I've fallen in love!
the irony is that the conception of absolute free will is ultimately a Judeo-Christian notion, needed for that theological concept of sin. (To be absolutely responsible for doing evil (needed for damnation) requires absolute personal responsibility, which requires absolute free will...)
Yes! If it weren't for Christianity's influence we would not have the system that we today possess; a great, fairly recent book on this subject is Rodney Stark's "The Victory of Reason" (Weber's classic "Protestant Ethic" works well too), which chronicles Christianity's enormous contribution to what we call the West today. Stark is a bit of a Christophile, but his general argument is spot on.
Yet without the notion of a God miraculously endowing us with a transcendental capacity for free will, the notion of humans being 'self-determining beings' is, as Nietzsche put it, "trying to drag oneself into existence out of the swamp of non-being by the hair."
Agreed! "Darwin's Cathedral" by David Sloan Wilson sheds light on the possibility that religion and deism serve evolutionary needs. I'm sure we've all been confronted by the rare agnostic or sceptical Christian who suggests that although it is possible, even probable, that God does not exist, society would not function well without the concept.
Actually, I don't think determinism logically implies any political system at all. A deterministic "acceptance" of reality doesn't imply egalitarianism, for even if we accept that people cannot be held responsible for their plight - we still need to prove that humans have the 'right to equality' which egalitarianism implies - and the moral duty to help others and relieve them from this plight.
I agree with you to an extent, but my point was mainly that if a society embraced determinism as the new "collective psychology" (versus free will, or quasi-free will as we have it today) capitalism would probably not function as effeciently as it does now. You're right though, strictly speaking we can't automatically draw moral conclusions from the observation that the universe is deterministic.
From a Darwinian perspective, the human phenomena of morality and politics evolved from natural cooperation among our animal ancestors, and thus are biological in nature.
This ties in with the Empiricist notion that moral and political values are ultimately based on emotion rather than reason - for they relate to our emotional brain rather than our higher cognitive faculties.
Agreed; morals are effectively arbitrary constructions of the mind that serve an evolutionary, functional purpose among human societies.
This is why I think that moral philosophies such as Marxism, anarchism, all sorts of egalitarianisms, are fundamentally in error because they confuse the system as a survival mechanism for the system as the product of abstract morality; the system as a thing to be changed not to augment "survivability" but to be in sync with what is "good" and "just" in the abstract, moral plane.
Individuals will of course rebel against this... so a system of social propaganda needs to be more subtle, and promote what is good for society as a whole as if it was good for the individual.
Yes, natural hierarchy and Gramsci's notion of hegemony as its result.
Good show, really excellent stuff...I don't think I've ever encountered someone who seems to agree with me at a fundamental level like this.