What in the world does "and little else" mean, what would he have included? And precisely what the putative student deprived of?
What the student is in consequence generally confronted with ... is an apparent inconclusiveness in all argument outside the natural sciences, an inconclusiveness which seems to abandon him or her to his or her pre-rational preferences. So the student characteristically emerges from a liberal education with a set of skills, a set of preferences, and little else, someone whose education has been as much a process of deprivation as of enrichment.
... if western science can be viewed as being so derivative of the Judeo-Christian tradition, what of western philosophy? ... how many modern philosophical concepts are grounded in the Judeo-Christian belief system? ... and does this grounding call anything into question?
Then why do I see so many similarities between eastern and western thought? Didn't Descartes question his own existance?
... I agree that it's easy to find similarities between eastern and western religions/thought (after all, we're all human)
The rape of the earth began with the enlightenment, and the concept of human mastery and supremacy over their world begins their as well.
The idea that we were created to rule over animals and plants, to rule over the natural, is one of stewardship. It is responsibility for nature, whereas a seculr view of nature, that of it as a coincidental occurance that we happened to be part part, promotes a detached view of nature.
It is no conincidence that at the same time as rapacious expansion in the fields of scince and across the continents of the world, that religion began to be attacked.
..., it does seem that a critical attitude and a reliance upon rational processes in providing answers is basic to Western thought, and a reliance upon authority and its explication to Eastern thought.
... I guess my first question would be, when do you consider the beginning of the enlightenment? ... a quick look at Wikipedia puts its peak in the 1700s, but doesn't the European attitude of world colonization/domination begin long before that? (1492 seems to be a relevant date here) ...
... I'm not sure I understand ... it would seem that the idea that one has been created to rule over nature creates a more detached view of nature than does a view that one is a part of nature ...
... I'm not going to defend combative fanatics like Dawkins and Falwell here - their verbal warring certainly doesn't help the discussion ... but permit me the opportunity to rephrase your observation in a different tone: "It is no coincidence that at the same time the fields of science began to establish themselves across the continents of the world, that the tenets of religion began to be questioned." ... after all, isn't it only natural that when one stumbles upon a tool that works astonishingly well (scientific inquiry) to try and apply that tool to anything and everything? ...
The enlightenment's peak is in the 18th century but it is in the 17th century that it begins. It is also then that the most major colonisations take place.
Also another great element of the beggining of mans antagonistic relationship with nature is with the event of the industrial revolution, that occurs thanks to scintific discoverys and starts in the 18th century.
Christianity embraces the idea that we have a predefined role. We are to rule over nature. However rulership has gathered negative connotations in more modern cynical times, whereas in the middle ages the idea of rulership is, at least as an ideal, a very positive one. If we are rulers should we not be good ones? Whereas the concept of evolution seems to promote the opposite. Under it we are animals, and the fittest survive by virtue of might, not right. Power is its own justifcation, and it is if anything our evoulotionairy duty to eliminate rivals and do everything to ensure our supremacy damn whatever gets in our way.
One word- Eugenics.
... but again, when did the attitudes that allowed for colonization begin? (prior to the enlightenment, I think) ...
... but I think that White's argument is to the effect that it was the prevailing Christian attitudes toward nature that allowed the scientific discoveries to be so abused ...
... this point could be argued in exactly the opposite way ... that European rulers and ruling classes of the Christian era have been notoriously totalitarian, exploitive, and war-mongering, whereas the modern concept of evolution promotes niche-filling and co-evolution ...
.. a distortion of evolutionary theories for personal gain ... roughly equivalent to preachers in the pre-civil-war south mis-quoting the Bible in order to justify slavery ...
We could probably go back and forth on this forever
Or until you admit that I am right.
... the point I'm trying to make with you is that both science and Christianity are capable of being used for good or misused for evil, depending upon the temperament of the user ... if I instead accept your assertions that science is inherently evil and Christianity is inherently good, then I must also accept that, as examples, modern medicine is inherently evil and that Crusades are inherently good ... is this what I should do?
At what point did I say that these things are inherently good and evil? I am simply saying that the common view- enlightenment scince good, mediaval christianity bad, is a stupid one.
I think that christianity provides a system of morality, one that scince should follow. I think that scince provides a system of understanding the physical universe, but this knowlage, this power, can be misused without proper guidance. I think that Christianity has for the msot part been a force for good, and I think that scince can be when it is applie morally, as it has more often than not. However I think that making scince more than it is, applieing it to politics and morality, is a fallacy, and leads to disarsarous consequances.
What if the "prejudices of philosophers" as Nietzsche called them predate even philosophy and religion? Could it not be argued, perhaps, that these assumptions owe their origin and continuation to the very structure of language or thought or to "human nature"?
... sounds like the initial question is off-base then (i.e., more finger-pointing than warranted) ...
Also could you try to answer all of my points fully as I have done for you.
... the question posed in this thread is whether or not there are begged questions from the Judeo-Christian tradition that have found their way as unexamined axioms into Western philosophy, as I see these as potential impediments to philosophical inquiry ... jgweed suggested earlier that any such begged questions may actually go back even farther than the Judeo-Christian tradition, all the way to language itself:
For the record, I would agree with jgweed. In metaphysics, as Bradley puts it, 'The separation of the predicate from the subject seems at once to be necessary and yet indefensible.' Predication is necessary for language, as jgweed and Nietzsche have pointed out, but it depends on an unexamined axiom. The language of mysticism is full of paradox and contradiction for this reason, for this is one way of getting around the problem.