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Thread: How much time have we wasted on religion (assuming all religions are false)

  1. #1 How much time have we wasted on religion (assuming all religions are false) 
    Forum Sophomore jakesyl's Avatar
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    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point


    "The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error; but who does strive to do deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
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    One Hell of an assumption.


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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    Actually, I don't get the point. Your syntax make your post somewhat ambiguous (being generous; it is actually incomprehensible).

    Is it: Assuming all religions are false, how much time have we wasted (on religion and related activities).

    Or: How much time have we wasted assuming all religions are false (when we could have made so much more progress by assuming them all to be true).

    Or: Assuming all religions are false will get us nowhere; and how much time have we wasted trying to explain things (via non-religious explanations).

    Or: Assuming all religions are false will get us nowhere; and how much time have we wasted trying to explain things (via religious explanations).

    My reaction (independent of those interpretations): assuming all religions are false is a good starting point until some evidence is provided to show that one or more of them have some degree of truth. However, people who believe in some religion do not, presumably, consider that a waste of time. To my mind it is no more a waste of time than football or stamp collecting.

    And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades.
    Have we lost knowledge of the Crusades? I hevae read several very good books on them.

    The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time.
    What knowledge of time did the Spanish burn? Or do you mean they burnt knowledge promptly?


    I guess the lesson is: don't post drunk.
    Last edited by Strange; August 14th, 2013 at 09:46 AM. Reason: added some more comments
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    I agree with Strange. I don't understand the purpose of the post. It doesn't seem to be a question or an argument for something. What are you trying to say? What kind of replies do you expect?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point

    I do not get the point either.
    You should probably elaborate the statements in your OP.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Oh, come on, now. None of you watched Carl Sagans "Cosmos" series?
    The question makes sense. He's asking how much time was lost... Sagan estimated it was in the realm of centuries to millennium lost for Recent Times and that's pittance compared to our more full if unknown history.
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Oh, come on, now. None of you watched Carl Sagans "Cosmos" series?
    The question makes sense. He's asking how much time was lost... Sagan estimated it was in the realm of centuries to millennium lost for Recent Times and that's pittance compared to our more full if unknown history.
    I'm going to invoke Poe's Law on this one ...
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Poe's law, in broader form, is:

    Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing
    cool dadio, first I ever heard of(read actually) poe's law

    thanx
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Oh, come on, now. None of you watched Carl Sagans "Cosmos" series?
    The question makes sense. He's asking how much time was lost... Sagan estimated it was in the realm of centuries to millennium lost for Recent Times and that's pittance compared to our more full if unknown history.
    I'm going to invoke Poe's Law on this one ...
    I do not think Sagan was following Poe's Law...
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    Okay then it's a question but it's only possible to guess the answer. We only know what did happen not what could have been. Which events in history helped scientific knowledge and which held it back? I would say that we would probably have progressed further but it's impossible to say how much. Also religion has not only been bad, some technological accomplishments have been driven by religious beliefs like the building of the pyramids and cathedrals. Maybe we would get more funding for the space program today if we motivated it by saying that we want to see if we can find god out there
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Oh, come on, now. None of you watched Carl Sagans "Cosmos" series?
    The question makes sense. He's asking how much time was lost... Sagan estimated it was in the realm of centuries to millennium lost for Recent Times and that's pittance compared to our more full if unknown history.
    I'm going to invoke Poe's Law on this one ...
    I do not think Sagan was following Poe's Law...
    He was an outlaw outlier?
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    Quote Originally Posted by zunc View Post
    Maybe we would get more funding for the space program today if we motivated it by saying that we want to see if we can find god out there

    We already found our gods in the universe: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, ...
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    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    Assuming all novels are false, how much time have we wasted on Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Tolkien, Dickens, CS Lewis, Dostoevsky etc?
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    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Assuming all novels are false, how much time have we wasted on Shakespeare...
    You obviously haven't read Twelfth Night: weeks, I tell you! Weeks wasted!!

    ...and don't get me started on Thomas Hardy!
    SayBigWords.com/say/3FC

    "And, behold, I come quickly;" Revelation 22:12

    "Religions are like sausages. When you know how they are made, you no longer want them."
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    How much time have we wasted on religion? Well its only been a couple of hundred years since alternatives emerged (rationalism emerging and the overthrowing of churches as government - not yet complete in the house of Lords -and only maybe 20 years or so since we began understanding genetic evolution. We still have a way to go in understanding the effect of epigenetics.

    We are only just beginning to emerge from ignorance and oppression and then only in some parts of the world.

    As an instrument of oppression and means of justifying the slaughter of others religion has proved very useful in providing the means defend almost any action. its still very useful in this manner.

    If you find yourself objecting that religion is a force for good, take a long look at history, or maybe picture yourself as a castrati at the Vatican. We need to be honest and bnot let religion get away with its acts, simply by rationalising away that 'god' would not have really approved and therefore its outside its bounds.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    it got us here... it wasn't time waste... it was what we needed actually it was really good invention
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    Forum Sophomore Estheria Quintessimo's Avatar
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    It is a matter of calculation I figure. But to be able to answer the question one would first have to determine what is considered a waste of time.

    I am going from the assumption the OP means this:

    From the exact time humans becomming smart enough to question their environment, their own existance in the universe, and the existance of the universe.... if from that specific point in time none of humanities thoughts have ever been wasted on religious thinking, but purely on Reality and Science....


    Compared to that,... How much time has been wasted?

    You would need to come up with a lot of calculations and parameters to be able to make atleast an average guess,... such as:
    - How many humans have their ever been on earth in this reality?
    - How much time did humans throughout all history spend on religious thoughts on average, in this reality?

    Then you have to consider the results of these thoughts on religion. Why? Because the thoughts and ideas sparkled from Religion shaped our Reality.... People went to war over it, killed other people and such over it,... the world we live in is shaped by religious thought.

    And seeing as religion is still a large part of this world,.... it would seem to me that at no time in history, has their been a moment not a single human atleast had a religious thought,... assuming their is such a concept.

    But... you want an average guess,... or is your attempt an overview for all humanity over time?... Difficult calculations.

    My best guess is,... from the moment the first religious thought came up in the mind of prehistoric man and learning and explaining his thoughts and ideas to his fellow humans,... 100% of the time in history and the now, is wasted on religions.
    I see no other way to quantify it and come up with a percentage given the minimal parameters given in the OP.
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    It is a nonsense question. What exactly is wasted? Is life better without religion? How can this be demonstrated? If religion gets us nowhere, does science get us somewhere? Where is that?
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    Forum Sophomore Estheria Quintessimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    It is a nonsense question. What exactly is wasted? Is life better without religion? How can this be demonstrated? If religion gets us nowhere, does science get us somewhere? Where is that?
    Personally I can see something valid in the attempted question, though the OP post does not provide enough parameters to come up with a workable answer to the question posed.

    It simply leaves to many open gaps.

    I would think in the spirit of the OP... I would ask the following question instead:

    Suppose from the beginning of mankind, evolving into the beings we are now,... no concepts, ideas or thoughts, of religion, mysticism, magic, be that god, gods, godesses, and all related to this, would ever have come up in the mind of primitive man and there after,... and from the time such concepts, ideas and thoughts could have arizen,... concepts, ideas and thoughts of pure logic and reason -the base for scientific thinking- would only have sparkled from that first time it could until now...
    How far do you think we could have progressed scientifically, compared to where we are now?


    This, I think, would be a question more in the spirit of intend by the OP,... and already still be a very difficult question to answer.
    But only the OP could say if the replacement question I propose here, is in his intend.
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    Malignant Pimple shlunka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.
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    Forum Sophomore Estheria Quintessimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.
    Actually... making art for religious stuff... is a great example of wasting your time on religious stuff.

    Sure it is shock and awe when you see it,.... but it is just a waste of precious time and resources, that could have been better used, if their had been no such thing as religions.

    I think you unwillingly just provided the OP with a great example.


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    Last edited by Estheria Quintessimo; October 25th, 2013 at 05:12 PM. Reason: added the P.S.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.
    Actually... making art for religious stuff... is a great example of wasting your time on religious stuff.
    So art is a waste of time, then? or just religious art?
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    Forum Sophomore Estheria Quintessimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by shlunka View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.
    Actually... making art for religious stuff... is a great example of wasting your time on religious stuff.
    So art is a waste of time, then? or just religious art?
    Of course Art is not a waste of time. I did not say that.

    The OP assumption was to provide evidence, if all religions are false,... how much time have we wasted on religion (in short, as the OP message is debated on merit of comprehensibale continuation of the topic).

    Forum Member shlunka said, and I quote:
    I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.
    ... as a direct challenge to the OP original message.

    I can only conclude, shlunka's post is a failed attempt to debunk the OP.
    If any value for discussion can be given to the OP,... then shlunka's attack on it,... is a hardcore fail, by saying:
    'I take it you've never visited the Sistine Chapel.'

    And saying nothing else,.. my conclusion while reading it is this:
    shlunka tries to point out to the OP that the Sistine Chapel is a remarkable piece of religious art,... but totally fails to notice that if the OP state of reality was to be true,... you would not have any piece of religious art.

    the fail is,... forum member shlunka not understanding the OP original post. Frankly, I do not know why anyone has trouble interpreting his post. Yes, it is vague on any potential outcome result, as he did not formulate his question very well,... but his intend is very much obvious for all to see and understand. (atleast I think)

    As such my responds:
    Actually... making art for religious stuff... is a great example of wasting your time on religious stuff.
    But I figure you already understood my point as you mentioned art in your specific question towards me.
    You should already have noticed in my reply,... I was talking about religious stuff specifically.

    To clarify I said "stuff" instead of "Art" as stuff would cover more ground, though perhaps more vaguely, then just art.

    Anyway,... I hope that answers your doubts forum member Harold14370 on my intend.

    --

    I have a request though...
    In an attempt to prevent my proposed replacement question (I posed some posts ago) to be snowed under by these latests post,... could you reply on that?

    It is my small attempt to formulate the OP intend better,... and my intend to make this thread more valuable.

    This:
    Suppose from the beginning of mankind, evolving into the beings we are now,... no concepts, ideas or thoughts, of religion, mysticism, magic, be that god, gods, godesses, and all related to this, would ever have come up in the mind of primitive man and there after,... and from the time such concepts, ideas and thoughts could have arizen,... concepts, ideas and thoughts of pure logic and reason -the base for scientific thinking- would only have sparkled from that first time it could until now...
    How far do you think we could have progressed scientifically, compared to where we are now?
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    So then it's only religious art that is a waste of time. I see.

    Suppose from the beginning of mankind, evolving into the beings we are now,... no concepts, ideas or thoughts, of religion, mysticism, magic, be that god, gods, godesses, and all related to this, would ever have come up in the mind of primitive man and there after,... and from the time such concepts, ideas and thoughts could have arizen,... concepts, ideas and thoughts of pure logic and reason -the base for scientific thinking- would only have sparkled from that first time it could until now...
    How far do you think we could have progressed scientifically, compared to where we are now?
    I don't think much of the question when it is put this way, either. It's a bit like asking how the civil war would have turned out if the Confederates had AK-47's. They didn't have AK-47's so the war turned out as it did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedPanda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    Assuming all novels are false, how much time have we wasted on Shakespeare...
    You obviously haven't read Twelfth Night: weeks, I tell you! Weeks wasted!!

    ...and don't get me started on Thomas Hardy!
    I heard it was awesome from someone ... what so bad about it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Estheria Quintessimo View Post
    Suppose from the beginning of mankind, evolving into the beings we are now,... no concepts, ideas or thoughts, of religion, mysticism, magic, be that god, gods, godesses, and all related to this, would ever have come up in the mind of primitive man and there after,... and from the time such concepts, ideas and thoughts could have arizen,... concepts, ideas and thoughts of pure logic and reason -the base for scientific thinking- would only have sparkled from that first time it could until now...
    How far do you think we could have progressed scientifically, compared to where we are now?
    You fail to take into account that religion allowed and encouraged people to come together in ways they would not have in distant history and a lot of mathematic principles and science were first discovered or invented even way back when.

    Unfortunately, this later evolved with the Church banning a lot of scientific study if it contradicted God or the Bible. So science suffered, and so did mankind.

    Certainly, we can try to imagine what other discoveries would have come about had there been no religion, but the same could be said for anything and everything. What thoughts, ideas or concepts could we all be coming up with if we weren't posting on this site or working at the office or in the home?

    Religion caused harm to science in general when it started to (and continues to) ban or suffocate science in general because it may go against one's religious principles and beliefs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquille View Post
    Unfortunately, this later evolved with the Church banning a lot of scientific study if it contradicted God or the Bible. So science suffered, and so did mankind.

    ...

    Religion caused harm to science in general when it started to (and continues to) ban or suffocate science in general because it may go against one's religious principles and beliefs.
    That is a tad monotheistically eurocentric isn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    That is a tad monotheistically eurocentric isn't it?
    The same would apply to any religious organisation that confiscated scientific discoveries or barred the advancement of scientific study. However the Catholic Church and Christianity in general are most well known in that regard in historical and current times. In current times, well, that would apply to most religions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquille View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    That is a tad monotheistically eurocentric isn't it?
    The same would apply to any religious organisation that confiscated scientific discoveries or barred the advancement of scientific study. However the Catholic Church and Christianity in general are most well known in that regard in historical and current times. In current times, well, that would apply to most religions.
    Perhaps I'm not as well read in the exploits of eastern organized religions as I should be, but are there any examples of hindrance by them (non monotheistical eurocentric religions) against scientific and technological progress in the east?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoobydoo1 View Post
    Perhaps I'm not as well read in the exploits of eastern organized religions as I should be, but are there any examples of hindrance by them (non monotheistical eurocentric religions) against scientific and technological progress in the east?
    Islam effectively shut down science and scientific investigation around 13-1400 if memory serves (might have been a bit later than that).
    (Non-Eurocentric, so part of your criteria fulfilled).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Islam effectively shut down science and scientific investigation around 13-1400 if memory serves (might have been a bit later than that).
    (Non-Eurocentric, so part of your criteria fulfilled).
    Thanks. Besides the three prominent monotheistic religions (of which comprises of judaism, christianity, and islam) of the abrahamic genre, I am unaware of any others not from that particular tree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquille View Post
    Unfortunately, this later evolved with the Church banning a lot of scientific study if it contradicted God or the Bible. So science suffered, and so did mankind.
    Can you give any examples where this happened?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Can you give any examples where this happened?
    Well to cite a few.

    The Condemnations of 1210 to 1277?

    Galileo ring a bell?

    How about Giordano Bruno - who was burnt at the stake for heresy?

    Conrad Gessner's works were prohibited by the Church.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquille View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Can you give any examples where this happened?
    Well to cite a few.

    The Condemnations of 1210 to 1277?
    From the Wikipedia article
    From this perspective, some historians maintain that the condemnations had positive effects on the development of science, perhaps even representing the beginnings of modern science.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquille
    Galileo ring a bell?

    How about Giordano Bruno - who was burnt at the stake for heresy?

    Conrad Gessner's works were prohibited by the Church.
    What I am looking for is evidence that these or similar incidents actually had an adverse impact on the progress of science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What I am looking for is evidence that these or similar incidents actually had an adverse impact on the progress of science.
    That's not a sound question to be honest.

    Between Bruno's arrest and burning he had more than ten years of science work removed from him. The chilling effects would force Galileo to squander half his life tip-toeing around the church, oftentimes deliberately working on trivial non-controversial subjects after being warned about his work by the church and finally needing to smuggle his own works out when he came under house arrest after his confession. It would stifle further work by his apprentices and effectively limit continuance of his work to parts of Europe not dominated by the Catholic church.

    Darwin delayed publishing his work for decades at least in part because his feared religious-based rejection of his works. It not only effected his work but added to his reluctance to review the works of others where science and religion might cross, such as in this letter to Abbot in 1871. "Now I have never systematically thought much on Religions, in relation to Science, or on morals in relation to society, & without steadily keeping my mind on such subjects for a long period, I am really incapable of writing anything worth sending to the Index. Many years ago I was strongly advised by a friend never to introduce anything about religion—in my works, if I wished to advance science in England; & this led me not to consider the mutual bearings of the two subjects. "

    When the leading scientist are put to death, put under arrest and prevented from continuing their works, or live in fear of rejection from religious the oppressive effects are rather obvious. Asking for evidence of negative impacts is akin to a defense attorney rhetorically asking a jury for proof that a murdered man might have accomplished more in his life--such logic is on very shaky grounds.

    Last edited by Lynx_Fox; October 27th, 2013 at 01:21 PM.
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    To be quite frank and to avoid any confusion.

    The reason I'd asked Tranquille the question was primarily because of the post I'd made here. In that, it may be due to carelessness rather than a genuine misconception when using the word "religion". If one has christianity specifically in mind, or just about any other genre of religions, why not just name them instead of using the word religion. Neither one word (religion or christianity) are synonymous with each other, and that is why I've asked whether the post that was made being a "tad bit monotheistically eurocentric".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post

    What I am looking for is evidence that these or similar incidents actually had an adverse impact on the progress of science.
    You don't think the scientists of that time would have been hesitant after the trials and executions of those of the likes of Bruno and arrests of Galileo?

    As Lynx points out, the Church stifled science through absolute fear of death in some cases and imprisonment in others.
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    lets talk about beer
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    I would certainly agree that there are examples, indeed such as of the way Galileo was treated by the Catholic Church as Lynx touched upon, of how religion has reacted to those who have used science to go against religious teachings. I though wonder perhaps if also it's not possibly fair to attribute some credit though for the possitive affects that religion may have also played in advancing the scientific cause. For example it's certainly no secret that religion funded and advanced architecture and arts such as painting and sculpture through funding commissions. Religion had such a strong influence upon so many areas of life and helped to shape politics, commerce and education in a unifying way that enabled for the beginning of a standardization.

    The Church provided opportunities and guidance for learning to do things in set ways, whilst it's also the case that the Church was certainly rigid and wasn't quick to adopt new ideas or change it did set and maintain a standard that allowed others to move on from. We could perhaps ask at this point if this standard of understanding would or could have existed without the Church's influence and authority to enforce and maintain it. Many of todays laws can be traced to religious standards that have since been refined to make them more acceptable. The Church of course was also good at educating people, again here it should be noted that this was in the self serving style of religious teaching but still it was education that many simply wouldn't have gotten without the Church's existence, and the education they recieved helped to inspire further learning as once they had a taste for it they now also had the ability of knowing how to learn.

    Since many of our historical records have connections either directly or indirectly to the Church it's also clear it has had a strong influence in the promotion of record keeping and preservation of information across the centuries, this again has helped in developing many aspects of modern science as they have again had this platform of previous works and written records to build upon.

    What I think this helps us to do is see that the totality of the Church's influence upon scientific advancement is a far more complicated question than it may on the surface appear. Certainly questions must be asked about how you balance the possitive influence of the Church of spreading education and knowledge against the detremental aspects of the Church's effect on science such as it's efforts to restrict information or progress which ran counter to religious teaching or the Church's politics of the time.
    Like with many things in life certainly the answers arn't clear cut and many, certainly depending on their beliefs, will come to very different conclusions as to just what the overall legacy upon science has been left by the Church or in a wider sense the lasting effect left by all the world's religions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    What I am looking for is evidence that these or similar incidents actually had an adverse impact on the progress of science.
    That's not a sound question to be honest.

    Between Bruno's arrest and burning he had more than ten years of science work removed from him. The chilling effects would force Galileo to squander half his life tip-toeing around the church, oftentimes deliberately working on trivial non-controversial subjects after being warned about his work by the church and finally needing to smuggle his own works out when he came under house arrest after his confession. It would stifle further work by his apprentices and effectively limit continuance of his work to parts of Europe not dominated by the Catholic church.

    Darwin delayed publishing his work for decades at least in part because his feared religious-based rejection of his works. It not only effected his work but added to his reluctance to review the works of others where science and religion might cross, such as in this letter to Abbot in 1871. "Now I have never systematically thought much on Religions, in relation to Science, or on morals in relation to society, & without steadily keeping my mind on such subjects for a long period, I am really incapable of writing anything worth sending to the Index. Many years ago I was strongly advised by a friend never to introduce anything about religion—in my works, if I wished to advance science in England; & this led me not to consider the mutual bearings of the two subjects. "

    When the leading scientist are put to death, put under arrest and prevented from continuing their works, or live in fear of rejection from religious the oppressive effects are rather obvious. Asking for evidence of negative impacts is akin to a defense attorney rhetorically asking a jury for proof that a murdered man might have accomplished more in his life--such logic is on very shaky grounds.

    Anecdotes do not constitute evidence. An investigation of the overall impact of the church would need to look at a lot more than a few isolated incidents. It may well be that the church supported scientific research as well. Certainly, many great scientists were religious and many cited their religion as inspiration for their research.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge
    I thought it was European authorities in general, maybe even the Church, who destroyed knowledge accumulated from the classical era — Greeks and Romans — (which, maybe, is why Europe suffered the Dark Ages) and that Europe re-acquired most of it centuries later though copies from the Muslims/Arabs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I'm going to invoke Poe's Law on this one ...
    I think you mean that — Does the OP ask a sincere question actually looking for a number of years or centuries, or does the OP simply mean to say that "religion" (aka Christianity) has wasted 2,000 years that we could have been advancing scientifically without it. (Keep in mind that a Catholic priest developed the Big Bang Theory, which, in simple terms, he described it as "the Cosmic Egg exploding at the moment of the creation".)

    Quote Originally Posted by billvon View Post
    how much time have we wasted on Shakespeare, Herman Melville, Tolkien, Dickens, CS Lewis, Dostoevsky etc?
    The most painful for me was Tolstoy's War and Peace. I stopped wasting my time reading fiction a long time ago.

    To this we can add all the energy and money and time that's gone into all the garbage that cinema and TV has thrown in our faces, which could have been better spent finding a cure for cancer, etc, etc. Are we any better having been subjected to many years of Real Housewives, Sex and the City, Friends, Seinfeld, Baywatch, General Hospital, Gilligan's Island, Peyton Place, the Rocky movies, the Godfather movies, tons of zombie movies, etc? I think not. Let's throw in WWF and other such "sports" ... heck, how about all spectator sports, for which we can't afford to attend in person — Olympics, Tour de France, NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, etc whose participants receive obscene amounts of money for playing children's games. And I haven't even mentioned video games.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370 View Post
    Anecdotes do not constitute evidence. An investigation of the overall impact of the church would need to look at a lot more than a few isolated incidents. It may well be that the church supported scientific research as well. Certainly, many great scientists were religious and many cited their religion as inspiration for their research.
    Those anecdotes were not just plucked out of thin air, nor in isolation. Each of them were leaders in their fields and developed ground breaking science delayed and interfered with either directly by the church or by the culture it engendered. They are not just evidence they are strong evidence. And it was not only the cruel application to Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo and many others, it was through the deliberate banning of their works under threats of inquisition. I really don't think there's any denying the Catholic Church's role to thwart science during the Enlightenment. We could probably reach the same conclusion about Islam after ~1200 CE.

    --
    Today that case either way is more difficult to make. Though even now with open culture war in the US., roughly half the Christians denying, the most well established ideas of science: Evolution. It is no wonder there's a connection between low science knowledge/achievement and high religiosity. Those low achievements means fewer scientist and limited choices among the few who pursue scientific professions--hence, even today a net drag on progress.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Those anecdotes were not just plucked out of thin air, nor in isolation. Each of them were leaders in their fields and developed ground breaking science delayed and interfered with either directly by the church or by the culture it engendered. They are not just evidence they are strong evidence. And it was not only the cruel application to Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo and many others, it was through the deliberate banning of their works under threats of inquisition. I really don't think there's any denying the Catholic Church's role to thwart science during the Enlightenment. We could probably reach the same conclusion about Islam after ~1200 CE.

    --
    Today that case either way is more difficult to make. Though even now with open culture war in the US., roughly half the Christians denying, the most well established ideas of science: Evolution. It is no wonder there's a connection between low science knowledge/achievement and high religiosity. Those low achievements means fewer scientist and limited choices among the few who pursue scientific professions--hence, even today a net drag on progress.
    It seems you are making an assumption that Europe without the church would have been pretty much like Europe with the church, except Galieo gets to publish his work. I think this is a bit simplistic. Christianity had enormous impact on European society for many centuries. It affected everything from moral values to the structure of families to governments. The scientific revolution occurred largely in Europe when it could theoretically have happened in a lot of other places.

    In order to determine how Christianity affected the progress of science, you'll need to figure out what would have replaced it, realistically, and then how all of the institutions of the society would be affected. I don't think anybody is in a position to do that.

    As far as creationism is concerned, those people can do plenty of science jobs, except possibly the narrow field of evolutionary science, and there are plenty of non-creationists to fill those jobs.
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    You don't have to compare it to imagined science-Utopian hypothetical Europe. The question was whether the church had an adverse effect on science. The answer is clearly it did--deliberately. It aggressively killed, isolated its practitioners and otherwise oppressed science for centuries through threats, actions and official anti-intellectual teaching which in part continue even now. The anti-intellectual teachings continue today in other Christian demolitions as well, particularly in the US.

    The subject of evolution and parallel literal acceptance of the bible effects much more of the sciences than just evolutionary biology--it effects most of the natural sciences. Islamic teachings have much the same problem (reminded of an argument with an Iraqi Colonel who refused to accept tide tables because only Allah could do that)--probably not a surprise to many given they are based on the same Hebrew mythologies.
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    Perhaps for the sake of this discussion we could look at this wikipage: Role of the Catholic Church in Western civilization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , it helps to show just how important a role the Catholic Church played in many aspects of life across Europe after the fall of The Roman Empire.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    Actually, I don't get the point. Your syntax make your post somewhat ambiguous (being generous; it is actually incomprehensible).

    Is it: Assuming all religions are false, how much time have we wasted (on religion and related activities).

    Or: How much time have we wasted assuming all religions are false (when we could have made so much more progress by assuming them all to be true).

    Or: Assuming all religions are false will get us nowhere; and how much time have we wasted trying to explain things (via non-religious explanations).

    Or: Assuming all religions are false will get us nowhere; and how much time have we wasted trying to explain things (via religious explanations).

    My reaction (independent of those interpretations): assuming all religions are false is a good starting point until some evidence is provided to show that one or more of them have some degree of truth. However, people who believe in some religion do not, presumably, consider that a waste of time. To my mind it is no more a waste of time than football or stamp collecting.

    And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades.
    Have we lost knowledge of the Crusades? I hevae read several very good books on them.

    The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time.
    What knowledge of time did the Spanish burn? Or do you mean they burnt knowledge promptly?


    I guess the lesson is: don't post drunk.
    I am not sure if he is refering to the Spaniard burning the books of the Moors, can't remember the date.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakesyl View Post
    Assuming all religions are false, and will get us no where, how much time have we wasted trying to explain things, as human kind. And how much knowledge have we lost, the crusades. The Spanish burning thousands of years of knowledge on time. You get the point
    logical fallacy. you are generalizing your opinion to fit everyone's experience. that is impossible.
    my religious faith has helped me in the long run.

    if you wish to use violence as evidence for religious insanity, please do not dismiss the fact that if all religions are false, then what humans truly express is not religious, but human nature. Are we not animals protecting our territory? what makes thought any less different than land/resources when we are creatures of intelligence and reason?
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