Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Western Civilization and Prosperity

Continuing on with my recent theme about Western Civilization, here's a TED Talk on the question of why the West has been so very good at creating prosperity, in comparison to the rest of the world. It's not geography, it's not even culture exactly.

Ferguson lists six factors which exist in the West more than elsewhere that contribute to prosperity:

  1. Competition
  2. The Scientific Revolution
  3. Property Rights
  4. Modern Medicine
  5. Consumer Society
  6. The Work Ethic 

Watch the video (it's about 20 minutes). While he does not mention Christianity specifically as a factor, many of these six factors owe their existence in the West to the Christian religion. Property rights, for example, come from the Christian belief in the worth of each person - not just the rich or powerful. The Scientific Revolution and it's by-product, Modern Medicine, are built on the Christian belief that God is rational and He made the world a rational and comprehensible place. Medicine is the application of science to the alleviation of suffering, another Christian belief - if you love your neighbor, you want to ease his suffering.

1 comment:

Charles Turnitsa said...

Fantastic share. Thanks. Niall Ferguson is always a treat to read, nice to see his insightful TED talk.