Long after my literal belief in the Bible waned, Ive gained deep appreciation of what Christianity does for society. I believe in believing.
> What books would I recommend for an elaboration of my praise of Christianity’s role in society?
Fukuyama’s Trust and Origin of Political Order.
Duchesne’s Uniqueness of Western Civilization.
None of these books is about Christianity. They’re about the problem that Christianity solves, namely Trust, and how it plays out in the development (or lack thereof) of civilization.
And then I guess I’d also read about IQ, perhaps Nicholas Wade: A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History.
This last bit to help overcome the bias that most people have. Namely the bias that most people are similar to them.
Talented guys like you may not appreciate life at the bottom — life for people who do not and cannot understand the world, who’ve failed at everything they’ve attempted, who feel scorned and ridiculed, who are extremely afraid, who seem to live their whole lives one mistake away from catastrophe.
These are the people that function on impulse, habit, and ritual.
Think of those people.
So you have Islam, which sanctifies violence. You can still have redemption if you dedicate your life to smiting heretics. And you have Christianity where punishment is prohibited and forgiveness is required. If you behave well, you will be redeemed in the after life.
You also have communism (a secular religion) where your failures are blamed on the capitalist class, and people are rallied to destroy enemies.