Classical Theism, Philosophy, and Religion Forum

You are not logged in. Would you like to login?



2/24/2018 4:17 pm  #1


Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

If Anthony D. Smith is correct, the ‘core doctrine’ of nationalism consists of the following:

1. humanity is divided into nations, each with its own character, history and destiny;
2. the nation is the sole source of political power;
3. loyalty to the nation takes precedence over other loyalties;
4. to be free, human beings must belong to a nation;
5. nations require maximum autonomy and self-expression;
6. global peace and justice can only be built on the basis of a plurality
of free nations.

It would seem to me that at least 3 is highly problematic for a Christian. Possibly some of the others as well.

What do you think?

 

2/24/2018 4:35 pm  #2


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Ohhh, My God. Not another thread!  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

No more threads on nations/nationalism or cheerio-puffs. No more!  We can't handle the Truth!

"Lock Her Up!" "Lock Her Up!" "Lock Her Up!" "Lock Her Up!" "Lock Her Up!"

Oops my bad, wrong chant.

 "Lock It up!" "Lock It up!" "Lock It up!" "Lock It up!"

Last edited by Clinias (2/24/2018 4:40 pm)


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/24/2018 4:48 pm  #3


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

(3) is patently incompatible with Christianity, as is (5).

My inclination is to think that many of the others have banal senses in which they probably are not intended; in the sense in which they are probably intended, they are false. Take (1). Surely it is true that humanity is divided into various nations, and those nations have their own histories and characters. It is even true that those nations have their own destinies; something will happen to them. But affirming that is consistent with thinking that the division is accidental, as is true in a parallel case like this: "cars are divided into blue cars, red cars, black cars, ... etc." (1) is probably not intended as a truism but as a thesis which others would be tempted to reject. Presumably that is because "destiny" is meant in some more loaded sense than I have allowed. I won't speculate because I find the idea frankly bizarre and there are lots of possibilities, many of which seems probably incompatible with Christianity.

More comprehensively, I'd recommend Adrian Vermeule's essay in First Things, "A Christian Strategy". I think Vermeule is correct to draw from Paul's example in Acts that the Christian has to regard all of his other identities as contingent and secondary.

 

2/24/2018 4:52 pm  #4


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Dry and Uninspired wrote:

If Anthony D. Smith is correct, the ‘core doctrine’ of nationalism consists of the following:

1. humanity is divided into nations, each with its own character, history and destiny;
2. the nation is the sole source of political power;
3. loyalty to the nation takes precedence over other loyalties;
4. to be free, human beings must belong to a nation;
5. nations require maximum autonomy and self-expression;
6. global peace and justice can only be built on the basis of a plurality
of free nations.

It would seem to me that at least 3 is highly problematic for a Christian. Possibly some of the others as well.

What do you think?

What reason would anyone have to accept any of these propositions? As they stand at least some of them are utterly incoherent as they conflict with the reality of free will (this is the problem with politics in general = it co-opts the precise language of ontology e.g. terms like freedom and good, and employs them in a fundamentally vague equvical sense).
 

 

2/24/2018 5:24 pm  #5


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

I love Socrates. He's a great guy. I get a big kick out of him because people say things---and then he puts what they say into another context---and wouldn't you know it, the premise originally stated doesn't work. 

Socrates asks in the Laches,

"And I will begin with courage, and once more ask what is that common quality, which is the same in all these cases, and which is called courage? (§191e)

Greg wrote:

"... to draw from Paul's example in Acts that the Christian has to regard all of his other identities as contingent and secondary"

Please let's use Socrates shall we. Okay the premise is that one's national identity is contingent and secondary. Well, if that is true, then it is true FOR ALL matters of identity. Right?

Is one's gender contingent and secondary?

One's gender is primal, foundational and essential. 

Gender comes before Baptism, doesn't it?  Can we change our genders?  Is our genders contigent and secondary, or essential to our identity?

One can leave off being a Christian easily. Can one do that with gender?  It would seem that a Christian identity is contingent and secondary.  Gender remains. Anyone can leave or not join the Faith at anytime. Not so with gender. 

So we loose our gender in Heaven? Or is it permanent?  Do we refer to the Blessed Virgin Mary as an "It"?

DanielCC wrote:

"As they stand at least some of them are utterly incoherent as they conflict with the reality of free will (this is the problem with politics in general = it co-opts the precise language of ontology e.g. terms like freedom and good, and employs them in a fundamentally vague equvical sense).

I hate it when Christendom was destroyed. The conceptual sense of the two INDEPENDENT spheres was destroyed as well in the minds of the people. What I see now is that the Church and Christians are subjecting the Natural Order to themselves. 

That the Natural Order is beholden to ontology?  The Natural Order is co-opted by man's device of Free Will? What does the "reality of Free Will" have to do with Natural Order? How is it that the Natural Order is beholden to the whims of men? Do we obey the Natural Order?  Or is it that Man controls and Dictates the Natural Order?  Did not the Natural Order exist before Men?  Before philosophy? Before the coining of the term "ontology" and "Free Will"?

The Natural Order is free from Man. What runs the Natural Order is the Natural Law. Man has NO power over the Natural Order. The Natural Order is the Natural Order. 
 


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/24/2018 5:40 pm  #6


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Clinias wrote:

Okay the premise is that one's national identity is contingent and secondary. Well, if that is true, then it is true FOR ALL matters of identity. Right?

Is one's gender contingent and secondary?

I think you'll find that the thesis that all identities other than Christian identity are contingent and secondary to be a normative thesis. It is a claim about the place these identities should have in your life and not about the prospects for eliminating them. The thesis that Christian identity is primary is not a claim that apostasy is impossible. That some identities cannot be abandoned is irrelevant.

(There's a difference between, on the one hand, sex and, on the other, sex or gender identity. I think it's a good question what identity is. I am generally inclined to think that the term should be done away with. But whatever it is, one's identities depend on identification: which parts of me do I identify with? Identifying is elective. Sex is fixed. I actually don't think gender identity is; someone can change his gender identity simply when he identifies with a different gender than he used to. There's nothing remarkable about this. It's of course a distinct question whether he should do that. So all identities are contingent in the sense that one can disavow them. This includes national identity. I can be alienated from my nation and decide not my heritage as important. In some cases this might be very difficult psychologically, and perhaps impossible given that one has no motivation to do so, as for instance I have no motivation to identify with a different gender than I do. But this is not relevant to the normative question of whether one should make national identity more important in one's life than one's divine sonship.)

 

2/24/2018 6:04 pm  #7


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

Clinias wrote:

Please let's use Socrates shall we. Okay the premise is that one's national identity is contingent and secondary.
Well, if that is true, then it is true FOR ALL matters of identity. Right?

No, one has some properties e.g. being rational, having an immaterial soul, being a free agent necessarily, whilst others are had contingently e.g. being snub-nosed, being Greek

Clinias wrote:

Is one's gender contingent and secondary?

Well for Socrates (Plato) gender is certainly contingent as we are return to the world in different bodies depending on the moral course of our lives. For Christianity, I can see no reason why God couldn't change one of our bodies from own sex to another.

Clinias wrote:

That the Natural Order is beholden to ontology? 

Part of ontology just is laying out the nature of various kinds and the relations between them.

Clinias wrote:

The Natural Order is co-opted by man's device of Free Will? What does the "reality of Free Will" have to do with Natural Order? 

Because 'being a free agent' necessarily follows from 'being rational', a property which belongs to humanity of necessity (so much so that Aristotle and the scholastics had it as the defining feature of humanity amongst all other animals)

Clinias wrote:

Man has NO power over the Natural Order. The Natural Order is the Natural Order.

Where did I say we do (though obviously we have some control over our contingent properties). Man may have no power to change the necessary aspects of the natural order but certainly has the power to recognize that order.
 

 

2/24/2018 6:19 pm  #8


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

DanielCC wrote:

For Christianity, I can see no reason why God couldn't change one of our bodies from own sex to another.

Yeah, I didn't comment on this, and I also haven't studied this question... but in Aristotle and Thomas, I believe, it is the material principle which accounts for sex. If that's true, then a disembodied soul doesn't have a sex. Catholics believe that Mary was assumed into heaven, so she would perhaps be an exception. At the general resurrection, humans would once again have a sex; it seems that it would be possible, on the Thomistic view, for people to be resurrected with a different sex than they had in life. But if so, it suffices to observe that this would be unfitting.

I am not sure whether Aristotle and Thomas are correct on this point. It isn't Catholic orthodoxy or anything. And I think that sex is a very interesting topic.

 

2/24/2018 8:39 pm  #9


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

I find this discussion weird. 100 years ago there wouldn't be this question or a debate. 500 years ago there wouldn't be this question or a debate. 1000 years ago we wouldn't be having this question or debate. Only now. The underlying premise of the three threads is that a nation does not have being, it is a social construct. Why?  Because from what I see all the interlocutors have adopted modern ideas. 

It says in the 1st Psalm:

"Blessed is the Man that has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stood in the way of sinners,
Nor sat in the seat of evil men."

I do not read anything from the Enlightenment. I don't accept the counsel of the ungodly. So I don't listen to Hobbes. I don't listen to John Locke. I don't listen to the FFofA. I don't listen to modern crap. Everything in the modern world is a lie; it's junk. 

I refer to Christendom. Christendom is defined by Throne and Altar. Two separate entities. Two separate spheres. The Throne represents the Natural Order. What is a Monarch tied to?  Nations. Did the Church anywhere question that?  NO. Church and State went together. Throne and Altar are the pillars of Western Culture and Civilization. If you question nations, you question Throne. Then, you question the very legitimacy and naturalness of Christendom. 

Are we divorced from our history? From our own culture and civilization?

With the destruction of Christendom, and the rise of a new civilization in its place, people now have adopted new morals, new conventions, new presumptions. No one questioned the existence of nations before the 19th century. Why now? What gives?  Is it not commonsense to accept the presence of nations? This is why I find this weird, unreal, and unfathomable. Many people have adopted the counsel of the ungodly. Some people are sitting in the seat of evil men. Their presumptions are American. Like this "agents of Free Will". Did not Aristotle teach "Parts of a Whole"?  We are a part. "Parts of a whole" is the Natural Law---agents of Free Will is not. Aristotle said, We are social animals. So what part of "social" do you not get?

So those here, what are your presumptions laid upon?  The writings of the Enlightenment? The sentiments of cultural Marxism?

My presumption is the defense and upholding of Christendom, Throne and Altar. 


"We are not in the world to give the laws...but in order to obey the commands of the gods".
~ Plutarch, priest of Apollo at the Doric Temple of Delphi.
 

2/24/2018 9:13 pm  #10


Re: Is Christianity compatible with nationalism?

These are two extremely distinct theses which do not stand or fall together:
- Nations exist.
- Loyalty to the nation takes precedence over other loyalties.

No one is questioning the existence of nations. No one is questioning that national identity is sometimes important. What is being questioned is nationalism, as defined by the theses in the OP. So defined, nationalism is an exceedingly modern doctrine.

 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum