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  1. #131
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    If you want my opinion (for what it's worth), the Bible is an empty book.
    I said it once, I'll say it again; I stopped caring about what you think a long time ago.


    This book is partly responsible for the long atrophy that froze Western civilization, during centuries of scholastic babblings. Anything that was interesting within the Western antiquity period, the birth of science and philosophy, was almost destroyed by early Christian attempts. Those fanatical, intolerant savages waged a war against intelligence that lasted during centuries.
    Yeah yeah, we all hear this story in gradeschool. However, let's hear what a noted historian of Science has to say on that issue:

    “The contribution of the religious culture of the early Middle Ages to the scientific movement was thus one of preservation and transmission. The monasteries served as the transmitters of literacy and a thin version of the Classical tradition(including science or natural philosophy) through a period when literacy and scholarship were severely threatened. Without them, Western Europe would not have more science, but less.
    --David C. Lindberg The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 BC to AD 1450 pg.157


    As for the rest of your post, it's not worth bothering with.

  2. #132
    Sniffles
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    Hey just for fun, here's some more Lindberg on the issue:



    “….how did the dominance of Christianity affect the knowledge of, and attitudes towards nature? The standard answer, developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and widely propagated in the twentieth, maintains that Christianity presented serious obstacles to the advancement of science and, indeed, sent the scientific enterprise into a tailspin from which it did not recover for more than a thousand years. The truth, as we shall see, is far different and much more complicated.


    One charge frequently leveled against the Church is that it was groadly anti-intellectual – that the leaders of the church preferred faith to reason and ignorance to education. In fact, this is a considerable distortion…Christians quickly recognized that if the Bible was to be read, literacy would have to be encouraged; and in the long run Christianity became the major patron of European education and a major borrower from the Classical intellectual tradition. Naturally enough, the kind and level of education and intellectual effort favored by the Church Fathers that which supported the mission of the Church as they perceived it….whether this represents a blow against the scientific enterprise or modest, but welcome, support for it depends largely on the attitudes and expectations that one brings to the question. If we compare the early church with a modern research university or the National Science Foundation, the church will prove to have failed abysmally as a supporter of science and natural philosophy. But such a comparison is obviously unfair. If, instead, we compare the support given to the study of nature by the early church with support available from any other contemporary social institution, it will become clear that the church was one of the major patrons – perhaps the major patron – of scientific learning. Its patronage may have been limited and selective, but limited and selected patronage is better than no patronage at all. But a critic to view the early church as an obstacle to scientific progress might argue that the handmaiden status accorded natural philosophy is inconsistent with the existence of genuine science. True science, this critic would maintain, cannot be the handmaiden of anything, but must process total autonomy; consequently, the “disciplined” science that Augustine sought is no science at all. The appropriate response is that totally autonomous science is an attractive ideal, but we do not live in an ideal world. Many of the most important developments in the history of science have been produced by people committed not to autonomous science, but to science in the service of some ideology, social program, or practical end; for much of its history, the question has not been whether science will function as handmaiden, but which mistress it will serve.”

    --inbid pg.149-51

  3. #133
    Sniffles
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    There's also J.L. Heilbron's study The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, which is about how the Catholic Church was a major patron of astronomical research, in large part to better calculate when certain feast days occured.

    That's probably explains why the calendar we use today is referred to as the Gregorian calendar, because it was forumated upon the orders of Pope Gregory XIII.


    I mean if this isn't enough for you, there's still plenty more I can present here. For at least the past 50 years, scholars have revised their positions and now note that Christianity was not the great enemy of scientific development.

  4. #134
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Jennifer, Jesus was talking about the part of the culture that was too proud to see themselves as sinners in need of God. That just happened to be the religious people of that day. Today we have a different part of the culture that doesn't see themselves as sinners in need of God and hates Christians, as Jesus said they will hate us because they hated Him.

    Jesus loved that portion of the culture that saw itself as sinners and spent his time with them and they listened to Him. Some even followed Him and later became Christians. That is still true today.
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

  5. #135
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    It sounds as if you fear that the Bible will fade into obscurity, correct? And that something unique and inspiring will be lost.

    What you may not know is that the Bible itself was influenced by many earlier works that were once popular, but have since faded into obscurity themselves. Much of what seems unique and inspiring about the Bible only seems so because we have lost track of what influenced the reference. Thus, if the Bible fades into obscurity and influences later works, it will be following in the footsteps of many earlier works.

    I would venture to say that while the Bible influenced Western culture greatly (and possibly in a positive direction in earlier times), there is no good reason reason why it must continue to do so, or to assume that what was positive for people at that time will continue to be positive for people now. In my opinion, the best thing about the Bible is that it retained some form of the original Greek and Roman philosophies in order to make people aware of their existence.

    At one point, the form the Bible preserved was the most a person could typically understand. In my opinion, the culture has changed to the point that it is ready to examine the true Greek forms that the Bible held in an altered, simplified, form... and construct new philosophies based on these, and current experiences. Modern experiences have changed humanity, and new philosophies and mythologies are needed to accommodate them. It's possible that some older ones may fall into obscurity (or at least disuse) during this process, but it is sometimes necessary to clear out the old in order to make room for the new. Stagnation is the alternative.

  6. #136
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Journey View Post
    Jennifer, Jesus was talking about the part of the culture that was too proud to see themselves as sinners in need of God. That just happened to be the religious people of that day. Today we have that same part of the culture that doesn't see themselves as sinners in need of God and hates Christians, as Jesus said they will hate us because they hated Him.

    Jesus loved that portion of the culture that saw itself as sinners and spent his time with them and they listened to Him. Some even followed Him and became Christians. That is still true today.
    Yes, the doctrine of original sin and the doctrine of salvation are complementary.

    According to original sin each new born baby is born into sin.

    A sin so dark they are condemned to hell.

    Unless of course they can be saved.

    And this is where the doctrine of salvation comes to the rescue and saves us from sin.

    It's a bit like a good advertisement that first tells you what is wrong with you, but you can be fixed up if only you will buy the product.

    Or it's a bit like a good self help book that goes into some detail of what is wrong with you but, thank heavens, the solution is found in the book.

    Or it's a bit like a good confidence trick.

    And a confidence trick that is applied to children - after all, one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless one becomes as a little child.

    And everyone knows little children are uniquely gullible to any good confidence trick.

  7. #137
    Senior Member Journey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasting_Pain View Post
    *overwhelmed by enormous amounts of information*

    I agree with Jenny, but I tend to use the Bible only to state contradictions and misconceptions that people draw from it. I particularly do not like when people quote the bible in serious conversations and expect for everyone to agree. Normally I never tend to rely on the Bible but I have read most of it and understand it.
    I wish I could understand everything I read in the Bible.
    "My Journey is my Destination."

    "Today Counts Forever." R.C. Sproul

  8. #138
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, the doctrine of original sin and the doctrine of salvation are complementary.

    According to original sin each new born baby is born into sin.

    A sin so dark they are condemned to hell.

    Unless of course they can be saved.

    And this is where the doctrine of salvation comes to the rescue and saves us from sin.

    It's a bit like a good advertisement that first tells you what is wrong with you, but you can be fixed up if only you will buy the product.

    Or it's a bit like a good self help book that goes into some detail of what is wrong with you but, thank heavens, the solution is found in the book.

    Or it's a bit like a good confidence trick.

    And a confidence trick that is applied to children - after all, one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless one becomes as a little child.

    And everyone knows little children are uniquely gullible to any good confidence trick.
    Convenient isn't it!

    The other thing "built in" is identification and recognition of outsiders.

    Religions nearly always introduce pointless rules "thou shalt not work on the sabbath" or "eat anything of a cloven hoof" etc etc. They are always there so one can identify the believers and cast out the enemy.

  9. #139
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Religions nearly always introduce pointless rules "thou shalt not work on the sabbath" or "eat anything of a cloven hoof" etc etc. They are always there so one can identify the believers and cast out the enemy.
    The ability to discern friend from foe is very important.

  10. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Convenient isn't it!
    And if religion didn't exist, we would have to invent it.

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