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Brit Hume: The GOP only needs white votes to win


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#41 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:38 PM

Christian ethics? Seriously?

All I can say to that particular claim is that it says far more about the speaker's parochial ignorance of anything other than Christianity. To the extent that "left liberal" or social democratic, or ... traditions in Western culture have any roots in Christianity, those roots go all the way through to Judaism (not that Christians see it the same way; there's a world of difference between tzadekah and "charity," and secular safety nets resemble the former more than the latter [1].)

The same "we're all in this together" social ethic can also be found in Buddhism, among the Navajo, and among the Hopi. Almost certainly others, but those are the ones I know personally. So any claim that it's uniquely derived from Christianity is, to be generous, bogus.

[1] FWIW, Islam resembles Judaism in that regard far more than either resembles Christianity.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#42 dsp

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:44 PM

Speaking of parochial ignorance, your comment exemplifies it. Your willingness to dismiss Christianity's unique contributions to Western ethics exposes you as too biased against Christianity to be taken seriously on this topic.

The idea that Christianity's contributions to Western ethics come from Judaism is preposterous. Judaism is a particularist religion for a specific people / ethny with a unique history. Judaism is not open to all of humanity.

Christianity is the exact opposite, a universalist religion. Anyone who wants to become a Christian can. Christianity emphasizes the individual soul and especially the idea that all people are EQUAL in God's eyes. EVERY INDIVIDUAL is EQUAL in God's eyes. Those three ideas in caps, the very basis of modern secular liberalism, are original to Christianity. Those ideas laid the foundations for Hobbes and Locke's works on INDIVIDUAL rights. Jefferson used their ideas in his all men are EQUAL formulation. And since Jefferson's time, the equality idea has been gradually expanded to include everyone. Also, separately, the Puritans and other early American settlers each brought Christian ideas on equality with them. These ideas seeded abolitionism in the North and later the women's suffrage movements. Then, there are the notions of Christian charity that underlie the modern safety net and welfare state.

In point of fact, many of the core ideas in modern liberalism are descended straight from Christianity. Modern secular liberalism is essentially a secular offshoot of Christianity. You are dead wrong on this particular point.

And nothing in Western ethics came from the Hopi or Buddhists. Typical liberal parochialism trying to rewrite history to make Christianity seem less important than it is while fabricating contributions from non-Western sources.

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 10 July 2013 - 07:38 PM, said:

Christian ethics? Seriously?

All I can say to that particular claim is that it says far more about the speaker's parochial ignorance of anything other than Christianity. To the extent that "left liberal" or social democratic, or ... traditions in Western culture have any roots in Christianity, those roots go all the way through to Judaism (not that Christians see it the same way; there's a world of difference between tzadekah and "charity," and secular safety nets resemble the former more than the latter

The same "we're all in this together" social ethic can also be found in Buddhism, among the Navajo, and among the Hopi. Almost certainly others, but those are the ones I know personally. So any claim that it's uniquely derived from Christianity is, to be generous, bogus.

[1] FWIW, Islam resembles Judaism in that regard far more than either resembles Christianity.


#43 Raskolnik

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:18 AM

Zen, you're missing the point. I suppose I'm painting with a broad brush since Marxism is in one sense an extension of the leftist ideology of Republican France, particularly in its utopian modes such as articulated by Charles Fourier (who incidentally is credited with coining the term "feminism"). But the left turn in 20th century feminism, from the suffragette and temperance movements to identity politics, was absolutely dominated by Marxists like Sartre and de Beauvoir. In fact the main intellectual thrust of contemporary feminist theory, such as it is, comes from post-war French feminists like Julia kristeva, and pretty much all of those characters are Marxists deeply steeped in dialectical materialism. That's not an accusation or an attempt to scare-monger, it's a simple fact.

#44 Raskolnik

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 01:59 AM

Quote

Christian ethics? Seriously?

All I can say to that particular claim is that it says far more about the speaker's parochial ignorance of anything other than Christianity. To the extent that "left liberal" or social democratic, or ... traditions in Western culture have any roots in Christianity, those roots go all the way through to Judaism (not that Christians see it the same way; there's a world of difference between tzadekah and "charity," and secular safety nets resemble the former more than the latter [1].)

The same "we're all in this together" social ethic can also be found in Buddhism, among the Navajo, and among the Hopi. Almost certainly others, but those are the ones I know personally. So any claim that it's uniquely derived from Christianity is, to be generous, bogus.


Uhhh.... wow.

1) Nobody denies the Jewish basis of Christianity, but that's different from claiming that Jewish ethics are the same as Christian ethics. For starters Christianity represents a synthesis between Hebrew and Greek intellectual traditions (the reputation of the latter being more commonly at stake in leftist attacks on Dead White European Males). More importantly, to the extent that they differ, it was Christian ethics--not Jewish ethics--that shaped European civilization. But even that is basically irrelevant since my main point was that contemporary secular humanists are generally ignorant of the religious provenance of their ideas about justice, equality, etc. You could broadly substitute "Abrahamic" for "Christian" and my point would stand.

2) If you are indeed overshoot we've interacted before on the old FrumForum, but I guess not here. Anyway, I am an academic in the field of Buddhist Studies, so the accusation that I have a "parochial ignorance of anything other than Christianity" is... quaint. I can't speak for Navajo spirituality but the study of Buddhism is literally my profession. So I'm well aware of Buddhist ethical traditions. But that's irrelevant for the present discussion since we're not talking about Asia, we're talking about Europe. Buddhism had no influence west of the Kush or east of Japan until the 18th century. Nor did Navajo ethics, which I'm sure are quite wonderful and worthy of study, exert any influence on pre-modern Europe. The point being, Western left-liberal secular humanist ethics owe everything to Christianity ("Abrahamic religion") and basically nothing to other faith traditions.

#45 Zen

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 05:06 AM

View PostRaskolnik, on 11 July 2013 - 01:18 AM, said:

Zen, you're missing the point. I suppose I'm painting with a broad brush since Marxism is in one sense an extension of the leftist ideology of Republican France, particularly in its utopian modes such as articulated by Charles Fourier (who incidentally is credited with coining the term "feminism"). But the left turn in 20th century feminism, from the suffragette and temperance movements to identity politics, was absolutely dominated by Marxists like Sartre and de Beauvoir. In fact the main intellectual thrust of contemporary feminist theory, such as it is, comes from post-war French feminists like Julia kristeva, and pretty much all of those characters are Marxists deeply steeped in dialectical materialism. That's not an accusation or an attempt to scare-monger, it's a simple fact.

And what does this have to do with American left liberals? How many of them can even recognize names such as Sartre, Kristeva, or Fourier, much less actually find any intellectual inspiration from their works? It's a rhetorical question. Let me give you the answer: it's slightly higher than 0. Contemporary left liberalism does not trace its origins to these figures (or even recognizes them), they are far more likely to make pious references to Jefferson, Paine, or MLK.

Again, you're either going the usual scaremongering tactic that has become common in America, or you're making all sorts of obscure and abstract connections which are mostly irrelevant and not there.

#46 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 07:34 AM

Zen,

I haven't followed your interactions with Raskolnik, but I'm not clear on where you're seeing any scare mongering. Raskolnik is summarizing the facts. Indeed, I could go further and identify many liberal ideas and strands of thought that are descended from Trotsky, Gramsci, the Frankfurt School and other classical and cultural Marxists; most of the anti-white, anti-Western, anti-family, anti-male and anti-Christian bilge in modern liberalism comes from those sources. Contrary to overshoot's preposterous statement, what's good in modern liberalism comes almost entirely from Christian ethics and the remnants of Christian ethics that survive withini liberalism in a secularized form. The remainder of liberalism comes from a toxic brew. The fact that most liberals are ignorant of the roots of their own ideas and they are doesn't mean those roots don't exist.

#47 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:16 AM

View Postdsp, on 11 July 2013 - 07:34 AM, said:

Raskolnik is summarizing the facts. Indeed, I could go further and identify many liberal ideas and strands of thought that are descended from Trotsky, Gramsci, the Frankfurt School and other classical and cultural Marxists; most of the anti-white, anti-Western, anti-family, anti-male and anti-Christian bilge in modern liberalism comes from those sources.

None of us doubt that you could, with sufficient effort, find one instance of a "modern liberal" who is clearly "anti-white, anti-Western, anti-family, anti-male and anti-Christian" and who arrived there by way of teachings traceable to "Trotsky, Gramsci, the Frankfurt School and other classical and cultural Marxists." Which says absolutely nothing about either the prevalence of "anti-white, anti-Western, anti-family, anti-male and anti-Christian" influences in "modern liberalism" (or for that matter, the prevalence of "modern liberalism" depending on how you define it) or on the historical roots leading to it.

For instance, how much did those fathers of Marxism influence Teddy Roosevelt? William Jennings Bryan? Were they also "anti-white, anti-Western, anti-family, anti-male and anti-Christian?" Perhaps those antipathies to whites, Westerners, families, men, and Christians only arose with Franklin Roosevelt? Or perhaps Eisenhower? How about LBJ?

If that won't do, then perhaps you could point to their influence on Earl Warren. Or maybe, right up to the present, on Elizabeth Warren?
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#48 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 09:57 AM

There are different definitions, and liberalism is not monolithic. But, broadly, there is economic liberalism and cultural liberalism, or economic progressivism and cultural progressivism.

Traditional economic liberalism is focused on class and economic justice. The left's victories this area include things like progressive taxation, regulation, environmental protections, worker safety laws, minimum wage laws and the social safety net. This is the liberalism of TDR, FDR and Elizabeth Warren, excluding her stances on social and cultural issues. The rationale for all of these ideas ultimately come from Christian ethics.

TDR was socially conservative and was no liberal by today's standards. He was an economic progressive. TDR identified lynchings as a reprehensible but understandable response to the black rape epidemic in the post-civil war South.

Cultural liberalism mainly traffics in matters of race, gender, social and cultural radicalism, and hostility to tradition and Christianity. This has been a trend in liberalism since the 60s.

When liberals start in with their prattling about dead white euro males, and their ignorant critique of Western civilization as mainly a history of injustice, they are operating in a cultural mode, not an economic one. Within contemporary liberalism, it is the "culture-focused" intellectual strand that owes a lot to hard-left radicals like Trotsky, Gramsci and the Frankfurt school.

#49 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 10:52 AM

View Postdsp, on 11 July 2013 - 09:57 AM, said:

There are different definitions, and liberalism is not monolithic. But, broadly, there is economic liberalism and cultural liberalism, or economic progressivism and cultural progressivism.

Traditional economic liberalism is focused on class and economic justice. The left's victories this area include things like progressive taxation, regulation, environmental protections, worker safety laws, minimum wage laws and the social safety net. This is the liberalism of TDR, FDR and Elizabeth Warren, excluding her stances on social and cultural issues. The rationale for all of these ideas ultimately come from Christian ethics.

TDR was socially conservative and was no liberal by today's standards. He was an economic progressive. TDR identified lynchings as a reprehensible but understandable response to the black rape epidemic in the post-civil war South.

As portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Quote

Cultural liberalism mainly traffics in matters of race, gender, social and cultural radicalism, and hostility to tradition and Christianity. This has been a trend in liberalism since the 60s.

Ah. Subjects antithetical to Christianity such as the Voting Rights Act and repeal of laws barring women, blacks, etc from various occupations.

Quote

When liberals start in with their prattling about dead white euro males

Recent examples from anyone with any influence?

Quote

and their ignorant critique of Western civilization as mainly a history of injustice, they are operating in a cultural mode, not an economic one. Within contemporary liberalism, it is the "culture-focused" intellectual strand that owes a lot to hard-left radicals like Trotsky, Gramsci and the Frankfurt school.

I get it: Marxism was primarily about race and cultural issues rather than economics.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#50 LFC

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:13 AM

I'd like to hear an explanation by those who believe that "Christian ethics" were a major force in shaping Western culture of just which of these ethics had the most influence. There's no doubt that Christianity as practiced in Europe shaped us quite a bit, but much of that shaping also took place in a reaction against the tyrannical form of Christianity. Just because the religion was ubiquitous doesn't mean that its "ethics" were the primary force for what we deem good today.

I remember reading people who were trying to defend that the U.S. is based on Judeo-Christian principles because of the Ten Commandments, something that is utterly ridiculous. I'm interested in a quantification of the ethics people are discussion before I can agree or disagree on this one.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#51 LFC

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:30 AM

View Postdsp, on 11 July 2013 - 09:57 AM, said:

Traditional economic liberalism is focused on class and economic justice. The left's victories this area include things like progressive taxation, regulation, environmental protections, worker safety laws, minimum wage laws and the social safety net. This is the liberalism of TDR, FDR and Elizabeth Warren, excluding her stances on social and cultural issues. The rationale for all of these ideas ultimately come from Christian ethics.

If this is true, then why did it take 2,000 years across a whole host of different governments (some explicitly Christian governments) to get them implemented? For example, regulation, environmental protections, and worker safety laws were nearly non-existent until recently, even here in the U.S. How was it "Christian ethics" when the people suffering under the lack of protections screamed "ENOUGH!" And how is sympathy for the death and suffering of others a strictly "Christian ethic"? It seems to me that many non-Christian societies have had this sympathy, and many Christian ones have lacked it.

You seem to be effectively saying that Jesus preached this type of stance so therefore he must be the reason it occurred, but looking back over both the long past and recent history, I think this is a stretch.

View Postdsp, on 11 July 2013 - 09:57 AM, said:

Cultural liberalism mainly traffics in matters of race, gender, social and cultural radicalism, and hostility to tradition and Christianity. This has been a trend in liberalism since the 60s.

And the reason for that is that matters pertaining to white males had mostly been ironed out already. Different (i.e. inferior) treatment due to race and gender was blatantly obvious in the 1960s, so why would liberals be running around trying to right the non-existent injustices being foisted upon white people? Social and cultural "radicalism" was a part of this, not necessarily a separate item. Hostility to tradition and Christianity was also a part. Those fighting interracial marriage did so with a Bible in their hands. Those who said women must remain in an inferior position to men did so also. Religion wasn't attacked for what it said, it was attacked for what it DID! You also left out the anti-war liberalism around the time of Vietnam. The liberals were just flat out correct.

People playing the Christian victim today basically don't want to accept the responsibility for the evil that their religion may have supported. Have good Christians been tarred by the bad, those who wouldn't know how to follow Jesus if you gave them a friggin' step by step map? Absolutely. That's why it's so important for Christians to denounce when their religion is being used for evil purposes. They can start with the Prosperity Gospel a**holes and Westboro Baptist and work their way down the list from there.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#52 indy

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:40 AM

It's actually kinda funny to lump all of Christianity under one umbrella. It is an extremely recent development that the various groups refer to themselves as being under one banner.

#53 Rue Bella

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:48 AM

View Postindy, on 11 July 2013 - 11:40 AM, said:

It's actually kinda funny to lump all of Christianity under one umbrella. It is an extremely recent development that the various groups refer to themselves as being under one banner.

Very true. Growing up Catholic, other Christian denominations were not considered legitimate (that King Henry/Martin Luther thing). And the evangelicals? Nothing more than Christian trailer trash.
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#54 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:52 AM

View PostLFC, on 11 July 2013 - 11:30 AM, said:

And how is sympathy for the death and suffering of others a strictly "Christian ethic"? It seems to me that many non-Christian societies have had this sympathy, and many Christian ones have lacked it.

It's strictly Christian because it happened in Western society, which has been strictly Christian since 1492.
The way a lot of catastrophes happen is that X doesn't occur because there are safeguards in place, therefore people assume X isn't a worry and they remove the safeguards. Then X happens.
— Nate Silver
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#55 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:56 AM

LFC,

If this is true, then why did it take 2,000 years across a whole host of different governments (some explicitly Christian governments) to get them implemented? For example, regulation, environmental protections, and worker safety laws were nearly non-existent until recently, even here in the U.S. How was it "Christian ethics" when the people suffering under the lack of protections screamed "ENOUGH!"

I'd say mainly because of how events unfolded. Many other things had to happen first. Before you can press a government to create worker safety laws, you need a government that is responsive to the people. You need one that is meaningfully democratic. You won't always get a fair hearing for protecting the poor from an autocrat or king. Therefore, the 18th - 19th century revolutions in Euro politics that established or laid the groudwork for democratic government had to happen first. They did not happen until the 18th - 19th century. In addition, the process of industrialization had to happen to create the sordid, dehumanzing, exploitative conditions that worker safety laws were intended to combat. Once the political institutions were in place, people were able to make demands for things like protection and safety nets based on the idea that all life is equal and has value (ethical ideas derived straight from Christianity, and that are unique to Christianity, and not Judaism or classical antiquity. Any parallel ideas in Buddhism are not relevant to Western history. No parallel ideas existed among the Navajo, essentially primitives barely out of the stone age. The Navajo didn't have a written language until white missionaries formalized one for them using the latin alphabet much less any credible body of ethical theory religous or secular).

#56 Rue Bella

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 11:57 AM

Much of Christianity (and no doubt other traditions) is a self-feeding, self-righteous loop of affirmations. We are good and what we do is good, hence we are good and what we do is good.
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#57 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:07 PM

Well of course this is true. The reverse is also true. In the rural South, you can drive past billboards today that describe the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. Call this number to save yourself!

Christianity is far from monolithic both historically or in practice today. There are different strains, sects and "flavors" of it if you will, and there always have been. Many years before Luther's time, there was a split between the Catholic Church and what is now called Orthodox Christianity. If you put 10 Catholics in a room today, they won't agree on much (at least in my family).

None of this means the many Christian sects don't also share much in common.

View PostRue Bella, on 11 July 2013 - 11:48 AM, said:

Very true. Growing up Catholic, other Christian denominations were not considered legitimate (that King Henry/Martin Luther thing). And the evangelicals? Nothing more than Christian trailer trash.


#58 LFC

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:24 PM

View Postdsp, on 11 July 2013 - 11:56 AM, said:

Once the political institutions were in place, people were able to make demands for things like protection and safety nets based on the idea that all life is equal and has value (ethical ideas derived straight from Christianity, and that are unique to Christianity, and not Judaism or classical antiquity. Any parallel ideas in Buddhism are not relevant to Western history. No parallel ideas existed among the Navajo, essentially primitives barely out of the stone age).

Judging from the Christian view on slavery, I'd say that your belief that "all life is equal and has value" is derived straight from Christianity is a stretch. Perhaps "has value" might be correct, but that's not unique in human history. You acknowledge this when you say "any parallel ideas in Buddhism are not relevant to Western history." OK, so we have another major religion that believes the same thing. So maybe the idea of the value of life isn't so much a Christian ethic as much as it is just a human ethic shared by others long before the time of Jesus. It seems to me that you are giving credit to Christianity for just being there, sorta' like certain kinds of union jobs.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#59 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:25 PM

Columbus was a great man. I believe he is one the greatest in history. Imagine sailing into the Atlantic ocean in wooden boats with no modern navigation equipment for parts unknown. That took vision and courage that is rare.

I have this sense you resent the superiority of Western civilization.

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 11 July 2013 - 11:52 AM, said:

It's strictly Christian because it happened in Western society, which has been strictly Christian since 1492.


#60 dsp

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:41 PM

You are correct that Christianity does not specifically denounce slavery. Neither does any other major religion (until very recently).

The notion that all indivdual human life has value is not a human ethic. That's just not true. Most of the world now and historically thinks in terms of particularist values not universal ones. Can you cite writings expressing this idea outside of Christianity before say the 18th century? Even if you can show that some cultures advocated a form of this idea, it's still not relevant to how this idea came to prevail in our civilization. In our civilization, at least some of the credit has to go to Christianity.

Christianity, again, was the first truly universalist religion open to all people in all places. This isn't true for Buddhism. While there is much wisdom in Buddhism, it does not have this universalist element focused on all indivduals written into its doctrines or value system. Just ask Raskolnik.

Slavery was universal too and has existed in places were Judaism, Islam and Buddhism and every other religion have also existed.

The difference between Western civilization and these other civilizations is that Western civilization (descended from Christianity) gradually ended slavery over the 17th - 19th centuries. I think one has to give some credit where it is due. If you look at the ledger, Christianity has contributed more good than bad.

View PostLFC, on 11 July 2013 - 12:24 PM, said:

Judging from the Christian view on slavery, I'd say that your belief that "all life is equal and has value" is derived straight from Christianity is a stretch. Perhaps "has value" might be correct, but that's not unique in human history. You acknowledge this when you say "any parallel ideas in Buddhism are not relevant to Western history." OK, so we have another major religion that believes the same thing. So maybe the idea of the value of life isn't so much a Christian ethic as much as it is just a human ethic shared by others long before the time of Jesus. It seems to me that you are giving credit to Christianity for just being there, sorta' like certain kinds of union jobs.






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