Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Religion, Progress and Time Preference

In the ages of faith, the final end of life is placed beyond life.  The men of those ages, therefore, naturally and almost involuntarily accustom themselves to fix their gaze for many years on some immovable object toward which they are constantly tending; and they learn by insensible degrees to repress a multitude of petty passing desires in order to be the better able to content that great and lasting desire which possesses them ..... This explains why religious nations have often achieved such lasting results; for whilst they were thinking only of the other world, they had found out the great secret of success in this.
Source:  Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, V2 Ch2 Section XVII, 1840
Taken From: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

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