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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Historical question: The most important person in the development of      Home login  
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 emotionalheat
Joined: 6/27/2007
Msg: 26
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culturePage 2 of 6    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
The OP asks the broad question, who is the most important person in the development of western culture. It’s difficult to respond to the question without a benchmark, ‘era’, or date, to guide the answer. So within the thread there are responses from that go back to approximatly 6 BC into the 1900s and rightfully so since Western culture has existed as long as humans have inhabited the western hemisphere.

In considering my response I decided to think in terms of modern Western cultures. These cultures have certainly influenced each other but I would argue that existing Western cultures have been most heavily influenced by the U.S.A. So I considered the question, “who is the most important person in the development of USA culture?”

John Lock – (society/philosophy) Civil governments are empowered by the people to protect life, liberty & property. And his radical idea that humans are born equal - tabularasa (blank slates) – and learn through experience.

Baron de Montesquieu - Governments should consist of three separate powers, executive, legislative & judicial and must work interdependently for to realize the full extent of their power with no one (or two combined) with greater influence over the other(s).

Adam Smith – Government is empowered by the people to act for the protection of the individual right to make choices for self-betterment and happiness, having been freed from the burden of governance.

NOTE: Although, it is not Smith’s original philosophy that has yielded such great influence in Western culture – it is the twisting of that philosophy, in the USA, that has led to the rise of capitalism and mass consumerism that has had the greatest influence on Western Culture – indeed on global cultures.

So I am prone to say that ADAM SMITH has had the greatest influence in Western culture, but it could not have been so if it were not for the democracy that developed in the USA, that was so heavily influenced by John Lock and Montesquieu, (and some others).

I guess I will have to divide my vote into thirds – John Lock, Baron de Montesquieu, & Adam Smith.
 relaxingwithyou
Joined: 12/2/2012
Msg: 27
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/27/2012 10:50:48 AM
But the above quote isn't about choosing Jesus as their model for the west. The above is preaching, and it cherry picks what is being preached. If someone is going to choose to preach instead of staying on topic, then everything that got preached should be included, not just what's "convenient".


You totally misinterpreted my words. Far from preaching I'm pretty objective about the whole thing and have an equal respect for most religions. Just like in the wars of today, the crusades were about power and control from governments and the elite. Did you know there were originally 26 books of the bible/factions of Christianity? The Roman empire was losing control of the masses due their fascination of the teachings of Jesus, so the emperor created a bishop whose job was to narrow it down to the most fundamental books, they chose 4, and if you didn't agree with that you were killed as a heretic. All the other writings were burned or you die. Hence the bible as we know it and the beginning of the Catholic church. They used the people who refused as prey for the gladiators. That's one good historical reason not to mix church and the state.

Of the other 22 books some were very empowering, and of course they were the greatest threat to the empire. And others were just plain eccentric. But the ones found in the Egyptian tombs all these years later were the books/factions of Christianity that are purely metaphysical in nature and most likely his genuine teachings. If you were a follower of those books you would not need a Pope or anyone else inbetween you and God and churches would not have the power they have held.

So basically we got the very watered down versions however the message of love and forgiveness was still there and is quite a powerful force in itself. IMO if modern Christianity incorporated the lost books into their current Bible, then Jesus would once again be the most influential man in the history of western society. And the Christian church could evolve to finally be on the right track. But wouldn't you have it that the current religous leaders won't even comment about the books, even though they couldn't be more authenticated. Still too much money and power at stake for the elite and not enough people will stand up to them.....yet.
 afucwit
Joined: 8/10/2012
Msg: 28
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/27/2012 3:16:06 PM

if modern Christianity incorporated the lost books into their current Bible, then Jesus would once again be the most influential man in the history of western society. And the Christian church could evolve to finally be on the right track..


When they do get honest about those books, They can also come clean and admit the truth about the virgin Mary, Not to mention Lillith. (Whore of Babyalon)
 Aristotle_Amadopolis
Joined: 12/8/2011
Msg: 29
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/27/2012 3:37:07 PM

Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture

King Ferdinand V and Queen Isabella I
 relaxingwithyou
Joined: 12/2/2012
Msg: 30
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/27/2012 3:46:33 PM
When they do get honest about those books, They can also come clean and admit the truth about the virgin Mary, Not to mention Lillith. (Whore of Babyalon)


So much fabulous knowledge from Jesus stays relatively hidden. Sigh.
 generlee
Joined: 12/10/2005
Msg: 31
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 10:43:25 AM
forget your surveys and wipe Out my previous reply.....if you look at Calendars and have a day you call Sun-day,

if you celebrate Christmas, if you read the Bible but don't read Enoch, especially if your a Roman Catholic, if you

observe Easter, than the single most influential person would have to be....Constantine-----PeriOd.
 Demigod1979
Joined: 12/4/2011
Msg: 32
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 2:35:32 PM
Since it's been about a week I'll tally up the scores so far (please let me know if I've gotten something wrong, or if you want to change your vote). Seems like Alexander and Jesus are leading the list so far:

Alexander the Great - 3 (Demigod1979, dr.mike, justlookingvt)
Jesus - 3 (m_a_y_a, Savery123, relaxingwithyou)
Leonardo Da Vinci - 2 (allthegoodnamesrtaken1, LennyPane)
Nikola Tesla - 2 (allthegoodnamesrtaken1, ccrosswirex)
Alessandro Volta - 1 (ccrosswirex)
Michael Faraday - 1 (ccrosswirex)
Benjamin Franklin - 1 (ccrosswirex)
Thomas Edison - 1 (ccrosswirex)
Pericles - 1 (dr.mike)
Plato - 1 (IgorFrankensteen)
Socrates - 1 (IgorFrankensteen)
Hitler - 1 (RussArtLover)
Hermes - 1 (Mooseee)
Alexander Graham Bell - 1 (Kohmelo)
Pythagoras - 1 (billingsmason)
Johannes Gutenberg - 1 (peakbagger7)
Mayer Amschel Rothschild - 1 (JustDukky)
The Founding Fathers - 1 (Just___Jim)
Genghis Khan - 1 (afucwit)
William B. Shatner - 1 (Trailsman5)
Erasmus of Rotterdam - 1 (Trulio)
Edward Bernays - 1 (0nTheShelf48)
John Lock - 1 (emotionalheat)
Baron de Montesquieu - 1 (emotionalheat)
Adam Smith - 1 (emotionalheat)
King Ferdinand V - 1 (Aristotle_Amadopolis)
Constantine - 1 (generlee)

Seems to be about right, all things considered. I too think that Jesus is pretty important and has a powerful influence even today, but there's also no denying that Ancient/Classical Greece is the cradle of Western civilization (and Alexander played the greatest part in spreading it around the world).
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 33
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 3:13:39 PM
I don't think the OP is saying for good or bad [western culture].

so I think satan.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 34
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 5:10:39 PM
His presence and afterlife appearances relentlessly changed the mindset from an eye for an eye with the idea of forgiveness and love. Maybe because it was pre-industrial and no one had a t.v. that they dreamed and had visions for so long. Has anyone heard of this with any other historical figure?


Yes, absolutely. History is packed with legendary people to whom all manner of things were attributed, once the idea was popularized that THAT guy was "magic." It's the reason we have a number of general terms for "charismatic leaders," instead of simply referring to all of them as "jesus's," or "Heracles-es." Christianity in particular, made it a conscious part of their promotion of their system of beliefs, to go around the world,rewriting the local lore so that it all pointed back to Jesus.

It is a common human trait, that after a story is well known, people under stress will tend to see it as being a part of their own lives, one way or another. For that matter, after a crisis, people often see the evil being under every bed, and behind every tree, in just the same way.

Further more, if you actually research the many epiphany stories told, and attributed to a given legendary person AFTER the fact, you will find that most of the time, the people saying they had the epiphany did NOT attribute it to the personage you like. It was the powerful folks who came and wrote the story down, who insisted that it WAS that legendary personage. That's one of the tricky things about studying History: you really have to pay attention to who wrote what you are reading, when they wrote it, and what their influences and goals were. Even Historians who are trying NOT to color things themselves, will nevertheless do so to some extent.

By the way, I wouldn't say it's accurate to put me down as saying Plato was THE GUY. I used him as an example, really. I'm still pondering this, as it is a very complicated thing to consider, with many many parameters.

One person I am considering, is Emperor Constantine. He appears to have selected Christianity as the unifying element to try to glue the Roman Empire back together again. After he did so, he added the power of the Roman Empire, to force the fledgling religion upon everyone else in Europe and North Africa. In a real way, without Constantine, it is quite possible that Jesus would not now be seen as all that influential.

It's possible too, that without the EGOTISM of the Roman Empire being added to Christianity, it might still be a belief system of the poor, downtrodden, and rebellious, instead of the religion of the rich, the powerful and the Establishment.
 afucwit
Joined: 8/10/2012
Msg: 35
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 5:25:20 PM

Since it's been about a week I'll tally up the scores so far (please let me know if I've gotten something wrong, or if you want to change your vote). Seems like Alexander and Jesus are leading the list so far:


you missed Lillith out of the list, She sounds more fun than Gengis Khan.. so she gets my vote!!
 Tarnished_Knight
Joined: 3/5/2009
Msg: 36
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/29/2012 11:59:58 PM
Well, as a Christian, I would, of course, have to consider Jesus as Most Influential person; but, His influence is not limited to Western society.

My actual nominee is not a person; it is the various plagues that swept through populated lands of the west (and the east) - most notably the great Black Death of the 14th century, and minor outbreaks in the centuries thereafter. While these plagues had effects on other societies of the day, I don't think they had the same disruptive effect as occurred in the West. The West's heterogeneous nature was unique amongst the societies of the world.

Yeah, I know, not a person. It is my thinking that there were any number of folk (right place, right time) who would'a could'a been influential; but, it was the social, economic, spiritual, and political upheaval caused by the death of a third of the population that allowed these influential men (and women) to hold sway. People are, amazingly, fungible. There are any number of folk at any given time that can succeed when that mantle is thrust on them. But it is the event(s) that actually shape human history.

just sayin'.

Okay, go back to squabblin' over individuals.

TK
 generlee
Joined: 12/10/2005
Msg: 37
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/30/2012 11:02:17 AM
Satan is an inspired choice--but not a person. The letter J was born around 1520 and to this day does not appear in

the greek or hebrew alphabets---which means among other things that Constantines council of Nicaea and the

succession of Roman Ceasars[ popes] had INFLUENCE over arts & Letters, mores & customs. Constantine is also

directly responsible for the veneration of the Cross. And that is your single greatest ICON in both the sacred &

secular market....and it appears in the sky daily [ chemtrails] X...and is used as a marker + for the departed. And

since you started reading this report, someone was killed at an intersection and 10 more were maimed. Tout Court
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 38
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/30/2012 6:52:45 PM
jesus seems to be accepted here, and almost all on here think he is imaginary.
so imaginary people are ok on here then.

[I mean jesus, as the son of god]
 Demigod1979
Joined: 12/4/2011
Msg: 39
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/30/2012 7:26:10 PM

jesus seems to be accepted here, and almost all on here think he is imaginary.
so imaginary people are ok on here then.

[I mean jesus, as the son of god]

I don't really see the problem. Some people think Confucius or Socrates were also fictional, others don't. Some may also think characters like Hercules and Zeus are real (in fact, there's a theory going around that the Greek gods were ancient kings, who were immortalized as gods).

[I mean Hercules, as the son of god]
 DevilfromToronto
Joined: 9/23/2012
Msg: 40
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/30/2012 7:27:32 PM
I will give Jesus a vote, I only know I have TWO Christmas holidays + ONE Easter, I don't have to care if Jesus was real or not !
 aremeself
Joined: 12/31/2008
Msg: 41
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/30/2012 7:55:33 PM
so, satan being the most important and influential in the development of western culture is a pass then?
 Demigod1979
Joined: 12/4/2011
Msg: 42
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/31/2012 4:44:30 AM

so, satan being the most important and influential in the development of western culture is a pass then?

If you personally view Satan as a historical person, then I'll accept it.
 generlee
Joined: 12/10/2005
Msg: 43
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/31/2012 11:43:14 AM
Let us not forget the clever [ cartoon] use of the bust of Constantine in the Landmark film, 'Life of Brian.'

and the case is closed after a cursory reading of James Carroll's, "The Sword of Constantine." Now then, as for

Jesus[ Yahusha if accuracy ever becomes relevant].....how many people do you know who keep the Sabbath &

passover[ as he taught]...who love their neighbors as themselves [ as he commanded ] and who keep themselves

pure from the idolatry & wickedness of the world? ZeRO comes to mind among the 33 million here in the

golden {calf} State.
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 44
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/31/2012 7:15:30 PM
One person I am considering, is Emperor Constantine. He appears to have selected Christianity as the unifying element to try to glue the Roman Empire back together again.


He wasn't just the first Christian Roman Emperor, he wrote the Edict of Milan, which permanently established religious toleration for Christianity within the Roman Empire, and I would state, further, that it was the impetus and qualifying document to promote religious tolerance of all religions. It began the benevolent treatment of Christians and basically ended their persecution(s). Not bad for a day's work.

I, too, have been giving this due consideration and I have Constantine as one possible choice. I find communication to be the largest factor in the growth of Western civilization- from simply spreading the word about war and religious persecution (etc), to the effects of the Gutenberg press, the advent of technological communications, etc. So, then, who was the greatest communicator I ask myself? There are many- like Churchill, for instance, but did his communications lend to being the largest influence? Not really- but one of them,,,Plutarch? (etc) so I continue to think it through.
 LennyPane
Joined: 2/2/2011
Msg: 45
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 12/31/2012 8:12:58 PM
Leonardo Da Vinci invented the first robot. In a technical sense, he can be given credit for kick starting modern technology. And that's just one of the MANY things that wouldn't be where it is today if not for him. I would highly consider him for your list Demi...
 generlee
Joined: 12/10/2005
Msg: 46
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Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/1/2013 7:40:37 AM
kudos to ND--forumsOnly......many people think "GeeSus" and the Apostle paul invented Christianity.....the fact is,

Constantine and his astrologers did. And it has absolutley nothing in common with "the Way".
 notdating-forumsonly
Joined: 4/6/2012
Msg: 47
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/1/2013 1:06:28 PM
Generlee.
Thank you. I may burst that bubble. Jesus existed a few centuries before Constantine and is generally considered to be the central figure of Christianity. I hold that belief as well. He may have influenced Constantine.

Thinking about all of this, I feel that the person who was most important in the development of Western culture is Constantine. I believe he was integral in the development of Western culture based on what I shared above and basically having "East meets West" at that time through his campaigns in regard to Christianity as well as his forward thinking, and this had a widespread cultural effect that is still in existence today.

It gave people, IMO, both the allowance for and the idea that religion could be a free choice, which was very different for the times, especially in the Roman Empire. It gave people the impetus toward acting on forward thinking without the concern of who the dictate was at the time ( within legal ramifications) for they were given that freedom through his own tolerance and beliefs. He was for humanity, not just the 'cause',,,another new way of thinking that transcended all previous leadership prior to his rule, that I am aware of.
 generlee
Joined: 12/10/2005
Msg: 48
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History
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/1/2013 1:40:46 PM
read On....Yahusha & Shaul were replaced by GeeSus & Paul.....Constantines Christianity gave us a long series of

wars that continue to this day.....the original followers of Yahusha [ simply called 'the Way'] would be appalled at

the spectacles & Idolatry of 'Christmas & Easter & Sun-day & Halloween. 12/25 is the birthday of NIMROD...another

influential figure from Babel Tower days. For more info on these things [ and eYe mean much more ] see C J Koster's

"Come Out of Her My People".
 Stray__Cat
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 49
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/2/2013 8:58:52 PM
Solon.

He invented democracy in Athens.
The Western World starts there.

He didn't mean to.
He wasn't a socialist or believed in human rights.
He simply sought to bring a balance into society.

At the time....the wealthy landowners in Athens had just invented subprime lending.
(Money had also just been invented.)
As soon as coinage became commonly used....
large Athenian landowners realized they didn't have enough land
to grow enough crops to get very many coins.
Certainly not as much as city merchants.
(who through trade.... lived VERY well. and had coins aplenty.)

So the large landowners loaned seed and tools to the smaller farmers
at high interest rates.(that too had just been invented.)
They did so knowing the small farmers could not pay.
And when they couldn't....the large landowners took some
of their land as surety until it could be paid.
Of course with even less land to farm the loan was never paid.
and the small farmers eventually found themselves off their land.
and homeless. or enslaved.

There was nothing illegal or immoral about this.
Just economics.

But the cumulative result was a small group of wealthy owning all the land
in a sea of dispossessed and very ticked off ex-farmers.
who not surprisingly....rioted.
BIGTIME.
The clever few could not stand against the very pissed-off many.

So they appointed a guy named Solon to deal with it.
and were desperate enuff to go with whatever he came up with.

He came up with a system that allowed anyone who could afford an ox
to have a say in the running of the city and vote on laws.
(making the laws was still to be the province of the wealthy.)

The most important thing to remember is this:
He did not set this system up to empower the common man.
That was not his aim.
He set this system up to give a check to the economic clout of the well off.
He foresaw that the wealthy would always go too far.
and always bring about theirs(and society's) doom.

By allowing the middle class to have a say in things....
they could prevent the wealthy from inevitably screwing things up.
(as they always do in any society that gives them free reign.....like ours.)

The price of an ox could only be met be a landowner,
or a moderately successful merchant. Or a craftsman.
It restricted "the vote" to those of some means.

But thru the joy of inflation the price of an ox would become affordable
to any Athenian within a generation.

Today we have a republic with the same conflicts.
The wealthy trying to enslave the many through debt.
There is nothing illegal or immoral about that.
But if not checked....
they will screw things up.
again.
as the wealthy always do when left to run things unimpeded.
 Artoire
Joined: 12/15/2012
Msg: 50
Historical question: The most important person in the development of western culture
Posted: 1/3/2013 3:46:36 PM
I think the obvious winner is Jesus.

No other name has caused as much discussion and interest throughout this thread and seems to me the most 'votes'.

*also, the suggestion that anything coming from Jesus was not 'good' is ridiculous.
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