• Benkei
    2k
    Christianity was a huge threat to reason and science and today the threat is Islam.I like sushi

    That brush is too broad in both cases.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    It was amended well enough with what followed y comments about a secular society that isn’t exactly in favour of free investigation (China).

    I see what you mean though. I’m just not in the habit of adding footnotes to every sentence I write and must generalise here and there.

    I would still argue that in terms of theocracies Christianity was quite obviously a threat to reason and science - witch hunts and the burning of “heretics” for questioning dogma are quite apparent pieces of evidence there. That said I find it hard to deny that theological discussions helped in part to the progress of science and reason, but I’d still be dubious of anyone suggesting they were the primary force for science and reason unless they meant as an opponent of science and reason that helped propel the human intellect above superstitions.

    Also, if we equate science and reason with liberty (which you may not), then it is quite apparent that Islamic theocracies don’t stand as being in support of “reason and science”.
  • Benkei
    2k
    I think it's counterfactual to blame religions for being antithetical to science and reason when both Islam and Christianity have been patrons of the sciences at various times in history even when they formed theocracies. So it isn't a fundamental aspect of either.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    Was Giordano Bruno burnt alive or not? I wouldn’t call that “counterfactual”. I certainly don’t dispute that religious people, and a number of prominent theologians, have built upon the reasoning of the Greeks and Romans and carried through their legacy through the ages. Often discoveries were held back for fear of persecution (and rightly so considering the above mentioned Bruno).
  • Benkei
    2k
    If you don't dispute it then it should be clear that religion isn't fundamentally opposed to science or reason. Giordano Bruno doesn't change a thing about that. The point is that this talk about "Christianity did this or Islam did that" is the wrong way to approach the entire subject.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    I don’t want to be burnt alive, stoned to death or generally persecuted because my values don’t adhere to texts written centuries ago. Religious institutions have continually tried to block scientific investigation and still do so today. Of course in secular societies their ability to do so now is limited especially given that information can flow more freely than ever before.

    I wish to be treated as a human not as someone of a particular religious ideology OR to be forced to live by views I oppose. By all means people can believe what they wish but that doesn’t give them the right (by law in theocracies) to tell me what I can and cannot do and say with the threat of punishment used to have me adhere.

    Religious views most certainly conflict with scientific research. Evidence based study is not the forte of religious attitudes that base, in part, their world view on books (hence the term “dogma”). Just because it’s written doesn’t make it factual. Science cares not for claims of truth whilst religion does.

    You don’t have a leg to stand on here. If you want to be upset be upset, but it doesn’t change the reality of history and how theocratic states have killed men of science over the centuries due to “blasphemy”. No thanks, not for me!
  • Mariner
    367
    ...it doesn’t change the reality of history and how theocratic states have killed men of science over the centuries due to “blasphemy”.I like sushi

    While men of science have never killed people over the centuries due to criminalization of opinion?
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    I think you’re confusing religion with science. Religious views are tolerated, except in China and religious states where people’s rights are inhibited if they don’t adhere to the religious laws.

    What criminalized “opinion” are you talking of?
  • Mariner
    367
    I was asking a question about history (since you were talking about Giordano Bruno). Do you believe that men of science never killed people because of "blasphemy laws"?
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    In opposition to people shouting “blasphemy!” I imagine some did kill out of fear of persecution and being burnt alive. What’s your point?

    I assume you’re not suggesting a non-religious person would accuse someone of “blasphemy” yet I will grant that many adherents of both the scientific method and of religious inclinations have killed others due to a misguided belief that they were “blasphemers” - kind of ironic given that they too would likely have been killed themselves a few centuries before.
  • Mariner
    367
    My point is this. If you are a Martian visiting Earth and observe that the Earthlings often engage in a pattern of behavior, according to which a group of them will harrass, persecute, and even kill other Earthlings, based solely on differences of opinion, you won't be able to ascertain, from that observation alone, that the persecuting group is "religious" and the persecuted group is "scientific". And you won't be able to ascertain the opposite, either. There are just too many contrary examples, whichever reductionism you elect.

    The "religious x scientific" divide is, itself, an ungrounded opinion, which often rises to fanaticism. (You choose whether fanaticism is "religious" or "scientific" :D).
  • Benkei
    2k
    Religious institutions have continually tried to block scientific investigation and still do so today.I like sushi

    This is demonstrably false. They've also been patrons of science and started many universities and schools. Your interpretation is reductive and results in a caricature of religion that isn't warranted.

    Personally, I don't like institutionalised religions because such structures can be co-opted for political indoctrination. But so can any set of belief systems. Technology = civilized = good reason to colonise barbarians. Misguided nationalism = ubermensch = good reason to take what's rightfully ours. Etc. They're all equally shit.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    This is demonstrably false. — Benkei

    Okay, show me how then? In the mean time how about listening to a Nobel Prize winning physicist about the state of science in Islamic sphere:

    https://physicsworld.com/a/science-in-the-muslim-world/

    And people were burnt alive and tortured.

    I’m not making a caricature just pointing out that it is nonsense to suggest that religious persecution has not inhibited scientific research. I am not lumping all religious individuals together but I am stating that science is only ever backed by religious institutes when they’re forced to or when it suits their dogma.

    You can continue to pretend otherwise if you wish but you’re not likely to het much more of a response from me here. Sorry.
  • Benkei
    2k
    Okay, show me how then?I like sushi

    I certainly don’t dispute that religious people, and a number of prominent theologians, have built upon the reasoning of the Greeks and Romans and carried through their legacy through the ages.I like sushi

    You already did. It's glaringly inconsistent to me but if you don't see it, that's fine.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    You’re confused. I never said this you did:

    If you don't dispute it then it should be clear that religion isn't fundamentally opposed to science or reason. — Benkei

    I actually said these:

    Christianity was a huge threat to reason and science and today the threat is Islam. The scales are by far more in favour of reason and science though because they’re fully established in secular societies.

    I would still argue that in terms of theocracies Christianity was quite obviously a threat to reason and science - witch hunts and the burning of “heretics” for questioning dogma are quite apparent pieces of evidence there. That said I find it hard to deny that theological discussions helped in part to the progress of science and reason, but I’d still be dubious of anyone suggesting they were the primary force for science and reason unless they meant as an opponent of science and reason that helped propel the human intellect above superstitions.

    Saying that Plato and Aristotle played into the construction of Rome and western history is hardly the same as saying Christianity was for science. Neither the Romans nor the Greeks were “scientific” in anything like the way we talk of today.

    It helps if you don’t muddle up what you say with what I say to understand my position is nuanced. Regardless it is crystal clear that the evidence shows how religions have inhibited science - that is not to say always given that when it suits a particular interpretation of scripture religious folk are all too ready to jump aboard (eg. Buddhists associating quantum phenomenon with their cosmological view).
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k


    I'm not sure if you're a fan of Nietzsche, but his views on the matter are quite intriguing. I thought I'd share a summary of them with you:

    But why should we be left with nothing at all? Do we not exist in the age of the natural sciences, which have achieved an unparalleled understanding of the world? Is not the death of God the birth of the Modern Sciences? It might be true that the idea of the human being as a halfway house between heaven and earth has come to an end and that the ‘biological determinist’ has inherited the truth from the divine soul, but do we not know much more than we have ever known? And do we not agree on such knowledge as an ‘objective’ knowledge, precisely by making it independent of any particular subject and its experiences? Today, is somebody like Richard Dawkins not in the right when he turns the tables on Anselm, proclaiming loudly that it is the believer who is an idiot, while we atheists are much more clever, much more rational and in possession of many more truths?

    But Such an idea depends on the view that the modern natural sciences are conceived in opposition to Christian theology, that they constitute a break with the truth of Christianity, while Nietzsche argues that there is nothing new in the ‘scientific world view’. As we will see, the age of science cannot be understood as a new age, containing ‘something new, mighty, original and a promise of life’ (HL 45), but is the phenomenon of the demise of Christianity itself. It is the same will to truth that operates in modern science; it is the nihilistic phenomenon of knowledge turning its sting against itself, positing the question of whether this will to truth is itself in truth. Insofar as the ‘scientific world view’ reduces the world to a sum total of facts, it does not leave any space for such a will, which is to say that it does not leave a space for life itself. But as Nietzsche argued in the last chapter, every value, including the value of knowing, has to be seen from the perspective of life, so that the modern sciences appear themselves as nihilistic.

    What is overlooked all too easily today is that the question of the death of God is for Nietzsche not one that can be reduced to questions of morality, of freedom, or to the notion of a super sensible existence granting meaning to the sensible world. Rather, insofar as the death of God concerns us, who live in the age of science, it is itself the question of the value and truth of modern science. This is what the ‘many’ on the market square fail to realise: that the death of God concerns the untenability of our ‘world view’; and that is to say, of science. This critique of science pervades Nietzsche’s whole work and it is not too surprising, thinking of the relation between Christianity and science, that the Antichrist will deal not only with a denunciation of Christian theology but also with a critique of the idea of truth in the modern sciences. True atheism has to bring about the death of God in its concrete sense, and this is why ‘atheism’, understood as a mere question of belief, hides its real significance as the question of the truth of science.

    We have seen before, in the cases of idealism and realism, that when considered on the level of abstract ideas these appear as opposites, while considered from the level of history they appear as two interdependent phenomena. Here we will see that, again, on the level of abstract ideas we might be thinking that science arises from its contradiction to Christianity, whereas seen in concretion, science appears as the shadow of the dead God, as the leftovers of Christianity after the death of God. Until we realise that the question of the death of God erodes the foundations of our scientific world, we have not understood it at all. Nietzsche will thus deal with science under the title of the ‘shadows of God’, which we will have to vanquish too. As the madman of section 125 of The Gay Science concludes after addressing the ‘many’ on the market square, ‘I have come too early . . . this tremendous event is still on its way, . . . it has not yet reached the ears of men’ (GS 182).

    - Ullrich Hasse, Starting with Nietzsche, (London: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2008) pp.102-103
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k
    Such an awesome piece of writing. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do; it truly supplies a lot of food for thought. I recommend reading the entire book the passage is from. He covers Nietzsche more concretely throughout it all and has a chapter called: Of Science and Nihilism (Chapter 3), which covers it more extensively. The book itself is only 170 pages. Nice and thin, and very well written.

    heres a link to buy the book if you happen to want it... < https://www.amazon.co.uk/Starting-Nietzsche-Ullrich-Haase/dp/184706163X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Starting+with+Nietzsche&qid=1555594584&s=gateway&sr=8-1 >
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    I’ve already told you I don’t approach philosophical texts via someone else’s interpretation. I might give him a look once I’ve done reading Nietzsche myself (currently reading ‘On the Genealogy of Morals’)

    Thanks
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k
    I know, but I honestly think its worth a read, as you say, for when you're done reading Nietzsche yourself. This point in particular is just an interesting take with respect to your idea that religion and science are opposed to one another; with which Nietzsche apparently disagrees.
  • Mr Phil O'Sophy
    1.3k


    Here we will see that, again, on the level of abstract ideas we might be thinking that science arises from its contradiction to Christianity, whereas seen in concretion, science appears as the shadow of the dead God, as the leftovers of Christianity after the death of God

    covered in this main point in particular
  • ssu
    1.4k
    Do you believe that men of science never killed people because of "blasphemy laws"?Mariner
    Why don't you enlighten us about when "men of science" have killed people. Science is just a method, you know.

    I would call Joseph Mengele more a nazi than 'man of science', if that is your argument.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k

    with respect to your idea that religion and science are opposed to one another

    I never actually said that was my view. The other person said that not me. It happens a lot on forums, no big deal.

    I would say that scientific method and religion are opposed, quite obviously, in some areas which I outlined here somewhere or in the other thread? They are hardly comparable in many ways with people often mistakenly equating “faith” with scientific fact verified and intricated through repetition and refinement.

    This is hardly on topic with the OP though and not something I’m massively interested in discussing tbh. I have a hard enough time getting non-religious people to grasp the idea of “prescientific man” and what Husserl framed (extended from Nietzsche it seems) as “pretheoretical” - problem is Husserl’s last work wasn’t completed before he died, but it’s clear enough to me he drew a lot from Nietzsche as did many of that era.

    I’m not engaging in some science versus religion nonsense so I’ll it there and post NOTHING more in this thread.
  • Benkei
    2k
    As I said :it's fine if you don't see it. Carry on.
  • Mariner
    367
    Don't you think this line of argument absolves religion too? Religion is also "just a method" -- the method of connecting man to the divine. That people who followed some of these methods once murdered people is not an indictment of "religion".
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