This morning I read a book by Ben Shapiro entitled the Right Side of History.
The Author, an Orthodox Jew by birth, cites the Bible and the works of the Athenian Philosophers as the reason for the rise of the West over the last 200 years.
In the book he suggests that, in all prior (and many subsequent) philosophies, nations and other hierarchical constructs, the emphasis was on an all-powerful god who’s ail powerful role was to suppress the freedoms of the population, with an elite (sometimes being held up as gods themselves) retaining all of the freedoms.
He makes some powerful points, suggesting that the Christian Bible, is the first attempt to create a sense of free will and moral guidance for all people. He suggests that Ancient Greek culture was also based around the same doctrine in places.
The Author suggests that the Judeo-Christian Bible was one of the first doctrines to teach that God created man to have a godly mission and moral purpose to advance progress in the world.
The greek philosophy was based around seeking a greater understanding of the universe to make it better for all.
Whilst there was some debate around the most effective model for governance, with Plato suggesting a ruling elite composed of the best and wisest and Aristotle valuing the wisdom of age and experience, it was the greek philosophers who started to apply reason to the way government works.
It was these philosophies which were responsible for creating the conditions for modern science, sharing the desire to understand the universe.
Science vs Religion
He also discusses that the perceived wisdom that Science and Religion are not easy bedfellows. In fact the early scientific enlightenment was positioned around achieving a greater understanding of Religion. Indeed, he cites many early scientific discoveries, for example the Copernican Theories about the Earth revolving around the Sun and Galileo’s belief that a greater understanding of science provided a route to God.
The most successful Countries
Many of these moral freedoms have flowed down through history and were the cornerstone of the American Declaration of Independence, created in a time of massive world upheaval, as science and enlightenment was taking a foothold, challenging the religious autocracy. It’s important to understand that the US has progressed, in a mere 250 years, into the most powerful and wealthy society in the world.
Thomas Jefferson (one of it’s co-authors) is cited as stating that the document was an attempt to Enshrine the brilliance of Aristotle, Cicero and Locke
He makes no mention but the success of Victorian Britain could probably lay claim to an age of enlightenment through science and industry, backed by a deep moral and religious foundation.
The French Revolution
He contrasts this with the French Revolution which stems from a dystopian desire to rid the world of power and religion. The end result was the murder of tens of thousands of it’s civilians in just two years and a civil war which killed hundreds of thousands. He does fail to mention the American Civil war but I guess that was less about a fundamental ideology and more about the injustice of slavery.
So, where does this leave us today.?
It feels to me that we are at a cross roads in the history of human development. There are many threats to the progress of nations by a reduction in Moral and Scientific meaning.
Industry, which was once responsible for social development and progress, now seems to be overheating. We appear to be creating an environment where over consumption, excessive wealth and desire are most important. The mainstream media also seems to propagate bad news and hatred rather than the quest for peace love and understanding.
An Ethical Groundswell?
New organisations like Extinction Rebellion and the rise of Ethical organisations on our social platforms are beginning to impact society. Those same platforms can just as easily be used against these organisations if we let them.
The world is changing. We need to seek out opportunities for ethical growth, mutual support and cooperation.
An optimistic future?
The internet has been a key tool but it needs people to work out how to use it for the common good.
I predict we will start to see new types of organisations in the future, challenging the old doctrine of greed, consumption and inequality. More than ever before our success will be determined by our application to the principles of peaceful cooperation and support.
These businesses exist today, and people are discovering a path to abundance, finding their own purpose in life at the same time.
I believe SFM is fundamentally one of these new types of organisation. It is a community of entrepreneurs dedicated to helping us all to achieve success and personal fulfilment, to help us find our ultimate purpose.
Take Action Now
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