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December 13th, 2007, 14:58
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
As to point 4… JemyM, surely you're not claiming that Christians and Christianity did not play a significant role in the founding of the United States and in the formation of the western civilization? 'Cuz that seems pretty absurd to me.
That's two different statements. Christianity had nothing to do with founding the United States, if anything the US constitution is meant to protect the nation from becoming influenced by religious establishments. The founding fathers were well read on political philosophy and that is what they used. Some makes the mistake to confuse the founders Deism with Christianity. Deist do not mean Christian and some of the founding fathers were rather vocal in their criticism of religion. They recognized the tyranny that mixing religion with state lead to in Europe and they saw they had to avoid that if liberty and freedom was going to be preserved in the new world.

When it comes to Christianity's effect on Western Civilization. Yes, they did have a major impact, although not the kind of impact they like to take credit for.
At first, many ideas within Christian philosophy is not Christian in the first place. Christianity brings together many different ideas that were popular in it's era. After it's foundation the institution ruled the European continent with an iron fist for 1400 years, only to losing power and getting reformed thanks to a changing culture, also influenced by resurrected Greek philosophy. As an institution the Christian church had tied together the nations within Europe and for a long time they became the center of culture. It was first after the institution was overthrown that they started to make some progress. They assisted in making people literate, they played a great role when dealing with other countries etc. But eventually church split up. Greek philosophy had a huge impact in bringing forth science as something important which eventually took of in other institutions such as schools, universities and libraries. During the enlightenment new philosophies started to replace the old ones. Many of the most respected values of today within the Declaration of Human Rights are brought forth by the new philosophies such as liberalism and socialism.

When you study world philosophy and see how ideas evolve you see that the role Christian Philosophy itself played in world history, it was a rather small one when it comes to actually making progress and evolving culture. Most of the progress made by Church is thanks to individual movements from within the institution, and culture did not really start to speed up it's progress until the Enlightenment when the institution finally lost power.

Other philosophies such as Liberalism, Socialism and the Greek Ancients had much greater impact on western civilization than Christianity.

Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
In any case, there's a somewhat interesting story behind these two resolutions (yes, they are connected). Or interesting for any America-watcher anyway. You might want to look it up; there's more to it than the "yet another step towards theocracy" that you're painting it.
Let me guess. They were nice to Muslims and Christians complained?
Last edited by JemyM; December 13th, 2007 at 15:07.
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