I don’t often agree with very much at all that Chris Berg says. In fact, most points of view propagated by the Institute of Public Affairs, of which Berg is a member, are not ones I subscribe to. However in yesterday’s Age, Berg wrote an excellent piece on the contribution of Christianity to Western civilisation through the centuries.
Berg probably mentions a bit much the contributions of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson, but the overall gist of his article is excellently researched and complies with the best research put forward by historians such as Rodney Stark on the contributions of Christian faith to the very foundation of our society. Even moreso, it is the consequences of the atheist desire to rid the world of religious faith that Berg, a non-believer, explains best. Here are some of his quotes:
- “Virtually all the secular ideas that non-believers value have Christian origins. To pretend otherwise is to toss the substance of those ideas away.”
- “It was theologians and religiously minded philosophers who developed the concepts of individual and human rights. Same with progress, reason and equality before the law: it is fantasy to suggest these values emerged out of thin air once people started questioning God.”
- “For most of our history, all the great thinkers have been religious. So our secular liberalism will inevitably owe a huge amount to its Christian origins.”
- “Ideas do not exist in a vacuum. If we imagine they were invented yesterday, they will be easy to discard tomorrow.”
- “If atheists feel they must rip up everything that came before them, they will destroy the very foundations of that secularism.”
It is that last point that has implications for society as a whole. Let’s just see where we end up if we have a society without the contributions of Christian faith.