As you might have noticed I’m busy looking into the differences between the branches of Yahwism, and various philosophical schools from Plato, Aristotle, to Kant and Nietzsche.
I’ll branch out into German Fairytales and Odinism in the future.
Now what I see as important is the difference in the evaluation of consequences that the various schools of thought imply.
Christianity – and follow up schools – stands out by its abolition of revenge, or vendetta, Blutrache, blood line guilt. Whether or not Christ was real, whether or not he was the son of God, the eternal retaliation for ills suffered in the past stops there.
I wanted to conserve this thought here because all elaborate theological questions of free will, the concept of God, and whether we even have the right concept there, pale into insignificance when we consider how we should behave.
Which also means that the essence of behaving in a Christian way can really be condensed in the headline. Makes it easier to remember, right?
And no, Christianity does not mean not defending against aggression. “Turn the other cheek” is a message of stoicism in the face of adversity, not a commandment to get yourself or your kin murdered. Otherwise it would say “If your enemy wants to stab you, let him”. Important difference.
So Christianity moves us from the Arabic “Eye for an eye” to a rational assessment of FUTURE threats (and opportunities). “Eye for an eye” is a moral code of a nomadic desert tribe (e.g. the Shasu Of YHW) where the economy is a zero-sum game and development nonexistent; where you can only rise up by stealing from someone, and OBSOLETE. It is still practiced a lot – but, it is game-theoretical SUBOPTIMAL once the condition of a zero sum game does not hold.
(And as to why it doesn’t hold anymore, see Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource).
And that also means that the “eye for an eye” strategy constantly loses these days.
So it has moral AND economic implications. Sectors that are inseparable. As economy builds on trust or on theft. Which gives you rather different forms of economy.
Punishing a criminal is not revenge: It has the purpose of either removing him temprarily from people he would harm – and/or to correct his future behaviour. It is a rational act to influence the future .
Oh and watch everything from Jordan Peterson. He talks a lot about consequences and moral. And Christ and Nietzsche. I can actually only watch him once a week or I suffer from overload.