AuthorTopic: Christianity Arose Before the Collapse of the Roman Empire and Strengthened  (Read 6080 times)

Offline g

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In fact, Christian spirituality arose well before the collapse of the Roman Empire and it only grew stronger after that collapse.

Starting a new thread from this factual observation of Ashvin's in the hope of further discussion of why this happened and  if there are any lessons  in it for diners.

Will that happen again if and when we collapse?

Is history teaching us something about what to expect rather than the view brought forth by Duncan that those who worship the earth will likely be the survivors, or will start a new religion unrelated to Christianity?

Is the recent apparent decline in the imitation of the teachings of Jesus a valid harbinger of impending doom?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 05:27:44 PM by Golden Oxen »

Offline WHD

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GO,

I never said a damned thing about "worshiping" the earth. LOL.  ::) I said, the people who most likely would make it through a zero point would have a tight relationship to the biological systems of this beautiful, abundant earth. IE hunting, fishing, plant knowledge, animal knowledge, shelter building etc. Otherwise I presume you think those who would survive would do so by resting on their knees and praying real hard? I jest, but I'm also serious. You seem to be advocating for the idea of Jesus immanent return and a thousand years or whatever of Heaven on Earth. Well, like I keep saying, Christianity, whatever it was before the fall of Rome, has been the de facto Religion of EMPIRE ever since the conversion of Constantine, right up to today in these fascist states of America.

WHD

Offline g

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GO,

I never said a damned thing about "worshiping" the earth. LOL.  ::) I said, the people who most likely would make it through a zero point would have a tight relationship to the biological systems of this beautiful, abundant earth. IE hunting, fishing, plant knowledge, animal knowledge, shelter building etc. Otherwise I presume you think those who would survive would do so by resting on their knees and praying real hard? I jest, but I'm also serious. You seem to be advocating for the idea of Jesus immanent return and a thousand years or whatever of Heaven on Earth. Well, like I keep saying, Christianity, whatever it was before the fall of Rome, has been the de facto Religion of EMPIRE ever since the conversion of Constantine, right up to today in these fascist states of America.

WHD

Sorry for the misunderstanding Duncan.

No,  my idea was a simple one. It seems more plausible to me that people who have religion before the collapse are more likely to form or modify their beliefs with a new one after the collapse. Likewise I think those that have no use or need for a religion now, will be more likely to have no need of one after a collapse. I was only trying to present another view of your statement which seemed too dogmatic in my view.

I think a strong argument can be made that many lapsed Christians will turn back to the churches and teachings of Jesus for guidance if their current comfortable materialistic world came to an end or gets ratcheted down in a meaningful way.

It is also my view that while statistics show billions listed as Christians, a much more minute number are actually following the teachings of Jesus in their daily lives; they were simply born of Christians and consider themselves as such for no other reason, more a cultural than religious title to many.

Offline Surly1

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GO, I think everybody on the board, including Ashvin, would agree with your last statement. Even those of us who take our faith a little more seriously often fall short in practice.

This would actually make a decent article. Why don't you flesh out your ideas and submit it to Da Godfadda as a blog post? He'd run it in a heartbeat. (Although, let me make clear, he hasn't turned over power of attorney to me...)
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline monsta666

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Is history teaching us something about what to expect rather than the view brought forth by Duncan that those who worship the earth will likely be the survivors, or will start a new religion unrelated to Christianity?

I am of the belief that the coming collapse will see the major religions make a big resurgence. The reason I say this is because much of the meaning and belief structures around life today centre around the pursuit of wealth. With more and more wealth being accumulated over successive generations there has been a trend over the years were people have slowly but surely replaced the function of the extended family, community and even more recent, the nuclear family with the economy. In the past the grandmother took care of the children but today this service is increasingly provided by the state or some private care provider. In either case money acts as the facilitator in providing those services. The whole issue of pensions fits into this again in the past it was the extended family that acted as the pension plan and not your monetary investments. Once the money goes those supports go and you get into major problems as people have sacrificed much to achieve a sense of independence which has been greatly encouraged by society. As a result of this people have become largely atomised substituting community values with the independence that money can bring. This apparent independence is largely ephemeral in nature and is not true independence for once the money is gone a lot of formerly independent people will be utterly helpless. This shattering of independence or attaining greater wealth will be a hard pill to swallow.

The other powerful prevailing idea is that technology and science are indisputable forces for good. There is no blow back and technology is not seen as a neutral entity. An extension of this idea is that our capacity for human ingenuity is essentially infinite and if we really apply ourselves we can develop new technologies to solve all our existing problems. Not only is this a false message and overestimates man's ability it also has the effect of downplaying the consequences and repercussions of our actions. It also allows us not to assume responsibility for long-term actions as there is the idea all problems we face are transient in nature (they will be solved with human ingenuity). Because of this people don't need to or burden themselves with the idea our lifestyle will lead to long standing problems of uncontrolled climate change or resource depletion for our kids because technology will prevent those things from happening! It is a comforting message that is not only false but prevents meaningful action taking place and worse yet denies the very existence of these real problems by downplaying the nature of them.

These two stories are very powerful because they have been around for a good 200 years and they have repeated so often and become so ingrained in our culture it has taken on an almost religious type dynamic were people are essentially indoctrinated into believing these fallacies. At the end of the day the idea of increasing prosperity and technological advancements are only observations of the last few centuries and the continued trend is not assured nor are they absolute truths. As these fundamental ideas become increasingly challenged and eventually defeated (there will come a time when it is patently true that people will and continue to get worse off) then there will be a lot anguish. At the end of the day when a person's entire belief structure is found to be false it is a very traumatic event. Indeed the whole trend of increasing cognitive dissonance is just a means of postponing this event. Once those tactics no longer work however people will get become deeply confused, angry and scared. There will be a spiritual void and people will use religion, which they were always mildly affiliated to, in filling this spiritual void. The danger is that religion can be used as a means of attacking minorities as they wish to relief their stress on some outlet and people have the tendency to only attack members in a weaker position to them.

Taking a longer term perseptive as the industrial economy declines the level of formal education each person will receive will reduce. As this happens I think the probablity they will become active particpatants in religion (as opposed to passive members) will increase. The other likely dynamic that will fuel religious partiptation of any affiliation is as the spin-down occurs people will become more and more dependent on their local community in providing their needs. One of the products of the industralised economy is the mobility it offers. If you didn't like your community you can move and seek opportunities elsewhere thus the hold and importance of community values plays a smaller role as your fate is not so heavily tied to the community. This dynamic even exists in marriage as once the women had no financial means to sustain herself so as a result she often persevered in a bad marriage becomes she had no means of supporting herself independently. In a declining economy moving will be less of an option and if people spend more time together in smaller communities with little support or influence from government bodies such as the police people will need to depend on the community to enforce order. This will lead to a greater emphasis on moral codes which I think if present long enough will codify into some form of religion.

The danger here is in a spin-down there is the great chance there will be a lot of fear, anger and resentment and this is the perfect breeding ground for radical, extreme and uncompromising groups to take control of a wider community. The extremist need not form a majority of the population as an active minority can force many people, who are largely followers, into adopting their twisted ideologies with minimal resistance (see how sane German's quickly accepted extreme Nazi ideas). What is more people are even more suggestible if they are less educated and have less exposure to the greater world which will be the case in a collapsing economy where the means of transport are severely curtailed. You see some of these dynamics developing in places like Greece where extreme right groups are increasing in influence, you see this in the Middle-East where militiant religious groups take advantage of the chaos. Heck you even see this in congress where attitudes have become more rigid and extreme in religious economic ideology. Religion could perhaps offer some salvation in collapse through faithful following and charitable deeds but I think historically speaking the more likely outcome is for the extremists to prevail and those groups will bring great hardship to the great community. Only when things get so bad will this stop and then we will hopefully see a less radical, less rigid and ultimately more flexible form of religion take hold.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 12:16:30 PM by monsta666 »

Offline g

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GO, I think everybody on the board, including Ashvin, would agree with your last statement. Even those of us who take our faith a little more seriously often fall short in practice.

This would actually make a decent article. Why don't you flesh out your ideas and submit it to Da Godfadda as a blog post? He'd run it in a heartbeat. (Although, let me make clear, he hasn't turned over power of attorney to me...)

Thanks for the kind words Surly, sorry for the belated reply;  the forum seems to have picked up in activity lately and I am catching up. I do plan to give it a try writing a few articles in the future, thanks for the suggestion.

Offline g

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@ Reply to Monsta

That was quite a studied reply Monsta, you brought up many valid points that I had not thought of.

Personally, if we could only figure out if the collapse is going to be fast or slow, it would answer a great many of the questions brought up on how it would play out.

My view is that fast collapse will be a total disaster with nothing but mayhem, and that humans can adapt to slow collapse.
Of course that statement is hardly a fact and is open to much debate as well. Whatever, it seems we both agree religion will tend to become more important to people in any case. 

 

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