Author Topic: christianity actually reponseable for science???  (Read 2782 times)

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #29 on: March 10, 2013, 05:43:50 PM »
Not only is christianity not responsible for science, but it is, in fact, probably the worst enemy to science. Remember the Dark Ages?
No, I don't. I wasn't alive then.

The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.

I wasn't alive then, either but I can read. Amazing inventions, reading and writing. I think the Sumerians were the first....but they couldn't have been. They weren't Christians.

According to Islamic thought, "the dark ages" in Europe referred to the fact that Europe during the middle ages was quite literally dark, meaning lacking in light, as well as socially and culturally unenlightened. Europe was behind the rest of the world (India, China, North Africa and Middle East) in terms of collected knowledge, and what most people would consider "civilization".

If you were looking for organized, settled communities where long-distance trade, cultural diversity, learning and gentility were valued, you did not go to Europe between say, 500-1500 CE. You went just about any place else!

Muslim Spain, for example, was brightly lit by lanterns at night, with running water, clean streets, paved walkways, fountains and beautiful gardens. People used soap, sat on cushions, walked on carpets, slept on soft beds and wore colorfully patterned cloth.

The rest of Europe was crowded, cold, dank, smelly and dirty. People, even the wealthy, seldom washed. Shoes were a luxury. Mud and sh!t were tracked in and out of the homes. Clothes were made of coarse, rough cloth. Beds were hard slats covered with straw. European colonizers were shocked that, by and large, the people of the Americas and Asia--untouched by white civilization and lacking Christianity, did not also live in similar squalor and poverty, since they were savage barbarians and all.

The Middle East had wealth, beauty, delicious exotic foods like almonds, apricots and oranges, incredible cloth, and architecture the likes of which gobsmacked the oh-so-civilized medieval Christians who showed up to kill the barbarian infidel Muslims and Jews during the Crusades. Baghdad, Timbuktu and Cairo had enormous libraries and universities when monasteries in Europe were lucky to have a handful of books. Mughal India and the Aztec civilizations also dazzled the European Christians.

Christianity never demanded that people be educated, live well or in decent conditions; people were expected to remain ignorant, accept their lot and wait for their reward in heaven.  Decent conditions did not produce the Inquisition, the colonizers, workhouses, debtors' prison or the Crusaders. Exactly the opposite. The living situations were not nice, and neither were the people.
 
As every group ever colonized by (the supposedly more advanced) Christian Europeans asked, if your civilization is so great and you have everything anyone could want in Europe, why do you need to come way over here to kill us and steal all our goodies?

I am not saying that Islam or other religions are better than Christianity. They are just as mythical and lacking in evidence. But you can't get away with claiming that Christian Europe was head and shoulders above everywhere else. Europe only climbed to the top after it became expert at enslaving and ripping off the rest of the world.

Okay, that last sentence was somewhat hyperbolic, but not by much. Europe's major wealth concentration-- growth of bustling port cities, banking, insurance and international business enterprises-- grew on the back of slave-based Triangle Trade and the domination of commerce by colonial institutions like the British East India Company.

Where did the diamonds, gold, coffee, chocolate, tobacco, cotton, sugar and of course, opium that built fortunes in Europe between 1500-1900 come from? Oh, yeah, all those useless, backward, un-Christian, uncivilized places around the world. 

Over to you, 12 Monkeys ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline mrbiscoop

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #30 on: March 10, 2013, 08:39:37 PM »
Not only is christianity not responsible for science, but it is, in fact, probably the worst enemy to science. Remember the Dark Ages?
No, I don't. I wasn't alive then.

The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.
You're making the assertion therefore the burden is on you to provide the proof.
When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.
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Offline Mooby

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2013, 11:18:51 AM »
Not only is christianity not responsible for science, but it is, in fact, probably the worst enemy to science. Remember the Dark Ages?
No, I don't. I wasn't alive then.

The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.
You're making the assertion therefore the burden is on you to provide the proof.
Actually, One Above All first made the assertion that Christianity is the worst enemy to science as exemplified by the Dark Ages.  I made a counter-assertion.  So we both have a burden of proof, with the neutral point being a lack of comment on the Dark Ages.

Why, then, did you not link to one of those reputable sites, Mooby?  It would have helped your case quite a bit; as it stands, it's a matter of you making a claim and then leaving it to others to find the support and evidence for that claim.
Because I was on my iPod, and was time-limited, and because the initial burden of proof rested on the claim that the Dark Ages was a time of decline due to Christianity so I wanted to give One Above All the opportunity to back it first.

For the simplest neutral searches, one can always look at the usual starting point for casual discussions: Wikipedia.

Dark Ages debunked in academics

Dark Ages misunderstood in popular culture

Conflict thesis is debunked

Really, the only support out there for the Dark Ages myth is from biased anti-Christian sites trying to keep the myth alive complete with a ridiculous graph that's conveniently unsourced (and has been debunked if you search around long enough.)  But feel free to have a look around.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Nick

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2013, 01:39:24 PM »
So what was that period of time then?  The age of enlightenment?
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

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Online jaimehlers

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2013, 02:21:45 PM »
I hope you're not trying to claim that religion and religious belief had nothing to do with the splintering of Greco-Roman civilization, especially in western Europe, Mooby.  To me, the time between the sack of Rome and the resurgence of a somewhat unified European civilization (the Carolingian Empire founded by Charlemagne, in roughly 1000 AD) deserves to be called a European Dark Age (and not because of a paucity of historical records).  I explained why previously.  It wasn't just because of religion, but there's no reasonable doubt that religion was one of the major reasons it happened.  I will be more than happy to cite examples to show this if you want, but I don't have time right now.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2013, 03:38:13 PM »
Even if Christian Europe was not completely "backward" during the Middle Ages --and my historian colleague assures me that Mooby is right about this-- it was not the cool, diverse, creative, happening place to be, especially for women. That would be the Arab-influenced societies of the era.

If I had to be transported back to 1000 or 1200 CE, especially as a brown-skinned, educated and rather outspoken female, give me North Africa or the Middle East, not Europe, thank you very much. In Muslim societies women had property rights and owned businesses. Some of the poets and scholars who worked and studied in the big universities of the regions were women.

The only way for a woman (who was from a privileged family) to get any education or have any autonomy in medieval Christian Europe was to marry the church, ie become a nun. As soon as she married a human male, her identity was gone, and once she started bearing children, her life was basically done.

Religion and tradition constrained female life in medieval Christian Europe much like strict Catholic Latin American countries and Muslim theocracies do today. Remember, it was Byzantine Christians who instituted veiling of [wealthy] women, who would then be protected from random male assault. Unveiled [poor] women were assumed to be unprotected and therefore sexually available to anyone. Nice.[1]
 1. Much of this historical info is from Egyptian scholar Leila Ahmed's work on women and gender in the Muslim world.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Mooby

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2013, 08:40:13 PM »
I hope you're not trying to claim that religion and religious belief had nothing to do with the splintering of Greco-Roman civilization, especially in western Europe, Mooby.
I'm not familiar enough with that period to make such a claim. 

I've certainly never heard of Christianity being a major cause; the invading tribes were quite non-Christian, and I don't see how religion could have caused Justinian's (bubonic?) plague.  Also, from what I've read, much of the lost education was due to the new invaders destroying Roman documents and buildings by a culture that did not place emphasis on scholarship like the Greeks and Romans did.  Given that the Catholic Church was a patron to the arts/sciences, especially as the Middle Ages progresses, my take was that the growth of Christianity in the west during the Middle Ages brought about a slow recovery in these areas.  Especially since many of the famed ancient Greek writings survived only in the Islamic world, and did not return to Europe until a few centuries later when writers like Aquinas translated them.

That's pretty much the extent of my knowledge of this period.  From your posts you seem a bit more familiar with it, so perhaps you can fill me in on what I'm missing.  I've certainly seen no evidence that Christianity was an enemy to science, as was claimed in response to the OP.

Even if Christian Europe was not completely "backward" during the Middle Ages --and my historian colleague assures me that Mooby is right about this-- it was not the cool, diverse, creative, happening place to be, especially for women. That would be the Arab-influenced societies of the era.
I agree with you that the Arab societies at the time were experiencing a golden age, with landmark advances in philosophy, medicine, technology, science, and were socially progressive for their time.  However, my purpose in replying to this thread was primarily to defend against the claim that Middle Ages Christianity was "probably the worst enemy to science."  As a presentist comparison of the rights of women in various societies during the Middle Ages is a bit off-topic, I will decline to comment on the subject.
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2013, 09:50:26 PM »
The initial barbarian invasions might well have happened whether or not Christianity became prominent.  There's no real telling.  But that's not even remotely close to the whole story.  The Roman (later Byzantine) Empire remained a powerful force for a thousand years after that.

Where things really started to go bad was during the reign of Justinian.  He was obsessed with regaining the Roman Empire's former glory (basically, reconquering its lost western territories).  However, he felt he needed to get the pope's blessing on that endeavor.  What that meant is that he had to oppose 'heresy', which at the time meant Monophysitism.  In effect, that meant Christians in Egypt, Syria, and Palestine were being oppressed by other Christians so that Justinian could get the blessing he wanted so badly.  So that's part of of it.

There's also the fact that he bankrupted the eastern part of the empire to reconquer the western part, which led directly to the plague that you mentioned - all the wars that Justinian started left a huge swath of territory little more than a breeding ground for it.  Did I mention that he also built grandiose religious monuments, like the Hagia Sophia, with some of those same taxes?  So there's another part.

As a result of the Monophysite persecution, when Islam arose, most Monophysite Christians (Arabs, Syrians, and Egyptians, mainly) converted to it.  This led to the major Islamic conquests, which hit both the Romans and the Persians.  The Romans lost basically all of their North African territories as well as some in Asia Minor within a hundred years or so of the founding of Islam, because the Christians in that area had been harassed and persecuted so much.  They lost more later on.  So there's a third part.

All that led to Greco-Roman civilization splintering so badly that it never really recovered from it, even though the Roman Empire survived for long after that.  It took centuries for the 'barbarians' in Britain and France to really get their feet under them, by which point they'd lost a tremendous amount of ground.  If it hadn't been for Islam absorbing much of Greek science and philosophy, it would have been a far worse disaster.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2013, 04:50:20 PM »
The Dark Ages was a myth invented by Enlightenment era thinkers to help push their new secularist ideas. Historians debunked said myth decades ago.

Not quite:
Quote
During the 17th and 18th centuries, in the Age of Enlightenment, many critical thinkers saw religion as antithetical to reason. For them the Middle Ages, or "Age of Faith", was therefore the polar opposite of the Age of Reason.[27] Kant and Voltaire, among others, were vocal in attacking the religiously dominated Middle Ages as a period of social regress, while Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire expressed contempt for the "rubbish of the Dark Ages".[28] Yet just as Petrarch, seeing himself on the threshold of a "new age", was criticizing the centuries until his own time, so too were the Enlightenment writers criticizing the centuries until their own. These extended well after Petrarch's time, since religious domination and conflict were still common into the 17th century and beyond, albeit diminished in scope.
The point is we know what is meant by "The Dark Ages" and all terms like this are invented by someone.

The following table is interesting, but not as interesting as the other tables and lists at Timeline of chemical elements discoveriesWiki

« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 04:55:05 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Graybeard

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2013, 05:00:58 PM »
Given that the Catholic Church was a patron to the arts/sciences, especially as the Middle Ages progresses,
I think that is one of the most disingenuous statements I have seen.

Yes, there was the "Burning as a Heretic" award for philosophy, the "In League with The Devil Award" for inventions; the "Rack Award for Advancements in Medicine" "The Stone and Boulder Award for Astronomy"

And then in the arts, you were free to paint what you wished as long as it was an allegorical Biblical scene with your patron as God or a wise man...
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2013, 05:07:43 PM »
The Catholic church was a patron of the arts because that is what really rich people often do with their excess money! Buy lots of pretty things to look at and make themselves feel important. It was not like they were letting people create whatever they wanted, or we would not have so damn many madonna and child paintings. Surely artists had other ideas.... &)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online jaimehlers

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2013, 05:25:56 PM »
That isn't entirely true, Graybeard.

I'm not saying that the Catholic Church didn't suppress things that it didn't like, because it did.  But Galileo, for example, didn't get in trouble just because he publicly supported Copernicus's heliocentric model of the solar system or other such things.  He got in trouble because of the Dialogue[1], a piece he wrote at the behest of Pope Urban VIII which advanced arguments both for and against heliocentrism.  Basically, he put Urban's arguments (against heliocentrism) in the mouth of a character named Simplicio (which has the connotation of simpleton in Italian), who was treated as an inept fool by the characters advancing the arguments for heliocentrism.  On top of that, Urban had treated Galileo pretty reasonably beforehand, so I imagine that came across as a stab in the back which then rubbed salt in the wound.

That's around when Urban agreed to let the Inquisition try him for heresy.  If Galileo had been more politically savvy, there might not have been a trial at all (it lost him a lot of his defenders within Rome).  Even with that, Urban apparently went to quite a bit of trouble to keep some of Galileo's more controversial points in the book out of the hands of the Inquisition.  Without that, he might well have been executed for heresy rather than just imprisoned for life.

This is not to say that the Catholic Church was a staunch defender of scientific investigation or anything like that.  But it isn't as one-sided as it seems from a casual perusal of history.
 1. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World SystemsWiki

Offline Graybeard

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Re: christianity actually reponseable for science???
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2013, 04:05:33 PM »
Although Galileo occurred to me Kepler and Copernicus also did. This is an interesting http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extras/Galileo_confession.html -> Galileo's thoughts on the trial to come and his "confession".

In fact, and unwittingly, the Catholic Church did help science because of their own ignorance.

Quote
It has been suggested that the Catholic Church showed a more "reasoned" response to the Copernican theory that did the Protestant Churches. To a certain extent this may be true. However it should be borne in mind that there were many other factors which caused the Catholic Church to initially refrain from condemning Copernicus outright and to finally condemned the system only more than half a century after the death of the Polish canon. As the historian Daniel Boorstin suggested[mb]Boorstin, The Discoverers[/nb], the seafaring adventures of explorers such as Columbus (c1451-1506), John Cabot (1450-1498) and Ferdinand Magellan (c1480-1521) had shown how much the secular world had to say about the vastness of the world and its oceans undreamt of in Christian geography. This may have made the Church a little reticent to condemn Copernicus initially. Indeed they would have been contented to have the Copernican system remain "a hypothesis", to be considered but not believed, had it not been for the invention of the telescope. Now the proponents of the Copernican ideas, especially Galileo, have ways to prove their theory by observations-short circuiting as it were the theologians exclusive claims to the heavens. It was then they had to clamp down on such ideas.

The point here is, that to provide themselves with a defence, the scientists had to be meticulous and record everything and their hypotheses had to be able to be tested.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”