The Greediest Religion

It is often claimed that Christianity took its ethics from the not necessarily theistic philosophies of Antiquity. There is, of course, a lot of common ground. In one respect, however, this is spectacularly wrong. Stoicism, the philosophy most fingered in this context, taught us to bring out will into conformity with how the world is. This is one fork of the fundamental split between philosophy and sorcery, the other being to impose our will on the world, by natural means or through some god. In this its challenge to the human will Stoicism rather resembles Buddhism.

What, on the other hand, do we find in Christianity? Not the not-wanting-to-have but the promise of the moon and stars. C.S. Lewis claimed that we as individuals should outlast the universe, apparently assuming this to be an attractive prospect. There will be thrones, and crowns, and the rest of the Hellenistic court ceremonial for our delectation. If this be merely metaphor, well, perhaps the 72 virgins of the jihadis are merely a metaphor too. Here is certainly no Stoic or Buddhist detachment, but rather a passionate attachment to the goods of the animal agenda, if not sex and food then at least power, the-being-set-above-others part, and for ever and ever amen.

Posted on July 8, 2009 at 10:25 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Worldly Toolbox

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