What good did religion bring us?

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What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:18 pm

In another thread, SySy wants to convince us that we should read up on theology. He seems to think such an endeavor would be worth the time. I wonder why.

If I think of what I value in life, I'd say: Safety, health, comfort, food and entertainment. Let's see what supplied them:
- Safety from the environment has been supplied by science and technology. They've supplied a brick house that makes sure I don't freeze to death and that I'm not eaten by wild animals.
- Safety from other people is supplied by our morals: In general we don't murder, don't steal, and try not to upset people. These morals are shared by all social animals like wolves, meerkats, dolphins, most apes and many others. These morals have evolved in us; they are millions of years old.
- Health is mostly supplied by hygiene - as science tells us. Our sewers and drinking water works miracles for our health. So does modern medicine, once more supplies by science.
- Comfort (stoves, soft chairs, warm beds, fleece sweaters...): Science and technology.
- Food: Green revolution in the 70's of the previous century. Science and technology.
- Entertainment (travel to distant vacations, TV, internet, telephone, printing press...) would all be impossible without science and technology.

The content of that entertainment (art, humor, music...) does not rely on either science or technology. I have no idea what their source is, actually.

Science and technology (and logic, ingrained in both of them) enhance lives. That should be reason enough to study them - although I study them because I like to.

Now, in contrast, what did theology, god, or the bible give us that has value to us?
- [...]
I have no example. None at all.

So, why would studying theology be worth my time?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:32 pm

I see Niels intends to build a house, construct morality, some TVs, a computer or two, maybe a furnace.

Otherwise why would he bother reading up on any of that stuff?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:40 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:I see Niels intends to build a house, construct morality, some TVs, a computer or two, maybe a furnace.

Otherwise why would he bother reading up on any of that stuff?
Tell me what more I need. Tell me what things of value religion has attributed to society - and otherwise, admit that spending time on religion is recreation, nothing else.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:55 pm

Well, unless you intend to build a skyscraper or something I think your current studies are a thing of recreation, and nothing else.

First of all, I'm saying we don't read for purely utilitarian purposes. That's why I'm cracking wise at your first post. If we did we'd be rather boring.

Secondly, humans are religious creatures in general. Secularism is a recent invention, and atheists make up a sliver of all of humanity past and present. If you want to understand a culture you need to understand religion. So for example, if you're watching the news about what's going on the Middle East, you'd need to have some knowledge of Islam to make sense out of it. If you want to go to Japan, it would help to make sense of their religious beliefs. Especially if you wish to participate in their culture.

Furthermore, if you want to make sense out of western art theological knowledge is essential. You can't make sense out of Shakespeare, Bach, Gothic Cathedrals, or Flannery O'Connor without knowledge of theology. So you would have a much less edifying life.

As for things religion has produced: Hospitals, Science itself, much art, cultural cohesion, a context for systems of morality (not all, but it would be foolish to deny that for the majority of human culture morality has been tied to religious beliefs), mass literacy, the printing press...
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:14 pm

First of all: I am an engineer. I use my skills to enhance the lives of others, for which they pay me, so I can enhance my own. My skills have value.
Luckily, I'm not the only one with those skills. That's why we have skyscrapers - and computers, for you to sit behind and while disputing the value of it.

As for religion being recreation: Fine. I'll accept it as such. As such, your insistence that we should read up on it is as appropriate as insisting that we should read up on football. Sorry, I have my own interests.

As for things religion has produced: Hospitals
Were these like the "hospitals" of Mother Theresa, where people were taken to die while being preached to? If so, then there's little to be proud of. Did early Christian hospitals cure people?

Science itself,
Evidence please. Where did the church explicitely fund or support factual knowledge, evidence or rational thinking?

much art
There's no indication that those same artists wouldn't have created without religion. I appreciate Bach; I would have appreciated him much more if his motets were about the greatness of the universe or the roughness of the Himalayas.
cultural cohesion
Social cohesion doesn't depend on religion. It exists all over the human and animal world.

a context for systems of morality (not all, but it would be foolish to deny that for the majority of human culture morality has been tied to religious beliefs),
Why would we need a context for morality when we have the morals themselves?
mass literacy,
Evidence please...
the printing press...
Evidence please...
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:34 pm

That's why we have skyscrapers - and computers, for you to sit behind and while disputing the value of it.

Whilst I only learn how to think clearly and rationally about things like philosophy and religion. It's a shame I lack your ability to make strawmen.

Were these like the "hospitals" of Mother Theresa, where people were taken to die while being preached to? If so, then there's little to be proud of. Did early Christian hospitals cure people?

Christians invented the modern hospital, that is, to have different rooms with nurses, staff, doctors... And the Nestorian hospitals in Iraq and Iran had the best medical "science" for their time. This was around 700-1000. So yes, they were curing people.

Evidence please. Where did the church explicitely fund or support factual knowledge, evidence or rational thinking?

Are you serious? Or am I to believe you don't know much about the history of science? Galileo, for instance, did all of his work thanks to papal grants. It wasn't until he was a dick about the whole Copernican thing (which was only published thanks to urging from Rome) and he was put under house arrest... with a ton of money. The problem was Copernicus' model was faulty, and the Ptolemiac produced better results. It wasn't until Kepler came up with elliptical orbits that it began to make sense. Copernicus had circular orbits because circles were the perfect form...

Also, genetics was founded by a monk, and the Jesuits dominated Astronomy for hundreds of years. There is to this day a telescope in the Vatican for their use. The Papacy funded a ton of scientific projects throughout the Middle Ages and to this day.

Also, science doesn't really develop until Christian Europe. Many people have speculated this is because only Christianity on top of the Greco-Roman foundation could create a world that is intelligible and worthy of study. So science at first depended philosophically upon Christianity.

There's no indication that those same artists wouldn't have created without religion.

The fact is, they did. So your complaint is irrelevant. Christianity gave us St. Matthew's Passion, there is no way a work of that sort could have been created for the Selfish Gene.

Social cohesion doesn't depend on religion. It exists all over the human and animal world.

It very much gives it a boost. Look at eastern societies.

Why would we need a context for morality when we have the morals themselves?

Why do we need a context for the number 6 when we have the number 6 itself? 6 loses meaning if it doesn't follow 5. Whether or not we should take our shoes off when entering a mosque loses meaning when there is no Islam.

Evidence please...

Historically Christian societies are remarkably literate, this is because they need to read the Bible. Cryllic, for instance, was invented to translate the Bible into.

And Guttenberg's Bible?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:57 pm

This is what I think is the most salient reason why you should read theology. You apparently have an interest in telling Christians (and I'm sure people of other faiths) that they are irrational yahoos. You would be much more effective at doing this if you knew what you were talking about. Instead, you flap around like a fish out of water making assumptions and not even bothering to read what the other person is saying. It is as if you don't really care to convince others of your side, and you don't care to intelligently or rationally critique either point of view.

Which makes me wonder, why do you even bother?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:06 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:
That's why we have skyscrapers - and computers, for you to sit behind and while disputing the value of it.

Whilst I only learn how to think clearly and rationally about things like philosophy and religion. It's a shame I lack your ability to make strawmen.
And the ability to make anything useful, apparently.

Christians invented the modern hospital, that is, to have different rooms with nurses, staff, doctors... And the Nestorian hospitals in Iraq and Iran had the best medical "science" for their time. This was around 700-1000. So yes, they were curing people.
The Nestorians called themselved Christians - but they were denounced by the church. There's no indication that the church or their religion had an influence on their wish to relieve suffering. Their wish boils down to ethics; their methods boil down to science.

Galileo, for instance, did all of his work thanks to papal grants. It wasn't until he was a dick about the whole Copernican thing (which was only published thanks to urging from Rome) and he was put under house arrest... with a ton of money.
Nowhere do I find this support from the church. He taught at the University of Padua, in the non-religious section. From wikipedia, about that university:
From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, the university was renowned for its research, particularly in the areas of medicine, astronomy, philosophy and law. This was thanks in part to the protection of the Republic of Venice, which enabled the university to maintain some freedom and independence from the influence of the Roman Catholic Church.
A teaching job should have supported him quite well. I see no mention of a grant from the church, neither before or after his conviction for speaking the obvious truth.

Also, genetics was founded by a monk, and the Jesuits dominated Astronomy for hundreds of years.
These were given us by religious people, not by religion. There is no indication that the religion of these people had anything to do with their research.

That's enough for now, SySy. You can't expect me to wade through tons of such shaky evidence, doing my research and finding it all lacking. Please select your best example, do your own research and supply reliable sources.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:08 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:This is what I think is the most salient reason why you should read theology. You apparently have an interest in telling Christians (and I'm sure people of other faiths) that they are irrational yahoos. [...]
Which makes me wonder, why do you even bother?
My problem with religion and magical thinking is entirely off topic. If you want to know, then start a new thread.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:23 pm

Niels wrote:My problem with religion and magical thinking is entirely off topic. If you want to know, then start a new thread.

That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about your appalling ignorance, and your unrepentantness of it. You said you want to know why you should alleviate this ignorance, and I'm telling you that you should because you want to have an intelligent and rational discussion on the matter.

This cannot be done without knowing certain terms, doctrines, and history.

You lack this.

So if you care to converse in good faith, I'd suggest picking up a few books on Christian theology and history. If you'd like I could recommend some.

And you make a few errors in your response, the Nestorian one out of ignorance of Doctrine and Christian History. The Galileo one out of ignorance of the realities of the time and Galileo himself. You seem to think Jesuits would dominate Astronomy for the hell of it. And you ignore my larger point, which is that Christianity allowed for the philosophical foundation of proper scientific inquiry.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:41 am

SyntheticSylence wrote:So if you care to converse in good faith, I'd suggest picking up a few books on Christian theology and history. If you'd like I could recommend some.
What I'd like, is to live in a world free of religious nonsense; free or religious terrorism; free of churchbells; free of religious attacks against truth and reason.

As for your "larger" point: The church, as an institution, has certainly had an influence. Luckily, that influence is waning: We have no more crusades or inquisition.

What you'd really need to supply is examples of what good the Christian scripture, "interpretation" and "thinking" have brought us. If you can't supply evidence, we can discard them as useless.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Clint on Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:21 am

I want to just re-cover a few points (to have my two bobs worth). :-P

Although I think Niels pretty much summed it up in the first post. I've got the following to elaborate on.

Hospitals
The modern day version of a hospital, Christianity is not responsible for. That is independent of Christianity. That's like saying most of the people that were involved with the modification of the hospitals had moustaches, therefore moustaches are largely responsible. Hospitals in the earliest form were around long before the Christian myth ever came to be. In fact all religion has done is hinder medical progress, delaying the evolution of what we call the modern day hospital.
Science
Yes, the church did throw money into the ever increasing scientific methodology of inquiry and for the large extent of it had to, as they were responsible for plaguing that particular area of the world into filth and disease and had to resort to other methods. And yes there is a general quest for knowledge, but this quest and the moment in which that inquiry lead to discoveries that contradicted the church - they were violently silenced with the persecution of anyone who dared make these discoveries public. Same with when the church denied the discoveries of Galileo. There are exceptions, there always are, but saying the church was responsible is a fallacy. If anything, science and its methods arose in despite of religion.
art
Yes and no. I think religious institutions were responsible for the genre of paintings from these talented and inspiring people. Such as Michaelangelo's Vatican, but he himself is arguably non-religious. Just imagine if the church didn't suppress discoveries and education, what we could of known at the time of Michaelangelo. Maybe he could of been painting even more mesmerizing and inspiring masterpieces of galactic bodies, or of the microscopic world. I think in this aspect, religion has dulled down the potential of what art in that era could of been.
mass literacy
haha, you have to be kidding!?! In 415CE, your religion and its doctrine of loathing education destroyed the greatest learning center in the world, the library of Alexandria and had Hypatia (the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy) murdered. Some stated that this was the official beginning of the dark ages. Truth was now ‘revealed’ to man by ‘word of God’. This religions hostility to general learning and practical knowledge led to the public ban of educational privileges, making an entire empire illiterate within a generation. Study of scripture was refused to the public, as only biblical texts were available to the hierarchy of church. Reading had now been replaced with ritual.

In short: Religion has done nothing but plague society like a parasite. It has by far been civilisations greatest retardation.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:44 pm

Niels wrote:What I'd like, is to live in a world free of religious nonsense; free or religious terrorism; free of churchbells; free of religious attacks against truth and reason.

I don't know why this concerns you as you are convinced that religion is inert by nature. Can you prove religion causes terrorism or is it just religious people? Why is religion convincing people to blow themselves up, but not convincing them to build the first hospitals? I could point to the abolition of slavery in the west being a product of the evangelical movement, but I'm sure you'd point to some Bible passage and say it wasn't because they were religious, but because of new liberal ideas. It's not that I can't provide examples, it's that the evidence required shifts when religion is purportedly doing good things or purportedly doing bad things. I could point out that the Inquisition in Spain was demanded by Isabella and Ferdinand to prop up a fledgling state, and the Vatican refused until Spain pressured it. I could point out that the Witch Trials were actually held by secular courts, and the Vatican believed that there was no threat to be had with witchcraft. It was the elite who were into alchemy and science. But this wouldn't matter to you.

Hell, you probably still believe that whole Dark Ages nonsense that has been refuted for a century.

Furthermore, you don't even know what "religion" is so I don't understand how you can be so certain it's such a threat. Perhaps the vague caricature, sure.

Clint wrote:The modern day version of a hospital, Christianity is not responsible for.

As a place with nurses, doctors, and staff? Yes, and Christians were responsible for the greatest advances in medical science at the time. There were no "hospitals" before Christianity in the West. And like I said, much of their growth in the early centuries was the result of medical and relief services. Rome was a hell hole to live in. And the elites didn't give a damn about the common person.

And the reason the Christians did these things was because of their faith, Good Samaritan all that.

Clint wrote:Yes, the church did throw money into the ever increasing scientific methodology of inquiry and for the large extent of it had to, as they were responsible for plaguing that particular area of the world into filth and disease and had to resort to other methods.

On average the Middle Ages were a large net benefit for people. They were less diseased (no longer in big cities), healthier, wealthier, and more independent. There are also many advances in technology at the time, like the iron plow and the windmill. Christianity did nothing at all to hamper scientific growth. In fact, science was done in the middle ages and Renaissance in order to greater understand God's creation. Galileo, for instance, was a devout Catholic. What did hamper scientific growth was illiteracy and a lack of books. All of the scientific knowledge required was bound up in the Roman elites, who had since passed on. The rest was in Monasteries, faithfully copied. Or they were in the hands of the Nestorians, who were great mathematicians and scientists and kept the flame of the greek world alive.

Funny story, the greeks believed that the stars were divine. It was foolish to believe otherwise. When the Christians said they were just balls of fire, this was considered to be part of their blasphemy. One of the many reasons they were called "atheists" by the pagans. Pagan society had stagnated and wasn't going to allow for much more expansion in the sciences. Part of the reason was because the Pagans did not believe many things were worth studying. They also believed in spirits and stuff, Christians didn't. It's fascinating, really.

You believe in a modern myth, the myth of the triumph of progress and reason over religion. The facts don't bare it out. I'd suggest reading some basic history on the middle ages. Even the Encyclopedia Brittanica has corrected itself in this regard.

Clint wrote:Just imagine if the church didn't suppress discoveries and education

But it didn't. Not intentionally. If it did it was not because findings conflicted with doctrine, it was because the scientific case couldn't be made yet. See Galileo. This is not to say they were Saints (only a few of them tongue) but they weren't devils either. They were human, which is something a lot of this criticism fails to account for.

Clint wrote:you have to be kidding!?! In 415CE, your religion and its doctrine of loathing education destroyed the greatest learning center in the world, the library of Alexandria and had Hypatia (the first notable woman in mathematics, who also taught philosophy and astronomy) murdered.

Hypatia wasn't that smart. No one would remember her if it wasn't for her martyrdom (seashells? Ew). But you're wrong, Christians didn't loathe education, that's a modern myth which is so ridiculous I can't believe people believe it. Christians dominated the field of rhetoric, which required a ton of education. The Christian writers were insanely well versed in philosophy and mathematics. Augustine ends his Confessions by giving his theories on the nature of time. You would have to have not read any Christian writings from the period to believe such a canard.

No, the real reason the Library was burned and why Hypatia was killed is politics. Alexandria had two majorities and one minority. And they were always fighting and rioting. Look it up if you want, it was full of political upheaval. It was during one of these riots the Library burned, not because Christians were mindless and hated book learnin'.

Clint wrote:This religions hostility to general learning and practical knowledge led to the public ban of educational privileges, making an entire empire illiterate within a generation.

... no? I have never heard that. Do you have any evidence? The Roman Empire was hardly literate anyway, no one outside of the upper class could read and write, and that made up less than 1% of the population. Besides, the Byzantines did no such thing, and were incredibly learned. You have to remember the Western Empire was the rural backwater. It was full of hicks compared to Constantinople and their surroundings.

Clint wrote:In short: Religion has done nothing but plague society like a parasite. It has by far been civilisations greatest retardation.

Where does religion and and culture begin? I really wish I would have thought about making this point earlier but I guess it won't hurt to make it now. A split between religion and culture is very recent, and limited to the West. In Greece, Rome, the Middle Ages, all the way up to the Enlightenment religion could not be conceived as something other than what we call "culture." It was embedded into the world, and encompassed everything.

The split hasn't been made entirely today, even. Because I doubt you could tell me where religion ends and where culture begins. I doubt you could define "religion" to any reasonable degree. I know I can't. So you really have no basis to say this.


Last edited by SyntheticSylence on Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:05 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Crossed out an error. And added that Hypatia's death was not because of religion, but because of political unrest she was blamed for.)
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:13 am

Let me repeat my original question:
Niels wrote:So, why would studying theology be worth my time?
In the last post of SySy, I find only one sentence that has anything to do with that question:
SySy wrote:And the reason the Christians did these things was because of their faith, Good Samaritan all that.
I'm not particularly interested in what the Catholic church did over the centuries; nor what any other church did; nor what any football team, tribe, race or family did. I'm interested in the good that the bible and its interpretations did. Is this "good samaritan" the example that I asked for: Your best and strongest example of the good of theology?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:23 am

The main reason why reading theology is worth your time:

My problem with religion and magical thinking is entirely off topic. If you want to know, then start a new thread.

You make yourself look like a fool whenever you approach the topic. It's like you one day decided that unicorn believers are really bad, and ruined society. And you have decided that a unicorn is a beast with one horn attached to its head. And you argue with people over the subject of unicorns, and I come up to you and tell you about these mammals in the sea, with one horn attached to its head. It's called a Narwhal. And you try to make me sound like I'm talking about a Unicorn because you are entirely incapable of speaking about Narwhals. No! There is only one type of beast with one horn attached to its head! And they're all magical thinkers!

So you find it difficult to say anything coherent about Religion when you don't have the knowledge base required. So unless you build up that knowledge base I'll continue to see you as the atheist equivalent of a creationist. A rabid anti-religion fundamentalist who holds to his own doctrine whenever threatened.

Edit: And in large part Christianity formed the western world as we know it today. If you want to better understand what's going on in your culture, a knowledge of Christianity is essential. But if you have no such leanings I don't see why you'd bother. For hundreds of years our morality was in the context of theology, so is our early political science and a whole bunch of philosophy. There's a reason why theology was known as "The Queen of the Sciences." It encompassed everything. And you can't really understand the mindset of some people without understanding their theology.

But if you don't want to know how or why things are in a culture, or if you don't want to edify yourself with art, I suppose by your criteria there is no reason. But then you'd have to shut up about religion and as for myself, I think such a life would be dull. But different people have different personalities. I can't imagine why someone would engineer for a living, even though it pays well. And I have a ton of them in my family. The idea bores me, but I'm sure you can't comprehend why anyone would care about this philosophy crap, or devote so much time to reading theology which bores you.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:00 am

Sysy: ANSWER MY QUESTION.
Niels wrote:So, why would studying theology be worth my time?
Telling me how good it makes you feel is not a good answer; it's too selfish. I could make the same argument for masturbation: It feels good, so you should do it. Or would you agree that studying theology has the same merits as masturbation?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:05 am

You're funny. What is it with you and ignoring answers? Yeah, I suppose if you ignore the whole bit about how you need to know about the things you reject, and if you ignore the whole bit about how religion is a substantial component to culture, including our own western culture, and if you want to understand it you need to understand theology... there really is no reason.

If you want to know how theology is going to teach you to build an ark or something, you're off your rocker. Theology has to do with ideas, and how one constructs the world in one's head. It's about foundations, not what you do with those foundations.

You have a theology, a limited atheology, but that's a theology nonetheless.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:12 am

SyntheticSylence wrote:You're funny. What is it with you and ignoring answers? Yeah, I suppose if you ignore the whole bit about how you need to know about the things you reject, and if you ignore the whole bit about how religion is a substantial component to culture, including our own western culture, and if you want to understand it you need to understand theology... there really is no reason.
Give me one, good, solid example of something good that came from scripture or its interpretation. "Don't beat it 'till you've tried it" is the trick of a salesman, it's not an argument.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:23 am

Are you having trouble reading me? I'm not trying to insult you here, this is serious. Because you completely missed my point, and I'm trying to figure out whether I'm talking over your head or if you're just dense.

You are not rejecting "religion" you're not even rejecting "Christianity" you are rejecting a caricature. And you think this caricature is the real thing. So I can't take what you say seriously because you don't know what you're talking about. It'd be like me taking a Creationist seriously when they explain evolution to me. They don't know the first thing about it, they don't even know what science is most of the time. They don't get their information from the scientists, they get it from con artists like Ken Ham. You don't get your theology from theologians, where you are getting it I have no clue. But that's how Creationists can so easily reject it in their minds, they're not really rejecting it. They're rejecting a cheap caricature.

And when talking about influence Christianity had, that's at the macro level. If I try to get into the micro level you're just going to pull out the same crap you just did. "That's not really their religion talking, that's probably something else, you can't prove it!" Which, funnily enough, you never give them the benefit of the doubt for suicide bombings or the crusades.

All of these things are happening, up to and beyond the Enlightenment, in Christendom. It permeates every aspect of the culture, the residue is obvious. To say that Christianity must have some scientific value is to make a category mistake.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:48 am

Still no example...
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:52 am

Niels wrote:Still no example...

You say you want something.

I answer that you're looking in the wrong place. While still giving examples

Instead of contending that what I'm saying is wrong, you ignore what I say and stubbornly insist on an answer to your question.

Yeah, no point in continuing.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:57 am

SyntheticSylence wrote:Instead of contending that what I'm saying is wrong, you ignore what I say and stubbornly insist on an answer to your question.
I'm forcing you to stay on topic. I ignore the red herrings.

Why should I answer a question that I think is wrong?
Why did you take so many posts to evade the question before admitting you don't have an answer?
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:03 pm

The topic is why you should bother to study theology. The answer is because you don't know what you're talking about.

If you want to know what good religion has done for the world, that's an impossible answer to get into specifics for. Why? Because it's so general it's meaningless. Which, I think, is the reason why you asked the question. Either because you know it's a meaningless question, or you don't know it's a meaningless question and take it's meaninglessness as an example of religion's inertness. Well, unless there are crusades.

Here's your problem: you ask a question, I try to get behind the question. I try to figure out why it would be asked, what assumptions are made, and whether they are flawed. I bring those assumptions out into the open, which are all packed into the question, then you think it's off topic. It's not.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  Niels on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:34 pm

SyntheticSylence wrote:The topic is why you should bother to study theology. The answer is because you don't know what you're talking about.
For exactly the same reason I urge you to study BDSM - if you haven't already.

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


It would be a shame if you didn't know anything about it: You would miss out on lots of exaltation, female beauty, music, sculpture and painting. You'd miss out on the most enlightened gatherings in the world.

I can't go into specifics about what good BDSM has brought us. That question is so general it's meaningless.

If you don't have enough reason to study it, then feel free to inquire further. I'll try to get behind the question. I'll try to figure out what assumptions are made. I'll bring those assumption into the open.

@Sysy: Do you see that your arguments fit any topic? I'd expect a bit more from scripture and its followers - and a good reason to interrupt my own study of BDSM for the study of scripture. There's only 24 hours in a day, you know.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

Post  SyntheticSylence on Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:40 pm

Niels, you aren't reading me properly. I'm not saying you need to EXPERIENCE Christianity. I'm saying you need to be knowledgeable of its history, its doctrine, and the manner in which religions operate sociologically. You're not making an informed attack on the faith. That's why I can brush you off so easily.
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Re: What good did religion bring us?

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