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Friday, February 20, 2015
Kristendommens utvikling i en historisk kontekst
19. februar 2015 klokka 19:44
Man kan da vel heller si at kristendommen er grunnlagt på forfølgelse og som en konterreaksjon fra de fattige mot elitenes makt og etikk, neoplatonismen. Konstantins omfavning av kristendommen kan på mange vis sammenlignes med Lenins omfavnelse av de fattige gjennom kommunismen, for å skyve elitene fra seg. Kristendommen var opprinnelig de fattiges religion, likesom kommunismen var de undertryktes (sivile) religion i det gamle Sovjet. Lenin inngikk en allianse med de fattige gjennom kommunismen, likeledes som Konstantin inngikk en allianse med de kristne vel halvannet millenium tidligere. Her er intet nytt under solen. JMG sier det således:
«The awkward fact remains that classical philosophy, like modern science, functioned as a social phenomenon and filled certain social roles. The intellectual power of the final Neoplatonist synthesis and the personal virtues of its last proponents have to be balanced against its blind support of a deeply troubled social order; in all the long history of classical philosophy, it never seems to have occurred to anyone that debates about the nature of justice might reasonably address, say, the ethics of slavery. While a stonecutter like Socrates could take an active role in philosophical debate in Athens in the fourth century BCE, furthermore, the institutionalization of philosophy meant that by the last years of classical Neoplatonism, its practice was restricted to those with ample income and leisure, and its values inevitably became more and more closely tied to the social class of its practitioners.
That’s the thing that drove the ferocious rejection of philosophy by the underclass of the age, the slaves and urban poor who made up the vast majority of the population throughout the Roman empire, and who received little if any benefit from the intellectual achievements of their society. To them, the subtleties of Neoplatonist thought were irrelevant to the increasingly difficult realities of life on the lower end of the social pyramid in a brutally hierarchical and increasingly dysfunctional world. That’s an important reason why so many of them turned for solace to a new religious movement from the eastern fringes of the empire, a despised sect that claimed that God had been born on earth as a mere carpenter’s son and communicated through his life and death a way of salvation that privileged the poor and downtrodden above the rich and well-educated.
It was as a social phenomenon, filling certain social roles, that Christianity attracted persecution from the imperial government, and it was in response to Christianity’s significance as a social phenomenon that the imperial government executed an about-face under Constantine and took the new religion under its protection. Like plenty of autocrats before and since, Constantine clearly grasped that the real threat to his position and power came from other members of his own class—in his case, the patrician elite of the Roman world—and saw that he could undercut those threats and counter potential rivals through an alliance of convenience with the leaders of the underclass. That’s the political subtext of the Edict of Milan, which legalized Christianity throughout the empire and brought it imperial patronage.»
Som en historiens ironi endte både kristendommen og kommunismen opp som elitenes herskerverktøy.
19. februar 2015 klokka 22:26
Ja, det var ikke Jesus, men Augustin som var så opptatt av det hinsidige, men ikke for å undertrykke, men for at kirken skulle overleve Romerrikets fall:
«The problem with this confident civil faith was that history stopped cooperating. In 410, after a long series of increasingly desperate struggles against Germanic invaders, the legions crumpled, and the Visigoth king Alaric and his army swept into Italy and sacked Rome. Only Alaric’s willingness to be bought off kept the city from remaining in his hands for the long haul. The psychological and cultural impact of the defeat was immense, but of equal if not greater concern to the Bishop of Hippo was the uncomfortable fact that the empire’s remaining Pagans were pointing out that the beginning of Rome’s troubles coincided, with an awkward degree of exactness, with the prohibition of the old Pagan cults. Since Rome had abandoned the gods, they suggested, the gods were returning the favor.
Augustine’s response is contained in The City of God, one of the masterpieces of late Latin prose and the book that more than any other defined the shape of medieval European thought. The notion that divine power guarantees the success or survival of earthly kingdoms, Augustine argued, is a complete misunderstanding of the relationship between humanity and God. The inscrutable providence of God brings disasters down on the good as well as the wicked, and neither cities nor empires are exempt from the same incomprehensible law. Ordinary history thus has no moral order or meaning.» - JMG
Det er frustrerende å se at så mange lager seg forenklede forestillinger om religion, uten å teste dem opp mot en større politisk/historisk kontekst.
På samme vis som Augustin skrev «Guds by» for kirkens overlevelse etter Romerrikets fall, har de fremskrittstroende konstruert Singulariteten som sitt «nye Jerusalem», samtidig som den industrielle sivilisasjon faller sammen omkring dem.
19. februar 2015 klokka 18:21
JMG har vist at Singulariteten har tatt plassen for Guds by, at måneferdene har erstattet Kristi himmelfart, og at frelse gjennom lidelse har blitt til frelse gjennom nytelse.
Slik kan man fortsette og fortsette. Fremskrittsreligionen er i ett og alt en refleksjon eller et vrengebilde av kristendommen.
Som det står i introduksjonen til JMGs bok «After Progress»:
«Progress is not just a goal in the West—it’s a religion. Most people believe in its inherent value as enthusiastically and uncritically as medieval peasants believed in heaven and hell. Our faith in progress drives the popular insistence that peak oil and climate change don’t actually matter—after all, our lab-coated high priests will surely bring forth yet another miracle to save us all.
Unfortunately, progress as we’ve known it has been entirely dependent on the breakneck exploitation of half a billion years of stored sunlight in the form of fossil fuels. As the age of this cheap, abundant energy draws to a close, progress is grinding to a halt. Unforgiving planetary limits are teaching us that our blind faith in endless exponential growth is a dangerous myth.
After Progress addresses this looming paradigm shift, exploring the shape of history from a perspective on the far side of the coming crisis. Greer’s startling examination of the role our belief systems play in the evolution of our collective consciousness is required reading for anyone concerned about making sense of the future at a time when we must seek new sources of meaning, value, and hope for the era ahead.»
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