Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A commonly held thesis

Let us test a thesis.
Once upon a time, almost all of the great thinkers, artists, scientists, princes and statesmen believed with the majority of humankind in some supernatural agency, whether God or gods or Buddha. The philosophies and aesthetics of nations and globe-spanning civilisations were underpinned by these beliefs, and there is no way of understanding history or literature without understanding the religious ideas behind them. Only seldom did intelligent people ever question such ideas, so deeply engrained were they, and even more rarely did they reject them outright, rather arguing over matters of detail. Religious beliefs continue to be held by the majority of people to this day.
However, a small minority who predominantly hail from one traditionally affluent and powerful part of the globe have established beyond all doubt that these people, both ancient and modern, have been entirely wrong, and that the leaders and thinkers of the past were ultimately no more enlightened than theocratic thugs and fundamentalists. What is more, this is so self-evident that one does not even need to study ancient thought to dismiss is entirely: there is so obviously no God that twenty minutes on Wikipedia will do.
Does this thesis sound reasonable?

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