Blogs > Liberty and Power > Jesus Christ: A Victim of Democracy?

May 31, 2006 5:21 pm

Jesus Christ: A Victim of Democracy?

"Democratic Athenians believed that justice is the will of the majority, on the theory that ninety men are right and ten are wrong. Under this theory, they killed off their intelligent and honest men. Pontius Pilate also obeyed a majority, though more skeptically."

Rose Wilder Lane, Discovery of Freedom: Man's Struggle Against Authority (New York: John Day Company, 1943, 1984 reprint by Laissez Faire Books), 142.

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Gary McGath - 6/2/2006

Sorry, my reply got attached to the wrong comment.

Gary McGath - 6/2/2006

If Christian theology allows blatant contradictions, then it's no more worth discussing than a maniac's rants.

M.D. Fulwiler - 6/2/2006

"I'm no theologian, but isn't it standardly thought that as a man Jesus was a victim, but as God he was not? So, just as he was both fully man and fully God, he was both fully a victim and fully not. Do I have that wrong?"

Well, all I can say is that Christianity is both fully illogical and fully stupid.

Mark Brady - 6/1/2006

To what extent, if at all, was Rose Wilder Lane a professed Christian?

Gus diZerega - 6/1/2006

As a class, democracies demonstrably are far less violent on ALL accounts than are undemocratic governments. Rudy Rummel has demonstrated this, however dim his understanding of our Iraq involvement may be. No one in his (or her) right mind would call Roman occupied Palestine a democracy. It had a king and was under Roman occupation. Democracy is a process, not the final vote. The communists had final votes, that was not the problem. Mob rule was not the norm of Athenian democracy (which lasted centuries, by the way) but rather a pathology that ambitious demagogues could at times exploit, especially after great crises (which was when Socrates was killed). The reasoning of Federalist 10 was an attempt to solve that problem, and no one has done more to undermine James Madison’s insights on this point than the so-called “patriots” who empower the Republican Party. There is and always has been greater religious freedom in almost all democratic countries than in most undemocratic ones. I could go on.

Democracy has serious problems. I wrote a book on some of them, which I recommend. But for God’s sake let’s try and at least make the criticisms accurate ones, OK?

Protagoras - 6/1/2006

I'm no theologian, but isn't it standardly thought that as a man Jesus was a victim, but as God he was not? So, just as he was both fully man and fully God, he was both fully a victim and fully not. Do I have that wrong?

chris l pettit - 6/1/2006

without equality of opportunity to access information, the right to education without indoctrination (meaning no moral entrepreneurs), and a citizenry who actually understands that with that equality and right comes the obligation to decide what is best for the community of humankind (as opposed to a bunch of unconnected entities)...democracy becomes just another definition of orchestrated mobs. you need only look at the influence of moral entrepreneurs (in the form of religion, politics, economics "xperts", individualists, etc) in this country and how "democracy" works here to realize that, for the most part, "democracy" is nothing more than power relationships and the contest to see who can hoodwink the most miseducated and ignorant (Eastern definition) individuals in order to be able to impose their ideology on the rest (Bush's mandate). Utilitarianism (meaning Bentham, his cronies, and the legal positivists...I maintain that Mill is actually not a utilitarian and that there are many similarities between him and Rawls) has nothing to do with the "public good" or Rousseau's "general will" and actually has everything to do with what power based ideology is able to manipulate the social and political framework to gain the ability to inpose its ideology on the rest for whatever period of time you like. Law and rights then become non-existent and power based "rules" become the norm...subject to the whim of the "majority" or whoever is in power and able to impose their ideology (like what we see with the current cabal and the Constitution...and Clinton before them...and Bush before them...and you can include FDR in that group as well) I would highly recommend the writings of John Dunn and the Cambridge School of Political thought...I believe the title of the best text is "The Cunning of Unreason." Wasn't it Winston Churchill that said once that the best argument against democracy was to go out and talk to 50 members of the "democratic" community...or something similar to that (and yes, I know he said something else favoring democracy when it suited him...which just further bolsters my point).


Gary McGath - 6/1/2006

I'm not so sure that responding to the will of an orchestrated mob counts as democracy. In any case, the events leading to Jesus's death are less certain than those leading to Socrates', and the story of the crowd calling for crucifixion could just be made up (crucifiction, so to speak).

Ralph E. Luker - 6/1/2006

So much for your sophisticated theological education!

M.D. Fulwiler - 5/31/2006

Jesus was no victim as (according to Christian theology) he both wanted to die and needed to die to save the world from its sins.