RELIGION AND POLITICS

In the bible, democracy is not out rightly endorsed. In fact, the bible warns the people against puttingleadership in the hands of evil people. It is shocking that many Christians in the world believe that democracy is in line with Christianity. Therefore,it’s the duty of the Christians to find out redemption by themselves and it is not the duty of the state to redeem people or to help people in their wayward ways. Many Christians believe that their relationship with God is so different from their relationship with other human beings. It is for this reason that most of them believe that politics should in no way relate to their relationship with God. They believe that religion and politics should be separated and not be associated with each other. They believe that politics deals with the relationship between people while his relationship with God is divine and connects the spirits of Christians to God. They believe that the bible has no option for a political system and therefore they do what they think is best. However, politics may end up being a very dirty game but Christians decide to choose one that is no6 too evil in this case, democracy (Hall, 1981).

If this argument were true then the bible would have differentiated our political side and our spiritual sides in two different realms. These realms would be totally unrelated and the bible does not give this distinction but rather gives a way for God to rule over all the aspects of our lives. The bible says that secularity does not exist and there is no such thing as being neutral.one would either follow God or the devil everything that God created in the world ought to be considered as sacred because in the end Christ will remain as Christ. Anyone who thinks in this way can be excused from believing that politics is good but only when it is related to the biblical view of politics. The mistake occurs when the person believes that the religious realm is completely separated from the political realm. In this way, they believe that the two realms occur side to side and therefore making the religious real equal to the political realm which is wrong and unlawful (Miller, 2010).

The second assumption does not offer any distinction in between political philosophy and religion. According to Augustine, there is no state that is just. This is because according to him, human beings reject the word of God which would deliver them to the prefect world. This does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to the redemption of human beings. What Augustine believes is that human beings should expect no less than what the re going through now. He uses the past experiences in order to predict what will happen in the future. Human beings should not expect any changes in their political systems if the political system is to remain the same. Finally, Augustine concludesthat the servants of Christ whether they are rulers, kings, queens, judges or presidents, should endure all the wickedness in a corrupt state. He says that these leaders end wanting to have all the glory that belongs to God and therefore losing out God’s teachings of power (Taylor,1995).

Most people believe that democracy is best system among the many other wrong systems such as dictatorship. Democracy is where the people believe that the government makes decision for them in their best interest and sometimes they have to be consulted when the decisions arebeing made. They believe that there is no right way for someone to live their lives. In the beginning when there were no rules or laws, one could do whatever it is they wished for. There were no consequences for any wrong action and people could do as they pleased at all times. There was no right way of doing things. By establishing rules, the people had to realize that they were now restricted andthey could not do the things that they did before. There was now set rules on how people should conductthemselves. Any action that was against these rules would probably have a consequence. The consequences vary from crime to crime with the heavy crimes such as murder having severe consequences (Miller, 2010).

Since the regime at this point could not decide what was right and wrong before the rules were formed, Plato described this society as fools. The worst thing that could happen in such a society would be extreme disorderliness, and massive killing and corruption if the people. Plato could see that there was kind of tyranny that could arise fromthis kind of a system. The tyrant in this case would affiliate himself with philosophers who aID a sense of intelligence in his rule. The tyrant believes that the philosophers owes him and is part and parcel of his rule. Since he is higher than the philosopher, the tyrant in this case is not compelled to follow or answer to the philosopher. The questions may be questioning the rule or conduct of the tyrant. The tyrant believes that he should rule and act and should not be concerned about what is right and what is wrong. The tyrant prefers to be loved and admired by all the people in the land. He prefers that people worship him at all times and anyone who does abide by the laws would probably be killed. His decisions are made according to what the people love and what they prefer. There is no common rule but rather the rules change all the time depending on what the people want and what they need at the time ( Oakshott, 1962).

There was a young tyrant namedAlcibiades, tells of how the people’s wants and desire guided him. Headmires the philosopher as he thinks that he is intelligent which in turn makes him appear intelligent to the people. The people are not disciplines and do not realize that there is a limit in everything that they want and need. They crave anything at any time and demand that these wants are met at any time without regard for anything or anyone. There is no set procedure for attaining anything. By promising the people that he will fulfill their wants, the tyrant enslaves them and makes his existence about what they want and what they need. This is what the tyrant wants because he loves to be praised and admired by the people (Ferrari, 2009).

When the democratic regime was put in place, the tyrant is in trouble since e represents so much disorder in the land. In a democratic state, the relationship between the people and the ruler is friendly rather than hostile. The ruler in a democratic state is probably chosen by the people. This is so unlike the tyranny regime where the tyrant seeks tosatisfy the needs of the people that are close to him and in most cases, they are not chosen by the people but are rather inherited from their family lineage. The tyrant is the leader in the people’s disorderliness (Strauss, 1987).

Plato says that it is dangerous to repeat what the former regimehas done. This is because the new regime has to learn from the mistakes of the former regime. A good leader should lead the peoplein the path that they should follow at all times. Plato believes that the reason why Socrates lived for seventy years was because the people could not distinguish between a foolish and a wise man. The people could not distinguish what is right and what was wrong. In this way the leaders had to ensure that the people got what they wanted but within reasonable limits (Kristol, 1995).

 

He claims that the success of the Roman Empire was the plan of Godotherwise, it could have been corrupted. He believes that if Christians followed the word of God as they should then the cities and the political systems of the time would have surpassed those of the great achievers in Roman history. While Augustine postulates that it is better for romans to transform to Christianity, he realizes that this does not automatically turn the state into the perfect city of God. Even if the structure of the church and the political system were put together to become one, the state would not automatically become the ‘best city’ (Jacques, 2002).

Augustine does not wish bad for Rome but rather intervenes for them to God since he is one of them. He views Rome as one of the last symbol that Christ has. He is however not too optimistic about the future of the roman state. And this is not because it is not rom but rather because it is doomed for failure. Any state that is consisted and solely ruled by men cannot be considered the city of God. It constitutes an earthly city which will in the end be doomed for failure because it is not led by God. It is therefore very important for a city to be in line with what God’s word says. In the end however, Augustine believes that Rome could be the pioneer of spreading the word of God since that is where Christianity started. It can protect the church from malicious people who do not follow the word of God. It can even return those that have fallen away from the word of God to return to God and be one wit Christ once again (Gilbert, 1991).

The most common solution tothe political problems was to declare to the people that even the Godly things were good they were irrelevant in the people’s day to day life. What was considered important was to maintain peace among the people regardless of what the people needed. The peace did not come from the people’s will but rather due to the lack of carious legal solutions. Philosophy and religion were believed to have been the greatest competitors to politics and therefore they were required to be in a different realm from the political realm. They could not be permitted by the tyranny to occupy a higher realm than politics in the land.Aristotle was a priest who believed that politics did not have any place in religion and did not claim to know everything. He however believed that the Gods had a moral responsibility of ensuring that the people were busy all the times and satisfied since they could not all be philosophers. He postulated that man was a political being and regardless of all the other spheres that existed in his life, he had to satisfy his political nature by participating in politics (Charlesworth M. 1986).

They tried turning to the Gods in the effort of attaining good life and the only virtues that could be practiced were either practice or discipline. This would enable them to have all that they wanted. He said that the law could give direction on what the people could do and what they could not do. The law guided them in the sense that the citizens knew what was right and what was wrong and the punishment that every wrong action carried. The principles of political and ethical order were established once philosophy could be defined and understood by the people. The ethics and philosophy provided the moral standards that they people could love with. They totally abandoned the word of God and put their trust in worldly things. Man chose to rule himself and the entire society according to what the deemed fit. Morality and politics could not be judged in the same way since they were two different speculative sciences. They believed that they existed only due to their own intelligence and wisdom. They considered themselves neither beasts norgods (Isaiah, 1969).

Works Cited

Berlin, Isaiah. 1969, ‘Two concepts of liberty’, Four essays on liberty 1969, Oxford University Press, London, pp. 118-172

Charlesworth, M 1986, ‘Augustine and Aquinas: church and state’, Political thinkers 1986, Macmillan, South Melbourne, pp. 39-50

Ferrari, GRF 2007, ‘The noble lie’, The Cambridge companion to Plato’s Republic 2007, Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 138-164

Gilbert, A 1991, ‘Political philosophy : Marx and radical democracy’, The Cambridge companion to Marx 1991, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge [England], pp. 168-195

Hall, RW 1981, ‘The controversy of convention of nature as the basis of the state’, Plato 1981, Routledge, London, pp. 13-40

Jaques, E 2002, ‘Values for a living world’, Life and behavior of living organisms: a general theory 2002, Praeger, Westport, pp. 245-256

Kristol, I 1995, ‘Machiavelli and the profanation of politics’, Neoconservatism: the autobiography of an idea 1995, Free Press, New York, pp. 151-164

Miller, DE 2010, ‘Mill on liberty and individuality’, JS Mill : moral, social and political thought 2010, Polity, Cambridge, UK, pp. 113-153

Oakeshott, M 1962, ‘The moral life in the writings of Thomas Hobbes’, Rationalism in politics and other essays 1962, Methuen, London, pp. 248-300

History of political philosophy: Reading 1. St. Augustine (Fortin, EL), Reading 2. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fortin, EL)

Strauss, L, Cropsey, J 1987, ‘History of political philosophy: Reading 1. St. Augustine (Fortin, EL), Reading 2. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fortin, EL)’, History of political philosophy 1987, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 176-205, 248-275

Taylor, CCW 1995, ‘Politics’, The Cambridge companion to Aristotle 1995, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 233-258

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