The primary purpose of monotheism as I can tell is the centralization of power. It is more advantageous for the ruling class to have the commoners observe only one deity. Even if the ruling class chooses to worship an entire pantheon in private.
Truthfully, I do believe that we could’ve seen an Imperial Egypt under Atenism. But that experiment was squashed before it got tested. Zoroastrianism is the oldest example of monotheism. Persians have enjoyed imperial prominence since the days of Cyrus the Great. From Cyrus the Great to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi that’s quite the imperial streak.
The introduction of Islam did wonders in terms of extending their imperial existence. Another source of great power came from the Ottomans, and other Turkic peoples. All of which benefited greatly from the conversion to Islam. The belief in the concept of Tawhid, and the powerful religious fervor pushed them forward.
It made converting, and commanding the masses much easier. Islam was at it’s best during the times of significant Turkic, and Persian influence. Plenty of innovation going on. Although the fruits of the Islamic Golden Age can be disputed. Depending on how you look at it, and who you ask.
Some might point out that Eastern Roman & Persian cultural content laid the foundation. As well as that plenty of intellectuals likely converted to keep themselves alive. But it’s like that old saying “To the winner goes the spoils” .
Which means the Islamic powers in the region at the time still receive the credit. Islam no longer enjoys the same level of potency it once had. It’s still in an objectively better position than Christianity. That’s something that cannot be debated by any serious person.
Christianity began it’s reign over the West because of Constantine. However it’s rise required syncretism along with conversion by the sword. Nobles converting for beneficial relationships also occurred. Outright denial of violent conversion by Christians is a propaganda move. Atheists, and Polytheists aren’t making the claim that it was 100% by force. However you’ll see Christians act like that is what is being said.
It wouldn’t be too long before there’d be troubles in Christendom. The heart of the European is polytheist to the core. The start of the great fracturing came with Rome’s split from the rest of Christianity. Giving birth to the Catholic Church. They’d incorporate celebrations like Yule, and Saturnalia into the faith. Goddesses like Brigid were given Sainthood.
Eventually another significant fracturing began with Martin Luther. Plenty of wars between Catholics, and Protestants after that. There was King Henry Viii as well. He founded Anglicanism in order to divorce his Wife. There’s been a sect explosion since the Luther nailed his statement to a church door.
There’s 3 prominent, and lively sects of Christianity today. Evangelicalism, Mormonism, and Western Atheism. Western Atheism is Christianity without Yahweh or Jesus Christ. Mormonism is a mysterious sect with plenty of controversy. Traditional Mormonism promises you multiple wives in this life, and a planet of your own in the next. Mainstream Mormonism is probably good for public, and private sector networking.
The Evangelicals are the weakest of the trio. But they’re my favorite to pick on in an article like this. We’re all familiar with Joel Osteen, 700 club, and Kanye West by now. Evangelicalism is probably the 2nd most Christo-Pagan sect in Christendom. Prosperity gospel is literally manifestation, and money spells. It’s literally witchcraft, Guys.
The fastest growing religious belief system among people in my age demographic is polytheism. Plenty of people who are 25 & under are Old Gods or No Gods. The rise of Witchtok, and Tumblr witch communities hint at this. Here’s some articles on this. One, Two, Three.
Emperor Julian the Great tried to bring his empire back to Hellenism. But unfortunately he died early. A reformed paganism probably would’ve been better in my opinion. Another valid choice would’ve been Mithraism. Mithraism was very popular with the soliders that fought for Rome.
This probably could’ve set up an imperial direction no one expected. Christianity’s time at the top is over. It’ll always be a big religion but it’s influence is waning. When you can’t keep influence within your own domain. That’s a clear indicator that you’ve lost the mandate of heaven.
Christianity was always a monolatric faith that tried to be monotheistic. The Europeans that developed it into what we recognize today failed for one good reason. They couldn’t break the spirit of the European individual. Ungovernable, and dominant like a Barbarian taking what he likes.
The stories of Prometheus, and Icarus accurately explain the European personality. Islam in it’s current state actually has zero chance of incorporating the West into Dar Al Islam. The words of the Salafi clerics only appeal to the disenfranchised low value Western men. Saudi Arabia will not be able to bring the West into Islam.
The sort of Islam that’d appeal to the Western World would be considered pretty fringe or fully haram. Depending on how it takes form. Out of the existing sects of Islam I can think of two that might be compatible. The Ahmadiyya, and Sufi sects of Islam. Otherwise it’d have to be a more dualistic or monolatric version of Islam. Something with similarities to Catholicism, and Zoroastrianism.
However I believe trying to bring us into Islam would be a fatal error. Because you might get an Islamic Earth, but there’ll be a great sectarian fracturing like nothing you’ve seen before. Which means sectarian warfare in a “united” world. I personally want the Western Civilization to revert to polytheism.
South Korea, Japan, and J.K. Rowling have presented the model for spreading it. Entertainment, and commerce is the gateway to Western heart. Turkic & Persian influenced Islam would honestly have a decent success rate in the West. Islam under the guidance of Saudi Arabia just doesn’t speak to Westerners.
K-pop, anime, and Hogwarts that’s what’s big in the West. Gaining ground in the West requires bread, and circuses. You’ve got to be fun in order to win here. Restrictions on lifestyle choices are understandable up to a point. But handing a Westerner a list of things he can no longer do is a bad marketing move.
You can create a traditional, and wholesome society without being so controlling. One size fits all doesn’t work here. But good luck to you.
Religious, and political organizations of ALL kinds should take my advice. The dominance of Christianity is uncertain. Western liberalism is becoming more authoritarian to maintain itself. The winds are changing.
The battle for the West’s identity is here.
Neither Christianity or Islam were successful in the Indian subcontinent or East Asia. However Islam left a greater footprint in the subcontinent than Christianity did. The only force to change China was Mao’s army. Southeast Asia is still very Buddhist. Japan is a mix of Shinto, Buddhism, and secular belief. South Korea actually has a decent sized Christian minority. But the majority of South Koreans don’t adhere to a religion.
Things get really interesting in Latin America, and the Caribbean. The Catholic Church was forced to reluctantly tolerate certain folk beliefs. There may been condemnations but they are too weak to actually do anything.
Which means those flowers get to grow!
One horse is weak, and another horse is strong. A third horse is getting stronger in the distance after a long period of illness. The future belongs to two of these horses. Can you guess which?
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Monotheism is the ruling class’s worst nightmare. Islam made them accountable, and made them less special. Look at the prophet’s struggle against the Qurasyh.