Get Email Updates • Email this Topic • Print this Page
True one's beliefs are personal. We share this world, though. Sometimes it's good for someone to say: what the heck are you talking about? Both parties can benefit.
That would be my goal for this forum: to somehow end up building each other up without being afraid to set fire to any idea. If it survives the flames, there must be a reason.
Science and religion - both are ad-hoc understandings of life.
Both are an attempt by mankind to find meanings of the natural world and co-relate them to our sensory and spiritual perceptions.
Science describes what can be observed. Religion attempts to explain what cannot be obesrved.
Would you be willing to broaden the statement to say that the societies monotheism (Not just Christianity) gave rise to Western science (or science in general)?
The Islamic cultures did have a big part in the development of science.
I see the argument as a bit offensive, myself, because it's a big wad of cultural chauvinism, arguing people need Jesus to be curious about the world around them and try to explain what and why it does what it does. Further, Christianity hampered the scientific enterprise in its history, and not in a highly theoretical way -- it threatened people who dared offer explanations about the Cosmos. It's a different beast now-a-days, so I won't hold it against the tradition, but the above argument exhibits some willful negligence, I'd say.
Medieval people did not think the earth was flat, nor did Columbus 'prove' that it is a sphere. Everyone already knew. The Inquisition burnt nobody for their scientific ideas, nor was Copernicus afraid of persecution. No Pope tried to ban human dissection or the number zero. Medieval thinkers were not uncritical slaves to Aristotle. The Middle Ages were an era of invention and rapid technological change. For example, spectacles, the mechanical clock and the windmill were all invented in thirteenth century Europe. Ideas from the Far East, like printing, gunpowder and the compass were taken further by Europeans than the Chinese had imagined possible. Historians now utterly reject the idea that science and religion have been locked in a great conflict throughout history.
Rationality and a rational ethic predate Christianity. See Aristotle and Aurelius (as non-exhaustive examples)
Cusanus said that no perfect circle can exist in the universe (opposing the Aristotelean model, and also Copernicus' later assumption of circular orbits), thus opening the possibility for Kepler's model featuring elliptical orbits of the planets around the Sun.
It is an historical fact that modern science did arise in a Christian society and it is also an historical fact that many of the founders of Western science were Christians.
Whether science could have arisen in the absence of this milieu, we will never know, because it has only happened once. But it didn't happen in China or India, even though between them, they were far ahead of Europe for the 1st millenia A.D. and invented or discovered many scientifically and mathematically significant elements of scientific thinking.
Aristotle didn't check his theory of gravity, because that would be work, and work was for slaves. Perhaps science is largely democratic, and it's arguable that democracy and Christianity are related. Hegel argues that the slave invents a God to put a master above his master, making them both slaves. Eventually society evolves into democracy, or a society where all are citizens. Science's emphasis on consensus may owe a debt to the Christian implication that all are equal before God. Of course the Church is not always friendly to science....
So what is your point? What is the significance of modern science popularizing first in Christian societies?
That the 'religion versus science' dichotomy is simplistic and inaccurate.
It is a tough argument to fit into single-word sentences, don't you think? I quoted Stanley L. Jaki, who wrote a number of books on it, gave lectures on it, and won the Templeton Prize, which is awarded for those who advance the mutual understanding between science and religion. But, I expect the response of the anti-god-squad to be dismissive and simplistic, and so far, you're going true to form. If you can come up with something other than a sentence or an assertion then it might be worth discussing.
What is dismissive or simplistic about what I have said? If cotton candy became popularized in a Christian society, I would not immediately assume cotton candy had anything to do with Christianity
Ah! I get it! This is from the same formidable school of argumentation that compares God to Captain Crunch and Mickey Mouse! What can I do, I can see I am outclassed in all respects. I think I will just declare myself defeated and go off to lick my wounds.:surrender:
You exhibit the classic switch logic argument. Where you state the case that you know that god is omnipotent, yet if I were to deduce any traits you tell me I can't determine them. I like how you can place any traits that you want to without anything to back them up, but as soon as I try to reason them out, you tell me that I can't. Very typical and your own argument defeats your own position. How is it you know with absolute certainty that a god is omnipotent?
If a god required more than one day to create something then by that very definition it can not be omnipotent. Operating at max is a pointless argument because where is your reference to how much power it would have and why would it need to dial it back? Makes absolutely no sense. Just like if it were omnipotent why would it need to rest? It contradicts the definition of omnipotence.
I also like how you take a finite being as an example of why a omnipotent god would not create something in one take. The irony is screaming there especially when you first make the claim that I could not use my finite understanding to comprehend an omnipotent god but then you turn around and use it in your own argument. So what ever works for you, it is reasonable but if anyone else uses it to point out the absurdity in your reasoning then it is a fault.
Krumple. I hope you did not in any way take offense from what I said to you, you sound as though you are almost belligerent and truculent in a quarrel.
forgive me but I am ignorant as to a "classic" switch logic argument as I am to any logic arguments. I NEVER stated that I know of God being omnipotent I was simply following with the already affirmed assumption that he is, can you differentiate?
Next, my argument is simple, and I do not understand why you cannot see this, it is logical that if something is greater, then that which is lesser cannot better in any way that which is greater, say if numbers could comprehend other values that are lesser or equal to them selves, then obviously 1 cannot possibly comprehend more than infinity, how can you disagree with this?
As I said earlier you are but assuming that this God required more than one day, this God never told you that, nor could we ever find out, if we are incapable of asserting as to every reason for why Leonardo took 7 years to paint mona lisa then how could we be so confident as to affirm that this god had not his reasons?
if we cannot know that of a mortal being how could we possibly know that of an omnipotent being? ok next, you say that Operating at max is a pointless argument because where is your reference to how much power it would have, first I did not say that he was operating at max I said the opposite, I think operating at max is your argument no? either way I do not understand what this even means, If I am to run my car with the boost controller set to only 15 psi therefore not operating at max (which is what I think you implied) why would I need a reference of how much power it would make to do so? do you think had I not provided reference to how much power it would have the engine would shut down? what do you mean by providing a reference to how much power it would have? how much power when? at full capacity, at a lower capacity? this is like me asking how tall is a human being, but for this to make any sense I would have to specify my question more accurately e.g at age 9 at age 20 e.t.c. So as you see even if providing reference to how much power a system makes made any sense and it was now (hypothetically) a requirement in the physical world to provide reference, why would this be of any concern to a being who is omnipotent and not bound by physical laws?
are you again forgetting the meaning of omnipotent?
Next, I do not think an omnipotent being would actually need to rest as you said, do you? Either how, your main argument here is that the being cannot be omnipotent since it took him more than one day, but I do not even understand why you would think that this argument has any validity, Mark Noble already pointed out and made clear in page 6 of this thread that these days, however many they were are of no relevance since they are but a human conception of what a day is. So we can see that this entire second argument is a complete failure, now lets move to the third.
Most of this is explicable by my first argument above. It is not irony because you can also do this, you can conceive of something greater than you as being greater than you however you cannot conceive of something greater than you being lesser than you, remember 1 cannot possibly conceive of infinity as lesser but only greater. I.e you (a mortal) cannot conceive of a God who is omnipotent ass lesser or equal to you (as you did) but only higher. So you see it is not a matter of irony, I am sure that if you read back through it now you will understand.
Oh and just one thing, if you do indeed decide to reply back, please try to adhere to answering my questions, as I did to yours.
My point is only that the claim that modern science is related to, or is a direct result of, Christianity, is not supported by modern science becoming popularized in a Christian society. Because, as we know, many things have become popularized in Christian societies, including, I believe, cotton candy. And to say that all those things are all directly related to Christianity is not only wrong, but silly.
Just where do you think I am off base? Don't you see that the conclusion you are drawing is not supported by what you have said?
But Christian theology impinged on science in return and altered its character. Certain aspects of Aristotelian natural philosophy, such as its determinism (everything that will occur must occur) and its denial of a creation, were diametrically opposed to central Christian doctrines. The ensuing struggles (which were not between Christianity and science, but rather, one must note, among Christians holding different views of the proper relationship between Christianity and science) led ultimately to a theological condemnation of these and other philosophical propositions in 1270 and 1277. The complexity of the encounter between Christianity and science is illustrated nicely by the aftermath of these condemnations.13 The condemnations did place a lid on certain lines of scientific speculation; henceforth, philosophers or scientists were forbidden to uphold certain Aristotelian positions and forced to tread lightly whenever they approached theological territory. But while losing certain freedoms, they gained others. Theological condemnation of a considerable body of Aristotelian propositions weakened the heavy hand of Aristotelian authority and freed scientists to speculate in non- Aristotelian and anti-Aristotelian directions. Thus we see in the fourteenth century a steady stream of attacks on various Aristotelian doctrines and a veritable orgy of speculation about non-Aristotelian possibilities, including such notions as the rotation of the earth on its axis.
The condemnations affected the scientific enterprise in another way. One of the central themes of the condemnations was the proclamation of God's absolute sovereignty and omnipotence. From this doctrine fol- lows the absolute contingency of nature-that the course of nature can be anything God chooses it to be and, therefore, that humankind's acquired knowledge of natural causes can be overturned simply by God's decision to do things otherwise. The condemnations thus generated a certain skepticism about the ability of the human mind to penetrate with certainty to the underlying causes of observed events; this attitude encouraged the view that science should restrict its attention to empirical fact and ignore the search for underlying causes, thus influencing the development of scientific methodology. Four hundred years later, the idea of God's absolute sovereignty and its corollary, the total passivity of matter, became central features of Isaac Newton's mechanistic world view.14