On 5/7/2012 11:50 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
It's like saying that that apes didn't evolve as hominids did,
therefore apes are inherently an evolutionary dead end. Logic and
scholasticism are what science is made of. The ideas of empirical
testing and skeptical observation are direct outgrowths of theology in
the specific case of Western science,
I guess I just imagined Giordano Bruno being burned at the stake, Copernicus refusing to
have his theories published till he was dying, Galileo under house arrest, Cardinal
Bellarmine writing "To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous
as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin." The Church burning books and creating a
list of prohibited works.
I see nothing in theology that says test your theories, see if you can falsify them.
Tertullian says he believes *because* it is absurd and writes, "“When we come to believe,
we have no desire to believe anything else, for we begin by believing that there is
nothing else which we have to believe…. I warn people not to seek for anything beyond what
they came to believe, for that was all they needed to seek for. In the last resort,
however, it is better for you to remain ignorant, for fear that you come to know what you
should not know…. Let curiosity give place to faith, and glory to salvation. Let them at
least be no hindrance, or let them keep quiet. To know nothing against the Rule [of faith]
is to know everything.” Augustine warned against studying mathematics. Later Martin Luther
writes, "Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason."
Sure science grew out of Christianity, out of the decay and fragmentation of Christianity.
When Christianity was strong and in control is what we call "The Dark Ages". Now that it
is no longer in control and the Western world relies on the technology of science,
Christian apologists are writing revisionist histories.
but in all cases and all
cultures that I know of, things like astronomy and medicine arise out
of things like astrology and divination. Science has never appeared
out of whole cloth in a society.
Of course not. At one time belief in agency in nature and magic and spirits were all part
of a reasonable world view. Eventually those views divided. Magic begat alchemy and
astrology which begat science. The belief in spirits evolved into religion which served a
useful unifying function in tribes and the early city states. But it stagnated with the
invention of writing and the adoption of holy writings as dogma and the emphasis on faith.
"Christianity claimed to bring light, hope, and truth, but its
central myth was incredible, its dogma a conflation of rustic superstitions,
its sacred book an incoherent collection of primitive tales, its church a
cohort of servile fanatics as long as they were out of power and of despotic
fanatics once they had seized control. With its triumph in the fourth
century, Christianity secured the victory of infantile credulity; one by
one, the lamps of learning were put out, and for centuries darkness covered
--- Peter Gay, "The Rise of New Paganism"
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