On 09.05.2012 08:47 Bruno Marchal said the following:

On 08 May 2012, at 21:41, meekerdb wrote:

On 5/8/2012 12:04 PM, Craig Weinberg wrote:

On May 8, 2:17 pm, Evgenii Rudnyi <use...@rudnyi.ru> wrote:
On 07.05.2012 22:21 Craig Weinberg said the following:

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

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.
I would suggest you to consider Soviet Union under Stalin when military
atheists took the power over. I guess that the absolute number of
victims was even more.

Just one examples. Nikolai Vavilov - a famous biologist working in
genetics (compare his fate with that of Copernicus and Galileo)


Late 1930s - Lysenko, who has conceived a hatred for genetics is put in
charge of all of Soviet agriculture
1940 - arrested for allegedly wrecking Soviet agriculture; delivered
more than a hundred hours of lectures on science while in prison
1943 - died imprisoned and suffering from dystrophia (faulty nutrition
of muscles, leading to paralysis), in the Saratov prison.

I don't think we can say that was caused by atheism though. Soviet
communism was still atheistic after Stalin, wasn't it? There are
secular authorities in power in other countries where there has not
been any genocidal consequences. It seems like there have been and
continue to be bloody crusades and inquisitions in the name of
religion specifically that we haven't really seen associated with
movements for the sake of atheism.


Any world view that attracts 'true believers' and promises 'a better
world' can be co-opted for political power. Humans are social animals
and like to belong to greater organizations. This is useful, but like
most useful things, also dangerous. Science tends to avoid this
because it institutionalizes skeptical testing.

I don't think so. You cannot institutionalize skeptical testing, or you
will kill skepticism. I know examples. You can encourage it by practice,
but once institutionalized, it stop working.

It could be partly institutionalized provided that power given for science is limited.

The point in my example was that when a person could acquire unlimited power, than even a skeptical thinker would quickly become a dictator.

In general, there is always fighting between different intellectual groups and the only difference is in allowable means in the fight that are accepted by a society.


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