Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Richard Carrier on Pagans, Progress, and Religion

"The pagans gave us democracy, citizenship, human rights, in fact the entire concepts of rights including freedom of speech, science, medicine, philosophy, formal logic, and mathematics. They also gave us a philosophical defence of moral virtues including philanthropy, generosity, mercy and honesty. Does that make paganism reasonable? No. The reason pagans came up with these things is not because they were pagans it is because they just happened to be pagans at the time that these humans came up with these brilliant, and beautiful, and good ideas and disseminated them. The fact that Christians may have done, and come up with good things, and good ideas, and done good things, is not because they're Christians but because they just happened to be Christians at the time. If they were Muslims or if they were pagans at the time, they might have come up with the same ideas and done the same things. Just as pagans did lots of great things, that we also benefit from tremendously" - Richard Carrier

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