The Influence of the Ancient Roman Philosophy on the “Secular Economic Mentality”


A secular economic man compares the enjoyments and the material benefits with the costs and his exertions. He strives to maximize his enjoyments and minimize the exertions. That ethos is derived from the Ancient Age Philosophy The literature for economics accepts that the liberal economic doctrine is based on the Natural Law Philosophy. And the Natural Law Philosophy stands to the Ancient Pagan world view. According to this thought, in the Universe there is natural order. Economic life is a part of the natural order; and the order is not relating to God; individual benefit (self-interest) is the core of the system. If human aims mostly to pursue his desires, if his ambition controls his preferences; then preventing him from being disloyal or wicked becomes virtually impossible. He would exploit the society in service of his own desires. It is easy to realize that there is no ethical mechanism in this ethos to prevent cruelty. Moreover, it arises from strong always crush the weak principle. Thus, justice, according to that mentality, lines up with power, not with the Truth, Right. It can be said that secular economic mentality does not have a protective shield for lie, deceit, corruption, skulduggery, insidiousness, etc., hence for sinfulness. The enjoyments/pleasures/hedonistic alternatives and the consumption are in fact the testing of the human. And, another important issue is that the human is tested with the devils.

Author Information
Levent Coşkun Erkekoğlu, Marmara University Institute Research of Middle East and Islamic Countries, Turkey
İpek Madi, Marmara University Institute Research of Middle East and Islamic Countries, Turkey

Paper Information
Conference: ECERP2016
Stream: Philosophy - Philosophy and Religion

This paper is part of the ECERP2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon