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THE CONSISTENCY OF GREAT

RELIGIONS WITH ECONOMIC


PERFROMANCE: THE ECONOMICS OF
RELIGION

RELIGIOUS DETERMINATION OF
ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE
Indirect cultural determination: economic
systems are chosen consistently with cultural
values
Direct cultural determination: culture ranks
the importance of the megagood absolute
wealth at the individual level
Religion is on of cultures components

THE GENERAL POWER MODEL (I)


Religious dogmas = religious values +
religious rules
Religious values: preferences for
absolute wealth and relative power
Religious rules : opportunity costs for
absolute wealth and relative power

THE GENERAL POWER MODEL (I)


The Logic: The preference for
absolute wealth determines the level
of resources employed for the end of
absolute wealth;
Economic performance: absolute
wealth per capita or GDP per capita
High preference= high level
Low preference= low level
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THE GENERAL POWER MODEL (I)


Starting form religious values
The inverse relationship between the
preference for absolute wealth and the
preference for relative power

Starting form religious values

THE GENERAL POWER MODEL (I)


Starting from religious rules:
The inverse relationship between the supply of
relative power and its opportunity cost
The inverse relationship between the
opportunity cost of relative power and the
opportunity cost of absolute wealth
The inverse relationship between the
opportunity costs of the megagoods and the
preferences for the megagoods
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Starting from religious rules

STANDARD ECONOMIC THEORY


MODEL
Types of man: (1)focused on
economic activities and (2)focused
on religious activities
Allocation of individuals resources:
(1)on economic activities and (2)on
religious activities
Assumption: any religious activity is
a waste

STANDARD ECONOMIC THEORY


MODEL

WEBERIAN MODEL
Each religion has an intrinsic level of
rationalism
High level of religious rationalism
induces a high level of economic
rationalism= good economic
performance
Low level of religious rationalism induces
a low level a economic rationalism= bad
economic performance

WEBERIAN MODEL

Webers rationalism as a indirect determinant of


capitalism
Magical and religious forces Certain types
of rational practical conduct Economic
rationalism
Protestantism (English Puritanism) Rational
asceticism Economic rationalism

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WEBERS FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTIONS

Wealth is the general or trans-cultural megaobjective


Capitalism is consistent with any culture

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FUNDAMENTAL IMPLICATION OF NO
VARIATION IN MEGA-ENDS
Variation in performance is determined by
variation in rationalism
Rationalism dependent on biological or
anthropological factors and explained by
comparative racial neurology and psychology
The same logic in the present: North and others
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THE GENERAL POWER MODEL VERSUS


WEBERS RATIONALISM IN TWO SITUATIONS

A. The Puritan believer compared to the Catholic


believer
The Weberian perspective:
The Puritans conduct: planned and systematic
character for his whole life
The Catholic: a life from hand-to-mouth

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THE GENERAL POWER MODEL VERSUS WEBERS


RATIONALISM IN TWO SITUATIONS (II)

The general power perspective:


The Puritan: focused on absolute wealth
The Catholic believer: relatively more focused
on power
Different objectives entail different rationalisms
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THE GENERAL POWER MODEL VERSUS


WEBERS RATIONALISM IN TWO SITUATIONS
(III)

B. The Western judge compared to the Chinese


judge
The Weberian perspective:
The Western judge: acting based on formal laws,
irrespective of person
The Chinese judge: in accordance with the
concrete qualities of the people concerned and the
concrete situation... (Weber, 1984:49).

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THE GENERAL POWER MODEL VERSUS WEBERS


RATIONALISM IN TWO SITUATIONS (III)

The general power perspective:


The Western judge: many stereotyped choice
situations (equal persons, same situations)
The Chinese judge: singular and very different
choice situations (different power levels of he
interacting parties, different situations)

For the two judges choice situations are


different; choice situations determine rules
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THE DIRECT CRITERIA OF CONSISTENCY

The direct criteria: depict the megagood


absolute wealth or, besides relative power, also
absolute wealth.
The level of prohibition of interest
The type of preference for general wealth,
The type of asceticism
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THE INDIRECT CRITERIA OF


CONSISTENCY
The indirect criteria: depict only the
megagood relative power
The level of concentration/dissipation of
divinity
The level of transcendence

The kind of salvation


The importance of afterlife

The level of obedience to earthly authorities


The power of man over woman

Type of organization of religious activities


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THE LEVEL OF PROHIBITION OF


INTEREST
The higher the prohibition and the longer its
duration, the lower the preference for absolute
wealth
The inverse relationship to economic
performance
High prohibition=low consistency

THE TYPE OF PREFERENCE FOR


GENERAL WEALTH
General wealth=absolute wealth + relative
wealth (relative power
Separate absolute wealth from relative wealth
The higher the weight of absolute wealth, the
higher the level of consistency

HOW TO SEPARATE ABSOLUTE


WEALTH FROM RELATIVE POWER?
Absolute wealth and relative wealth and the need for
additional information
Absolute wealth associated with: maximization of the profit
as an end in itself, functional asceticism (a level of
asceticism which is compatible with absolute wealth
growth), rejection of consumerism, encouragement of
standardization of life (which is compatible with the
standardization of production and efficiency), labour as
calling, specialization in one field
Relative wealth associated with:high preference for leisure,
sociability, idle talk, luxury consumption, ostentatious
consumption, sports, hunting, all-round education

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WEBERS CONFUSION: Protestantism and


Confucianism
Protestantism: To wish to be poor was...the
same as wishing to be unhealthy (Weber,
1985:163)
Confucianism: However in the whole
orthodox literature a high regard for economic
activity is notably conspicuous. Even
Confucius would strive after riches... (Weber,
1984:52)
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ABSOLUTE VERSUS RELATIVE WEALTH


IN PROTESTANTISM
The certainty of salvation is achieved by
profeciency in a calling
About Protestant businessman: He avoids
ostentation and uncessary expenditure, as well
as conscious enjoyment of his power, and is
embarrassed by the outward signs of the social
recognition which he receives (Weber,
1985:71)
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ABSOLUTE VERSUS RELATIVE WEALTH


IN CONFUCIANISM
Even Confucius would strive after riches,
though it might be as a servant, whip in hand
(Weber, 1984:53).
Profit-making through husbundry, medicine,
or being a priest is regarded as the lesser
(i.e.inferior) way (Weber, 1984:53).
To a Confucianist, an all-round education was
better than expertise in a single thing (Weber,
1984:53)
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THE KIND OF ASCETICISM


Religious asceticism: limitation of
consumption, biological pleasures to prove
association with God;
Higher limitation means a higher relative
power
Hedonism: increase in consumption of the
laity; higher consumption proves more relative
power in relation to others

THE KIND OF ASCETICISM

The level of concentration/dissipation of


divinity
Monotheism, Polytheism and All-Soul;
The higher the dissipation, the higher the
level of relative power
Monotheism=equality=low preference for
relative power, high preference for absolute
wealth=high level of consistency

THE RANKING
Relatively higher: Judaism, Protestantism,
Catholicism, Orthodoxism and Islamism
Close to zero: Buddhism
Not ranked: Confucianism

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The Level of Transcendence


Transcendence suggests a significant limitation of
individuals power; an individual can never become
God. Lack of transcendence opens the gate to
intermediaries, saviours and mysticism and allows a
considerable degree of earthly power concentration
The entailed consistency ranking, listed in an
descending order: Judaism, Protestantism (Puritanism,
Lutheranism), Catholicism, Orthodoxism, Islamism,
Buddhism
Not ranked: Confucianism
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The Level of Transcendence

THE KIND OF SALVATION


Ways to salvation: works, faith, meditation and
divine Grace
Actors:
Individual believer seeking salvation,
Intermediary which could be a priest, a magician or
redeemer
God

Actors: divine and earthly. The greater the role of


earthly actors, the higher is the power concentration
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Ways to salvation and the concentration of


human power (I)
The divine Grace does not bring any danger; individual
is saved by just Gods and there is no earthly actor
involved and as such no earthly power, individual or
institutional, is encouraged to develop or is justified
Works pose the danger of sinful human pride or
tendency to absolutization or becoming. Luther rejected
works as a way to salvation because he was worried
about laws, teachings of men, perverse leviathan
and the fact that freedom and faith are destroyed (M.
Luther, apud. Hillerbrand, 1968:19);

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Ways to salvation and the concentration of


human power (II)
By faith the role of the believer in salvation is somehow
diluted but another danger emerges: the role and,
consequently, the power of the intermediaries, individual
or institutional. The magician, the priest and the church
pretend to have the monopoly of mysteries that can
help individual to reunite with God
Meditation: Salvation is wholly individuals
performance, without redeemers, God, priests, magicians
or other individuals. It is for this reason that the
Buddhists monk can propel himself even beyond the
station of gods; there cannot be a higher level of power
attained by a human being and no greater inconsistency
with economic performance
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SALVATION IN ORTHODOXISM
Salvation can be appropriated by a personal effort
(Bulgakov, 1988:106), through the action of faith, but the
striving for salvation is also expressed by works, because
Faith without works is dead (Bulgakov,1988:107).
the truth of the Word of God is possible only if one is in
spiritual union with the Church (Bulgakov, 1988:13). And
for the reception of the Grace of the Holy Spirit, which, of
course, abides in the Church, God has been pleased to
established a definite way...in the holy mysteries or
sacraments (Bulgakov, 1988:111)
Conclusion: Salvation in orthodoxism is achieved mostly
through earthly actors
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SALVATION IN CATHOLICISM
Similar to the Orthodox one
There is more mysticism in Orthodoxism
The Catholic Church is more inclined to fight for its
cause in the real world, while the Eastern or the
Orthodox is more on a defensive stance
The people of God so characteristic of Orthodoxy,
are the poor and simple, outwardly powerless or
those who are without defence (Bulgakov, 1988:151)

Conclusion: Salvation in Orthodoxism is achieved such


as to encourage slightly less power inequality in
comparison to Orthodoxism
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SALVATION IN LUTHERANISM

Luther was possessed by a feeling of revolt against God, ecclesiastical and


civil authorities, all threatening and asking for works : Though I lived as
a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an
extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that He was placated
by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who
punishes sinners (Luther, appud. Hillerbrand, 1968:2)
passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith
(Luther, appud.Hillerbarnd, 1968:2),
Christian man is a free man and does everything out of brotherly love
Conclusion: Luther abandoned most of the earthly authorities:
According to the Lutheran Church grace was revocable and could be
won again by penitent humility and faithful trust in the word of God and
in the sacraments (Weber, 1984:102
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SALVATION IN PURITANISM (I)


Predestination: by Gods sovereign decrees part of
humanity is saved, the rest damned. Grace is
impossible to be lost as it is impossible to be attained
by those to whom God has denied it. No priest, no
church, no sacraments can help individual to change
what God has decreed
God cannot be moved by anything and anybody and no
earthly power is justified on the ground of salvation
Conclusion: There is no greater power equality
imaginable guarded by religious arrangements and no
lower preference for power and, implicitly, higher
preference for wealth
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SALVATION IN PURITANISM (II)


Predestination: by Gods sovereign decrees part of
humanity is saved, the rest damned. Grace is
impossible to be lost as it is impossible to be attained
by those to whom God has denied it. No priest, no
church, no sacraments can help individual to change
what God has decreed
God cannot be moved by anything and anybody and no
earthly power is justified on the ground of salvation

Conclusion: There is no greater power equality


imaginable guarded by religious arrangements and
no lower preference for power and, implicitly, higher
preference for wealth

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SALVATION IN JUDAISM (I)


Salvation in Judaism is done by God and through
human works
Is Judaism below the level of consistency attained by
Calvinism (and on the same level with Catholicism)?
Two situations that suggest a No answer:
a/the Jews have done away very early with priests,
mysticism and the institution of a church
b/The Jewish fundamental commandment of equal love of
fellow-man is nothing more than the principle of equal
worth and, as such, of the fundamental equality of men

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SALVATION IN JUDAISM (II)


Is Judaism over the level of consistency attained
by Calvinism?
There is an argument for an Yes answer. The
Calvinist is in his salvation completely isolated:
no priests, no church, no other helpers. Under
this limited aspect he is like a Buddhist monk.
In Judaism salvation is through existential
identification (Herberg, 1961:287). The Jew
seeking salvation is fundamentally a member of a
community and a Son of the Covenant; he is not
the totally isolated Calvinist
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THE KIND OF SALVATION: THE


RANKING
The entailed consistency ranking, listed in an
descending order: Judaism, Protestantism
(Calvinism, Lutheranism), Catholicism,
Orthodoxism, Buddhism
Not ranked: Islamism, Confucianism

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The importance of the afterlife


Its role: punishments and rewards are moved away
form this life
Shifting them to the after life is a measure of the
ability to fool=level o relative power
The greater the importance of the afterlife, the higher
the relative power, the lower the opportunity cost of
relative power, the higher the preference for relative
power, the lower the preference for absolute
wealth=the lower the consistency level

The importance of the afterlife

The level of obedience to earthly


authorities
The obedience to earthly authorities should not
be confused with obedience to God
The more obedience to earthly authorities is
encouraged, the higher the level of the relative
power made available by that religion, the
lower the opportunity of the relative power, the
higher the preference for relative power, the
lower the preference for absolute wealth and
the lower the consistency level

The power of man over woman


The higher the supply of power of man over
woman (the more power of man over woman
is encourage), the lower the opportunity of the
relative power, the higher the preference for
relative power, the lower the preference for
absolute wealth and the lower the consistency
level

The type of organization of religious


activities
The higher the supply of relative power
created by the type of organization of a a
religion, the lower the opportunity of the
relative power, the higher the preference for
relative power, the lower the preference for
absolute wealth and the lower the consistency
level

CONSISTENCY RANKING

THE EVOLUTION OF
CONSISTENCY LEVEL
Unidirectional evolution of cultures
Pro and cons

THE EVOLUTION OF JUDAISM

THE EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIAN


FAITH

THE EVOLUTION OF BUDISM

THE EVOLUTION OF ISLAM