On 5/7/2012 10:35 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 06.05.2012 22:06 meekerdb said the following:
On 5/6/2012 10:51 AM, Evgenii Rudnyi wrote:
On 05.05.2012 23:34 meekerdb said the following:
I would agree with that. Rome fell for other, more material reasons. But
its fall created a power vacuum which was filled by organized
Christianity and Christianity like any dogmatic religion is in conflict
with the skeptical, inquiring, testing nature of science. When the
reformation broke the intellectual monopoly of the Church, science
flowered and for a time it was regarded as an adjunct to theology:
discovering the creator through nature. But that only lasted up till
I am afraid that the conflict between Christianity and science that
you describe is not consistent with historical facts. According to
Prof Hoenen, who is an expert on Middle Age, science and theology has
been developed rather like a brother and a sister.
More like a master and slave - until the slaves revolted. Honen is a
professor of philosophy and theology who specializes in commenting on
theologians of the middle ages: Marilius, Boethius, and Albert Magnus.
Although Bruno (not Marchal) was burned at the stake and Galileo was put
under house arrest, science was allowed as a servant of the church up
until the Victorian era. Newton, Boyle, Tyndall, Descarte, Laplace,
Kepler,...none of them were from the universities, which were dominated
by theology. And the real break came with Darwin. To say they developed
like brother and sister is to suppose theology developed. While science
has advance enormously in scope and accuracy, theologians now do no
better than in the 13th century.
For science to be started in a sense that you have mentioned, the society should reach a
certain limit of development. I am afraid that you forget about this simple fact.
Science in the middle ages has started from logic, grammatic, etc. Without this there
would be no science that you mean.
Logic, grammar, mathematics were developed for a long time before science. They are
necessary for science, but what marks science as a distinct intellectual enterprise is
skeptical observation and empirical testing. The scholastics inbred study of logic,
grammar, etc was sterile - as theology has continued to be.
Again, the science has developed in the Christian Europe. This could be coincidence but
one cannot exclude that this was destiny.
It must have had its causes, but I note that it coincided with the reformation and the
fragmentation of the Church's power. Science developed most in England where Henry VIII
had divorced the Church from Rome and made it much weaker.
You are talking about skeptical inquiry but you do not want to apply it for all
questions. I am afraid that you take some answers just from ideological considerations,
not from historical research.
The favorite authors of Prof Hoenen are Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas von Aquin.
It's not my field to research - nor yours. You rely a few experts two of whom I note are
noted Catholic apologists - hardly skeptical thinkers, but promoters of faith.
“There is another form of temptation, even more fraught with danger. This is the disease
of curiosity…. It is this which draws us to try and discover the secrets of nature, those
secrets which are beyond our understanding, which can avail us nothing, and which man
should not wish to learn.”
-- St. Augustine
I like a lot On Truth by Anselm of Canterbury. Prof Hoenen has demonstrated nicely that
his work influenced many thinkers in the West a lot that pondered on what is truth.
Right now I listen to Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. The book is not bad but
the style is just terrible: "I know the truth because this truth (that I know) is
objective." Anselm and Thomas in this respect were more clever.
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