Friday, October 9, 2009

Mythbusters: The Christian Dark Ages

I've been wanting to start a new blog tag around here: mythbusters. Of course, I'm stealing that from these guys.

There is a whole lot of bad historical arguments floating around out there that we believe. Occasionally we encounter them and often we don't think twice about them. One particularly nasty species of myths usually relate to Enlightenment narratives of the triumph of reason over the evils of Christianity. So for example, I can still remember my one high school English teacher in my junior year railing on the Puritans reading history from The Scarlet Letter and the Crucible. Nasty stuff, myths that should be busted.

One myth I want to take on first is the notion that Christianity led to the dark ages and held back human progress for about 1,000 years. I recently ran across the popular version of this myth when I happened to catch a clip of an episode of Family Guy. As a whole, I don't recommend or endorse the show and I don't watch it. I caught this episode while flipping channels two weeks ago--and since Stewie had a devise that let him jump to parallel universes . The science fiction intrigued me until that is science fiction mixed with bad historical argumentation. As part of the comedy, the story begins with Stewie having a bruiser pig that is the product of advanced genetic engineering. To explain the origin of the pig, Stewie and the pet dog, Brian, jump into a universe with advanced genetic engineering and major scientific advances. When you jump into parallel universes you jump into the same time (day, month, year) in an alternate reality. In this reality Stewie and Brian find the world 1,000 year more advanced. Why? Well because in this reality Christianity never existed. The argument: Christianity held us back in the dark ages.

Here's a clip:


Here's the problem: it is bad history. Not merely because it is anachronistic to label a period 'the dark ages' but because the era was hardly the blight of ignorance and darkness that we are led to believe. You can find this argument in numerous forms. Edward Gibbon in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire held that Christianity had brought the wonders and delights of Greco-Roman culture and advancement to a destructive end. Arthur C. Clarke and Carl Sagan held that Greek science which was on the rise was stifled and repressed by Christianity. One modern form of the argument can be found in Charles Freeman's The Closing of the Western Mind. But the argument in its various forms is sheer fantasy, just as much as Stewie's parallel universe. You can find a helpful summary of a reasoned historical argumentation in David Hart's Atheist Delusions taking on such bad fantasies and bald assertions. Here's some real facts with some historical arguments.

1. Historians acknowledge that Greek philosophy and "science" was actually on a decline. First, when Greek culture made advances in Ptolemaic geometry, it was hardly the bastion of unrestrained empirical investigation (a sort of enlightenment scientific method before the Enlightenment) that the arguments make it out to be. Second, scientific advancement was actually being held back by Greek metaphysics. So as historian David Linberg notes in "It is agreed by most historians of ancient science that creative Greek science was on the wane, perhaps as early as 200 B.C., certainly by AD 200." There is simply no historical reason for believing "that the advent of Christianity did anything to diminish the support given to scientific activity." ("Science and the Early Church" God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science. p. 30, 33) To put it more bluntly, speaking of Rome in the first century A.D. "No technical innovation had occurred since the Hellenistic age." (Jacques Le Goff Medieval Civilization 400-1500. p.3)

2. Aristotelian cosmology and physics actually stifled scientific advancement. Hart notes "Lest we forget, the birth of modern physics and cosmology was achieved by Galileo, Kepler, and Newton breaking free not from the close confining prison of faith [my note: another myth to bust] (all three were believing Christians, of one sort of or another) but from the enormous burden of the millennial authority of Aristolelian science. The scientific revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth century was not a revival of Hellenistic science by its final defeat" (Atheist Delusions, p.68).

3. It was Christians who actually critiqued Greek cosmology and metaphysics which were contributing to the halt in advancements in physics and cosmology. To this end, Hart further notes that no one actually critiqued ancient Greek natural philosophy as "thorough or as ingenious as that of the sixth-century Christian John Philoponus." (Atheist Delusions, p.69). This allow people to throw off their shackles of captivity to a Greek cosmological and metaphysical dogma. Philopnus actually posited that the above the atmosphere their might be a vacuum and he argued against Aristotle that light moves. He further rejected Aristotle's dynamic theory of motion in favor of a kinetic view (Atheist Delusions, 69-70).

4. As noted above numerous famous scientist, such as Galileo, Kepler and Newton--and to this we might add other great names such as Pascal--were not throwing off the shackles of Christianity in favor of science. It is an alternate but equally popular myth that Christianity and the origins are science are mutually opposed to each other. As Alistar McGrath notes, "Most historians regard religion as having had a generally benign and constructive relationship with the natural sciences in the West...The idea that science and religion are in perpetual conflict is no longer taken seriously by any major historian of science, despite its popularity in the late nineteenth century...Not only is this caricature [fact based science vs. faith based religion] clearly untrue in the present day, but historical scholarship has now determined it to be misleading and inaccurate in the past" (The Twilight of Atheism, 84, 87).

5. In the West it is Christianity that contributed to the rise of the modern university system which propelled the scientific advancements of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. They created safe places for study and debate (Atheist Delusions, 71). In the Middle Ages, it is monks and monasteries that contributed to significant scientific and technological advances.

6. Western Christendom was hardly as dark as we are lead to believe. "Western Christendom produced natural philosophers at least the equals of any of their classical predecessors: Robert Grosseteste (c.1175-1253), for instance, a man of huge erudition and the first known expositor of a systematic method for scientific experimentation; or St. Albert the Great (c.1200-1280), perhaps the father of biological field research, whose mastery of "all sciences," natural and speculative, was genuinely encyclopedic in scope" (Atheist Delusions, 72).

7. The dark ages were not dark but a time of great advancement in nearly every field. "And in certain other area, the Christian world was always well ahead of the Islamic, even during the so-called Dark Ages, most particularly in the realm of technological innovation. In architecture, engineering, machinery, agronomy, and the exploitation of new sources of power, the Middle Ages were marked by periods of invention far more prolonged, creative, and diverse than any known to Hellenistic, Roman or Islamic culture" (Atheist Delusions, 72-73). The advances of medieval technology exceed previous eras in scope and variety as the studies by Lynn White Jr. (Medieval Technology and Social Change), Jean Gimpel (The Medieval Machine: The Industrial Revolution of the Middle Ages), and Joseph and Francis Gies (Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel: Invention in the Middle Ages) have shown. Hardly being the dark ages, things like the magnetic compass, the iron forge, flying buttresses, windmills, water pumps, the printing press, and gun powder were discovered and/or advanced during the "superstitious" and "repressive" time. Christian contributed to these advances. For example it was in Cistercian monasteries of the twelfth century we find more sophisticated use of gears in windmills and the use of water power to process grain and even drive hammers on camshafts for to mechanize various jobs (Atheist Delusions, p73).

8. The medical advances in health care and care for the poor were made by Christians. So for example: Christian's pioneer the modern hospital system (Timothy S. Miller's The Birth of the Hospital in the Byzantine Empire; Demtrios Constantelos' Byzantine Philanthropy and Social Welfare). Christian also pioneered the modern concept of orphanages (Timothy Miller's The Orphans of Byzantium: Children Welfare in the Christian Empire). It is Christian who advanced health care and medicine (Gary Ferngren's Medicine and Hearth Care in Earliest Christianity.). It was in the Early Christian Roman world in the 6th century that we have the first freed hospitals with physicians and surgeons that had "established regimes of treatment and convalescent care, and with regular and trained staffs" (Atheist Delusions, p.72). They were hardly the superstitious ninnies that modern fairy tales passed off as history would have us believe. Rodney Stark has shown in his The Rise of Christianity that when the plagues hit the ancient Roman Empire it was Christians not pagans who stayed in the city to care for the needy often at great personal sacrifice. All of this significantly advanced the conception and practice of medicine. As Greg Ferngren writes, "{Early Christians] did not attribute most diseases to demons, they did not ordinarily seek miraculous or religious cures, and they employed natural means of healing, whether these means involved physicians or home or traditional remedies" (Medicine, 13). In fact, the healing of disease did not differ substantially from the Graeco-Roman world. It is simply not the case that Christianity held back scientific advances. It is more than ironic that the Family Guy show in a later clip has a character in the multiverse taking a more advanced pill to cure his disease by more advanced medicine--what may make for fun comedy, and we are not picking on the comedy, has little basis in historical argument.

It is impossible to say with certainty what the world without Christianity would be like. Certainly the history of Christianity in the world is illuminated by bright spots of and stained by the darkness of evils. However, to believe that Christianity held us back is simply false. In many cases Christians were pioneers. The Middle Ages are filled with advances and in some cases, such as the care of the poor and the rejection of Greek cosmology, it is directly attributable, in whole or in part, to their Christian convictions. It is simply a modern myth that we uncritically and ahistorically adopt when we believe in the Dark Ages and an alleged repression by Christianity to usher in such allegedly backward times. Hopefully we have shown and documented that this myth is sufficiently:

254 comments:

1 – 200 of 254   Newer›   Newest»
Charles Freeman. said...

Please can I correct the myth that my book Closing of the Western Mind is about the Middle Ages. It is all too widespread - almost all the book focusses on the period before AD 600. The summary of Closing in Hart's Atheist Delusions shows that he had not even read the book. (Hart's is published by my publisher, Yale, and my editor there was chuckling over his designation of myself as 'an amateur historian'! ) My argument is not, as Hart states,that Christianity maliciously extinguished 'pagan wisdom' but there were two strands of Greek philosophy,deriving from Plato and Aristotle, and Christians adopted the first and denigrated the second. I also show how some Greek thinkers, notably Galen and Ptolemy, were integrated into the Christian tradition.
It is true that I believe that there was a collapse in the Greek rational traditions, not least among Christian theologians when the emperor Theodosius imposed doctrinal uniformity ( see my AD 381). One result of this was the rise of the miraculous, always there, of course, ,in the pagan world but now espoused by theologians such as Augustine. My next book, out next spring (Yale), deals with the medieval relic cults and shows how they did prevent intellectual progress. The oddest thing about the apologists of the Middle Ages (Lindberg, Edward Grant and Hart, among others) is that they completely miss out on the vitality of the Italian city states during this period - these cities provide the best evidence there is for a 'progressive' Middle Ages. Perhaps it is because they did their best to keep the institutional church out of their affairs! Charles Freeman

Tim Bertolet said...

Thank you for the correction.

Does your closing sentence indicate that you still see the church as holding back intellectual progress as a whole?

It would seem to me that the historical issues are more complex than some who would simply saying the church held back society and the areas where the church was restrained society advanced.

Thank you for you comment.

Charles Freeman said...

I am sorry I did not see your response.many factors drive change in any society and the historian has to try and sort out what these are. The recent scholarshipp on the revival of the Mediterranean economy in the eighth century suggests the stimulation of the Arab economies, for instance, as the catalyst. For any period of history one has to look at a complex array of forces many of which are independent of anyone's specific religious beliefs . What Christianity means varies so much from century to century that attempts by Hart,Stark,etc to employ "Christianity" as a consistent force that is good issimply too crude. Quite apart from seeing many changes in medieval Europe as having nothing to do with the Church, one can see some aspects of Christianity as positive, others as negative, Charlemagne's massacres of the Saxons, for instance , and the balance varies with different popes and the activities of specific So-called Christian rulers.
History is like peeling an onion,always a further layer underneath,

Tim Bertolet said...

Thank you again for your generous comments and taking your time to respond.

I appreciate your analogy of the onion. History is indeed often complex. Similarly, David Fishcher warns against similar reductionism, especially related to causation, in his book Historians' Fallacies. This is something I think both those who over emphasize the effects of Christianity (almost to singular causes) or under emphasize its effects (no effect or nothing but negative effect).

Anonymous said...

Your article is deeply flawed and poorly researched.

The Roman Republic didn't make many advancements on their own, that is true, what they did was steal technology, mostly from the Egyptians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Roman engineering, architecture, mathematics, pottery, ship building, sailing, and even religion were borrowed or stolen from other cultures, and they were not stupid, they were constantly expanding and improving that technology, the time between the classical era and the Roman empire was not stagnant at all, it was a time of exponential technological advancement; it's called the Iron Age for a reason.

That ended with the christian church; they believed that the entire world was headed for apocalypse very quickly, and that the technology and power of the Roman empire was a vanished golden age that could never happen again. The only major technological advancement from that time is the spur, the modern saddle, the horse shoe, and slightly better and more widespread steel, other than than the that, the world from the 6th century to the 14th century had no significant difference than that of the Iron age. Anything that was built or done in that time had already been built or done by an iron age civilization.

Astronomers began to realize that Aristotelian logic was flawed by about the fourteenth century, but the problem was that the Church believed that the early greek philosophers were as unquestionable as the bible itself. As recently as the 17th century the church was burning astronomers as heretics for suggesting that Aristotle was wrong. Giordano Bruno, a powerful nobleman, who had observed the actual motion of the planets through a telescope, was burned for reporting his findings, and they would done the exact same thing to Galileo Gallilei if he hadn't recanted and apologized to save his life.

The Church literally destroyed scientific development, most ancient works were lost because the Catholic Church ordered them burned as heretical texts, the European Renaissance only took off after the copies that had been obtained by Muslim scholars started trickling back into Europe.

Medical Science in particular was completely and totally destroyed by the Church, 17 century medical professionals were essentially witch doctors. Moorish doctors were pretty much identical to ancient greek doctors , and were considered the best in the world just because they had access to those ancient texts. The medical profession in Europe didn't get back up to the level of ancient Greece until almost the nineteenth century. Even today, many christians believe that disease can only be cured by God, a legacy of the Christian dark ages.

The famous Italian and Spanish universities were also gutted of any actual science because of Church policy. England and France replaced Spain and the other catholic countries as superpowers because they ignored or broke away from the Church, and allowed scientists to publish their findings without fear of an inquisition.

In 1660, when the Pope and the Emperor were still congratulating each other for silencing their own heretical scientific community, England and France were establishing royal societies to fund scientific research and
development, that was the start of the enlightenment, the start of true science as we recognize it today, and the reason you are able to use a personal computer powered by an electric grid, connected to a worldwide internet to claim that the Christian church didn't hold the world back in a dark age of cultural, economic and technological deterioration.

Anonymous said...

The Roman Republic didn't make many advancements on their own, what they did was steal technology, mostly from the Egyptians, Greeks and Carthaginians. Roman engineering, architecture, mathematics, pottery, ship building, sailing, and even religion were borrowed or stolen from other cultures, and they were not stupid, they were constantly expanding and improving that technology, the time between the classical era and the Roman empire was not stagnant at all, it was a time of exponential technological advancement; it's called the Iron Age for a reason.


Astronomers began to realize that Aristotelian logic was flawed by about the fourteenth century, but the problem was that the Church believed that the early greek philosophers were as unquestionable as the bible itself. As recently as the 17th century the church was burning astronomers as heretics for suggesting that Aristotle was wrong. Giordano Bruno, a powerful nobleman, who had observed the actual motion of the planets through a telescope, was burned for reporting his findings, and they would done the exact same thing to Galileo Gallilei if he hadn't recanted and apologized to save his life.




The famous Italian and Spanish universities were also gutted of any actual science because of Church policy. England and France replaced Spain and the other catholic countries as superpowers because they ignored or broke away from the Church, and allowed scientists to publish their findings without fear of an inquisition.

In 1660, when the Pope and the Emperor were still congratulating each other for silencing their own heretical scientific community, England and France were establishing royal societies to fund scientific research and
development, that was the start of the enlightenment, the start of science as we recognize it today, and the reason you are able to use a personal computer powered by an electric grid, and connected to a world spanning internet to claim that the Christian church really didn't hold the world back in a dark age of superstition and cultural, economic and technological deterioration.

Tim Bertolet said...

Anonymous,
Thank you for stopping by. I just jot a few things in response. I do wonder how much research you have actually put into this topic since you seem to merely regurgitate a lot of standard lines. As for my "deeply flawed and poorly researched" essay I merely wonder who is the one who actually cites sources?

"The only major technological advancement from that time is the spur, the modern saddle, the horse shoe, and slightly better and more widespread steel, other than than the that, the world from the 6th century to the 14th century had no significant difference than that of the Iron age."
--But this is precisely what scholars of the middle ages are showing to be demonstrably false. (See my citations). As I understand the field of historical study of the middle ages, and I am by no means an expert, this is the kind of statement the historians would find laughable--as I have attempted to document.

I am not making the case that the church was always on the side of angels. And yet, most people, including yourself and your comments, over emphasize the role of the church as if the church de facto held society back. Some Christians did and some had prejudices, but history is far more storied, and in many cases Christians served to help advance things.

On Galileo, I'll just link here. But the 'trophy' case of religion vs. science has largely been made out of trumped up charges.

"Even today, many christians believe that disease can only be cured by God, a legacy of the Christian dark ages." --This is precisely the myth that Gary Ferngren has demonstrated was historically false--that this is not a true statement about how Christians in the early church and middle ages regarded medicine. You should actually read his argument and interact with. Making such statements without documentation is not helpful.

I would just point out that in 1660, England was a 'Christian nation'. In fact the very university system you mention reached back farther into their history. It was not the absence of religion that gave rise to the university system.

I believe that while the idea that religious is against science and vice versa, can find good historical examples--post-Enlightenment thinking has largely concocted this notion of a war between the two, which then largely ignores historical evidence to the contrary. Experts in the field whose acumen far accedes my own have show similar things. Off the top of my head a good example is Alister McGrath who is both a theologian and a scientist, Ph.ds in both and is an expert on the history of the rise of science. I'd recommend you read some of his work and research some of these issues a bit more. The case you make is not as air tight as you present.

Thanks for stopping by.
--Tim Bertolet

Hans said...

Although I didn't read the article in it's entirety, I like that there are people trying to change general knowledge in a reasonable manner. The fact that many people have completely wrong ideas about their own cultural heritage and history is sad and alarming, but it is not made better by fanatic debates concerning the theme. The internet has a tendancy to bring out the worst in people, and even though someone may have well based and researched arguments, if delivered incorrectly they will have little to no effect whatsoever.
I therefore thank you for being calm, civilised and reasonable, and encourage further writing.

unkleE said...

Tim, having read and researched a little on this, I can say that the consensus of historians is on your side. And you don't need to quote pro-christian authors like Stark, Hart and McGrath to demonstrate this. I am told by real historians that the recognised experts on some of these matters (e.g. David Lindberg, Ronald Numbers, Edward Grant - none of them christians) all agree that christianity didn't systematically oppose science, but often supported it (many early 'natural philosophers' were clerics) and occasionally opposed it. A good reference is Galileo Goes to Jail by Ronald Numbers.

TheOFloinn said...

Anonymous wrote:
Giordano Bruno, a powerful nobleman, who had observed the actual motion of the planets through a telescope, was burned for reporting his findings, and they would done the exact same thing to Galileo Gallilei...

Four errors in one sentence must surely be a record of some sort.

i) Bruno was not a "powerful nobleman," but a Dominican monk who fled Rome ahead of a murder charge, got himself excommunicated by the Lutherans and the Calvinists, and expelled from Oxford.

ii) Bruno never "observed the actual motion of the planets through a telescope" for the excellent reason that the first working telescope appeared eight years after his execution.

iii) Bruno was not "burned for reporting his [astronomical] findings." There were eight counts in the indictment, and none had to do with astronomy. For a taste of Bruno's "expertise" see here: http://www.math.dartmouth.edu/~matc/Readers/renaissance.astro/6.1.Supper.html

iv) Galileo did not face the same fate for the excellent reason that he was never charged with a capital crime. Technically, he was charged with disobeying an injunction that he had accepted, but his likely crime was that of lèse-majesté. He had needlessly insulted his old friend, the Pope, and the Pope decided to teach him a lesson. (Had he insulted the tyrant of Florence he would not have fared so well.) The one thing that might have put him in danger was his letter to the Grand Duchess in which he gave his personal interpretation of Scriptures. This was a no-no during the Protestant Revolution. But the letter was never put into evidence. That's why Galileo wrote afterward to Peiresc that "you and I both know the true motives that lay behind the lying mask of religion."

I'm not sure why folks like Anonymous are so credulous and take so much on faith.

Tim Bertolet said...

unkleE: thanks. I realize you don't have to just quote Christians on this issue.

I think you can make the case for the positive impact of Christianity by the facts of history and there are arguments supportive of this that are made by both nonChristians and Christians.

I think it is important that Christians do good history. Some of that is debunking the silly argument about Christianity bringing the Dark Ages. The other side is going to far in over emphasizing the impact of say Christianity on technology. It is an historical fallacy to trace events to single causes.

TheOFloinn: thanks for catching that and adding to the discussion.

Iulianus said...

In response to your argument saying that Greek science was stagnating and holding back scientific development, I'd have to disagree. Technology and science flourishe under the Roman empire, there were even prominent pagan scientists even after the empire became Christian, such as Hypatia of Alexandria (who was murdered by a Christian mob headed by "saint" Cyril). Even if Greek science was stagnating at the time, it would have eventually blossomed into scientific revolution of the same sort of the renaissance in the 15th century in perhaps a couple centuries. Of course this took over 1000 years when Christianity dominated society and superstition and faith prevailed. You can see the legacy of dark age Christian thinking in radical evagelicals and Christian fundamentalists today. The bible doesnt promote divergent or inquisitive thinking either and in fact condemns those that do not simply have "faith" in God and deems anything else that is not dogma as heretical and demonic. Though Greco-Roman society had its own faults and flaws, the dawn of Christian dominance brought out the worst in the ancient worlds superstitions. If theres a plague, Gods angry, kill the jews, repent for sins. If theres famine, a witch caused it with her copulent relationship with Satan and must burned lest not to suffer a witch to live. If someone blasphemes the name of God or questions the logic of the bible let them be burned at the steak. This was the prevailing trend in dark age Christian society and even if there were occasionally some thoughtful Christian theologians and monks they mostly dealt in philosophy and metaphysics and justifying a world of evils with God. Or perhaps even better ways to grind corn or a new type of plow, technological advancement was limited to just that but not on the scale of discovery in the renaissance which was battled every step of the way by the Christian establishment even if those scientist were raised Christian. So with that I agree with Stewie that if Christianity never existed, there would never have been the dark ages.

Tim Bertolet said...

Iulianus,

Sorry but you and Stewie are wrong. The whole point is what we call "the dark ages" wasn't dark at all.

Science, building, farming, technology, etc. were all advancing beyond Greco-Roman times.

It's tough to say exactly what would have happened if Christianity never existed, but what we can say is that Christianity certainly did not seem to hold things back.

One thing one must wrestle with is that some classical Greek thinking was not as open and as inquisitive as we think. We often read post-enlightenment thought back into these things. I cited some of Hart documentation, but I would encourage you to read others. For example, it has been shown that Christianity add to medical practice because of its view that man is made in the image of God.

Ferngren's Medicine and Health Care in the Early Church demonstrates much of this. It also shows that early Christians were not superstitious like you think. In fact, it was often the pagans who blamed this things superstitious.

Christianity believes wholeheartedly in examining God's creation and understanding secondary causes. Theologians of the middle ages developed this thought but especially in the pre-renaissance and renaissance eras. Science and Christianity were not in conflict with the rise of more modernistic science. I would be curious to know if you have done any reading on the rise of modern science? Many of the scholars out there argue that the two were not in conflict. It was post-Enlightenment thinking that was hostile to Christianity and read the conflict back into the original sources.

TheOFloinn said...

saying that Greek science was stagnating and holding back scientific development... [but]... Technology and science flourishe under the Roman empire

Of course, technology and science are not the same thing, at all. We tend to think they are because science was subordinated to technology in the Baconian/Cartesian revolution. Still, your thesis would carry more weight if you could actually cite some of those technological and scientific advances. The Romans were practical engineers, but had little use for airy Greek theorizing about nature.
+ + +
there were even prominent pagan scientists even after the empire became Christian, such as Hypatia of Alexandria (who was murdered by a Christian mob headed by "saint" Cyril).

Consult with the original sources to find a clearer picture. The bishop George of Alexandria was murdered by a pagan mob; the parishioners of St. Alexander were murdered by a Jewish mob; the bishop Proterius was murdered by a Monophysite Christian mob. Rioting was the municipal sport of Alexandria; so much so that the pagan Romans used to complain of it before Christianity even existed.

Secondly, Hypatia was not a scientist, but a Neoplatonic philosopher of the school of Plotinus. There was something about the precision of mathematics and the way that theorems always worked out to certain truth that seemed to the Neoplatonist to emulate something of the divine mind. "Astronomy" was a specialized branch of mathematics, not a branch of physics.

A summary of the affair can be found here: http://m-francis.livejournal.com/159500.html
+ + +
Even if Greek science was stagnating at the time, it would have eventually blossomed into scientific revolution of the same sort of the renaissance in the 15th century in perhaps a couple centuries.

A nice kerygma of faith, but there is little reason to suppose that any such thing would have happened absent the preconditions laid down in the Middle Ages. Certainly, the Renaissance - which was all about Greco-Roman arts and humanities, and which rediscovered the Hermetic corpus and all the magic and sorcery that went with it - was not a golden age of natural science. One fellow commented that anyone reading the works of Oresme and Galileo with no knowledge of the chronology would suppose the latter to have been a student of the former; yet two centuries intervened.

What had survived the shipwrecks of time of Greek natural philosophy had been preferentially translated and preserved by the medievals, and was already long in circulation in the Latin West.

ZAROVE said...

I agree with this thoroughly. As an avid reader of History I see this sort of Misconception all the Time, but it snot just that people are in error on what happened, its that hey need the Myth to justify their present view on Reality. What is now popular to call a “World-view”, a word I hate as I prefer the simpler word “Religion”, though it seems everyone has accepted some people are Religious whilst others aren't. I reject this, I don't think there is such a thing as someone with no Religion, I think the whole Enlightenment in its Philosophical Ideals and retelling of History is itself a Religion.

Which brings me to my point.

Sometimes it is helpful to compare two things, and as an Englishman who lives in America one of the things hat Frustrates me is the mythical Retelling of the American Revolution. Especially how the TEA Party or Glenn Beck crowd see it. The standard Myth of Noble American Founder standing up in Unison, all of one Mind, to an Evil Tyrant King in the Name of Liberty, and creating America based on shared Ideals is well known, and once you contradict this by saying hey actually had massive heated disagreements, King George was not really a Tyrant, and the American Colonies were never really oppressed your looked upon as Insane. But tis all True. America was not overtaxed and the Taxes were raised for Colonial Defence and to pay off a debt the colonies helped to incur. They were way lower than back in the Motherland though. King George was a Constitutionally Limited Monarch who didn't even have the power to do most of the complaints against him in the Declaration of Independence, and was also a God Fearing Christian. Americas Founders also disagreed on what form of Government to use, and most of hen fought for benefit of personal Enrichment.

Even George Washington, who is now held up as a Valiant Man with, as “Hail Columbia” says, godlike power and who is seen as this Awesome General and he best the world has ever seen was actually a bad General who lost all but two battles, and one of those against Drunken Hessians on Christmas Eve.

I am also a Monarchist which autocratically means I am insane and don't believe in personal freedom. And then I tell them I am also a Libertarian who does, in fact, believe in Freedom and limited Government and they think I contradict myself, despite the fact that my ideas can be traced back to obvious Historical roots anyone can read.


The reason Americans do not question the Narrative about the American Revolution though is because they both need to Justify America's existence, and because it is a Mythological Tale now. By Mythological I don't mean “it never happened” but rather its a defining story that transcends Historical Reality and embodies the very nature of what it means to be an American and defines how Americans see themselves and the world around them.


Modern-Day Atheism is the same way. Most Atheists are Humanists and even those who aren't generally get their start in our world based on the Enlightenments Philosophy. The Story of how Reason should prevail against Religion and how Science and learning and breaking the Bondage of Religious Subjection is inherent in the narrative, and is in fact tied to the narrative of why Monarchy is evil and why we should be a Democracy.

The Human race thinks in Stories, which is why Jesus and others taught in Parables. While capable of Abstract thinking, Humans cannot really apply abstraction to the real World easily. Ideas have to transit to reality by being made Physical. This often happens by personal experience but just as often by cultural stories that embody those Ideals. So America's Founders become the living embodiment of the Principals of America and the Revolution becomes a Celestial event that never ends and simply repays Eternally in the Heavens, ready to make those abstract Ideals manifestly Real by placing them within these men who Founded this Great nation.

ZAROVE said...

In either case the actual History is immaterial, and in fact may serve to undermine the justification for the Ideals that now define us.

If we reject the notion that king George as a Tyrant, and that America's Founding Fathers were under the Heel of Oppression, then the Revolution itself can be questioned. In a way it calls into question the very existence of the United States of America, and the Ideals it rests on become Questionable too.

While Mature Minds are willing to do this, many Americans simply refuse to see any other than the mythic Version. They need it too much. The same is true of Atheists like Seth McFarland, or for that matter Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan, or Richard Dawkins. The Narrative of the Enlightenments Triumph over Religion and how Christianity held us back in the Dark Ages, whilst breaking free of it and embracing Science lead us to a much better World is integral to the way they understand who they themselves are and how the world itself works, and how we as a people ought to live our Lives.


Despite being told repeatedly that Atheism is not a belief but merely a lack of belief in a god, the Truth is that each of these men, and many others, actually connect more to Atheism than just one thing. They connect Logic and being Rational to it, as a prominent example.

Most of today s Atheists are actually Secular Humanists, and Humanism owes its existence to the 19th Century Forethought Movement, which in turn was simply a revival and reworking of the Enlightenments own Philosophical Ideals and Principals, complete with all the Propaganda that comes with it. The Draper-White Conflict Thesis of the 1870's itself Grew out of a contempt for Christianity that ultimately owes to the same Propaganda. The Draper-WHite Conflict Thesis is also central to Modern New Atheist Complaints. They see Science and Religion as two mutually exclusive and Hostile Forces. As Sam Harris said in his book “The Moral Landscape”, the two are fundamentally opposed approaches to understanding our world and utterly Irreconcilable. With this in mind, they see themselves as choosing Science and Reason and Advancement over Religion, Faith, and Stagnation. It ties into the idea that they are Iconoclastic and Daring in their rejection of Religion, even though such Rejection has now become Clichéd, and the Religious are wither whimpering cowards, emotional cripples, or simply manipulators out for control.

As they have defined the whole world in this black and white narrative, with Good being the Representatives of Science, Liberty, and Human Progress, and the Representatives of Religion being all about stifling all Scientific Advance and destroying Human Freedom, its necessity for them to read into the Past this Struggle in order to justify this antagonism.

If the world really wasn't all that bad 1000 Years Ago then why is it they have such a deep seated Hated for Religion? And why should Religious People be feared? No, they need Religion to be a force of Evil and Oppression, that leads to Stagnation and loss of Liberty. They need a Dark Ages to exist in order to validate the entire perspective they have on the world.


Else, why would it even matter?

One more post to highlight this.

ZAROVE said...

The Myth even has modern Political Ties.

The TEA party has latched onto Cleon Skousens rather bad “The 5000 Year Leap”, and as a result think of Liberals as Monarchists. The fact that Monarchism is Right Wing, and has Traditionally been associated with the Church and Family Values, is immaterial. They see it as being opposed to God and the Natural Family, and what's more Monarchism is about the total control of the Government in Markets! Its all Hogwash but it works on an Emotional Level. Most Americans have a Knee Jerk reaction to Monarchy, and whilst they can't really articulate why in a sensible manner know its Evil. The TEA Party is conservative, thus the Monarchists must be Liberal as hey support Americas Founders. Founders who were Ironically Liberals...

This is done more for Propaganda Purposes. By depicting Liberals as Monarchists they rely upon the Image of King George the Tyrant to make people distrustful of Liberal Neo-Monarchists who want to steal your Freedom.

The fact that liberalism and Monarchism are actually incompatible and have very distinctive features that cancel each other out is ignored, because the thrust of it is that they stand by the American Founders and heir Republican Ideals and the Liberals aren't “Real Americans” and want to make themselves the elite Aristocracy and thus reduce us to Slavery.

Its in fact the same basic Narrative the Atheist use. Religion creates a society in which we have no Freedom so we need Secularism to win. They then proceed to define Secularism as what they believe in and demand we all live according to their own Standards and beliefs, because that's “Rational”.

Besides, if Religion were mixed in Politics it'd create another Dark Age!

Its used as a Scare Tactic. A Fundamentalist Christian takeover of America or the world leading to a New Dark Ages is the same story as the Democrats and Obama creating a Monarchy for America. They both rely on Ahistorical Myths to pass themselves off as valid argument.

ZAROVE said...

By depicting Modern Liberals as Monarchists though, the TEA Party ignores what either Liberalism is all about, or Monarchy, and as a result really can't formulate real arguments against Liberals, because they are too consumed by the Catch Phrases and Labels to set up meaningful analysis of what Librals are doing. The same applies to Atheists.


Indeed, in this thread you have a poster who says Fundamentalist and Evangelical Christians inherited that Dark Ages Mentality right from Christianity. Even if the whole Dark Ages were Historical Reality that claim would be patently absurd. Anyone who has studied the Middle Ages realises that in the West they were Overwhelmingly Catholic, and Evangelical Christianity as we know it today came about in the 19thCentury, with Fundamentalism being the product of the 20thCentury.

The Theology held by the Evangelicals or Fundamentalists is very different from the “Dark Ages”. They do not, for instance, place a good deal of importance on the Sacraments. Like most Protestants they are merely symbolic.

Beyond this, evangelical understanding of Politics, Morality, even Scripture itself is very different. The Catholic Church never made the Bible the lone rule of Faith, for example, and in “The Dark Ages'; the Bible was not read in a Naïvely Literal Fashion, with Allegorical Exegesis being the most popular Interpretive tool in understanding its meaning.

Does anyone expect Pat Robertson to get on TV and explain the Allegorical Significance of the Story of the Fall of Man? Because Augustine did.

The History of Evangelical Christianity shows how its influences are more Calvinism mixed with Armenianism. This happened ( As improbable as it seemed then) during the Second Great Awakening.

The Evangelical Thought process was rooted Historically in rejection of Catholicism, and its specific views of a structured Church and professional clergy alone being able to offer the correct interpretation of Scripture. Saying they inherited the Dark Ages mentality is thus nonsense. They inherit the Spirit of the Protestant Reformation and its drastic Changes to how we understand the Churches role in Civil Society, and the nature and interpretation of Scriptures. Anyone who says the Evangelicals are reflective of the Dark Ages has no awareness at all of the great divide between them.

But it makes a nice soundbite and scares enough people so that those evil Evangelicals don t bring back the Dark Ages...

And that's what its for.

Kim Kouski said...

I don't mind all the comments, but please, if you're going to say Tim's article is 'flawed', then please have the decency to PROVE your case by giving us the book/article that your found your info and the page number instead of just vomiting so called facts. Thanks. Tim, I like this article. Thanks for posting it. I'm a bit of an Amateur historian myself, so I always like this stuff.

Kim Kouski said...

I also wanted to add, we live in a very convenient world. We drink pure filtered water, eat fresh food everyday, are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. the police are just a phone call away as well as the fire dept. A military that keeps the bad guys away. We are able to get social security and unemployment wages.

Now imagine living in a world that had none of that. Would the faith in God be so petty as many here claim it is? I once talked to a man who had a small church in a medieval faire. I asked him if the faith in the middle ages was just superficial. he had me look at the shingles on the roofs of the buildings. He said, the city ordered the faire to replace the wooden shingles with fireproof shingles as the houses could catch fire anytime.

Now imagine living in a world where you knew you might not wake up in the morning. Pick your poison. You can die of disease, the elements, the sword or starvation. Pick one. No fresh water, food, fire dept, police or military. Do you really believe christianity was so petty? I think not. Before claiming christianity was petty and superficial, put yourself in THEIR shoes, not yours. I think you'll see a different picture.

I think people hate God so much that even try to squeeze Him out of history. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Awesome blog across the board.

SuicideNeil said...

What a load of nonsense. I'll address your points & demolish them thus:

1) Your argument is basically 'there was no science so christianity didn't hold it back'. Wow, great argument.

2) Ancient astrology hampered present day astrology basically, and the christians 'critiqued' it- what is your point? It wasn't until technology advanced enough for humanity to poo-poo christian beliefs about the universe- 16th & 17th century is not in the darkages. Lame, self-defeating pointless argument.

3. Nothing that contradicted religious teachings so makes no difference; another pointless argument.

4. Science pays lip-service to religion; it is irrelevant regards having the drive to learn more about the universe, whether you are a christian or not ( especially in enlightened times ). Yet another pointless argument- you really suck at this game.

5. building places where monks can go to learn =/= scientific understanding and advancement.

6. if it doesn't contradict religion, then it's okay. Again.

7. See above.

8. hardly surprising; christians are all about the loving & caring. Again though, advancing medicine does nothing to contradict the christian view of the universe and who made it, so it is an irrelevant argument.

Myth not busted.

I suggest you try to raise valid arguments in future which actually oppose the notion you are arguing against, rather than points that are null, or actually support it.

Tim Bertolet said...

SuicideNeil,

Wow such genius. Such nobility and from one who cannot grasp the basic argument of this post.

The basic argument of this post is that the contours of history do not have Greco-Romans times as unmitigated progress followed by Christianity ushering a period of retrogression and decline. Your argument may be genius in its mockery but that is the level to which one must stoop to when one does not have command of the facts. I would point out that I thoroughly document and cite my argument.

History is more complex and diverse then merely saying: Greeks and Romans advanced civilization, Christians stifled development and decline until the age of Enlightenment broke through the morass. Yet this is the classic argument we are often told.

The middle Ages were filled with technological advancement. Western Christianity contributed to the development civilization just as much as Greco-Roman advancement.

I'm not really the one making the argument, qualified historians are. I'll ask you to come back when you've actually read a book or two--but that might be a bit much to ask of someone who can't even grasp the basic arguments of a blog post.

TheOFloinn said...

@Suicide
Just to take #5. Our bloghost stated that the Christians built universities, not "places where monks can go to learn." The university - a chartered, self-governing corporate person with standardized curriculum, lectures and quodlibets, degrees of attainment, and even funny hats - was something unique in the history of the world. Matriculation was not restricted to "monks," or even to clergy. Hundreds of thousands of students - a quarter million in the German universities alone from 1350 on - matriculated, graduated, and then pursued jobs in the private and public sectors.

The curriculum was exclusively devoted to courses in logic, reason, and natural philosophy. Never before or since has such a large proportion of a civilization been educated so exclusively in scientific disciplines. You could not "major" in literature or history, let alone in basket-weaving or X-"studies."

This meant, too, that for the first time in history, the study of science was institutionalized in a culture. No longer was it the provenance of wealthy leisured individuals who sometimes taught disciples.
+ + +
The main drag during the Dark Age was a) the collapse of imperial administration in the West and b) the viking, saracen, and Magyar raiders burning things up. But by AD1000 that was ended at Lechfeld. By then, Greek had been forgotten in the West and the Romans had never bothered to translate Greek natural philosophy into Latin; so the Latins began a systematic program of finding and translating books mentioned by the Roman encyclopediasts - in Spain, in Sicily, and in Byzantium itself.

The other drag was the lack of instrumentation to measure much of anything. There was considerable advancement of learning in the area of statics because they could measure length and weight pretty well. But time was problematical. They had invented mechanical clocks, but they could not measure in minutes and seconds. They could not measure temperature, color, and other qualities, only judge them by human senses.

Even so, the major advances were things that fly under the postmodern radar because they are foundational to science: resolution and composition, intension and remission of forms, etc. They did come up with the laws of magnetism, the explanation of the rainbow, and a number of other bits.

But the subordination of science to business and engineering came in the 17th century.

Suggest: Edward Grant, David Lindberg, and Toby Huff as starting points in your self-education.

SuicideNeil said...

@ Tim & TheOFloin

Still irrelevant- your argument boils down to 'so long as it didn't conflict with religious teachings and understandings ( or supported/ could be used to support it in any way, shape or form ) it was fine & allowed; woe-betide you if it didn't though.... ( hence all the people being burned at the stake or imprisoned for daring to suggest something that didn't tie-in with religious thinking at the time ).

TheOFloinn said...

Natural science in general does not conflict with religious teaching. The uninformed meme against which the OP was writing was that somehow or other loving your neighbor and feeding the poor held back the development of science. No historian of the history of science defends that today.

Those who were burned were burned for heresy, just as the Enlightenment hanged or guillotined people for treason. However, it didn't happen as often as oft believed. The rules of evidence required more than simply "daring to suggest." And one frequently finds a royal or imperial hand inside the glove.

Some empirical evidence of when, where, and how science was impeded would be useful.

Joshua Postema said...

@SuicideNeil:

I'd watch your tone a bit. The others on this thread have put a bit of effort in refuting your claims, and have done so with the inclusion of citations to authoritative sources. You, on the other hand, have dismissed everything they've said and have given no such effort in justifying your statements.

Not only that, but you have completely and utterly missed all of their arguments if you think they 'boiled down' to what you say they do. I'm not quite sure it is worth anyone's time to respond to you, but my frustration has overcome my better senses.

ZAROVE said...

Actually the argument is that the whole concept of Christianity not allowing Science to develp if it contradicted “Religion” is not True. Of course I hate sloppy communication, you don’t mean “Religion” you mean “Christianity. How can Science contradict Religion? Do all Religions teach exactly the same thing?

But you do highlight my own post rather well. You hate Religion, by which we mean Christianity, and perhaps toss in Islam, or even generic belief in a god, and need the Historical record to justify your own animosity.

In other words, you have defined how you understand the world via a filter that teaches that Science and Religion are mutually Hostile to one another, and that Religion is a force of Evil in the world that has been used, and perhaps was created to subjugate the masses and that took away all the beauty of Science and Learning and gave us the Dark Ages. The Dark ages was a Time when Humanity lost all its Civilisation and advances in Science that the wonderful Greeks and Romans (Who believe din many gods but somehow that’s OK) gave us. We didn’t recover until we cast off the yolk of Religion and began advancing in the Enlightenment toward peace and Salvation through True Knowledge and awareness. But even today the repressive force of Religion lurks and must be combated against as Humankind develops away from the need of it and onto a Secular Utopia in which Science gives us all the Answers.


You don’t question this narrative, and you simply believe the Historical narrative that goes with it that vindicates it. You need Science and Religion to be at odds, and need there to have been a Dark Ages. You need Christianity to be the worst and most bloody Religion ever, and you need it to have abolished Science and Reason in Favour of blind obedience that held us back until the bonds of Faith were Broken by Reason in the 18th Century. The whole terrible Dark Ages myth serves your purpose.

The real Irony is though that this Narrative is simply taken on the same belief-without-evidence kind of Faith you Criticise Religion for, and in the end it is just a subjective, and easily disprovable interpretation of History designed to support a Humanist Philosophical system by ridiculing the main alternative, thus generating hatred and fear of the Rival to make the other loom more attractive. Most Humanist present their beliefs as the ONLY Alternative to Religion.

But why should I see this as not a Religion itself? Modern Day Atheism, rooted in Enlightenment Humanism covers all the same ground that Religion does, and serves the same purpose. What Truly distinguishes it from being a Religion?

I would say that you have made a Religion out of not being Religious, and that the whole Dark Ages of Repression against Science by Religion is nothing more than a Religious Myth, that embodies a Religious Tenet of how Science and Religion are at odds. It’s simply Empty Rhetoric, though, as in the end you promote Religious beliefs and values, and even the Science VS Religion idea is nothing but a tenet of the Faith.

SuicideNeil said...

@ TheOFloinn- dates & tmies not required- knowing something happened as it is recorded is proof enough; I could waste an hour looking up examples to cite, but we're smart enough to know that it isn't required ( or, find it yourself if you really want to ).

@ Joshua Posteman- I like my tone just how it is cheers. I read the main points raised by the articlew quite carefully, and laughed all the way through; like I said before, the jist of the argument is that christianity isn't all bad & some good things came out of it. Don't doubt it, but those good things were only allowed to happen because they didn't contradict christian teachings; like explaining how the human body functions- it has no bearing on the 'fact' that 'god did it' ultimately. Quite easy to dismiss christian apologists really with little effort. feel free to stop replying it it causes you butt-hurt.

@Zarove- see above & relgions mainly teach that some powerful being 'did it' when it comes to everything in the world & the universe; nothing but superstitious mumbo jumbo. Atheism/ humanism is not a religion, don't insult us folks with suggestions like that; the fundamental difference is that atheism is the lack of belief in a god-figure, or the afterlife or any of that other superstitious brainwashing nonsense. 'Faith' is not a word to be misused & abused to try and make out that faith in science = religion of another sort; there is a clear distinction between testing something and arriving at a conclusion vs refusing to test anything and putting all your faith inan invisible telepathic being who may or may not give a toss about whethet you live or die on a daily basis.

Here's something to consider:

Christianity says be a good christian and you get to go to heaven, be a bad person and you go to hell; parents tell their children to be good and they will get lots of presents from father christmas, be bad and they get nothing/ lump of coal.

Spot the difference in those statements( tip: you won't find any )?...

TheOFloinn said...

SuicideNeil:
@ TheOFloinn- dates & tmies not required- knowing something happened as it is recorded is proof enough; I could waste an hour looking up examples to cite, but we're smart enough to know that it isn't required ( or, find it yourself if you really want to ).

TOF
IOW, you have no facts to back up your theories.
+ + +
SuicideNeil:
Here's something to consider: Christianity says be a good christian and you get to go to heaven...

TOF
There's more to it than that; but it has nothing to do with the OP contention that Christianity did not impede the "advance" of science.

Joshua Postema said...

@SuicideNeil:
"I like my tone just how it is cheers. I read the main points raised by the articlew quite carefully, and laughed all the way through; like I said before, the jist of the argument is that christianity isn't all bad & some good things came out of it. Don't doubt it, but those good things were only allowed to happen because they didn't contradict christian teachings; like explaining how the human body functions- it has no bearing on the 'fact' that 'god did it' ultimately. Quite easy to dismiss christian apologists really with little effort. feel free to stop replying it it causes you butt-hurt."

The argument is that the dark ages were not caused by Christianity, and that the term is outdated anyway. Christianity, despite your unfortunate beliefs, does not define what all of existence is and then silence all inquiry. If you had read the article or the comments and explored the links and authors suggested, you'd see that Christianity has, as a whole, been very open to the discovery of new things.

In some ways, Christianity does oppose some things that fall outside of its dogma. For instance, it opposes other religious beliefs. But all religions do, including secular ones. Any philosophy worth its merit seeks to engage opposing ideas as violently as possible in a civilized way. What value is it to base one's life on a philosophy only to not believe it enough to defend it? But Christianity certainly has done an excellent job in exploring new concepts. It simply refused to give ground on areas of revelation, and in some cases, metaphysics, ethics, and epistemology. Please find me a materialistic scientist who is free of bias to enhance the merit of your argument.

While you're at it, learn how to talk without ad-hominems. Those are reserved for people losing arguments, and you don't sound like you want to lose this one.

"Christianity says be a good christian and you get to go to heaven, be a bad person and you go to hell; parents tell their children to be good and they will get lots of presents from father christmas, be bad and they get nothing/ lump of coal."

You have a sorry understanding of what Christianity means. Perhaps this misunderstanding extends from theology into history. While many people believe that this is what Christianity teaches, I assure you that being "a Good Christian" has very little to do with not being a "bad person". Plenty of "bad people" are Christians and they will be in the presence of God someday. And plenty of "good people" will never get there. Why? Because it doesn't matter if you are "good" or "bad". That is the entire message of Grace. Don't take this to mean that we ought not to become godly as Christians. We most certainly are. But that godliness is not what saves us.

So please, before comparing Jesus Christ with Santa Clause, understand that Christ is about grace - an inhuman and illogical concept - while Santa Clause is about reward - a very human and logical concept.

zariyl said...

I have to wonder why Militant Atheists have taken to leaving the G in lower case when they spell god. It’s as if somehow they like to show off their Atheism by Childishness. This is of course Grammatically improper since you use God as a name, but who cares about Grammar when your promoting Reason, right?

The real problem is what you stated, you don’t bother to read any of the posts you simply read the headers thn skim. You then filter this through a predetermined set of arguments you learned that “Religious people” use and try to oput forward a Standardised refutation, and add to this the Sarcasm and crude humour that allows you to not onlythink you clearly refuted the argument, but are so intellectually superior and the people tyou argue against vastly inferior.

You aren’t even addressing the Arguments people here made, and that’s really bizarre.

The argument is that Christianity did not actually Create the Dark Ages, and in fact the Dark Ages is a Historical Myth that never happened.

As to your statement that “Things only progressed if they didn’t Contradict Christianity”, well that’s just stupid. Everyone has this problem. Even the “Non-0Religiosu” set up “Nondogma” and “Nondoctrines” you aren’t allowed to contradict. Just ook at the Soviet Union, or Hell just read Sam Harris’s “Moral Landscape”. Atheists are just as capable fo this as anyone else, and its more because people have accepted specific things about hopw the world works and refuse to allow this to be contradicted. If actual evidence came alogn that refuted Evolutionary Theory, Relativity, or our understanding fo Gravity, the Scientific Community would balk at this. As much as we pretend that Scientists are dispassionate and driven only by Truth, the fact is that they are Human and often cling to the Ideas they know already and answers they already have, making them suffer the same fate you Critisise Religion for.

It’s Human Nature and how society works. I get this all the Time. I am a Monarchist living in the United States and am told I support Tyranny and if I had my way we’d not have gun or property Rights. Living in Tennessee I am often referred to as a Communist because I am a Monarchist, and thanks to “The 5000 Year Leap” somehow Monarchy is about Big Government and is Left Wing. I contradict many of the American Founding Ideals, and am not even listened to, I am insane for not thinking all Men were Created Equal or for rejecting the idea that ELECTIONS SOMEHOW SAFEGUARD OUR Rights. What does this mean? Really it just means that people are use to thinking fo things one way and take that way as absolute, irrefutable Truth. The same applies even to you. You “Know” that Science and Religion are incompatible therefore you refuse to listen to anyone who says otherwise. You “Know” that there was a Time of stagnation and oppression called the Dark Ages and it’s the Fault of Religion, specifically Christianity. You “Know” that the Ideals you hold to are True. You don’t allow anyone to contradict them. If people like you were the Majority, we’d see the same hardships against those who did not agree. Hardships which were often Historically not all that heavy. EG, Galileo only suffered House Arrest.



Really you have no Argument.

ZAROVE said...

About the above, I accidentally used a Family Members Username. Its still me...


That said.



And now for this…

@Zarove- see above & relgions mainly teach that some powerful being 'did it' when it comes to everything in the world & the universe;

But Generally is not always is it? If Religion does not require belief in a powerful beign “Doing it” then what is your point?

Religion is defined as a Set of Beliefs regarding the Fundamental Nature of our Existence. It is really nothing more than a Philosophical System that informs the adherent of why the world exists and what sort of world it is.

The supposedly Non-Religious Philosophies that one can turn to as an Alternative to Religion, such as Secular Humanism, or even Objectivism, or Neitcheism, actually do the same thing that Religion does and in the same way. They explain who we are, where we came from, and what the meaning of our existence is. They inform us about the nature of our existence and how we relate to the world we occupy. They cover the same ground Religion does and address al the same concerns. They fulfil the same role as Religion. What Truly distinguishes them from Religion then? Really nothing aside from their adherents insisting that they aren’t Religious. But isn’t that meaningless? People like you come to people like me in order to insult us, run down our beliefs, and tell us bow Irrational our beliefs are, whilst proclaiming how Rational and Scientific you are for not being Religious. You then try to promote your beliefs and convince others to share them, perhaps even trying to get people like me to share them. In the end, this is simply Proselytising a Religious Faith in and of itself. You have a set of beliefs about hwo the world works and how we should live and seek to impose those views onto others.





nothing but superstitious mumbo jumbo.


Calling Religion Mumbo Jumbo is the real difference of course. You see, your Humanism is “The Truth”, and Religion is “False”. One reason you want to not be called Religious is because you have identified in your mind the word “Religion” with the word “False”. But your si the one True belief system, so…

But wait… Can’t I call your own Humanism Mumbo Jumbo though? It’s base don 18th and 19th Century Philosophical Ideas that gave rise to Communism, which you lot now say has nothing to do with your “Non-Religious Philosophy” even though Lenin and Trotsky spoke exactly like you do now, and even though tis clear they got their own Ideas from the same sources.


Exactly why should I think of your beliefs as Serious, or even True, and those of Christians as Mumbo Jombo? Because you said so?




Atheism/ humanism is not a religion, don't insult us folks with suggestions like that;

Viewing beign called a Religion as an insult only proves my point. You assume Religion is something bad and then define your entire perception of the world around a Conflict between Religion and Religiosu people, and Humanists who use Science and Reason. Religion is then subsequently associated with false beliefs in superstitious nonsense that leads to wars, ignorance,. And oppression and that holds back the Great Progress of Mankind, whislt Humanism is a step into the Light and the way Humanity can come together in Peace, Advance Science, and live in peace and Harmony.

It’s all total rubbish of course. Being called a Religion doesn’t mean I am saying that Humanism is false, it simply means I am calling it a set of beliefs about the fundamental nature of our existence. This is what it is.

ZAROVE said...

Humanism IS a Religion. There is no Logical Reason to see it as anything other than a Religion. The only reason you want to see it as something else is emotional, and base don Rhetoric used by you to justify hatred and a false sense of intellectual and moral superiority you get form a fabricated Conflict between Reason and Religion, in which you of course are pretended to be on the Right, and winning side. Oh it also comes with the perk of removing your “Non-Religious Philosophy” from all the Criticisms you level at Religion, but really you can lay the same Charges at the Feet of Humanism.


the fundamental difference is that atheism is the lack of belief in a god-figure, or the afterlife or any of that other superstitious brainwashing nonsense.


No its not. Atheism isn’t even really defined as “A lack of belief in a god”. This is because that is an Epistemological impossibility. Once you have a concept of something, you can’t “lack belief”. You either belief, or do not. One can remain unsure and undecided, but one cannot simply “lack” belief.


Atheism is properly defined as meaning “No gods”, and means that one rejects the existence of gods. Don’t hand me the rubbish that I am confusing Strong and Weak Atheism, there is no distinction. Both a “Strong” and “Weak” atheism must decide that there are no gods, else they are uncertain and thus really Agnostic.



Incidentally, one can believe in an afterlife, or Angels, or realy anything and be an Atheist in the technical sense, as it only means one thing.



Also, calling these things “Superstitious Brainwashing” prevents any honest discussion with you. You can’t in good faith discuss your beliefs with someone else if said someone has the arrogance to think that they alone hold the keys to Truth and you have no valid reason to believe what you believe and it must be Brainwashing. If you approach the topic in the simplistic manner in which “Religion is always wrong, and Religious people are always Irrational” then of course nothing we say will seem Rational, but this is a function fo Perception, not an accurate reflection of poor argumental form.


Really the whole Rhetoric you are spewing is not new to me and I have heard it all before and it’s a large reason why I don’t think of Atheism as a sign of Intelligence.

By the way, I also never said “Atheism is a Religion”, though functionally it becomesd a Relgiion because you don’t really mean “I don’t believe in a god” by it but include Humanism into how you regularly use the word.


However, Secular Humanism is a Religion. Secular Humanism is a Set of Beliefs about the Fundamental nature of our existence that informs us on how to live, and what the meaning of our life is, where we came from, and what the nature of the world we live in is. This makes it a Religion because it fits the actual definition of the term, whether you like it or not. You think this is an insult? Your posts insult you more than anything I say ever could, as we shall see below…




'Faith' is not a word to be misused & abused to try and make out that faith in science = religion of another sort;

But you don’t really have Faith in Science… You have a Faith in Secular Humanist Nonsense and modern talking head Atheism. You just call that “Science”.

ZAROVE said...

Then there is this…



there is a clear distinction between testing something and arriving at a conclusion vs refusing to test anything and putting all your faith inan invisible telepathic being who may or may not give a toss about whethet you live or die on a daily basis.



You have proven my point about your intellectual poverty. You garner all of your Anti-Religion, and specifically Anti-Christian arguments flow from Militant Atheists, and actually think that Christians approach the topic in the way that the Arguments you have read on places like SAB or Iron Chariots or Phyrangula’s Blog dictates., or how Richard Dawkisn said they were. The Irony is, Christians DON’T have the type of Faith that says we should not test anything, and even in the New Testament the Bereans were praised for NOT believing Paul’s statements without examination.

The reason this is Ironic though is because you have the same kind of Faith you have just criticised. You don’t test the assumptions you make about Religion, or Christianity, or why Christians believe what they do against the Real World, you simply blindly believe without evidence that the Atheist Writers you have read and fellow internet posters you converse with are entirely correct and gave you an accurate picture of Christianity.

Only an absolute Fool would actually come here and make the statement you just made, because if you’d even so much as pick up a book by an actual Theologian you’d soon realise that the idea that Christians believe that we shouldn’t test anything or use Reason and should just believe what they are told is absolute nonsense.


You are, in fact, not testing anything and just accepting on the Authority of others what is True, and thereby committing the same error you accuse Christians of.

Good show lad, hypocrisy is hard work but you make it look easy.




Here's something to consider:

Christianity says be a good christian and you get to go to heaven, be a bad person and you go to hell;



No it doesn’t. Actually Soterology is much more diverse than this, and is divided into Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant understandings, as well as several other branches, but none teach a simple reward VS Punishment method.


This is True even for the Fundamentalists who are the most reviled and who are usually used, in a bizarre merger with Catholics, as the image of what all Christians are. In fact, if you visit most Fundamentalist Websites, you’d soon realise that in every instance that they tell you about Salvation they insist that you don’t get there by works of your own or beign a good person but in Faith Alone in the Completed work of Jesus Christ, and usually cite Ephesians Chapter 2, Verses 8 and 9.

Catholic Salvation includes living in accordance to God’s Will and not sinning, but its not that you are a good person and thus go to Heaven, you rely still on Grace for Salvation, knowing you won’t be Perfect and will often fail.


No Branch of Christianity teaches that if you are a Good Christian you go to Heaven and if you are a bad Person you go to Hell.

If you can’t even get that Right then of what use are you in a debate against Christianity?

ZAROVE said...

And then comes Old Saint Nick…



parents tell their children to be good and they will get lots of presents from father christmas, be bad and they get nothing/ lump of coal.

Spot the difference in those statements( tip: you won't find any )?...



How about I cite false analogy. Simply comparing two thing sin simplistic terms doesn’t prove one is false. In this case you want the simple reward and punishment aspect you presume upon Christianity to be likened to Father Christmas and therefore both to be fale. But can’t we do the same for Humanism?

Parents tell their Children to be good and then Saint Nicolas will reward them with Toys whom he gives to every good boy or girl. Secular Humanists say that if we are good people living according to a Humanist ethic w can build a Socialist paradise in which all our needs are met by the Government and society at large. They both promise that if we are good and follow some set of Rules we get a reward. Saint Nicolas don’t actually deliver Toys to good little boys and girls, therefore Secular Humanisms goal of a Socialised community of advanced Science and Social Unity is false.


Spare me the usual drek about there being a difference, and also spare me the drek about me oversimplifying Secular Humanism… THAT’S THE POINT.

Your arguments are simply rooted in propaganda and have no substance.

SuicideNeil said...

Good people go to hell, and bad people go to heaven? That's novel- guess I'll be looking down on you lot when we all die, lol.

It appears though that I have stumbled upon a vipers nest of eloquent christians, who think that being able to form more complex answers & statements that are difficult to counter means that your points/ point of view is more valid; it doesn't.

I still call BS on your beliefs though- they are without foundation or real proof, just personal feelings developed from brainwashing & hijacked philosophical dogma. Enjoy stroking your egos & congratulating yourselves on another victory for the invisible old man in the sky- I have better things to do than argue with delusional members of the child rapist club.

Joshua Postema said...

"Good people go to hell, and bad people go to heaven? That's novel- guess I'll be looking down on you lot when we all die, lol."

It isn't novel. It is thousands of years old. You once again failed to grasp what being a Christian even means.

"It appears though that I have stumbled upon a vipers nest of eloquent christians, who think that being able to form more complex answers & statements that are difficult to counter means that your points/ point of view is more valid; it doesn't."

Being able to form 'correct' answers is more accurate than 'complex'. You have been refuted on every point you've made and you have given no effort to responding with any evidence to support your claims. You just make them. Stop making claims and insulting people and start actually debating!

"I still call BS on your beliefs though- they are without foundation or real proof, just personal feelings developed from brainwashing & hijacked philosophical dogma. Enjoy stroking your egos & congratulating yourselves on another victory for the invisible old man in the sky- I have better things to do than argue with delusional members of the child rapist club."

Again, a tirade of insults and claims with no evidence. We have 'no foundation or real proof', our beliefs are 'just personal feelings' developed from 'brainwashing'. We've been 'hijacked by philosophical dogma' (<-- what does that even mean?). We believe in an 'invisible old man in the sky' and we are 'delusional members of the child rapist club'.

Grow up. Grow up and start thinking instead of regurgitating.

SuicideNeil said...

Okay then, you tell me briefly what it actually means to be a christian- from your personal point of view.

You have not refuted any of my claims- you merely didn't like them so deflected the issues raised.

There is plenty of evidence to back up my claims if I so wished to do so- child abuse & gay prostitute rings ( gay =/= bad, btw ) in the church are well documented, and well swept under the carpet too; hence the hypocrite tag ( insult =/= truth either ).

You well know what the church stands for in the present & in the past; don't act surprised if people start tearing it apart now that we no longer live in fear of the church and can think for ourselves.

TheOFloinn said...

SuicideNell, showing again a lack of historical consciousness, writes:
relgions mainly teach that some powerful being 'did it' when it comes to everything in the world & the universe

Aside from the fallacy of lumping all sorts of disparate things under the label "religions," let us actually see what the Christians actually wrote:

In the Gospel we do not read that the Lord said: ‘I send you the Holy Spirit so that He might teach you all about the course of the sun and the moon.’ The Lord wanted to make Christians, not astronomers. You learn at school all the useful things you need to know about nature.”
-- Augustine of Hippo, Contra Faustum manichaeum

[They say] "We do not know how this is, but we know that God can do it." You poor fools! God can make a cow out of a tree, but has He ever done so? Therefore show some reason why a thing is so, or cease to hold that it is so.
-- William of Conches

"[T]he natural order does not exist confusedly and without rational arrangement, and human reason should be listened to concerning those things it treats of. But when it completely fails, then the matter should be referred to God. Therefore, since we have not yet completely lost the use of our minds, let us return to reason."
-- Adelard of Bath, Quaestiones naturales

It is the part of courage to have recourse to dialectic in all things, for recourse to dialectic is recourse to reason, and he who does not avail himself of reason abandons his chief honor, since by virtue of reason he was made in the image of God.
-- Berengar of Tours

"Indeed, man’s reasoning shines forth much more brilliantly in inventing these very things than ever it would have had man naturally possessed them."
-- Hugh of St. Victor, Didascalicon
+ + +
Suicide's chief error lies in confusing primary causation with intrumental efficient causation. The Christians believed that God had created material being with natures, and these natures were capable of acting directly upon one another.

“But the natures with which He endowed His creatures accomplish a whole scheme of operations, and these too turn to His glory since it is He who created these very natures.”
-- William of Conches

Nature is nothing but the plan of some art, namely a divine one, put into things themselves, by which those things move towards a concrete end: as if the man who builds up a ship could give to the pieces of wood that they could move by themselves to produce the form of the ship.
-- Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Physics II.8, lecture 14, no. 268

I propose here… to show the causes of some effects which seem to be miracles and to show that the effects occur naturally… There is no reason to take recourse to the heavens [astrology], the last refuge of the weak, or to demons, or to our glorious God, as if he would produce these effects directly…
Nicole d’Oresme, Bishop of Lisieux
De causa mirabilium

Modern science arose in Christendom and nowhere else because of this belief in secondary causation, i.e., that material being could act on material being according to a rational order. Our OP here did not go far enough. Not only did Christianity not impede the development of science, she enabled it.
+ + +
I have to wonder why Militant Atheists have taken to leaving the G in lower case when they spell god.

That's because they are unable or unwilling to distinguish between the concept of "God," as developed by the Jews, Aristotelians, Neoplatonists, et al. and the concept of "gods" common to those who worshiped Nature and the Environment out of fear.

ZAROVE said...

On the G issue, its not really about concepts. I mean, in translations of the Iliad when "God" issued to refer to Zeus, as if it was his name, it is capitalised. It's really just a rule of grammar. The reason we capitalise God is because it is a name, inasmuch as it is used to identify a specific person. If I call you "God" then despite it not being your real name and you not being anything but Human you still see the cap G.

If you say something like "Christians believe in god", leaving the G in lower case, it is grammatically poor because God is a name, not an idea. The reason god is left in lower case when referring to gods like Apollo or saying "the god Zeus" is because the word is not used as a name, but a species.

The G or g distinction depends on use.

ZAROVE said...

Neil, I didn’t say bad people go to Heaven and Good people to Hell. I said that the Christian idea of Salvation is not a simplistic reward and punishment schema as seen in modern Atheist literature. Salvation in Christian terms is about finding Forgiveness for ones sins in Christ and thus reconciling with God, but this forgiveness doesn’t really rest on doping good deeds or even being a good person, it rests on accepting Christ’s Sacrifice and obeying his Instructions thereafter.

The way you present it, it is as if either good people go to Heaven, and bad to Hell, or vice versa. That’s simply Childish and stupid.

Simply declaring yourself Rational and saying you think for yourself doesn’t mean that you are Rational or that you do think for yourself. You are simply repeating nonsense you got elsewhere without the slightest hint of thought. Saying Christians are Mindless fools who don’t think for themselves or are Brainwashed really doesn’t prove that Christians are Mindless or Brainwashed, and doesn’t really prove Christianity is wrong.

You also say that Christianity lacks a Foundation in Reality. But that’s not True. However, if you start with the absolute conviction that Christianity is false and can’t be based on Reason, then it is impossible for us to really show ourselves as Rational, because your Bias won’t allow you to see us that way. It's easy to dismiss somethign as stupid withotu even hearign it.

SuicideNeil said...

"Suicide's chief error lies in confusing primary causation with intrumental efficient causation. The Christians believed that God had created material being with natures, and these natures were capable of acting directly upon one another."

How very convenient & contrived; God ( I'll humour you poor grammar Nazis for a moment, as I'm a grammar Nazi myself- when I think it's worth the effort ) didn't do it, but he made beings that could ( do it for themselves ). Yawn...

"Salvation in Christian terms is about finding Forgiveness for ones sins in Christ and thus reconciling with God, but this forgiveness doesn’t really rest on doping good deeds or even being a good person, it rests on accepting Christ’s Sacrifice and obeying his Instructions thereafter."

So Jesus/God ( that whole thing in itself is enough to raise eyebrows amongst those who are sceptical of implausible events ) is a Darlek right ( *you will obey* )? What kind of loving God ( or not- I've heard some funny arguments about who & what God is / represents lately... ) gives man free will, then expects him to do exactly as he is told or suffer the consequences? It's a logical fallacy, and laughable.

"The way you present it, it is as if either good people go to Heaven, and bad to Hell, or vice versa. That’s simply Childish and stupid."

That's exactly what was said though, albeit in more words; careful about making judgements though- that's not a very christian attitude now ( log in your own eye, yada yada yada ).

"You also say that Christianity lacks a Foundation in Reality. But that’s not True."

What exactly is christianity based on then- a 2000 year old book of stories? Moral guidance all wrapped up in an interesting tale is fine, but the zombie-jesus thing makes me lol. I've heard someone state that the bible & christianity are mutually exclusive too; how can a christian possibly look to the bible to back up his argument if his religion is not intrinsically linked to it? ( I wouldn't mind a fair response to that from you guys as there are some less well spoken, more frothy mouthed evangelical types out there who need a smack down from some of their own crew, if you get my drift ).

Oh yeah, I should have said 'have no belief in god', not 'lack the belief'- I would have thought what I meant was perfectly clear but some guys around here take the whole grammar Nazi role way to seriously and read something that just isn't there; my point of view on God / religion has been quite clear from the start- please try to keep up & pay attention.

God is an unprovable & untestable hypothesis at the end of the day- having faith in something with no actual proof is fine if it helps you sleep at night, just don't expect other people to come around to your way of thinking, and don't ram your thoughts & ideals down their throats just to prove how much research you have done into the topic- anyone can be well versed in a subject, doesn't mean their point of view is the correct one...

Joshua Postema said...

So Jesus/God ( that whole thing in itself is enough to raise eyebrows amongst those who are sceptical of implausible events ) is a Darlek right ( *you will obey* )? What kind of loving God ( or not- I've heard some funny arguments about who & what God is / represents lately... ) gives man free will, then expects him to do exactly as he is told or suffer the consequences? It's a logical fallacy, and laughable.

God didn't say "Do exactly as your told, or suffer". I think you've once again missed the point. God saves us from the real, natural effects of what we do. I think your view of hell, based on this little snippet, is entirely out of touch with what Christianity has historically taught.

What exactly is the logical fallacy anyway? I'll try to actually make this into a logical statement, so you don't even have to do that work:

a) If God created man with free will but expects Him to obey, He is not loving.
b) God created man with free will
c) God expects man to obey his law
d) Therefor, God is not loving

Except that the 'a' is wrong (it would be unloving to FORCE him to do something, possibly, but not to ask for it), and 'c' is wrong (God doesn't just love or help people who obey).

That's exactly what was said though, albeit in more words; careful about making judgements though- that's not a very christian attitude now ( log in your own eye, yada yada yada ).

Judgment is a very Christian attitude. Not judgment done without reason or in hatred, but judgment done to pursue truth is always encouraged. You missed the rest of the verse you semi-referenced.

What exactly is christianity based on then- a 2000 year old book of stories? Moral guidance all wrapped up in an interesting tale is fine, but the zombie-jesus thing makes me lol. I've heard someone state that the bible & christianity are mutually exclusive too; how can a christian possibly look to the bible to back up his argument if his religion is not intrinsically linked to it? ( I wouldn't mind a fair response to that from you guys as there are some less well spoken, more frothy mouthed evangelical types out there who need a smack down from some of their own crew, if you get my drift ).

You really need to get your head out of the atheistic terminology gutter. If you want to have a serious discussion, saying things like 'zombie jesus' is a great way to hamper it. Just be an adult and have an adult conversation, please.

Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, Judaism, and the theology that came after Christ. The Bible is not simply a book of 'stories' (have you read it?) I fail to see the 'mutually exclusive' aspect of the Bible and Christianity. The two -are- linked directly. Who in the world said they were mutually exclusive and by what authority? A failed history class?

Oh yeah, I should have said 'have no belief in god', not 'lack the belief'- I would have thought what I meant was perfectly clear but some guys around here take the whole grammar Nazi role way to seriously and read something that just isn't there; my point of view on God / religion has been quite clear from the start- please try to keep up & pay attention.

Most of what you've written is insults and claims with no evidence.

Joshua Postema said...

God is an unprovable & untestable hypothesis at the end of the day- having faith in something with no actual proof is fine if it helps you sleep at night, just don't expect other people to come around to your way of thinking, and don't ram your thoughts & ideals down their throats just to prove how much research you have done into the topic- anyone can be well versed in a subject, doesn't mean their point of view is the correct one...

"Don't ram your thoughts & ideals down their throats"? What exactly are you trying to do here? Your problem is that you aren't well versed in a subject -and- your views are incorrect, or at the very least, not backed up with a single bit of evidence. You still haven't produced anything.

God's existence has very much been tied to testable and provable things. But this whole thread of yours is going off topic. Can you at least admit now that you were dead wrong on Christianity and its contributions to science, or the reality of the "Dark Ages"? You can bring up argument after argument after argument about God's existence or non-existence or cruelty or whatever else you want, but it is all a distraction. That isn't the point of this thread.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide
How very convenient & contrived [is secondary causation]; God didn't do it, but he made beings that could (do it for themselves ). Yawn...


TOF
Sorry to keep you awake; but an alert mind may actually catch on to something where a sleepy mind afflicted with an affected ennui will not.

Their beliefs were certainly convenient for the emergence of modern science; since absent a belief in secondary causation there is no possibility of even looking for natural laws. I don't know why you think it is contrived. They did not know that in fifteen hundred years* there would be people who worshiped a technical methodology as the Supreme Good.

A fact does not care if you think it was convenient; and the fact is that this was their belief. (Convenient in what way? For dealing with the Goths? Settling with the Donatists? Shoring up the efforts of Stilicho?)

(*)1500 years. I find a reference to secondary causation in Augustine, De gen. ad lit. V. 4:11.

Remember, the original contention was that Christianity did not impede the development of science. A good case can be made that it facilitated it.
+ + +

Suicide
God is an unprovable & untestable hypothesis


TOF
Actually, God is not an hypothesis, at all. That is: not something put forward as a possible material efficient cause for some physical phenomenon, attained inductively. Rather, it is a conclusion derived from reasoning deductively from the world.

Methinks you have a rather fundamentalist view of these things.

+ + +

Suicide
having faith in something with no actual proof is fine if it helps you sleep at night


TOF
It depends on what you mean by "actual proof." If you mean empirical evidence or material measurements such as natural science uses, then all of mathematics gets tossed. Yet mathematical proofs are more certain than scientific determinations, which are regarded these days as merely tentative and probable.

For example, there is no empirical evidence that an objective empirical world exists. To present such evidence you must assume a priori that the objective world is out there and is not simply an illusion of the mind. That would be circular reasoning, aka "begging the question." That is, taking your conclusion and inserting it as an assumption, then "proving" the conclusion.

Nor is there a scientific proof that the scientific method is always and everywhere reliable. As Dennett says, the human mind evolved to "see patterns" and so the laws of nature we think we see may be only our mind seeing things that aren't actually there. Science must assume that its methods are reliable.

SuicideNeil said...

"God's existence has very much been tied to testable and provable things."

Show me, show me without leaving any doubt as to there being an equally or more likely explanation.

"Can you at least admit now that you were dead wrong on Christianity and its contributions to science, or the reality of the "Dark Ages"? "

Nope. The oppression on people's free will is too well documented, as is the corruption of the church in yee olden times- if just a single person was punished for speaking out against the church, or for raising an dea which contradicted the church's teachings, then my view point is validated. This is totally on topic still.

"God saves us from the real, natural effects of what we do. I think your view of hell, based on this little snippet, is entirely out of touch with what Christianity has historically taught."

I think you'll find lots of people die every day in the most unpleasant ways through no fault of their own- were was god to save them then? The christian view of what hell is well documented- I'm pretty sure it isn;t a nice place to be sent if it actually existed.

Stop being so childish and naive- when you die nothing happens, there are no pearly gates waitnig for you- that's something someone made up so people would stop pooping themselves at the thought of what happens when they die ( *truth siren* ).

"a) If God created man with free will but expects Him to obey, He is not loving.
b) God created man with free will
c) God expects man to obey his law
d) Therefor, God is not loving

Except that the 'a' is wrong (it would be unloving to FORCE him to do something, possibly, but not to ask for it), and 'c' is wrong (God doesn't just love or help people who obey)."

A)Force, expect- makes no difference- you can't give someone someone a pair of lungs and expect them not to breath. C) that is exactly what was said previously- you guys contradict eachother/yourselves every time you open your mouths. Stop clambering to dismiss the very plain and simple truths that I present to you- it smacks of desperation to prove yourselves right, which you fail to do in any convincing manner.

"Judgment is a very Christian attitude"

Wasn't the last time I checked. You guys are far from perfect ( child molesters, hypocrites, homophobes etc ) & in no position to hand out advice as an organisation.

"You really need to get your head out of the atheistic terminology gutter. If you want to have a serious discussion, saying things like 'zombie jesus' is a great way to hamper it. Just be an adult and have an adult conversation, please."

Jesus was a zombie- dead > undead = zombie. Get over it.

"Christianity is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, Judaism, and the theology that came after Christ. The Bible is not simply a book of 'stories' (have you read it?) I fail to see the 'mutually exclusive' aspect of the Bible and Christianity. The two -are- linked directly. Who in the world said they were mutually exclusive and by what authority? A failed history class?"

The bible is a collection of stories- to say it isn't makes e wonder about your sanity.

The guy saying that the bible is exclusive from the church is another fruit-loop trying to argu for the existence of god- he just isn't very good at it. You can find him here if you fancy a good read:

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3041693&postcount=1227

Careful though, you may find people who can argue far better than yourselves in there ( if you start reading more of the thread- it's a long one ); nothing like a career psychologist to make you stop & think for a moment...

Joshua Postema said...

@Suicide:

I'm gonna go with TOF here who summed up my thoughts better and more precisely than I could have.

Taking a step back from the argument for a moment, could I get you to take a look at how this conversation has gone so far? The author created a post about misconceptions of the relationship between Christianity and scientific development. He is backed by a good number of historians and ancient texts that support his idea.

You have said things like "that's something someone made up so people would stop pooping themselves at the thought of what happens when they die" and "just a single person being persecuted for speaking out against the Church" and it goes a long way in showing that you have incredibly unreasonable expectations of what qualifies for evidence while simultaneously having no clue as to what Christianity teaches. Not the slightest. It is sad, but you have inflicted it upon yourself.

I'm not sure how to get through to you. It doesn't seem to matter what anybody here says, what evidence they provide, or what their arguments are. You just continue to make claims about how 'wrong' and 'misguided' and 'brainwashed' we are. Your tactics are not new, but they've never worked. Another sad fact is that I've spoken with several people who share your worldview who can articulate it. They provide a great deal of information and it is very helpful to figuring out where the shortcomings are in my own thinking. They get embarrassed by the arguments you are presenting (several of which I've heard them complain about in person).

But worst of all is your attitude. "Wasn't the last time I checked. You guys are far from perfect ( child molesters, hypocrites, homophobes etc ) & in no position to hand out advice as an organisation."

"You guys" implying that we are child molesters and hypocrites and whatever other accusations you've thrown out, or somehow responsible for the fact that some Christians have done bad things? What absolute garbage. The fact you expect responses and continued discussion is reprehensible, and the fact you've gotten it is a testament to the fact that Christians are nothing like what you claim. Your understanding of Christianity seems to have come exclusively from very arrogant atheists who themselves have never studied Christianity. Second-hand ignorance is pretty bad.

Joshua Postema said...

Careful though, you may find people who can argue far better than yourselves in there ( if you start reading more of the thread- it's a long one ); nothing like a career psychologist to make you stop & think for a moment...

I talk with plenty of people who argue better than I do, both atheists and Christians. It can be a lot of fun when mutual respect is involved and people really want to learn.

As far as fearing your psychologist reference, I am friends with a career psychologist. He's a Christian. I'm also friends with career chemists and mathematicians who are Christians. They've made me 'stop and think' plenty of times, as have the brilliant minds of the past, both Christian and non. I don't particularly feel the need to 'be careful', unless you mean to say that he argues in a similar style to yourself in which case I will be careful not to waste my time.

SuicideNeil said...

"Rather, it is a conclusion derived from reasoning deductively from the world."

You're back at 'god did it'- whenever you can't come up with a better answer, therefore it must have been some all powerful, invisible super being. Get a grip and grow up yourself- science does not have all the answers, but simply putting your faith in god instead is childish & naive in the extreme; this is not the stone age anymore.

"I don't know why you think it is contrived."

"Convenient in what way?"

Because it ignores all other possible explanations and simply goes back to 'god did it, by proxy'. It's a wonderful get-out clause that conveniently explains everything in one go, and it's contrived for the same reason- making up the nothion of a super-being as the explanation rather than accepting we just don't know & may never know.

"It depends on what you mean by "actual proof."

I'll take tentative & probable over delusions & faith any day of the week; I am well aware that science is not perfect, but it is far more likely to provide a plausible answer or hypothesis than faith ever will ( faith doesn't require any proof at all which makes it extremely unreliable as a way to assert a point of view ). I'll ignore the circular reasoning side-track as that's just a non sequitur; I assure you that the objective world is not just a figment of the imagination- otherwise we'd all have to be sharing the same imagination in a non-existent reality ( logical fail ).

"As far as fearing your psychologist reference, I am friends with a career psychologist. He's a Christian. I'm also friends with career chemists and mathematicians who are Christians. They've made me 'stop and think' plenty of times, as have the brilliant minds of the past, both Christian and non. I don't particularly feel the need to 'be careful', unless you mean to say that he argues in a similar style to yourself in which case I will be careful not to waste my time."

You have lots of irrational & illogical friends who are fond of Pascals Wager then me thinks; can't blame 'em, nothing like hedging your bets just in case. As for the psychologist- nope, he's way above my petty & vindictive reasoning methodology.

zariyl said...

Neil, the “Jesus was a zombie” routine is simply evidence of how groupthink inflicts the internet Atheist community. Actually defending it by saying its true, that Jesus was an undead raised corpse, is also just stupid of you. A Zombie in this context is defined as a reanimated, but still decomposing and not truly alive corpse. When Jesus was resurrected, he was alive again. We do not call Resuscitated people Zombies, and that is what Jesus was, his Resurrection was a resuscitation of sorts. His body was fully alive, not a decaying corpse. So no, Jesus was not a Zombie.

Zombie Jesus really is just a Childish taunt which, like Magic used for Miracles or Sky Daddy is designed to make Christianity or belief in God seem stupid without supplying an actual argument. By the mere presence of mockery and insult you hope to illicit an emotional reaction that makes one feel foolish for believing in these things, but it doesn’t work because everyone here is adult enough, except for you, to see through these tactics.

But that’s the point isn’t it? You don’t really look at he facts to build your beliefs about History and the world, you start with an emotional belief that allows you to feel superior to someone else and that has enabled you to justify your need to put someone else down. In this case you have embraced the idea of Christianity, and Religion in general, being primitive superstition believed by savages and created to control others because it allows you to have an enemy to fight, an enemy you are better than and can freely mock and belittle to reaffirm your superiority.

I mean, even spelling god in lower case proves tis. There is no logical reason to use the word God as a name, but leave it in lower case as god. The reason this is done is partly to just anger “believers” and partly to reaffirm oneself as an Atheist and as a member of a group. Yes I know, “nothing unites Atheists but a common lack of belief in a god”, don’t bother. Zombie Jesus is not original to you and nothing you have said is ether. You define Atheism as a specific set of beliefs in how you use it, and it is a group affiliation. The thing is, it’s a group based on what it claims it opposes. Religion is opposed for dividing people, yet the Atheists you belong to divide the world into “Religious people and Rational people”. You would say that Christians are arrogant or thinking they are right only to do the same thing there too. You claim Christianity promoted hatred and oppression, but what do you call your posts? Loving?

You aren’t here to confront bigots filled with Hate, you are here to disparage the Christian Faith. Then you turn round and say “Don’t ram your beliefs down our throats”. Well, this blog is run by a Christian and you came here. No one made you come and no one made you post. The only person forcing their beliefs on an unwilling audience is you.

That said, you CLAIM we are all hypocrites, child molesters, and suchlike…but is that a fair depiction of all Christians everywhere? Of course your speaking of the Church as an organisation, but which one? Do you really think that Baptists and Catholics form part of the same organisation? That Methodists and Lutherans are one?

ZAROVE said...

Not that it matters to you that churches are individual organisations not one whole, you will carry on and treat Christianity as a Monolithic singular Religion with a singular organisation and thus feel perfectly justified in using the Catholic Paedophile priest scandal to tarnish all Christians everywhere.

Speaking of which, the paedophile Priests scandal is overblown nonsense. A Non-Catholic named Philip Jenkins did a study of it. It’s mainly a media creation. Yes paedophiles have become priests but there is no organised cover up, the individual cases addressed are usually decades old and scattered in time and Place, and in the end, there are fewer paedophile Priests than the are paedophile School teachers. Why not bash Public schools for allowing Paedophilia? Why not campaign to abolish them? Oh that’s right, because they aren’t “Religion”… and that’s all you care about, downing Christians.

http://www.jknirp.com/jenkins2.htm


Statistically a Priest is amongst the least likely to be a paedophile, but who cares? Facts aren’t what your after, your after polemic attacks. You don’t even see the logical flaw to this argument in that since literally every persons Religion, including the Religion not called a Religion that you follow, has people who lie, steal, or molest children. Should I think all Militant Atheists are Paedophiles because Roman Polanski was? What about Rapists? What about Terrorism? Weather Underground’s William Ayers was guilty of both. What about Adultery? Richard Dawkins, Bertrand Russell, and H. G. Wells come to mind, and I could list more. I guess that the Militant Secularists have no Moral Authority either. How can you lot tell us what is and is not moral when you rape Children and destroy Lives? Yet you endlessly proclaim your “Secular values” that will lead to harmony and peace. How can you be taken seriously when you are all lying thieving adultering hypocrites who molest children?

See how that works?


You can’t hold all Christians responsible for the actions of a few or the whole Christian Church (Which in fact doesn’t exist as a whole, you lump all Churches into one which is also a fallacy) over the actions of a few locations decades ago. That is not logical. Its also not logical to try to discredit the Teachings of Christianity by citing people doing bad who were Christians of some sort.


The whole argument you make is irrational, and rests on emotional please and grandiose spectacle. Its hollow inside.

ZAROVE said...

You also claim that its well documented that the Church was corrupt and oppressed people in the Olden Days. Is it? Or is it commonly known today that this was so? Historical Myths abound about many Time Periods, but a lot of what people think they know is simply wrong. EG, Americans “know” that the Pilgrims came to America for Religious Freedom because in England everyone as forced to be in the Church of England and they wanted to worship according to the Dictates of heir conscience. Everyone is also wrong, the Pilgrims were not really trying to separate from the CofE, and at the Time nonconformist Churches were actually allowed. They wanted the Official State Church to become Presbyterian and like the Kirk of Scotland, and wanted it to be imposed more on society. They initially went to Holland, not America, but found it too liberal for their liking.


Just because “Everyone knows’ that the Church was a hugely powerful, massively corrupt organisation that oppressed people in the Dark Ages doesn’t mean its True. And it’s not true. You claim there is a lot of Documentation, but there really isn’t. The Documentation tells a different story. Disagree? Show facts to back it up.

ZAROVE said...

By the way I am in the middle of earning a degree in Psycology. I will have a doctorate in three years. It’d be sooner but work means I take fewer classes.

TheOFloinn said...

"Can you at least admit now that you were dead wrong on Christianity and its contributions to science, or the reality of the "Dark Ages"? "

Suicide
Nope. The oppression on people's free will is too well documented, as is the corruption of the church in yee olden times


If it's too well documented you ought to be able to document it. But last I looked your folks were denying the very existence of free will, so how could it be oppressed? However, there is no connection whatever between oppression and corruption and impeding the growth of science. The Soviet Union, for example, was massively oppressive and corrupt, yet, aside from that Lysenko business, its scientists were first rate.

Suicide
if just a single person was punished for speaking out against the church, or for raising an dea which contradicted the church's teachings, then my view point is validated.


No it isn't; unless you apply the same criteria against every other institution. For example, "if just a single person was punished for speaking out against the secular French Revolution..." Or, "if just a single person was punished for speaking out against sanitary practices in hospitals..."

It is entirely possible for the Church to declare monophysitism anathema or to suppress the Donatist schism without impeding the Progress of Science™. And by suppressing the Cathar heresy, they surely did natural science a favor: the Cathars held that the material world was evil and the work of the devil; not a conducive mental environment for the rise of science.

IOW, it is entirely possible for a chef to say that a recipe tastes awful without impeding progress in musical composition.
+ + +
"God's existence has very much been tied to testable and provable things."

Suicide
Show me, show me without leaving any doubt as to there being an equally or more likely explanation.


That cannot be done in physics, so why would you demand it from metaphysics? Even in mathematics, where it can be done, it would leave doubt in your mind because you did not grasp the proof. Metaphysical proofs have more in common with mathematical proofs than with scientific determinations.

The "physical" consequences of a "God hypothesis" would include such things as
a) There is an objective empirical world.
b) That world is rationally ordered.
c) The world has been "ordered by number, weight, and measure."
d) The order is accessible to human reason.
e) Material bodies have natures capable of acting directly upon one another in a "common course of nature."
f) The order (κοσμος) had a beginning in time.
g) All humans share a common descent.

a) through e) are things which physics must assume in order to do physics in the first place. No science can contain within itself the proofs of its own axioms.
e) might be supported by discovering, for example, laws of electromagnetism or of evolution of species;
f) might be supported if, say, the field equations for general relativity would solve to a dynamic κοσμος starting in some sort of "Big Bang" or something;
g) might be supported if genetic studies determined that all humans comprised a single species.

Of course, you might remain suspicious, since both genetics and the Big Bang physics were started by Catholic clerics: Br. Gregor Mendel and Fr. Georges Lemaitre, resp. (Interestingly, Mendel was educated as a physicist, not a biologist, and brought to biology the experimental rigor of physics. That was perhaps a greater contribution than the discovery that inheritance was discrete, not continuous.)

SuicideNeil said...

"Not that it matters to you that churches are individual organisations not one whole... ...perfectly justified in using the Catholic Paedophile priest scandal to tarnish all Christians everywhere."

They should be though- that's the issue. It shouldn't be a case of one church believes interpretation & another church has a different one- this just goes to show how much of what you call christianity & christian faith is made up on the spit to suit your own ideals.

"Speaking of which, the paedophile Priests scandal is overblown nonsense."

Lies. The reason why these cases take decades to come to light is because they are so well covered up, it is not until the children are old enough to understand what happened or brave enough to come forward that we hear about them. As for the perverts becoming priests- you scum bag; more likely it is the other way around. It is well documented that the current pope aided in covering up scandals linked to a close friend of the then-previous pope, in order to distance him from the whole debacle. Spare me your lies- you guys are nothing but hypocrites; I'll tar everyone of you with the same brush quite happily since you tar atheists as being misinformed militants.

"The whole argument you make is irrational, and rests on emotional please and grandiose spectacle. Its hollow inside."

Just like your faith, lol.

"Disagree? Show facts to back it up."

Okay: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=corruption+of+the+church

knock yourself out.

"But last I looked your folks were denying the very existence of free will, so how could it be oppressed?"

Only you have suggested that- everyone has their own opinions- atheists ( you people, lol- *you people* are the real problem ) simply don't believe in god or gods- we are all free to make up our own minds about the reality of our existence. If some guys want to delve into nonsense pyscho-babble then that's fine, I'm more of a realist myself.

SuicideNeil said...

"No it isn't; unless you apply the same criteria against every other institution."

Difference here is organised religion = bad, so trash-talking it is fully justified. Not from your point of view ofcourse, but then you'd have no issue with trash-talking another religion of atheists, so... *kiss my ass*.

"That cannot be done in physics, so why would you demand it from metaphysics?

The "physical" consequences of a "God hypothesis" would include such things as... "

Blah blah blah- nothing there has anything to do with proving the existence of god, they are but mere observations, just like nothing in the main article has anything to do with discrediting the notion of the christian darkages. You also need to study evolution- all human life can be traced back to a single tribe in Africa, that does nothing to prove that 'god did it'.

"Zombie Jesus really is just a Childish taunt which, like Magic used for Miracles or Sky Daddy is designed to make Christianity or belief in God seem stupid without supplying an actual argument."

You're right, how silly of me- it's entirely plausible that a dead person can be sealed in a cave for 3 days, in dessert heat, then come back to life, shift a boulder weighing a ton or more, then appear completely healed and healthy. Yes, how silly of me.... *raises eyebrow*

"You claim Christianity promoted hatred and oppression, but what do you call your posts? Loving?"

Christian zeolots & extremists ( of olden times, when everything was very much extreme ) promote hatred and mistrust of anyone who doesn't fall in line with their way of thinking. The true message of christ has very little to do with what religion has & continues to preach.

"That said, you CLAIM we are all hypocrites, child molesters, and suchlike…but is that a fair depiction of all Christians everywhere? Of course your speaking of the Church as an organisation, but which one? Do you really think that Baptists and Catholics form part of the same organisation? That Methodists and Lutherans are one? "

Exactly- disjointed interpretations which pretty much discredit religion as a whole; nothing should be down to interpretation, you cannot pick & choose which parts you want to follow and which parts you'll ignore for whatever reason. Atheism however has no such intrinsic flaws...

Joshua Postema said...

"No it isn't; unless you apply the same criteria against every other institution."

Difference here is organised religion = bad


Thank you for succinctly summarizing your extremely close-minded, unproven, unsupported worldview.

TheOFloinn said...

YOS: "I don't know why you think [the doctrine of secondary causation] is contrived."

Suicide: Because it ignores all other possible explanations and simply goes back to 'god did it, by proxy'.


You seem hung up with your fundamentalist beliefs. You believe that God is some sort of scientific hypothesis proposed as an efficient cause of some material phenomenon.
+ + +
YOS: "It depends on what you mean by "actual proof."

Suicide: I'll take tentative & probable over delusions & faith any day of the week; ... science is ... far more likely to provide a plausible answer or hypothesis than faith...


Still doesn't explain what you mean by "actual proof"? You also seem to think that "faith" (i.e., "remaining true to something") is somehow supposed to provide plausible answers to hypotheses. But not every humanist endeavor is an effort to emulate natural science or police detective work.

Suicide: I assure you that the objective world is not just a figment of the imagination- otherwise we'd all have to be sharing the same imagination in a non-existent reality ( logical fail ).

I asked for "actual proof" and all you give me is your "assurance." Circular reasoning. For there to be anyone else you must already assume the outside world exists. (And how do you know what's in someone else's "imagination"?) We can take the objective universe on faith; but that is exactly what we must do.
+ + +

TOF: The "physical" consequences of a "God hypothesis" would include such things as... "

Suicide: nothing there has anything to do with proving the existence of god, they are but mere observations


You seem a bit anti-scientific. "Mere observations"? What do you suppose natural science is built upon?

I laid it out as an induction a la Carnap's positivism. Positivism was the dominant philosophy in natural science before Popper blew it up and is still the philosophy unwittingly adopted by fans of pop scientism. Basically, thus:
M. IF hypothesis P is true THEN consequences Q1, Q2, ... Qn would follow.
m. Consequences Q1, Q2,... Qk have been observed
/.: P is probably true with probability k/n

Now, this is the fallacy of asserting the consequence; but all of natural science is built on this logical fallacy. No number of accumulated facts ever add up to a certainty, whether it is God's existence or gravity's existence. ("Nothing there has anything to do with proving the existence of gravity; they are but mere observations of falling bodies!")

That's why I asked what you meant by "actual proof." By the rules of scientific inference, the induction I sketched concludes that "God exists" is at least probable.

Suicide: You also need to study evolution- all human life can be traced back to a single tribe in Africa, that does nothing to prove that 'god did it'

All I pointed out was that belief in the Judeao-Christian God (P) entails belief that all men share a common descent (Q). You responded that (Q) is actually true, thus, by scientific induction, providing mild support for the "God hypothesis" (P).
+ + +
Suicide: nothing in the main article has anything to do with discrediting the notion of the christian darkages.

Of course it does. No modern historian of science takes your mythos seriously. Try studying the facts instead of relying on your beliefs.

SuicideNeil said...

"Thank you for succinctly summarizing your extremely close-minded, unproven, unsupported worldview."

Hardly. People can be a force for good without the need for religion to drive them; I'd be worried if anyone couldn't.

Fact is countless atrocities are committed in the name of religion, both historically & in the present day. Ofcourse there will always be cults and groups of loonies with their own relgious or otherwise agenda- that is besides the point. It's the fact people are inspired to be closed minded biggots by the bible that is undeniable- sure, not everyone who calls them self a christian is an ass-hat, but that too is besides the point.

I think it is quite, quite easy to prove & support my views- just look at the WestBro Bapist Church, Northern Ireland & Henry the 8th.

Feel free to conceed that you just don't like home truths any time, I won't / can't think any less of you.

zariyl said...

I will break down the entire two posts, which will mean more than two from me. I just want to address these.


"Not that it matters to you that churches are individual organisations not one whole... ...perfectly justified in using the Catholic Paedophile priest scandal to tarnish all Christians everywhere."

They should be though- that's the issue.



No, it’s not the issue. The Issue in this thread is about misconceptions regarding the Middle Ages and how the common narrative of Christianity creating the Dark Ages is false, notably because there was no Dark Age. You imported other Anti-Christian arguments into this because you are too limited in scope to handle a discussion about any given topic and instead shoot pre-created arguments against Christianity.



It shouldn't be a case of one church believes interpretation & another church has a different one- this just goes to show how much of what you call christianity & christian faith is made up on the spit to suit your own ideals.


This narrative is simplistic and self serving. We all know that you are writing polemic and not argument and the sole goal is to attack Christianity. This is simply an example of you trying to cast Christianity in a bad light by once again asserting that Christians are somehow motivated by selfishness.

The Truth is that people can fundamentally disagree with one another in good faith, even if they share the same basic Religious concepts. The reason for the Churches to split from one another is not really a simple matter of people tailoring the Religion to their own desires and ideals, but often rests in Fundamental understandings about that Faith that differ. The same thing happens even in Secular Humanism.



"Speaking of which, the paedophile Priests scandal is overblown nonsense."

Lies. The reason why these cases take decades to come to light is because they are so well covered up, it is not until the children are old enough to understand what happened or brave enough to come forward that we hear about them.


Actually the number of paedophile Priests is far exceeded by the number of completely innocent ones that are in the ranks of the priesthood.


The reason I said the paedophile Priest scandal is overblown nonsense is not because I deny any paedophile Priest ever existed, but because the idea of a massive, Churchwide conspiracy that went all the way to the Pope, and an internal culture that allowed, even endorsed this behaviour never existed.

Also, the media will always cover a Paedophile Priest more than a Paedophile School teacher, but Statistically there have been more Paedophile School teachers than Priests.

I also gave you a link to material by Philip Jenkins to back up the claim that he paedophile Priest scandal is more the product of sensationalism. The only reason you ignore the evidence is to keep this as a weapon to beat Christians over the head with.





As for the perverts becoming priests- you scum bag; more likely it is the other way around. It is well documented that the current pope aided in covering up scandals linked to a close friend of the then-previous pope, in order to distance him from the whole debacle.

No it’s not. What you mean is either the Murphy Case or the “Advice to hide paedophilia l” letter. Neither of which treally are what propagandists like you say they are.

In the Murphy Case Cardinal Ratzinger is accused o ignoring two letters, but given the sheer volume of letters he has to read, it is entirely possible that they simply slipped through the cracks. This happens even in Police Stations. Eventually Cardinal Ratzinger’s Secretary instructed he men to prosecute Murphy.


The second one only alleges that the Catholic Church said to hide Paedophilia but ignores the social context in that at the Time all institutions wanted to out on a god, clean face and hid scandals. Judging the past by present standards is irrational. Ratzinger was also not really all that powerful at the Time.

ZAROVE said...

Now then…



Spare me your lies- you guys are nothing but hypocrites; I'll tar everyone of you with the same brush quite happily since you tar atheists as being misinformed militants.



But I didn’t tar all Atheists, except in an example to show how stupid it was to tar all Christians. I even sated earlier that I don’t’ think all Atheists are like you as did other posters here. This is an untrue allegation from you, readily proven so.


You are also off base calling us liars and hypocrites. I have at least given you information to work from, and evidence to back my claims, all you have done is spout off.

"The whole argument you make is irrational, and rests on emotional please and grandiose spectacle. Its hollow inside."

Just like your faith, lol.



That is not an argument. That is a cheap insult. You may as well have said “Yo mama” or “I know you are but hat am I” for all it advanced.




"Disagree? Show facts to back it up."

Okay: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=corruption+of+the+church

knock yourself out.



A Google Search? That’s not evidence. All this proves is that plenty of webpages discuss Medieval Church Corruption, or in some instances modern. It doesn’t really prove the common claims about that corruption or the churches oppression of the masses or the churches blocking Science in the Middle Ages. Just because a lot of websites say this doesn’t make it True. In fact, a part of this post’s point is that many people have misconceptions about the past. I can find dozens of Websites that call America a Democracy when its actually a Republic, or loads of websites that claim that Monarchy is a Big Government Liberal progressive Ideal and left Wing when its really Right Wing. S what? It proves nothing.




"But last I looked your folks were denying the very existence of free will, so how could it be oppressed?"

Only you have suggested that- everyone has their own opinions- atheists ( you people, lol- *you people* are the real problem ) simply don't believe in god or gods- we are all free to make up our own minds about the reality of our existence. If some guys want to delve into nonsense pyscho-babble then that's fine, I'm more of a realist myself.





You are not a Realist, for you delve too often into polemic an adhere to fantasy.


By the way its still God and not god.

ZAROVE said...

Now to the second post…


"No it isn't; unless you apply the same criteria against every other institution."

Difference here is organised religion = bad, so trash-talking it is fully justified. Not from your point of view ofcourse, but then you'd have no issue with trash-talking another religion of atheists, so... *kiss my ass*.


This is circular Reasoning. You are assuming the Conclusion you want in the Premise. You can’t just say “Orginised Religion is bad so its OK to mock and degrade it” then use as evidence its bad the mockeries and criticisms you have employed.

Further, no oen said it was good to mock other Religions. Actually no one here has Trash Talked other Religions or Atheists. I for one have actually stood up and defended everyone from the Catholic Church, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, to the orthodox, to Muslims, to Hindus, to Buddhists, to even Atheists. I do so in the interest of honesty and fairplay, and because it si uncivilised to simply degrade someone else’s beliefs. Though I will remind you its not “Other religions and Atheists”. I know you think that being an Atheist makes you nonreligious, but the Truth is, you ARE a member of a Religion, Religion is not the same thing as Theism and Atheism is not its opposite.


I have not seen any posts here by anyone mocking anyone else’s Religion.







Now…


"That cannot be done in physics, so why would you demand it from metaphysics?

The "physical" consequences of a "God hypothesis" would include such things as... "

Blah blah blah- nothing there has anything to do with proving the existence of god,



You can’t prove the existence of god because Grammatically god can’t exist. Spelling god in lower case just because you are an Atheist is stupidity.

Plus, the Criticism to your argument is that you demand absolute evidence that is 100% conclusive which can’t even be given for such things as Relativity.


they are but mere observations, just like nothing in the main article has anything to do with discrediting the notion of the christian darkages. You also need to study evolution- all human life can be traced back to a single tribe in Africa, that does nothing to prove that 'god did it'.



Its “God did it” not “god did it”. You are an idiot if you think leaving god in lower case somehow makes you seem smarter.

That said, not all Christians are Creationists and Evolution is irrelevant to discussion on whether or not Christianity caused the Dark Ages, and technically so is the question of whether God exists. (Capital G as it’s a name, are you stupid ? If not then done leave it lower case, it’d help convince us.)

Positing every “religious person” as a Creationist is really over generalising and positing that if we studied Evolution we’d somehow become Atheists or accept that the Dark Ages were all Christianity’s Fault is dubious.


There is simply no logic to what you are saying here. It’s as if you take all the stereotypes of what you think a Christian is and then use them here as if they are relevant.

ZAROVE said...


"Zombie Jesus really is just a Childish taunt which, like Magic used for Miracles or Sky Daddy is designed to make Christianity or belief in God seem stupid without supplying an actual argument."


You're right, how silly of me- it's entirely plausible that a dead person can be sealed in a cave for 3 days, in dessert heat, then come back to life, shift a boulder weighing a ton or more, then appear completely healed and healthy. Yes, how silly of me.... *raises eyebrow*



Whether or not you believe Jesus rose from the Dead is immaterial to whether or not Jesus is described as a Zombie in the New Testament. A Zombie is a Reanimated, but still decomposing corpse. Jesus was a Fully Alive resurrected Human Person. Irrespective of if Jesus actually rose from the Dead, the text never depicts him as a corpse returned to animation and Christians do not believe in him as a Corpse that was reanimated.

ZAROVE said...

On to this…


"You claim Christianity promoted hatred and oppression, but what do you call your posts? Loving?"

Christian zeolots & extremists ( of olden times, when everything was very much extreme ) promote hatred and mistrust of anyone who doesn't fall in line with their way of thinking. The true message of christ has very little to do with what religion has & continues to preach.


This is simply a talking point used to justify your attacks, but no one here lashed out at anyone else. No one here promoted Hatred or bigotry either. You’re the one who came here o attack us, remember? You came here to attack with no provocation.




"That said, you CLAIM we are all hypocrites, child molesters, and suchlike…but is that a fair depiction of all Christians everywhere? Of course your speaking of the Church as an organisation, but which one? Do you really think that Baptists and Catholics form part of the same organisation? That Methodists and Lutherans are one? "

Exactly- disjointed interpretations which pretty much discredit religion as a whole;


If disagreement discredits “Religion as a Whole” then does that include your “Non-Religious Philosophy”?


It’s not like Secular Humanists always agree on all points, and often how the tenets of Secular Humanism are understood differ radically. All one has to do is read Richard Dawkins then read Sam Harris and see this. For that matter, Gore Vidal understands things very differently from either of them, and from Howard Katz, who in turn has a much different understanding of the world than did H. G. Wells, and none of them agree with Peter Singer. There have even been splits in Secular Humanist Societies over the exact interpretation of Humanism.


For that matter, Evolution has been discredited too. Some Biologists think Evolution is an ongoing but Gradual Process, generated by Random Mutations and different Gene Combinations continually. Others believe that Evolution occurs when you Isolate populations and then conditions change which favour a new trait, in a Hypothesis called Punctuated Equilibrium. Others still think that its some combination of the two.

Further, exactly how Mutations occur, how natural selection occurs, and how gene sequences may combine to further Evolution is subject to heated debate.

But if Evolution were true, we’d all just look at the facts and se that truth so I guess that all this disagreement means Evolution is false.

Your logic here would mean that literally every field of Human Endeavour that has the slightest hint of complexity is false since you will always find disagreement amongst peoples as to exactly what is True or what needs to be done.

ZAROVE said...


nothing should be down to interpretation,


But, in the end everything is down to interpretation. Even just looking out your window and understanding what you see requires you to interpret the sensory impute. Scientific Data once collected needs to be Interpreted to make any sense. Everything will be filtered through the persons understanding of it which means that a person has to take what is known and interpret it.


you cannot pick & choose which parts you want to follow and which parts you'll ignore for whatever reason.



But this is not what Christians typically do, it’s a trope. And has nothing to do with the topic at hand…





You really are just pushing bumper sticker slogans on us.


Atheism however has no such intrinsic flaws...



Yes it does. At least if you mean by Atheism what you mean here. Atheism is basically another word for Secular Humanism to you, not simply a belief that no gods exist but also beliefs about the world, Religion, and who to live. Those beliefs are ultimately contingent on a developed understanding that rests on an interpretation of the world around us by various thinkers and transited to the current adherent who must also interpret the events o his life and what he has learned. Not all Atheists agree with one another. Before you say this doesn’t matter, then neither should it matter that not all Christians agree. Christians are just as free to think for themselves as anyone else, even to the point of leaving Christianity. There is no rule that says all Christians must have exactly the same beliefs and divergence in Christianity is simply not a problem.

SuicideNeil said...

"You seem hung up with your fundamentalist beliefs. You believe that God is some sort of scientific hypothesis proposed as an efficient cause of some material phenomenon."

What is he/she/it then?

"Still doesn't explain what you mean by "actual proof"? You also seem to think that "faith" (i.e., "remaining true to something") is somehow supposed to provide plausible answers to hypotheses."

Then what is the point of faith?
You guys insist that god made the universe & everything in it ( well, some of you do- see: disjointed belief system(s) ), yet offer nothing other than 'faith' as proof, and and psychological smoke & mirrors.

"I asked for "actual proof"..."

Okay, get someone to poke you in the eye & tell me you think you are imagining reality still. Your responses do not deal with reality, they deal with subverting the pints I raise- get a grip of yourself.

"You seem a bit anti-scientific. "Mere observations"? What do you suppose natural science is built upon? "

Not god nor some magical non-existant reality which we are all collectively imagining; hows that for a straight answer ( something you guys do very well to avoid giving ).

"That's why I asked what you meant by "actual proof." By the rules of scientific inference, the induction I sketched concludes that "God exists" is at least probable."

Only in your mind- I'm sure you can conjure up any number of nice theories and skewed equations that suggest there must be a great big 'something' that you call god required to give cohesion to the cosmos.

"All I pointed out was that belief in the Judeao-Christian God (P) entails belief that all men share a common descent (Q). You responded that (Q) is actually true, thus, by scientific induction, providing mild support for the "God hypothesis" (P). "

You wish- all it actually points to is that we share a common ancestor, not that humans magically appeared one day because god got bored.

"Try studying the facts instead of relying on your beliefs."

Pot, meet kettle; I've been saying the same thing to you lot since I arrived but you insist on only listening to your own ideas and notions you've dreamt up to support your own point of view, which precludes all others.

TheOFloinn said...

@Zarove
It's not the case that "God" is a name like "G. Julius Caesar." It's more like a job-title. The name he supposedly gave himself was "I am," which among bronze age peoples was an entirely weird name for a god, let alone for God. However, thousands of years later, an Italian friar demonstrated that contingent being requires necessary being for its existence; and that this necessary being its essence just is its existence. That is, it is Existence Itself. And this, he said, is what all men call "God."

IOW, he did not start with some notion of God and then apply some sort of property to it. He deduced the property from empirical observation and determined that this was what was meant. (Granted, he spent some 500 pp developing the various divine attributes; but "details follow.")

In this sense, we cannot say that "God exists," since this implies a division between God and existence. Rather, we say "God is Existence." That is why also the term "Supreme Being" is misleading. (Thank you, Duns Scotus. :P) It implies that God is a being among other beings, just a maximum value in the lattice. God is not a Supreme Being; he IS Being. A set cannot be a member of itself; just as (analogically) "dog" is not a dog.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: People can be a force for good without the need for religion to drive them

TOF
That's what St. Paul said; although Nietzsche, Sartre, Rorty, Voltaire, and others dissented. Go figure. You're on the side of the theist here.

However, the difficulty is how do you know if you are a force for good? Stanley Fish pointed out (http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/22/are-there-secular-reasons/) concepts like the good must be "smuggled in" under secular disguise.
+ + +
Suicide: Fact is countless atrocities are committed in the name of religion

Almost right. Recte: "Fact is, countless atrocities are committed by human beings, invoking whatever rationalization is convenient." But even if someone were to wave the banner of religion rather than say eugenics or the Revolution, how would that impede the development of science?
+ + +
Suicide: I think it is quite, quite easy to prove & support my views- just look at the WestBro Bapist Church, Northern Ireland & Henry the 8th.

In what way did any of them impede the development of science?

a) Westboro Baptist Church is anathema even to the other Baptist Churches, and no more speaks for some vague uebermeme called "religion" than Dr. Mengele spoke for "science."
b) Northern Ireland. There is a saying in Ireland: "If the king of England woke up Hindu, the Irish would be facing Mecca by nightfall." It's politics, not religion that is the driver there; Republicans versus Unionists. The Official IRA is Marxist; the Provos are national socialist.
c) Henry VIII. You're kidding, right? He was driven by the political-dynastic need for a male heir, not by the doctrine of transubstantiation or the efficacy of prayer for the dead. Check out his dad: Henry VII didn't need any religion to hunt down and kill the surviving heirs of House Plantagenet.

By your "reasoning" - i.e., cherry-picking and confirmation bias - you would have to denounce science because of Hiroshima, eugenics, and the Tuskegee experiments.

SuicideNeil said...

"This is simply a talking point used to justify your attacks, but no one here lashed out at anyone else. No one here promoted Hatred or bigotry either. You’re the one who came here o attack us, remember? You came here to attack with no provocation."

What are your thoughts on homosexuals?
I came here because I saw a group of guys patting eachother on the back for dreaming up some bunch of BS to dismiss the idea that their beloved made up religion wasn't as evil as it actually was & is. Without someone to hold an opposing view on a subject you just have someone declaring themselves correct with no other input on this issue- that's not how you go about busting a myth, that's just propaganda and divisiveness.

"If disagreement discredits “Religion as a Whole” then does that include your “Non-Religious Philosophy"

Don't act dumb- non-religious viewpoint is obviously excluded, as it has nothing to do with interpreting god, it simply dismisses the notion entirely.

"Your logic here would mean that literally every field of Human Endeavour that has the slightest hint of complexity is false since you will always find disagreement amongst peoples as to exactly what is True or what needs to be done. "

Nonsense. Religion posits that god exists and 'he did it' one way or another- the fact there are so many versions of the story floating around and they all insist they are the right version is nothing like peer-reviewed journals which people expect to be tested & openly invite it; can you imagine Catholicism inviting another religion to pick it apart and find faults?

"That is not an argument. That is a cheap insult. You may as well have said “Yo mama” or “I know you are but hat am I” for all it advanced."

True though- you might as well put all the relgions in a hat and pick one out for all the good it will do you in your life. You can think for yourself & be a good person of your own accord, without being a member of the zombie jesus club.

"It doesn’t really prove the common claims about that corruption or the churches oppression of the masses or the churches blocking Science in the Middle Ages. Just because a lot of websites say this doesn’t make it True"

Just because this blog says something, doesn't make it any truer either; bazinga, punk.

"You are not a Realist, for you delve too often into polemic an adhere to fantasy."

Said the guy who worships invisible super beings. Uh-hu...

"This is circular Reasoning. You are assuming the Conclusion you want in the Premise. "

I assume nothing- you assume the existence of god based on some flimsy bronze age stories. I can see with my own two eyes all the harm that religion causes & has caused- it's not something I'm imagining to support my assertions.

"I know you think that being an Atheist makes you nonreligious, but the Truth is, you ARE a member of a Religion, Religion is not the same thing as Theism and Atheism is not its opposite."

Do be quiet dear, your insistence on this matter only serves to annoy me.

"Spelling god in lower case just because you are an Atheist is stupidity."

Nah, I'd call it trolling- you guys don't catch on too quick...

"Plus, the Criticism to your argument is that you demand absolute evidence that is 100% conclusive which can’t even be given for such things as Relativity."

The you are not 100% certain of gods existence either; hurrah, a break through!

Shut up about God vs god- all made up gods are as amusing and pointless as eachother.

"It’s as if you take all the stereotypes of what you think a Christian is and then use them here as if they are relevant. "

Works for me.

"Whether or not you believe Jesus rose from the Dead is immaterial... "

Alive > dead > alive = Zombie. now shush...

SuicideNeil said...

" You imported other Anti-Christian arguments into this because you are too limited in scope to handle a discussion about any given topic and instead shoot pre-created arguments against Christianity."

Silly me, ofcourse it only matters that religion didn't do some of the bad things people accuse it off, doesn't matter about any of the other bad things it did or does.

"The Truth is that people can fundamentally disagree with one another in good faith, even if they share the same basic Religious concepts. "

Been to Northern Ireland in the lad few years? No? Didn't think so...

"The reason I said the paedophile Priest scandal is overblown nonsense is not because I deny any paedophile Priest ever existed, but because the idea of a massive, Churchwide conspiracy that went all the way to the Pope, and an internal culture that allowed, even endorsed this behaviour never existed."

I would hope so too.

"I also gave you a link to material by Philip Jenkins to back up the claim that he paedophile Priest scandal is more the product of sensationalism. The only reason you ignore the evidence is to keep this as a weapon to beat Christians over the head with."

I'd use a bible normally- those things are heavy, and the irony would be rather awesome...

"No it’s not. What you mean is either the Murphy Case or the “Advice to hide paedophilia l” letter. Neither of which treally are what propagandists like you say they are."

Don't deny it just because you don't like it.

"But, in the end everything is down to interpretation. Even just looking out your window and understanding what you see requires you to interpret the sensory impute."

Logical interpretation based on aquired knowledge & reasong skills =/= 'omg god did did it'.

"But this is not what Christians typically do, it’s a trope. And has nothing to do with the topic at hand…"

I assure you it is- feel free to look on youtube for Doug Stanhope "You make your own christianity"- tell me ho much of that you actually feel holds some truth- I'm only telling you what I;ve observed, if you choose to not accept it, then I can't help you.

"There is no rule that says all Christians must have exactly the same beliefs and divergence in Christianity is simply not a problem. "

See: you make your own religion.

"It's not the case that "God" is a name like "G. Julius Caesar." It's more like a job-title. The name he supposedly gave himself was "I am," which among bronze age peoples was an entirely weird name for a god, let alone for God."

Indeed- God has many names; you can call me Jahweh if you like...

"In this sense, we cannot say that "God exists," since this implies a division between God and existence. Rather, we say "God is Existence.""

Well, that may be one theory- I prefer to think of existence as.... existence. Whatever. If god is existence then, and he pokes and prods the universe and humanity to shape it ( and all the other alien races that are most likely out there- *dun dun dun* ), then does that mean that god is playing with himself?

zariyl said...

Ofolinn, actually God is a name, and this is strictly a function of Grammar, and isn't even limited to Judaeo-Christian concepts. In English, any word that refers to a specific person to identify them is considered a name, as it addresses a specific subject. It thus is a proper noun. Even in Translations of the Iliad, where Zeus is referred to as simply God, the G is capitalised. The reason is because the word God is being effectively used as a replacement for Zeus and thus becomes his name.

The Translations do not call him god, but God out of Grammatical correctness.


You are also mistaken in God being a job title. The word God is not a title at all, even when referred to as "the god Apollo". To call it a title means its something conferred upon someone but not really part of their nature, Such as when someone becomes a Doctor. Being a doctor is not a fundamental element of a persons being, it is a title meaning they have completed specific educational requirements and do a specific job. But being a god is not the same thing. If it were then men could be counted as gods ( aside from those like Pharaohs...)

Godhood is not and has never been a title that is conferred; it is actually a state of being, or a species. it is like being human or being a dog. It is not a description of what someone does, it is a description of what someone is. It is a species, not a title.

Not that that matters to grammar, the reason we capitalise the G is because the word God is used as a name, and if I called you God I'd still have to capitalise it because for that sentence God would be your name, irrespective of if it is your actual name.

ZAROVE said...

Neil, continuing to spell god in lower case proves my point. A lot of Atheists these days do this. I get it, you don’t believe in god so don’t think you need to show reverence, but as I just explain, its poor grammar and only shows how childish you are.

That said, you claim we have no evidence other than Faith of God’s existence. Of course Faith is another word that is abused by militant Atheist such as yourself who would spell god in lower case or call him sky daddy. you don’t even know what it means though. You assume that Faith is belief without evidence, to perhaps even belief in the face of counter evidence. That is not the meaning of the word Faith, however it is the meaning Militant Atheists have assigned it as if the word has bur one meaning and has always held that meaning for all Time and that this is what ancient writers always meant.

Faith means either confidence, loyalty, or Trust. It comes from the Latin Word Fidese. It is not belief without evidence.

Now, lets face some reality. The reason we have not gone into depth about the existence of God is because it is immaterial. Whether or not God exists is unimportant to whether or not the Christian Faith held back humanity an created the Dark Ages. There are actually Atheists who have been critical of this popular idea that the Christian Church brought us the Dark Ages and even some Atheist bloggers. There are no serious Historians no matter what beliefs they personally hold who accepts this narrative either.

Atheist bloggers like this one…

http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2009/10/gods-philosophers-how-medieval-world.html


This is the topic. Do you have any relevant evidence to back the claim tat the Christian faith somehow destroyed the wonderful Science and Reason brought in the pagan Rome and Greece and created the dark Ages? Any at all about the corrupt and evil Church burning you at the Stake if you disagreed and people liking in fear and superstition? Of course not, you rely on the fat that “Everyone knows” this happened, and id we disagree you call us idiots or apologists.

But what evidence do you have?

TheOFloinn said...

TOF: "Try studying the facts instead of relying on your beliefs."

Suicide: I've been saying the same thing to you lot since I arrived


Then think how much easier it would have been for you to actually present facts to support your "Christian darkage" meme instead of whining about the consensus of modern historians of science. Do not be afraid. You need not believe the tenets of Christianity in order to observe that it was not a stumbling block to science.

"Saying" ain't "doing."

SuicideNeil said...

"Faith means either confidence, loyalty, or Trust. It comes from the Latin Word Fidese. It is not belief without evidence."

None of those meanings have anything to do with proof; you lose. Besides, if you were to prove that God ( lazy =/= childish ) existed then you wouldn't need faith, and what is God without faith? Sure, you can be loyal, have confidence in him, and trust his wisdom, but do you really think he would stop you from getting ran over if you appealed to him? How disappointed would you be if he didn't, knowing that he could have because his existence was not in question? Have fun answering that one...

Couldn't care if one blogger from the other team holds a viewpoint that is inline with your own; none of us have a Delorean so you cannot be entirely certain that the church held back humanity in some meaningful way, shape or form.

"That's what St. Paul said; although Nietzsche, Sartre, Rorty, Voltaire, and others dissented. Go figure. You're on the side of the theist here."

You just can't get the staff these days...

"However, the difficulty is how do you know if you are a force for good?"

You'll just have to take it on faith ( lol ) that I am- though I've done my fair share of things I'm not proud of either; necessity & desire are bitch sometimes, but I'm sure we've all 'sinned' and regretted it. I don't quite get the link to that Stanley Fish article as it supports my viewpoint anyway?...

"Almost right. Recte: "Fact is, countless atrocities are committed by human beings, invoking whatever rationalization is convenient." But even if someone were to wave the banner of religion rather than say eugenics or the Revolution, how would that impede the development of science? "

Nothing like being imprisoned, exiled or burnt at the stake to impede your creative flow...

"By your "reasoning" - i.e., cherry-picking and confirmation bias - you would have to denounce science because of Hiroshima, eugenics, and the Tuskegee experiments."

A fair point- 'mistakes' are made on both sides, often with the best of intentions ( in a manner of speaking )- difference is religion is a made up excuse to do bad- not a valid reason. My point of view and I'm sticking to it.

"Then think how much easier it would have been for you to actually present facts to support your "Christian darkage" meme instead of whining about the consensus of modern historians of science. Do not be afraid. You need not believe the tenets of Christianity in order to observe that it was not a stumbling block to science. "

http://img.labnol.org/di/jesus_google_poster.jpg

Can't be assed myself, I'm tired after a long day of work & arguing with this bunch of crazy religious fruitloops... oh, well, anyway, you get the point; anyone can look up a website, blog entry or history book to find something that supports their point of view- I can do too if I really cared that much.

I'll just feel sorry for you lot when you ultimately *don't* get to meet your maker...

TheOFloinn said...

TOF: "In this sense, we cannot say that "God exists," since this implies a division between God and existence. Rather, we say "God is Existence.""

Suicide: Well, that may be one theory


The Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches, for whom this is pretty standard theology, comprise some two-thirds of Christendom. Bill and Ted's Excellent Bible Shack makes a smaller slice of the pie.
+ + +
TOF: "Still doesn't explain what you mean by "actual proof"? You also seem to think that "faith" (i.e., "remaining true to something") is somehow supposed to provide plausible answers to hypotheses."

Suicide: Then what is the point of faith?


Glad to see that you ask "what is the point." Not many folks believe in teleology these days.

But do you really feel that everything must be ordered toward the probabilistic resolution of hypotheses about the natural world? What then would be the point of art, music, justice, literature, etc.?

The point of faith can be seen in its definition: "duty of fulfilling one's trust," from O.Fr. feid, foi "faith, belief, trust, confidence, pledge," from L. fidere "to trust." As such, it is linked to truth, as when a man and woman are "be-truthed" to one another they pledge to be "faith-full." Faith means you don't demand empirical evidence from your spouse that she was not messing around during her evening out. Faith means that you do not replicate an experiment yourself when a trusted scientist has announced an experimental result. (Trust and true come from the same root: O.E. treowian "to believe, trust" and treowe "faithful, trusty.")

The point of faith, then is to enable human civilization.

You still haven't explained what you meant by "actual proof." I doubt that you ever will. It seems to be just a noise you make with your mouth without understanding.

Suicide: You guys insist that god made the universe & everything in it, yet offer nothing other than 'faith' as proof, and and psychological smoke & mirrors.

You may be confusing "created" with "made." B-16 explained it thus: "Creation should be thought of, not according to the model of the craftsman who makes all sorts of objects, but rather in the manner that thought is creative. And at the same time it becomes evident that being-in-movement as a whole (and not just the beginning) is creation..."

You cannot make "the universe and everything in it" because the universe does not exist apart from the things that comprise it. As Einstein pointed out in his general relativity, space and time do not exist in the absence of mass-energy; i.e., Newton's absolute space and time, which imagines the "universe" as a sort of empty box within which objects are placed, is just wrong. The term "universe" means simply "the collection of everything that physically exists."

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: if you were to prove that God existed then you wouldn't need faith, and what is God without faith?

That makes no sense. If there were a compelling proof, then the faith would be perfected. Surely, you don't suppose that there can be faith without some basis for the trust?

Suicide: Can't be assed myself [to support my claims with facts], I'm tired after a long day of work & arguing with this bunch of crazy religious fruitloops... oh, well, anyway, you get the point; anyone can look up a website, blog entry or history book to find something that supports their point of view- I can do too if I really cared that much.

But you won't because you have no empirical basis for your claims about "Christian darkages." It's not enough to find a book; one must assess the book. Are the contents in the mainstream of scholarship or not? If not, what are the compelling evidences? As for websites and blogs, your faith in them [there's that word again] will also depend on how trust-worthy they are, and that will depend on their own sources and citations.

Example: while researching modal music for a novel set in the Middle Ages, I came across a website which claimed that the IV Mode was "banned by the Church" because it was "Satanic." (The tritone is unstable.) But I was playing mood music while surfing, and happened to be listening to the responsorio "Media vita in morte sumus," which is in IV Mode. One fact is worth a dozen bald claims.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: I came here because I saw a group of guys patting eachother on the back for dreaming up some bunch of BS to dismiss the idea that their beloved made up religion wasn't as evil as it actually was & is.

Nah, it was just a reflex on your part because your beliefs were threatened. What you saw was a series of historical facts that indicated that Christianity did not impede the Progress of Science™. Now the list might not have been persuasive -- It was only a blog post, after all -- but at least it cited empirical evidence. For someone who worships empirical proofs, you sure don't use it much. All you have done is the equivalent of crying "booger nose!" and sticking your tongue out.

Should you actually want to use your reason rather than simply worship it, here is a short list where you can start:

Crombie, A.C. Medieval and Early Modern Science. Volumes I & II.
------------. Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science, 1100-1700
------------. The History of Science from Augustine to Galileo.
Grant, Edward. The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages
-------------. Science and Religion, 400 B.C. to A.D. 1550: From Aristotle to Copernicus.
-------------. A History of Natural Philosophy: From the Ancient World to the Nineteenth Century.
-------------. God and Reason in the Middle Ages.
Huff, Toby. The Rise of Early Modern Science: Islam, China and the West.
Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450.
---------------. (ed.) Science in the Middle Ages.
--------------- and Roland Numbers. When Science and Christianity Meet.

Hope this helps.

ZAROVE said...

Neil, your claim that the difference is that Religion is just an excuse to do bad things is nonsense. Religion is nothing more than what we believe about our existence, and even though you claim to not be Religious, you in the end do have a Religion yourself. Religion emerges from a need to understand ourselves and our world, and whatever understanding we form will be Religion. Science can’t replace Religion, for when it does it becomes Religion. Not that your beliefs are actually Scientific. Your beliefs are still Religion, though, and have all the faults you claim our beliefs have.

Regarding Faith, you are the one that is wrong. While it is possible to have Faith in something yet not evidence, it is irrational to say we would not need Faith if God’s existence was proven. Faith would not vanish upon evidence, but would grow and become absolute. This is because Faith does not exist in the absence of evidence only. Faith is often based upon Evidence.

Now, if your new argument is, we don’t have a Time Machine and can’t be sure that the Church didn’t hold back Science, I can counter with we don’t have a Time Machine and can’t say it did hold back Science. What’s the point of this hypothetical? You still end up with the documentary evidence supporting the idea that the Christian faith helped to advance Science and that this is the consensus of most if not all Historians, and we have no evidence of the Dark Ages being Created by Christianity.

It’s more than just a single blogger, I’ve seen several blogs by Atheist fe up with this, and numerous books by accredited historians, some of them also Atheists like Michael Ruse. I also have primary sources, like the History of the Era. What do you have?

ZAROVE said...

Also, when ou say "Mistakes are made on both sides', this assumes that there are two sides, Science and Religion. But this stems from the discreditd Conflict Thesis. Science and religion are not hostile to each other and arent competign camps. Plenty of peopel are Christian, or jewish, or Muslim, or other Religions and still Scientific. meanwhiel most peopel liek you who insist you have no Religion aren't Scientists.

Joshua Postema said...

@Neil: I did another read-through of the posts the past couple of days. I gotta be honest, I'm not exactly sure what your point is here.

The blog post is about a very specific topic, which you have only barely talked about, and which you haven't refuted in the slightest. I mean, the only thing you've said is that it's wrong! Over and over. And then, you bring up other topics completely unrelated. As soon as someone picks up on it and responds with a decent counter-argument, you switch topics again.

It is getting pretty tiresome. You, as a disturbingly close-minded, talking point-driven individual, have a very difficult road ahead of you regardless of what you make of your life. You will find most people aren't as willing to put up with garbage as the people here seem to be.

I truly don't understand why you're here though, as I said before. Historians disagree with you (we can post more, but it hasn't done much to help already, so what's the point?)

You can't even figure out what the word 'faith' means... you don't have the slightest clue what historians have to say, your view of what Christianity is is about as poor as you can get considering your access to the internet, and your understanding of epistemology is equivalent to a high school student. Genuinely sad.

I'm willing to start a discussion though, if you are willing to stop being a troll.

Joshua Postema said...

Can't be assed myself, I'm tired after a long day of work & arguing with this bunch of crazy religious fruitloops... oh, well, anyway, you get the point; anyone can look up a website, blog entry or history book to find something that supports their point of view- I can do too if I really cared that much.


How educated. That would have worked well with my professors. "Hey, I wrote this paper here that I think is great. Now I don't have any sources but I don't care enough to cite them. If you use google, you'll see that somewhere online, someone says things similar."

That's a whole different standard of evidence from the author of the blog, who cited actual accredited historians. No wonder you've got the whole evidence/proof thing so messed up that you have to resort to name calling and off topic comments. You look like a child when you do that, you know that right? If you really cared about your worldview and had any inclination as to why you believed it (instead of letting someone else decide that for you), I think you'd probably realize that you're embarrassing the humanists and atheists who actually have something to say.

SuicideNeil said...

"Nah, it was just a reflex on your part because your beliefs were threatened"

said the christian.

"That makes no sense. If there were a compelling proof, then the faith would be perfected. Surely, you don't suppose that there can be faith without some basis for the trust? "

Why do you trust someone who more often than not will let you down, in a big way quite often? I could cite a billion examples but I'm sure you can understand the point I'm making.

"But you won't because you have no empirical basis for your claims about "Christian darkages." It's not enough to find a book; one must assess the book. Are the contents in the mainstream of scholarship or not? If not, what are the compelling evidences? As for websites and blogs, your faith in them [there's that word again] will also depend on how trust-worthy they are, and that will depend on their own sources and citations."

You all have your reasons for denouncing the darkages- it would hardly make sense if you didn;t find a few sources of claims to back up your denials...

"I truly don't understand why you're here though, as I said before. Historians disagree with you (we can post more, but it hasn't done much to help already, so what's the point?)"

The article on this blog needs peer approval, otherwise it's just a one-sided refute which announcing it's 'findings' as fact. You guys need to get out more...

"I'm willing to start a discussion though, if you are willing to stop being a troll. "

U Mad? Careful with the insults though, the invisible man in the sky is watching & may be rather displeased...

"Regarding Faith, you are the one that is wrong. While it is possible to have Faith in something yet not evidence, it is irrational to say we would not need Faith if God’s existence was proven. Faith would not vanish upon evidence, but would grow and become absolute. This is because Faith does not exist in the absence of evidence only. Faith is often based upon Evidence."

See above for my response to that misguided delusion.

"It’s more than just a single blogger, I’ve seen several blogs by Atheist fe up with this, and numerous books by accredited historians, some of them also Atheists like Michael Ruse. I also have primary sources, like the History of the Era. What do you have?"

Google.

SuicideNeil said...

"You look like a child when you do that, you know that right? If you really cared about your worldview and had any inclination as to why you believed it (instead of letting someone else decide that for you), I think you'd probably realize that you're embarrassing the humanists and atheists who actually have something to say."

I doubt they give f*ck quite frankly- you guys can believe what you want, christianity is a poisonous faith with a retarded ( in every sense ) attitude towards the world. Sure, there are christian scientists, but that is besides the point- religion as an entity is bad to the core.

"But do you really feel that everything must be ordered toward the probabilistic resolution of hypotheses about the natural world? What then would be the point of art, music, justice, literature, etc.?"

Exactly, what is the point in anything? That's a great topic for discussion, but I tend to just to think we should enjoy the time we have an not worry to much about what happens afterwards- not like you can do anything to change it.

"You may be confusing "created" with "made." B-16 explained it thus: "Creation should be thought of, not according to the model of the craftsman who makes all sorts of objects, but rather in the manner that thought is creative. And at the same time it becomes evident that being-in-movement as a whole (and not just the beginning) is creation..." "

Yes, I whole heartedly agree * blows bubbles from his pipe* ( lego robot comics reference ).

"Also, when ou say "Mistakes are made on both sides', this assumes that there are two sides, Science and Religion. But this stems from the discreditd Conflict Thesis. Science and religion are not hostile to each other and arent competign camps. Plenty of peopel are Christian, or jewish, or Muslim, or other Religions and still Scientific. meanwhiel most peopel liek you who insist you have no Religion aren't Scientists. "

They aren't competitive in that sense, intead view it as more like religious thinking vs scientific thinking. 'We' aren't out to destroy eachother ( well, except those militant christians- those guys are nuts... ) certainly, but when science fills a void that christianity previously filled, it leaves religion with less and less imfluence as it were. And I am too a scientist, I've done loads of crazt experiments and stuff, I swear...

ZAROVE said...

You say that Religion is bad as an Entity. The problem is, Religion is not an Entity. Religion is a descriptor for ones beliefs whether you like it or not, the term Religion is even applied to your own beliefs. Not all Religions are the same and its simply stupid to say all Religions are bad because they are Religions, and not being Religious like you is better. You don’t lack Religion, you just describe your Religion as something else, but this changes nothing about its nature. Even Secular Humanism is a Religion, thus then your own Humanist beliefs are bad to the core just by virtue of being Religious.

You also claim to have refuted my “Delusion” about Faith. No you haven’t, you redirected the question to the object of Faith, and away from the actual meaning of the word. Faith still doesn’t mean you believe without evidence.

Now, if you think we are wrong to “Renounce” the Dark Ages Perhaps you can show us evidence that supports your claim? By the way, no one is renouncing them, we are saying they are a Historical Myth and never occurred in the First Place.

ZAROVE said...

Also, again, Science ca't "fill th vpid that Christianity once filled", and you are still ausmign that Scinece and Religion are competign camps, and you hav chosen Science. They arent competing and CHristianity incorporates Science into itself.

You also don't care about Science.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: You all have your reasons for denouncing the darkages- it would hardly make sense if you didn;t find a few sources of claims to back up your denials...

Just as it makes sense why you cannot cite any sources whatsoever for your claims.

I don't "denounce" the Dark Age; I only point out that modern historians have abandoned that as tendentious. (The term was coined by Renaissance humanists as a way of exalting themselves.)

The Dark Age was a consequence not of Christianity, but of the collapse of Roman Imperial administration in the West, followed by the Germanic Volkerwanderungen. (There was no such thing as a Dark Age in the Christian East. Things got dicey, but there was no collapse of civil administration.) This has sometimes been pegged as early as Stilicho's decision to strip Gaul of troops to forestall the first Gothic invasion of Italy; but of course it was really a very gradual thing. Peter Brown's The World of Late Antiquity is useful in understanding this transition.

The Carolingian Renaissance came in the 8th century, but this was choked off by successive waves of Saracens, Vikings, and Magyars. Burgundy, in the heart of the West, was sacked by all three in turn. Unlike the Goths and Franks, who rather admired Roman culture, these new wave barbarians disregarded it completely.

The reason for the appellation "dark" now becomes clear. We cannot suppose that Late Classical scholars suddenly forgot how to think and write; but as fast as they wrote things down, the Saracens, Vikings, or Magyars would burn them up. Thus, very little documentation from that era has survived. It is "dark" to us because we can't "see" much.

When we do catch a glimpse we note things like this: When Pépin le Bref petitioned the Pope for Greek texts, Paul I responded with “liturgical books, manuals of grammar and orthography, of geometry [and] works of Aristotle and pseudo-Dionysius” plus “men capable of translating them.” Not bad for the Dark Ages. Especially when we recollect that the Franks had no prior knowledge of Greek. We also have the even earlier example of Boethius in Gothic Italy, who translated enough of Aristotle into Latin that his own book became the standard text for instruction in logic during the "dark" age.

The last wave barbarians - the Magyars - were defeated at Lechfeld in AD1000 and Europe for the first time in a long time was more or less at peace. The existential threat was over. The Eleventh Century Renaissance began. ("And so," remarked Regine Pernoud, "we go from renaissance to renaissance, which cannot help but be suspicious.")

It is not necessary for you to deny empiricism and disregard facts and reason. You do not need mystical causes like emanations from the penumbra of the cathedral to understand what happens in history. Normal material causes are sufficient. Please come back to the House of Reason.
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Suicide: The article on this blog needs peer approval, otherwise it's just a one-sided refute which announcing it's 'findings' as fact.

Each of the items cited can be verified in modern history books. Let me explain what a "book" is...

Suicide: What do [I] have? Google.

OK, explaining "book" would be fruitless.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/
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Suicide: when science fills a void that christianity previously filled

What possible void can that be?

Perhaps someday history will fill the void in your understanding not only of Late Antiquity and Irish history, but also Medieval history. But I will not hold my breath. Your faith is strong; just not very empirical.

Joshua Postema said...

Oh, I'm not mad at you. I feel bad. You are publicly embarrassing yourself in a location where it will be documented for a long time. Your call what you do. For the rest of us, this is pretty good training at talking to brick walls.

SuicideNeil said...

"What possible void can that be?"

church: teh earth am deh centre of deh universe, innit.

science: nope, lol.

"Your faith is strong; just not very empirical. "

The Force is strong in this one...

"Faith still doesn’t mean you believe without evidence."

Show me some concrete 'evidence' then.

"By the way, no one is renouncing them, we are saying they are a Historical Myth and never occurred in the First Place. "

Just like you renounce paedo priests & genocide committed in the name of the church/god. Oh well.

"Oh, I'm not mad at you. I feel bad. You are publicly embarrassing yourself in a location where it will be documented for a long time. Your call what you do. For the rest of us, this is pretty good training at talking to brick walls. "

Yeeesssss, because this place is hive of activity where reasonable minded people hang out *quick check* well, maybe not so much...

As for that brick-wall remark; ditto.

"They arent competing and CHristianity incorporates Science into itself.

You also don't care about Science."

I don't doubt christianity incorporates whatever field of human endeavour it sees fit in order to make itself look less like the frothy mouthed group on the fringe of humanity, rather than an integral part of it. Isn't The Amish faith a good example of religion denouncing science & technology though? *waits for dismissal in 3...2...1...*

Bruttany said...

I didn't read all the comment yet, but needed to respond to the suicide kid.
First, if you ever want an argument to be taken seriously, you absolutely need to cite your sources. This is not basic knowledge unless you were there.
Secondly, you are acting like past Christianity is the same thing as current Christianity. It is not. Your view is probably the modern americanized version of Christianity. Stop being an idiot.

SuicideNeil said...

"First, if you ever want an argument to be taken seriously, you absolutely need to cite your sources. This is not basic knowledge unless you were there. "

Exactly- you weren't there, you have only flimsy records that paint christianity in a good light; there are just as many that paint it in a bad light.

"Secondly, you are acting like past Christianity is the same thing as current Christianity. It is not. Your view is probably the modern americanized version of Christianity. Stop being an idiot. "

No, I'm not acting like current & past christianity is one in the same; I have no idea how you arrived at that conclusion quite frankly. I am well aware of the vast differences in christianity depending upon where in the world one is- America has always been a hot bed in that sense, just as much now as in the past ( thogh for different reasons ); in Europe things are markedly different thankfully, though there will always be extremes. I suggest you take a good hard look at yourself before hurling insults in future- you are basing your assumptions on something I neither said nor implied.

ZAROVE said...

Let me address some points…


"First, if you ever want an argument to be taken seriously, you absolutely need to cite your sources. This is not basic knowledge unless you were there. "

Exactly- you weren't there, you have only flimsy records that paint christianity in a good light; there are just as many that paint it in a bad light.



If there are just as many records that paint Christianity in a bad light, why not present them? Wouldn’t it be easier for your case o be made if you could show us a lot of evidence to back your claims?




"Secondly, you are acting like past Christianity is the same thing as current Christianity. It is not. Your view is probably the modern americanized version of Christianity. Stop being an idiot. "

No, I'm not acting like current & past christianity is one in the same; I have no idea how you arrived at that conclusion quite frankly. I am well aware of the vast differences in christianity depending upon where in the world one is- America has always been a hot bed in that sense, just as much now as in the past ( thogh for different reasons ); in Europe things are markedly different thankfully, though there will always be extremes. I suggest you take a good hard look at yourself before hurling insults in future- you are basing your assumptions on something I neither said nor implied.



But if you think that the version of Christianity in Modern America is vastly different than in the past, how then can you blame modern Christianity with holding back Science by citing the past version you presume? Even if the mythical Dark Ages had been real, and even if it had all been Christianities fault, it’d not be modern, contemporary Christianity that was at fault. That fact alone undermines your entire argument.

Then there is still the fact that Medieval Christianity did not actually hold back Civilisation or slaughter millions mercilessly for control. If you want to disagree, then cite some sources.

SuicideNeil said...

"If there are just as many records that paint Christianity in a bad light, why not present them? Wouldn’t it be easier for your case o be made if you could show us a lot of evidence to back your claims?"

Google 'christian darkages'; knock yourself out ;)

"Even if the mythical Dark Ages had been real, and even if it had all been Christianities fault, it’d not be modern, contemporary Christianity that was at fault. That fact alone undermines your entire argument."

Epic fail. You once again seem to be putting words in my mouth that I neither said nor implied; I never said *modern* christianity is holding the world back ( in some small ways it may, but it is all but irrelevant as such ).

"
Then there is still the fact that Medieval Christianity did not actually hold back Civilisation or slaughter millions mercilessly for control. If you want to disagree, then cite some sources."

Religion = social retardation, control through influence & fear; step out of line and woe betide you. You this to be true as Galileo was imprisoned for daring to suggest the earth was not the centre of the universe. Deny these things all you like, but it's just as easy to prove them if I so wished- however, I'm gonna use christian logic and just say that you can't disprove me catagorically as there is plenty of reading material to be found.

Maybe you should think of the dark ages not so much as technological or scientific inhibition, more social & psychological- that might make more sense really ( one thing leads to another yada yada yada )...

TheOFloinn said...

"If there are just as many records that paint Christianity in a bad light, why not present them? Wouldn’t it be easier for your case o be made if you could show us a lot of evidence to back your claims?"

Suicide: Google 'christian darkages'


ROFL. What makes you think the result of "googling" counts as citing scholarly sources and people who have actually read the primary documents? C'mon, get with the empiricist program and start relying on facts!
+ + +
Suicide: Galileo was imprisoned for daring to suggest the earth was not the centre of the universe.

a) He was not imprisoned.
b) A great many other folks were also suggesting the Earth was not wallowing in the ignoble bottom of the World. So why Galileo in particular? [Hint: this requires actually knowing facts about the event. For example: what evidence did he have? What were the falsifications then available?]

Suicide: Deny these things all you like, but it's just as easy to prove them if I so wished

All talk and no action. You could if you would; but you never do.

ZAROVE said...

You know, an actual discussion would be nice rather than these posts of yours that are assertions without citations.


"If there are just as many records that paint Christianity in a bad light, why not present them? Wouldn’t it be easier for your case o be made if you could show us a lot of evidence to back your claims?"

Google 'christian darkages'; knock yourself out ;)



The irony is that Google reveals just as many links that refute this claim of the “Christian Dark Ages”, and some by Atheists. But, that doesn’t matter, I want actual primary citation. You said records, not internet WebPages. I can toss up a webpage tomorrow that claims all the Nations in the world really are just puppets of an evil all powerful illuminate, but that doesn’t mean I should be believed.

I want evidence, not someone to tell me to do a Google search.



"Even if the mythical Dark Ages had been real, and even if it had all been Christianities fault, it’d not be modern, contemporary Christianity that was at fault. That fact alone undermines your entire argument."

Epic fail. You once again seem to be putting words in my mouth that I neither said nor implied;



But you did say this, even in this post. Religion is social retardation, Religion leads to stupidity and violence, ect…and you have criticised Christianity.

ZAROVE said...

I would Quote you but your post are available for all to see already so I don’t have to. Just scroll up the screen.



I never said *modern* christianity is holding the world back ( in some small ways it may, but it is all but irrelevant as such ).



Then how do you explain what you said below?






"
Then there is still the fact that Medieval Christianity did not actually hold back Civilisation or slaughter millions mercilessly for control. If you want to disagree, then cite some sources."

Religion = social retardation, control through influence & fear; step out of line and woe betide you.



No it doesn’t. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs about the fundamental nature of our existence. As much as you claim to have no Religion, and are even insulted by being called Religious, if you have a set of beliefs about the Fundamental Nature of our existence, then you have a Religion. It’s really something that everyone has.

Religion is simply what we in the contemporary world call a “Worldview”. I dislike the term “Worldview”, as it is redundant.

Also, Religion is not spread or maintained by fear in all instances, nor is it always about control over others, neither does it always threaten. However, your “Nonreligious Philosophy” created Communism which is such an embarrassment you try to pretend its separate and that Humanism had nothing whatsoever to do with the foundations of Communism. You ignore the bloodshed of the French Revolution, the Soviet Union, Communist China, and literally everywhere that secularists like you have had their way.

If you truly are nonreligious then I could safely argue that not being religious is social retardation and an attempt to control others and to punish them if they step out of line far more successfully.


You this to be true as Galileo was imprisoned for daring to suggest the earth was not the centre of the universe.



Yet Capernicus who lived before him didn’t suffer that fate, nor did any of the people who took up Capternicanism.

Galileo was subject to House Arrest, not to prison, and he was sentenced more for being a nuisance than for suggesting that the Earth went round the Sun.


Deny these things all you like, but it's just as easy to prove them if I so wished-


I’ll believe that when I see it. In the mean Time, I will prove that Galileo was not persecuted solely for his views on Heliocentrism by citing an actual source.


Here you go.


http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/204458/enlightenment-spin-galileo-myth-timess-slip-showing-media-shill-update/jonah-goldber#


Here is another.

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/galileo/galileoaccount.html

The real story of Galileo is more complex than the story you want to use as propaganda to prove your own Religious Myth that Religion is a great Evil.





however, I'm gonna use christian logic and just say that you can't disprove me catagorically as there is plenty of reading material to be found.



But we did disprove you categorically because we used something you didn’t, and that’s actual evidence. By the way, its not Christian Logic to say “You can’t disprove me so tis True”. You should stop reading Atheistic Propaganda about Christians, and listen to what Christians really say.



Maybe you should think of the dark ages not so much as technological or scientific inhibition, more social & psychological- that might make more sense really ( one thing leads to another yada yada yada )...


But the people in the Middle Ages didn’t find themselves socially or Psychologically inhibited. In fact, in many ways they were more free than we are. They at least didn’t lack in terms of Freedoms compared to us. And the one thing leads to another line makes no sense given that Science and Technology continued to improve in the Middle Ages.

SuicideNeil said...

"a) He was not imprisoned. "

You're right, he wasn't; instead he was put on trial & he was forced to sign a confession by the church saying that he was mistaken:

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Extras/Galileo_confession.html

Because that's like, sooo not as bad; church = deluded scum ( at the time ).

"b) A great many other folks were also suggesting the Earth was not wallowing in the ignoble bottom of the World. So why Galileo in particular? [Hint: this requires actually knowing facts about the event. For example: what evidence did he have? What were the falsifications then available?]"

http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/Biographies/Galileo.html

Why Galileo? Because he was all kinds of smart basically, and could test his theories / Copernican beliefs through observation. He did make a few errors however, and those errors put him at odds with the frothy mouthed religious folks; ultimately, even though he was correct on most other issues, the crazies at Rome weren't happy with the theories he believed so they decided amongst themselves that they were wrong ( = mental & scientific retardation; I win the argument). Do I really need to quote from that^ article so much, or a hundred others very much the same- seems pointless. Not sure what you mean by the falsifications question...

"ROFL. What makes you think the result of "googling" counts as citing scholarly sources and people who have actually read the primary documents?"

You imply that there are no credible sources of info or citations available online; you imply incorrectly, especially since most of the ones on this blog come from online book references or excerpts...

TheOFloinn said...

Suicidehe was put on trial & he was forced to sign a confession by the church saying that he was mistaken...

The settled science of the time held that the revolution of the earth was absurd in natural philosophy. (Where was the stellar parallax that such motion would entail?) It also held that the rotation of the earth was at least questionable. (Where was the coriolis effect on objects dropped from a height?) The objections had to do with the lack of empirical evidence for the motion of the earth.

Cardinal Bellarmino told archbishop Dini, a friend and supporter of Galileo, that it would be rash either to assert Copernicanism as proven or to condemn it. Father Grienberger at the Roman College (another friend of Galileo) told Dini that he "would have been better pleased if you [Galileo] had first given your proofs before beginning to speak about the Holy Scriptures..."

Galileo's big mistake was his Letter to Castelli explaining how Scripture could be reinterpreted in the light of Copernicanism. This made him look like a Protestant fundamentalist in the middle of the Thirty Years War.
After reading a copy of this letter, Lorini denounced Galileo and his followers to the Holy Office for "taking upon themselves to expound the Holy Scriptures according to their private lights." Copernicanism was cited only as Galileo’s motive for rendering a private interpretation.
Bellarmino explained that if a naive-literal reading of Scripture could be shown in conflict with something known for certain, there would be no problem abandoning such a reading. But no one was about to contradict the Church Fathers (who had written with imagery informed by the settled science of the motionless earth) based only on a plausible-sounding mathematical model. Galileo was enjoined not to treat of Copernicanism as settled fact until he had in fact settled it with empirical evidence - and leave the interpretation of Scripture to the professionals. Galileo agreed.

IOW Church officials wanted to see hard evidence before abandoning the settled science as a trope for reading scripture. Galileo at that point wanted to be taken on faith.

It was of violating this injunction that he was convicted years later.

Hope this helps.
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TheOFloinn said...

Suicide Why Galileo? Because he was all kinds of smart

No smarter than Harriot, Marius, Kepler, Tycho, Scheiner, Beeckman, Stevins, and others for whose work modern mythists give him credit. And not smart enough to avoid starting flame wars with Scheiner and Grassi so that the Jesuits, who had been his biggest fans, stayed on the sidelines later on. Not smart enough to avoid putting the words of his friend and protector Matteo Barberini [aka Urban VIII] in the mouth of Simplicio. (It was this seemingly gratuitous insult that made him seem a ingrate in the eyes of his old friend and you just don't do that to a Renaissance Italian Prince, even if he wears a funny hat. Besides, Galileo was a courtier of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and Tuscany was allied with House Hapsburg, who had the Roman State pinned between D. Milan and K. Two Sicilies. There was a bit of political messaging sending, too.)
+ + +
Suicide and could test his theories... through observation.

Except he could not, since the Copernican model was wrong. It failed to perform better than Ptolemy. Nor were its calculations any simpler. To preserve Platonic circles, Copernicus used twice as many circles as Peuerbach’s then-current edition of Ptolemy. The Earth revolved around the Sun on two circles; the Moon was placed on an unprecedented double epicycle, and Mercury librated idiosyncratically across the center of an epicycle! (Try explaining that with a theory of universal gravitation!) Planetary motions were referenced to the center of the Earth’s orbit rather than to the Sun. And because each planet was solved as a separate problem, each planet orbits a different center!

Because of the Platonic circles, Copernicus really messed up the Martian orb; so Tycho assigned Kepler to straighten it out with his new, extremely precise observational data. Kepler, who got it right, used ellipses, but Galileo refused even to read Kepler's book.
The only observation Galileo made that impacted the contest among the seven or eight mathematical models was that Venus passed behind the Sun. That killed the Ptolemaic and Gilbertine models so far as physical reality. But it was perfectly compatible with the Tychonic/Ursine models - and even with the ancient Heraclidean model that these had superceded.
+ + +
Suicide the crazies at Rome weren't happy with the theories he believed so they decided amongst themselves that they were wrong ( = mental & scientific retardation; I win the argument).

Actually, it was the physicists who decided it was wrong because no one could demonstrate empirically that the earth had the dual motion. Heliocentrism predicted parallax and coriolis, and neither was seen.

Suicide Not sure what you mean by the falsifications question...

Lack of parallax and lack of coriolis. Also lack of eastern headwinds. Why do you think Aristotle, Archimedes, and all the ancients and the Arabs rejected the Pythagorean woo-woo of heliocentrism?
+ + +

SuicideNeil said...

"Then how do you explain what you said below?"

Context dude, context- I was talking about the past, not the present...

"No it doesn’t. Religion is defined as a set of beliefs about the fundamental nature of our existence."

I have previously proven that religion did indeed equate to what I said- forcing people to confess that their scientific theories & discoveries are wrong and that the church is correct ( when it clearly wasn't ) = social & scientific retardation. You lose, sorry.

"Galileo was subject to House Arrest, not to prison, and he was sentenced more for being a nuisance than for suggesting that the Earth went round the Sun."

Hmm, someone who studies science and makes discoveries a 'nuisance' to religion eh? You scumbags will use say anything to excuse the disgusting behaviour of the church, past or present.

"The real story of Galileo is more complex than the story you want to use as propaganda to prove your own Religious Myth that Religion is a great Evil."

You didn't prove anything- the info detailed in those 2 sources is exactly the same as I've already read; it is painfully evident that Galileo was scared of the church if he was open about his beleifs, hence falling out with the wrong people and the church requiring clarification on his views, which it got from philosophers rather than scientists. Like I said, you will say anything to excuse the behaviour of the church, even when it is ultimately in the wrong. Scumbag.

"You should stop reading Atheistic Propaganda about Christians, and listen to what Christians really say."

Based on what I've seen so far, I'd say the propaganda paints you in a more favourable light....

"And the one thing leads to another line makes no sense given that Science and Technology continued to improve in the Middle Ages."

at a reduced rate one might argue- if people weren't so scared of upsetting the church or being burnt at the stake for being a witch, we might have those flying cars by now...

"I want evidence, not someone to tell me to do a Google search."

Pretend you're me; find it yourself- amazing what you can find when you think about things from your opponents viewpoint and act as such.

"But you did say this, even in this post. Religion is social retardation, Religion leads to stupidity and violence, ect…and you have criticised Christianity. "

See my first entry in this post- try to keep up ;)

ZAROVE said...

Neil, the link you provided does not say that Galileo was tried because he was super smart, and could prove his Theories by Observation, and this made the Church Nervous, nor does it describe the "Religious folks" as frothy mouthed or even necessarily Hostile. In fact, the Clergy ( whom you really mean as Galileo was just as deeply Catholic as they were) seem to be represented as actually Rational and the article says that their decisions made sense at the Time. You'd have to really exaggerate this articles meaning or pick a few quotations and expand upon their meaning beyond what was written to create the impression you wish to give.

Given that this article doesn't actually support the position you are presenting and I have already posted other links that you have not responded to, I do have to wonder if you really are reading anything regarding Galileo online at all, r if you just assume that these articles will agree with you.

SuicideNeil said...

"IOW Church officials wanted to see hard evidence before abandoning the settled science as a trope for reading scripture. Galileo at that point wanted to be taken on faith."

I feel edjumacated. However, if you swap 'church officials' for 'atheists', and 'Galileo' for 'christians', you get a statement that explains the atheist point of view pretty much...

I still, and so should you guys really, find it worrying how powerful the church was in those days- a clear separation of church and state is a good thing in my eyes- leave legal judgements to the law makers, rather than have the church as the law makers ( right & wrong based on interpretation of scripture? eek ).

"Given that this article doesn't actually support the position you are presenting and I have already posted other links that you have not responded to, I do have to wonder if you really are reading anything regarding Galileo online at all, r if you just assume that these articles will agree with you. "

I read them both as it happens; one came across as just being a rant & rave by some loony with an axe to grind against atheism, the other was very much similar to the article I linked to- neither added anything fresh to the discussion in my opinion.IOW Church officials wanted to see hard evidence before abandoning the settled science as a trope for reading scripture. Galileo at that point wanted to be taken on faith.

TheOFloinn said...

"IOW Church officials wanted to see hard evidence before abandoning the settled science as a trope for reading scripture. Galileo at that point wanted to be taken on faith."

Suicide: However, if you swap 'church officials' for 'atheists', and 'Galileo' for 'christians', you get a statement that explains the atheist point of view pretty much...


And by not swapping them and sticking with the actual history, you get a statement of explains why atheists seem to avoid empirical facts and take historical myths on faith.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: I still, and so should you guys really, find it worrying how powerful the church was in those days- a clear separation of church and state is a good thing in my eyes- leave legal judgements to the law makers, rather than have the church as the law makers ( right & wrong based on interpretation of scripture? eek ).

Not nearly as eeky as deciding right and wrong depending on whether NSDAP has a majority of seats in the Reichstag.

This is an aside, but it is useful to point out that the kings pretty much had all the guns, and at the time of Galileo, Church power was severely curtailed. Spain and France had strong-armed Concordances by which their kings arrogated the power to appoint bishops and censor encyclicals. England had flat-out nationalized the Church within its borders and made it a department of the State. The German princes had employed Adopt-a-heretic in order to assert their independence of the Empire.
A.D.Linday put it this way in The Modern Democratic State:
"It was perhaps equally important that the existence and prestige of the Church prevented society from being totalitarian, prevented the omnicompetent state, and preserved liberty in the only way that liberty can be preserved, by maintaining in society an organization which could stand up against the state."
Hence, as medieval kings morphed into modern monarchs->absolute monarchs, they sought ways to dismantle any organization that stood between the people and the central power. This included not only the church, but the Free Cities, the guilds, the universities, even companies of players. (By Shakespeare's time you needed a royal license and a sponsor at court to put on plays!)

ZAROVE said...

Neil…


"IOW Church officials wanted to see hard evidence before abandoning the settled science as a trope for reading scripture. Galileo at that point wanted to be taken on faith."

I feel edjumacated. However, if you swap 'church officials' for 'atheists', and 'Galileo' for 'christians', you get a statement that explains the atheist point of view pretty much...



So all Atheists think alike?

That out of the way, one has to wonder, what does this Statement really have to do with the point Raised by OFloinn? It doesn’t matter that “This is the way Atheists see Christians”, what matters is the factual basis for the story of Galileo and hat really happened to him.


I still, and so should you guys really, find it worrying how powerful the church was in those days-


In which days? In Galileo’s Time the Reformation and the Secular Governments had decimated the power of the Church. In most of the Middle Ages te Churches power was always threatened by rival sects. The all powerful Medieval Catholic Church is as much a Myth as the Dark Ages themselves.



a clear separation of church and state is a good thing in my eyes-


I really don’t concern myself with your eyes. I actually don’t think the idea of Separation of Church and State has proven to be good overall for society. French Secularism is well too oppressive, and even in America or nowadays Britain where this nonsense continues it becomes interpreted very strictly and all you end up with is a Secular Religion imposed from above as our standard for all social affairs. In its extremes an official Secularism can lead to the Soviet Union’s Idea of Freedom fo Religion. Officially protected but limited, it was often the target for harassment.


Not that it matters, Uniting Church and State isn’t all tyranny and oppression either. I mean the CofE is established and no one in England seems all that oppressed by it. A State Church can be very benevolent and even promotes the greater social good.


I know you won’t accept this argument but, it has Historical precedence.



leave legal judgements to the law makers, rather than have the church as the law makers ( right & wrong based on interpretation of scripture? eek ).



What is wrong with letting the Church make the Law? I mean, other than your personal distaste for it. Why assume the Church making the Laws would necessarily be bad or tyrannical? Then again the Churhc didn’t even make the Laws in the Middle Ages, so your point is rather odd…




"Given that this article doesn't actually support the position you are presenting and I have already posted other links that you have not responded to, I do have to wonder if you really are reading anything regarding Galileo online at all, r if you just assume that these articles will agree with you. "

I read them both as it happens; one came across as just being a rant & rave by some loony with an axe to grind against atheism, the other was very much similar to the article I linked to- neither added anything fresh to the discussion in my opinion.



To add something Fresh I suppose you’d need to find something that backs the whole “Galileo was a Scientist who could prove his Science True and the Church hated that and tried to silence him” routine…

You do tend to filter everything through a rudimentary conflict basis, as if all Religious people fight all Atheists and they are clear competing ideas. This is even evident in how insulted you re when I point out that your own Humanism is a Religion.

SuicideNeil said...

"And by not swapping them and sticking with the actual history, you get a statement of explains why atheists seem to avoid empirical facts and take historical myths on faith. "

Pfft- show me your empirical evidence for the existence of God,Jesus & the Holy spirit.

"Not that it matters, Uniting Church and State isn’t all tyranny and oppression either. I mean the CofE is established and no one in England seems all that oppressed by it. A State Church can be very benevolent and even promotes the greater social good."

That's because the church is just the church- it has no power in terms of political weight or legal enforcement. A church state could impose it's will however it saw fit: see- burning witches at the stake etc etc.

"You do tend to filter everything through a rudimentary conflict basis, as if all Religious people fight all Atheists and they are clear competing ideas. This is even evident in how insulted you re when I point out that your own Humanism is a Religion."

Well, not all atheists are 'militants' like you would imagine or like them to be ( in order to bolster your prejudice of us', nor are all christians lovely, well spoken reasonable minded people.

Thing about atheism though is that it is not 'we don't believe in God', it is more 'there is no God'- it isn't an alternative religion that practices different beliefs; we have no beliefs in that sense- hence the insult I felt.

TheOFloinn said...

"And by ... sticking with the actual history, you get a statement of explains why atheists seem to avoid empirical facts and take historical myths on faith. "

Suicide: Pfft- show me your empirical evidence for the existence of God,Jesus & the Holy spirit.


What has that to do with the historical facts of the Galileo case or the overall relationship between "religion" and "science"?

Suicide: A church state could impose it's will however it saw fit: see- burning witches at the stake etc etc.

Again, a belief in stereotypes and legends. Consider that the most bloodthirsty calls for elimination of wizards and witches came from the Royal Society and that the organization that spoke out first and most stringently against witch trials was the Spanish Inquisition.

Witchcraft -- i.e., veneficerae, concocting poisons for sale -- was a capital offense in the days of Republican Rome; and even the strigae were sometimes driven from the Forum or the City.

But what has it to do with "religion" (specifically, Christianity) retarding "science" (which arose only in Christendom)?

Joshua Postema said...

Pfft- show me your empirical evidence for the existence of God,Jesus & the Holy spirit.

That is entirely off-topic, you realize, right? The topic is the historicity of the dark ages. You've failed to make a case. Bringing other discussions into play is an unconscious admission to this.

That's because the church is just the church- it has no power in terms of political weight or legal enforcement. A church state could impose it's will however it saw fit: see- burning witches at the stake etc etc.

Are you attempting to demonstrate your naive grasp of history even further? Your single example alone is pretty poor. If you want to get into discussions about authorities killing people, you would do well to remember the past century, and you would do yourself an even bigger favor to drop the narrative and pick up a history book on the medieval church. As it is, this is just embarrassing to read.

Well, not all atheists are 'militants' like you would imagine or like them to be ( in order to bolster your prejudice of us', nor are all christians lovely, well spoken reasonable minded people.

Thing about atheism though is that it is not 'we don't believe in God', it is more 'there is no God'- it isn't an alternative religion that practices different beliefs; we have no beliefs in that sense- hence the insult I felt.


Religion = Worldview = Philosophy. The Eastern religions don't believe in God either, yet they are 'religions'. You insult yourself more by your verbose ignorance than by being called 'religious', which is a truthful claim one could make about any human being.

Not all atheists are militants. Not all Christians are 'lovely, well spoken, reasonable[sic] minded people'. But no one made that claim, so I'm not sure who you are debating here. The point that was made is that your filter of the world is such that religious people are "Socially Retarded" (Religion = social retardation, to quote). You are the one with an ax to grind, and it is intuitively obvious when you make those kinds of claims and then respond to someone's analysis to it with "Well, not all atheist's are [bad]. Not all Christians are [good]". You might think that all Christians are idiots and all Atheists are intelligent, as you have demonstrated in so many words, but that does not mean your opposition is as woefully shallow.

SuicideNeil said...

"What has that to do with the historical facts of the Galileo case or the overall relationship between "religion" and "science"?"

Everything ;)

"Again, a belief in stereotypes and legends."

Works for you guys...

"As it is, this is just embarrassing to read."

So is this blog.

"Religion = Worldview = Philosophy. The Eastern religions don't believe in God either, yet they are 'religions'. You insult yourself more by your verbose ignorance than by being called 'religious', which is a truthful claim one could make about any human being."

If you say so dear, whatever makes you feel better about your own viewpoint...

ZAROVE said...

Not much left for me to cover, but I will say two things.


1: To say that the Church of England has no political power is absurd. There are 26 Bishops in the House of Lords. While it is True that reforms are planned to remove them and create an all elected Lords, something I am opposed to, and in fact I’d roll back the 1999 reforms as well and let the Hereditary peers back in, as it stands now, and has since around 700 AD, the Bishops are part of Parliament and can even vote on Legislation. They are also the ones who coronate the reigning Monarch and the Archbishop of Canterbury is one of the Chief Advisors to the Crown. I realise that you didn’t know this but, the Church of England is a part of the British Government.

God Save The Queen.


2: I also realise that you think that historical tropes like witch trials and witches burned at the stake makes your case more valid, but very few witches were ever burned. Most were hanged, not burned. Also, moist Witch trials were conducted by the Secular Government, not the Church, and witchcraft had been illegal before Christianity came along, and punishable by Death, in most ancient societies. It’s not like today where some people think Witchcraft was an ancient pagan Religion, it was always seen as malevolent magic even by the Pagans of the Time. It was ironically the Church that first questioned the existence of Witches, and oftentimes the Bishops who opposed or halted Witch trials. You can bring up Cramer and the Witches Hammer if you like, but he was seen as a loon in his Time by most Clerics.


One last:

3: The above posters were right, I never said all Atheists were militants, I was speaking only about you, and what you have displayed here.


Now, if you would be so kind as to perhaps discuss the Dark Ages and the Historical accuracy of the popular image, we can get back on track.

SuicideNeil said...

" I realise that you didn’t know this but, the Church of England is a part of the British Government. "

I did know that actually- I'm not as ill-read as I make out. The HoL is full of old farts whoyeild very little power; HoC overrules or pushes through legislation if the old timers won't play ball. The fact a few paedos get to vote is largely irrelevant- they are voting on matters that seldom have anything the church should have interest in; I imagine most MPs would call themselves christian ( etc ); that is not m point & you know it ( or not- try to keep up ).

God save our future Queen... ;)

"I also realise that you think that historical tropes like witch trials and witches burned at the stake makes your case more valid, but very few witches were ever burned. Most were hanged, not burned. "

Hardly, just brought it up as a point of interest- and hanging is soo much better than burning or being drowned, yeeahhhhhhh......

0_o

"The above posters were right, I never said all Atheists were militants, I was speaking only about you, and what you have displayed here."

I couldn't care less who said it and to whom they were referring explicitly, there are as many militant religious folk as there are atheist folk if you wanna put it that way. Difference being a militant religious nut will blow up abortion clinics and beat up homosexy people; militant atheists just points & laughs at people who worship their invisible imaginary friends in the sky. Big difference.

"Now, if you would be so kind as to perhaps discuss the Dark Ages and the Historical accuracy of the popular image, we can get back on track. "

Nope, I already won that arguement and declared myself the winner ( or was that the author of the blog? Matters not ;) ).

ZAROVE said...

Neil, Having read your last responce, I must ask if you can do better than one line snide commentary?

SuicideNeil said...

"Neil, Having read your last responce, I must ask if you can do better than one line snide commentary? "

Snide, cheap-shots... I'd call them honest, but anywho...

ZAROVE said...

Neil, yet again…


" I realise that you didn’t know this but, the Church of England is a part of the British Government. "

I did know that actually- I'm not as ill-read as I make out.


Then speak properly what you know.


The HoL is full of old farts whoyeild very little power; HoC overrules or pushes through legislation if the old timers won't play ball.


Which pretty much destroys the concept of separation of powers and checks and balances. The House of Lords would be more effective if the reforms of 1999 and 1911 were overturned. As it is now the Commons is well too powerful and the political class is very obviously corrupt, yet each Time the Commons lands in trouble because of its own ineptitude or corruption, they say they will reforms the Lords further. Lets not forget the current fact that most Lords are appointees and this means they are just failed Politicians given a nice position to ensure whichever party is in power gets to keep a majority.

However, the Lords must have some power since it can block the Commons on occasion and has done so whenever the Commons oversteps.



The fact a few paedos get to vote is largely irrelevant-



So not only do Catholics have to endure being universally called paedophiles, now Anglicans must as well? At what point has there been an Anglican Church, or specifically a Church of England Paedophile Priest scandal?

Calling the Bishops in the Church of England paedophiles simply because they are Bishops is really nonsense, as there is no reason to believe any of them are Paedophiles. This is simply a cheap smear based on a false stereotype given to another Church used to help promote hatred, and is utterly irrational.


they are voting on matters that seldom have anything the church should have interest in;


But they are voting, and their vote carries as much weight as any other Lord.

ZAROVE said...

I don’t know why you think that is irrelevant as the Bishops have on occasion voted to help block the Commons on implementing certain things in free Vote and have even on occasion supplied the tipping point that secured the decision.




I imagine most MPs would call themselves christian ( etc ); that is not m point & you know it ( or not- try to keep up ).



Approachign me as if I am an idiot really does seem more arrogant of you.

I never mentioned MP’s by the way.



God save our future Queen... ;)


And our Future Kings.




"I also realise that you think that historical tropes like witch trials and witches burned at the stake makes your case more valid, but very few witches were ever burned. Most were hanged, not burned. "

Hardly, just brought it up as a point of interest- and hanging is soo much better than burning or being drowned, yeeahhhhhhh......

0_o


Albert Einstein once said that those who are sloppy with the details can’t be trusted with the greater facts either. The fact is that you were trying to bring up a horrific image of screaming women tied to poles and burned to death, but this seldom happened and most were hanged. Also, hanging was better than being burned at the stake. If hanged your neck broke and it ended rapidly and much less painfully.

You also ignored the fact that the Church was not the primary body that performed Witch Trials, but rather the Secular Governments. You are blaming the Church for killing those accused of Witches when it was the Secular State and not the Church, and when often the Church opposed this practice. Why not address that point?

ZAROVE said...

Oh that’s right, because it undermines your position.


"The above posters were right, I never said all Atheists were militants, I was speaking only about you, and what you have displayed here."

I couldn't care less who said it and to whom they were referring explicitly, there are as many militant religious folk as there are atheist folk if you wanna put it that way.


This is not a debate between Atheism and Religion. Atheism is not the opposite of Religion and the Atheist folks are just as Religious as the Theists. You are yourself a Religious Zealot here to promote your own Religious Faith.

It is also immaterial that many Christians, or Muslims, or anyone else is militant, as that doesn’t excuse your behaviour and as no one here is militant other than you.

I don’t have a problem with polite Atheists merely asking questions or discussing a point, even if you think I hat all Atheists equally, and I doubt most of the posters or blog administrator would either. The issue at hand ifs how rude and abusive you are. Why does it matter if there are militant Christians elsewhere when they aren’t on this blog?



Difference being a militant religious nut will blow up abortion clinics and beat up homosexy people; militant atheists just points & laughs at people who worship their invisible imaginary friends in the sky. Big difference.



Actually Atheists tore down Churches and shot “religious people”. Just look at the French Revolution. The Cult of Reason began with the explicit purpose of killing all people who believed in God still, and went about murdering those who still attended mass or were Priests who refused to step away from the Church and marry.


Then there is the Soviet Union, in which Militant Atheists attempted to eradicate “Religion” by destroying Churches and sending off Religious people to gulags or mental hospitals, if they didn’t just decide to line them up against the wall and shoot them. Many Priests and Bishops were summarily executed.

The usual excuse offered these days is that this was done in the name of Communism, not Atheism, but that’s really just stupidity since the reason the Communists wanted rid of Religion was in the interest of State Atheism. It wasn’t just that the Church offered a political rival as some say, it as done explicitly out of the Ideal of an Atheistic society centrally planned by Science and reason.

ZAROVE said...

The Soviets who killed orthodox and other Christians, persecuted Jews, and slaughtered Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus in droves were motivated exclusively by an Atheistic stance. Their goal was “The end of Religion”.


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


Try reading up on it sometime.


Militant Atheists in the US have also recently performed Anti-semitic Violence, Atheist school Children in France and other parts of Europe have bullied and beaten Theistic classmates, and there were even Atheist Church burners in Texas a few years ago.

Sorry, Atheists have been quiet capable of extreme Violence.

No, I don’t think all Atheists are horrifically Violent, or even most, but most Christians don’t bomb abortion clinics either, and the Abortion Clinic Bombings really seem to be few and far between, especially these days.

Your example is thus based on an extremely limited practice, which Athwists dohave analogous behaviour for.




"Now, if you would be so kind as to perhaps discuss the Dark Ages and the Historical accuracy of the popular image, we can get back on track. "

Nope, I already won that arguement and declared myself the winner ( or was that the author of the blog? Matters not ;) ).



But you didn’t win the argument. You made a lot of assertions without backing them up with any evidence and were shot down each Time.

ZAROVE said...

Also, nothign ikn whatyouhave said is honest. You rely on steotypes and tropes which aren't truth at all.

SuicideNeil said...

"Approachign me as if I am an idiot really does seem more arrogant of you.

I never mentioned MP’s by the way."

Clearly you are, and I know you didn't- that is just an addition to my point; people who call themselves religious ( but not religious leaders ) make decisions on our behalf; 10 points if you get my point...

"Also, hanging was better than being burned at the stake. If hanged your neck broke and it ended rapidly and much less painfully."

Not always / unless a knot was tied into the rope to cause breakage- stop trying to make excuses for the atrocities committed in the name of the church.

"Why not address that point? "

Don't care- church has still done plenty of bad things in the name of God.

"Try reading up on it sometime."

I'm familiar with that actually; their actions are not in line with the behaviour of the vast majority of atheists, just as extremist christians or muslims etc do not represent the ideals of most religious folk; you gotta try better than that, scumbag.

"But you didn’t win the argument. You made a lot of assertions without backing them up with any evidence and were shot down each Time. "

Straight back at ya man- this blog makes me lol.

"Then speak properly what you know."

Does not compute.

"This is simply a cheap smear based on a false stereotype given to another Church used to help promote hatred, and is utterly irrational."

Okay, cross-dressing weirdos in pointy hats; not overly fond of the A-BofC, comes across as being very creepy...

"But they are voting, and their vote carries as much weight as any other Lord. "

Irrelevant.

"Also, nothign ikn whatyouhave said is honest. You rely on steotypes and tropes which aren't truth at all. "

Truth hurts...

"This is not a debate between Atheism and Religion. Atheism is not the opposite of Religion and the Atheist folks are just as Religious as the Theists. You are yourself a Religious Zealot here to promote your own Religious Faith."

You are so, so way off the mark I don't even know where to start.

"Actually Atheists tore down Churches and shot “religious people”. Just look at the French Revolution. The Cult of Reason began with the explicit purpose of killing all people who believed in God still, and went about murdering those who still attended mass or were Priests who refused to step away from the Church and marry. "

Damn, sounds like they had the right idea- I need to fix my delorean...

TheOFloinn said...

Don't care- church has still done plenty of bad things in the name of God.

And governments of all sorts have done some bad things in the name of the tariff on lace or the ownership of a plot of ground or the nationality of its inhabitants. And scientists have done bad things in the name of science. For that matter, without families we would have no dysfunctional families; without fathers we would have no abusive fathers. And...

The world is full of X who have done bad things in the name of A. That you think this proves something about A is a mystery. But then logic and reason are not well thought of these days. One must really look at what A entails, not what X uses as an excuse.

SuicideNeil said...

"One must really look at what A entails, not what X uses as an excuse."

I wish I needed to invent a God figure in order to be a good person- surely you aren't so feeble minded that you actually need it in order to know how to function?

zariyl said...

Neil, you can t simultaneously say Religion is bad because of atrocities, and then turn round and claim that the atrocities committed by Atheists are good. You can’t say that it is irrelevant how many pepel were killed by Atheists because most Atheists don’t act that way and then bring up minority actions like Abortion Clinic Bombings as if this makes a case against Religion. Your arguments are obviously polemic. You just want to target Religion and attack it, and will sue whatever argument is convenient.

By the way, the reason I say you are Religious is because you are. Atheism is not the opposite of Religion. Religion is a set of beliefs about the nature and meaning of our existence, and everyone has this. Your whole Humanist Philosophy is just Religion, and worse, it contains all the flaws you complain about.

SuicideNeil said...

"By the way, the reason I say you are Religious is because you are. Atheism is not the opposite of Religion. Religion is a set of beliefs about the nature and meaning of our existence, and everyone has this. *Your whole Humanist Philosophy is just Religion, and worse, it contains all the flaws you complain about*."

Such as? Last time I checked we don't believe in cosmic jewish zombies & don't telepathically worship invisible super beings...

TheOFloinn said...

"One must really look at what A entails, not what X uses as an excuse."

Suicide: I wish I needed to invent a God figure in order to be a good person- surely you aren't so feeble minded that you actually need it in order to know how to function?


Nietzsche was right about one thing: With the death of God comes soon the death of Reason. What you wish for, no matter how devoutly, is irrelevant to
a) Whether Christianity retarded the development of science (the topic of this post); or
b) Whether one can hold A blameworthy simply because someone has used A as an excuse (the comment to which you were replying)

This inability to concentrate, to follow a thread of reasoning, is alas symptomatic of the early Postmodern Ages, in which Power is confused with Truth.

That you believe in the Christian doctrine of natural law - that rightly ordered reason can draw true conclusions in the moral order - does not mean that this is very common outside the milieu of Christendom. It was not the case, for example, in the House of Submission (which did not even have a word for conscience until the 18th cent.) or in China as of Ming Dynasty. There, human reason was held in suspicion and "doing the right thing" was synonymous with "doing what you are told."

Joshua Postema said...

"Actually Atheists tore down Churches and shot “religious people”. Just look at the French Revolution. The Cult of Reason began with the explicit purpose of killing all people who believed in God still, and went about murdering those who still attended mass or were Priests who refused to step away from the Church and marry. "

Damn, sounds like they had the right idea- I need to fix my delorean...


Nice. Is this an admission that you are dangerously ignorant, instead of simply ignorant, as has already been concluded?

Joshua Postema said...

@TheOFloinn
This inability to concentrate, to follow a thread of reasoning, is alas symptomatic of the early Postmodern Ages, in which Power is confused with Truth.

I'm going to add this to my favorite quotes, if you don't mind :)

ZAROVE said...

Neil, I know that you are an arrogant simpleton but, let me explain way your Humanism is a Religion again to you and why it contains the flaws you criticise.


1: Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the nature, meaning, and origin of our existence and can be summarised as a Philosophy of Foundational matters. Humanism fills this description and is thus a Religion.

2: Religion does not require belief in a god.

3: Christians don’t believe in a cosmic zombie and only a childish fool would say this. The Invisible super beings crack is also just childish. This is the sort of blind hatred that proves that you are wrong about what causes aggression and ignorance. It cant be “Religion’ as you narrowly define it, because you are just as shallow and hateful.

4: The reason your Humanist beliefs contain the same flaws can also be seen in your other posts. You claim that Religion causes people to become hostile yet you are the one who is most Hostile whilst saying you have no Religion. You claim Religion is ignorance when presenting an ignorant case in the name of refuting Religion, how is that not you being blinded by an ideological position?

5: The fact is that you unquestioningly and slavishly hold to a Humanist and militant Atheist stance without ever thinking for yourself or even asking questions about it. You even repeat the insults you hear, they aren’t original to you. I mean do you really think “Jewish Zombie” was original?

6: Your inability to really focus and need to attack also highlights how reason is the first thing sacrificed on the Altar of Reason.

ZAROVE said...

Careful,OFloinn, Neil may now think Neitche was just another Christian Apologist...

SuicideNeil said...

"Careful,OFloinn, Neil may now think Neitche was just another Christian Apologist... "

That's Nietzsche- learn to spell peoples names properly. Nope, he was a visionary & had a far better grasp on reality than any of you derps.

"This inability to concentrate, to follow a thread of reasoning, is alas symptomatic of the early Postmodern Ages, in which Power is confused with Truth."

"I'm going to add this to my favorite quotes, if you don't mind :)"

Pfft, quit brown-nosing boy- the church invented the truth in order to give themselves power- pretty obvious when you break things down to their fundamental basics.

"Nietzsche was right about one thing: With the death of God comes soon the death of Reason."

I can reason perfectly well thanks, as can any atheist or member of a relgion which does not have God as it's focus ( because reason is exclusive to christianity, isn't it... *rolls eyes* ); I'm just having too much fun winding you lot up ;)

"1: Religion is defined as a set of beliefs concerning the nature, meaning, and origin of our existence and can be summarised as a Philosophy of Foundational matters. Humanism fills this description and is thus a Religion."

I'm more of nihilist- you lose.

"2: Religion does not require belief in a god."

Depends on your religion ;)

"3: Christians don’t believe in a cosmic zombie and only a childish fool would say this. The Invisible super beings crack is also just childish. This is the sort of blind hatred that proves that you are wrong about what causes aggression and ignorance. It cant be “Religion’ as you narrowly define it, because you are just as shallow and hateful."

Truth hurts / takes one to know one / etc.

"4: The reason your Humanist beliefs contain the same flaws can also be seen in your other posts. You claim that Religion causes people to become hostile yet you are the one who is most Hostile whilst saying you have no Religion. You claim Religion is ignorance when presenting an ignorant case in the name of refuting Religion, how is that not you being blinded by an ideological position?"

Because I'm awesome- you mad? ( the concept of trolling is obviously lost on you lot ).

"5: The fact is that you unquestioningly and slavishly hold to a Humanist and militant Atheist stance without ever thinking for yourself or even asking questions about it. You even repeat the insults you hear, they aren’t original to you. I mean do you really think “Jewish Zombie” was original?"

Ofcourse not- do you really think the notion of saviour sent from above is original? Get a grip.

"6: Your inability to really focus and need to attack also highlights how reason is the first thing sacrificed on the Altar of Reason. "

See: trolling.

SuicideNeil said...

"Nice. Is this an admission that you are dangerously ignorant, instead of simply ignorant, as has already been concluded? "

Oh come off it; people still get their heads cut off ill this day for following the wrong religion ( you should visit www.theYNC.com some time ), being a religious fruit loop is just another excuse to hate someone who doesn't share your ideals. Murder in the name of atheism is as much wrong as it is any other reason ( I was joking with my previous sentiment- you are sooooo slow to pick up on these things- get out more and mix with the lower classes ;) ).

TheOFloinn said...

"Nietzsche was right about one thing: With the death of God comes soon the death of Reason."

Suicide: I can reason perfectly well thanks


Feel free to start at any time.

+ + +
Suicide: Nietzsche... was a visionary & had a far better grasp on reality than any of you derps.

Das Kriterium der Wahrheit liegt in der Steigerung des Machtgefühls.

(The criterion of truth resides in the heightening of the feeling of power.)
Will to Power #534

So whatever makes you feel empowered must be True. And in consequence, what is True for you need not be True for another. Thus, there is Feminist Science as opposed to Patriarchal Science; Aryan Science as opposed to Jewish Science; and so on? Just how far does this "better grasp" of his extend?

"This inability to concentrate, to follow a thread of reasoning, is alas symptomatic of the early Postmodern Ages, in which Power is confused with Truth."

Suicide: the church invented the truth in order to give themselves power- pretty obvious when you break things down to their fundamental basics.


Alas, far less obvious when you examine such mundane things as facts and history.

It is one thing to have an overarching Theory about "The Way Things Ought To Be" so that you can "discover" such things by applying the fundamentals of the Theory. But "the love of theory is the root of all evil." Thus, some have professed to discover that "black holes" are called that not because of some "objective" property but because astronomers are mostly white.

In all this they are not seeking for theories and causes to account for observed facts, but rather forcing their observations and trying to accommodate them to certain theories and opinions of their own.
– Aristotle, De caelo II.13.293a


Nietzsche also tells us:
"If we cast a look a century ahead and assume that my assassination of two thousand years of opposition to nature and of dishonoring humans succeeds, then that new party of life will take in hand the greatest of all tasks—the higher breeding of humanity, including the unsparing destruction of all degenerates and parasites."

Since you say he had a "far better grasp of reality" and he declared that "equal rights for the ill-constituted" would be "the profoundest immorality" and "anti-nature itself," we can only conclude that Stephen Hawking would go up against the wall in the "unsparing destruction."

But then Nietzsche has far more admirers than he has actual readers, and not all of them on the Right. They like him in Theory but do not know him in Fact.

ZAROVE said...

If you are just Trolling then how can we take anything you said seriously? You've just admitted that your arguments are just to wind us all up, so basically your here just to cause trouble. Heck, you may not even really be an Atheist! The problem with Trolls is the meaninglessness of their posts.

SuicideNeil said...

"(The criterion of truth resides in the heightening of the feeling of power.)"

Exactly- just look at how powerful an influence the church was & still is throughout history & the world. You fail.

"But "the love of theory is the root of all evil." Thus, some have professed to discover that "black holes" are called that not because of some "objective" property but because astronomers are mostly white. "

Rhetorical nonsense & lolwut? Black holes are so called because light cannot escape from them, thus they appear to be black to the outside observer- talk to Neil deGrasse Tyson before you open your mouth again and spout utter crap.

"Since you say he had a "far better grasp of reality" and he declared that "equal rights for the ill-constituted" would be "the profoundest immorality" and "anti-nature itself," we can only conclude that Stephen Hawking would go up against the wall in the "unsparing destruction." "

Hawking is neither a vegetable ( a al George Bush Jnr ), nor was he born 'ill-constituted'- his mind is so sharp it more than makes up for his physical disability, plus technology & advance medicine goes a long way to help such people; you are talking crap again.

TheOFloinn said...

"(The criterion of truth resides in the heightening of the feeling of power.)"

Suicide: Exactly- just look at how powerful an influence the church was & still is throughout history & the world. You fail.


Are you saying that the Church was powerful because she had the truth? Or are you agreeing with Nietzsche that truth is relative, and a thing is true if it makes you feel empowered? (der Machtgefühl)

"But "the love of theory is the root of all evil." Thus, some have professed to discover that "black holes" are called that not because of some "objective" property but because astronomers are mostly white. "

Suicide: Rhetorical nonsense & lolwut? ... talk to Neil deGrasse Tyson before you open your mouth again and spout utter crap.


That's because you buy into the Christian notion that "Truth is One" and reject Nietzche and his postmodern descendants. They are the ones saying that truth is relative to power and hence science is a reflection of the white patriarchy.

"Since you say he had a "far better grasp of reality" and he declared that "equal rights for the ill-constituted" would be "the profoundest immorality" and "anti-nature itself," we can only conclude that Stephen Hawking would go up against the wall in the "unsparing destruction." "

Suicide: Hawking is neither a vegetable ( a al George Bush Jnr ), nor was he born 'ill-constituted'- his mind is so sharp it more than makes up for his physical disability, plus technology & advance medicine goes a long way to help such people; you are talking crap again.


Again, you reject and deny Nietzsche and adhere to the Christian notion of "equality." Nietzsche was not restricting his culling of the untermenschen to "vegetables" nor to those born that way. He objected to succoring the weak and sick as required by Christian charity. In The Will to Power, he wrote:
Through Christianity, the individual was made so important, so absolute, that he could no longer be sacrificed. ... All 'souls' became equal before God: but this is precisely the most dangerous of all possible evaluations.

Dude, you were the one praising Nietzsche as "a visionary" with "a far better grasp on reality." Yet now you reject his conclusions, as reflected in the two examples given.

SuicideNeil said...

"Or are you agreeing with Nietzsche that truth is relative, and a thing is true if it makes you feel empowered? (der Machtgefühl)"

^That, essentially.

"Again, you reject and deny Nietzsche and adhere to the Christian notion of "equality.""

More crap- equality is not a purely christian notion- you do not hold the patent on such concepts.

Nietzsche was brilliant, but also clearly somewhat unhinged- just like most genius' ( see: Tesla ). It's rare that a person will agree 1005 with what someone else says, but the guy talked a lot of sense.

You dodged my response to the 'white scientist' statement btw...

TheOFloinn said...

"Again, you reject and deny Nietzsche and adhere to the Christian notion of "equality.""

Suicide: More crap- equality is not a purely christian notion- you do not hold the patent on such concepts.


Again, you reject and deny Nietzsche, who wrote in Will to Power:
Through Christianity, the individual was made so important, so absolute, that he could no longer be sacrificed. ... All 'souls' became equal before God: but this is precisely the most dangerous of all possible evaluations.


And in Twilight of the Idols:
When one gives up the Christian faith, one pulls the right to Christian morality out from under one's feet. This morality is by no means self-evident: this point has to be exhibited again and again, despite the English flatheads. Christianity is a system, a whole view of things thought out together. By breaking one main concept out of it, the faith in God, one breaks the whole: nothing necessary remains in one's hands. ...

When the English actually believe that they know "intuitively" what is good and evil, when they therefore suppose that they no longer require Christianity as the guarantee of morality, we merely witness the effects of the dominion of the Christian value judgment and an expression of the strength and depth of this dominion: such that the origin of English morality has been forgotten, such that the very conditional character of its right to existence is no longer felt.


You continually praise Nietzsche, but give no indication of ever having actually read him. But that was true also of history, as we've seen earlier.

Suicide:
You dodged my response to the 'white scientist' statement btw...


No, I pointed out that it was the inevitable result of the Nietzschean equation of Truth with Power. The same equation that you applauded. You praise the cause but reject the effect. We may argue that your fascist claptrap is not very widespread, being largely confined to the Academic Left; but rats may gnaw at the roots of Modernism without being very many or even very obvious.

SuicideNeil said...

"You continually praise Nietzsche, but give no indication of ever having actually read him. But that was true also of history, as we've seen earlier. "

You seem to be implying that Nietzsche is 100% correct whenever he opened his mouth and that nothing he ever said can be refuted; you are mistaken / a derp. When you realise why what you are saying is incorrect, you will understand my viewpoint(s). Until then; shhhhhh.....

"No, I pointed out that it was the inevitable result of the Nietzschean equation of Truth with Power. The same equation that you applauded. You praise the cause but reject the effect. We may argue that your fascist claptrap is not very widespread, being largely confined to the Academic Left; but rats may gnaw at the roots of Modernism without being very many or even very obvious."

Oh do be quiet, please. You did not address that particular point ( check your previous reply- you only responded to the other point I raised ). There is nothing to say that Nietzsche was correct with his thinking- indeed, sometimes he was way off the mark by what the majority would consider moral & immoral. As for me being a fascist, ha! You guys are institutionally fascist- your dogma does not allow otherwise. And stop quoting people, try to come up with an original thought of your own; as someone famously once said 'quoting other people is only for those with no original thoughts of their own'- I forget who it was ( not Abe Lincoln ), but he makes a lot of sense....

TheOFloinn said...

I did not say that he was 100% correct. In fact, he is more like 100% wrong. But it was not I who expressed an admiration for his ur-fascist philosophy. I did point out the intellectual cowardice of not following the implications of such an admiration to their logical conclusion.

You seem to suppose (in between calling people who cite facts "derps") that one may select bits and pieces of Nietzsche, calling him "correct" when you find the piece congenial, and "off the mark" when you do not. But his thought did not consist of a potpouri of disconnected sound-bites. When P entails Q, and the whole point of his argument is that necessarily P→Q, it is intellectually dishonest to praise him for P and dismiss him for Q.
+ + +
When explaining Nietzsche (or anyone else) one does not want to be "original." One wants to be "accurate." The easiest way to explain Nietzsche's thought to someone, like yourself, who has no idea what that was, is by actually citing Nietzsche's thought. Had I expressed it in my own words (which I actually have) you would have complained that I was putting words in his mouth.

But then we tried citing actual historians and actual histories regarding the thread topic and you see what a dent that made in your skull.
+ + +
I'll give you the whole citation:

"The trend was set by a cluster of ideas emanating mainly out of the French philosophers Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida [epigones of Nietzsche]. These philosophers' work is often subtle and insightful (more so in Foucault's case), but that of their herds of followers rarely is, and can be summarized by two complementary principles: look for the power structure, and do not indulge in fantasies of "objective truth." You want to understand why astronomers refer to certain phenomena as "black holes"? Look to the astronomers' bosses' skin color and forsake any notion that this may somehow have to do with the intrinsic properties of the phenomena in question. The two "principles" have thus spawned an entire generation of studies that amount to little more than nonsense. Worse, they have propelled a fundamental change in attitude toward nature and the spirit of research among our academics, supplanting the basic wonder at the world that animated previous generations of scholars with a ubiquitous and deep-seated cynicism. If everything is power and nothing is truth, such a change in attitude was inevitable."
-- Uriah Kriegel

zariyl said...

Christianity is institutionally Fasscist? I don't see how. Once again you seem to be fallign intot he trap of assumign that Christianity is comprised of a single orginisation called "The Church", and ignroe the aurtonomy and diversity of multipel Churches. They can't all be fascist even if some are simply because they don't all run the same way. Are the Churches of Christ Fascist? How? They beleive in the complete Autonomy of the local congregation, and Fascism by definiton beleives in a centralised Governign body.

Then again, I doubt you even know what fascism is, its just a word for "bad peopel who cotnrol you" and ypu haven't a clue as to what the term actually means. No Christian Church is actuallY Fascist and Dogma doesn't make it fascist.

SuicideNeil said...

"I did not say that he was 100% correct. In fact, he is more like 100% wrong. But it was not I who expressed an admiration for his ur-fascist philosophy. I did point out the intellectual cowardice of not following the implications of such an admiration to their logical conclusion. "

1) you brought him up.
2) you dismiss the parts of religion you do not deem relevant, yet defend the concept as a whole; like I said, hypocrites...

"When explaining Nietzsche (or anyone else) one does not want to be "original." One wants to be "accurate.""

I wasn't referring just/specifically Nietzsche, I meant the entire basis of your belief system... TL;DR? Cool story bro.

----------------------

"Christianity is institutionally Fasscist? I don't see how."

Gays & women; you lose.

"Once again you seem to be fallign intot he trap of assumign that Christianity is comprised of a single orginisation called "The Church", and ignroe the aurtonomy and diversity of multipel Churches."

No shit, Sherlock- there I was thinking that there was only one church / branch of religion called christianty...

"They can't all be fascist even if some are simply because they don't all run the same way."

Some, all- it makes little odds given the sporadic nature of belief in general; when you see lots of hard-liners getting up in arms about women priests & gay clergy, while other strictly forbid, it makes you wander what if anything religion has to do with christs teachings if each church/ diocese makes up their own rules...

"Then again, I doubt you even know what fascism is, its just a word for "bad peopel who cotnrol you" and ypu haven't a clue as to what the term actually means. No Christian Church is actuallY Fascist and Dogma doesn't make it fascist. "

Screw you & wrong again:

". As a political epithet, fascist was subsequently used in an anti-authoritarian sense to emphasize the common ideology of governmental suppression of individual freedom. It has also been applied to a broad range of people and groups, including people of many religious faiths, particularly fundamentalist groups. The individual, institution, or group(s) called fascist often find the use of the term in this way to be highly offensive and inappropriate.

In this sense, the word fascist is intended to mean "oppressive", "intolerant", "chauvinist", "genocidal", "dictatorial", "racist", or "aggressive" – all concepts that are allegedly inspired by the ideology of actual fascism, and pervasive through fascist states."

Sounds just like how the church and most religions on general operate- keep down/out the women & gays, make sure people have your dogma hammered into their brains.

TheOFloinn said...

"I did point out the intellectual cowardice of not following the implications of such an admiration to their logical conclusion. "

Suicide: you dismiss the parts of religion you do not deem relevant, yet defend the concept as a whole; like I said, hypocrites...


That dodge was not even artful. And chalk up a tu quoque to the list of logical fallacies you post-Nietzsche irrationalists employ.

When explaining Nietzsche (or anyone else) one does not want to be "original." One wants to be "accurate."

Suicide: I wasn't referring just/specifically Nietzsche, I meant the entire basis of your belief system... TL;DR? Cool story bro.


I have to admit that this one is a puzzle. I'm not entirely sure which logical fallacy you've gotten yourself tangled in this time. "TL;DR" evidently means something, but its effectiveness is lost when it is not understood.

+ + +
Christianity is institutionally Fasscist? I don't see how."

Suicide: Gays & women; you lose.


Admittedly, many gay activists act like brownshirts through harassment and vandalism, but that hardly makes their targets into fascists. And since "votes for women" was one of the planks of the fascisti and many prominent fascists were women, I don't see the connection there, either.
+ + +
Suicide: when you see lots of hard-liners getting up in arms about women priests & gay clergy, while other strictly forbid, it makes you wander what if anything religion has to do with christs teachings if each church/ diocese makes up their own rules...

That gay clergy thing didn't work out too well for the Catholics, though. And the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches regard the priesthood as in loco Christi, not as simply a Leader of the Congregation. However, the post-Nietzsche world regards Power as the only Truth, and so confuses such things with Power.

Oddly enough, in patriarchal secular society, such as the age of Science and Industry, the Church was always accused of being too feminine, what with all the Mary stuff, and all the female saints. Not to mention the liberation of women from classical pagan society. But, oops, you'd have to know history there, too; and you have shown no evidence of that.
+ + +
Then again, I doubt you even know what fascism is, its just a word for "bad peopel who cotnrol you" and ypu haven't a clue as to what the term actually means.

Suicide: Screw you & wrong again: [Still more mastery of logic and reason!]

the word fascist is intended to mean "oppressive", "intolerant", "chauvinist", "genocidal", "dictatorial", "racist", or "aggressive" – all concepts that are allegedly inspired by the ideology of actual fascism, and pervasive through fascist states.


IOW, the respondent was correct. It is simply a term of abuse, distorted perhaps so that you will not recognize it when it creeps in on softer shoes.

SuicideNeil said...

"That dodge was not even artful. And chalk up a tu quoque to the list of logical fallacies you post-Nietzsche irrationalists employ."

Your dodge more like- trying to disguise ignorance with artful wording does not work on me.

"I have to admit that this one is a puzzle. I'm not entirely sure which logical fallacy you've gotten yourself tangled in this time. "TL;DR" evidently means something, but its effectiveness is lost when it is not understood."

Too long; Didn't read; welcome to the internet. As I said though, everything you have said so far is just a quote from some source or other to validate your view point, you have done nothing to show me you are capable of making up your own mind & presenting your own points & arguments to back up your stance.

"Admittedly, many gay activists act like brownshirts through harassment and vandalism, but that hardly makes their targets into fascists. And since "votes for women" was one of the planks of the fascisti and many prominent fascists were women, I don't see the connection there, either. "

Gays and women are kept down / out by the church largely, that is what makes the church fascist. All women as fascists though, I'll give you that ( personal experience of living & working with women has taught me how bat-poop nuts many of them & their ideas / ideals are... ).

"But, oops, you'd have to know history there, too; and you have shown no evidence of that. "

I know enough, and I can look up the rest- just like you & everyone else. You can't expect everyone to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of history, psychology, science, literature, religion etc etc; you must be either a total nerd, or have a thousand wiki tabs open in your browser constantly....

"IOW, the respondent was correct. It is simply a term of abuse, distorted perhaps so that you will not recognize it when it creeps in on softer shoes. "

You know what they say, if the shoe fits; religion is oppressive, intolerant, chauvinist, maybe racist & in some cases aggressive certainly- hasn't been genocidal for a while but then again, look at the middle east & Bosnia- you lose, again.

ZAROVE said...

Fascism has a specific meaning, and it doesn't mean "Oppressive and intolerant". Also, "Religion' is beign used here to mean "Christianity" and apparently means "The Catholic Church".

I mean, even if we just toss the debate and declare anyone who offers any opposition to Homosexuality as a Homophobe and anyone who says women can't be Priests as driven by sexist, how does this really cover the United Church of Christ? Or the Episcopal Church? I mean, the Episcopalians ordain openly gay clergy and in the US the presiding bishop, the top position, is held by a woman. Even if you say that conflict with those decisions proves that the Church is Fascist somehow, how do you explain the Metropolitan Community Church? Then again, they don't have women Priests either since, like most Churches, they have no Priesthood.

I mean really your views are one dimentional. "Religion" does X and X is bad. But not all "Religions" do X...


Tyhen there's the fact that the reason for opposing Homosexuality, or the reason why women aren't made into clergy in some Churches isn't even addressed. You have to know why someone does something before condemning it, you can't just say "its wrong because I said so". Why should we think tis wrong?

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: Too long; Didn't read

Ah. Much is explained about the lacunae in your knowledge. Try this for how the internet is affecting attention span and the ability to concentrate:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/07/is-google-making-us-stupid/6868/
+ + +

Suicide: everything you have said so far is just a quote from some source or other to validate your view point,

When the question in play is one of historical fact -- did Christianity impede the emergence of Science™? -- then the citation of sources and historical facts would seem the way to go. You may prefer calling people names and repeating memes, but really that does not prove you can think, let alone think "for yourself." Not when the tiresomely repeated memes are so familiar and shopworn that you likely have no idea where they came from.

Suicide: Gays and women are kept down / out by the church largely, that is what makes the church fascist.

In one era the Church is accused of being too feminine and of harboring homosexuals in her priesthood; in another era she is accused of just the opposite. It depends on the obsessions of the era, not on the Church.

Far from being kept out, it has been noted that the majority of church-goers are women, and the greatest of saints are women. So how are they kept out or down?

A homosexual friend of mine quit the seminary, not because he was "kept out" but because he was always being hit on by the older homosexuals and he was "a pitcher, not a catcher," as he put it. This was in the heyday of the Lavender Mafia in the seminaries.

In any case, none of that is "fascist." There are no jack-booted thugs beating them up; no albino assassin monks from an organization that has no monks.
+ + +
Suicide: I know enough [history], and I can look up the rest- just like you & everyone else.

But you have shown no empirical evidence of this. The only "history" you have cited has been the repetition of tired internet memes heard from someone else.

Suicide: You can't expect everyone to have an encyclopaedic knowledge of history, psychology, science, literature, religion etc etc; you must be either a total nerd, or have a thousand wiki tabs open in your browser constantly

I have to do research for my books and often remember stuff. A number of years ago, my head was full of orbital dynamics and the rocket equation. It was a result of my research into medieval history and the history of science that led me to change my mind. I once accepted the same myths and legends as you still do.

I don't need a thousand wiki tabs. I have a library. I need only swivel my desk chair. Perhaps I need to explain what a "book" is... Ah, the internet! Source of all wisdom.

Suicide: look at the middle east & Bosnia- you lose, again.

How does this change the fact that you were using "fascist" simply as an all-purpose insult?

Nor do your examples support the thesis that "religion" (whatever that is) is "genocidal." There need be no religion at all to get the natives resisting to newcomers. Irredentism knows no creed. Nationalism is a more cogent explanation and history provides greater motives. Serbs might detest Bosnians and Croats more because their prior collaboration with the German invaders is still a sore point.

SuicideNeil said...

"I mean really your views are one dimentional. "Religion" does X and X is bad. But not all "Religions" do X..."

Exactly- please refer to my 'you make your own religion' and enforce it as you see fit point I made several times earlier; too many rules about how to worship that invisible man in the sky invalidates opposing religions.

"Why should we think tis wrong? "

Majority concensus; an enlightend culture & way of thinking does not descriminate against a minority for any reason. Jesus was all about the love ( and was possibly gay too - "the one he loved" hint hint ), so why is it wrong for 2 same-sex people to be together- it does nothing to harm society? Ofcourse, the bible says blah blah blah so you have to follow it's teachings ( like blind, deaf & dumb sheep )... but then, not all branches of the church do follow all the teachings; again, we go back to the sporadic nature of faith & interpretation.

If one church does X, another doesn't but does do Y, why do they both think Z is wrong? Clearly the church is just a miss-managed mess designed as nothing more than a place for old superstitious people to go to on a sunday to compare clothes and drink tea afterwards; people are perfectly capable of making their own way through life without being lied to about what happens at the end..

SuicideNeil said...

"When the question in play is one of historical fact -- did Christianity impede the emergence of Science™?"

You do know that we finished on that topic a week ago, right? It's pretty clear that I was talking about your beliefs in more general terms with regards to you guys regurgitating other peoples thoughts & 'proof' of Gods existence ( NB: God cannot be proven or disproved, so stop trying ).

"Far from being kept out, it has been noted that the majority of church-goers are women, and the greatest of saints are women. So how are they kept out or down? "

You numb-nut, it is pretty obvious that I was referring to female & gay clergy, not congregation; for someone so well read ( supposedly ), it's amazing how little common sense you possess ( this has been observed of 'intellectuals' for a long time by many psychologists ).

"In any case, none of that is "fascist." There are no jack-booted thugs beating them up; no albino assassin monks from an organization that has no monks."

There was a recent case in America where the minister of a church instructed his congregation to beat up an openly gay couple who had turned up for service- you may or may not have heard about it; I'm guessing not. One of the gays was also his son; so much for a loving attitude...

"But you have shown no empirical evidence of this. The only "history" you have cited has been the repetition of tired internet memes heard from someone else. "

I haven't posted any memes as serious responses- you are just dismissing anything I say that you don;t like or agree with, just like every other christian zealot I've dealt with. Religion is a meme...

"I once accepted the same myths and legends as you still do. "

So, nerd + now you beleive a different set of myths & legends; what a shame.

"I don't need a thousand wiki tabs. I have a library. I need only swivel my desk chair. Perhaps I need to explain what a "book" is... Ah, the internet! Source of all wisdom. "

Your argogance is astounding, I hope none of those books land on your head and knock some sense into you. As it happens, a book and the internet have a lot in common, it is all 'just' written words collected together in one place, what makes one persons writing more valid, reliable or correct than anothers? The advantage of the net is that there are multiple sources that you can quickly cross reference, and that info never stagnates like an outdated book does that cannot be updated or added to as such. Like I said, you are coming across as very arrogant and pompous just because you think having a lot of reference material at home makes you automatically God's gift to debating.

"How does this change the fact that you were using "fascist" simply as an all-purpose insult? Nor do your examples support the thesis that "religion" (whatever that is) is "genocidal." There need be no religion at all to get the natives resisting to newcomers. Irredentism knows no creed. Nationalism is a more cogent explanation and history provides greater motives. Serbs might detest Bosnians and Croats more because their prior collaboration with the German invaders is still a sore point."

See: if the shoe fits. While it is true to an extent that politics has as much to do with religion / religious intolerance, the fact it is used as an excuse just goes to show how worthless religion is if it can be hijacked so readily; what is your take on the Israeli vs Palestinian conflict for example- that has any number of courses, not least because the 'evil jews' killed Jesus.... 2000 years ago ( turn the other cheek maybe after all this time )?...

TheOFloinn said...

"Why should we think tis wrong? "

Suicide: Majority concensus; an enlightend culture & way of thinking does not descriminate against a minority for any reason.


Ancient Athens is usually considered enlightened. Europe of the Enlightenment revived slavery and applied it exclusively to blacks. Then, too, you may find a majority of Aryans "descriminating" against a minority of non-Aryans in what was at the time the most advanced scientific country on Earth.

Really, should right and wrong depend upon the whims of a mob, so long as the mob has lots more members?

Your second clause -- "an enlightend culture & way of thinking" -- belies your first. To be "enlightened" implies a view of morality logically prior to the "majority consensus." "Enlightened" means what, exactly?

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: I was talking about ... regurgitating other peoples thoughts & 'proof' of Gods existence.

c) Truth to tell, I also "regurgitate" mathematical proofs, such as for the irrationality of SQRT(2), When someone gets it right, any improv is more likely to screw it up than perfect it.
+ + +
Suicide: You numb-nut, it is pretty obvious that I was referring to female & gay clergy, not congregation

But how is that "fascism"? Plenty of sects have both, and the Catholic church recently went through a crisis because they had too many gay clergy. Do you have any idea why the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches have male clergy?

Suicide: how little common sense you possess ( this has been observed of 'intellectuals' for a long time by many psychologists )

This has been a common attitude toward intellectuals on the part of fascists, who like to call them "eggheads" because their skulls crack so easily in street fights.

Suicide: There was a recent case in America where the minister of a church instructed his congregation to beat up an openly gay couple who had turned up for service

That might be evidence that the minister has issues; but what does it say about his denomination, let alone about "religion" in general? A lesson on statistical inference might help, but you've shown no disposition to math or science.

Suicide: you are just dismissing anything I say that you don;t like or agree with, just like every other christian zealot I've dealt with.

Well, to go back to those psychologists of yours, this is called "projection."

Suicide: Religion is a meme...

"Memes" are imaginary entities made up from whole cloth by Richard Dawkins in the last part of his Blind Watchmaker. They do not actually exist.

Suicide: Your argogance is astounding

Because I admit to reading books?

Suicide: a book and the internet ... is all 'just' written words collected together in one place,

The reading protocols are different. Did you read the article in the Atlantic that I linked you to? Its not the "words collected together" that matters, but the kind of concentration and attention span it nurtures.

Suicide: what makes one persons writing more valid, reliable or correct than anothers?

Ooh, ooh! I know! I know! Expertise. One person knows what he's talking about.

Suicide: The advantage of the net is that there are multiple sources that you can quickly cross reference, and that info never stagnates like an outdated book does that cannot be updated or added to as such.

IOW, a web site may say something different today than yesterday, for any reason or no reason. Multiple sources mean nothing when those sources are Beavis and Butthead or Bill and Ted.

E.g., on the actual topic of this thread, we have cited Edward Grant, the go-to historian on the history of science, and others; and you have cited... well, no one, really. You simply engaged in rhetoric and invective, crying "I (don't) believe!"

The net does have useful stuff. E.g., I needed to know the history of the Franks in the 5th century for a novel; and lo, I found this on line: http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/gregorytours/gregorytours2.shtml

SuicideNeil said...

"Do you have any idea why the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches have male clergy?"

They make for better paedophiles? Or is it to do with 1 Timothy 2:12?

"This has been a common attitude toward intellectuals on the part of fascists, who like to call them "eggheads" because their skulls crack so easily in street fights."

Oh hardly- you can't turn the fascist argument around against me just because you don't like what I'm saying about your belief system ( or you can, thus making both points equally valid or invalid ). Didn't know the origin of the expression though- how very droll... :D

"That might be evidence that the minister has issues; but what does it say about his denomination, let alone about "religion" in general?"

It says that the congregation would happily beat someone up ( they actually did btw ) if instructed to do so by their minister; surely a real group of christians would have said no & reported the minister, you'd have thought? ofcourse, they did consider themselves true christians yet did it anyway; so much for the loving, caring attitude of christians. This should help underline... something:

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m0ushk28mg1qlemdlo1_500.jpg

so yeah.

"Well, to go back to those psychologists of yours, this is called "projection.""

Ditto with your point of view- look in the mirror some time.

"Because I admit to reading books?"

I read books too, but I don't act like I'm something special because of what I've assimilated & can regurgitate it on command.

"The reading protocols are different. Did you read the article in the Atlantic that I linked you to? Its not the "words collected together" that matters, but the kind of concentration and attention span it nurtures. "

I can read long books aswell; go me.

"Ooh, ooh! I know! I know! Expertise. One person knows what he's talking about. "

Supposedly- anyone can get a book published and claim to be an expert- that is why citations and cross referencing is important, to verify what someone is saying and to make sure it rings true with other experts or authorities on the subject. You can do this online too; your point is invalid.

"IOW, a web site may say something different today than yesterday, for any reason or no reason. Multiple sources mean nothing when those sources are Beavis and Butthead or Bill and Ted."

See above- sources should be carefully selected- I don't think using a website that flip-flops what it says on a daily basis can be seen as a reliable source of info, do you? ofcourse not, now stop being facetious. Bill & Ted is awesome too- did you hear they are planning to make a new movie with the same guys? Epic....

"Ancient Athens is usually considered enlightened. Europe of the Enlightenment revived slavery and applied it exclusively to blacks. Then, too, you may find a majority of Aryans "descriminating" against a minority of non-Aryans in what was at the time the most advanced scientific country on Earth."

Enlightened is a relative term; clearly, Aryans were not very enlightened in their attitude.

"Really, should right and wrong depend upon the whims of a mob, so long as the mob has lots more members?"

Culture =/= mob.

" "Enlightened" means what, exactly? "

Free from undue prejudice and discriminatory attitude or philosophy, yada yada yada. When a person sees that we are all on this ball of rock together and for a relatively short period of time, there is no point to such negative behaviour towards a fellow human being. Every man should be free to do as he pleases and lead his life as he desires so long as it does not harm another person ( women belong in the kitchen obviously ) :)

TheOFloinn said...

"Do you have any idea why the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches have male clergy?"

Suicide: They make for better paedophiles?


No, nor even better ephebophiles. Fact is, a kid is safer with a priest than with a public school teacher, if one is interested in protecting kids rather than some other agenda. The overwhelming risk levels involve mother's live-in boy friend, relatives, etc.:
"In Child Maltreatment 2006, a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, we’re told that around 66 percent of those who sexually abuse children are parents, other relatives, unmarried partners of parents, friends, or neighbors, and that only 0.5 percent are “professionals.” And clergy are a subset of “professionals,” and Catholic priests are a subset of clergy. Neither Child Maltreatment 2006 nor any other study identifies clergy (much less Catholic priests) as a statistically significant class of perpetrators. Statistically insignificant and taken from years and decades past, cases of abuse involving Catholic clergy—though profoundly troubling—are nonetheless few compared to the cases involving, for example, public-school teachers. Thus, for example, in both actual numbers and percentages, sexual abuse of children by teachers, coaches, and employees in public schools exceeds anything that occurred in Catholic institutions."
-- Nussbaum and Nussbaum, reviewing Marci A. Hamilton’s Justice Denied
+ + +
"That might be evidence that the minister has issues; but what does it say about his denomination, let alone about "religion" in general?"

Suicide: It says that the congregation would happily beat someone up… if instructed to do so by their minister; surely a real group of christians would have said no & reported the minister, you'd have thought? ofcourse, they did consider themselves true christians yet did it anyway; so much for the loving, caring attitude of christians.


Sounds like the "minister" is one of those do-it-yourself sects. How is his personal following a representative sample of “Christians”? You need to study statistical inference, friend.
Or logic: a) if a real group of Christians would have said no; and b) this group did not say no; then c) they did not comprise a group of real Christians. Modus tollens.

"Ofcourse, they did consider themselves true christians..." But so what? North Korea calls itself a democratic republic. You can call yourself Queen of the May, but that don't make it so. For reference, of those who do self-identify as Christian, about two-thirds comprise the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. So the behavior of some splinter group doesn’t tell us much about Christianity.

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: Supposedly- anyone can get a book published and claim to be an expert

That's not as easy as you may think, especially for the sort of academic books we're discussing. However, the writing of a book requires a more sustained intellectual effort than the posting of a web page. Books may contain hundreds of pages of sustained argument. My copy of Dzielska's Hypatia of Alexandria is relatively brief and runs to 157 pp. Edward Grant's The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages is 247 pp. Shea and Artigas' Galileo in Rome clocks in at 226 pp. To condense such books to a web page or a blog post or a comm box comment would require leaving out most of the supporting case evidence and argument. That’s why, unless the book itself is on the Web, you are more likely to find superficial and unsupported screeds like at answersingenesis, nobeliefs, et al than a well-reasoned essay.

Regarding "expertise",
Maria Dzielska: Professor of Ancient Roman History at Jagiellonian University, Krakow.
Edward Grant: Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University."
William Shea: "Galileo Chair" of the History of Science at the University of Padua, Italy
Mariano Artigas: Professor of Philosophy of Science at University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain and holds PhDs in both physics and philosophy.
+ + +
Suicide: [Enlightened means] Free from undue prejudice and discriminatory attitude or philosophy, yada yada yada. When a person sees that we are all on this ball of rock together and for a relatively short period of time, there is no point to such negative behaviour towards a fellow human being. Every man should be free to do as he pleases and lead his life as he desires so long as it does not harm another person

I’m sympathetic to your Christianity-informed attitude, but the yada yada yada part seems ill-reasoned. When is prejudice undue? Why is undue prejudice "bad"? Why is it wrong to discriminate, say between stars and planets? How do you determine whether someone's activities "harm" another person? Immediate and obvious harm only? Or does future, possible harm count? If the latter, how does the actor know about the harmful effects at the time of acting? Suppose Adam opens a factory, generates 200 jobs and many useful products, but also wastewater and emissions so that there is some possibility of earlier death for some in the future. Now suppose Bob manages to get that factory shut down through lawsuits and regulations, thus throwing 200 people out of work and into poverty so that as a consequence of stress they die younger. Is Adam unenlightened or Bob?

SuicideNeil said...

"When is prejudice undue?"

When the reasoning behind it is unsound, from an objective viewpoint.

"Why is undue prejudice "bad"?"

Because it may be harmful and unproductive on a smaller or wider sociological scale.

"Why is it wrong to discriminate, say between stars and planets?"

Nonsensical & irrelevant example.

" How do you determine whether someone's activities "harm" another person? Immediate and obvious harm only? Or does future, possible harm count? If the latter, how does the actor know about the harmful effects at the time of acting? Suppose Adam opens a factory, generates 200 jobs and many useful products, but also wastewater and emissions so that there is some possibility of earlier death for some in the future. Now suppose Bob manages to get that factory shut down through lawsuits and regulations, thus throwing 200 people out of work and into poverty so that as a consequence of stress they die younger. Is Adam unenlightened or Bob? "

You aren't very good at this game it seems; you pick random and arbitrary examples to try and get across your viewpoint/ determine mine, but the examples you propose have nothing to do with the context of the discussion, and make no sense in general. Harm is almost rhetorical and such a broad term that it would take a month just to think about the answer, let alone answer it; harm in this case could be described simply as not hurting or inflicting suffering or loss on another person or people ( exclusive from religion- no religious instruction required in order to not do harm ).

"No, nor even better ephebophiles."

You didn't address my reference to that bible verse; thoughts please?

"Sounds like the "minister" is one of those do-it-yourself sects. How is his personal following a representative sample of “Christians”? You need to study statistical inference, friend. "

Most likely & statistics make little difference here, the point is religion is easily hijacked, warped or made up & enforced to suit an agenda; whether 1% of christians are red-neck loonies or 90% it makes no difference to my point.


"For reference, of those who do self-identify as Christian, about two-thirds comprise the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. So the behavior of some splinter group doesn’t tell us much about Christianity. "

I disagree, I think it speaks volumes, but anyway.

Joshua Postema said...

"Sounds like the "minister" is one of those do-it-yourself sects. How is his personal following a representative sample of “Christians”? You need to study statistical inference, friend. "

Most likely & statistics make little difference here, the point is religion is easily hijacked, warped or made up & enforced to suit an agenda; whether 1% of christians are red-neck loonies or 90% it makes no difference to my point.


It isn't easily hijacked. As was pointed out, the odds of finding child abuse and other such problems is much higher in the public school system than in churches.

Your points have been ad hominems. You haven't made any actual points with any actual evidence. Just claim after claim, most of which are simply attacks. Now it doesn't even matter to you if "statistics say 1% of Christians are lunatics; religion is still easily warped to fit an agenda". No one has made any such correlation except you, right now.

What has been said is that Christians have historically and even in the modern world are on average reasonable. You are focusing on very small minorities of people and not even giving these groups a fair chance. You don't refute anything, you just attack other people. Do you really think you are reasonable? Do you realize that you are practicing being irrational here? If that's how you want to represent your worldview, go for it. Still waiting on the "Dark Ages were Christians fault" evidence, all these weeks later. And no, "Google it" doesn't work.

"For reference, of those who do self-identify as Christian, about two-thirds comprise the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. So the behavior of some splinter group doesn’t tell us much about Christianity. "

I disagree, I think it speaks volumes, but anyway.


Of course you think it speaks volumes. Any minute detail of criticism towards religion makes it onto your list of objective truth while you ignore any criticism of any degree for your own beliefs. You are as close-minded as they come precisely because you can't see it.

SuicideNeil said...

"It isn't easily hijacked. As was pointed out, the odds of finding child abuse and other such problems is much higher in the public school system than in churches.

Your points have been ad hominems. You haven't made any actual points with any actual evidence. Just claim after claim, most of which are simply attacks. Now it doesn't even matter to you if "statistics say 1% of Christians are lunatics; religion is still easily warped to fit an agenda". No one has made any such correlation except you, right now."

Are you sh*tting me? Again, you don't like what I'm saying so you simply dismiss it; sometimes you don't need to reference statistics, you can trust your own eyes and ears. Religion is incredibly easily hijacked by fundies & hardliners with a grudge or warped sense of right & wrong- just look at the moronic west bro baptist church. Until you accept that your precious faith is no less fallible than the people who make up its membership, you will not be able to comprehend what you are being told. Deal with it.

"Of course you think it speaks volumes. Any minute detail of criticism towards religion makes it onto your list of objective truth while you ignore any criticism of any degree for your own beliefs. You are as close-minded as they come precisely because you can't see it. "

20/20 vision here dude. 'Minute' isn't exactly how I would describe the behaviour & attitude of vast numbers of christians, but ofcourse you just as easily dismiss them as you do anyone else who doesn't fit into your ideal of what a christian is actually like. I'm very open minded as it happens- I see lots of good people doing good things on a daily basis, it's just a shame why they think they should be doing it vs doing it because they want to- nothing closed minded about not believing in fairies...

TheOFloinn said...

"When is prejudice undue?"

Suicide: When the reasoning behind it is unsound, from an objective viewpoint.


No, that is when it is unsound. When is it undue?

"Why is undue prejudice "bad"?"

Suicide: Because it may be harmful and unproductive on a smaller or wider sociological scale.


Why does that make it "bad"? What is the sociological "scale"? Is it a ratio scale, an interval scale, what? Must the bad be harmful and unproductive, or does it suffice only to be unproductive, so that (e.g.) welfare recipients might be considered "bad" in your system.

"Why is it wrong to discriminate, say between stars and planets?"

Suicide: Nonsensical & irrelevant example.


So is discrimination always bad or is it sometimes not only necessary, but a positive good?

"How do you determine whether someone's activities "harm" another person? Immediate and obvious harm only? Or does future, possible harm count? If the latter,

Suicide: you pick random and arbitrary examples to try and get across your viewpoint


Actually, I've done quite a few fault trees and FMEAs, and so the question of immediate and future effects are quite familiar from an engineering perspective. That you are unable to deal with the question does not make the question bad. It makes your answer bad.
+ + +
How is his personal following a representative sample of “Christians”? You need to study statistical inference, friend.

Suicide: statistics make little difference here, the point is religion is easily hijacked, warped or made up & enforced to suit an agenda; whether 1% of christians are red-neck loonies or 90% it makes no difference to my point.


It matters considerably if one is actually concerned for the children involved. The Pareto Principle is basic to problem-solving. Religion is no more easily "hijacked" than is nationalism or loyalty or anything else. In fact, the violence and horror inflicted in the name of nationalism far exceeds that inflicted in the name of "religion." And that inflicted in the name of socialism even more so.
+ + +
about two-thirds comprise the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. So the behavior of some splinter group doesn’t tell us much about Christianity.

Suicide: I disagree, I think it speaks volumes


That's because you seem to know little of science, statistics, and inference. And whatever volumes it speaks still remain un-cited.

SuicideNeil said...

"No, that is when it is unsound. When is it undue?"

It's undue because the reasons are highly flawed; your reasoning skills need a little improvement...

"Why does that make it "bad"?"

Harmful = bad.

"What is the sociological "scale"? "

Irrelevant.

"Must the bad be harmful and unproductive, or does it suffice only to be unproductive, so that (e.g.) welfare recipients might be considered "bad" in your system."

Seriously? There are many perfectly valid reasons why people need to claim benefits- that is what they are for afterall and I am happy to pay towards another persons needs in that way; separating the spongers from the genuine claimants is another topic entirely.

"So is discrimination always bad or is it sometimes not only necessary, but a positive good?"

Depends upon what & why, I don't believe there can be such a thing as 'positive discrimination ( ie only employing ethnic minorities to meet a quota target ) as you end up inadvertently discriminating against someone else instead.

I think the word you were looking for regards planets was the word 'distinguish' ( who the f*ck discriminates against/between planets- that is why I said your example made no sense ).

"That you are unable to deal with the question does not make the question bad. It makes your answer bad. "

You fail- try quoting my whole post and put it into context next time; your example was indeed useless & impossible to reply to. The notion of future harm would still fall under harm in general- it has nothing to do with what we were discussing though, more importantly.

"It matters considerably if one is actually concerned for the children involved."

Wut? What do children have to do with this discussion/example? Like I said, you ignore my points and make up your own story in your head in order to dodge simple questions- stop that, stop that right now.

"The Pareto Principle is basic to problem-solving. Religion is no more easily "hijacked" than is nationalism or loyalty or anything else."

Oh FFS, all those things you just listed are easily hijacked to suit x, y & z agendas; you need to get out more.

"In fact, the violence and horror inflicted in the name of nationalism far exceeds that inflicted in the name of "religion." And that inflicted in the name of socialism even more so."

Bullsh*t; I cite more than enough examples and you just carry on sticking your fingers in your ears singing 'la la la I can;t hear you' each time. Your precious religion is a disgusting front for a legion of ill informed and easily lead delusionalists. Get a grip on reality.

"That's because you seem to know little of science, statistics, and inference. And whatever volumes it speaks still remain un-cited. "

See above. The volumes it speaks is painfully obvious to anyone who isn't a christian apologist; whenever someone does or says something hateful, vindictive or just plain retarded it shows them to be just another mouth piece for the horribly flawed money making organisation known as orgainsed religion. Ofcourse, since you do not like what I am saying you choose to dismiss it, naturally. Anyone who claims to be a follower of christ yet pokes fun at & denounces any other person for any reason, is just another hypocritical biggot.


You can give up now, I already won this debate weeks ago.

Joshua Postema said...

You can give up now, I already won this debate weeks ago.

Uh huh. I remember all those sources you cited and non-ad-hominem arguments you made.

SuicideNeil said...

"Uh huh. I remember all those sources you cited and non-ad-hominem arguments you made. "

Common sense + my own to eyes & ability to see things how they are > any amount of sources. The dark ages is still on goinf really; sure, there are lots of scientists whom also subscribe to religion ( they are mutually exclusive in that sense ), but there are plenty more would-be perfectly capable people who reject science in favour of the dogmatic clap-trap which is religious teachings. Ergo, instead of furthering human endeavour, they are just furthering the cause of the church = dark ages of intellectual neglect.

Like I said, it only takes one person for the argument to be borne out as as truth...

TheOFloinn said...

Suicide: Harmful = bad.

Justify that. Not all societies have believed so.

Suicide: There are many perfectly valid reasons why people need to claim benefits

It was you who set up "unproductive" as a criterion. Now you are backpedaling. Glad to see you subscribe to the Christian notion of charity to strangers, but Nietzsche would not approve. He cited it as an example of the strangle-hold Christianity holds even over atheist thinking.

Suicide: The notion of future harm would still fall under harm in general

So under consequentialism, how does one choose the moral path when one cannot foresee the future? Would you really hold liberals to blame for advocating programs that keep people in permanently poor and dependent?

Suicide: Oh FFS, all those things you just listed are easily hijacked to suit x, y & z agendas; you need to get out more.

In which case, why single out "religion"? Your contention was that religion was "bad" because it was "easily hijacked" by secularists to further secular purposes.

"the violence and horror inflicted in the name of nationalism far exceeds that inflicted in the name of 'religion.'"

Suicide: Bullsh*t; I cite more than enough examples


You haven't cited any examples, let alone shown them to be the rule.

"That's because you seem to know little of science, statistics, and inference. And whatever volumes it speaks still remain un-cited. "

Suicide: See above. The volumes it speaks is painfully obvious


Volumes have indeed been spoken. Perhaps never has such a volume been spoken without citing a single fact or source.

Suicide: Common sense + my own to eyes & ability to see things how they are > any amount of sources.

You are entitled to your opinions; but you are not entitled to your own facts. It is quite common for uninformed amateurs to elevate their own opinions above those of the experts. My physicist friends sometimes receive single-spaced screeds which claim by their own common sense and their ability to "see things as they are" to have utterly refuted Einstein.

"Common sense" does not magically impart a personal revelation as to the intension and remission of form or how Theodoric of Freiburg explicated the rainbow.

Suicide: The dark ages is still on goinf really;

Last I looked into it, the saracens were turned back decisively at Tours by Charles the Hammer, the vikings were domesticated and settled in Normandy and Sicily, and the magyars were defeated at Lechfeld ca. AD 1000. Really.

SuicideNeil said...

"Justify that. Not all societies have believed so. "

Belief counts for nothing in a f*cked up society.

"It was you who set up "unproductive" as a criterion. Now you are backpedaling."

You twisted my words; unproductive was meant in the sense that a society cannot evolve and function if it is self-destructive. I did not mean that individuals did not work > unproductive. Nice try though...

"So under consequentialism, how does one choose the moral path when one cannot foresee the future?"

Common sense; short term gains for long term hardship = fail. Ofcourse, try telling those in power that...

"Would you really hold liberals to blame for advocating programs that keep people in permanently poor and dependent?"

Gotta blame someone I suppose...

"In which case, why single out "religion"? Your contention was that religion was "bad" because it was "easily hijacked" by secularists to further secular purposes."

Because religion is a made up excuse, rather than perverting something real...

"You haven't cited any examples, let alone shown them to be the rule. "

Not my fault if you haven't been paying attention.

"Volumes have indeed been spoken. Perhaps never has such a volume been spoken without citing a single fact or source."

You fail at reading then; like I said, open your eyes to the world and you will quickly see my point ( no, my other point, perv ).

"You are entitled to your opinions; but you are not entitled to your own facts. It is quite common for uninformed amateurs to elevate their own opinions above those of the experts."

Blow me. Opinions are one thing, but witnessing first hand or via 3rd party media provides all the facts you need. Funny though, your faith is based only on belief, and that's fine however....

"Last I looked into it, the saracens were turned back decisively at Tours by Charles the Hammer, the vikings were domesticated and settled in Normandy and Sicily, and the magyars were defeated at Lechfeld ca. AD 1000. Really."

Twisting my words again & taking a partial quote out of context ( you are quite good at that, which is a bad thing ); you know very well exactly what I was getting at- don't even bother.

ZAROVE said...

By saying that Religion is horrible because it’s made up, and that he other things hijacked like Politics are different because people hijack something that is Real, you reveal the deep problem that runs through all your posts. You begin with the adamant insistence that all Religion is false. Religion can’t be True or contain truth at all. I realise that where this becomes absurd such as prohibitions of Murder you will say that those things came before Religion and that you don’t need Religion to get to them, so won’t bring that up. But I will discuss the problem with your approach.


If you begin with the A Priori assumption that Religion is made up and can’t be True, then contrast it with Science which leads us to truth and the belief that Science and Religion are in Eternal Conflict, with Science always winning and Religion always retreating, you create a paradigm in which Science means Truth and Religion means Falsehood, and proceed from there. You then make this into a total Saturday morning cartoon by depicting Religion not just as false beliefs about the world, but also making it’s adherents incompetent fools who are also Evil and who harm society, whilst Science always benefits it. You also conflate “Science’ with “Atheism”, as if somehow Atheists are Scientific, Rational people whilst Religious people are Irrational loons.

You filter everything through this Paradigm. This Science/Atheism/Truth VS Religion/Theism/Falsehood Narrative firms the basis of every post you have made here, and is the basis of every claim you make.

The thing is, you don’t question this narrative. It’s always True no matter what. But, why should we accept it as True? Why do you? I know your ready answer is that you accept it as True because it is True, and that it’s self evident and obvious, and we just don’t’ see it because we are Stupid and refuse to look pas tour primitive Superstitions and face Reality. I get that. But, if one reason that Science and Atheism are superior to Religion and Faith is because it allows you to question things, then perhaps you should question this narrative you have presented.

ZAROVE said...

For starters, what is Science? And what is Religion? Why do the two stand in conflict, other than “Religion teaches X and Science proves X is wrong and its really Y”? What if you go beyond saying that what Religion teaches is always wrong and is disproven by Science that gives us the Truth and start asking yourself the Hard questions.


What is Religion?

Is Religion simply belief in a god? It can’t be, as the vast majority of what you’ve posted has no direct tie to belief in a god at all. Belief that a god exists is simply that, belief that a god exists. It is not a moral code, and doesn’t really motivate you to Fight Crusades and hold Inquisitions. It doesn’t make you hate Science, nor does it make you want to force everyone in society to do what you want. Belief in God, on its own, also doesn’t motivate you to open Soup Kitchens, or help the less fortunate.


Belief in a god is just belief that a god exists. Even if you are right and no gods exist, such a belief is not in itself harmful to anyone or anything. It’s always the secondary beliefs, such as what the will of God or the gods is, that would cause anything. But even fi you argue that that’s’ the point, because you can make God say whatever you want, you still have to come up with why someone would put words in God’s mouth.

I know the next part too, people put words into God’s mouth because they want to control others. But is this always True? Out of all the Prophets in History, all the Sages and Holy Men who claim to have spoken to God or received Revelation from him, not a one was sincere in their beliefs? Not a one may have used the idea of God to simply promote Justice? Perhaps you would concede that they may have. Maybe some did really believe God existed but were wrong, maybe some didn’t really believe in God or claimed to hear from him when they didn’t even if they did believe, just to affect social changes, and perhaps you would even concede that sometimes they said God wanted something because they wanted to actually speak out against injustice, but then there are those who simply use the idea of God to control others, create oppression, and hold back Science, so the idea of God has got to go.

After all, God doesn’t really exist, and because God doesn’t exist and the idea of Religion is easily Hijacked, it’s best if we abolish Religion. Granted, other things are just as easily Hijacked, like Politics, but those things are Real, and God is not Real.

But saying this means that the only real difference between belief in God that can be Hijacked and belief in ones National Politics or belief in Philosophy is that God isn’t real, and Political and Philosophical matters are.

But, are they any more real than God is? Not really. Unless you are a Theist, and then God is more real than Politics and Philosophy.

The reason I say that is because, in the end, Government and Laws are abstractions, and Philosophy is nothing more than abstract thinking on various topics. As we speak America is in the middle of an Election for President, and Barrack Obama is President. But Obama is just a man, really not fundamentally different than any other. There is no logical reason to think he has any actual relevance or more importance than anyone else. But he’s treated differently because he won an election and sits in the White House. How does that actually differ from the Medieval Bishops that are so often complained about? Or even the Kings of the Earth?


In fact, the whole United States Of America doesn’t actually exist. We may look on a map and see little lines drawn that separates the USA from Canada and Mexico, and even divides it into states, but lets face reality those little lines aren’t really there either. If you go to the boarder of Tennessee and Kentucky, there is no line. If you go to the boarder of Canada and the US, there is no Line.

ZAROVE said...

There is nothing special about the United States boarders that set it apart from its neighbours. America, like all Nations, is ultimately a Political Fiction. Its existence is only perpetuated by people accepting that it exists, and continuing on in a Culture known as “Being American”. It’s also arbitrary. Michigan could easily still be part of Canada had History played out differently, or Washington may be part of British Columbia. Texas was once part of Mexico, and so was Arizona and large parts of the Western US. No magic wand was waved that changed the very nature of the land into American Soil, it was just annexed after military Conflicts settled Abstract debates on Laws and how to live. In the end, its all made up.

For that matter, while Laws exist to make society possible, they deal almost entirely in abstraction, and unless the Law is performed in a society on a case by case basis, its done based on a fixed law code that originates from Lawyers and Judges and Legislators all arguing various points of Law over the years. Laws are in the end nonexistent. They have no Physical reality. They only exist in terms of people obeying them, or people like the Police enforcing them. Laws can’t be touched, held, or examined directly in any Physical or meaningful way.


Neither Nationalism nor Laws are actually Real in any sense. They are intellectual abstractions produced by Humanity to build a society around.


Then there’s Philosophy, which by definition is an intellectual exercise and not an objective Physical Reality.


While you may object to this and say that the difference is, these things still address a Physical Reality, and that while Nations and Laws and Philosophy are not themselves Real they are the language or artefacts produced by Humanity to engage in the Real world as a Society that gets along and serve as a means of understanding the world we live in, and so are expressions of an observed Reality and Real Needs.

ZAROVE said...

But, can’t Religion be said to do the same thing? In the end, while you would insist that there is a great difference between Religion and Philosophy, there isn’t. Philosophy spends as much Time dealing with God and Morals as Religion does, and there is no logical way to really set Philosophy apart from Religion. Religion is, in its own sense, simply a type of Philosophy. Not all Religions even believe in a god, even though you seem to define Religion as simply another word for Theism, and I’m playing along here. Religion is, in the end, the product of man looking at his world and trying to make sense of it. It’s the answers to his questions and yet it also produces questions that need to be answered. Everything in Religion, even the things you object to, came from the same need Science and Philosophy came from, and the same need Politics came from.


While you may say that we don’t need Religion because we have Science now, and insist that Religion was Primitive man trying to understand the world before Science, you can’t really escape the fact that Science hasn’t always been Right either. Even though in your narrative, Religion is always wrong and Science always Right, the Truth is that many Times the Scientific Community has accepted something as unquestionably True that ended up being wrong. Just look at the Immutability of the Atom. Once upon a Time it was a proven, Scientific Fact that the Atom was the smallest particle of Matter and could not be divided, and yet we split the Atom. Once upon a Time it was a proven fact that Light came to us from the Sun via the Ether. It had to as Waves always travel via a medium, so Light had to travel in a medium to Earth. If Space was a True Vacuum Light would never reach us. This was a Proven Fact. Well, there is no Ether, and Light is not a normal wave. That “Scientific Fact” was wrong. Or look at Time; Once it was understood that Time was Universally constant, flowing forward at the same Rate for everyone across the Universe, and then came along Relativity to shatter that idea. Relativity also shattered our understanding of Light. We once knew that speed for all objects was variable. If I hold a lantern, and stand next to a lamp post, and you stand 12 feet away, then the Light from the Lantern and lamp Post reaches you at the Same Time, but if I begin to walk towards you, the Light in the Lantern moves faster. If I’m moving, say, 2 Miles per hour, then the Light in the Lantern is moving two miles per hour faster than the Light from the Lamp Post. At least, that’s what was once believed, and now we know that Light Seed is constant and its Time that is effected instead.

Scientific Facts have been proven to be wrong, and Science has been forced to change. Of course that is the beauty of Science, that it has a built in Mechanism for Change. This sets it apart from Religion, which always remains static, and from the Proponents of Religion and Science. A Scientist will always change his Mind with new Evidence, whilst Religious Figures remain steadfast in Ancient Superstitions.

Or is it?

The truth is, Religion has also changed over the Years. If it hadn’t, then how do you explain the Great Schism of 1054? How do you explain the Protestant Reformation? How do you explain Vatican 2?

Worse still, modern Evangelical Christians, while having emerged from a specific Theological Background that can be traced, have no historical counterparts for their specific beliefs in the modern world when contrasted to Ancient, Mediaeval Christianity.

ZAROVE said...

Amongst the most well known Christian teachings that routinely makes the press these days is the rapture of the Church. The Rapture is when Jesus returns to take away his Followers, and the most common version in the Media is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture which happens before a Time when the Anti-Christ rules called “The Great Tribulation”. This is a Seven Year Period in which Satan rules over the world via his Proxy, the Anti-Christ. At the end Jesus comes again and the Anti-Christ, Satan, and the Beast are all defeated, and Christ reigns Physically on Earth as a Monarch from Jerusalem for 1000 Years.

This is a well known Christian Doctrine. The problem is, it’s not really Universally shared by all Christians, and didn’t exist at all until around the 1830’s. The vast majority of Christians, even Protestant Christians, don’t actually believe in the Rapture. It’s well known, and in the media so much that many think that all, or most Christians accept it, but its not really the case.

It’s an example of how ideas have changed in Religion, as much as they have in Science. In fact, if you examine the History of Christianity alone you will see different periods with different prevailing Theologies. Calvinism dominated the Protestant world from the late 1500’s to the mid 1700’s, or example, only to be replaced in the Great Awakening by a more Hands On approach to ones Spirituality.

Oftentimes Religious Belief is influenced and interpreted in a modern Cultural Context. This is why many Modern American Christians believe the Bible supports a Constitutional Republic, whilst Medieval Christians were convinced that Monarchy was God’s chosen way.

Paradigm Shifts and new ways to Interpret Scripture have always existed in Christianity, and in other Religions. The idea that Religion is Static and discourages Questioning is therefore also absurd.

But I can hear the next objection now…

This variation in Religion proves its not True! Why? Because if God really existed then he would have just told you what to believe and everyone who is Religious would believe the same things!

Of course this presumes that Man would listen to God, and that all it would take is god to appear and say, “Hey, I exist, do what I want.” This ignores the fact that plenty of Atheists have already said that, while they don‘t believe in God, they would still not worship him even if he did exist because he’s too Evil. Richard Dawkins has a now infamous quote on how bad God is. God’s existence alone is not sufficient, you still have the Human Factor to deal with. Even then though you will have differing understandings of what is Right or how to follow God simply because we are individuals, and that’s ignoring how people like to twist things to suit their own desires.


Not that Science avoids that either. Scientists aren’t really Altruistic Truth Seekers who will be convinced by merely showing the Evidence. That’s how they are often imagined, as begins of near pure Logic, concerned only with advancing the Knowledge of Mankind, and eagerly correcting any error or false belief when new Evidence comes along. But Fred Hoyle rejected Big Bang Theory till the day he died, instead trying to salvage the Cosmological Constant. Max Planck once said, “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” Science may be a wonderful tool but it’s still a tool wielded by the Hand of Man, and Men tend to prefer the Familiarity of their pre-existing Knowledge to new Ideas. So even if a Scientist is shown evidence that the long established Scientific Claim he has built his Career around is wrong, he is likely to continue to believe the Older Model simply because its “The Truth” that he learned, and it is usually ( no not always) left to the Younger Generation to make the change.

ZAROVE said...

Science has as many Scientists convinced that what they believe in now is the absolute, unalterable Truth that they simply won’t change their Minds. The idea may define the way they understand the whole Universe, and to abandon it is to abandon something foundational to their Understanding. They will cling to the ideas they hold as Truth regardless of the Evidence. This is because Scientists are Human.


So you see, there is no difference between Science and Religion. Both change over Time, and both have adherents who refuse to change with new Evidence. Both progress slowly. Both deal with the world we see around us, and define it.

Even the difference that Religion relies on Authority telling you what to believe, whilst Science tells you to think for yourself is false. Often Religious people do think for themselves, and just as often a Scientist wont and will just go by the Book.

In the end they are all just Thoughts, and Religious Thought emerged by observing the Real World around us. Religion is as much Commentary about who and what we are, and how we should live as Philosophy is, and it is from these questions our Laws emerged and our Sciences developed. In the end they aren’t separable, and none of them are more Real than any other.

SuicideNeil said...

"You filter everything through this Paradigm. This Science/Atheism/Truth VS Religion/Theism/Falsehood Narrative firms the basis of every post you have made here, and is the basis of every claim you make."

Not so, religion and science are mutually exclusive, it isn't a case of one vs the other, more like 'you can follow both, but understand that only one is real'. Or something like that.

"While you may object to this and say that the difference is, these things still address a Physical Reality, and that while Nations and Laws and Philosophy are not themselves Real they are the language or artefacts produced by Humanity to engage in the Real world as a Society that gets along and serve as a means of understanding the world we live in, and so are expressions of an observed Reality and Real Needs. "

*facepalm*

Law as an example against faith or philosophy is weak man, give up now.

"Belief in a god is just belief that a god exists. Even if you are right and no gods exist, such a belief is not in itself harmful to anyone or anything."

Wanna bet?..

"It’s always the secondary beliefs, such as what the will of God or the gods is, that would cause anything. But even fi you argue that that’s’ the point, because you can make God say whatever you want, you still have to come up with why someone would put words in God’s mouth."

1. invent god
2. invent his instructions
3. ???????
4. Profit!

"Not that Science avoids that either. Scientists aren’t really Altruistic Truth Seekers who will be convinced by merely showing the Evidence."

Naturally- humans are prone to failings and the effects of ego just as members of the vatican are- John Paul the 2nd ( I think ) said famously 'I have noticed two things that appear to be in very short supply in the Vatican. Honesty and a good cup of coffee."

Both religious & scientific types can refuse to accept new things and only go 'by the book' too- doesn't change the fact the book is a lie in one case and not the other..

Bored now, already proven my point quite conclusively so I see no point in continuing this; believe what you want and be happy.

ZAROVE said...

Neil, it’s obvious that you aren’t reading my posts with comprehension.


"You filter everything through this Paradigm. This Science/Atheism/Truth VS Religion/Theism/Falsehood Narrative firms the basis of every post you have made here, and is the basis of every claim you make."

Not so, religion and science are mutually exclusive, it isn't a case of one vs the other, more like 'you can follow both, but understand that only one is real'. Or something like that.



The idea that Religion and Science are Mutually exclusive is a false one. The Truth is, “Science” is no more real than “Religion”, and as I’ve said before, everyone is actually Religious. Even your beliefs are actually Religious. Religion is nothing more than a word we use to describe our understanding of the world we see, and your Atheistic Philosophy is a Religion. Science is nothing more than a Method of Inquiry.



"While you may object to this and say that the difference is, these things still address a Physical Reality, and that while Nations and Laws and Philosophy are not themselves Real they are the language or artefacts produced by Humanity to engage in the Real world as a Society that gets along and serve as a means of understanding the world we live in, and so are expressions of an observed Reality and Real Needs. "

*facepalm*

Law as an example against faith or philosophy is weak man, give up now.



I didn’t use law as an example against either Faith or Philosophy. I said that Laws do not physically exist and have no material objective Imperial existence. Law is no more real than Religion is.

That’s not really the same thing as using it against faith and Philosophy…



"Belief in a god is just belief that a god exists. Even if you are right and no gods exist, such a belief is not in itself harmful to anyone or anything."

Wanna bet?..



I don’t have to bet, it’s self evidently True.
You certainly haven’t shown otherwise.



"It’s always the secondary beliefs, such as what the will of God or the gods is, that would cause anything. But even fi you argue that that’s’ the point, because you can make God say whatever you want, you still have to come up with why someone would put words in God’s mouth."

1. invent god
2. invent his instructions
3. ???????
4. Profit!



Can you even demonstrate that God was invented? Of course not, you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name.


Neil, prove the assertion above.



"Not that Science avoids that either. Scientists aren’t really Altruistic Truth Seekers who will be convinced by merely showing the Evidence."

Naturally- humans are prone to failings and the effects of ego just as members of the vatican are- John Paul the 2nd ( I think ) said famously 'I have noticed two things that appear to be in very short supply in the Vatican. Honesty and a good cup of coffee."

Both religious & scientific types can refuse to accept new things and only go 'by the book' too- doesn't change the fact the book is a lie in one case and not the other..



But, I’ve listed examples where Scientific facts have been proven false, so you really can’t say that “This is Science so it’s true”, can you? Just because a Science book says something is True doesn’t mean it won’t be disproven down the line. I own Science books from the 19th century that are not the Truth. Meanwhile, the only reason we have to believe the Bible is all a Lie is that you said so.

That’s hardly convincing.



Bored now, already proven my point quite conclusively so I see no point in continuing this; believe what you want and be happy.


You didn’t prove anything, you made assertions and used outmoded nonsense like the Conflict Thesis to cast insults.

SuicideNeil said...

"The idea that Religion and Science are Mutually exclusive is a false one. The Truth is, “Science” is no more real than “Religion”, and as I’ve said before, everyone is actually Religious. Even your beliefs are actually Religious. Religion is nothing more than a word we use to describe our understanding of the world we see, and your Atheistic Philosophy is a Religion. Science is nothing more than a Method of Inquiry."

Don't talk nonsense. Religion is made up, science is a study- you can test science, not religious drivel.

"Law is no more real than Religion is. "

Try breaking the law, see how real it is then. Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences by comparison.

"I don’t have to bet, it’s self evidently True.
You certainly haven’t shown otherwise."

No, it isn't, and yes, I have- repeatedly. You only need to look at the harm worshippers of different faiths have agaisnt eachother to see how destructive their beliefs are- you only need to listen to the bile and vitriol that preachers hurl and certain sections of society to see how hateful and narrow minded religion has made them. You suck at this dude, give up FFS!

"Can you even demonstrate that God was invented? Of course not, you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name.


Neil, prove the assertion above."

Okay; catholic church. There, I win.

"But, I’ve listed examples where Scientific facts have been proven false, so you really can’t say that “This is Science so it’s true”, can you? Just because a Science book says something is True doesn’t mean it won’t be disproven down the line. I own Science books from the 19th century that are not the Truth. Meanwhile, the only reason we have to believe the Bible is all a Lie is that you said so.

That’s hardly convincing."

Understandings evolve and get overturned- that is the very nature of science as we get closer to 'the truth' of the universe. The bible is a collection of old fairy stories and moral guidance that was warped to control the minds of superstitious numpties- I can't help you if you wont drop the security blanket.

"You didn’t prove anything, you made assertions and used outmoded nonsense like the Conflict Thesis to cast insults. "

I think it's safe to say I did prove my point- you just ( again ) refuse to accept it as you don't like it; your problem, not mine. Bye bye now.

TheOFloinn said...

Sui: Religion is made up, science is a study- you can test science, not religious drivel.

String theory.

In fact, all science at the level of physical theory is "made up." That is, a story we tell such that the facts and the regularities among the facts seem to make sense.
+ + +
"Law is no more real than Religion is. "

Sui: Try breaking the law, see how real it is then. Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences by comparison.

Which is it? "Made up", like the Law? Or "zero consequences," like an unsolved crime? Is something immaterial "real," as you claim the Law is? Consequentialism is seductive, but as I've said before it is empirically unworkable, since it requires the actor to foresee all the consequences.

But indulgence in the sensory appetites "vulcanizes" neural pathways originating in the hindbrain at the expense of those originating in the cerebral cortex. This impairs rational thought.
http://www.pni.princeton.edu/ncc/PDFs/Neural%20Economics/Cohen%20%28JEP%2005%29.pdf
+ + +

Sui: You only need to look at the harm worshippers of different faiths have agaisnt eachother to see how destructive their beliefs are

You need only look at the harm abusive fathers wreak to see how destructive fatherhood is.
+ + +

you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name.

Sui: catholic church. There, I win.


What has that to do with the capitalization of God? What do you think you have won? Certainly not a prize in rational discourse.
+ + +

Sui: Understandings evolve and get overturned- that is the very nature of science as we get closer to 'the truth' of the universe. The bible is a collection of old fairy stories and moral guidance that was warped to control the minds of superstitious numpties

a) Religious understanding has also "evolved" over time.
b) The Bible is not a collection of "old fairy stories." (Granted that the post-modern generation thinks of "old" as "last Thursday.") Rather, it is a collection of myths, law books, wedding songs, proverbs, court chronicles, folk tales, novelettes, prophesies (original sense), Greek-style bioi, reminisces, instructional letters, a personal letter, and allegories.
c) When, where, and by whom was it "warped," and on what empirical facts do you base this? You worship science, but you do not use its methods.

Sui: I think it's safe to say I did prove my point [about the Conflict Thesis.]

See? Just when you thought it was safe... But you offered no proof beyond appeals ad populum and appeals ad hominem, and of course proof by repeated assertion.

I wonder if you are a fundamentalist deliberately trying to undermine the credibility of "rationalists" by acting out in an irrational manner.

ZAROVE said...

Neil…

"The idea that Religion and Science are Mutually exclusive is a false one. The Truth is, “Science” is no more real than “Religion”, and as I’ve said before, everyone is actually Religious. Even your beliefs are actually Religious. Religion is nothing more than a word we use to describe our understanding of the world we see, and your Atheistic Philosophy is a Religion. Science is nothing more than a Method of Inquiry."

Don't talk nonsense. Religion is made up, science is a study- you can test science, not religious drivel.



You just proved me right you know. You start with the premise that Religion is made up nonsense and never Right, and Science is always Right, and proceed from this premise. But you haven’t really questioned this premise and when people point out the flaw to it all you do is reassert it.

Why should we believe that Religion is made up? Because you said so?



"Law is no more real than Religion is. "

Try breaking the law, see how real it is then. Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences by comparison.



1: it’s against God, not against god. You use God as an identifier for a specific entity, making it a proper noun and specifically a name. Only an idiot would continue to spell it god knowing full well tis not just that believers cap t out of respect, and this Atheistic trend is one reason I don’t buy the “Atheist are logical” nonsense.

2: You are still conflating “Religion” with “God”. Religion is not Theism.

3: Laws only exist when enforced, and have no material existence. You didn’t refute this. And according to you, “Religious people” go about killing one another and the brilliant nonreligious like yourself so obviously Religion has as much existence as Law does if you count enforcement.




"I don’t have to bet, it’s self evidently True.
You certainly haven’t shown otherwise."

No, it isn't, and yes, I have- repeatedly. You only need to look at the harm worshippers of different faiths have agaisnt eachother to see how destructive their beliefs are- you only need to listen to the bile and vitriol that preachers hurl and certain sections of society to see how hateful and narrow minded religion has made them. You suck at this dude, give up FFS!



But, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchns also preach hatred and bile and vitriol. Harris even goes so far as to say we should kill people over beliefs they hold. Vlad Lenin had some pretty harsh words to say too, agisnt people, based on his Atheistic beliefs, and so did Uncle Joe Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.

This proves that all Atheism is destructive and dangerous.

ZAROVE said...

Especially because these were often not just words but state policies that slaughtered millions of people.



"Can you even demonstrate that God was invented? Of course not, you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name.


Neil, prove the assertion above."

Okay; catholic church. There, I win.



No, you just misspelled Catholic Church. You didn’t even attempt to address what I said.




"But, I’ve listed examples where Scientific facts have been proven false, so you really can’t say that “This is Science so it’s true”, can you? Just because a Science book says something is True doesn’t mean it won’t be disproven down the line. I own Science books from the 19th century that are not the Truth. Meanwhile, the only reason we have to believe the Bible is all a Lie is that you said so.

That’s hardly convincing."

Understandings evolve and get overturned- that is the very nature of science as we get closer to 'the truth' of the universe.





But that’s the point, just because “It’s Science” today doesn’t mean it will be accepted tomorrow, meaning that today’s Science is not entirely reliable.

And what evidence do you have that Science is getting closer o the Truth? Isn’t it possible that the new ideas that replace old ones aren’t corrections of error but introduction of error? What if we come to the Truth, but decide against it in favour of a new idea? It’s happened before.

In fact, we have no actual assurance that we will ever get to the Truth, and your belief that Science inevitably draws us closer and closer to the Truth is just unsupported belief. It’s blind faith in an idea that can’t be demonstrated.



The bible is a collection of old fairy stories and moral guidance that was warped to control the minds of superstitious numpties- I can't help you if you wont drop the security blanket.



You can’t help me at all because you haven’t made a reasonable argument. Can you even prove this assertion about the Bible?



"You didn’t prove anything, you made assertions and used outmoded nonsense like the Conflict Thesis to cast insults. "

I think it's safe to say I did prove my point- you just ( again ) refuse to accept it as you don't like it; your problem, not mine. Bye bye now.



But you offered no actual evidence or actual arguments, so how do you reckon that you actually proved your point?

SuicideNeil said...

"You just proved me right you know. You start with the premise that Religion is made up nonsense and never Right, and Science is always Right, and proceed from this premise. But you haven’t really questioned this premise and when people point out the flaw to it all you do is reassert it."

I never said science is always right actually.

"Why should we believe that Religion is made up? Because you said so?"

If the opposite works for you guys, then...

"1: it’s against God, not against god. You use God as an identifier for a specific entity, making it a proper noun and specifically a name. Only an idiot would continue to spell it god knowing full well tis not just that believers cap t out of respect, and this Atheistic trend is one reason I don’t buy the “Atheist are logical” nonsense.

2: You are still conflating “Religion” with “God”. Religion is not Theism.

3: Laws only exist when enforced, and have no material existence. You didn’t refute this. And according to you, “Religious people” go about killing one another and the brilliant nonreligious like yourself so obviously Religion has as much existence as Law does if you count enforcement."

1. speed typing > get bent.
2. semantics
3. thanks for agreeing with me.

"But, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchns also preach hatred and bile and vitriol. Harris even goes so far as to say we should kill people over beliefs they hold. Vlad Lenin had some pretty harsh words to say too, agisnt people, based on his Atheistic beliefs, and so did Uncle Joe Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot.

This proves that all Atheism is destructive and dangerous."

Pile of bollocks. There will always be extremists- cause and affect however; if there were no God-botherers, then, there'd be no anti-God botherers either. Suck on that one...

"No, you just misspelled Catholic Church. You didn’t even attempt to address what I said."

Money raising, power crazed organization = Catholic church. And using a lower case c is not miss-spelling fyi ;)

"It’s blind faith in an idea that can’t be demonstrated."

HA! Are you talking about science, or religion?...

"You can’t help me at all because you haven’t made a reasonable argument. Can you even prove this assertion about the Bible?"

Sure, read it objectively, then come back and discuss what you read.

"But you offered no actual evidence or actual arguments, so how do you reckon that you actually proved your point?"

Religion poked and pokes it's nose into peoples lives and tells them what to do = intellectual stifling. I win.

SuicideNeil said...

"In fact, all science at the level of physical theory is "made up." That is, a story we tell such that the facts and the regularities among the facts seem to make sense. "

Intellectual freedom > bible nonsense.

"Which is it? "Made up", like the Law? Or "zero consequences," like an unsolved crime? Is something immaterial "real," as you claim the Law is? Consequentialism is seductive, but as I've said before it is empirically unworkable, since it requires the actor to foresee all the consequences."

In that case, everything is BS and we can go about our happy little lives believing and doing what we like. Ofcourse, that doesn't really work since sooner or later we'll get caught out; evading the law is possible, but you can't evade a God that does not exist.

"You need only look at the harm abusive fathers wreak to see how destructive fatherhood is."

Ever wander where bad fathers get some of their ideas from?...

"you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name."

See: speed typing- I can't be assed to spell or correctly punctuate ever fecking word...

"What do you think you have won? Certainly not a prize in rational discourse."

Said the christian.

"a) Religious understanding has also "evolved" over time.
b) The Bible is not a collection of "old fairy stories." (Granted that the post-modern generation thinks of "old" as "last Thursday.") Rather, it is a collection of myths, law books, wedding songs, proverbs, court chronicles, folk tales, novelettes, prophesies (original sense), Greek-style bioi, reminisces, instructional letters, a personal letter, and allegories.
c) When, where, and by whom was it "warped," and on what empirical facts do you base this? You worship science, but you do not use its methods. "

a) you still beleive in the core idea of undead- jewish zombies and talking invisible super beings.

b) close enough.

c) look at the modern church(es).

"See? Just when you thought it was safe... But you offered no proof beyond appeals ad populum and appeals ad hominem, and of course proof by repeated assertion."

I proved my point about the dark ages actually.

"I wonder if you are a fundamentalist deliberately trying to undermine the credibility of "rationalists" by acting out in an irrational manner."

Not sure if stupid or just christian... / Fry

TheOFloinn said...

'Which is it? "Made up", like the Law? Or "zero consequences," like an unsolved crime?'

Suicide: In that case, everything is BS.


You first claimed that religion is not real because it is "made up." Then when noted that human law is "made up," shifted to religion being "not real" because Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences. But then, doing something against the law has zero consequences also, unless you are caught. This stems from your use of ad hoc "neener-neener" comments rather than logic and reason.

Suicide: evading the law is possible, but you can't evade a God that does not exist.

I would have thought evading something nonexistent would be rather easy. Even you claimed that Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences.
+ + +
"You need only look at the harm abusive fathers wreak to see how destructive fatherhood is."

Suicide: Ever wander where bad fathers get some of their ideas from?


So, you missed the point again?
+ + +
"you can’t even grasp why God is capitalised when used as a name."

Suicide: I can't be assed to spell or correctly punctuate ever fecking word


A common inability among the post-modern generation. Like using 'ass' as a verb or 'ever' for 'every.' A space probe once reached Venus in a useless state because a comma was omitted from an instruction, so we are fortunate that you are not a scientist.

Neither your first response (catholic church. I win.) nor your plea that you cannot be bothered to write answer the question.
+ + +
"What do you think you have won? Certainly not a prize in rational discourse."

Suicide: Said the christian.


But should it not be embarrassing that a Christian champions logic and reason while the "rationalist" avoids it?
+ + +

Suicide: you still beleive in the core idea of undead-jewish zombies and talking invisible super beings.

One of the many things that make the "New Atheists" such pale shadows of the Old Atheists is that they "almost inevitably gravitate toward straw-man characterizations of their opponents’ views, attribute venal motives to their opponents, and fail to investigate the intellectual sources of Christianity." Following Dawkins' recommendation, they substitute "a display of naked contempt" for rational discourse, which is certainly a melancholy epitaph on the death of the Enlightenment.
+ + +
When, where, and by whom was it "warped," and on what empirical facts do you base this?

Suicide: look at the modern church(es)


So you contend that the Bible was not warped until modern times? That certainly accords with the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic views on heresy.

However, you have not provided any empirical facts to back up your claim.
+ + +
Suicide: I proved my point about the dark ages actually

No, proof of historical claims requires presentation of facts. You have not cited a single fact, let alone shown that fact was typical rather than exceptional. You simply repeat your "dark age" claim in the face of scholarship to the contrary. But then we cannot expect any greater historical knowledge than we have seen of your scientific knowledge.
+ + +
Suicide: Not sure if stupid or just christian

Well, we know you're not Christian.

SuicideNeil said...

"You first claimed that religion is not real because it is "made up." Then when noted that human law is "made up," shifted to religion being "not real" because Doing something 'against god' will have zero consequences. But then, doing something against the law has zero consequences also, unless you are caught. This stems from your use of ad hoc "neener-neener" comments rather than logic and reason."

Lol. Point, or difference being though, that there is no God to catch you doing bad things; actions that are illegal will always be illegal whether you are caught or not. Actions against faith or God... not so much.

"So, you missed the point again?"

No, you did.

"A common inability among the post-modern generation. Like using 'ass' as a verb or 'ever' for 'every.' A space probe once reached Venus in a useless state because a comma was omitted from an instruction, so we are fortunate that you are not a scientist."

Get off you high-horse ass-wipe, there is a massive difference between not being able & being unwilling; you self-congratulatory scumbags don't deserve that much of my effort.

"But should it not be embarrassing that a Christian champions logic and reason while the "rationalist" avoids it?"

Err, worshiping an invisible man in the sky who you telepathically ask for favours = illogical & irrational. Shame you can't see it, but never mind I guess- ignorance is bliss as they say...

"One of the many things that make the "New Atheists" such pale shadows of the Old Atheists is that they "almost inevitably gravitate toward straw-man characterizations of their opponents’ views, attribute venal motives to their opponents, and fail to investigate the intellectual sources of Christianity." Following Dawkins' recommendation, they substitute "a display of naked contempt" for rational discourse, which is certainly a melancholy epitaph on the death of the Enlightenment."

How can one be expected to maintain rational discourse in the face of such delusional mutterings?...

"However, you have not provided any empirical facts to back up your claim."

Don't need to ( I did however, you just missed it ), the evidence is plain for all to see- if one is willing that is...

"No, proof of historical claims requires presentation of facts. You have not cited a single fact, let alone shown that fact was typical rather than exceptional. You simply repeat your "dark age" claim in the face of scholarship to the contrary. But then we cannot expect any greater historical knowledge than we have seen of your scientific knowledge."

I think you'll find we have been over this enough; the fact that even a single person has their mind warped by religion when they could dedicate their lives to worthwhile pursuits instead ( whilst still being a nice & helpful, loving person ) is all the evidence you need. A life devoted to religion is a wasted life indeed...

"Well, we know you're not Christian. "

That's not a very Christian attitude, but then again, you guys are all about the hypocrisy I guess. Besides, that was directed at you so trying to turn it around at me does nothing to alter the epicness of the slur...

ZAROVE said...

Neil, I think this is the real crux of your mentality.


“I think you'll find we have been over this enough; the fact that even a single person has their mind warped by religion when they could dedicate their lives to worthwhile pursuits instead ( whilst still being a nice & helpful, loving person ) is all the evidence you need. A life devoted to religion is a wasted life indeed...”

You simply hate Religion, and from that hatred all of your other comments flow. Of course, it’s a Hatred that doesn’t actually originate with your arguments, but rather your arguments are used as justification for that Hatred.

But that’s the problem, what is Religion? You claim to not be Religious, and even said I was insulting you when I called you Religious. Other comments you have made against Religion include comments that Religion is not True because God doesn’t exist. But, as I’ve already said, Religion is not another word for Theism, and belief in a god is not a prerequisite for something to be called a Religion.


Religion is a word we use to describe our beliefs. Ultimately, Religion is nothing more than the Paradigm we use to understand our world. Religion is the unified philosophical belief system we use to define the world around us. Even though you don’t think of your beliefs as Religion, your beliefs are religion, inasmuch as they are a paradigm you use to understand your world.

In that way, and as Oxymoronic as it may sound, your Anti-Religious comments, such as how Science and religion are opposites and hostile to one another, or how Religion warps peoples minds and prevents them from thinking for themselves, or how Religion causes wars and intolerance and destruction, are all forms of Religious Dogma in their own Right. It may be a Religion that refuses to acknowledge that it’s a Religion, but it’s a Religion still. A Religion that is ironically guilty of all the horrible things it blames Religion on, such as producing Intolerance and Hatred. You are clearly intolerant of people who are “Religious”, well, at least if they are Christian, and your posts reflect hatred. You may say that religion causes these bad things, and not being Religious means that you have escaped these pratfalls, but it’s impossible to see you as not compelled by Hatred, and a need to feel superior.

There isn’t even Reason to your posts. Hurling childish insults like calling God an invisible man in the sky, or Jesus a Jewish Zombie, doesn’t really invalidate Christianity, it in fact isn’t even discussing what Christians actually believe, it’s really just a taunt based on gross misrepresentation.

In fact, nothing you’ve said really shows any understanding of what Christianity actually is, its all just repetition of insults you obviously got off Atheist blogs and websites.



Which brings me back to the point of this post, you don’t think for yourself and just mindlessly follow what your told from others. Another thin you fault religion on but think you are immune from, and yet display amply.

ZAROVE said...

You say that a Life dedicated to Religion is a wasted Life, but all Life is dedicated to Religion since Religion is what we understand ourselves and our World to be. You really can’t do anything, good or ill, without some understanding of the world. Given that Religious Institutions run missions that help Third World Nations develop, feed the poor, and cure the sick, though, I have to wonder why you think dedicating ones life to Religion, by which you mean “Christianity” or perhaps theism generally, is all that Wasteful given that those who do dedicate themselves to God often don’t just sit about praying all day, but actively help their fellows. Meanwhile, you talk about being a good and loving person without Religion, yet you aren’t a good or loving person, At least not inasmuch as is shown here.

Really this whole affair with you has been nothing but you trying to attack Religion, for no reason at all other than you want some enemy to fight, and have chosen to belong to this Atheism Movement we see today just to have a ready made enemy to combat, complete with a ready made Mythology that justifies that hostility.

You need Religion to be evil, and attribute to it only negative consequences, just so you can have something to fight. You are thus defining yourself largely by a struggle against Religion in the name of Science and Reason, but you never question this narrative and just assume that so long as your promoting the Mythology created by this new Atheism, you are somehow Rational.

But your not.

You even claim you presented evidence for your arguments but we missed it. You didn’t.

All you’ve done here is to spew fourth insults and rant on using faulty claims that are themselves untrue.

SuicideNeil said...

"Which brings me back to the point of this post, you don’t think for yourself and just mindlessly follow what your told from others. Another thin you fault religion on but think you are immune from, and yet display amply."

Umm, I think you'll find that's how you should be describing yourself ( sheep... ). I think for myself more than most do, if *I* happen to agree with something someone else says regards religion and all that malarkey, then it's a happy coincidence. Go crawl back into that old person-cave you like to call church.

"You say that a Life dedicated to Religion is a wasted Life, but all Life is dedicated to Religion since Religion is what we understand ourselves and our World to be."

You continue to warp the applied meaning of the word religion when you know very well what we are talking about here; your religion is a waste of a life. Like I said though, you don't need to worship indead zombies in order to do good deeds, it's just s pretence to show how nice the zombiw Jesus club is... whislt trying to raise money, warp minds and poison those minds of the young and vulernable. I've seen some nice stories about people being forced to convert to christianity on their death beds, and lets not forget the church in Africa telling people it is better to catch aids than to use a condom; nice religion you got there chief, real nice...

ZAROVE said...

Neil-

"Which brings me back to the point of this post, you don’t think for yourself and just mindlessly follow what your told from others. Another thin you fault religion on but think you are immune from, and yet display amply."

Umm, I think you'll find that's how you should be describing yourself ( sheep... ).



Calling someone a sheep and saying that they don’t think for themselves merely because they are Christian only further proves my point. Not only is this simply a repeated mantra, it’s also Irrational to think that you can tell that someone is not thinking for themselves based solely on the conclusions they have arrived at.


But this is what you do. You conflate Atheism with Thinking for Yoruself and Christianity with not thinking for yourself. While you may admit that being an Atheist is not the same thing as thinking for yourself, in practice you treat it as such, and will say that someone is thinking for themselves only if they agree with you. No one can disagree with you and remain in consideration as someone who thinks for themselves. This is why you saying that others don’t think for themselves is meaningless, as the only way we can is to agree with you.

Meanwhile, you haven’t shown even the slightest capacity for independent thought. You’ve taken this thread off topic, and have offered nothing but the same old arguments we can find on a routine Militant Atheist website, and haven’t even rationally discussed the possibility of other ideas. You clearly aren’t actually thinking for yourself, you just mean by Thinking for yourself that you have embraced these specific ideas.



I think for myself more than most do,



I have seen no evidence for this, and from your displays here all I can se is regurgitation of a predetermined belief you acquired from others.



if *I* happen to agree with something someone else says regards religion and all that malarkey, then it's a happy coincidence. Go crawl back into that old person-cave you like to call church.



You don’t just happen to agree and its not a Happy Coincidence.


to Be Continued.

ZAROVE said...

It’s obvious that your arguments originate from the Neo-Atheist community, and that you didn’t come up with them on your own and just by chance they happen to also be popular in modern Atheistic Literature.

You didn’t come up with the “Zombie Jesus” routine or the Sky Daddy claim for God, and you didn’t come up with any of the Anti-Religious Arguments. You didn’t even think about them critically. You just blindly accept what your Religion tells you to, including that it’s not a Religion, or that your rational for using childish insults.

Of course part of the Mythology is that you lot think for yourselves, and that’s one of the selling points, and one of the things you profess makes your beliefs superior to Religion, but if all of you lot say the same things and simply parrot each others ideas, then clearly you aren’t thinking for yourself. It’s all just Propaganda and Rhetoric.




"You say that a Life dedicated to Religion is a wasted Life, but all Life is dedicated to Religion since Religion is what we understand ourselves and our World to be."

You continue to warp the applied meaning of the word religion when you know very well what we are talking about here;


I am using precise terminology.


your religion is a waste of a life.



If you mean Christianity, then say Christianity not Religion.


And, you have not supported the assertion that Christianity is a Waste of a Life, and there is no reason to believe it is base don observed evidence of how helpful and beneficial Christian Involvement can be.



Like I said though, you don't need to worship indead zombies in order to do good deeds,



Jesus isn’t a Zombie, a Zombie is a reanimated Corpse. Jesus is said to be alive, not dead. Only an idiot would continue to call Jesus a Zombie.

ZAROVE said...

There is also no logical way for you to jump to the conclusion that being a Christian is wasting your life by saying you can do good deeds without being a Christian. By this Logic, I can say that being British is not really necessary to being Polite, but that hardly makes being British wasteful. You don’t need to believe in Evolution to do good deeds either. You don’t need to dedicate your life to the study of Physics to do good deeds. None of this makes such pursuits or beliefs wasteful.


Though the difference is, unlike Physics or Evolution, Christianity actually directly promotes the Idea of being helpful to others. While I am not arguing that only Christians can be good or helpful to others, its still obvious that if you actually dedicate yourself to the Teachings of the Christian Faith you will be motivated to help others.




it's just s pretence to show how nice the zombiw Jesus club is...



Jesus si not a Zombie, and you are really not that smart if you think he is.

And, no, it’s not a Pretence. Christians are supposed to Emulate Jesus and follow his Teachings, and he Taught us to Love one another and to help those in need. It’s no more a pretence than following Ghandi or following Confusious.

Callign it a Pretence is just a way to make an excuse for the good that’s done by Christians and to somehow invalidate it so you can carryon with your irrational hatred.



whislt trying to raise money, warp minds and poison those minds of the young and vulernable.



You have evidence for this I suppose?

Or is this more shallow assertion?


And if Christians only do good things to further the nefarious Church, then how do you explain the Brainwashing? Wouldn’t the Brainwashed at least think they are being helpful? And since they are helpful in everyday life and not just in Church run Charities, wouldn’t this prove that it’s not just a pretence for the majority of Christians?

Continued below.

ZAROVE said...

That would mean that many people are being good because they are inspired by the message, not simply as a ruse.


I've seen some nice stories about people being forced to convert to christianity on their death beds,



I haven’t. Care to share?


and lets not forget the church in Africa telling people it is better to catch aids than to use a condom;


Actually, there are two main problems with this.

1: It’s only the Catholic Church that really opposes Contraception use. Its not “The Church” in general. Lumping all Christians into a single category may make it easier to bash and hate them, but tis obviously going to be a flawed assessment given that the Anglicans help in Free Condom Distribution efforts.

2: Your statement is actually a Lie. The Catholic Church does not tell people in Africa that it’s better to catch AIDS than to wear a Condom. Rather, the position of the Catholic Church is that the use of Contraception is itself immoral as it blocks the generative process. It is also noted by the Catholic Church that Condoms are not 100% effective at preventing AIDS infection or even Pregnancy, and the widespread use of Condoms will only lead to both a cheapening of Sex, and to people engaging more frequently in high risks behaviours which in turn increases the possibility of infection even with a Condom.

You won’t find a single article by the Catholic Church that says’ it’s better to get AIDs than to wear a Condom.



nice religion you got there chief, real nice...



Given that you just misrepresented it, you prove another point about you. Your Criticism is not based on actual thought or real practices and beliefs and effects, it’s based on sensationalism and distortion. You didn’t even get the argument right, and its obvious that for a bloke who claims to think for himself, all you did was get the argument about Condoms and AIDS third hand.

ZAROVE said...

People have for years criticised the Catholic Churches policies on Condoms, and its use in combating AIDS. T’s also become a banner to fly in the Atheist Community. It’s clear that you just absorbed the argument from the peanut gallery on some Atheist blog or website, and didn’t even read the full arguments. You just say “Church tells you not to use condoms thus makes people get AIDS” and filled in the gaps, putting the Church in the worst possible light. Your argument is not founded on reality, nor are any of your other arguments. This makes your sarcastic closing point invalid.

SuicideNeil said...

"It’s obvious that your arguments originate from the Neo-Atheist community, and that you didn’t come up with them on your own and just by chance they happen to also be popular in modern Atheistic Literature."

Wrong I'm afraid, I am not a member of any atheist community or forum etc; my ideas are entirely my own. I am a member of some r/c and computer forums, but nothing like you imagine- I am awesome all by myself ;)

"I am using precise terminology."

Have a medal.

"And, you have not supported the assertion that Christianity is a Waste of a Life, and there is no reason to believe it is base don observed evidence of how helpful and beneficial Christian Involvement can be."

A life dedicated to a non-existant entity = wasted. You can be a nice, helpful person on your own, you don't need to hedge your bets just in case & join any special club...

"Jesus isn’t a Zombie, a Zombie is a reanimated Corpse. Jesus is said to be alive, not dead. Only an idiot would continue to call Jesus a Zombie. "

You missed the point of what I said entirely.

"I have seen no evidence for this, and from your displays here all I can se is regurgitation of a predetermined belief you acquired from others."

Again, you seem to be talking about yourself & your belief system, not me or mine ( or lack there-of ). My thoughts *are* my own- it's okay if you disagree with me, I can't force you to be right.

"You don’t just happen to agree and its not a Happy Coincidence."

Again, you can;t deal with the fact I have arrived at conclusions independently & have to insist that I'm just repeating what someone else has said already. Deal with it for f*ck sake and get over yourself already.

"You have evidence for this I suppose?

Or is this more shallow assertion?"

You really can't deal with the real world can you, you have to insist I quote some 500 year old book or philosopher in order to valid my points. You need only look at the way young minds are warped at a pre-school age into believing religious dogmatic bullsh*t; the fact that evolution is banned from being taught in many schools, or is prefaced with the statement it is only a theory, is all the evidence you need.

To be honest, just pointing at America in general is more than enough evidence; you guys scare me...

"This makes your sarcastic closing point invalid. "

If you say so chief. What the congregation feels and what they are taught are two different things; homosexuals and female priests are supposed to be forbidden last I checked, but you have them in some faiths so it does nothing to invalidate my point about the *teachings* of the church.

"I haven’t. Care to share?"

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3045666&postcount=1270

This is also relevant:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093241/Mitt-Romneys-family-baptized-Ann-Romneys-atheist-father-Mormon-church-year-AFTER-death.html


"Actually, there are two main problems with this."

1. Close enough.
2. It is not a lie, it was a direct quote ( damned if I can find the source again, so you'll just have to trust my word for once ). And 99.9% effective against the transmission of sexual diseases & preventing pregnancy is good enough for me- far better than the rhythm method- rofl!

Sex is already cheap, so is marriage; welcome to the modern age- please mind your step...

ZAROVE said...

Neil-


"It’s obvious that your arguments originate from the Neo-Atheist community, and that you didn’t come up with them on your own and just by chance they happen to also be popular in modern Atheistic Literature."

Wrong I'm afraid, I am not a member of any atheist community or forum etc; my ideas are entirely my own. I am a member of some r/c and computer forums, but nothing like you imagine- I am awesome all by myself ;)




This is a blatant lie now. We all know you didn’t originate the Sky Daddy or Jesus as a Zombie routine, and there is plenty of evidence that you just parrot the propaganda we see from the Neo-Atheist community. I don’t buy that its all you.




"And, you have not supported the assertion that Christianity is a Waste of a Life, and there is no reason to believe it is base don observed evidence of how helpful and beneficial Christian Involvement can be."

A life dedicated to a non-existant entity = wasted. You can be a nice, helpful person on your own, you don't need to hedge your bets just in case & join any special club...



You haven’t bothered to really prove that God doesn’t exist, which makes this only an assertion in its4lf. And one based on a false premise. Even if we start with the idea that God doesn’t exist, we can’t say that a life dedicated to God is a Waste if that life is still productive and meaningful.

It’s also remarkably short sighted to think that people only believe in God as a means to Hedge their bets, as most who believe in God don’t believe in god solely as an insurance policy. That’s just more repeated propaganda on your part.



"Jesus isn’t a Zombie, a Zombie is a reanimated Corpse. Jesus is said to be alive, not dead. Only an idiot would continue to call Jesus a Zombie. "

You missed the point of what I said entirely.


Childish insults are not points.

To Be Continued.

ZAROVE said...

Now on with the show.



"I have seen no evidence for this, and from your displays here all I can se is regurgitation of a predetermined belief you acquired from others."

Again, you seem to be talking about yourself & your belief system, not me or mine ( or lack there-of ). My thoughts *are* my own- it's okay if you disagree with me, I can't force you to be right.



Rubbish.



"You don’t just happen to agree and its not a Happy Coincidence."

Again, you can;t deal with the fact I have arrived at conclusions independently & have to insist that I'm just repeating what someone else has said already. Deal with it for f*ck sake and get over yourself already.



Oh I coukld deal with it if it were a fact, but I’ve heard your “Independently arrived at” Conclusions before, and too regularly to buy that its truly independent.




"You have evidence for this I suppose?

Or is this more shallow assertion?"

You really can't deal with the real world can you, you have to insist I quote some 500 year old book or philosopher in order to valid my points.



No, just something by ay of evidence… simply asserting something, and mocking something else, is not valid to prove you are correct.

ZAROVE said...

Continued from the previous post.


You need only look at the way young minds are warped at a pre-school age into believing religious dogmatic bullsh*t;






But you only call it warped because you have an A Priori Assumption that its wrong, and not just wrong but somehow insidious and evil.

Children are always taught what to believe by their parents and other adults and older Children, and there is no reason to think that teaching them concepts that you don’t agree with is warping them just because you don’t agree.



the fact that evolution is banned from being taught in many schools,



Can you name one of them? I’d like to know what your on about. Surely its not Schools in the Western World. Even in America, a nation you seem to hold in contempt, Schools are required by Law to teach Evolution.


or is prefaced with the statement it is only a theory, is all the evidence you need.



No its not.


Calling Evolution only a Theory doesn’t really mean that something is wrong unless you want to dogmatically believe in Evolution, at which point you make it into a Religious tenet that cannot be questioned.



To be honest, just pointing at America in general is more than enough evidence; you guys scare me...



I am from Sussex. You’d think the way I spell my words or the word choice would tip that I’m not exactly American.

ZAROVE said...

That said, I really don’t think “look at America” is a good argument. What, exactly, am I supposed to see in America that’s all that scary and bad because of “Religion”?







"This makes your sarcastic closing point invalid. "

If you say so chief. What the congregation feels and what they are taught are two different things;



Which has no real baring on what was being discussed.



homosexuals and female priests are supposed to be forbidden last I checked, but you have them in some faiths so it does nothing to invalidate my point about the *teachings* of the church.



Which Church? Not all Churches even have Priest.


This is a recurring problem with you. You over-generalise. Religion means Christianity which now apparently means Catholicism. How does your comment even relate to, say, a Quaker? Or the United Churches of Christ? Do you even realise the distinctions that exist between those bodies?

We already know that you have no actual awareness as to why the Catholic and orthodox Churches do not Ordain women and simply peg it to sexism, without an attempt at understanding their Theology, but you seem Oblivious that the Church Of England, and many of its Communion Member Churches such as the Episcopal Church USA, actually Ordain women and Homosexuals.

You really can’t even discuss the topic of Christianity, because you paint too in strokes too broadly for a picture to form.

ZAROVE said...

Continued form the above.



"I haven’t. Care to share?"

http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3045666&postcount=1270

This is also relevant:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093241/Mitt-Romneys-family-baptized-Ann-Romneys-atheist-father-Mormon-church-year-AFTER-death.html




This is getting really absurd now. The first link has nothing to do with anything even remotely like forcing people to convert and is just a run of the mill criticism of Religious Charities positioning themselves in a way as to take advantage of Vulnerable people, which is in turn just a way to attack them and depict their motives as sinister. It is not evidence of people being forced to convert on their deathbeds.

The Second Link is about Mormons. S now we go from bashing Catholics and thinking they represent all Christendom to bashing all Christianity based on Mormons, whom many Christians don’t even recognise as Christians, and who represent less than 1% of the Christian Community even if you include them.

Not that it matters, as the Second Link is about Mormon Proxy Baptisms, which really is also nothing like being forced to convert on your Death Bed. The people are in their Graves, not on their Deathbeds, and no one is forced to convert. In Mormon Theology, the proxy Baptism is not forced upon you even in Death. Instead, Mormons believe that those not baptised by someone holding priesthood Authority will go to Spirit Prison. The Spirit that is Imprisoned will then have to wait in said Prison until he can be Baptised. Since only a Living Body can be baptised, someone else acts as their Proxy on Earth. however, as the Mormons believe in the Inviolability of Free Agency, the Spirit that is in Spirit Prison still has the option of rejecting that Baptism even after Death. The Spirit is not forced t become a Mormon after their death.


And, if you actually don’t believe in Mormon Theology, then what happens is some bloke who likely never met the man or woman who died will be dunked in Water in some temple somewhere in their name in a completely ineffectual Ritual.

It’s only if the Mormon beliefs are true that you can even remotely have a case, and even then, no one is forced to become a Mormon as the Spirit can still reject his Mormon Proxy Baptism. So no, you haven’t shown examples of people being forced to convert on their deathbeds. You’ve simply presented a very illogical Statement.

ZAROVE said...

And Finally…



"Actually, there are two main problems with this."



1. Close enough.



No, its not.


The position of the Catholic Church is nothing at all like “its better to get AIDS than wear a Condom”, saying that abstinence from Sex until marriage is the only surefire way to avoid the Disease, barring Medical Blood Transfusions or Needle Sharing, and that Condom Use is not 100% effective is not the same, or even remotely Close.


The Catholic Churches stance against Contraception is also not related to AIDS at all.

The Catholic Church has never said anything close to dying of AIDS is better than wearing a condom, and your statement is simply ludicrous.



2. It is not a lie, it was a direct quote ( damned if I can find the source again, so you'll just have to trust my word for once ).



Unless you do find it, I really have no reason to accept that it was a direct quote.



And 99.9% effective against the transmission of sexual diseases & preventing pregnancy is good enough for me- far better than the rhythm method- rofl!


This isn’t the 1950’s, and we aren’t discussing contraception but AIDS and the supposed Catholic Churches evil, which you seemed to impute to the whole of Christianity.

By the way, Condoms aren’t 99.9% effective. That is an exaggerated figure.

http://www.ehow.com/about_4673229_condom-effectiveness.html


86% effective for Pregnancy Prevention, and for various diseases anywhere between 50% and 85%. That is a much larger margin for error.



Sex is already cheap, so is marriage; welcome to the modern age- please mind your step...



Neither are Cheap. People will be damaged or benefited in profound ways by these things. You can’t change that just because you decide its not True.

SuicideNeil said...

"I am from Sussex. You’d think the way I spell my words or the word choice would tip that I’m not exactly American. "

Urgh, and I was generalizing; I'm from Devon- point being though is that lasrge parts of America teach the bible as though it was the only source of info a person would ever need, and anything that does not agree with the bible, is heresay. Pretty much- trust me on that dude, America is a very backwards place in some respects ( remember why people settled there in the first place, there's a clue for you... ).

"That said, I really don’t think “look at America” is a good argument. What, exactly, am I supposed to see in America that’s all that scary and bad because of “Religion”?"

Everything; get out more dude- plenty of literature and videos if you can be bothered to look at them. But ofcourse, they might not tie-in with your personal ideals so you'll just dismiss them like you always do- how very narrow minded of you...

"Which has no real baring on what was being discussed."

Yes, it does, completely. You just dismiss it because you don't like it.

"This is a recurring problem with you. You over-generalise. Religion means Christianity which now apparently means Catholicism. How does your comment even relate to, say, a Quaker? Or the United Churches of Christ? Do you even realise the distinctions that exist between those bodies? "

Ofcourse, but at the same time it's all a bunch of nonsense mumbo-jumbo, so... you get the point, if you can concede that much.

"Rubbish."

Not my fault if you can't handle the truth of the situation, I suggest you go bury your head in some books and demonstrate how unoriginal your own ideas are instead.... oh, wait...

"Oh I coukld deal with it if it were a fact, but I’ve heard your “Independently arrived at” Conclusions before, and too regularly to buy that its truly independent."

See above; you are a sore loser.

"No, just something by ay of evidence… simply asserting something, and mocking something else, is not valid to prove you are correct. "

I *have* provided evidence, you just choose to dismiss it- again, I can't force you to accept reality, feel free to live in la-la land and ignore the real world if it makes you feel better.

"This is a blatant lie now. We all know you didn’t originate the Sky Daddy or Jesus as a Zombie routine, and there is plenty of evidence that you just parrot the propaganda we see from the Neo-Atheist community. I don’t buy that its all you."

Oh true, zombie jesus was an epic demote poster ( lots of them... ), but when you think about it, it makes sense ( alive > dead > alive = zombie ). That however is just fluffl my idead about faith and warped teachings are still my own.

Your ideas however are clearly not...

SuicideNeil said...

"You haven’t bothered to really prove that God doesn’t exist, which makes this only an assertion in its4lf. And one based on a false premise. Even if we start with the idea that God doesn’t exist, we can’t say that a life dedicated to God is a Waste if that life is still productive and meaningful."

Can't disprove a negative & false pretenses = you still lose.

"It’s also remarkably short sighted to think that people only believe in God as a means to Hedge their bets, as most who believe in God don’t believe in god solely as an insurance policy. That’s just more repeated propaganda on your part"

What's the point then? It's just another piece of evidence that the church wants people to join its club in order to exert power & influence.

"Childish insults are not points."

No, the other part of what I said- stop dodging questions and points, it makes you look like you realise you don't have anything intelligent to say, so instead pick up on only the things you can comment on...

"This is getting really absurd now. The first link has nothing to do with anything even remotely like forcing people to convert and is just a run of the mill criticism of Religious Charities positioning themselves in a way as to take advantage of Vulnerable people, which is in turn just a way to attack them and depict their motives as sinister. It is not evidence of people being forced to convert on their deathbeds. "


Well f*ck me, once again you just dismiss and criticize anything that you don;t like the sound of regards religion; Nexxo is that psychologist Admin/Moderator I was talking about, you might want to listen to him as he could whoop your sorry ass in a debate anytime I'm sure. Deal with the reality of your precious church and how it conducts itself, stop believing it to be the wonderful thing you only see it to be, when it most certainly isn't.

"You’ve simply presented a very illogical Statement. "

Still relevant- christianity is a screwed up mess of a belief system.

"And Finally…"

Your loss, believe whatever rose-tinted crap you want to if it helps you sleep better at night. Me, I'll live in the real world

"Neither are Cheap. People will be damaged or benefited in profound ways by these things. You can’t change that just because you decide its not True. "

We don't need moral crusaders telling us that marriage is special and sex can only be conducted in certain positions between two married people ( heterosexual at that.. ), people are ( generally ) smart enough to make their own decisions without you moral-fags sticking your noses in and making up nonsense rules.

People don't live forever anyway so what's the point- all human life will die out eventually so just sit-back and enjoy the ride...

ZAROVE said...

Neil, your tactic seems to be to declare victory and stick to the story. Just saying “I already have presented evidence and you dismissed it” isn’t really going to change the fact that anyone who reads this exchange will be unable to find you presenting Evidence. You present assertions, not evidence. None of your assertions have been backed up by actual Facts, but by vain appeals.


Despite claiming that we settled the discussion, and of course you won, this topic is about the Myth of the Dark Ages. You’ve hijacked it to make it about how awful and terrible Christianity is in general, and have brought in several claims about Christianity we’ve already before, but this is argument from Stereotype not Fact. For instance, you criticise America, but have you ever been to America? I have. I now live in Tennessee. I mentioned this in a much earlier post, just as I mentioned being British.

Your arguments about America are really shallow. You say parts of America teach the Bible as the only source of information you need and that if something goes against the Bible its Heresy. Well, no they don’t. The word “Heresy” is not a common one I hear living in the supposedly backwater Bible Belt. In fact, to hear the world Heresy outside of a History or Theology setting, you have to pretty well go to an Atheist who is mocking “Religion”. The average Christian in America doesn’t use the word Heresy at all, and I don’t know of any that think the Bible is the only source of information one needs at all, period. Your statement is simply a caricature.

By the way, people settled in America for loads of reasons. The first settlers from Britain were here to make a profit, and settled in Jamestown. Your knowledge of both American History and Contemporary American Culture are lacking.

Then there’s the fact that you ignore when your arguments are fraudulent and try to depict your opposite as somehow missing the point.

Look at the statement you made earlier about people being forced to convert on their Deathbeds. I asked for evidence of this, and you presented two links, one to a message board that criticised Religious Charities, and the other to a News Article about Mitt Romney and his Wife Baptising by Proxy the Wife’s late Father. I pointed out that neither actually qualify as someone being forced to convert on their Deathbeds. So what do you do? You completely ignore the Romney article and my refutation and go back to the Religious Charities taking advantage of people message board post and claim I missed the point. No, I didn’t miss the point. The point you made was that people are forced to convert on their Deathbeds, and you provided no evidence to back up that point.


You still haven’t.




What our doing is trying to salvage the argument and save face by shifting the goal posts of the argument away from it’s original point to something you think is more defensible. F I played along, and told you why Religious Charities being criticised the way the MB does, you’d successfully have distracted me from the utter failure your previous argument was, and thus hopefully create the illusion of competency. But then when the new goal post is met and you are proven wrong you’d do the same ting, and claim I “Missed the point” again and come up with something new.

So now I’ll just make a demand, can you prove to me, and all other readers, that people are forced to convert on their deathbeds, or not?

ZAROVE said...

As for the rest, I don’t care who Nexxo is, I’ve not met him. I’m getting a Doctorate in Psychology, that doesn’t intimidate me.

All that really matters right now though are the facts and your own arguments. Simply starting with the premise that Christianity is a messed up belief system and proceeding to latch onto any argument you can that conforms to this bias is not an argument. Declaring that people dismiss what you say because they don’t like it when its obvious that you are the one whose guilty of that won’t work. You have made specific claims and supported them with no evidence whatsoever. Saying you have presented evidence is not the same thing as actually having done so.

You can’t even seem to separate the different types of Churches that exist, and are attacking “The Christian Church” as if there’s this singular organisation, so that Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptists are the same as the Catholics are the same as the Mormons are the same as the metropolitan Community Church are the same as the Anglicans are the same as the Unitarians.

You can’t criticise “The Church’ for some stance the Pope takes only to then criticise the same “Church” For what the Mormons do.

Your arguments are pointless.

By the way, if we don’t need morals crusaders telling people what to do, then why do you go about on a moral crusade? Even your moral values system is one that’s being promoted by you, and you end up telling people how they should think and behave, the difference is, Christian organisations actually care about peoples welfare by and large, you only care about yourself and the ego trip this gives you.

SuicideNeil said...

"So now I’ll just make a demand, can you prove to me, and all other readers, that people are forced to convert on their deathbeds, or not?"

Close enough:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2159307/Christian-GP-told-patient-Devil-haunts-people-turn-Jesus-warned-conduct-brands-medical-hearing-charade.html

I know it's the Mail ( I was just browsing a binned copy before I took out some rubbish at work ), but the point I make still stands; christians will take any chance they can get to foist their beliefs onto people, whether welcome or not. It stands to reason that people on their deathbeds convert due to fear of what is about to happen to them- it's natural I suppose, given the preachy, beardy old man clutching a bible standing over them telling them what will happen if they don't. So yeah, dismiss my commonsense and observations as unfounded assertions if you like, but it only goes to prove what closed minded biggots you are- religion is not as lovely as you insist it is...

"By the way, if we don’t need morals crusaders telling people what to do, then why do you go about on a moral crusade?"

You seem to have an issue with paying attention to what I actually say; funny that. Christians try to impose their false-morality ( for want of a better expression ) onto people, under the guise that only God can save their souls/ make their life better etc etc. There is a massive difference being moral, and imposing morality under ulterior motives.

"Christian organisations actually care about peoples welfare by and large, you only care about yourself and the ego trip this gives you."

There are plenty of atheist welfare organizations ( Z, not S... ) and charities too, what's your point? I'm on no ego trip, unlike yourself- stop trying to impress everyone with your 'superior reasoning skills'; your debating ability consists of dismissing everything someone says if you disagree with it; that isn't debating, thats called being obtuse and argumentative for the hell of it, you won't win any debates with that type of reasoning skill...

ZAROVE said...

Neil, that’s another problem with you, it’s the “Close enough” mentality. You can make an outlandish claim, then when someone asks for support, show something utterly different, but claim it’s “Close enough” and that you’ve proven your point.

Well, you haven’t. The Daily Mail article did not show an instance of someone b4ing forced to convert on their Deathbed. It showed a medical Doctor, educated in Cambridge University, offering Spiritual advice to a patient. In fact, the article is favourable toward the Christian General practitioner, as the whole point is that he made sure the patient would be OK with Spiritual Advice, and it was the Patients Mother who complained ten days later. He also was denied a fair trial according to the article.

The only thing this Doctor was guilty of was discussing his Faith with the Patient. He did not force him to convert. The Patient is also otherwise healthy and had been brought in after a suicide attempt so I dare say the point is to keep him alive for many years to come, and he is not ob his Deathbed.



When you say this,

:”I know it's the Mail ( I was just browsing a binned copy before I took out some rubbish at work ), but the point I make still stands; christians will take any chance they can get to foist their beliefs onto people, whether welcome or not.”



It’s meaningless. Everyone discusses their beliefs. By definition, a belief is what you think is True. If an Atheist were to try to console a patient from the vantage point of his Humanist beliefs, would that be wrong? Would you consider it taking advantage of the patient? And if you really believe in Christianity, then it’s not really a malicious attempt at foisting their beliefs, it’s a matter of saving a Soul.

It’s not like the average patient on a Deathbed will add to the coffers of the Church, s it also stands to reason that a Christian telling a dying patient that they can go to a paradise is not doing this for any sort of personal or organisational gain.


Not that it matters, as you still haven’t shown any cases of people being forced to convert on their Deathbeds, and the moral opposition you levie is really just an excuse. You are simply trying to cast Christians in the worst possible light by describing the practices as nefarious, but as another poster said, Naked Contempt is not Logical argument.






Now, you also say,

“ It stands to reason that people on their deathbeds convert due to fear of what is about to happen to them- it's natural I suppose, given the preachy, beardy old man clutching a bible standing over them telling them what will happen if they don't. So yeah, dismiss my commonsense and observations as unfounded assertions if you like, but it only goes to prove what closed minded biggots you are- religion is not as lovely as you insist it is...”


You haven’t shown common sense. You just assume people only convert due to fear, and still haven’t backed this up with anything. Just like you haven’t backed up the claim hat people are forced to convert on their deathbeds.

And again, everyone has a Religion. Your own Atheistic beliefs are Religious.

Your argument about Morality is also false. Christians do nto try to impose morality under false pretence. Christian Moral theory says that the Morality that Christians believe in, and that God directs us to follow, is in our own best interest, and it’s always based on real world ramifications.


There is no Ulterior motive.

ZAROVE said...

Then there’s this little lie.


“There are plenty of atheist welfare organizations ( Z, not S... ) and charities too, what's your point?”


By the way, organisation is spelled with an S. I thought you were from Devon?

And no, there aren’t really any Atheist welfare organisations. My guess is that if you tried to prove there were you’d find Secular ones, and by Secular I don’t mean run by Secularists, just ones not connected to a specific Religion, like a food bank. But those organisations are not staffed solely by Atheists and are not run as Atheist organisations. Oftentimes you will find them staffed by Christians even if they are not explicitly Christian as institutions.

I know of no actual Atheist welfare organisation, and even if a few exist, there certainly aren’t plenty of them.






Then there's this.


“I'm on no ego trip, unlike yourself- stop trying to impress everyone with your 'superior reasoning skills'; your debating ability consists of dismissing everything someone says if you disagree with it; that isn't debating, thats called being obtuse and argumentative for the hell of it, you won't win any debates with that type of reasoning skill...”

This is called Projection. You project onto me your own behaviour.


Actually I’ve gone into detail as to why your arguments are wrong, and haven’t dismissed any of the arguments you have made. You’re the one who dismisses something if it disagrees with you views. Stop pretending that your showing evidence and I’, just dismissing it, it’s the other way round.

SuicideNeil said...

"And if you really believe in Christianity, then it’s not really a malicious attempt at foisting their beliefs, it’s a matter of saving a Soul."

-10 points. That's exactly the problem; saying bullshit like 'only jesus can save you' = brain washing, or an attempt at. Stop scaremongering and trying to disguise it as just practicing your faith; keep that shit to yourself mmkay?

"It’s not like the average patient on a Deathbed will add to the coffers of the Church, s it also stands to reason that a Christian telling a dying patient that they can go to a paradise is not doing this for any sort of personal or organisational gain."

True enough I suppose, though telling outright lies to people to comfort is a little... cold, me thinks.

"You haven’t shown common sense. You just assume people only convert due to fear, and still haven’t backed this up with anything. Just like you haven’t backed up the claim hat people are forced to convert on their deathbeds."

Last rights anyone?

"And again, everyone has a Religion. Your own Atheistic beliefs are Religious."

My religion is better than your one.

"There is no Ulterior motive."

Why'd you need so much money then, Jesus would be disgusted at the way the church conducted itself after he did his little zombie magic trick..?

"By the way, organisation is spelled with an S. I thought you were from Devon?"

Opera browser tricking me again, or was it the devil...

"I know of no actual Atheist welfare organisation, and even if a few exist, there certainly aren’t plenty of them."

Likewise, I imagine there are many secular or religious charities which have atheists or agnostics in them; being a nice person needs not religious motivation...

"This is called Projection. You project onto me your own behaviour."

Nope, I only dismiss that which is tripe... o_0

"Actually I’ve gone into detail as to why your arguments are wrong, and haven’t dismissed any of the arguments you have made. You’re the one who dismisses something if it disagrees with you views. Stop pretending that your showing evidence and I’, just dismissing it, it’s the other way round. "

Right back at ya dude, all you've done is dismiss a realistic world view ( not some flim-flam from someone who hasn't stepped outside their comfort zone in the last 30 years or more ) as you can't accept the reality of a cruel, unloving world which clearly is not the work of some divine creator- why would God create imperfect beings and then blame us for our errors? Logic-fail. Ultimately, my 'rhetoric' is never going to satisfy you, and neither will yours sit well with me as you have a knack of disagreeing with anything that goes against religion or it's teachings.

TheOFloinn said...

Just like you haven’t backed up the claim hat people are forced to convert on their deathbeds."

Suicide: Last rights anyone?


a) "rites," not "rights."
b) Extreme unction is not "deathbed conversion."

Please try to be at least factually honest, if you can't manage the deeper sort.

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"The Voyages..." Forays into Biblical studies, Biblical exegesis, theology, exposition, life, and occasionally some Star Trek...