Why Civilization Is Important

Topics: Law, Reason, Logic, Inductive reasoning, Religion, Democracy / Pages: 3 (667 words) / Published: Nov 13th, 2008
These three unique, defining characteristics of Western Civilization (rationality, tensions between religious and socio-political realities, constitutionalism) encompass other related features:
1. growth of rational inquiry o Classical Legacy of study, education and presentation in the areas of philosophy, history, literature, communication skills, poetry, sciences like biology, astronomy, medicine, geometry, mathematics, music, politics, logic, grammar, Just War Theory, o the continuing desire to inquire and to question: critical thinking
 Pluralism (social, economic, political and intellectual)
 Liberalism (a growing and changing concept)
 Tolerance and Discernment rationally concerning non-tolerance o ethics and/or morality not directly tied to religion, tradition or authority o exploration of the relationship between human and divine, faith and reason o individualism (which has drawn sustenance from all three of these W Civ characteristics yet has had, and still has, an uneven existence) o freedom within higher education o technology improving the material standard of living across the social spectrum o human realism in art, along with innumerable explorations into various (and often opposed) genres of art, music, architecture, sculpture o explicit study and use of both deductive and inductive reasoning o the Greek alphabet and/or Greek language o concepts of progress and/or regress in all these themes and in terms of change itself
2. tension between Judaeo-Christian religious ideals and social-political realities o Nathan vs David o Jesus, on giving to Caesar what is Caesar and to God what is God's o Bishop Ambrose vs Emperor Theodosius o Investiture Conflict through to the U.S. First Amendment o Linked with #1, rational: exploration of the relationship between human and divine, faith and reason o Separation of religious and secular life in government o Religion and secular government as checks-and-balances on

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