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The Free Society: Its Enemies and Friends

Date recorded: 16 May 2021 | Speaker: Ralf Bergmann | Event: ELF Workshop


Christian faith is often seen as an obstacle for freedom, while political ideologies usually claim to stand for liberation. This popular view has, however, frequently been challenged. The philosopher Karl Popper criticized political ideologies on the basis of their irrationality while the Christian Theologian Francis Schaeffer argued that a society needs a Christian foundation to maintain freedom without chaos. Today, we have convincing empirical data on the death toll of various ideologies and regimes and also on the correlation of personal freedom and wealth. Remarkably, political ideologies who claim to stand for liberation, justice, and equality are foremost in moralizing and emotionalizing political debates and thus block the way to constructive solutions. In addition, they have proven to be most detrimental for personal freedom and economic success and are thus enemies of a free society, while Christian faith lays the basis for personal freedom and prosperity and is thus a friend of a free society. However, many Christians are unaware of the deception that comes along with certain ideologies and are thus unwillingly supporting the decline that goes along with their implementation. It is therefore necessary not only to realize their detrimental effects but also to discover the contributions Christians can make to maintain or strengthen a free and stable society.