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Which religion/belief system has had the most historic impact?

Discussion in 'Historical Events & Figures' started by rejs7, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    Judaism - 3000 year old religion which has spawned a host of immitators and cults - followers have been scattered to the four corners of the globe, and although they have been severly persecuted have provided a financial backbone to most of the post medieval world.

    Zororastorism - 3000+ year old religion founded in Peria - some would say post Babylonian diasphora Judeo-Christian religions owe more than a passing nod to its philosophy. Persia had a profound effect on the middle east, as well as keeping the Roman empire in check.

    Christianity - 1950 year old religion spawned from Judaism. It's message was spread on the back of persecution, and after being established as the cult of the elite spread to the four corners of the world. Spawned numerous cults and sects, including Islam & Mormonism.

    Islam - 1350 year old religion spread by Arabs across middle east and southern europe. Spawned from Nestorian Christianity, and has in tried to establish its own identity with varying degrees of success. It's major success has been is subverting local customs to its own ends, thus being one of the most successful in fostering the idea that belief and patriotism are linked.

    Hinduism - 4000+ year old group of religious practices birthed in the Indus valley in India. Core beliefs in a pantheon of deities were tied in with many different vedic traditions that enabled it to appeal to a broad church of believers. Despite never really finding roots outside of the Aisian subcontinent is still the 3rd largest world religion.

    Toaism & confusism - 2200+ year old set of beliefs and structures that are followed by the Chinese. Laid the foundations for the the middle kingdom, and over a billion people are wise to their teachings.

    Marxism - 150 year old set of ideals which have been called socialist, communist, Leninist, Moaist, and Stalinist. It could be argued that communism ultimately stook as the final balwalk between tyranny and freedom, and that it was the greed of the few that corrupted its ideals for the many. At one point in the 20th century over 1.5 billion people were under its banner.


    These are 7 of the key belief systems in human history, and while Buddhism, capitalism, libralism & animism are potent forces in their own spheres, they have usually been tied into social situations and ideals, rather than the broad movements that these 7 have tended to come to represent.
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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  3. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    If you mean the personal faith of Newton, Jefferson, and other enlightenment figures then maybe - but it is too broad a brushstroke to be used in any meaningful context.
     
  4. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    It stressed individualism and the natural rights of man's free will, and thus largely influenced the founding principles of this country. I would say that's a pretty damn significant historic impact.
     
  5. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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    Granted - but it was not a mass movement in the way the 7 systems I mentioned were/are. Deism may have had a philosophical impact during the enlightenment amongst the educated, but Christian rabble rousers, and libertarian ring masters highjacked their ideals and subverted them. Ultimately deism fell on its own sword, as it was replaced by the likes of Darwin and Aldous Huxley in the 1840's and 50's.

    In a way Marxism is it's wicked stepchild, and American it's bastard offspring.
     
  6. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    How'd you come to this conclusion? I feel the opposite. Individualism and the rights of every man is in no way related to Marxism where it's all for Big Brother and the "greater good".
     
  7. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    We're talking most historical impact, and while America's tough stuff right now, our country has only even been around for about 230 years - and we've only really been a superpower for about sixty or so of those years. Give it another four hundred and then we can say that the religion upon which our government took many of its basic principles had the largest impact of any religion in history.
     
  8. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I'd have to say that it's Christianity. Think of all the major world empires that have been affected or influenced by Christianity - the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the British and French Empires...the list goes on.
     
  9. OPGhostdog

    OPGhostdog New Member

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  10. rejs7

    rejs7 New Member

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  11. Justinian

    Justinian New Member

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    Hmm

    You forgot Graeco-Roman Polytheism.
     
  12. JavaBlack

    JavaBlack New Member

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    ...

    Mesopotamian mythology... the religion of the first civilization, predecessor of Egyptian mythology, and Judaism... and quite possibly involved in the spread of most other world religions. Set the foundations for code of law.
     
  13. mustardayonnaise

    mustardayonnaise New Member

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    I would go for Christianity. No other religion, ideology or belief system has had such a range of conflicted denominations or affected world affairs in such a powerful way. While Judaism and Zoroastrianism certainly presaged it, I think by virtue of its role in just about every aspect of human society in the Middle East and Western World for nearly two millennia Christianity has to take it.
     
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