(PPTX, Unknown) - DVHS AP Comparative Government

Theocracy and Iran
Writing Question to Begin
Is the world getting more religious or less religious?
You pick the starting point. But please make it explicit in your response.
*Messianic means democracy by force*
Today’s EQ
• EQ:
– Can a theocracy be a legitimate government?
– Can a theocracy be a democratic government?
– Can a theocracy be a liberal government?
– How does modern religion use political philosophy
in its legitimacy?
• History has ended.
• It has ended on the principle of liberal
democracies as being the pinnacle of forms of
The Politics of God
• Mahmoud Ahmadinejad– “Liberalism and Western-style democracy have
not been able to help realize the ideals of
– “Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating
towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the
wil of God will prevail over all things”
The Politics of God
• “But how is the guidance[of god] to be
understood, and whether believers think it is
authoritative, will depend on how they
imagine God. If God is thought to be passive,
a silent force like the sky, nothing in particular
may follow. He is a hypothesis we can do
without. But if we take seriously the thought
that God is a person with intentions, then a
great deal can follow”
The Politics of God
• If God is a force with intention, how are those
intentions communicated?
• Then, is this a story not only about God, but
also about Man and his beliefs?
The Politics of God
• How does Hobbes believe man would use God?
• “Hobbes planted a seed, a thought that it might
be possible to build legitimate politics institutions
without grounding them on divine
revelation….The new political thinking would no
longer concern itself with God’s politics, it would
concentrate on men as believers in God and try to
keep them from harming one another”
The Politics of God
• The Great Separation- put it into your own
The Politics of God
• Rousseau– “It is the most beautiful and convincing defense of man’s
religious instincts ever to flow from a modern pen — and
that, apparently, was the problem. Rousseau spoke of
religion in terms of human needs, not divine truths, and
had his Savoyard vicar declare, “I believe all particular
religions are good when one serves God usefully in them.”
– “Rousseau sang the praises of conscience, of charity, of
fellow feeling, of virtue, of pious wonder in the face of
God’s creation.”
How can this be created in government or society?
Quick Review
• Hobbes thought there should be a strong government that dictates life.
Otherwise, religious prophets would constantly interpret divine
revelation. This would cause perpetual conflict and misery.
• Locke shared the thoughts of Hobbes, but thought that Hobbes’s
government should have a separations of power, checks and balances,
and civil governance.
• Rousseau thought that religion was essentially tied to humanity. He
believed all humans have to find their “inner light” and this search was
inseparable from politics.
• If you need to take the vocabulary test, please show up at lunch today or
immediately after school. I have to leave at 3:30.
• A lot of grades will be updated today and tomorrow, check over the
weekend and help me correct discrepancies on Monday.
The Politics of God
• “tells the parable of a young vicar who loses his faith and
then his moral compass once confronted with the hypocrisy
of his co-religionists. He is able to restore his equilibrium
only when he finds a new kind of faith in God by looking
within, to his own “inner light”
• “The point of Rousseau’s story is less to display the crimes
of organized churches than to show that man yearns for
religion because he is fundamentally a moral creature.”
• “Rousseau was the first to declare that there is no shame in
saying that faith in God is humanly necessary. Religion has
its roots in needs that are rational and moral, even noble;
once we see that, we can start satisfying them rationally,
morally and nobly.”
• “Religion is simply too entwined with our
moral experience ever to be disentangled
from it, and morality is inseparable from
• Does this provide a legitimacy for
The Politics of God
• Can a theocracy be democratically legitimate?
• Why or why not?
The Politics of God
• Can a theocracy be liberal?
• Why or why not?
• A question you will be writing on tomorrow:
– How does Persepolis’s journey reflection a conflict
between Hobbes and Rosseau’s beliefs?

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