Monday, July 25, 2016

Philosophy Wire: The positive effect of Missionaries. [OR: Christianity as the basis of civilization]

Philosophy Wire by Spiros Kakos [2016-07-25]: A remarkable new study by Robert D. Woodberry has demonstrated conclusively that Protestant missionaries can take most of the credit for the rise and spread of stable democracies in the non-Western world. That is, the greater the number of Protestant missionaries per ten thousand local population in 1923, the higher the probability that by now a nation has achieved a stable democracy. The missionary effect is far greater than that of fifty other pertinent control variables, including gross domestic product (GDP) and whether or not a nation was a British colony.

Woodberry not only identified this missionary effect but also gained important insights into why it occurred. Missionaries, he showed, contributed to the rise of stable democracies because they sponsored mass education, local printing and newspapers, and local voluntary organizations, including those having a nationalist and anticolonial orientation. Less recognized are the lasting benefits of the missionary commitment to medicine and health. American and British Protestant missionaries made incredible investments in medical facilities in non-Western nations, thus resulting in great decrease in the mortality rate in these countries.

These results so surprised social scientists that perhaps no study ever has been subjected to such intensive prepublication vetting. Woodberry was required to turn over his entire database to editors of the American Political Science Review, who subjected it to extensive, independent reanalysis. But after this vetting, the editors were satisfied that the robust statistical results were correct; in fact, they gave Woodberry considerably more space than the usual maximum to present his findings in detail.

The research [The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy, Robert D. Woodberry, American Political Science Review, Vol. 106, No. 2 May 2012] can be found online here. [related book: Rodney Stark (sociologist of religion), "How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity"]

Civilization = Freedom.

The hatred of atheists and “progressive” people has distorted the truth so much that we need a research to see the obvious: That love is freedom and it can do good and only good. And despite how many people misinterpret hate for love that will always be the case. Christianity was based on the love of Jesus Christ. Europe was built on Christianity. And only men with good solid foundations as Christianity can be so free so as to question their own… foundations.

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