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This question/comment was posted on another forum, by one of my antagonists. I have already answered it, but thought you guys (and gals) might want a chance at rebutting it:

 

I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries? It is a fact! But is it just a coincident? What do you think?

Irish

 

I'll check back tommorrow and see what y'all think - heimdall :yellow:

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I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries...Except Japan...and China... and Great Brittain, and Germany...

 

Why do you think it is that all the countries with the highest crime rates, birth rates, murder rates and suicide rates are predominantly christian?

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This question/comment was posted on another forum, by one of my antagonists. I have already answered it, but thought you guys (and gals) might want a chance at rebutting it:

 

I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries? It is a fact! But is it just a coincident? What do you think?

Irish

 

I'll check back tommorrow and see what y'all think - heimdall :yellow:

The reason Christianity is in these countries is because the secular societies which were advanced enough to prosper were tolerant of them, unlike the Christian Church to everyone else. Christians owe their existence to the tolerance of secular society. None of these are Christian run governments. God prefers athiests.

 

(I could spend some serious thought developing this, but I'm feeling flippant towards the transparently leading question from them).

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This question/comment was posted on another forum, by one of my antagonists. I have already answered it, but thought you guys (and gals) might want a chance at rebutting it:

 

I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries? It is a fact! But is it just a coincident? What do you think?

Irish

 

I'll check back tommorrow and see what y'all think - heimdall :yellow:

 

 

I honestly don't see any connection. You could replace "christian" with "sports loving" and ask the same question.

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That's easy - Japan. Not predominitly christian and for the most part has a better economy and definitely more stable than us.

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Guest celsusthepagan

I'd agree with the statement, in part (that doesn't make Christianity TRUE, but merely USEFUL to the development of civilizations).

 

Japan got an awful lot of help from the West post World War II to catapult it into the place that it now occupies.

 

There are several facets of a "liberal" Christianity that contribute to societal development. . .

 

1. Belief that the world was ordered by one rational mind gives rise to the development of the sciences (even though ironically the future development of those sciences undercut those very beliefs).

 

2. Belief that poverty and disease are not part of the natural order leads to efforts to eradicate them. Thus the development of medicines and more encompassing social order.

 

3. Belief that God has given us dominion over the world leads to attempts to exercise that dominion.

 

4. Belief that one will be judged after this life for what one does and does not do leads to a greater underlying current of morality, sort of an invisible police force that keeps society together with less expenditure of resources. It also leads to people working harder, as they fear they will be judged for their laziness.

 

 

Again, this doesn't make Christianity TRUE, merely useful in the evolution of society and culture.

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The way I see it, the countries that are financially strong and politically stable are that way in spite of religion, not because of it.

 

Most of the huge developments in these countries in the past 100 years had nothing whatsoever to do with Christian tenets or the Bible.

 

And, what about countries like Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia. Jesus is all the rage in these countries. Poverty is rampant.

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Christians online are so like robots...They never think up anything original, but repeat each others flawed arguements all the time.

 

Simple. It's got to do with history, and geography. Basically it all flowly from previous events.

The question is actually two question in one, the whay it is asked now implies that Christianity and power have anything to do with it.

 

Why is the west so powerfull these days?

Why is the West predominatly Christian?

 

The first is harder to answer than the second. Europe was Christian, because constantine adopted it, and Christians were lucky that a few monks liuving on a rainy Island inthe Atlantic were not defeated by barbarians.

irish monks converted people to Christ, Rome continued it, and when a few succefull kings conquered the continent, like Charlemange, it was Converted to Christianity.

Misionarries combined with superiour firepower and migrating europeans did the rest.

 

Why Europe was so 'powerfull' depends on geography, climate and history.

But I don't think Europe really was so powerfull. China and Japan were just as advanced, and the Islamic empires only began to crumble in the 1800ds.

The difference is that Europeans took to the seas, mostly to make money.

 

 

 

And, what about countries like Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia. Jesus is all the rage in these countries. Poverty is rampant.

 

O, but they are catholic. That's actually Satan worship in disguise!

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Guest celsusthepagan

The way I see it, the countries that are financially strong and politically stable are that way in spite of religion, not because of it.

 

Most of the huge developments in these countries in the past 100 years had nothing whatsoever to do with Christian tenets or the Bible.

 

And, what about countries like Paraguay, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia. Jesus is all the rage in these countries. Poverty is rampant.

 

The roots of why these nations are strong and stable go way back before 100 years ago. I think religion was a necessary part of the rise up to science. Think about how much the invention of the printing press led to the dissemination of ideas and values. Yet what was one of the main points of the printing press? To print Bibles, of course.

 

I don't think religion and prosperity will be correlated so closely in the next century. Now that scientific thought has its own legs, it will spread all over the world. But religion in general, and I would argue Christianity in particular, had a great role in developing the kind of culture from which science coud arise.

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Affluent society can afford a lot of things.

 

When you have affluence and stability, your population has more complex wants.

Equal Rights is a biggie.

 

If your society is not grubbing just to make ends meet each day, or deeply embroiled in physical conflict, they have time to think. Time to think means time to see where areas of society can be improved, or changed.

Their women don't notice they are treated like crap, and the religions that exist have a deep and profound influence on people.

Religion has less influence in societies that are affluent and peaceful.

You may notice even in our own society, since we have a conflict with another country, religion is trying to gain prominance again.

 

I know this is the opposite of what was asked, but what was asked was a question with a presupposed answer connecting two unrelated states of being.

 

1. America is an affluent country.

2. Lot of Christians in America.

Therefore Christianity is a result of affluent countries.

 

This is begging the question, or petitio principii for all you latin lovers. :wicked:

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I'd agree with the statement, in part (that doesn't make Christianity TRUE, but merely USEFUL to the development of civilizations).

 

And where is the correlation that Christianity caused these countries to be more wealthy?

 

Japan got an awful lot of help from the West post World War II to catapult it into the place that it now occupies.

 

Yea....dropping bombs on them really helped them out. I think the reason why Japan became so economically stable was the result of sanctions on them that disallowed the creation of a military. No military, more money to go elsewhere.

 

Look at China, India, Egypt, Rome, Greece. They were the wealthiest areas thousands of years ago and they were technologically more advanced than any other group of people.

 

1. Belief that the world was ordered by one rational mind gives rise to the development of the sciences (even though ironically the future development of those sciences undercut those very beliefs).

 

How so?

 

2. Belief that poverty and disease are not part of the natural order leads to efforts to eradicate them. Thus the development of medicines and more encompassing social order.

 

How so? Poverty and disease ARE a part of the "natural" order, that's why animals get diseases and can be struck by poverty.

 

3. Belief that God has given us dominion over the world leads to attempts to exercise that dominion.

 

Whilst consequently causing the destruction of 'their domain' by thinking they own it.

 

4. Belief that one will be judged after this life for what one does and does not do leads to a greater underlying current of morality, sort of an invisible police force that keeps society together with less expenditure of resources. It also leads to people working harder, as they fear they will be judged for their laziness.

 

No, morality is the observance of behaviour that is developed through cultural evolution. It is apparent that threatening people does not deter crime, or the prisons wouldn't be so full.

 

Again, this doesn't make Christianity TRUE, merely useful in the evolution of society and culture.

 

Again, you don't provide any link between Christianity and wealth. There are countries predominantly not Christian that are wealthier, more attractive, and more politically stable.

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Guest celsusthepagan

I'd agree with the statement, in part (that doesn't make Christianity TRUE, but merely USEFUL to the development of civilizations).

 

And where is the correlation that Christianity caused these countries to be more wealthy?

 

 

Japan got an awful lot of help from the West post World War II to catapult it into the place that it now occupies.

 

Yea....dropping bombs on them really helped them out. I think the reason why Japan became so economically stable was the result of sanctions on them that disallowed the creation of a military. No military, more money to go elsewhere.

 

Look at China, India, Egypt, Rome, Greece. They were the wealthiest areas thousands of years ago and they were technologically more advanced than any other group of people.

 

So I guess the question is. . .why did they stagnate while other civilizations took over? Why did their head start in technology not translate into something more today?

 

I think a part of it has to do with new vs. populated countries as well. This may be a factor in Japan's jump as well. When you are an ancient civilization, you have a lot of existing infrastructure to maintain, and that expense balloons over time and eats away capital from new developments. When you start from scratch, you can build using the most modern technologies.

 

 

1. Belief that the world was ordered by one rational mind gives rise to the development of the sciences (even though ironically the future development of those sciences undercut those very beliefs).

 

How so?

 

If you believe that one overriding intelligence created this world and created you as well, you have hope that if you looked at the world, some part of you would understand it because you have been created by the same hand as that creator.

 

2. Belief that poverty and disease are not part of the natural order leads to efforts to eradicate them. Thus the development of medicines and more encompassing social order.

 

How so? Poverty and disease ARE a part of the "natural" order, that's why animals get diseases and can be struck by poverty.

 

Not so, according to Christian theology. They believe that the world was created perfectly, and that eradicating sickness and disease is in some sense returning us to an Edenic state of things. Because they believe sickness and poverty are ABBERATIONS, not the original intent, they seek to eradicate them.

 

3. Belief that God has given us dominion over the world leads to attempts to exercise that dominion.

 

Whilst consequently causing the destruction of 'their domain' by thinking they own it.

 

Sure, I agree. Christians are on the whole anti-environmental because of their dominion theology. But what is bad for us now as the world becomes overpopulated was a boost for the initial development of wealth and intellectual capital.

 

 

4. Belief that one will be judged after this life for what one does and does not do leads to a greater underlying current of morality, sort of an invisible police force that keeps society together with less expenditure of resources. It also leads to people working harder, as they fear they will be judged for their laziness.

 

No, morality is the observance of behaviour that is developed through cultural evolution. It is apparent that threatening people does not deter crime, or the prisons wouldn't be so full.

 

That's exactly my point. . .the threat of worldly punishment only holds so much fear for people - thus if there's a good chance you can get away with something without being caught, you are sorely tempted to do it. But imagine if there's NO CHANCE that you will get away with it, the Eyes are always watching, and you will be tortured forever for your transgressions. . .

 

And cultural evolution is not a force that happens outside of religion, but is very much influenced and driven by it.

 

 

Again, this doesn't make Christianity TRUE, merely useful in the evolution of society and culture.

 

Again, you don't provide any link between Christianity and wealth. There are countries predominantly not Christian that are wealthier, more attractive, and more politically stable.

 

Indeed, that is the case today. . .yet that does not explain how the West seemed to be the home to many large technological and other wealth-creating advances in the past 500 years. These grew up in a soil, and like it nor not, part of that soil was Christianity.

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Indeed, that is the case today. . .yet that does not explain how the West seemed to be the home to many large technological and other wealth-creating advances in the past 500 years. These grew up in a soil, and like it nor not, part of that soil was Christianity.

 

I fear you are still stuffed with dusty ol' church propaganda. The west wallowed in a virtual technological standstill for almost a thousand years because the church controlled education.

500 years ago, we got restarted with a Renaissance -- which only came about thanks to records of early Greek science and philosophy that we rediscovered by snatching them from the Arabs. We had to get them from the Arabs because our church didn't think that pagan stuff was worth preserving. And since then churches of various orders have railed from the pulpit about the evils of surgical medicine, free speech, democracy, equal rights for Jews, and emancipation.

 

Christianity does not nurture knowledge.

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Heimdall, it depends on how you determine a successful society. I think Buddhist have had the least amount of wars in their name. It seems Tibbet (Buddhist) is an environmentally friendly place, a very peaceful country, but not technically advanced. The Japanese seem to be comprable to the US in many ways, yet do not claim Christianity. However, the Japanese seem to be almost a closed society. How about China? They seem to be getting to be very successful! Perhaps the source for the kind of progress they are referring is not Christianity, but freedom of expression? The brute force used to conquer societies does not equate with ultimate altruistic superiority, does it? :shrug:

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So I guess the question is. . .why did they stagnate while other civilizations took over? Why did their head start in technology not translate into something more today?

 

I think a part of it has to do with new vs. populated countries as well. This may be a factor in Japan's jump as well. When you are an ancient civilization, you have a lot of existing infrastructure to maintain, and that expense balloons over time and eats away capital from new developments. When you start from scratch, you can build using the most modern technologies.

 

For Greece? Conquered. For Rome? Turned Christian. Egypt? Conquered.

 

War is in large part a contributing factor to technological development. Technilogical development for warfare can lead to other developments in medical sciences, electronics, space exploration (which branches into different applicable technologies for home use), vehicles, airplanes...etc.

 

As mentioned previously, there was a gigantic stagnation due to the Dark Ages, where knowledge gained was lost. The world went through a period of growth, a period where we plateaued, and then we broke that plateau with the Renaissance. I don't see Christianity behind this, can you point it out?

 

If you believe that one overriding intelligence created this world and created you as well, you have hope that if you looked at the world, some part of you would understand it because you have been created by the same hand as that creator.

 

That makes no sense at all. How does that correlate to contribution to science?

 

Not so, according to Christian theology. They believe that the world was created perfectly, and that eradicating sickness and disease is in some sense returning us to an Edenic state of things. Because they believe sickness and poverty are ABBERATIONS, not the original intent, they seek to eradicate them.

 

That is not the driving force in medical sciences, celsus, nor was it previously. Once again...look at the Dark Ages, where people were morons. Look at Ancient Egypt, where their remedies are still applicable today. You don't see people being bled to get rid of a fever do you?

 

Sure, I agree. Christians are on the whole anti-environmental because of their dominion theology. But what is bad for us now as the world becomes overpopulated was a boost for the initial development of wealth and intellectual capital.

 

Once again, you're not providing any historical corroboration to what you are saying. According to their Theology, God gave Man dominion over the earth, not Christians...so your point is moot as it applies to domination over other people.

 

That's exactly my point. . .the threat of worldly punishment only holds so much fear for people - thus if there's a good chance you can get away with something without being caught, you are sorely tempted to do it. But imagine if there's NO CHANCE that you will get away with it, the Eyes are always watching, and you will be tortured forever for your transgressions. . .

 

And that's still no deterrent, which is exactly MY point. Especially when you add in the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. These people are saved, and they think they're shit without Jesus, so it gives them excuse to do bad things, it doesn't deter them! Take away the threat of Hell by bringing Jesus into the picture and you have a bunch of people who think they're gonna be ok in the end anyways doing whatever they want!

 

And cultural evolution is not a force that happens outside of religion, but is very much influenced and driven by it.

 

Religion is a combatant of cultural evolution, because it seeks to prevent change. Because humans naturally change and evolve, tradition always loses. And don't even try to refute this point because if you look in the fucking middle east, you'll see the people over their fighting a thousand-plus year war over nothing but religious differences.

 

Indeed, that is the case today. . .yet that does not explain how the West seemed to be the home to many large technological and other wealth-creating advances in the past 500 years. These grew up in a soil, and like it nor not, part of that soil was Christianity.

 

You're really kissing Christian ass here, man. You're trying to say that Christianity is the cause of this development without providing any actual evidence for it, and then you change your tune when confronted.

 

As White_Raven said, just because Christianity is a part of a culture does not mean it's a contributing factor to the technology and wealth.

 

Again, to support my assertion...Jesus himself said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven. He also stated that you should give up all your possessions to be His follower.

 

QED

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Guest celsusthepagan

So I guess the question is. . .why did they stagnate while other civilizations took over? Why did their head start in technology not translate into something more today?

 

I think a part of it has to do with new vs. populated countries as well. This may be a factor in Japan's jump as well. When you are an ancient civilization, you have a lot of existing infrastructure to maintain, and that expense balloons over time and eats away capital from new developments. When you start from scratch, you can build using the most modern technologies.

 

For Greece? Conquered. For Rome? Turned Christian. Egypt? Conquered.

 

War is in large part a contributing factor to technological development. Technilogical development for warfare can lead to other developments in medical sciences, electronics, space exploration (which branches into different applicable technologies for home use), vehicles, airplanes...etc.

 

As mentioned previously, there was a gigantic stagnation due to the Dark Ages, where knowledge gained was lost. The world went through a period of growth, a period where we plateaued, and then we broke that plateau with the Renaissance. I don't see Christianity behind this, can you point it out?

 

 

If you believe that one overriding intelligence created this world and created you as well, you have hope that if you looked at the world, some part of you would understand it because you have been created by the same hand as that creator.

 

That makes no sense at all. How does that correlate to contribution to science?

 

Let's say that you have three cultures. One culture believes that the world and everything in it is ultimately an illusion and the way to enlightenment is to turn your eyes away from the illusion and to some esoteric higher knowledge. The second culture believes that the world is a product of a whole slew of warring Gods, any of whom might be favorably or ill-disposed toward man at any time depending on their temperments. The third people believe that an one all-powerful God created the world and mankind, imparted to mankind part of his nature, and left behind clues in that creation that act as signposts to his nature. Which of these three cultures would give rise to the type of thinking that could lead to science?

 

 

Not so, according to Christian theology. They believe that the world was created perfectly, and that eradicating sickness and disease is in some sense returning us to an Edenic state of things. Because they believe sickness and poverty are ABBERATIONS, not the original intent, they seek to eradicate them.

 

That is not the driving force in medical sciences, celsus, nor was it previously. Once again...look at the Dark Ages, where people were morons. Look at Ancient Egypt, where their remedies are still applicable today. You don't see people being bled to get rid of a fever do you?

 

I'm not saying that the actual sciences themselves stemmed from people studying ancient Hebrew herbology. They were just as blind in a sense as all the cultures before them. . .it is just that health was a particularly interesting problem to this type of culture because of an emphasis on the unnaturalness of death, the belief in God's creation of human bodies, and the fact that Jesus placed a great deal of emphasis on healing and relieving suffering. Wanting to follow in Jesus' footsteps, but not having any real divine power, the culture throws anything against the wall that might stick - a leech here, a bleeding there. At first the results were sad, even barbaric - but like the monkeys typing Shakespeare, eventually some good combinations emerged, then more, and finally medical science developed.

 

 

 

Sure, I agree. Christians are on the whole anti-environmental because of their dominion theology. But what is bad for us now as the world becomes overpopulated was a boost for the initial development of wealth and intellectual capital.

 

Once again, you're not providing any historical corroboration to what you are saying. According to their Theology, God gave Man dominion over the earth, not Christians...so your point is moot as it applies to domination over other people.

 

Christians did indeed believe that God gave all things over to the rule of mankind. Forests are there in part to be harvested, mountains to be mined, animals to be eaten. Cultures that believe that they can gorge themselves on resources can capitalize on those resources and explode in technology, just like a greedy cancer cell can explode in multiplication by gobbling up the body's resources. I'm not claminig this is a GOOD thing long term, but it can be a factor in development.

 

That's exactly my point. . .the threat of worldly punishment only holds so much fear for people - thus if there's a good chance you can get away with something without being caught, you are sorely tempted to do it. But imagine if there's NO CHANCE that you will get away with it, the Eyes are always watching, and you will be tortured forever for your transgressions. . .

 

And that's still no deterrent, which is exactly MY point. Especially when you add in the saving Grace of Jesus Christ. These people are saved, and they think they're shit without Jesus, so it gives them excuse to do bad things, it doesn't deter them! Take away the threat of Hell by bringing Jesus into the picture and you have a bunch of people who think they're gonna be ok in the end anyways doing whatever they want!

 

I've read many, many extians here talk about how RELIGION IS CONTROL - if the threat of hell and judgment has no sway over the thoughts and actions of men, then how exactly is it control? I've read a lot of eximonies of how miserable people were because there were things they wanted to do, but were afraid that they would be punished by God for doing them. It is a HUGE deterrent and one that keeps many people from leaving the faith.

 

And cultural evolution is not a force that happens outside of religion, but is very much influenced and driven by it.

 

Religion is a combatant of cultural evolution, because it seeks to prevent change. Because humans naturally change and evolve, tradition always loses. And don't even try to refute this point because if you look in the fucking middle east, you'll see the people over their fighting a thousand-plus year war over nothing but religious differences.

 

Tradition does not always lose - your example of the middle east proves that point. It exerts a great deal of pressure on a culture to conform to certain norms. The culture then pushes back over time against the religion. Those religions with enough built-in flexibility encorporate the push-back mutate and evolve into something else, and then push that back into the culture.

 

It is in one sense a strength of Christianity (in pure Darwinistic survival terms) that the Bible is so contradictory in places. When the culture pushed back and wanted wars, the Bible provided more than enough material justification for them. When the culture wanted love and peace, well, there were verses for that as well. Love? Check. Poverty? Check. Since you can't pin Christianity to the wall on a lot of things, it has managed to mutate and live to fight another day. Judaism got stuck by being tied to a particular people group (though you could argue that Christianity is just Judaism with some mutations for more universality and less rigid law codes).

 

 

Indeed, that is the case today. . .yet that does not explain how the West seemed to be the home to many large technological and other wealth-creating advances in the past 500 years. These grew up in a soil, and like it nor not, part of that soil was Christianity.

 

You're really kissing Christian ass here, man. You're trying to say that Christianity is the cause of this development without providing any actual evidence for it, and then you change your tune when confronted.

 

As White_Raven said, just because Christianity is a part of a culture does not mean it's a contributing factor to the technology and wealth.

 

 

 

Again, to support my assertion...Jesus himself said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to get into heaven. He also stated that you should give up all your possessions to be His follower.

QED

 

 

I'm not equating Christianity and what Jesus actually said. Christianity is many interpretations of the Bible, many of them loose interpretations, and the judgment of many church councils, etc. over time. There's tons of material in the OT to be mined for justifying the creation of wealth.

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Let's say that you have three cultures. One culture believes that the world and everything in it is ultimately an illusion and the way to enlightenment is to turn your eyes away from the illusion and to some esoteric higher knowledge.

 

Christianity.

 

The second culture believes that the world is a product of a whole slew of warring Gods, any of whom might be favorably or ill-disposed toward man at any time depending on their temperments.

 

A number of pagan faiths, most prominently the ancient Greek Olympic Pantheon.

 

The third people believe that an one all-powerful God created the world and mankind, imparted to mankind part of his nature, and left behind clues in that creation that act as signposts to his nature. Which of these three cultures would give rise to the type of thinking that could lead to science?

 

Deism. As both the belief system and the answer to your question. (not to imply Deism is the only or "correct" answer, of course, merely keeping within context)

 

I'm not saying that the actual sciences themselves stemmed from people studying ancient Hebrew herbology. They were just as blind in a sense as all the cultures before them. . .it is just that health was a particularly interesting problem to this type of culture because of an emphasis on the unnaturalness of death, the belief in God's creation of human bodies, and the fact that Jesus placed a great deal of emphasis on healing and relieving suffering. Wanting to follow in Jesus' footsteps, but not having any real divine power, the culture throws anything against the wall that might stick - a leech here, a bleeding there. At first the results were sad, even barbaric - but like the monkeys typing Shakespeare, eventually some good combinations emerged, then more, and finally medical science developed.

 

What you seem to fail to realize is that it doesn't take a messenger from some "greater being" to convince people that a person laid out with a fever is a problem to which a solution needs to be found. When individuals in a social setting (such as humanity) get sick, those around them have a natural inclination to lessen their suffering and try to find a cure. This is not following the teachings of some mythical god-man, this is common behavior among social organisms.

 

Christians did indeed believe that God gave all things over to the rule of mankind. Forests are there in part to be harvested, mountains to be mined, animals to be eaten. Cultures that believe that they can gorge themselves on resources can capitalize on those resources and explode in technology, just like a greedy cancer cell can explode in multiplication by gobbling up the body's resources. I'm not claminig this is a GOOD thing long term, but it can be a factor in development.

 

Occam's Razor. Again.

 

I've read many, many extians here talk about how RELIGION IS CONTROL - if the threat of hell and judgment has no sway over the thoughts and actions of men, then how exactly is it control? I've read a lot of eximonies of how miserable people were because there were things they wanted to do, but were afraid that they would be punished by God for doing them. It is a HUGE deterrent and one that keeps many people from leaving the faith.

 

Fear of Hell is indeed a very real thing--but it wouldn't be there if not for the greater force of human nature overriding the irrational fear. Suppression can only last so long. Eventually, too much pressure will build up and the damn will burst. That is when and (more importantly) why the fear of Hell exists and is such a strong motivational factor--until human nature takes over again.

 

It truly is a vicious cycle.

 

Tradition does not always lose - your example of the middle east proves that point. It exerts a great deal of pressure on a culture to conform to certain norms. The culture then pushes back over time against the religion. Those religions with enough built-in flexibility encorporate the push-back mutate and evolve into something else, and then push that back into the culture.

 

It is in one sense a strength of Christianity (in pure Darwinistic survival terms) that the Bible is so contradictory in places. When the culture pushed back and wanted wars, the Bible provided more than enough material justification for them. When the culture wanted love and peace, well, there were verses for that as well. Love? Check. Poverty? Check. Since you can't pin Christianity to the wall on a lot of things, it has managed to mutate and live to fight another day. Judaism got stuck by being tied to a particular people group (though you could argue that Christianity is just Judaism with some mutations for more universality and less rigid law codes).

 

In the scope of a generation or two, you're right, tradition sometimes wins out.

 

But in the scope of cultural "evolution," which is what I believe Asimov was referring to, tradition will always take a back seat to change. As generations come and go and the great-grandchildren of those who clung so desperately to the old ways inherit society with their own moral values, things will change. You can see it happen rapidly as the generations pass in American culture, but if you step back a bit and look at a broader time spectrum you'll see it happening in every culture.

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I'm not equating Christianity and what Jesus actually said. Christianity is many interpretations of the Bible, many of them loose interpretations, and the judgment of many church councils, etc. over time. There's tons of material in the OT to be mined for justifying the creation of wealth.

 

Dude, you are missing the point. You are not providing any hard evidence to show a causal relationship between wealthy countries and certain ones being predominantly Christian. If you are going to say that Christianity caused this wealth, then you have to provide evidence!

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This question/comment was posted on another forum, by one of my antagonists. I have already answered it, but thought you guys (and gals) might want a chance at rebutting it:

 

I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries? It is a fact! But is it just a coincident? What do you think?

Irish

 

I'll check back tommorrow and see what y'all think - heimdall :yellow:

 

The first thought I had in reading that was that the writer was talking about WHITE supremecy not Christian inspired success. (i believe there are some African countries that are predominantly Christian .. but not stable and certainly not financially strong.)

 

And if the writer is Irish then what does he/she have to say about his / her own 'politically stable' country!

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Sweden is a frigging nice place and very stable... it has 70% agnostics/atheists... what was the question again?

 

:)HanSolo, I didn't know that about Sweden! I thought about it, but thought that your background came from there... so it must be very Christian oriented. hehe

 

I was in Norway for about 6 weeks, and 1 week in Sweden, many years ago... and found it amazingly progressive, if not the most! Norway did have strict socializing laws, like most businesses closed at 4 or 5 pm, and no TV shows in the day but government programs. They are by nature very environmentally clean, had great laws about equality, and have tons of compassion! The Scandinavians are very wealthy, yet didn't they get most of their wealth from an abundance of oil? I suppose oil would make the Islamic countries the most wealthiest in the world.

 

BTW, HanSolo, in Norway I saw wooden statues of 'trolls' everywhere! What's the big deal about the 'trolls'? :huh:

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Sweden is a frigging nice place and very stable... it has 70% agnostics/atheists... what was the question again?

 

:)HanSolo, I didn't know that about Sweden! I thought about it, but thought that your background came from there... so it must be very Christian oriented. hehe

It's funny that I was in minority there. There's only 10-20% Christians, and I was one, and one of the extreme fundamentalist too. Now I live in US, and I'm agnostic/atheist, again in the minority. :HaHa:

 

I was in Norway for about 6 weeks, and 1 week in Sweden, many years ago... and found it amazingly progressive, if not the most! Norway did have strict socializing laws, like most businesses closed at 4 or 5 pm, and no TV shows in the day but government programs. They are by nature very environmentally clean, had great laws about equality, and have tons of compassion!

Norway is also very agnostic, but like Sweden, quite socialistic.

 

The Scandinavians are very wealthy, yet didn't they get most of their wealth from an abundance of oil? I suppose oil would make the Islamic countries the most wealthiest in the world.

Norway got its wealth from oil. Sweden got wealthy because it wasn't involved in the WWII, and didn't have the huge cost of warfare and rebuilding afterwards. But it wasted most of the money on social reforms.

 

Sweden is producing a lot of new technology and inventions. It's in the top 5 countries in the world when it comes to medical research and progress. It's also in the top 5 for music production! (I bet you didn't know that) Some of Madonnas CD and Music Videos were produced there, and many other famous artists too. LA, New York, London and Stockholm (IIRC) are the top ones.

 

Finland is also a very nice country, and not at all Christian.

 

BTW, HanSolo, in Norway I saw wooden statues of 'trolls' everywhere! What's the big deal about the 'trolls'? :huh:

It's more of a cultural thing. You should ask Odintim, he's from Norway.

 

 

The whole idea that countries have to be Christianized to be financially strong and successful is not true. Most countries in Europe used to be govern by catholic kings, but when the protestantic movement came and when philosophers started to talk about secular governments, the countries became wealthier and stronger. So it wasn't the Christians that made the countries strong, but the secularization. The only thing Christians provided with was that the protestants prepared the way for the secular society. In a sense, the protestants were the backsliders that allowed doubt and atheism into society.

 

Americas success was that it was and is open to diversity, not that it was Christian. It was the freedom of speech and religion that made US successful. People were not afraid of going into new areas. The government didn't stop them from inventing, producing, thinking, talking. That's why it was great, and still is, unless it becomes a theocracy.

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Some very good posts here, I learned a lot, especially from Hans....Here is the way that I responded to his original post:

 

Actually, you are forgetting Japan, China, most of the European countries (they are now just about 70% no religious preference as opposed to Christian and also have a large Muslim population) which aren't are predominately Christian and also forgetting that the large majority of the financially weak, politically unstable and least desired places to live in the entire world ARE predominately Christian (most of Central and South America, large portions of Africa and the poorer, less stable European nations (Greece. Spain, Portugal, etc). Religion has nothing to do with financial strength, Christianity does support tyrants so long as the tyrants maintain the status quo that gives the religon it's privileges, and the desired place to live is tied to the financial strength, not religion. So really, you observation is not quite factual.

 

 

To which he responded:

 

You raise a few good points, But I don't see a flood of people wishing to imigrate to those countrys mentioned.

Irish

 

 

My answer to that was:

 

China has historically guarded their borders against immigration and emigration. With a population of 1.3 billion people and an area of 906 million sq km, China has a population density of 150 persons per sq km. Needless to say, the People’s Republic of China heartily discourages immigration. China also does not belong to the group of “refugee” nations, that is the nations accepting refugees from natural disasters or wars. Japan has historically discouraged intercourse with other nations and people, to the point that Japan had to be “opened” by the American Admiral Perry in the 19th century. Japan has a population of 127.5 million and an area of 377, 835 sq km, giving a population density of 337 persons per sq km (actually double that of China). Japan also is not a member of the “refugee” nations and does not actively encourage large scale immigration into the country. Over half of Britain’s population growth from 1991 to 2005 has come from immigration into the country, with the United States!!!, Germany!!!, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean area being the leading contributors to that growth. Nearly 9% of Germany’s population (7.32 million) is immigrant, mainly from the Middle East, 7% of France’s population is immigrant from mainly Portugal, North Africa and Yugoslavia. I could go on, but you get the idea. The United States is not the only immigrant nation in the world; most of the financially strong nations, no matter what their religion or political setup is, are immigrant nations. Those that have an extremely high population density, out of necessity discourage immigration; for obvious reasons.

 

He has not responded to the last, but several non-believers have agreed with what I posted. – Heimdall the victorious :yellow:

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This question/comment was posted on another forum, by one of my antagonists. I have already answered it, but thought you guys (and gals) might want a chance at rebutting it:

 

I have a serious question for everyone. Why do you think it is that all the financially strong, politically stable and most desired places in the entire world to live are all predominantly Christian countries? It is a fact! But is it just a coincident? What do you think?

Irish

 

I'll check back tommorrow and see what y'all think - heimdall :yellow:

 

I think they're just plain wrong, especially if by "christian" you mean nations where the majority of the people are practicing christians. Most of Western Europe is secular, not christian. Japan is not christian, South Korea is not christian, Hong Kong is not christian, China - the worlds fastest growing economy - is not christian.

 

Sounds like this person has a very limited view of the world. Not to mention that being a strong, stable or desirable place to live has nothing at all to do with being correct when it comes to religious beliefs. At different points in time Egypt, Greece and Rome held these distinctions - does that mean their "pagan" beliefs were correct?

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