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Letters by a modern St. Ferdinand III about cults

Gab@StFerdinandIII - Plenty of cults exist - every cult has its 'religious dogma', its idols, its 'prophets', its 'science', its 'proof' and its intolerant liturgy of demands.  Cults everywhere:  Islam, the State, the cult of Gay and Queer, Marxism, Darwin and Evolution, 'Science', Globaloneywarming, Changing Climate, Abortion....a nice variety for the human-hater, amoral, anti-rationalist to choose from.  It is so much fun mocking them isn't it ?

Tempus Fugit Memento Mori - Time Flies Remember Death 

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Capitalism and the Christian Church.

There is a good reason why the modern world developed in Europe.........

by StFerdIII



Only Christian Europe developed the fundamentals which birthed the modern world. Reason, rationality, science, capital and most vitally, the ideas of freedom, responsibility, and free-will only existed in Christian Europe. It was not a perfect evolution from the slow implosion of the Oriental, and unprogressive Roman empire; to the early modern period. But Europe did evolve. No other locale on the planet, and no other empire in history even came remotely close to creating the building blocks of the modern world – only Christian Europe achieved that opus of human development:

Most would argue that Christianity leads to nothing but irrationality, a hatred of science, child-abuse, war and intolerance. This viewpoint is as incorrect and devoid of factual history, as it is sweeping. The mountain of evidence points to the contrary. Compared to other theological and spiritual movements, Christianity is the only framework in the history of man to generate three key insights which encouraged Europe to create the modern world. The first is that the pursuit to understand faith can only be fulfilled through reason and inquiry. The second is that free-will and the right to life, to own property, and to manage one's own 'fate', is central to living. These two cultural insights lead to the third tenet bequeathed by Christianity, namely a belief in progress, a good future, and the optimism that positive change is possible – not only spiritually but materially.

No other system concocted by man ever generated these three key points which was the basis of the European supremacy in culture, spirituality, and ethics.

Capitalism is the only system in human history, to generate wealth, education, health care, a proper diet and conveniences for the peasant mass. It is the only system in history which ties together economics, morality, equality, the law, and culture into a systemic and unified 'whole'. This complicated and much maligned system which gave us the blessings of modernity only arose in Christian Europe. There is no disputing this.

If Christian Europe was as backwards as its critics claimed it was; than it would resemble the pre-medieval states of Islam and Greater Arabia. Capitalism can only develop in free societies, in which equality before all laws, individual rights and the power of contracts rule. All of these attributes are found only in Christianity. They are not found anywhere in Islamic theology; Muslim writings; the execrable Koran; or in the life of Islamic leaders including that of its mad founder.

The Bible and Christian philosophy by contrast, take private property for granted. The oldest rule about ownership comes from the Hebrew law 'thou shall not steal'; codified in the Torah and Christian bible. The separation of church from the state; and of the individual from the secular Lord is well defined in both Jewish and Christian bibles and theological writings. No other philosophy anywhere in the world has such a clear statement about personal rights and keeping what is yours; whilst giving what is morally right; and socially responsible to 'Caesar'. Islam is the opposite, subsuming the individual into the state; and make the state and submission to Allah; the main requirements of a pious Muslim.

Christian respect for capital goes back long before the Protestant revolution. In the 12th and 13th centuries Catholic theorists including Aquinas declared that profits were morally legitimate. In 1323 Pope John XXII declared heretical the notion that Christ commanded the communalization of assets.  Christ was not a communist, nor is there any indication that he knew much of anything pertaining to economics, trade, or capital.  He was simply a preacher and an ethical teacher.  William of Ockham in the 13th century along with many other theologians decided that the right to property superseded Kingly power. Individual rights, which came naturally from God, were more powerful than divine rights, which came from military power, oppression, or violence.

The Catholic church was instrumental in capitalist development from 500 AD onwards. Monasteries were at the forefront of economics. Amassing excess capital from wills, donations, grants and noble penances for sins; the monasteries expanded into agriculture, wine-making, textile manufacture, trading and transport innovation. It is not an exaggeration to suggest that one of the fundaments of the capital revolution which took off in the 11th to 14th centuries was the deployment by the Catholic church, of its excess rents into developing food and than industrial production throughout Europe. It was a long process, but the church was the organizing power, in taking the failure of the Roman economic model, and developing a system which respected laws, rights, profit seeking and contractual obligations.

Islam shares nothing in common with this Christian development. The Koran of course condemns all interest on borrowed money as stated in Sura 2:275; “God has permitted trade and forbidden riba.” Riba is interest. By the 12th century the Catholic church, after intense debates found that interest was justified. This took the loaning of capital away from the Jewish monopoly or quasi-monopoly, and gave Christians full rights to engage in rent seeking. It inspired a radical shift in attitudes about money and matters of material wealth. For example, by the early 13th century almost 70 Italian banks existed many with branches throughout Europe. It was this Italian devotion to capital formation which helped create and expand the textile industry in northern Europe and England, which of course spun off many associated up-and-down stream industries and technologies. It kick-started the modern trade system; and the use of capital to seek out innovation methods of supply and sourcing. This development occurred hundreds of years before the Protestant reformation.

In Islam, the Muslim elite always viewed commercial trade and manufacturing effort with disdain. Islam was and still is, a slave-based system. With 15 million Black slaves taken over 1400 years; and with some 8-10 million Western and Eastern European whites pressed into slave-service; the Muslims never considered the complicated nature of capital formation, labor saving innovation; and productivity enhancement. It is not a part of Islamic culture. This is a constant of Islamic political-economic poverty:

“Fast forward to Islam in the 21rst century. Islam has never produced an Erasmus or Luther. Islamic doctrine has not changed since the 12th century when the Koran and Hadiths were 'approved' as final. No serious Muslim thinker – including those like Avicenna or Averroes – have ever refuted the basic universalism of Islam; its predestination to rule the world; the need for jihad; or the fact that the political-warrior Mohammed was God's vessel on earth. Modern Muslim 'thinkers' like Maududi, Qutb or Khomeni of course espouse the opposite. Islam is a total solution not open to debate, not open to change and not open to reform. The most violent disagreements in Islam are arguments about bloodlines of the elite [Shia vs. Sunni]; or about power and wealth distribution. There is no Erasmian ideal of individualised faith; nor of the Lutheran concept of accountability.

At its core Islam has little in common with either European history or culture. It is simply ridiculous that anyone would say 'well Islam and Christianity are both the same thing anyways'. That is crass ignorance. Christian ideals have nothing in common with Islamic orthodoxy. There is no book of Matthew in the Koran. There is no call to individual freedom, responsibility, or personal choice in the Koran. It is about subservience to the Meccan moon deity ali-ilah, not about faith as mental therapy and as a part of personal development.”

The Catholic church evolved slowly and at times poorly. It is not a pure, glorious, God-given organization devoid of foibles, crimes, follies and madness. Quite the contrary. But it is also true to say that without it, the Western world never would have been formed. If the Western Catholic church had not supported capitalism; not developed the antecedents of our modern world; had not enshrined legal equality, individuality, free-will, and the ability to make profit; Europe would look a lot like Islam.

And that would mean the entire world would look a lot like Islam.

 


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