Originally Posted by Fanny Cradock
Yes, I know where it can be found. I linked to it first, remember?
OK, so you checked the footnotes - all 64 of them, I gather. Fine. But I still don't understand what the history of education according to a wikipedia article has got to do with PDN's point? As afar as I can see he didn't claim that formal education began with Christianity. Rather, he talked about the development
of institutions. But perhaps I am missing something?
No. You may not ask
To my mind he did play the ball and perhaps he played the man after that. But that is all part of the sport, no?
In answer to your question above, I take my understanding of PDN's point straight from the horse's mouth. He said that "Christianity opened the way for institutions to develop, institutions that failed to develop anywhere else in the world". It might be a certain bet that you will disagree with this, but I don't see why there remains any confusion. Nor for that matter do I see why there is a need to cite large proportions of wikipedia or bring Hitler, Stalin or Himmler into this.
To reiterate, the point being made -- at lest as far as I can see -- is not that Christians don't do bad things or that Christian institutions have not stood in the way of what we now consider to be progress. It's that Christianity (with all that this word entails) shaped Europe in such a way that made certain things we now take for granted a reality - the same things we didn't see develop in other parts of the world.
It's interesting that an atheist like Alain de Botton can happily admit
that something like the Welfare State arose because, and not in spite, of Christianity. On the other hand, you seem to think that we got here against the best efforts of Christianity.
What you you think is the primary achievement (and by this I speaking terms of positive impact) that Christianity has had on mankind and why?
To be honest Fanny Cradock , while Christianity may have given comfort on an individual basis throughout the first millenium , overall I believe its influence was negative - most definitely so from the time of the so called
Donation Of Constantine and the Church becoming a Temporal Power. Any good that came thereafter was purely incidental as its main goal was the pursuit and maintenance of power.
Thereafter it really is the story of shaking off this influence through the renaissance/reformation/enlightenment right up to our own times.
Any unique message was lost when religion became organised on such a centralised scale. Now that christianity is losing influence and in many cases not wishing to have such influence in temporal affairs they are carrying that message better than ever before.
Dante pointed that out way back when he consigned Pope Boniface VIII to the 8th Circle of hell for proclaiming that not alone was he the spiritual head but also superiour in temporal matters to the Emperor. Christians should have listened more to Dante and less to the popes.
As for all the claims regarding Art Sculpture etc- I don't really buy it- what was it Gene Kelly said ''Gotta Dance'' - Michelangelo- Titian- Bernini - Palestrina- Giotto would have followed their gift no matter what- talent like that dos'nt give them a choice. They just would have had different patrons.
That is obviously my shorthand version , if you want to continue the conversation -then no problem.
Now may I ask you a question ? Accepting you believe in Christianity and you believe it is unique and accepting that as yer man said the medium is the message and not wishing to get into a slanging match ,
Can you tell me what ideas , philosophy , message that is unique to Christianity ? That was not already known and discussed or practiced in some shape or form somewhere else?