Do the best ideas win?
How can it be that although Stoicism is becoming more popular today, Christianity has been the predominant belief system for so long? Wouldn't the best ideas always prevail?
Obviously not. There are a few reasons why Christianity gained dominance over Stoicism historically, even though Stoic ideas are resonating more in the modern era:
Christianity gained an early boost by piggybacking on the infrastructure of the vast Roman Empire. Once Constantine converted, Christianity could spread rapidly through imperial decrees and resources. This early infrastructure advantage was critical.
Christianity appealed more to the heart than the mind. Its focus on Christ's narrative and the promise of personal salvation had greater emotional draw than Stoicism's rational emphasis on virtue and discipline.
Christianity aligned better with human psychology. Its black and white moral code and threat of divine punishment played upon innate cognitive biases in a way the nuanced ethics of Stoicism did not.
In short, the dominance of Christianity historically does not necessarily mean it offered the "best ideas." It spread for institutional, emotional, and psychological reasons. The revival of Stoicism today shows that when ideas are considered on merit, the old Greek philosophy still has tremendous wisdom to offer the modern world.