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Christian philosophy brought peace to Europe and America

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dr.bob
1244358.  Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:22 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Was it this book, dr.bob? (even if it isn't, it looks rather interesting and up me street)


Sorry for being deeply crap at posting this, but no, that wasn't the book I was thinking of (though that one does look very interesting).

This is the book I was talking about. It's not only a deeply interesting and educational book, it's also a lovely object in itself. As part of the history of the book, it describes the techniques that were used to create the object you're holding in your hand when you read about it, which is quite cool :)

 
'yorz
1244366.  Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:31 am Reply with quote

Why 'deeply crap'? It is what you were on aboot or it izzunt. :-)

 
dr.bob
1244384.  Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:03 am Reply with quote

Just "deeply crap" that it took so damn long for me to get off my fat arse and post a link to the book I'd been talking about :-D

 
'yorz
1244387.  Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:06 am Reply with quote

Ah. Not to worry. Just pleased you found it anyhow. Have passed the link on to a few discerning folk. :-)

 
Celebaelin
1282166.  Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:24 am Reply with quote

I'd forgotten about this thread!

I don't know whether I'll be able to pick up all the relevant points again but it's not a terrible idea to at least try. The debate is, I think, a worthy one although from my re-reading it does seem to boil down to

Europe and America are historically overwhelmingly Christian so their development has run in parallel with developments in Christian philosophy

The full explanation is more complex than that and the original assertion was intended to be contentious but that might be one way of characterising events.

Having said that interesting counter arguments have arisen from the provocative notion of linking Western developments directly with Christianity - citing Christianity as both the glue which binds society together and the engine which powers intellectual development - so that seems worth persevering with just for the, er, hell of it.

 
Celebaelin
1282170.  Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:44 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:
the new technologies and knowledge arose in (Christian, stable, prosperous, heavily populated) Europe and were carried elsewhere by explorers and merchants in search of new lands, resources and markets.

I'm sorry, but this is simply not historically accurate. As I've pointed out above, lots of technologies arose outwith Christian Europe. Quite apart from the well known technological advances of China (the ones I've mentioned don't include the compass or gunpowder), you seem to be entirely ignoring the Islamic Golden Age which laid the foundations of Maths and Science that we're still benefiting from today (which is why words like "algebra" and "algorithm" have Arabic origins)

The new technologies I was referring to were specifically those that underpinned the economic development of the West and since the other spheres of influence were not in possession of these devices and methodologies then perforce they could not participate in the mercantile aggression I mentioned.

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:
The distinction I would make is between a warlike society and a Christian one which at least purports to value peace.

This is a tricky case to argue. You appear to be saying that pre-Christian society fought lots of wars and thought it was a good thing, while Christian society fought lots of wars but generally disapproved of having to do so. It seems that, in order to back up this claim, you'd have to be able to understand what people were actually thinking over 2,000 years ago, which seems impossible.

"Lots" is not a useful numerical assessment. 'Lots' in the one instance might be significantly more than 'lots' in the other instance - particularly if there was opposition to or reluctance regarding participation in armed conflict.

As regards trade routes their existence does not deny the possibility of war, in fact the wealth they generate has often been the motivation for raid, invasion and/or conquest.

dr.bob wrote:
This kind of stability would have been simply impossible if pre-Roman society was as arbitrarily warlike as you seem to make out.

Would it? That seems a sweeping statement with little or no justification; more of an opinion really.

dr.bob wrote:
Finally, you mention conflicts "lasting over generations continuing sporadically in the form of raids on one neighbour or another." How is this any different from the centuries of battling between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines in Italy, or the War of the Bands in the Basque country. This is the same behaviour happening in countries that, according to you, have been civilised by Christian philosophy.

It isn't very, except for a greater sophistication and larger stakes in the former case. You seem fixated on absolutism - at the risk of over simplifying how could Christian philosophy prevent a war against papal authority. Since the Ghibellines supported the Holy Roman Empire against the papal party other than capitulation there was no way to avoid this war. Some people reject Christian philosophy and go to war for gain and/or glory. On the other hand many do not but their lives pass peacefully without bothering the history books.

dr.bob wrote:
Not sure what you're trying to prove with that graph. It just shows reducing murder rates between 1300 and 2010, but that entire period is covered by Christianity. If your suggestion is that Christian philosophy is responsible for the reduction, are you suggesting that society has gotten generally more Christian in the last 700 years? 'Cos, from where I'm standing, the opposite is broadly true.

Then to what would you attribute the exponential decline in murders per unit of population? Incidentally the decline in popularity of Christian worship is a relatively modern phenomenon - the last hundred years or so.

(Also 'gotten', really? ; )

dr.bob wrote:
Here you seem to be saying that...

This is the source of the confusion - your interpretation of what I'm saying is not what I'm saying. What I think I have established is a diminished proportion of deaths due to war with time.

dr.bob wrote:
By arguing that levels of warlike behaviour were largely similar before and after Christian philosophy becomes established, I'm not arguing against the long-term trend towards peace. I'm arguing against the idea that Christian philosophy had an influence on this trend.

That seems rather confused. Levels of warlike behaviour did decrease (assuming we may trust decreasing mortality rates due to war as a fair indicator of this), this is an indicator of a long term trend towards peace and on balance of probability Christian philosophy was a driving influence on this.

dr.bob wrote:
However, in the first 750 years (or so) after the introduction of Christianity, there is a clear rise in the number of deaths.

During this period the notion of Christianity was known but the practice was markedly less than universal. This is a time of Christian evangelism not Christian predominance.

dr.bob wrote:
To consider it another way, cover over the dates on the x-axis of the graph. Then, assuming that Christian philosophy has reduced war, try and put your finger on the point at which Christian philosophy was introduced. I would certainly struggle. I might pick the point at which the real line drops below the average, long-term trend, but that doesn't happen until around the 1350s.

Or slightly after the Crusades, round about the time of the Black Death. Try putting your finger on the point when Christian philosophy becomes predominant.

 
dr.bob
1282275.  Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:11 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
I'd forgotten about this thread!


I thought it had gone quiet :)

Sadly you've chosen to resurrect it just before I vanish on holiday for 2.5 weeks, so my participation may not be as active as I might want, though past experience suggests that there will be others who will happily get involved.

Celebaelin wrote:
The new technologies I was referring to were specifically those that underpinned the economic development of the West and since the other spheres of influence were not in possession of these devices and methodologies then perforce they could not participate in the mercantile aggression I mentioned.


I need to take a step back here, because I'm getting confused what your actual argument is.

Way back in post 1242119 you were discussing "the abatement of tribal conflicts" in areas covered by the Pax Romana. You suggested it was "reasonable to speculate" that "this progress would [not] have occurred anywhere in the complete absence of the Pax Romana". In this context, the "progress" clearly refers to "the abatement of tribal conflicts."

In response I pointed out that "every part of the world shows a progression from warlike tribes to peaceful large economies", implying that the Pax Romana and the rise of Christianity wasn't as vital as you seemed to suggest. Your next message countered with the suggestion that "the new technologies and knowledge arose in (Christian, stable, prosperous, heavily populated) Europe and were carried elsewhere by explorers and merchants in search of new lands, resources and markets." In this case "the new technologies and knowledge" are not specified, but we seem to have moved away from "the abatement of tribal conflicts" somewhat.

Thinking you were referring to technological development in a more general sense I pointed out that, at various points in history, Christian Europe has lagged behind other parts of the world, technologically. I pointed out the advances made by the Chinese and Islamic worlds.

Above I've quoted your latest post where you refer to "technologies [...] that underpinned the economic development of the West." I'd really like to understand what point you're making here, rather than start arguing on what I think you're arguing and getting it wrong.

Celebaelin wrote:
As regards trade routes their existence does not deny the possibility of war, in fact the wealth they generate has often been the motivation for raid, invasion and/or conquest.


That's a valid point, though it depends on the frequency of war. Occasional wars separated by long periods of peace will allow a stable society to flourish. Near constant warlike activity, however, would produce a very unstable society bordering on anarchy.

Celebaelin wrote:
dr.bob wrote:
This kind of stability would have been simply impossible if pre-Roman society was as arbitrarily warlike as you seem to make out.

Would it? That seems a sweeping statement with little or no justification; more of an opinion really.


The stability I was talking about concerned stable trade routes. The routes lasted over generations. In those days, people didn't have maps or telecommunications. The trade routes worked because people would set out on a road that they'd travelled before (and probably their fathers before them) knowing that, after a certain distance of travel, they would arrive at a city which operated as a trading post.

This form of trade would not function if the trader set out on his journey only to arrive at a smoking, burned-out shell of a city that had just been trashed by a fierce war. In that case, the trader would not just be able to look at his map and see where the nearest other city was. He'd have to turn back and go home.

Celebaelin wrote:
You seem fixated on absolutism - at the risk of over simplifying how could Christian philosophy prevent a war against papal authority.


I think that's rather for you to explain to me. Your assertion is that Christian philosophy helped bring peace to Western Europe and prevent wars, though I'm not sure you've explained precisely how it did so.

Celebaelin wrote:
Since the Ghibellines supported the Holy Roman Empire against the papal party other than capitulation there was no way to avoid this war.


Shouldn't either the Holy Roman Empire, or the Papal States (or, preferably, both), have embraced the Christian philosophy of "turning the other cheek" or "loving your brother as you love yourself"? If they don't, how does Christian philosophy have any influence on war and peace?

Celebaelin wrote:
Some people reject Christian philosophy and go to war for gain and/or glory.


So you seem to be claiming that "Christian philosophy brings peace and an end to war" whilst simultaneously saying "Some people carry on fighting wars anyway." Can you not see the inherent contradiction in those two statements?

Celebaelin wrote:
On the other hand many do not but their lives pass peacefully without bothering the history books.


Throughout history, the large mass of the proletariat has been generally peaceful. This is true of all societies, not just Christian ones.

Celebaelin wrote:
Then to what would you attribute the exponential decline in murders per unit of population?


For anyone losing the thread of this discussion, this is a reference back to the graph in post 1242344 which shows a decline in homicide rates in different countries. Interestingly, the history of Policing that I read on wikipedia mentions that, in England, "From about 1500, private watchmen were funded by private individuals and organisations to carry out police functions." This corresponds with a sharp drop in the graph mentioned above.

I would put a decline in murders more down to the effectiveness of prosecuting the perpetrators than a sudden Damascene realisation by the majority of the population that murder was not generally approved of by God.

Celebaelin wrote:
Levels of warlike behaviour did decrease (assuming we may trust decreasing mortality rates due to war as a fair indicator of this), this is an indicator of a long term trend towards peace


This I would agree with

Celebaelin wrote:
and on balance of probability Christian philosophy was a driving influence on this.


That seems a sweeping statement with little or no justification; more of an opinion really ;-)

Celebaelin wrote:
dr.bob wrote:
To consider it another way, cover over the dates on the x-axis of the graph. Then, assuming that Christian philosophy has reduced war, try and put your finger on the point at which Christian philosophy was introduced. I would certainly struggle. I might pick the point at which the real line drops below the average, long-term trend, but that doesn't happen until around the 1350s.

Or slightly after the Crusades


Which Crusades? The first Crusade took place in 1096.

Celebaelin wrote:
Try putting your finger on the point when Christian philosophy becomes predominant.


Well, since you've mentioned the Crusades, let's consider the history of those. In early 1096, actually a few months before the official First Crusade organised by Pope Urban II, the very first excursion into the Holy Lands was the "People's Crusade". This was organised by a charismatic monk and powerful orator named Peter the Hermit of Amiens.

In contrast to the official First Crusade, which was organised by Emperors and Princes, the People's Crusade was simply a band of ordinary poor people who were convinced by Peter the Hermit that their God wanted them to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslims. This crusade was short lived, since the "army" raised were not experienced soldiers and were quickly slaughtered by the Turkish army. However, Peter the Hermit had still managed to raise a force of about 40,000 poor, ordinary people.

When looking into the establishing of Christianity, I first focussed on famous leaders, like Alfred The Great, and Charlemagne. However, I was worried that this would only reflect on a small stratum of society at the very top and say little about the mass of poor people at the bottom of society. However, I would argue that for that many people to be convinced to leave their homes and travel thousands of miles across the world on a religious crusade, this provides very convincing evidence that Christianity was well established by that time even among the mass of ordinary people.

As an aside, on their way to the Holy Land, these crusaders travelled along the river Rhine where they decided to limber up by committing the Rhineland massacres. Estimates vary, but even conservative estimates claim that at least 4,000 Jews were massacred, driven to suicide, or forced to convert to Christianity. I doubt many of those would've been struck by the peace brought to Western Europe by Christian philosophy.

 
Celebaelin
1282417.  Thu Apr 26, 2018 5:22 am Reply with quote

Broadly speaking the abatement of tribal conflicts leads to the rise of new technologies and commodities to trade - it's what replaces direct conflict as the principal concern of the populace. I'm merely following the progression as it occurred and largely as dictated by questions arising during the course of the thread.

dr.bob wrote:
Near constant warlike activity, however, would produce a very unstable society bordering on anarchy.

Absolutely; but 'near constant' is a loose term. Tribal rivalries expressed as cattle raids or what have you might occur once or twice a year* and the target would not be any merchant or trader offering rare or exotic goods but rather a nearby group.

dr.bob wrote:
In that case, the trader would not just be able to look at his map and see where the nearest other city was. He'd have to turn back and go home.

City implies a level of permanence and security for a number of years which is not totally consistent with the scenario thus far but given a rare commodity finding a market is exactly what the traders would do IMO; selling their goods piecemeal to small tribal settlements if necessary.

dr.bob wrote:
So you seem to be claiming that "Christian philosophy brings peace and an end to war" whilst simultaneously saying "Some people carry on fighting wars anyway." Can you not see the inherent contradiction in those two statements?

No, not really, because the contradiction lies in non-adherence to Christian philosophy. WWJD? He'd turn the other cheek as you suggest and not doing so leads to a period of violent conflict and instability which affects profit margins, makes people thoroughly miserable and in some cases thoroughly dead.

dr.bob wrote:
Interestingly, the history of Policing that I read on wikipedia mentions that, in England, "From about 1500, private watchmen were funded by private individuals and organisations to carry out police functions."

Very public spirited - very charitable.

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:

and on balance of probability Christian philosophy was a driving influence on this.

That seems a sweeping statement with little or no justification; more of an opinion really ;-)

'On balance of probability' dictates that it is not a statement but is assuredly an opinion.

dr.bob wrote:
Which Crusades? The first Crusade took place in 1096.

All of them (I thought there were only 5 the last finishing in 1221 but it turns out there were 9 and the last ended in 1272).

I'm not going to get into the history of the Crusades - this thread is diverse enough without that but your interpretation of the Children's Crusade is interesting to me. If we're going to discuss the Crusades in detail I feel we ought to separate that out into another thread as the events were in themselves complex and not entirely relevant to this topic. As such I will restrict my comments to this: the Crusades occurred - any violence perpetrated on the part of the Christians was contrary to Christian philosophy. They were a first step@ in the efforts to preserve Christian society as a whole in the face of the expansion of Islam. Later on this expansionism was continued by the Ottoman Empire and opposed on a more or less£ ad hoc basis by the regions which came under threat.

We've already talked about Urban II's extremely controversial interpretation of Thou shalt not kill. It was controversial at the time and ever shall be but I don't recall having made any claim that the Crusades in and of themselves made any contribution to progress in Europe or America. Although in fact they did! Somewhat ironically when the Fourth Crusade sacked (Christian) Byzantine some of the plunder consisted of copies of ancient Greek works which consequently then became known in Western Europe.

* grabbing a number out of the ether here
@ justified or otherwise
£ I've seen Hungarian armour in Malta and indeed there was a Christian alliance but it was of varying composition rather than a fixed or consistent structure

 
dr.bob
1282455.  Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:38 am Reply with quote

This'll be my last post before I vanish for 2.5 weeks. So I'm not ignoring you, honest. I'll just be busy engaging with the real world :)

Celebaelin wrote:
Broadly speaking the abatement of tribal conflicts leads to the rise of new technologies and commodities to trade - it's what replaces direct conflict as the principal concern of the populace.


I completely agree with this. However, I made the point some time back that an abatement of tribal conflicts and a rise of new technologies and commodities to trade has happened all over the world, including those places where Christianity had no influence. So trying to credit Christianity with that development seems flawed to me.

Celebaelin wrote:
but given a rare commodity finding a market is exactly what the traders would do IMO; selling their goods piecemeal to small tribal settlements if necessary.


This is not how ancient trade routes worked. Routes like the Silk Road functioned because a trader knew that, if he loaded up his wares and walked for 5 days in that direction, he'd eventually end up at the same trading post he visited last year where he knew he could sell his stuff.

In the days before maps or telecommunications, people couldn't afford to just aimlessly wander around hoping that they'd stumble across somewhere they could sell stuff. It might take weeks or months, by which time they'd have run out of food and water and either wasted all their money buying more, or died of hunger/thirst.

Celebaelin wrote:
No, not really, because the contradiction lies in non-adherence to Christian philosophy.


So who precisely was adhering to Christian philosophy? Certainly not the Pope, since the Papal states initiated wars with other Christians and persecuted Jews*. Certainly not all those other emperors, kings, princes, and bishops who also eagerly participated in armed conflict.

You claim that Christian philosophy brought peace, but you happily admit that loads of people didn't bother adhering to Christian philosophy. So how would Christian philosophy influence people if so many of them were ignoring its teachings?

You are also running the risk of claiming that all the good things that happened were as a direct result of Christian philosophy, whilst all the bad things that happened were as a result of non-adherence to Christian philosophy. This is a disingenuous argument bordering on confirmation bias. It makes little sense and makes it impossible to argue against.

Celebaelin wrote:
Very public spirited - very charitable.


Nice try :)

However, looking into it a bit more, it seems that most early police functions were carried out by groups such as night watchmen. These were required by the local government to perform their tasks in rotation with their neighbours, so everyone took their turn in protecting their goods and property. This is either a socialist paradise, or a bunch of self-interested individuals, depending on your viewpoint.

This work was unpaid, so the watchmen had to carry it out alongside their normal jobs. It was also pretty crappy work, since they were poorly armed and were expected to confront violent criminals. As a result, some better off individuals started paying people to do their watchman duties for them. Maybe not quite as charitable as you tried to make out :)

Celebaelin wrote:
'On balance of probability' dictates that it is not a statement but is assuredly an opinion.


That makes it pretty clear.

Celebaelin wrote:
If we're going to discuss the Crusades in detail I feel we ought to separate that out into another thread as the events were in themselves complex and not entirely relevant to this topic.


Fair enough. I only use them as examples of people at all levels of society not adhering to Christian philosophy. But you clearly admit that this happened, so there's probably little point in dissecting them further.

*If anyone wants an example of the decidedly un-Christian behaviour of the Pope, it's worth googling "Cum nimis absurdum" to learn how badly Pope Paul IV treated the Jews in Rome.

 
Celebaelin
1282483.  Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:05 pm Reply with quote

Time for a change of tack I feel dr.bob. You have frequently stated that there is a distinction between correlation and causation and opined that I have failed to demonstrate causation. I don't wildly disagree with you in that regard although I think an accumulation of circumstantial evidence might count for something.

So what evidence might I present that would demonstrate causation? I think I've talked about this before but perhaps you failed to grasp my intent. I claim that Christian philosophy has influenced the peaceful development of Europe and America so it follows, does it not, that first hand citation of Christian motivation by the 'movers and shakers' who instigated changes towards peaceful advances would constitute documented causation.

Such evidence is unlikely to exist in prolific abundance - certainly not in the instances where changes evolved rather than being set out in law or policy in advance. A papal bull might be considered fair evidence but as you have pointed out via Cum nimis absurdum and I have referenced by citing Urban II (specifically the document would be Urban's letter to the Flemish granting "remission of all their sins") not all such documents are exactly unremittingly morally Christian in effect.

So before I pursue evidence that Christian sources or people who cite Christian teachings as inspiration actually exist for developments we would see as progress from a modern perspective can I get an assurance that you will accept that this is evidence of causation?

Off the top of my head Margaret Thatcher springs to mind.

Quote:
And I would just like to remember some words of St. Francis of Assisi which I think are really just particularly apt at the moment. ‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope’


Many would disagree that her premiership was an indication of progress per se (although she and her followers obviously thought it was) but if I can link change with citations of Christian philosophy will that suffice?

Also will you only accept such evidence in the specific (which would be a rigorous approach) or will you grant that after a sufficient number of citations the supposition can be accepted as a matter of principle?

I guess I'll have to wait a while for the answer to that.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:50 am; edited 2 times in total

 
Celebaelin
1282524.  Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:52 pm Reply with quote

On balance I can't wait.

Papal bulls are a mixed bag but there's a lot of stuff in there specifically protecting Jews and some other clearly benevolent and unificatory stuff- I might pick through the list if necessary.

Here's a biggie,

Magna Carta wrote:
Know that, having regard to God and for the salvation of our soul, and those of all our ancestors and heirs, and unto the honour of God and the advancement of the holy Church, and for the reform of our realm, by advice of our venerable fathers, Stephen archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and cardinal of the holy Roman church, Henry archbishop of Dublin, William of London, Peter of Winchester, Jocelyn of Bath and Glastonbury, Hugh of Lincoln, Walter of Worcester, William of Coventry, Benedict of Rochester, bishops

https://magnacartaplus.org/magnacarta/

Let's have a bit of Cromwell shall we?

Letter I St. Ives (about a lecture given by the recipient)

Oliver Cromwell wrote:
It only remains now that He who first put you to this, put you forward to the continuance thereof: it was the Lord; and therefore to Him lift we up our hearts.

https://archive.org/stream/lettersspeecheso01cromuoft#page/78/mode/2up

Do you see where I'm going with this?

 
Jenny
1282615.  Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:54 pm Reply with quote

I would remind you, Cele, that the devil can cite scripture to his purpose, and that the evangelicals are by far the largest supporting group for Donald Trump, who certainly pays lip service to Christian philosophy but demonstrates very little of it in practical terms.

Honestly I would discount all the utterances you just quoted as being little more than pious platitudes, not something that actually informs action.

 
Celebaelin
1282637.  Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:43 am Reply with quote

Are you saying that anyone except a Saint or a martyr who cites Christian morality or philosophy as an inspiration is merely being hypocritical? That you have an over-arching understanding of the mind of the author beyond what is written?

The question of authorial intent is an ever present but current thinking stresses the content above all else.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorial_intent#New_Criticism

Even if there is some other unrevealed motive in the minds of political figures for referencing religious influence what might that motive be? With whom are these politicians seeking to ingratiate themselves? What advantage are they trying to gain? The same thing politicians are always looking for of course - popular support. That being so this presupposes that there is more to be gained than lost from espousing Christian ideology which in a way re-enforces my point rather than undermines it.

In the case of Magna Carta this was not a manisesto attempting to engender public approval but rather a document setting out a fait accompli. John is not seeking approval he is saying that he has been advised that this is

Quote:
a good thing and memorable

'1066 and All That' W. C. Sellar‎ and ‎R. J. Yeatman

Cromwell is writing in a private letter and is praising someone else for being inspired by God not at that point referencing his own deeds at all; it is however a clear statement of his attitude towards the good deeds of others - that they are divinely inspired.

My intent was and is to establish causation. If politicians cite Christian texts they do so because they believe it will earn them votes. They are deliberately associating whatever policy they advocate with Christian belief because they are of the opinion that saying 'this is the Christian thing to do' will be broadly supported by the electorate. Whether their interpretation of Christianity is valid or not is another matter but that is

1) potentially as much a matter of fallibility as it is of deliberate deception
and
2) still an appeal to the electorate on the grounds of Christian moral philosophy

Lets have some quotes from a few more influential thinkers while we're at it shall we?

Quote:
Law is nothing other than a certain ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the person who has the care of the community.

Thomas Aquinas

Quote:
All the blessings we enjoy are Divine deposits, committed to our trust on this condition, that they should be dispensed for the benefit of our neighbors.

John Calvin

Quote:
In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?

Saint Augustine

Quote:
The words printed here are concepts. You must go through the experiences.

Saint Augustine

Quote:
The increasing influence of the Bible is marvelously great, penetrating everywhere. It carries with it a tremendous power of freedom and justice guided by a combined force of wisdom and goodness.

Sir Thomas Moore (reported)

Quote:
I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.

Sir Isaac Newton

Quote:
No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

George Bernard Shaw

Quote:
The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests.

Andrew Jackson

Quote:
You can't understand European history at all other than through religion, or English literature either if you can't recognise biblical allusions.

Richard Dawkins

Quote:
When we go to the Bible we should keep in mind that the basic principles of the Bible are taught by God, but written down by human beings deprived of modern day knowledge. So there is some fallibility in the writings of the Bible. But the basic principles are applicable to my life and I don't find any conflict among them.

Jimmy Carter

That'll do for the time being I think.


Last edited by Celebaelin on Sun Apr 29, 2018 6:18 am; edited 2 times in total

 
brunel
1282673.  Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:20 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Are you saying that anyone except a Saint or a martyr who cites Christian morality or philosophy as an inspiration is merely being hypocritical? That you have an over-arching understanding of the mind of the author beyond what is written?

I think it is more about the irony of bringing up those words of Cromwell when he is well known for his hatred of Catholicism and the particular brutality he meted out during his campaigns in Ireland.

 
Celebaelin
1282680.  Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:00 pm Reply with quote

Do you doubt that Cromwell believed his deeds were justified? This is the subject of much of my previous post but at any rate as mentioned above authorial intent ignores what he may have believed in favour of what our interpretation of his words alone are irrespective of his actions and how we may currently judge them.

This should be considered alongside the question of what he might stand to gain by espousing Christian philosophy; it seems you didn't actually read my last response (post 1282637).

 

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