On May 7, 3:37 pm, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
> 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.

The Catholic Church may indeed be the most repressive influence in the
history of the world, but that doesn't mean that science and theology
aren't part of the same root impulse.

> 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."

Martin Luther opposed the Catholic Church doctrines too.
Epistemological fascism exists in science as well as religion. While
belief may inherently be more insular and naive than disbelief,
neither of them have a formula for transcending their own cognitive
bias. Religion advanced civilization for 10,000 years while the
advance of science in the last 500 has arguably provided us with the
tools for our own extinction. By only looking through the lens of the
last few decades, we distort the contribution of earlier ways of
thinking. I will always appreciate science more than religion, as I
appreciate using language over walking upright, but that doesn't mean
that one thing can be completely isolated from the other or that
either one can be completely bad or good.

> 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.

I agree, organized religion has been a catastrophe for the world, and
it still is, but that doesn't change the historical emergence of
science from spiritual contemplation.

> > 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.

That's what I'm saying. Now disbelief in agency in nature and self are
parts of a reasonable worldview.

> 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.

Similarly, science has become bogged down in legal and commercial
agendas, serving to delay and suppress innovation in many cases. It's
a pendulum swing. We are in the decadent phase of the Enlightenment,
printing indulgences on the stationary of elite universities for the
well-heeled offspring of the ruling class.


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