Private Judgment and Anarchy
It was Auguste Comte (1798-1857) who said, “Ideas govern the world.” By “ideas,” he meant beliefs and values; not so much the beliefs and values of individuals as the beliefs and values of a society. If a society is to hold together – if it is to cohere – its members must generally agree on a system of ideas. If there is considerable disagreement on beliefs and values, the society in question will tend to fall apart.
Though he didn’t believe in God or life after death, Comte was a great admirer of the Catholic Church. Its time, for him, had