Jurgen Habermas, the most influential agnostic philosopher of our time:
“Universalistic egalitarianism, from which sprang the ideals of freedom and a collective life in solidarity, the autonomous conduct of life and emancipation, the individual morality of conscience, human rights and democracy, is the direct legacy of the Judaic ethic of justice and the Christian ethic of love. This legacy, substantially unchanged, has been the object of continual critical appropriation and reinterpretation. To this day, there is no alternative to it. And in light of the current challenges of a post-national constellation, we continue to draw on the substance of this heritage. Everything else is just idle postmodern talk.”
(Jürgen Habermas – ““, Polity Press, 2006, pp. 150-151, translation of an interview from 1999).
You can read more about the influence of Christianity on culture:
Christianity was responsible for the founding of our first colleges and universities, including Harvard. Thats why the seal of Harvard reads VERITAS. What does veritas mean in Latin? Veritas means truth.
But founding Harvard isn’t that big of a deal, because not that many smart people come from Harvard and that Zukerberg and the founder of Quora went there isn’t that of a deal either.
Every city with San in the title was founded because of Christians. That means the vast majority of Texas, Christians. The vast majority of California, including San Fransisco and San Diego. Christians. Ergo, Christians founded the backbone of Silicon Valley. Thats no small feat.
And there is a ton of philanthropy and community service done by Christians both in church and beyond the walls of church.
Christians were responsible for the founding of thousands of hospitals. Specifically hospitals with Methodist or Saint or Baptist in the title were likely founded and funded by Christians—who did so because they were passionate about giving back and contributing.
The Declaration of Independence was written by spiritual deist, sure, but the language is quite emphatic and specific. It echoes over the past 200 years with a roar of independence, freedom, and is animated with a theological underpinning from its very first words. Our founding was emphatically Christian.
We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
That kickstarted the experiment known as the American experiment. If not for there words, the core values of America would have have likely been far, far, far more British and far, far, far less independent. And that influence over time, year over year would have been far less and far more blandly British and less uniquely American.
I find it interesting that the greatest critics of Christianity find themselves in Brittain, without a full understanding of the history, culture, and dynamics and ultimately the political philosophies of our founders. For instance, Jefferson basically stole those words from John Locke, and his Second Treatise on Government, who definitely wrote with a Christian perspective, albeit one with a rationalist edge as well (Life, liberty, and property versus life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—his influences sings through the rythms text. And Second Treatise speaks to the implicit contract of government that the Declaration speaks to.). No John Locke, and Jeffersons’ words and even logic would have been totally different—and America would likely have been more like a blueprint of France or Brittian, and not uniquely American.
But reading about the ultimate influences of Christianity on history and specifically the culture of America is worth checking out:
Coach Wooden Rules for Players:
- Always be a gentleman.
- Always be a team player.
- Always be on time whenever time is involved.
- Always be learning
- Always be earning the right to be proud or confident.
- Always keep emotions under control without losing fight or aggressiveness.
- Be spirited, not temperamental.
- Always work to improve, knowing you can never improve enough.
This has an achievement oriented bias (particularly in relationship to 5 and 8). I’m not sure how to frame those, but overall this is a pretty decent list.
Top 10 Team Tips
Do you have other similar list of team rules? Do you have any suggestions for additional team rules?
Dorothy Day, a staunch advocate of the poor and founder of the Catholic Worker movement, once remarked:
“There are days when I want to stop all those poor people giving their coins to the church, and tell them to march on the offices of the archdiocese – tell all those people inside those offices to move out of their plush rooms and share the lives of the hungry and the hurt. Would Jesus sit in some big, fancy, air-conditioned room near the banks and the department stores where the rich store their millions and spend their millions? Would he let himself be driven in big, black limousines, while thousands and thousands of people who believe in him and his Church are at the edge of starvation? Would he tolerate big mansions and fancy estates and luxurious traveling, while people come to church bare-footed and ragged and hungry and sick, children all over the world? In my mind, there is only one answer to questions like these: No!
“I’m afraid that going to church puts many of us to sleep. We become so pleased with ourselves – our virtue, for attending Mass – that we forget about how others are living, who don’t have the kind of lives we have.”
Ethical Quotes by Stoic Philosophers:
“Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”
“It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. ”
“It is not the man who has too little that is poor, but the one who hankers after more.”
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.”
– Marcus Aurelius
“For what prevents us from saying that the happy life is to have a mind that is free, lofty, fearless and steadfast – a mind that is placed beyond the reach of fear, beyond the reach of desire, that counts virtue the only good, baseness the only evil, and all else but a worthless mass of things, which come and go without increasing or diminishing the highest good, and neither subtract any part from the happy life nor add any part to it?
A man thus grounded must, whether he wills or not, necessarily be attended by constant cheerfulness and a joy that is deep and issues from deep within, since he finds delight in his own resources, and desires no joys greater than his inner joys.”
Practical/Perceptions Quotes By Stoic Philosophers:
“What really frightens and dismays us is not external events themselves, but the way in which we think about them. It is not things that disturb us, but our interpretation of their significance.”
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.”
Resources from Jane Friedman (link)
Finding Agents and Publishers (link)
Jamie Chavez (link)
Janette Hanscome Editoral Services (link)
James Watkins (link)
Kathy Ide (link)
Bonnie Harvey (?)
Christian PEN (link) ???
Writers Edge Service–Resources (link) [but editors don’t look at the type of service]