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What would the world be like if Christianity never existed?

an alternate history based on:
a) If historical events on christianity was never documented.
b) Christianity was never promoted.
c) The life of Jesus Christ never happened or never really recognized.
d) Hebrew scriptures wasn't based on the old testament but some alternate belief system.

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If I can borrow an idea from Tony737, some wag put it this way:

Roses are reddish and violets are blueish;
If it wasn't for Christmas, we'd all be Jewish.

But a serious answer to your question? Without Christianity civilization and science would be centuries further advanced. We would have had no Dark Ages, and no Inquisition, so human endeavour could have blossomed without scholars fearing that heresy or witchcraft charges would be brought against them.

Swinburne put it this way:
"Thou hast conquered, O pale Galilean;
the world has grown grey with thy breath."

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The church did not cause the Dark Ages, though Gibbon floated the idea that the decline in civilization began when Christianity was on the rise. In point of fact, the church was the single institution to survive the fall of Rome, the predations of the Visigoths on 3 occasions is likely what drove scholarship into hiding. I'd say better to blame the Visigoths.
The Germanic tribes crossed through Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Greece, and North Africa. Rome was sacked on three different occasions and these big guys weren?t dainty about sparing lives. Wonders that had stood for centuries were destroyed. Aqueducts were smashed; you can't keep a modern city together with bad water supply. You can't have scholarship without a town. So, what caused the decline of scholarship wasn't the church, but the Visigoths.

Rome had kept things organized - taxes and roads, a system of law, a military, etc. Major settlements soon became abandoned. Science, especially medicine and architecture, astronomy, all of the arts took giant steps backwards. During this time there was also a volcanic explosion that caused a little ice age; while the culprit has yet to be positively identified, the evidence from ice sheets in Greenland is unmistakable: it caused a failure of crops in 535-536, and a dozen years of cool temperatures. See here: http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080311/full/news.2008.665.html

Truly, the Germanic invasions initiated societal collapse, not the church. But the hand of God seems to have given us a big challenge too.
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Hmm, I obviously need to read more history.

First thanks for a most interesting comment -- but then, saying that one of Shiny's comments is interesting is something of a tautology. Second, thanks for the "mini-ice age" link which is fascinating. I read it with interest and have bookmarked it to read again.

I withdraw my comment about the Church creating the Dark Ages, but not the assertion that they restric. It wasn't until the 1980s that the then Pope reinstated him -- which one journalist described as an act of retrospective infallibility. :D

I remember, around 1960, reading the preface to the RC's Douay version. It contianed a preface that, in part, promised so many years remission from Purgatory for people who read their Bible every day -- but it warned such readers that they were not to interpret it themselves for only the Church had the authority to do that.

So many Christians, particularly Catholics, seem to fall into the category of Paddy who, when asked what he believed, said,
"Oi believe what the Church believes."
"But what does the church believe, Paddy?"
"The Church believes what Oi believe."

So, sorry, Shiny. While I concede you the point about the Dark Ages, I can't change my position on the stance of the various churches to inhibit any scholarship that weakened their position. Without them, our society would almost certainly be far more advanced than it is now.
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@Shiny: The hand of God gave us the finger.
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I don't share your negative assessment of the church and its effect on scholarship. You will find a minority scholarship position to agree with you, so it's not without support, but the majority of scholars agree with my general assessment that the church preserved scholarship as well as promoted scientific inquiry. True, it is not without mistakes-- but what human institution is?
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I read the Swinburne poem from which the quote was taken. Seriously, the sea is opposed to Christ? Superior to Christ? It's just odd to see an inanimate object imbued with intent or superiority; a nice poem yes, but of dubious value to me, as last I looked, the Bible teaches that Jesus created all that is in his pre-incarnate form. Sounds to me like Swinburne was no theologian.
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Couldn't have happened. It was God's doing. What if God never created the heavens and the earth? We simply wouldn't be here. Christianity is based on what God himself did and taught us. It's absolutely essential.

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Tell that to the other 5 billion people on this planet.
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We'd all be spinning the Dreidel.

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The world would never have existed, because for Christ to have come to the earth in the form of man means that God had to exist and have created in the world in the first place! And if Christianity and Christ had never existed then there would be no way back to heaven - and heaven would not be the choice that it is - we would all be doomed to hell!

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There is no "if" because God has always existed, and yes, that is virtually impossible to wrap our minds around. But it's the truth and always has been.

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Christianity isn't the only made up story about your god.
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That didn't make sense.
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Well the world would still be peaceful... wait what world? I forgot God made it. yet if Christianity didnt exist and God did then we'd be studying some other religion . peace would still be around .... I hope.

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ElviraDark

Hmm... well considering the fact that people who have a religion usually have to follow what others believe in, not having that religion will let them be free and believe in whatever they want to believe in, but there will probably be increasing crime rates, more wars, and less peace. I have my reasons, but I don't want to be involved in a religious debate.

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Nor do I .
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I've hade enough of them. I'll just keep my Faith.
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ElviraDark
Me and you made a smart decision to avoid that kind of debate :) I feel the same way, and I will keep my faith, as well.
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It would be the exact way it would have been before Christianity was started, with a technological boost of course.

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If no Christ no Christianity, Islamic, or Jewish faiths only two left Buddhist and Hindu but id say A

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We would be farther advanced then we are, prejudice would be not be here and the JW's wouldn't being going door to door.

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Exactly the same, there would just be another made up religion in its place. PS: all religions are fiction

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It would be a wonderful place

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My two uncles would be allowed to marry, and science (particularly in the astrophysical and genetic fields) would have increased greatly.

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A place with less wars and judgement.

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We would be more advanced in some ways but religion would have had its radicals either way and we would have a dark age at one point or another... a better question is how we would be if religion never existed.

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I specifically used Christianity because it seems to receive more criticism than any religion basically because it's partisan belief, Pentecostal and Catholic.
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I absolutely agree! Christianity just like any other religion is controversy because it is based off faith something that cannot be fathomed by the realist mind.
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Case already made--Christ has come, was put to death as a sacrifice for our sins, and has given us a choice to believe. His father, God created this wondrous world that no human can duplicate. No sense trying to make an argument otherwise. Christians are here for the duration--always a remnant.

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Tribes that have never heard of God or christianity still kill each other and even eat the other tribe. So I guess just about like it is today.

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many fewer wars

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We would still be living by the law of the old testament.

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EVERY book ever published would be changed cause every one points to Christ (no matter the subject)
oh and there's that whole salvation thing..
EVERY first college (Harvard, etc) states that the inst is dedicated to the life changing message to Jesus Christ.. on the front lawn sign
307 prophesies wouldnt have been fulfilled (poor but exalted nastradamas only hit on 70%; other religions even less).. the probability of only eight (per non believer's study) is 1 in 10 to the 27th power (science calls it impossible after that). takes more faith to NOT believe than to believe once studied.
have 100 of these. ok more...
wars? people think wars wouldnt have happened without Christ? have they read history?
sigh

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there wouldn't be no world :/

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A case can be made that the church preserved scholarship and books through the worst of a climate devastated by a volcanic eruption in 535 AD. What we know about Plato, Aristotle and so forth is due to the scriptoriums which copied and preserved them in the face of pestilence, failed crops and bitter cold caused by volcanic dust in the atmosphere. And it was not a small explosion; the Krakatoa volcano explosion in the 1800s was likely smaller than this explosion, based on the amount of sulfuric compounds left in Greenland ice sheets. See here: http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080311/full/news.2008.665.html

Alternate versions of societal collapse (see Gibbons) theorize it was caused by the church because the decline of Rome was occasioned by the rise of Christianity. But causation is not association. Christianity had reached "official religion" stage 200 years prior to the Dark Ages (a term dropped in favor of "early medieval period"). There was no mechanism by which the church dismantled scholarship, libraries, medicine, arts, or literature. It must have been something else, something worse. My money is on the invasion of the Germanic tribes and the explosion of the volcano. Together, they likely killed several millions at a time when Europe had ~30 million population.

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TheShadowoftheNight

We wouldn't of been here.

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People would be a lot smarter.

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