Christian Theology

April 3, 2014

Christian versions of international development are complicated by the limitations of human knowledge

Filed under: christian theology — Christian Theology @ 4:42 pm

Christian versions of international development are complicated by the limitations of human knowledge; we rarely understand the long term effects of the development of a people, how a government will respond to financial aid (with increased capacity for war or peace) or how education and increased personal freedom will express itself in a given culture (through greater fidelity or an increased inĀ corruption). The U.S. could stand being slightly less developed for example. Interwoven within the fabric of such decision making is the inference of the moral development of a people and whether economic and political development will cause a sustained moral decline. Wealth can a blessing or a curse depending on who has it and how they are spending it but poverty for the most part brings out the worst in people. That’s a trend not a cause, since poverty can never be said to cause immorality; it simply makes the pressures to make immoral decisions more pronounced. Likewise wealth reduces a great number of social and psychological pressures to act in ways inconsistent with one’s moral and spiritual well-being but does not in the end immediately cause one to be better or worse. Many Christian commentators have endorsed the priority of the pastoral or agrarian lifestyle as tending toward the formation of a Christian conscience and sober spirituality and there might be some truth in that but these things are incredibly difficult to predict. At the very least, having an energy focused economy serves no immediate purpose toward the spiritual well-being of a person and first world philosophy and economics seem to tend powerfully toward the multiplication of useless jobs, divorce, sexual perversions, aberrant artistic expressions, drunkeness, addiction, depression, anxiety, psychological problems and criminality.

Neiswonger

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