[H]ere is the thing about Christianity: the extension of kinship love to non-kin and the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. Our people have lower sensitivity to (disgust for) out-groups anyway. But between our genetic bias as cold weather folk, christianity, chivalry, and the prohibition on cousin marriage, the west has evolved rapidly a high trust civilization – even if it has become partly to its detriment.
Yes our mediterranean, hanseatic and nordic trade routes were helpful as well, since commercial cultures without out-group competition tend to have less reason to be mistrustful.
Yes, our lack of genetic diversity helped quite a bit.
Yes, as we’ve learned recently (to my excitement) it appears that the lower incidence of disease in the cold climate means lower barriers to association and trade.
But our primary talent – martial epistemology – or truthfulness – would not be as useful without this christian openness. This preference for ‘error on the side of trust’.
What christianity achieves through extension of kinship love, buddhism achieves through introspection, stoicism achieved through planning, focus, action, and review. These are three different methods of training the unquiet mind to quietly interact with the world, without fear.
Westerners practice many religions: The nurturer (buddhism), the craftsman(stoicism), the merchant and politician (christianity), the warrior (the military), the scientist (Aristotle), the aesthete (Pagan nature worship). (and unfortunately, over the past century, the pseudoscientific state worshipper)
We have always been a poly-spiritual people. We have always been and will likely remain pagans. Religions are tools.
I know the value of a quiet mind: the absence of anxiety and fear.
I know the (lost) value of the worship of nature: care of the commons.
I know the importance of membership in the tribe: ceremonies and rituals.
I know the value of spirituality (invoking the feeling of the safety of the pack).
I know the value of solace in fear, hopelessness, suffering and death.
But I also know that love, truth, and trust create prosperity.
Because fear, deceit, and mistrust generate poverty.
How do we distinguish a religion from a political system? Law rather than wisdom (advice). How do we distinguish a religion from a military system? conquest. How do we distinguish a good religion from a bad anything else? The relative economic status of its adherents.
The Propertarian Institute