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Old 11-24-2023, 08:09 AM
Location: Oklahoma
17,606 posts, read 13,425,275 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
There is nothing mysterious about it. Selfishness and altruism are always in tension. Most people have the mirror neurons that enable empathy but only for their own family / tribe. It's expandable once you understand the importance and benefits.
I was thinking this exact same thing when reading all that stuff about "The Holy Spirit" being necessary to possess altruism, empathy and all that stuff.

And the reason I was thinking about it is the fact that I live in an area where all the plains native American tribes were relocated in the late 1800s and I have been reading the history of these tribes on the Great Plains as they competed for resources. As you said, they were fiercely loyal to their own family and tribe. They got along with others who they perceived as allies. But if you were an enemy tribe... they were as brutal as it gets.

We see this same thing in most primitive cultures. Always have. In modern culture it seems to be driven to some degree by geopolitics and to some degree by ideology in a sociological sense.

I reckon the O'Darbster was referring to more of an individualistic concept of the Holy Spirit. But even then it is interesting to see what people who possess the Holy Spirit think about "altruism and empathy, etc." when one frames it in that same sociological context.

I don't want to get into the realm of the political... but I think you can get my drift.
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Old 11-30-2023, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
No, secular governments stopped the slave trades.
Before the 18th century, most governments were religious governments - there was no separate of church and state until the US Constitution's First Amendment stated the right of freedom of religion in 1776.

In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state", as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."
Since the 1780's a number of countries have set up explicit barriers between church and state. The degree of actual separation between government and religion or religious institutions varies widely. In some countries the two institutions remain heavily interconnected.

When The Act of Parliament to abolish the British slave trade in 1807, England was a religious state. For example:

Particularly from the mid-seventeenth century, forms of Protestant nonconformity, including Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers and, later, Methodists, grew outside of the established church. The (Anglican) Church in Wales was disestablished in 1920 and, as the (Anglican) Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1870 before the partition of Ireland, there is no established church in Northern Ireland.

The Jews in England were expelled in 1290, readmitted in the 1650s and only emancipated in the 19th century. British Jews had numbered fewer than 10,000 in 1800 but around 120,000 after 1881 when Russian Jews settled permanently in Britain

When the restored Spanish monarch Ferdinand VII agreed to a treaty with the British government to ban the slave trade to the Spanish colonies in 1817. Spain became a secular state, placing limitations on the activity of the Catholic Church and expelling the church from education during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1936).

Just pointing out that the idea of a secular state is a modern invention.
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Old 11-30-2023, 10:54 AM
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It depends on the definition of a secular state. If it means an established state religion, it's not new. Under Genghis Khan, there was no state religion; toleration was the byword as all religious leaders were exempt. This changed later. San Marino is the oldest republic (301)and has the oldest written constitution (1600). It also never had an established state religion though as a predominately Roman Catholic nation, Christian symbolism is found in government buildings. This could be argued to be similar to the US where legislatures have prayers when they open, oaths are taken on the Bible (Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, T. Roosevelt, Coolidge did not use Bibles; LBJ after the assassination used a missal - but that is all they had on Air Force One).,

For more on how Genghis Khan is misunderstood, read Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
by Jack Weatherford

Last edited by webster; 11-30-2023 at 11:03 AM..
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