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Quote# 89220

If there must always be an established religion, what religion is it best to establish? I say Christianity. Not because I am a Christian and think it true, or because its tradents have built the most prosperous, beautiful societies and conquered the world. Christianity does have all those things in its favor, to be sure. But the best practical reason to establish Christianity is that alone among religions it has solved the problem that the cycle of blood sacrifice threatens always to destroy even those societies otherwise most sane. In Christianity alone the logic of sacrifice is turned back on itself: the bloody holocaust of God himself has forever obviated the death either of scapegoats or innocents. Christianity therefore provides the best chance of maintaining a high degree of traditional social order that yet leaves room for creative genius to make its contribution to the endless process of social adaptation to changing circumstances. It offers the best chance at maintaining robust and flexible societies. And only a society that manages to survive has a shot at being good.

Kristor, orthosphere.org 43 Comments [8/28/2012 3:41:55 AM]
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Sasha

First explain why we need to establish a religion.

8/28/2012 1:38:04 PM

Mech610

First off Kristor, 'conquered the world' my ass. Buddhism and Islam both have many millions more adherents then Christianity.

Second, Judaism discarded blood sacrifice as a ritual around 500 B.C.E., so why not that? Because we don't believe in the divinity of Jebus?

Also, I'm with you Sasha, why does there need to be an established religion?

8/28/2012 2:20:22 PM

Xotan

Inquisition, Crusades, Suppression of the Cathars, fragmented sects, RC scandals both financial and sexual, the Pardoning of Galileo, 400 years too late. et cetera, et cetera!

8/28/2012 2:27:45 PM

freako104

History disagrees

8/28/2012 3:35:16 PM

The Anonymous

If there must always be an established religion, what religion is it best to establish?

I'd say traditional heathen religions if it has to be a religion (because atheism doesn't count).

I say Christianity. Not because I am a Christian and think it true, or because its tradents have built the most prosperous, beautiful societies and conquered the world.

And while Christians conquered the world, they destroyed every bit of native religions they could. And they weren't prosperous, either, when until the 1500s or so Europe was actually a backwater of the world. And beautiful, well, I dunno, because looking at China or Persia says otherwise.

But the best practical reason to establish Christianity is that alone among religions it has solved the problem that the cycle of blood sacrifice threatens always to destroy even those societies otherwise most sane.

Islam's spread also ended human sacrifice, assuming that's what you're talking about. So are we to be Muslims? Not to mention that it's likely that traditions like that would change in the face of modernisation (Dalits, etc).

Christianity therefore provides the best chance of maintaining a high degree of traditional social order that yet leaves room for creative genius to make its contribution to the endless process of social adaptation to changing circumstances.

And Christianity is precisely the reason why medieval Europe was centuries behind the rest of the world. You try being a creative genius in Medieval Europe and you get burned at the stake.

And only a society that manages to survive has a shot at being good.

Cool, so ancient Greece and ancient Rome and hell why not one of the first goddamn societies ever ANCIENT EGYPT aren't good?

8/28/2012 4:28:01 PM

John

Kristor willfully obscures and fails to recognize the difference between an informal and formal "establishment" of religion. If you go to a small town in western Kentucky, you'll be hard pressed to be accepted if you're anything but a fundamentalist Baptist (or one of its many fundamentalist offshoots). But you'll find nothing in Kentucky law requiring you to be a fundamentalist Baptist. If you criticize the Baptist religion, you may find yourself shunned by your neighbors, but you won't have someone legally putting a gun to your head and saying "change your beliefs or I'll blow your brains out". There's a difference between your neighbors shunning you for your beliefs and your neighbors enforcing those beliefs at the point of a gun under force of law.

8/28/2012 4:36:02 PM



""Not because I am a Christian and think it true, ......... Christianity does have all those things in its favor, to be sure"



Yup one of the BONUSES of Christianity according to Kristor is that Keistor HIMSELF is part of their ranks

8/28/2012 5:05:26 PM

Wehpudicabok

"If there must always be an established religion, what religion is it best to establish?"

That sounds to me like "if I must be hanged, what color do I want the noose to be?"

8/28/2012 5:08:39 PM

Old Viking

We've had 1600 years of Christian societies. Thus far they have been repugnant.

What the hell is a "tradent"?

8/28/2012 5:13:07 PM



so Christianity in the form of Catholicism actually eats the flesh and drinks the blood of its savior God ? thats an improvement over a religion that puts out fruit baskets at harvest time ?


8/28/2012 5:13:31 PM

punch

Why?

8/28/2012 7:11:05 PM

Leliel

@ freako104

Actually, not entirely.

There's a reason one of the driving forces behind the Industrial Revolution and British dominance is called the Protestant Work Ethic.

That has more to do with the values of the religion though, not the religion itself. Like what this idiot thinks.

8/28/2012 8:22:36 PM



This reminds me of the Byzantine Empire's motto:

"One God, one empire, one faith."

8/29/2012 9:03:39 PM

myheadhurts

FSM for me... what you gonna do about it, kill me?

8/30/2012 1:33:42 AM

Amadaun

Did you know that the Aztec religion, which holds world records for human sacrifice, also had gods who'd sacrificed themselves?

Tezcatlipoca the all-seeing was known as 'He Who Was Sacrificed,' and Xipe Totec, a god of death and rebirth, is 'Our Lord the Flayed One.' They used to dress his statues in human skins.

Spanish missionaries sometimes would repaint Christ on the cross black, so he'd be seen as an expression of Tezcatlipoca, to sort of convert the Mexicans by degrees. The idea of the people being saved by the self-sacrifice of the protecting god was an important one to the state religion of the Aztec empire.

You are not half as special as you think.

And Islam does not technically touch sacrifice at all, except of the self in the context of martyrdom. Buddhism is also not noted for blood sacrifice, although I believe plenty of strains do allow for offerings to be left at temples as part of devotions.

Also, you don't know what the word holocaust means. Please stop using it wrong.

8/30/2012 2:33:55 PM



Sorry to interrupt you, but there are some Christians from the Death Plague, the diaspora in the Otoman Empire and in China who have a good laugh with you.

8/30/2012 2:45:46 PM

Dr.Shrinker

"If there must always be an established religion..."

- The American Founding Fathers obviously didn't think there had to be. That fact kind of makes the rest of your screed pointless an inane, doesn't it?

8/30/2012 2:52:25 PM

Amadaun

To address this another was...that Christianity is a powerful thing and has given its adherents an advantage in terms of social cohesion and conquering force is true.

And that potential, to replace the flagging effectiveness of the existing Roman religio, is probably an important part of what Constantine saw in it when he took a minor but vibrant cult and fused it to a titan. The Eastern Empire went on for a thousand years with the church as its rallying point, after all, and it was pretty damned effective, although it wasn't enough to stop the eventual decline, and by the fifteenth century Constantinople was only a symbol of a vanished greatness, and then the Ottomans took it. But only a few centuries later new and even more powerful Christian empires were rising.

Despite the popular myth, Christianity did not actually keep Western Europe down. The cathedral towns were the last bastions of civilization over much of Europe, in the wake of the fall of the Western part of the Empire. (Which wasn't because of Christianity either; the conversion was an attempt to slow a decline already well begun, and the East made it work.) The Church was all the literacy and learning Europe had in the Dark Ages, and while abbots may have bemoaned the way their monks sang popular songs and recorded things like Beowulf and were altogether less than saintly, without the monasteries our record of history would be much the poorer, and Europe would probably never have roused itself from barbarism. Christianity honestly was the backbone of Western learning, and its link to the classical era. This is the historical reality, as someone whose specialty the subject was at university.

History shows there are in fact advantages to using Christianity to tie an empire together. It also shows that Islam works at least as well, but only if your people are or are willing to become Muslims. State Shintoism was formed in the twentieth century to imitate the unifying powers of Christianity, and did okay. The Romans had free and cheerfully syncretic religion as long as you joined in the major public rites, too, and they gave special exemptions to people like the Jews, and that seems to have worked okay. Well, except the Jews; letting them stay out of the state religion provided a stronger emotional basis for their sense of alienation from the empire, so they rebelled and got their Temple demolished and stuff. They had a very strong ethno-national consciousness all along, so the uprising was probably inevitable anyway. But generally it worked for quite a long time.

So...basically, religious inspiration helps empires, and the only practically feasible one to use in America would be Christianity, if we were so inclined. Just because of demographics and the historical context. And thus you would like us to use it that way, I guess?

But that's kind of a disgusting lack of integrity about religion from anyone who isn't Emperor of Rome. And I'm pretty sure it wouldn't fly in the modern era. Modern communications and ideologies and the literacy rate all make it much harder to unite people sufficiently around something without constantly oppressing them into it. See: Communist bloc.

8/30/2012 2:57:06 PM
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