisticated Civilised society exists only because of Roman Catholicism and Christianity and that Roman Catholicism and Christianity permeates, directly or indirectly, virtually every aspect of this Sophisticated Civilised society to the extent that the "religions" and the influences of them and society are so intertwined as to be inseparable.

The full understanding of this proposition will give one the key to answering most, if not all, of the philosophical questions of the day.

For something like 1500 years Roman Catholicism's domination, control and influence in European centres of power, which came out of the 'unification' of the hundreds of squabbling and fighting principalities, maintained an element of order (believe it or not) in Europe.

Over time, the part of Roman Catholicism's doctrine, which included the history of the Jews, namely the Ten Commandments, became incorporated into the Laws of most of the countries of Europe.

Partly due to England's break from Rome and in Germany, Martin Luther's Protestantism, and with the gradual and increasing sophistication of societies, the basics of the Ten Commandments became an integral element in defining the justice of the Law's of the "Christianised" countries and became the essence of 'The laws of the land'/s and eventually became accepted as "The Law" by the proletariat, i.e. you and I, as being the norm. It is the laws that emanated from Moses stone tablets via the religion of Roman Catholicism and the tenets of Christianity and the concepts of Protestantism which have directly or indirectly influenced you and I to be what we are. It is having grown up in an atmosphere of security and with the protection of benevolent laws that allows one the freedom to, within the bounds of, for example, decency and morality, to say what we want and to do what we want, it is the universal acceptance of these laws which has influenced us to expect from our neighbours the kind of decent and polite treatment that they would expect from us.


It is because we have developed and grown up in a comparatively secure and safe environment where the laws, the kind of morality and ethics that have given us our concept of right and wrong, of honesty and dishonesty, etc that has allowed us, that is you and me as well as other people to evolve a psychological dependency on the expectation of having a future to continue in, etcetera.

I am sure that almost anybody could extrapolate for themselves the importance of and the impact that Christianity has had on, directly and indirectly, developing moral or ethical values that they them selves might have. I am also sure that almost everybody must be able to recognise that there is nobody unaffected by the influences of Christianity and its effects.

Consider what it is that has held the (westernised) Sophisticated "Christian" Civilised Societies that 'we' are all a part of together. Consider firstly from your own personal perspective the characteristic of you expecting others to adhere to the basic laws and the rules and values which have evolved out of the basic tenets of "Christianity". The laws, rules and taboos which have been the bonding meme of the society of tens of millions of free thinking individuals. The laws and rules and taboos that you have never really questioned, the ones that you have just taken for granted and absorbed and which have become an integral part of your being, from being that young child and screaming "But that’s not fair" to the maturity of becoming spontaneously distressed by the evil or immoral activity of others who do not respect the same values as you.

Now, and here is the nub, consider that we all, you, me and every person who we know and every person who we have ever known or met and every person who we have ever seen, and, every person who we have ever heard of and every person who lives or has lived in a Sophisticated Civilised Society; AND, Everything that you or I and any of these other people have ever done, thought, wanted or owned as well as every judgement and decision that you, I or they have ever made has been, or is, directly or indirectly influenced by or is the product of the tenets of Christianity and the Judaic ten Commandments irrespective whether you, I or they are conscious of the fact. It is because of these tenets that, Free Sophisticated Civilised Societies exists. It is because of them that you, me and anyone else, whether you or I or they are clever or thick, intellectual or not, has the freedom to pander to their or our expectations of and enjoy the freedom, the security and protection that the society affords, irrespective of any contribution that any of us has made to it.

Denouncing the existence of the Christian/Judaic God by people, who claim an intellectual prowess, on the grounds that there is no proof of its existence is pretty bizarre when one considers that the proof of almost anything they claim to believe, unless they are very very old, will only be supported by the quoting of the Bible equivalent of quoting of "science" journal snippets and hearsay and not by any physical, empirical or fundamental research by themselves.

Surely I can't be the only atheist to cringe with embarrassment for them when I do hear or read misguided, false, and bellicose claims and premises which indicate a complete lack of understanding, not only of the history and the nature of religion but more importantly, of its importance and role in the evolution of Mankind including them selves. This also includes the evolution of "science" as a academic discipline, given that for a thousand + years the worlds centres of academia, philosophy, science and record keeping were directly related to "religious" patronage of "religious" people in "religious" schools, colleges and universities.

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China. That is all.
Free Sophisticated Civilised society exists only because of Roman Catholicism and Christianity

Sorry, but this is crap. It can be remedied with a simple edit -

Free Sophisticated Civilised society exists despite Roman Catholicism and Christianity

Ethics and morality are self-evident to a non-sociopathic mind. Religion is not necessary in any way. I have to question what it is that is driving you to convolute western theism in such a way ? Denial ? You still can't shake what was drilled into you as being baseless and fraudulent. Or is it pure apologetics ? Attemptying to justify and pardon the psychopaths that have treated this planet like one huge concentration camp.

Sorry. Fail.

Does it make sense the height of the RCC and the Dark Ages happened at the same time?
Does it make sense they tried to suppress the Renaissance from happenning?
Does it make sense they killed millions during the Crusades?
Does it make sense they killed, tortured or imprisoned millions during the Inquisitions?
Does it make sense they indentured families for literally centuries building giant churches?
Does it make sense they sentence thousands of Africans to death now with their condom stance?
Does it make sense they hid and shuffled buggery felons for probably hundreds of years?
Does it make sense the infallible/idiot pope lives in one of the largest palaces on the planet?
And so on , and so on, and so on...

Anyone who gives the friggin Roman Catholic Church an once of credit for mankind's progress has their head up their ass. They have been the greatest dead weight humanity has had to drag along for over 1500 years. As felch's chart shows, they owe us a thousand years of human progress that we can never get back. The faster they are relegated to the dead cult file of history, the better.
Arthur, your proposition is wrong and offensive. Only about half of the "ten" commandments (depends on the version you're talking about how many there are) have anything whatsoever to do with morality in any human sense, and the rest of them are all about stroking the ego of that vicious psychopath Jehovah.

The other commenters have already dismantled your post, but it really pisses me off when people claim that the reality-based community has the same kind of faith in a "revealed" science that the delusional claim to have in their "revealed" religion. The difference is independent verifiability. The crap in the Bible can't be confirmed (and since it mostly violates the laws of physics, not to mention common sense, it can't be believed), whereas the findings of science can be independently confirmed, and the ones we have built our current technology upon have been. I don't need to have faith in the quantum-mechanical model because I prove it to myself by talking on a cell phone every day.

So much for the historical and scientific contributions of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Its contributions to morality are a day late and a dollar short, as has been pointed out already. Societies predating Judaism and Christianity had similar moral principles, and in fact, morality seems now to be an obvious outgrowth of evolutionary survival strategies. To suggest that Christianity has kept the West from the depths of depravity is to support the heinous slander that atheism leads to totalitarianism and slaughter on a global scale, as well as ignoring the same kind of slaughter perpetrated in the name of religion. Your post could well have been written by Ben Stein, or any number of fundamentalist apologists.
Most of the examples of non-Judaeo-Christian social evolution have already been given. I ask myself, how my ancestors in Northern Europe have socially evolved without the incursion of Christianity.

Almsot every tribe, clan or nation had social and political structures, social rules, laws, traditions and the like that have done more to shape the present culture than Christianity did ... IMO.

Murder, theft and rape were all unlawful before Christianity. Christianity did more to hinder democracy than to help it. Most of the cherished traditions that we associate with Christian Holidays like Easter, Halloween and Christmas were more meaningful before Christianity co-opted them, clan law and common law were more fair and practical than the church law or the king's law. Without the Christian church and church-supported kings, the people might have made better rules for them self much earlier on.

I can't think of anything that the Christian religion did that actually moved Europe forward. All I can think of is how it held them back. Most of the folk religions weren't take to seriously at the time of the Christian invasion so maybe religion would have just died a less painful death instead of pitting the people against one another in civil wars.
Murder, theft and rape were all unlawful before Christianity.

These are such a no-brainer even chimps and meerkats have worked it out. Says a lot about religion claiming to have invented it.

I can't think of anything that the Christian religion did that actually moved Europe forward.

The only useful thing religion ever did was coagulate disparate tribes into societies. That job was done way long ago, at which point it should have been booted to the curb. So christianity was redundant even before it started.
The only useful thing religion ever did was coagulate disparate tribes into societies.

Even this is highly hypothetic. I believe trade and tribal conflict (alliances make you stronger) had the main role here, and primitive religions merged and homogenised more as a result than a cause (wouldn't it be great if your patron god married our goddess?).
I was a little surprised that only one of the post's made reference to my proposition and was a little saddened that some posters used it as a platform to relieve them selves of some prejudicial inaccurate silliness unrelated to the proposition but related to their personal responses to, I assume, their own private interpretations of the word Christianity.

If any of the above had read the proposition with an intention of trying to understand it rather than to find points to criticise they will have read *It is not part of a religious debate. It has nothing to do with the veracity of The Bible, of God, of ones religious convictions or of Christianity per se* only to do with the influences of their creeds and doctrines. Also one would have recognised that I make a distinction between Roman Catholicism as one religion and Christianity as an another. I think that for more than a few "atheists proselytisers" a dictionary and a bible would be a useful accoutrements.

I am an atheist (Google: somebody who does not believe in God or deities) and I have a religion ( Google: a set of strongly-held personal beliefs or values and attitudes that I live by) I have never felt a need to decry or ridicule a person because of their faith or religious belief to boost my ego or as a justification for my not believing, I am not pompous enough to claim or imply that what I spontaneously believe is superior to what maybe, 3-4 Billion other people spontaneously believe and I am at a loss to understand why so many so called atheists, particularly those who claim or imply they are academic or intellectual, do so.

Here is an example of the Free Sophisticated Civilised Society in which most of us live.

Until today, never in the history of the earth has so many people been so wealthy, well fed, well housed, so free and so secure. Never in the history of any society have so many people spent so little of their resources and time on the acquisition of food, No society in history has had such a complex and sophisticated economic system for the universal distribution of wealth. No other
society in the history of the world has had a universal education or a universal health system and universal women's suffrage. And no other society in history has had so many of its members spending so much of their time and their resources caring for the infirm, the feckless and the unfortunates of the society because to do so is a requirement of 'their faith. And before Christianity there was never a civil society that was run and organised solely by and for the benefit and welfare of it's citizenry.


I was recently sent the following which I think gives an approximation of what the pre-monotheistic world must have been like:

Quote:
"This world was in a condition of unutterable corruption, wretchedness and gloom. Slavery, poverty and vice almost universally prevailed, and even religion partook of the general degradation. Decadence, depopulation, insecurity of property, person and life were everywhere. Philosophy taught that it would be better for man never to have been created. In the first century Rome held supreme sway. Nations had been destroyed by scores, and the civilized world had lost half of its population by the sword. In the first century forty out of seventy years were years of famine, accompanied by plague and pestilence. There were universal depression and deepest melancholy. When men were thus overborne with the gloom and horror into their night of darkness came the religion of Jesus. Its announcements were all of hope and cheer".

How would you, who are reading this, have responded to the new religion??

As I have said, many of the comments in the few posts have little relevance to the proposition, for example, "China". To relate this to the proposition one only needs to make a cursory study of Chinese history to recognise that any concept of what the word freedom represents to the proletariat has only come about in the last 'few' years as the result of business and commercial interaction with the Christianised world. And, It would only take a cursory, but an objective, study of world history to recognise that (The hole left by?) "The Christian dark ages" retrospectively, were an extremely important period in the expansion of Roman Catholicism and in the subsequent unification of nation states and in their ultimate democratisation.

With regards to "my ancestors in Northern Europe" The details partially depends on where in northern Europe, but even if it refers to Scandinavia, again a cursory glance at even a mediocre history book will show that for thousands of years there had been nothing but continual barbaric inter-tribal conflict, slavery and serfdom until Roman Catholicism and later Protestantism appeared.

I would still be very interested if any one were to give me, on the basis of understanding it or genuinely trying to understand it , a polite, just and honest, unbiased and rational consideration as to its merit, primarily, in regards to offering an explanation of the importance of "Christian" related religions to the development of, and to the survival of 'this sophisticated civilised society.

arthur..
wow, what an apologist
This post is ridiculous! From the beginning the glue of any successful society has been agriculture and trade, not religion. I suggest reading any of Jared Diamonds books on the advancement of human civilization. Religion is nothing but a wedge devised to shear off entire segments of the population because of differing "opinions" on the practice of any given religion. The evidence of this shearing is abundant today! Open your eyes and look at it!

It is unbearably pompous of you to assume that out of all the societies the roman catholic church destroyed, none of them would have flourished! Felch's little diagram expresses it well enough! The Greeks and the Romans, and the Egyptians were well on the road to where we are today. If anything, the church created an uncountable number of speed bumps to hinder our progress!
This post is ridiculous! From the beginning the glue of any successful society has been agriculture and trade, not religion. I suggest reading any of Jared Diamonds books on the advancement of human civilization. Religion is nothing but a wedge devised to shear off entire segments of the population because of differing "opinions" on the practice of any given religion. The evidence of this shearing is abundant today! Open your eyes and look at it!

It is unbearably pompous of you to assume that out of all the societies the roman catholic church destroyed, none of them would have flourished! Felch's little diagram expresses it well enough! The Greeks and the Romans, and the Egyptians were well on the road to where we are today. If anything, the church created an uncountable number of speed bumps to hinder our progress

.......................................................................

Well Scott
What is it that drives you and so many others to publicly display your level of intellect with out the embarrassment that would curtail the average 12 year old from responding as you have to things that they don't understand?

I don’t really think that the offering of a proposition for a just and honest, unbiased and rational consideration as to its merits could possibly be considered as pompous, as opposed to your arrogant, "This post is ridiculous" statement. It might be considered as naïve of me if I had actually expected people like yourself to view my proposition with objectivity. Having written all of that I would like to refer to a couple of interesting points that you brought up.





One: "From the beginning the glue of any successful society has been agriculture and trade, not religion"

This statement, in it's self, is pretty meaningless and ridiculous. I suspect that, because of the partisan style of your posts to me, you will not be able to see through the haze of your bias to understand that 'in the beginning' there was neither trade nor agriculture, and, that there are, and have been, many successful societies with out the "glue" of either.

The prime characteristic to be considered when trying to properly understand what, in fact, is the "glue" which holds any society together is simply, 'the way that people act'. Now Scott, this may be beyond you, but there is a direct correlation between what a person thinks and what a person believes and what a person does, ie. how a person acts, which by the responses I have received to my proposition is much too complex for this forum.

I'm not sure if it is worth the effort to continue writing to you Scott, but with luck, some one who has the nous will read this and indicate that they understand the obvious and will respond accordingly.

arthur.
Ha! Exactly! This is why all those believing christians have wreaked havoc on every society they have ever touched! These "believers" inspired so much hatred, intolerance, and the willful slaughter of innocence that it is incomprehendible how anyone could find a shred of morals in such a system! All the virtues of humanity existed long before this scourge!

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