Thursday, September 08, 2011

Niall Ferguson on the "Feeble-Minded Relativism" of Europe

The Detroit River
Marcello Pera (an atheist and philosopher in Italy) has already been writing on the demise of Europe as due to the loss of its Christian roots and the unconscious rise of moral relativism. I am looking forward to the Sept. 27 arrival of his new book Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies.  

British historian Niall Ferguson, in his forthcoming Civilization: The West and the Rest, says as much. The Economist reviews Ferguson's book. We read:

"Mr Ferguson starts with the overwhelming success of European civilisation. In 1500 Europe’s future imperial powers controlled 10% of the world’s territories and generated just over 40% of its wealth. By 1913, at the height of empire, the West controlled almost 60% of the territories, which together generated almost 80% of the wealth. This stunning fact is lost, he regrets, on a generation that has supplanted history’s sweep with a feeble-minded relativism that holds “all civilisations as somehow equal”."

Ferguson then gives six chapters on the ingredients that made for Western success. They include science, medicine, and the Protestant work ethic.

What a weak position moral relativism is.