A friend of mine is a pretty die-hard Christian (shock horror, both of his parents are missionaries/vicars) and he often posts little sayings of some kind or another on Facebook, which I usually ignore. However, today he posted something that really irritated me for some reason:
"The more I look at science, the more in awe of God I become."
And just to make that worse, one of his Christian friends commented "Boom" as if he had made some kind of infallible argument. Somehow, I feel as though nothing I say will make any difference because they must be incredibly deluded already to believe that God just "invented" science. Basically, this is the guy who thinks he's a "modern and intelligent" Christian by saying that things like Noah's Ark are "just stories and aren't meant to be taken seriously by Christians". But if that is true, then why take ANY of the Bible seriously and where does he draw the line between stories and (what he believes is) the truth?
In the past I asked him and his friend where the evidence was. He claimed science (yes, seriously) helped prove Christianity and that Christianity was about "opening yourself" to it and believing, and then you "feel God" or whatever. How do you argue with someone like that??
What do you all say to religious people (not necessarily just Christians) who claim that science is just an invention of God? Is there a specific way to argue with someone who twists everything to awkwardly suit modern day thinking?
Y'all come back and see us now, heah?
Here ya go Rich a parting gift from me.
I did not mean 'Christ'.
Nice, as always ignore the central point in the post. LOL
christians protecting western knowledge during the dar.... oh my sides..
Hey I got one!
"Hitler would make a great speaker for multiculturalism."
Now your turn again.
"Hitler would make a great speaker for multiculturalism."
I laughed so good at that! OH MAN.
You fail at hiding your passive aggressiveness. lol
Christianity had an important impact on every step of the road to modern science. Let me now summarise exactly what they were:
The preservation of literacy in the Dark Ages
Because it is a literary religion based on sacred texts and informed by the writings of the early church fathers, Christianity was exclusively responsible for the preservation of literacy and learning after the fall of the Western Empire. This meant not only that the Latin classics were preserved but also that their were sufficient men of learning to take Greek thought forward when it was rediscovered.
The doctrine of the lawfulness of of nature
As they believed in a law abiding creator God, even before the rediscovery of Greek thought, twelfth century Christians felt they could investigate the natural world for secondary causes rather than put everything down to fate (like the ancients) or the will of Allah (like Moslems). Although we see a respect for the powers of reason by Arab scholars they did not seem to make the step of looking for universal laws of nature.
The need to examine the real world rather than rely on pure reason
Christians insisted that God could have created the world any way he like and so Aristotle's insistence that the world was the way it was because it had to be was successfully challenged. This meant that his ideas started to be tested and abandoned if they did not measure up.
The belief that science was a sacred duty
This is not so much covered in this essay, but features again and again in scientific writing. The early modern scientists were inspired by their faith to make their discoveries and saw studying the creation of God as a form of worship. This led to a respect for nature and the attempt to find simple, economical solutions to problems. Hence Copernicus felt he could propose a heliocentric model for no better reason that it seemed more elegant.
Not all these factors were unique to Christianity but they all came together in Western Europe to give the world its only case of scientific take off which has since seen its ideas spread to the rest of the world. An learned examination of why other civilisations failed to make the leap forward can be found here.
For the anti Christians desperate not to give credit for their own faith of scientism to the religion they hate, two questions must be answered. First, if the dominant world view of medieval Europe was as hostile to reason as they would like to suppose, why was it here rather than anywhere else that science arose? And secondly, given that nearly every one of the founders and pre founders of science were unusually devout (although not always entirely orthodox) even by the standards of their own time, why did they make the scientific breakthroughs rather than their less religiously minded contemporaries? I wonder if I will receive any answers.
That's a really interesting link. I've perused about half of it so far. I will say though, that while religion played a part in history through the advancement and restriction of scientific though, I think the author is greatly overlooking the political and environmental factors as well as other social factors in the different regions and times. For a much longer and more celebrated read on why the west has come to dominate the world in the last almost 6 centuries, I recommend Guns Germs and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies by Jared Diamond.
The Vatican - by law, the only game in town - was singlehandedly responsible for the advent of Europe's Dark Ages. How much further ahead in science would we have been, if not for those thousand years of darkness?
Personally, I don't hate your religion, Richard, I find belief in it to be so infantile and childish that it really doesn't merit much of my consideration. In other words, when I became a man, I put aside childish things.