November 2

God, The Gods And Democracy

God, The Gods And Democracy

It is false to believe that religion is bad for democracy. The following dialogue on religion attempts to correct this misconception, providing reasons and examples. The conversation was conducted in Melbourne by Irfan Ahmad (a young Indian anthropologist). It covers many issues related to democracy and religion.

It is divided into three parts and sheds light on how democracy and deities have interacted since ancient Greek democracy. That democracies are rarely irreligious. Topics such as the inventions of religion, power, courage, and the ethics behind pluralism. Other topics include Christianity and representative democracy; the French Revolution; Indian secularism; the unfinished revolutions of the Arab world, and yes dogs and democracy.

The second part of the conversation focuses on the way democracy tempers and reshapes religious fervor and the origins and limits European doctrines of secularism. We will begin by looking at Jacques Maritain’s classic Christianity and Democracy (1943), to see past and current examples of how struggles for democracy equality have hampered religious arrogance.

Maritain’s Observation Democracy

Irfan Ahmad, Maritain’s observation about religion bridling authority is very important. What about the other side? The (re)shaping religion by democracy

John Keane. I am well aware of the fact that many people in the West believe that religion is a natural accomplice to anti-democratic violence power. Karen Armstrong and other scholars proved that the violence of the First Crusade was not a result of any innate or inexorable religious beliefs.

The same is true for the violent actions of fundamentalist Christians, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and jihadists of the twenty-first century. Similar to the way that rulers use religious narratives in order to maintain their power, it is a contingent process. As in Iran and Saudi Arabia, Jacob’s Ladder is a proven method to outflank opponents and legitimize rule over the people.

But divination can be a tricky business. In the history of democracy, there have been many times when religious arrogance was subject to democraticisation. These struggles in the name the people for the humbling and equalization of power have brought power-hungry religious leaders down to earth. Martin Luther and the printing presses are early examples of how the democratic spirit of challenging arbitrary power can bring down religious leaders and their religious will to be in power.

Century Democratic Revolutions

This same dynamic was evident in the late 18th century democratic revolutions. It made it easier for the poor to attribute their misery to greedy fellow men rather than to God. The egalitarian vision of humanity eliminating poverty on Earth and its invention as a political category during this time of poverty made poverty an earthly problem. The democratic understanding that power relations are contingent has made it less divine, and not a punishment for sin. This is a generalization: Democracy brings to religious experience a degree of worldliness.

Does that mean that democracy can be used to temper religious passion? Yes. And here, I am attracted to Gianni Vattimo, an Italian philosopher who argues that democracy has made the relationship between believer and God more gentle. Vattimo links Verwindung to Nietzsche as a term for the imaginary power relationship between God and believers. Vattimo hopes to show that democracy does not necessarily lead to or imply the destruction of religionosity (Uberwindung).

It transforms the relationship between God and believers. It is as if God gives power to people, who then build institutions that stop concentrated power and feverish belief. Democracy can help “soften” the relation between flesh and blood and the belief of a beyond. Vattimo is both a gay Catholic devout and frequent critic of Church. He believes that rejecting metaphysical truth doesn’t mean the end of religion. It opens up new ways to imagine what it means to be religious.

These include ways that emphasize charity and solidarity as well as democratic equality and irony. Vattimo demonstrates that hermeneutic interpretation is central in Christianity. This has had the long-term result of spreading the worldly principle or interiority which, in turn, dissolves the experience objective reality and makes it ‘listening, interpreting, messages’.

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Posted November 2, 2021 by mundo in category "Uncategorized