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Fri Dec 23, 2011, 12:29 PM

What contirbution has religion given to the advancement of mankind that has come from nowhere else?

In what way has religion contributed to the betterment of mankind that has ONLY come from religion and no other source?

Please, be specific.

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Reply What contirbution has religion given to the advancement of mankind that has come from nowhere else? (Original post)
cleanhippie Dec 2011 OP
frebrd Dec 2011 #1
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #2
LARED Dec 2011 #3
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #4
LARED Dec 2011 #20
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #23
Starboard Tack Dec 2011 #37
Eliminator Dec 2011 #5
Quartermass Dec 2011 #6
moobu2 Dec 2011 #7
Angry Dragon Dec 2011 #9
ZombieHorde Dec 2011 #10
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #16
Dorian Gray Dec 2011 #60
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #61
mr blur Dec 2011 #21
ChadwickHenryWard Dec 2011 #25
ZombieHorde Dec 2011 #8
tinrobot Dec 2011 #14
ZombieHorde Dec 2011 #27
tinrobot Dec 2011 #29
ZombieHorde Dec 2011 #30
tinrobot Dec 2011 #11
laconicsax Dec 2011 #12
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #17
dmallind Dec 2011 #13
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #18
dmallind Dec 2011 #33
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #35
dmallind Dec 2011 #40
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #43
rrneck Dec 2011 #45
tinrobot Dec 2011 #15
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #19
tinrobot Dec 2011 #22
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #24
tinrobot Dec 2011 #31
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #32
Quartermass Dec 2011 #26
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #28
rrneck Dec 2011 #34
tama Dec 2011 #36
LARED Dec 2011 #38
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #39
LARED Dec 2011 #41
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #42
LARED Dec 2011 #46
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #50
LARED Dec 2011 #51
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #52
LARED Dec 2011 #53
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #54
cbayer Dec 2011 #55
cleanhippie Dec 2011 #56
LARED Dec 2011 #57
MarkCharles Dec 2011 #44
LARED Dec 2011 #47
tama Dec 2011 #48
LARED Dec 2011 #49
Jim__ Dec 2011 #58
lindysalsagal Dec 2011 #59

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 05:31 PM

1. None at all......

Not one "blessed" thing!

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Response to frebrd (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 07:17 PM

2. You may be right. I would have thought there would be some examples.

But there seems to be no one that can name one single thing.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 08:14 PM

3. Religion has been a huge intertwined part of our world for

 

millennia. How can one separate a specific contribution that could only come from religion?



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Response to LARED (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 08:19 PM

4. Well, from my POV, everything we as humans have achieved, did not come from religion.

I'm just trying to see if I am right or wrong. I cannot think of any human advancement that has come from religion. None at all.

Can you?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 07:36 AM

20. What you seem to be actually asking is

 

Last edited Sat Dec 24, 2011, 10:10 AM - Edit history (2)

what scientific contributions came solely from religion. (based on responses below)

I know If I say that some terrific and timeless musical pieces sprung from religion, you would say music was not invented because of religion. Of course it wasn't but there are many timeless musical pieces, songs, and hymns that are classic and only exist because of religion.

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Response to LARED (Reply #20)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 12:35 PM

23. I can see how you might think that, but I am simply asking what advancements rteligion has brought

to the human race. How has religion advanced mankind to the point where we are today?

As for music, you are correct, music did not come about because of religion, but there are many beautiful movements that are religious in nature. But have those musical movements advanced mankind in anyway? Have they increased our understanding of the world? And most importantly, if those movements did not exist, would the development of humanity be repressed?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:16 PM

37. Why are you so concerned about being right?

Because no "human achievement" may have originated directly from religion doesn't mean that most religions have not enhanced, endorsed and furthered many achievements. Religions have often acted as conduits for schools of thought, art and science. They have been an integral part of all societies from time immemorial. Does make them right or wrong. Doesn't make them good or bad. We all know that some of the worst crimes of mankind have been committed in the name of some deity and at the hands of religious zealots, but zealots of all stripes tend to wreak havoc, be they religious or secular.
You seem intent on demeaning all religion and religious practice, without mitigation. Do you see it as solely a perpetrator of evil and hypocrisy, without any redeeming value?

If an individual finds comfort by embracing religious beliefs and grows as a human being from that.

I am not religious, nor am I a theist. However I learned good lessons for life from some religious stories. The story of the Good Samaritan comes to mind. The fact that the parable may not have originated with the bible is irrelevant. There are only so many stories to be told, as the ancient Greeks showed us. The rest are variations.

Our existence is evolutionary. Nothing originates it just mutates.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 08:21 PM

5. It was useful to control the masses

 

Still is useful to this day for the upper class to keep the people under control.

One can argue that back in the day, this may have been necessary in order to structure a working society. Since the modern age though, not so much.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 09:11 PM

6. If Islam replaced the word religion people would be all over this post denouncing it and would be

 

calling the poster racist/bigoted.

So i really don't understand why it is not bigoted.

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 09:30 PM

7. How is asking a question racist/bigoted?

weird.

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 10:06 PM

9. I am having trouble figuring out how you

stretched that so far

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 10:28 PM

10. Consider the following pairs of phrases:

Humans are lame.
Hungarians are lame.

Countries are lame.
Canada is lame.

Religion is lame.
Islam is lame.

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:34 AM

16. I really don't understand where you came up with that defintion of bigotry.

But nonetheless, saying "Islam" is bad is no different than saying "religion" is bad, or "christianity" or any other religion.

Now, had I said something about muslims or christians, THAT would be a whole other matter.

Remember, beliefs and ideas are not sacred, people are.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 06:42 AM

60. I thought only

cows were sacred.

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Response to Dorian Gray (Reply #60)

Tue Dec 27, 2011, 11:01 AM

61. Well, some are more sacred than others.

The cow that provided the Rib Roast for our xmas dinner was DEFINITELY sacred...and tasty.

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:07 AM

21. OK, What contirbution has Islam given to the advancement of mankind that has come from nowhere else?

 

Alert away...

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 01:30 PM

25. Asking "What has Islam contributed to human society?" is not bigoted.

It's a perfectly fair academic question. If we're interested in truth, we can't maintain this conceit that religion deserves some kind of special deference and immunity from critical examination.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Dec 23, 2011, 09:59 PM

8. Positive religious experiences.

Techniques such as meditation and prolonged ritual dancing were all originally developed for religious purposes. Obviously we can't know for certain, but I doubt we would have these techniques without religion.

Of course those who dislike religion can still enjoy meditation and prolonged ritual dancing, just like those who dislike science can still enjoy indoor plumbing and refrigeration.

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:42 AM

14. I think it's actually the opposite

People meditate, some become enlightened. Some enlightened individuals teach others their wisdom and thus religions are born.

Siddhartha had to sit under the Bodhi tree, meditate, and become enlightened before he could teach what became Buddhism.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:22 PM

27. Siddhartha learned meditation through his birth religion, Hinduism. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #27)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:32 PM

29. ...and where did the first Hindu learn meditation?

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #29)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:41 PM

30. They developed it to be closer to their gods.

Yoga too.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:22 AM

11. Gunpowder was invented by Taoist alchemists

They were searching for the secret to eternal life...

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:30 AM

12. But was it a result of the religion?

 

Secret elixirs and the quest for immortality seem to transcend individual belief systems.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:37 AM

17. Did their religion give them some kind of knowledge that they used to make gunpowder?

That is not my understanding of how humankind gained the knowledge about gunpowder.

If I am incorrect, please say so.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:58 AM

13. There's this....

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Response to dmallind (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:38 AM

18. There is what? Architecture? Construction techniques? Engineering?

Religion provided the knowledge to do those things?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #18)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:53 PM

33. Find me a non-religious building that spectacular

Or try to argue it wasn't built because of religion. Why the hell would you try to suggest I meant all buildings?

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Response to dmallind (Reply #33)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 06:54 PM

35. It is a beautiful building, but humankind has not advanced because of it.

Religion may have supplied the funding, and even the motivation to build it, but there are hundreds of other beautiful building that were not commissioned by a religious institution. Without that building, mankind would most likely be exactly where we are now.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #35)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 11:43 AM

40. I get it now...



Without buildings like that (and name a few of those "hundreds" that even come close will you?) humanity would be as reduced as we would be without Beethoven or Rodin. Art matters to humanity.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #40)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:57 PM

43. Unfortunately, no, you don't get it.

But thats okay, not everyone does, or else we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 03:28 PM

45. The first rule of research...

play with other people's money.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:10 AM

15. List of Roman Catholic cleric–scientists

These people did some good work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Catholic_scientist-clerics

A few of the notables:
Gregor Mendel - Discovered genetics.
Roger Bacon - Developed scientific method.
Georges Lemaître - Came up with the Big Bang theory.

Was their work done strictly because they were Catholic? Who knows, but they did do most of their work on the company dime, so to speak. If they weren't on the Catholic church's payroll, would they have had the education and resources to do their work? Who knows.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:39 AM

19. Did they get their scientific education and knowledge from religion?

Or just the funding? I'm not sure religion itself is responsible for any scientific advancement they provided, but one this is for sure, science most certainly IS responsible...

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 08:48 AM

22. You're moving the target.

As per the OP, a religion has *contributed* to the advancement of mankind.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 12:46 PM

24. Hmm, thats an interesting way of looking at my question. And you are right.

And in your examples, religion "contributed" the money and resources for these people to perform their scientific work.

But funding and resources can come from just about ANYWHERE, not just a religious institution. And the strong argument could be made that religion actually oppressed the scientific work of many of those people on your wiki list. The very first one, for example, Copernicus...

The point of this exercise is to see if humankind is better off, further along, or more advanced, or has more knowledge about the world we live in, ONLY because of religion, and by religion I mean the definition of religion, which Websters defines as..

1.a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
2.a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
3.the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
4.the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
5.the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.


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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #24)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 03:55 PM

31. Religion is just one ingredient of many...

To claim that religion "only" creates something is like saying that flour "only" creates a layer cake. Flour contributes to the cake, certainly, but it does not act alone. It's a unique combination of ingredients that creates a cake - flour, sugar, eggs, etc. Each of these are responsible in their own way for the cake being a "cake". Remove any of these and you don't have the same cake, if there's a cake at all.

Similarly, religion has been an important ingredient in most cultures since the dawn of civilization. To claim that the one ingredient of religion is the sole reason for anything is a rather narrow view. It was religion in combination with many individuals and events that drove areas of history and innovation - both positive and negative. Remove the contribution of religion and you rewrite history, which is fun to imagine, but also nothing more than an intellectual exercise.

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Response to tinrobot (Reply #31)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 04:19 PM

32. I like your cake analogy.

But I feel that you have assigned religion to the wrong ingredient. Religion might be better assigned the role of a flavoring, not flour. One cannot make a cake without flour, but one can make a cake with different flavors. So religion is not analogous to flour, but to a flavoring (I would even say artificial flavoring ).

And if religion is just a flavoring, you still get the cake, it just may be a different flavor.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 01:43 PM

26. Well, for a more on topic response;

 

I wouldn't say Christianity as a whole contributed, but individual Christians have made some interesting contributions to science. here's a wikipedia list of some of them:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science

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Response to Quartermass (Reply #26)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 02:44 PM

28. That is an intersting list. Did their belief in a deity, or the dogma of their religion lead to..

some advancement in human civilization? I'm not seeing where their beliefs led them to any breakthrough about the world we live in that advanced humanity in any way.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 06:08 PM

34. I think you might be asking an unfair question there.

Traditional religions shouldn't claim any direct contribution in the advancement of empirical knowledge a la creation science and all the rest. It's not really fair to demand that of religion and at the same time lambaste it for involving itself in matters beyond its ken.

Scientific and technological developments depend on the cooperation of people not only within cultures but across generations. If cooperation didn't feel good, we wouldn't have done it. Religion helps facilitate that sense of cooperation. Other ways might have been developed, but they weren't. And I don't mind so much. I've never been comfortable with the idea of "non overlapping magisteria". To my mind they overlap constantly - within each of us. The struggle to reconcile one with the other has resulted with some of the greatest accomplishments and failures of the human race.

As someone who has little understanding or use for mathematics I find it interesting that mathematical infinity is described as something other than real numbers but nevertheless is useful in calculation. At the same time, the concept of god is considered infinite but is expressed in emotional terms and is useful in understanding our motives, as are most of the concepts of religious faith. Certainly heaven and hell are considered emotional states continued into infinity. Isn't it interesting that the concept of infinity finds its way so easily into both our understanding of the world and our understanding of ourselves?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinity
In mathematics, "infinity" is often treated as if it were a number (i.e., it counts or measures things: "an infinite number of terms" but it is not the same sort of number as the real numbers. In number systems incorporating infinitesimals, the reciprocal of an infinitesimal is an infinite number, i.e. a number greater than any real number. Georg Cantor formalized many ideas related to infinity and infinite sets during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the theory he developed, there are infinite sets of different sizes (called cardinalities).[1] For example, the set of integers is countably infinite, while the set of real numbers is uncountably infinite.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attributes_of_God#Infinity
Attributes of God

Love
1 John 4:16 says "God is Love." D. A. Carson speaks of the "difficult doctrine of the love of God," since "when informed Christians talk about the love of God they mean something very different from what is meant in the surrounding culture."[11] Carson distinguishes between the love the Father has for the Son, God's general love for his creation, God's "salvific stance towards his fallen world," his "particular, effectual, selecting love toward his elect," and love that is conditioned on obedience.

Infinity
The infinity of God includes both his eternity and his immensity. Isaiah 40:28 says that "Yahweh is the everlasting God," while Solomon acknowledges in 1 Kings 8:27 that "the heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you". Infinity permeates all other attributes of God: His love is infinite, his powers are infinite...


The development of linear perspective is one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance. It is a visual representation of infinity and evidence of an outward looking into the world after hundreds of years of emotional introspection and mysticism in Mideivel Europe. The need for order, balance, clarity and harmony was an expected response to the difficulties experienced with sectarian wars and increasing population density and mobility that brought with them appalling living conditions and inconveniences like Bubonic plague.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perspective_%28graphical%29
In about 1413 a contemporary of Ghiberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, demonstrated the geometrical method of perspective, used today by artists, by painting the outlines of various Florentine buildings onto a mirror. When the building's outline was continued, he noticed that all of the lines converged on the horizon line. According to Vasari, he then set up a demonstration of his painting of the Baptistery in the incomplete doorway of the Duomo. He had the viewer look through a small hole on the back of the painting, facing the Baptistery. He would then set up a mirror, facing the viewer, which reflected his painting. To the viewer, the painting of the Baptistery and the Baptistery itself were nearly indistinguishable.




[font color="grey" size="number" face="fontname"] Pietro Perugino's usage of perspective in this fresco at the Sistine Chapel (1481–82) helped bring the Renaissance to Rome.[/font]


The need for accuracy in perception of the world around us is obvious in the development of linear perspective. But the introspective metaphor of using a mirror to view the works of our creation as we peer through a hole behind them so that we may better understand the world around us is difficult to escape in Brunelleschi's demonstration.

Prior to the development of linear perspective imagery was rendered flat as an object in itself and was the hallmark of medieval art. This is not because the artists of the time had no notion of perspective, they just had no use for it. They were using imagery to express something other than an empirical understanding of the outside world. The art of the time was used to investigate and express a spirituality that we today cannot possibly imagine. In fact, that lack of spirituality may be one of the more troubling aspects of the human experience in modern times. The cultural tools we have traditionally used to investigate our inner selves have become little more than ideology factories more interested in market share than introspection. Certainly, much of what troubles our modern lifestyle is a sense of anomie that permeates our relationships with others.

It seems that the change from representational to iconic imagery has been cyclical, much like humanity's search for some sort of balance between what we know outside and what we feel inside. From the development of contrapposto in Greek sculpture to the image of Christ in the chapel of San Marco's Basilica which, I can attest from personal experience, still works. As I turned for one last look in the chapel before I left I saw the image of Christ looking down on me exactly as it had for hundreds of years and it gave me, an unrepentant iconoclast, chills.

It seems to me that cycle continues today. Compare this image from the twelfth century with a work by the modernist painter Frank Stella from 1959. Both are objects rather than a window into another space. If the first is an object to be used to prompt an emotional response in tune with the prevailing spirituality of the time, could a stereotypically modernist painting be understood as an object to prompt the same emotional relationship to spirituality?


[font color="grey" size="number" face="fontname"]Mary Magdalen announcing the Resurrection to the Apostles, St Albans Psalter, English, 1120-1145.[/font]


[font color="grey" size="number" face="fontname"]Frank Stella, Enamel on canvas, 84 x 109 in. / 213.3 x 276.8 cm., 1959[/font]

The Stella, much like the Psalter before it, was produced at the height of the zeitgeist of its time. It too was designed as an expression and a glorification of that spiritual paradigm. Medieval cathedrals were built to be an expression of heaven on earth and modern architecture seems to be designed to perform the same spiritual function. The nature of that spirituality, to me, is troubling. It is a barren and forbidding sense of being that is becoming increasingly untenable given the environmental problems we have created through the ill considered use of technology.



To my mind religion, as a systematized expression of faith, is just a tool designed to do certain things. One might say we can have faith in a deity or in a process and the practice of expressing that faith results in consequences that can be a blessing or a disaster. Sometimes I think that the only difference between the two is how long we cling to one or the other far beyond its utility until it becomes a liability.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Dec 24, 2011, 07:32 PM

36. Zerzan

 

the anarchoprimitivist, blames ancient shamans for "The Fall" of mankind into civilization, for symbolism, art, mathematics, etc. Zerzan's case deserves to be critiqued in many ways - that go beyond the scope of this reply - and religion (as part of civilizations) and shamanhood (universal in all hunter-gatherer societies) are not same, but OP could be using 'religion' in the widest sense, so this might deserve mention.

On particulars, Plato's Akademeia (-> Academy) was a religious cult in Athens, and Museion (-> Museums etc.) of Alexandria which included the famous library etc. was a religious cult dedicated to Muses. Origins of Western science are Greek religious cults, and it was Medieval monasteries that preserved most of the ancient literature we today have available.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:51 AM

38. Religion, at least the Christian forms of religion, are not

 

generally interested in the advancement of mankind.

The advancement of mankind (a fairly subjective matter as to what constitutes advancement) is not and has never been the primary purpose of Christian religions.





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Response to LARED (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 11:42 AM

39. I couldn't agree more. Christianity has never been concerned with the betterment of man.

Only the betterment of the church.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #39)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 12:50 PM

41. That's not my experience. nt

 

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Response to LARED (Reply #41)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 01:56 PM

42. Hmm, thats not what you just stated above.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #42)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:16 PM

46. I was referring to the snarky part of your comment

 

That the church is only interested in the betterment of the church.

I sure you know that.

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Response to LARED (Reply #46)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 12:05 PM

50. That was not snark. I meant every word.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #50)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:06 PM

51. I'm sure you did

 

and it was still snarky.

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Response to LARED (Reply #51)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:10 PM

52. Uhm, okay.

If you say so.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #52)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:18 PM

53. You might want to confirm the definition of snarky if you don't like what I say. nt

 

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Response to LARED (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:21 PM

54. I see a trend with your posts: you could care less about what a person actually says...

...and instead, seem to care only what you want their words to mean.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #54)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:23 PM

55. The irony of this post is breathtaking.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #55)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 01:26 PM

56. If you say so...

Welcome to the club.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #55)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:38 PM

57. +1 nt

 

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Response to LARED (Reply #38)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 02:01 PM

44. Hmm, strange for a Christian believer to say that. I mean...

 

I thought one of the main purposes of the Christian faith was to give those believers a better outlook upon their lives, a extra number of reasons to be kind to one another, to engage in charity, to bolster spirits of the less fortunate, to bring about peace between warring human groups.

I thought one of the reasons to be a Christian was to feel better about one's self and better about the world we find ourselves in, and to live each day in a way to make the world a better place for all.

Is that all just bull pucky?

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Response to MarkCharles (Reply #44)

Sun Dec 25, 2011, 10:19 PM

47. Not strange at all

 

The primary purpose of the Christian church from the beginning is to bring people into a realtionship with Jesus Chrsit.

All that other stuff you mention is an outcome of the first.

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Response to LARED (Reply #47)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 06:56 AM

48. Is there Christianity

 

outside the churches? Can someone have a relationship with Christ without belonging to any church?

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Response to tama (Reply #48)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 08:25 AM

49. Sure they can nt

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 02:44 PM

58. Scientism As Rationalization And Ultimate Religion

Last edited Mon Dec 26, 2011, 03:33 PM - Edit history (1)

Sascha Vongehr ( http://www.science20.com/profile/sascha_vongehr ) tends to agree with you that nothing that has come out of religion has done anything to advance mankind. He considers scientism to be a religion.

This is a short excerpt from a blog entry ( http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/science_rationalization_and_ultimate_religion-85769
) making this argument:


The main observation here is that rationalization on the social level ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_%28sociology%29 ) is rationalization on the personal level ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationalization_%28making_excuses%29 ) performed by macro-systems (social systems from our point of view). Scientism is the ultimate religion. Calling this a dangerous anti-science position is natural and expected at this point in evolution.

Every adaptive system has what can be called a perception apparatus and information processing structures and so forth. Science is part of the perception/thinking of social systems. All perception has its “blind spot”. Perception is ignorant of everything except for a tiny slice that it evolved to select and focus attention on. Thinking is there to interpret in a certain evolved way. Humans, being parts as well as environment of social systems, cannot grasp the perceived world of social systems, let alone map out their blind spots. Scientists are especially suspect when it comes to judging the blind spots of science.

We witness science evolving. Evolution is not development toward something better, somehow improved, but the mere fact of systems and their environment coevolving in a “red-queen race” that moves nowhere (except if there are entirely novel ingredients to the general theory of evolution, especially Global Suicide ( http://www.science20.com/alpha_meme/global_suicide_no_singularity_just_evolution_deadly_rationality-77738 ) ). Complexity is produced, but there is no monotone development of any other parameter.

...

Science in its beginnings can fruitfully compare with primate perception and thinking in its beginnings. Starting to be able to think systematically is helpful to single animals as well as groups. So is communication of threats, language helping to organize foraging and all that. What developed out of these beginnings is far removed from what one could have naively expected: A rational agent knowing itself. Such has an evolutionary disadvantage; it does not procreate efficiently.

...


Do I agree with him? I consider this blog entry to be serious food for thought. But, I do believe that the world is far more complex than you seem to think.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Mon Dec 26, 2011, 06:59 PM

59. relgion has provided social structure where it probably did more good than the lack of the structure

or if the structure had been created malevolently for economic/political reasons.

But that was largely in the distant past, before science and global communication. For instance, when the hebrews taught people to avoid pork, that was done in the days before refridgeration, when bacterial food poisoning was much more likely in pork. The religion allowed for the observation of the trend, and the communication of the advice among the people.

Likewise, the improvements in language and publishing were originally due to the early church.

On the whole, early humans probably are better off having religion, even though so much war and suffering has been created by the church.

Nowadays, I'm not so sure religion helps all that much, but that's just my opinion. Now that we are a global community, I'd like to see us abandon those differences that make it easy to think in terms of "us" and "them."

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