Comments

  • Inner calm and inner peace in Stoicism.
    I'd love to see these modern-day stoics (and the old ones, too, actually) cope with some real problems, like poverty on the verge of homelessness or grave illness, or both.baker

    There's no doubt that it would be difficult to live a Stoic life. That may be why professed Stoics like Marcus Aurelius were inclined to engage in the discipline of constantly reminding themselves of what that would entail--in his case in his writings which have come to be known as the Meditations, but which were never intended for publication; most likely they were "spiritual exercises" as Pierre Hadot says.
  • Inner calm and inner peace in Stoicism.
    At last. What took you so long ? :wink:Amity

    I sometimes think I've said all I have to say about certain subjects. Then, suddenly, I think I haven't.
  • Inner calm and inner peace in Stoicism.
    Surely slaves were ambitious? Or at least our particular slave here was.

    But here's the catch: How many Stoics actually attained ataraxia, aequanimitas?
    baker

    It was a peculiarity of the Roman institution of slavery (and perhaps ancient slavery in general) that slaves had very few rights and were deemed to be of very low social status, but could be freed and, once freed, could become wealthy and powerful mostly through their wealth, and sometimes their association with emperors as those who did the hard work of governing. But there's no evidence that Epictetus was "ambitious" in the sense we would use that word, I think.

    Little enough is known of him, but what we do know suggests he wasn't. He was born a slave. He was eventually freed by his master, and taught philosophy in Rome until the Emperor Domitian (not a particularly tolerant man) banished all philosophers from the city. He was "lame" as they used to say, due to physical abuse while he was a slave, or disabled from birth (the sources disagree). After his banishment he went to Nicopolis in Greece and lived there for the rest of his life, teaching philosophy. The sources indicate he lived very simply, had very few possessions, never married, and eventually adopted the child of a friend who otherwise would have been abandoned. He wrote nothing that is known. His Discourses and Enchiridion were derived from notes of his teachings taken by his student Arrian.

    He was honored and respected by some influential men of his time, including Marcus Aurelius, though Marcus never knew him or attended his lectures. That's about all we know.

    The ancient Stoics often would elaborate on how a true Stoic Sage, who had perfected himself, would think and react to events, but it's recognized this was an ideal. I don't know if anyone ever became a Sage, but if they did I doubt it's something they would claim to be. History indicates that there were those who were professed members of the Stoic school who accepted their deaths at the hands of emperors they had angered with courage and tranquility, like Seneca and the senators known as the "Stoic Martyrs." There's a story about Epictetus that he was tortured while a slave and pointed out to his torturer that if he kept it up he'd break Epictetus' leg, and that once he broke it Epictetus said something like 'I told you so." I'm inclined to think that story is like the stories which were told regarding Christians who were tortured or martyred and how they acted while in pain or dying; i.e., not credible.
  • Inner calm and inner peace in Stoicism.
    Sounds like something said by someone very powerful, someone on whom others depend for mercy.
    — baker

    That might be because it was said by someone very powerful...
    Tom Storm

    I've come rather late to this thread, and may have missed something. But you understand Epictetus was a slave, right? Slaves generally weren't considered powerful men in the Roman Empire of the first century C.E.

    He was a slave of a functionary in the court of Nero. His master may have been a former slave himself.
  • Philosphical Poems

    A great poem by a great poet, who was a student of and friend to Santayana, and wrote many philosophical poems. He wrote a poem about Santayana: To an Old Philosopher in Rome. Other poems of his I think philosophical are The Snow Man, and The Ultimate Poem is Abstract. Also Sunday Morning, of course. He was something of a naturalist, I think, but as Sunday Morning indicates he was aware of the longing for something more.
  • Socialism or families?
    Rome, totally blew it with their white togas. Imagine how much better their economy could have been with a wide variety of clothes and seasonal changes in what we wear.Athena

    The toga was a garment worn only on formal and ceremonial occasions, you'll be relieved to hear.

    The power and glory of Rome. Why do we admire it?

    For a number of reasons, I think, for all its faults (which are not peculiar to it). For its development of a system of laws that continues even today in various forms (even in Louisiana, where the laws are derivative of the Napoleonic Code, which retained a good deal of Roman law); for the fact that it managed to develop a system of government which ruled over diverse nations and peoples for well over a thousand years if we include the Roman successor states in Western Europe and the Eastern Empire, which though in diminishing form lasted until the 15th century; because it extended citizenship to all people in the Empire; because the Principate became open to men from the provinces (e.g. Spain, North Africa, the Balkan region) and wasn't limited men from Rome itself or Italy; because its longevity assured that Greek art and knowledge as modified by the Latin tradition survived even Christianity; that sort of thing. There has never been anything like it in the West--all Western law, culture and society must look back to it and is reliant on it.

    I think we can assume he was not a liberal when it comes to property rights.Athena

    Cicero was a novus homo, the first in his family to become a member of the Roman Senate and a consul. Having mastered the system, he came to champion it in the struggle to retain the Republic, thus becoming an enemy of Julius Caesar and the first and second triumvirates, (he was killed by order of the second triumverate), forerunners of the Empire. Not a liberal, no; more a conservative along the lines of Burke (actually, Burke was along the lines of Cicero).

    I am not terribly worried about the poor if they can continue to have the essentials of life, such as family and community,Athena

    Ah, perhaps then you agree with Jesus when he said the poor will always be with us. He's been interpreted as saying that we should accordingly be generous to them. But we're not a generous people, are we? Except perhaps sporadically and by impulse. We care far too much about ourselves, our rights, our property, to trouble ourselves with others, and resent it when we're made to even indirectly. Why should other people have the benefit of our money? Here in God's favorite country we're not that far away now from the times in which John Steinbeck's character Tom Joad lived, and are different only to the extent that social welfare programs exist.
  • Socialism or families?
    My memory is poor, but seems to me, Cicero was clueless about the reality of those who went to war for Rome and lost their land while they were gone to war! Not only did they loose their land, but they could not get jobs because of slavery. The wealthy were wealthy because they owned land and had slaves. They also held the seats of power and that means the system was to benefit the wealthy, not all citizens.
    To a degree, giving the landless bread and circus prevented a violent revolution, but if I recall correctly some generals lead their troops to fight for what they believed they deserved, and in time these generals came to the seats of power. Should I look for more information?
    Athena

    I'm not sure about your information, or what it's based on.

    Cicero died in 43 B.C.E. I don't recall reading any writing of his addressing land ownership or loss of land by men of the legions.

    Owning land stopped being a requirement for military service as part of the reforms made by Gaius Marius in about 100 B.C.E. I don't know how many men of the legions owned land from that time forward, let alone lost land. Marius began the development of the legions as a professional force. They were provided with equipment, armor and weapons. They could receive land or additional pay on retirement.

    Towards the end of the Roman Republic, generals like Sulla, Caesar and Pompey began to reward their legions with loot obtained during successful campaigns, and they became loyal to and dependent on their generals. The civil wars began which ended with the establishment of the Principate by Augustus, who standardized soldiers pay and guaranteed them land and money on retirement. Augustus and successor emperors sought to make the soldiers loyal to the emperor.

    We get the reference to "bread and circuses" from Juvenal, who wrote in the late first and early second centuries C.E.

    There certainly were wealthy people, some of them former slaves (freedmen), and slaves, and there were also people who were not wealthy, and neither slaves nor freedmen, but lived and made or didn't make money. The system certainly favored the wealthy. That's been the case throughout history, however.
  • Socialism or families?
    As much as I like Cicero, I fault him for having a very poor understanding of economics.Athena

    Actually, he asked the question in connection with his defense of someone accused of a crime. The sense of it is, that in determining who did something it's appropriate to ask who benefited from the act. And, it should be Cui bono fuisset.
  • Socialism or families?
    I wonder sometimes what those who decry socialism so frequently here in our Glorious Union think it to be. I suspect they don't think it's an economic system, one by which the means of production, etc., are owned by the government. They seem more inclined to deem it anything which they think benefits others (particularly certain others) more than it benefits them, or which limits their ability to do what they want to do, or which serves to persuade others not to think as they do. So for example Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, public education, welfare systems, have all been described as "socialist" or "socialism" by some in our Great Republic at one time or another, and have been claimed to sap us of our virtue and responsibility.

    One must ask, with my daemon Cicero--Qui bono fuisset? Who benefits from efforts to undermine and demonize a government's assistance to its people?
  • Philosophy as a cure for mental issues
    Here's the real cure; perhaps it may be called philosophical:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJUhlRoBL8M
  • Philosophy as a cure for mental issues
    Well, Stoicism might help. As more probably will certain drugs. Otherwise, philosophy wouldn't be a cure, I think. It might even be conducive to suicide, if only out of frustration with the fact that we're unable to kill, or sadly even maim, most philosophers whose works we read.
  • What do we mean by "will"? What should we mean by "will"?
    Schopenhauer would say that it strives to interpret and reconcile external objects to a coherent subjective worldview.Michael Zwingli

    That's odd, if he truly thought it to be not just blind, not just unconscious, but aimless as well.
  • Socialism or families?
    Enslaved humans are the machines a society uses, they are not part of that society.Athena

    Spoken like a true Spartan!
  • Socialism or families?
    but it did not start taking care of everyone's needs as Sparta did.Athena

    Sparta had a subject population, the Helots, to take care of the needs of the Spartans. There were far more Helots than Spartans. Hardly socialism. But it does seem familiar, doesn't it?
  • The Conflict Between the Academic and Non-Academic Worlds
    The university system to me seems to be instilling a sense of class separation and control through just the same phenomena; the proposed oligarchy of the intelligentsia. As if we haven't seen that mentality utterly fail over and over again throughout history.kudos

    I think you ascribe too much significance to the university system. I think the majority of students forget, or perhaps simply ignore, their university education after graduation. They find it has little to do with their lives unless they choose to join the closed, self-involved, self-regarding community of academics. They may benefit from contacts they make, but I doubt they consider themselves an elite or superior merely by virtue of the fact that they have a college education. There is no "oligarchy of the intelligentsia" here in God's favorite country, at least.
  • The Conflict Between the Academic and Non-Academic Worlds
    By really learning - not just learning how to be something like a lawyer or a dentist - do we agree by contract to concede action and certainty?kudos

    If you learned how to be a lawyer, you'd know that one doesn't "agree by contract" to anything by "really learning."

    So much for "really learning."
  • Libertarians' open borders arguments and their application to Israel
    Perhaps gentiles in Israel could be confined to ghettos. There are precedents, of sorts.
  • Razor Tongue
    The problem is silence is ambiguous - it, as you seem to be aware, sometimes means something and at other times means nothing. So, if no one is saying anything, either they're not saying anything or they are.TheMadFool

    It seems to be ascribed meaning when it is noted. In other words, when it's unexpected, as in the case where a response is either anticipated or desired.
  • Razor Tongue
    qui tacet consentire videturTheMadFool

    Actually a maxim of law--silence implies consent where a person in good faith would speak.

    Silencium Universi (The Great Silence)TheMadFool

    A practice of certain Christian religious orders--after Compline (end of the day prayers), speech is forbidden.

    What silence signifies depends on context.
  • Spell check and cultural change
    Okay, what is a good way to classify our truths (a word) so we can label those truths in conversation as different kinds of truth?Athena

    "Quid est veritas?", said "jesting Pilate." Dewey thought that "truth" carried so much baggage its use should be avoided. Never a paragon of eloquence, he suggested that it be replaced by "warranted assertibility." So, we would say that one is warranted in asserting that such and such is the case if that is what the best and greatest amount of evidence indicates is the case, subject to the recognition additional evidence may require a change in the assertion.

    I personally would avoid referring to "different kinds of truth." I think "truth" is a question of judgment, and judgments are made based on circumstances and based on what is the case in those circumstances. There are assertions for which evidence exists and the extent of evidence may reasonably be used to determine which is more reliable--one which is without evidence shouldn't be thought of as true; One the other hand, there are matters of taste, for which there may be no dispute, and it would be inappropriate to say a preference for a certain kind of ice cream is "true." There are matters of religious belief, unsupported by evidence, which cannot be said to be "true."
  • Are humans evil?
    But see, Genesis 3:17, "To Adam he said, 'Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat from it,' 'Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life."

    I take this to mean that Adam was punished not just for what he did but "because [he] listened to [his] wife." It's one thing I guess to defy God on your own, but to do it because your wife tells you to seems just a bit too much for even the good Lord to tolerate.
    Hanover

    From the use of the conjunctive "and" I would think you're right. The curse is caused because Adam did both things.
  • Spell check and cultural change
    An interesting and important question, I have a very old logic book that explains we can never know enough to believe we know what we know without a doubt. I think there are some things we can be more sure of than others. I think we can agree water is wet. However, we may not agree on what is the best news program.Athena

    It's important to determine what it is we're referring to when we speak of "truth." If the question is whether water is wet, I doubt that anyone adheres to a "point of view" which would induce them to claim it is not wet, and if a person would make such a claim I think we would be justified in saying that person is wrong. If a Nazi claims that Jews sacrifice Gentile children as part of their religious rituals and drink their blood, I don't think it would be appropriate to say that claim is a "possible truth that could be valid."

    Aristotle was highly impressed by the Spartan efficiency and he leads us to authoritarianism.Athena

    Based on what he writes in his Republic, Plato might be described as the totalitarian's best friend. He more than anyone I know of championed government control of every aspect of our lives (for our own good, as every totalitarian claims).
  • Are humans evil?
    Sure he did. Genesis 2:15 to 2:17.

    15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
    Hanover

    You're right. But "the man" was only warned of death, not everything else--working, sweating, experiencing pain, sickness, inclination towards evil, etc., for himself and all his descendants. So, "the man" wasn't fully informed.
  • Spell check and cultural change
    That is the mindset of Nazi Germany, not the US that emulated Athens and the gods, each one of them being distinctly different with different points of view, and yet equal within the framework of logos.Athena

    I think it very likely that the Founders of our Great Republic, and most of the citizens of ancient Athens, including Solon and Pericles, Plato and Aristotle (while he was there), and maybe even Demosthenes, demagogue though he was, would disagree with the claim that there are "many possible truths that could be valid from different points of view."

    But if there are many possible truths which could be valid, who can say? No doubt the Nazis acted consistent with the truth according to their own view of truth.
  • Are humans evil?
    A "free choice" assumes at least 2 viable options, right? Only 1 viable option among other nonviable options is a trap it seems to me and not a "free choice". The Pope et al can stuff that theidiocy where the Sun don't shine.180 Proof

    Perhaps another way of looking at is they way a lawyer may do so. A person must make an informed choice in order to waive or release any claims. Were Adam and Eve informed of the consequences of the choice they made? I'd say no, they weren't, but could have been, by God. So, God is arguably responsible for the harm which resulted.
  • Are humans evil?
    You know the response of the Church, I think. Everything God created was good, but some of what he created became bad. God couldn't make Lucifer and the bad angels, or humans, be good. Love must be freely given. In order to love God free will is required. Unfortunately, Lucifer, his angels and Adam and Eve (with some persuasion from Lucifer, n/k/a Satan) decided not to freely love God because they disobeyed him and even wanted to be like him (love, apparently, requires obedience where God is concerned, and doesn't include trying to be God). And from that sin all bad things began--death, taxes, you name it. It's all our fault, not God's.

    Now it could be said that God shouldn't have given us free will, but in that case how would we love God? And why must we love God in order for there to be good, not evil? A good question.
  • Are humans evil?
    Well, a good Catholic would say that humans, if not evil by nature, are at least sinful by nature by virtue of the disobedience of the first humans. Sinful, however, by propagation rather then imitation, i.e. tainted with sin because human; initially, at least, with no intent to be sinful. Our inherent sinfulness causes us to be inclined towards evil by our nature, but not evil by nature--all the works of God being good.

    I don't know if I was ever a good Catholic, but know I'm not one now. Still, I'm inclined to say we're not evil by nature as evil relates to acts or omissions, not existence.
  • On the Distinction between Analytic and Continental Philosophy
    When a philosophical category includes both Friedrich Nietzsche and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel it can no longer be held to have any meaning whatsoever.thewonder

    Substitute "philosophy" for "a philosophical category" and you may come to the same conclusion.
  • How would you define 'reality'?
    Reality? "The world in which we occur."
  • An observation that makes me consider the existence of a creator
    he primary reason for this change is because of a strange paradox I came to realize when it comes to our role in the universe. It seems plainly obvious from a scientific perspective that we're basically insignificant in the grand scheme of things, I don't have to explain why. However, we also seem inconceivably beyond the scope of our local planet. We can launch ourselves from the atmosphere, control particles to our whims, and capture the universe in a picture, a far cry from even the most impressive feats of the animal kingdom. The planet for billions of years was a fight for survival, not a toy for us to disregard (in lieu of, perhaps, a shiny red marble).Jerry

    How is this as paradox? Is the claim that we're so significant on our speck of dust compared to the other inhabitants we must be significant enough for there to be a creator?
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    So, it appears that the extent to which the Christians actually burned classic literature is in dispute among scholars: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Darkening_AgeHanover

    Beware the fury of academic historians when an outsider presumes to write of history!

    Nobody knows the true extent of the destruction caused by Christian zealots. But it's not doubted that they destroyed writings, temples and statutes, and defaced them, and that laws were adopted by the Christian Roman Empire outlawing pagan worship, the banning of pagans from high office, the closing of the schools of philosophy and rhetoric and imposing other restrictions. So it becomes a question of how much destruction of pagan culture was caused by those who undoubtedly destroyed aspects of pagan culture and were inclined and exhorted to destroy it. One can claim the only destruction which occurred was not that bad, of course.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?


    Very good. Perhaps I misunderstood what you were saying earlier. I understand that inquiry into the past imposes special demands.

    I think it's in the nature of certain religions to make factual claims, however, and claims of certainty. It seems that as time passes adherents are inclined to argue those claims are not to be taken literally or are subject to interpretation, but unless we assume that's always been the case, which would be a questionable assumption to make, the religion is being changed, not explained or justified. The more a religion is changed, the more likely it is that it is that it initially made claims which are incredible.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    If you and I were having a chat at a bar, I'd undeniably be a pedant if I denied that it is fact that George Washington was the first president of the United States. There is no quibble.Ennui Elucidator

    Would you say that it isn't a fact that he was the first president of the U.S., though, or that the claim he was is non-factual? This is what you seem to be saying if I understand you correctly.

    On a philosophy forum in the context of making broad statements about "religion" with a selective recounting of "facts", I am not sure that my highlighting that we can only look to things that exist now to support our claims about what happened in the past is being a pedant.Ennui Elucidator

    I don't think that would make anyone a pedant. I don't think it follows, though, that our claims about what happened in the past are non-factual. In many cases the things that exist now provide substantial support for claims about what happened in the past. We have (for example) written records which have survived which are consistent with one another though from different sources; we have buildings or structures which have survived, though they may not be entirely intact, the age of which can be determined at least approximately; we have inscriptions, etc.

    If absolute certainty is required in order for something to be factual, not many statements will qualify as statements of fact regarding the past or the present. But we can make statements regarding organized religions, what their adherents practiced and believed, what their authorities claimed or demanded or decreed, with a degree of certainty which I think makes it pedantic to claim that all such statements are non-factual--implying if not expressly stating that they're unreliable.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    For your reading pleasure - the Catholic Church in response to the Reformation...Ennui Elucidator

    I always take pleasure in reading such things. But I wonder why, given what you quoted and other such works, there is any doubt that religion or at least certain religions rely on claims purported to be factual, and true.

    And while I'm (sadly) acquainted with the view that there are no historical facts, and have read academic works on history which are prefaced with what seem to be apologies if the author seems to come to conclusions of any kind regarding what took place in the past, I think it's quite possible, and reasonable, to come to conclusions given the best available evidence, with the understanding that conclusions are contingent and may be modified based on new evidence, when it comes to history and most everything else. It strikes me that maintaining that such conclusions can't be "factual" or that there are no "historical facts" is pedantry.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    So far as I can tell from the literature, lots of smart people tried really hard to question those religions in order to establish them as the right one and no one is running around telling adherents not to read the apologists.Ennui Elucidator

    I'm not sure who you have in mind, but I've read some of the apologists for Christianity, and if their work is representative, then apologists merely engage in special pleading. It's not easy to intelligently and in good faith question the doctrines of a religion you've already accepted wholeheartedly. C.S. Lewis is an example of the kind of apologist I have in mind.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    Even in its foundation Christianity had multiplicity of thought with warring factions, some of which continued on and some which were snuffed out.Ennui Elucidator

    Those "snuffed out" and later views determined to be heretical make an interesting study, though. Arianism, which taught that Jesus was divine but lesser than the Father; Marcionism, which taught that the God was Jesus was different from the God of the Old Testament; Adoptionism, which taught that Jesus was born a man, but was so virtuous that he was adopted as the "Son of God" by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon him; Sabellianism, which held that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three characteristics of the One God, rather than three "persons" in One God; Pelagianism which rejected the doctrine of original sin and held that grace wasn't required to achieve goodness. The "snuffed" seem to be rather unobjectionable, relatively speaking, in some cases, but were "snuffed" nonetheless. Perhaps this tells us something.

    There were many more, of course. I'm not sure which you think "continued" but in the Latin West (and so in much of the Americas and elsewhere) it seems to me that after Nicea and prior to the Reformation one particular version was enforced, often violently. The Protestant Churches haven't been all that tolerant of differing views, either.

    The thing is, it isn't necessarily the case that each person, each generation of person, looks upon the past and existing religious beliefs and makes a choice what to think and do. Religions may be instilled, inculcated--like that of Sancta Mater Ecclesia, which I grew up with--which developed an entire system of education from elementary school through college and beyond. Also imposed. This tells us something about organized religion, I believe. Perhaps the goal of organized religions is to teach its adherents not to question them, or at least to assure as much as possible they won't have the opportunity to do so.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    Thus erasing the tragedy brought about by the Christians by resurrecting the demolished ancient Roman culture.Hanover

    Not even Christianity could utterly destroy ancient pagan culture. After all, Christians in attempting to provide some intellectual legitimacy to Christianity borrowed liberally from pagan philosophy (mostly neo-Platonism and later aspects of Stoicism and Aristotle's thought) where they could. Early Christians of the upper classes passed through the same cursus honorum and had the same education as similarly situated pagans for a time, until oppression began in earnest after the reign of Constantine.

    But a great deal was lost, and there is much that we just can't know, especially when it comes to religious practices, as in most case the only sources we have are the writings of Christians who obviously had an enormous axe to grind. The tragedy can't be erased, unfortunately.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    There's nothing to keep someone from opening a church today that worships the Greek and Roman gods.Hanover

    Well, they probably won't open a church, but there are people who worship the ancient Greek and Roman gods even today. The modern ethnic religion called Hellenism is derived from ancient Greek polytheism. The international organization called Nova Roma champions the Cultus Deorum Romanorum, a reconstruction of ancient Roman religion. There are various virtual temples on the Web, including those dedicated to Iupiter, Iuno and Minerva.
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    He's the fellow who was ecstatic that the writings "of the Greeks have all but perished and been obliterated... Where is Plato? nowhere! Where Paul? In the mouths of all".Banno

    That's the fellow. John "Golden Mouthed." He was renowned for his eloquence, which he learned from his teacher, Libanius of Anitoch, one of the last pagan philosophers and rhetoricians. John turned on him and condemned him. But as a fifth century Christian zealot said, reputedly: "There is no crime for those who have Christ."
  • what if the goal of a religion isn't to be factually correct?
    One of the best "vehicles"(especially in global scale) for that are religions. All kind of religions. To claim that Christianity is to blame for that, it's ridiculous. As if its teaching is more oppressive, intolerant than others.dimosthenis9

    Yes, I understand. But Christianity has a rather remarkable position in world history, in the West especially, but through European colonialism and imperialism and the priests and missionaries who followed its progression throughout other parts of the world as well. Christianity is, I think, unique in its commitment to expansion.

    The Christian Roman Empire actively suppressed paganism and spread the Christian religion throughout the extent of the Empire. The conversion of the barbarian tribes in the Latin West and the acceptance of the supremacy of the Roman pontiff and Church assured its predominance even after the fall of the Western Empire, and continued in the West through the times of the Roman successor states established by the Vandals and Visigoths and Franks, into Medieval times and up to the Reformation. Even after the Reformation, Protestant Christianity was dominant along with Catholicism. The Eastern Orthodox Church was prevalent in the Eastern Roman Empire which continued Roman rule up to the time of the Arab conquests and it and the Eastern Empire held on for about another 700 years.

    Priests and monks followed the conquistadors to the Americas, and then the French, and missionaries accompanied the Protestant colonial powers, English and Dutch, there and elsewhere. This led to the suppression of non-Christian religion wherever the Europeans went. Christianity sought converts, and Christians sought land, money and power. That suppression wasn't as successful in India, China or Japan, and Islam replaced it in other areas, but its success in assimilating is astounding.