Ecclesiastes 8 – How to Live in a Corrupt Society

Stephen Pinker in his latest book Enlightenment tries to tell us that everything is getting better (thanks to the 18th-century Enlightenment which apparently had no dark spots at all) and that, as long as we get rid of religion, we will continue to progress to Nirvana.

But unless you live in the privileged world of the privileged you have to face up to the question of how fallible fallen human beings are to live in a corrupt society. This is the question to which Solomon now turns (Ecclesiastes 8:1-8) offering his advice on how to survive in society.


People like to pontificate on how things should be. Advice is given as though we start with a blank slate and can just make or remake society as we please. But in the real world things are much more difficult. How do we live in the world as it is, not…

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