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Do You Think All Civilizations Would Be More Advanced Without Religion.

Strangelove

Somewhere
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
I completely agree. Christianity discourages innovation, science, free-thought, and in my opinion it teaches a lot of bad morals. All of the abrahamic religions are univeralist. They claim that their dogma is the only truth; and that everything else is blasphemy. In my opinion this is very detrimental to the advancement of our society. Revering Jewish mythologies more than science and reason, is sad, and demonstrates how backwards our society still is. Perhaps if the pope hadn't persecuted so many great scientists, we would be far more advanced in our technology today. Poor Galileo :( And sadly, It even continues to this day, example, Stem Cell research, the open denial of the big bang theory and cosmology in general, the denial of evolution, etc.
Quite true. Think of all the good stem cells could be put to. All the potential cures that could be made, but no, because it's banned, largely due to religion. But....even if religion makes us behind, would you rather there be no religion, and therefore far less ethical debate? The way I veiw it, science can be cold and hard with logic, while religion can be reasoning and focus more on ethics. If we didn't have religion to keep the ethics of certain scientific ideas in check, then would it be fair?
To overrule the uses of science with religious ethics is unfair, but so is overriding religous ethics with the uses of scienctific advancements.
The two keep each other in check.
So, in this respect, I think we wouldn't be better off without religion. Anybody agree?
 

Batman

Not all those who wander are lost...
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Quite true. Think of all the good stem cells could be put to. All the potential cures that could be made, but no, because it's banned, largely due to religion. But....even if religion makes us behind, would you rather there be no religion, and therefore far less ethical debate? The way I veiw it, science can be cold and hard with logic, while religion can be reasoning and focus more on ethics. If we didn't have religion to keep the ethics of certain scientific ideas in check, then would it be fair?
To overrule the uses of science with religious ethics is unfair, but so is overriding religous ethics with the uses of scienctific advancements.
The two keep each other in check.
So, in this respect, I think we wouldn't be better off without religion. Anybody agree?
I almost completely agree with you, except that I think we can have ethical debates without religion. Religion is not necessary for ethical, moral, and philosophical discussions. We need to learn how to get rid of the notion that religion is the only method of dealing with ethics and philosophy. In my opinion, such discussions would go much better and would better serve us as a society if there was no intervention from dogma. Free thought is the only way to go. It allows us to escape the confines of religious universalism and explore other ideas.
 
Joined
May 18, 2009
It's hard to say, really.

On the one hand, religions are often very supportive of scientific inquiry. Indeed, many of the theories and discoveries we take for granted (such as the Big Bang) came from deeply religious scientists, often with the full support of their religious leaders.

On the other hand, religions first and foremost focus on faith and morals, and would naturally want to impose limits on actions they would find immoral, even if such actions would benefit science. Of course, science should be bound by moral and ethical constraints, but religions have been known to overreact.

I ultimately have to agree with Hero of Time and Strangelove: It's of little use to pit science and religion against each other. For one thing, both ways of thinking balance each other out. (While I agree with LegendOfZelda up to a certain point that moral and ethical thought are by no means the exclusive domain of those belief systems we label "religions," it's also important to recognize that religions play a critical role in driving the debate over morals and ethics, and that religious people and non-religious people are equally capable--or incapable--of thinking for themselves.) It's more important that we examine the mistakes of the past and the present--regardless of the beliefs of those who made them--to see how we can learn from them and avoid them in the future.

Also, Axle the Beast made a significant point: Much religious opposition to science hasn't been the direct result of religion, per se, but of people in power being afraid of losing that power. It's wishful thinking, I think, to assume that the masses would rise up and be educated if you took away the churches, but not the secular power structures.

So all considered, I think what we ought to get rid of is not religion, but the practice of using religion (or anything else, while we're at it) as an excuse not to use one's brain.

I want to make a quick note on stem cells, since that example has come up several times now. As Axle said, there's a distinction between embryonic stem cells, which are taken from human embryos that die in the process, and adult stem cells, which are taken from adults (duh), or from other sources such as the umbilical cord. The latter pose no ethical problems. Of course, stem cells can now be created from plain old skin cells, so it's sort of a moot point now.

Finally, I want to address the accusation that religion, and the Catholic Church in particular, is hostile to science. It simply isn't the case that religion qua religion is hostile to science, or that the eradication of religion would be good for science. I have several examples that demonstrate this.

First, here are some examples from the Catholic Church.
  • Copernicus was a Catholic cleric. (What kind of cleric, I don't know; probably a deacon or one of the minor orders no longer used since Vatican II.)
  • Galileo got into a fight with the Church, but up until he started claiming authority over interpretation of Scripture, the Church was fully supportive of his work--he was even close personal friends with the pope!
  • Georges Lemaître, who proposed the Big Bang theory, was a Jesuit priest. The Church was very supportive of him: He was elected a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and made a monsignor by Pope John XXIII.
  • Also, there is a Pontifical Academy of Sciences, where the Vatican devotes resources to promoting science.
  • Gregor Mendel, considered the father of modern genetics, was an Augustinian friar.

I also have examples of other religions making contributions to science.
  • Medieval Islam was also heavily involved in astronomy.
  • Deductive reasoning and empiricism come to us from ancient Greece, a polytheistic culture.
  • So did the earliest proposal of the heliocentric model.
  • Robert Grosseteste, an Anglican bishop, made significant contributions to the scientific method.
  • Johannes Kepler was a teacher at an Evangelical seminary, and his belief in God was extremely important as a motivation for his scientific work.

Lastly, I have an example of a scientist who was persecuted at the hands of a secular society:
  • Antoine Lavoisier, the pioneering chemist, was falsely accused of being a traitor and beheaded during the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution, largely because they were killing off all the tax collectors but also partly because of his efforts to stand up for the rights of foreign-born scientists such as Joseph-Louis Lagrange. More at Wikipedia (about which all the usual caveats apply).
 
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Tom

Joined
Dec 13, 2009
To some point yes. However, differently than most of the posts I've seen here, I even would say that all the oppression exercised by churches of all kinds and society itself (which has also been excluding and mistreating a great majority of those who are indeed different since we know it as it is) has only increased human capacity to outstand barriers and fight back, not physically, but mentally. Many great minds have been forced to accept other beliefs and admit in front of crowds that they were wrong. To this point, I think we were able to develop higher determination skills and a little something that grows only inside of the oppressed and repressed. People who believe in themselves and can stand for something are the ones who are worth what they're saying. And that's usually the type of people who are able to convince or enlighten others.

I say, there is and there always will be obstacles and difficulties in introducing new ideas and thoughts into human societies, especially when it's less comfortable for them to embrace it.
I wouldn't link it directly to religion because, again, it's not any Gods who came down to kill or silence anyone. It is and has always been men. It's a shame that some churches have been controlling and commanding large masses of people since the dawn of mankind, and to today's date I see people being fooled (especially into giving money) and misled by religious leaders, all around the world. I'm not to say whether it's religion's fault. I'd say it's more related to society in general. Religion is just a part of something much bigger.
 
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Location
Halifax
It's hard to say, really.
On the one hand, religions are often very supportive of scientific inquiry. Indeed, many of the theories and discoveries we take for granted (such as the Big Bang) came from deeply religious scientists, often with the full support of their religious leaders.

While some of the contributing scientists to what eventually became known as the Big Bang (poor Hoyle) were religious, it wasn't their religion that urged them forward, that did the math and theorizing and work for them. In fact, religion claimed an existing explanation for the beginnings of the cosmos, and wasn't too keen on science dabbling in what it felt was its own domain. Pope John Paul II actually made the request of Stephan Hawking to cease his studies regarding the origins of the cosmos as, it was 'God's domain'.


On the other hand, religions first and foremost focus on faith and morals, and would naturally want to impose limits on actions they would find immoral, even if such actions would benefit science. Of course, science should be bound by moral and ethical constraints, but religions have been known to overreact.

To be precise, religions focus on religious morals, meaning the morality of their own doctrine, not all encompassing morals. That may seem an odd distinction to make, but it's important to recognize. As an analogy, religious morals are not unlike the national laws of (say) the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their laws share some common ground with the laws of the United Nations, but there's some clearly incompatible areas as well. Religions have a long history of dubious moral behavior, and are in no position to 'ethically bind' science. The concept that science requires some external source or moral balance is itself absurd. On a human level, there seems to be the preconception that being a scientist makes a person ethically blind, like some mad scientist on a Saturday morning cartoon. On a theoretical level, cold hard logic is a misleading phrase, as morality and ethics are a form of logic themselves.

I ultimately have to agree with Hero of Time and Strangelove: It's of little use to pit science and religion against each other. For one thing, both ways of thinking balance each other out.

No, they don't. That seems to be an all too common claim, but I've yet to encounter a compelling logical argument (that wasn't based on a fallacy) to endorse such an assertion. Religion deals with it's own little dusty books, and static version of the world. Science, by nature, is an ever evolving, growing, and adapting philosophy and methodology. They are not comparable. They do not balance each other out in any productive fashion. It's like comparing a chair to an automobile, you sit in both of them; but they're not on the same page.

(While I agree with LegendOfZelda up to a certain point that moral and ethical thought are by no means the exclusive domain of those belief systems we label "religions," it's also important to recognize that religions play a critical role in driving the debate over morals and ethics, and that religious people and non-religious people are equally capable--or incapable--of thinking for themselves.) It's more important that we examine the mistakes of the past and the present--regardless of the beliefs of those who made them--to see how we can learn from them and avoid them in the future.
Also, Axle the Beast made a significant point: Much religious opposition to science hasn't been the direct result of religion, per-se, but of people in power being afraid of losing that power. It's wishful thinking, I think, to assume that the masses would rise up and be educated if you took away the churches, but not the secular power structures.

The Bible itself (or the Koran, etc.) didn't attempt to stop anyone from learning, or questioning the world; it was religious followers that did that, and they did so with the Bible raised high above their heads. Earlier and later in your post, you try to make the point that some scientists were religious, and by association, you suggested religion was a-okay with the whole shebang, and even the driving force, if not supportive. If I were to agree that was a viable argument (and I don't), you'd still have to pay the piper here, in that by association the primary scientific and skeptical oppressors were religious rulers. You can say that the educational repression only happened because they were rulers, and rulers need to keep their people down and controlled; but the truth of the matter is that most of the monarchies in history would have to do some serious extra-curricular populace control motivated scientific repression to stay on par with religiously motivated repression. For a monarchy, an educated populace (as long as they payed for their tutelage themselves)meant more money for the royal coffers, more national prestige, and better chances in war. Admittedly, the royals preferred their people to absurdly 'know their place'; but typically the most remarkable times in which they really attempted to quash intelligent thought was either because of their own religious beliefs, or simple fear that the rising intelligent posturing (read: heresy) would anger their religious rulers, for even Kings were loth to stand against the popes unless it were absolutely necessary. Still, even though the main intellectual oppressors were religious, it's not even simply an argument of association (though it fits that weak form of argument). Religion itself lasts through the ages by the intolerance of anything that argues against it.

So all considered, I think what we ought to get rid of is not religion, but the practice of using religion (or anything else, while we're at it) as an excuse not to use one's brain.

Unfortunately, religion in its purist state requires its followers to not use their brains, except on the occasion when, slovenly dragging its heals in a sad attempt to keep up with the world, it's necessary to make some new widely accepted scientific theory fit into its religious doctrine, much like hammering a square peg through a circle hole. Religions require their followers to believe in their explanations and stories, and ergo, skepticism is a sure-fire way to lose members. Religion has (poetically) evolved over the millennium to best survive the tumultuous environment of the naturally inquisitive human mind, and it's done so by making the act of actually questioning religious features in the first place a heavily punished sin.

I want to make a quick note on stem cells, since that example has come up several times now. As Axle said, there's a distinction between embryonic stem cells, which are taken from human embryos that die in the process, and adult stem cells, which are taken from adults (duh), or from other sources such as the umbilical cord. The latter pose no ethical problems. Of course, stem cells can now be created from plain old skin cells, so it's sort of a moot point now.

I agree to this; but I'm unsure how it fits in with the rest of your post.


Finally, I want to address the accusation that religion, and the Catholic Church in particular, is hostile to science. It simply isn't the case that religion qua religion is hostile to science, or that the eradication of religion would be good for science. I have several examples that demonstrate this.

Religion is indeed hostile to science, but not in the maniacal light that religions loudly defend themselves from. Instead, religion's hostility towards science is largely an instinctive territorial dispute, akin to a junk yard dog snarling at those it deems trespassers. Many theories point to the origins of religion as the first primitive attempts by humans to explain the world, a proto-science in a way. Unfortunately, much of that early science was based on little more than speculation, which was in turn handed down through story. As with most evidence-less speculation, Religion cannot survive in a skeptical environment, and it has passively evolved through the ages to re-actively snuff out skepticism over its 'matters of authority' when it appears. Science is little by little scrutinizing all of existence, and thus naturally found its way into religion's junk yard. Snarling, barking and biting have followed. It's time to put the old dog down.

First, here are some examples from the Catholic Church.
  • Copernicus was a Catholic cleric. (What kind of cleric, I don't know; probably a deacon or one of the minor orders no longer used since Vatican II.)
  • Galileo got into a fight with the Church, but up until he started claiming authority over interpretation of Scripture, the Church was fully supportive of his work--he was even close personal friends with the pope!
  • Georges Lemaître, who proposed the Big Bang theory, was a Jesuit priest. The Church was very supportive of him: He was elected a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and made a monsignor by Pope John XXIII.
  • Also, there is a Pontifical Academy of Sciences, where the Vatican devotes resources to promoting science.
  • Gregor Mendel, considered the father of modern genetics, was an Augustinian friar.

I'm going to ignore the religiously apologetic tone entirely of your examples, as it's already clearly reaching and doesn't need me to point it out. However, I am going to point out that this is again more examples of argument by association, and as such it bears little (if any) weight.


Pointing out that someone in the past (especially the distant past) was religious, is like pointing out that they breathed air. If you weren't religious in the past, you were sure-as-heck dead quiet about it. Being a working member of the church was also like being a government worker. Just because someone's a mail carrier, doesn't mean they support the Democrats or the Conservatives (to stick with American and Canadian political parties). Religion did none of the hard work in what these men created, and I'd rather applaud them for accomplishing their work despite the handicap of their religious indoctrination.


For many back then, being part of the church was an easy way to receive an education (the church was pretty careful to make sure their own members were at least somewhat educated) and afterward it was arguably just a pay-check. Darwin himself was studying to be a minister, not because he was zealously religious; but because it would allow him a quiet life in the country, in which he could also spend much of his time with his pigeon hobby. Surely, we all know how well religion (to this day) reacted to his skepticism and scientific questioning.


I also have examples of other religions making contributions to science.

Medieval Islam was also heavily involved in astronomy.
Again, this proves nothing through association. The people who were using their brains happened to be Islamic, not that they succeeded because of their religion.


Deductive reasoning and empiricism come to us from ancient Greece, a polytheistic culture.

Both stemming from the school of Socrates, and Plato. Religion killed Socrates for his crimes of skepticism, and Plato found no friends among the gods. The fact that they were from polytheistic Greece is about as relevant as the Canadian claim to the invention of basketball; it may be true but it's laughably irrelevant.


So did the earliest proposal of the heliocentric model.
It was proposed by Aristarchus, a mathematician, not a priest; so again this is about as relevant as the Canadian claim to the invention of basketball.


Robert Grosseteste, an Anglican bishop, made significant contributions to the scientific method.

Still more argument by association. You might as well argue that because I'm male, and made waffles for breakfast; that clearly the waffles were made because I'm male. It's not a viable argument.


[*]Johannes Kepler was a teacher at an Evangelical seminary, and his belief in God was extremely important as a motivation for his scientific work.

Kepler taught mathematics and astronomy. He was indeed religious, but he strove to find the science and math of the world, and always followed where that took him. Some have made the argument that although he was a Lutheran, his actual personal philosophies towards religion through science made him more of a deist. Another fun fact: His mother was tried on counts of witchcraft (with no actual evidence, not that it was needed), and would have burned on those religious pyres, had he not intervened in time.


Lastly, I have an example of a scientist who was persecuted at the hands of a secular society:
Antoine Lavoisier, the pioneering chemist, was falsely accused of being a traitor and beheaded during the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution, largely because they were killing off all the tax collectors but also partly because of his efforts to stand up for the rights of foreign-born scientists such as Joseph-Louis Lagrange. More at Wikipedia (about which all the usual caveats apply).

Association yet again. Simply because he was religious, and tried to do 'the right thing' does not mean the two points are interdependent. Correlation does not imply causation (everyone should have that tattooed on their forearms).


I especially enjoy the shot at a 'secular society' persecuting a religious man. Science did not demand the man's head, but an arguably angry group of people did. Laughably, even if science somehow did lop off his head, it'd still pale in comparison to the nigh endlessly long chorus of screams and horror that have quailed their last breaths in the face of religion.

In summary: Science and religion do not mix. They do not balance each other out, as science is capable of ethically monitoring itself, and even if an outside source were necessary; the process would be best left to non religious philosophers. Religion is not even a reliable source of ethics, as (beyond its own dubious moral teachings) its origins are that of a proto-science, and not the study of an all encompassing morality. I'll also repeat this point one last time: simply because some notable scientists in the past have been religious does not lend religion scientific credit, nor wash it of its sins in the oppression of skeptical thinking.
 

Strangelove

Somewhere
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
I almost completely agree with you, except that I think we can have ethical debates without religion. Religion is not necessary for ethical, moral, and philosophical discussions. We need to learn how to get rid of the notion that religion is the only method of dealing with ethics and philosophy. In my opinion, such discussions would go much better and would better serve us as a society if there was no intervention from dogma. Free thought is the only way to go. It allows us to escape the confines of religious universalism and explore other ideas.
Yeah, but I didn't say that ethical discussions can't be had without religion, but religion is often a large motivational factor in ethical debates. But I do agree. If there wasn't so much trouble surrounding issues like stem cell research, so much more could be done.
 

Mido

Turnabout Terror
I completely agree. Christianity discourages innovation, science, free-thought, and in my opinion it teaches a lot of bad morals. All of the abrahamic religions are univeralist. They claim that their dogma is the only truth; and that everything else is blasphemy. In my opinion this is very detrimental to the advancement of our society. Revering Jewish mythologies more than science and reason, is sad, and demonstrates how backwards our society still is. Perhaps if the pope hadn't persecuted so many great scientists, we would be far more advanced in our technology today. Poor Galileo :( And sadly, It even continues to this day, example, Stem Cell research, the open denial of the big bang theory and cosmology in general, the denial of evolution, etc.
I would have to dissagree with this, but it depends what view you look from. Degrees of religion, like a conservative or liberal viewpoint, play a major role in these situations. Ultra-Conservative sects maybe, would disregard certain beliefs as true of so. Personally, I consider myself a conservative Catholic, and I do accept innovation and reason; and yes, reason has actually strengthened my beliefs. For example, St. Thomas Aquinas; with his 'unmoved mover; 'uncaused cause' statements. He concluded this through reason, logic, and research throught various sources. In fact, the bible was the last source he used.He also did this before he converted. But going back to the topic, I don't think religion has slowed advancement.
 
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Cuju

私はカウントダウンを実行します。
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Location
Canada
If the US' laws weren't influenced by religion, then gays could get married, which I think would be great. I think it's ridiculous that a religion could influence laws in the year 2011...
 
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
While I agree that religion currently stifles advancement of knowledge, it may not be true that societies would have reached there current level of advancement without it. In Ancient Societies the priest class was the educated class. In many cases only the religious elite learned writing and mathematics. When the Western Philosophical Tradition began in Greece and eventually spawned modern Science, the fact that Philosophers were not priests was an anomaly. When Socrates was put to death for corrupting the youth this was perhaps the dawning of the conflict between religion and knowledge that we now see. Later, after the fall of Rome, the knowledge amassed by the ancients was preserved for centuries by religious groups. The Islamic scholars preserved Aristotle and much of the classic literature which found its way back into Europe after the crusades. It is no accident that Medieval scholars like Occam, Aquinas, and Anselm are are Clergymen. It was only in the days of Bacon, Newton, Descarte, Locke, etc. that the modern form of science we know and love took shape. At around this time, I think the conflict between Religion and advancement of knowledge begins to be felt; however, the science of the age would never have arisen at all if the educated elite, in other words the clergy, had not preserved the Ancient learning of Greece and Rome. In short, without religion, the Dark Ages might have lasted a lot longer since any advancing society would have to start from scratch.
 

GanonSlayr

Vermin Supreme 2012!!!
No. Religion was completely necessary for the development of civilization. Where would we be without it? There would be no Sistine chapel, there would be no Pyramids. Religion is a popular tool for control as well. America wouldn't exist if many people hadn't come here for religious freedom.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
Firstly:

Clearly said:
Still more argument by association. You might as well argue that because I'm male, and made waffles for breakfast; that clearly the waffles were made because I'm male. It's not a viable argument.
Ah the old argument from waffles. Unfortunately everyone knows only women are supposed to be in the kitchen, therefore you couldn't have made waffles. QED.

(Although this seriously made me laugh out loud. And your post kicked arse)

No. Religion was completely necessary for the development of civilization. Where would we be without it? There would be no Sistine chapel, there would be no Pyramids. Religion is a popular tool for control as well. America wouldn't exist if many people hadn't come here for religious freedom.
Actually I'd suggest to you that the European colonists were far more interested in money than anything else. In particular the British Empire was constructed out of trade and commerce rather than religious missions or a need for violent conquest. But even if we assume your hypothesis was true, I'm sure the Native Americans would be rather glad of the fact the Europeans didn't come over and slaughter them. +1 for religion there.


And now I'm done being facetious I'd say that religion (and in particular religious institutions) has been a useful tool for civilisation. Here's my case in no particular order:

1) It's still here. You've all heard of memes but you probably think of them as the troll faces that Kybyrian sometimes posts on this site. Or the trollolol man. But before the internet ruined civilisation a meme was a term coined by Richard Dawkins to describe an idea that travels across the collective human consciousness, becoming more common if it has some merit or use and dying out if it does not. The fact that religion still exists shows that it is some merit to somebody. If you are cynical you'd probably suggest the governing bodies and churches, but for many people I think it gives them a grounding in their life. And I think that is some benefit to a society, even if there are other parts of religion which aren't.

2) Religion promotes war. If you know anything about technological advances you'll know in times of war the impetus to create new technology skyrockets. The result is that advances in everything from medicine to transport and to weaponry are accelerated. War is good for technological advancement. As for religion's promotion of warfare, even if you don't believe the religious doctrine does you can surely agree religious institutions (especially that great pantheon of sex criminals the Catholic Church) have a long history in warfare. The number of wars that have been fought on the pretext of religion is huge (although I rather suspect money, ideology and power have more to do with it, for the sake of this argument the logic holds). And it surely can't hurt to go into war believing you've got 37 virgins waiting for you (as long as you don't consider the likelihood that they are all fat prog rock fans who read a lot of high fantasy).

3) A lot of early scientists being clergymen is not a coincidence. So picture this. You're in feudal Europe. You basically belong to a Lord, and in return for you working the land he feeds, clothes and shelters you. This is pretty much your life, and everyone has to work (apart from the Lord, obviously). There's not a lot of call for reading or writing or studying things, because that's not going to bring in the harvest.

And this is where religion comes in. The reason so many Medieval Scientists were clergymen is because they were the only ones who could read and who had the free time to study maths or plants or whatever else. Also a reason that a lot of art from that period is religious in nature. You take religion out of the equation and that man's working the fields just like everyone else. More to the point many of the great universities in the UK were founded by religious foundations on a similar pretext, and I expect the same is true for Europe.


Looking back point 1 is a bit weak, but 3 is a humdinger. The truth is that imagining humans without religion is like imaging Paul McCartney without music. It isn't the same thing. We are built to accommodate religious thought (or religious thought is manufactured as a by-product of our brains). Which isn't a good reason to believe in God, it's just saying that a question like this is the wrong question.
 

Zorth

#Scoundrel
Joined
Apr 22, 2011
2) Religion promotes war
Religion isn't violent, humans are if you ask me..
Who invented religion?.. ehmm, Human beings.
And who bends religion into their own vision.. You got me ;)

So what I'm trying to say here is that you shouldn't blame religion for all the wars but the people that bend it into their own twisted vision.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2010
Religion isn't violent, humans are if you ask me..
Who invented religion?.. ehmm, Human beings.
And who bends religion into their own vision.. You got me ;)

So what I'm trying to say here is that you shouldn't blame religion for all the wars but the people that bend it into their own twisted vision.
Well you should have read what I said afterwards, that if you couldn't agree religion in itself promotes war you could agree that religious institutions promote war, which is undeniable. Open a history book on the Crusades and you'll see that. You might say they weren't following the book properly or it's an example of the "twisted vision" you're on about, but it amounts to much the same thing. At the very least you agree that religion can be used (or misused, depending on your point of view) to encourage war, and war encourages technological development. Ergo religion encourages technological development. Which is the point of this thread.

Also, don't be patronising. You are 15 years old after all. :P*


*For irony fans
 

Lord Death

Bichon Frise
Joined
Jan 1, 2011
Location
Chicago, IL
I don't think so. I mean, during the renaissance, and even before that, almost all scientific breakthroughs came from the religious. Newton was religious, Linnaeus was religious, Mendel was religious, and Euler was religious, and so forth and so on. Heck, even the guy who developed the big bang theory was religious! (And, for the record, someone here said the church shuns the BBT. That's not true. The Catholic Church says you can believe in the BBT as long as you believe that God started it, which isn't a problem for most)

And I think it was Axle who mentioned that inconveniences in sciences that are regularly blamed on religions actually are the works of corrupt leaders, and because of them the whole group gets a bad rep. That's also very true, not so much in modern times, but way back when. Today, the only example I can think of where religion might be holding science back is the stem cell thing. But come ‘on! Religion teaches that life is special, and would you disagree? These cells are living things, and can grow up to be humans. Why would religions that respect all life just casually let that happen? Sure, you can say that's the problem with religions, but, contrary to what StrangeLove thinks, a world without ANY religion would be a scary place...

We will never know for sure, but besides thinking of the possibilities, think of how far back we would be set if religion didn't exist. Many scientists acted with religious reasoning. Without religion, half of what we know today would not have been discovered at the time that it was. Even in modern society, what would people do with NO religion? They would have no purpose, no guidance. Nobody would tell them that murdering was wrong. Nobody would stop them from stealing from each other. These basic laws, which were created so long ago, were created with religious influence. I can see where your claims that religions such as Catholicism are slowing down science come from, and although I don't necessarily agree with it, I understand it. But to say that the world would be better without religion, no, just no.
 

Strangelove

Somewhere
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
contrary to what StrangeLove thinks, a world without ANY religion would be a scary place...
I never said a world without religion wouldn't be. But would be any worse than a world in which a lot of people are still persecuted for the way they live or what they believe?
 

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