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Does religion lead or follow?
Posted: 03 September 2013 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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grand pa ray - 02 September 2013 06:37 AM

religion does not lead or follow, it betrays the trust of the young and manipulates the followers forever.

I was asking on the grander scale, of civilizations and cultures. You do have to look at the micro level sometimes, but I’m thinking about things like the movement against slavery or towards more just court systems or better medical care for more people or how we treat children or the mentally ill.

Religion often claims to be a leader for these movements, but I don’t believe they are. At least no more than any civic group could be. Most of the time, religion has been part of the power structure, anointing Kings and advising them on what the populous will accept, and taking queues from the government and using the pulpit to gain acceptance. Every now and then someone preaches peace and justice, but often they end up dead.  More often the superstition suppresses discourse and progress is slowed.

For example, there is no possible way that the Roman Catholic church could have ever supported a move toward democracy.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 03:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

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Posted: 05 September 2013 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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garythehuman - 05 September 2013 03:35 PM

Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

Do you think that if there was no strong religious faction that some other group wouldn’t have taken on the job?

Lois

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Posted: 06 September 2013 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lois - 05 September 2013 06:59 PM
garythehuman - 05 September 2013 03:35 PM

Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

Do you think that if there was no strong religious faction that some other group wouldn’t have taken on the job?

Lois

Thank you Lois. That is the real question. Theists like to argue that since the Bible happens to discuss ethical issues, it is a book that provides guidance on ethics. Similarly, since they happened to have power due to historical circumstances, they taught people to read the Bible, therefore they promoted literacy.

But why were doing this? Because they (Protestants) were reacting to being led down a corrupt path by Catholic leadership who purposely kept people illiterate. It was a power play between two factions of one religion, with people as the pawns. Even if you call that leadership, it’s a pretty crappy job of it. I’m glad some people within Catholicism saw the need for a just system, but it took a couple generations of fighting the leadership to actually get those reforms going. That fight is still going on.

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Posted: 06 September 2013 01:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I am not sure if catholicism ever encourage illiteracy or not.
But in any case, if we look at Christianity (even religion) as a whole. The relationship between education and faith is not that simple.
The source I had previously referenced had quoted this from the introduction section of

Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press        the book can be read at books.google.com

While some historians had always regarded the Draper-White thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule

On the next page it states


but while Brooke’s view [religion and science relationship is complex] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind

[ Edited: 06 September 2013 01:35 PM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 06 September 2013 08:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 06 September 2013 01:30 PM

I am not sure if catholicism ever encourage illiteracy or not.
But in any case, if we look at Christianity (even religion) as a whole. The relationship between education and faith is not that simple.
The source I had previously referenced had quoted this from the introduction section of

Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press        the book can be read at books.google.com

While some historians had always regarded the Draper-White thesis as oversimplifying and distorting a complex relationship, in the late twentieth century it underwent a more systematic reevaluation. The result is the growing recognition among historians of science that the relationship of religion and science has been much more positive than is sometimes thought. Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour, while at other times the two have co-existed without either tension or attempts at harmonization. If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule

On the next page it statesN


but while Brooke’s view [religion and science relationship is complex] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind


It’s true that most religions did eventually accept science and scientific discoveries but only after a lot of footdragging and sometimes outright refusal to accept the scientific view that still goes on to this day. Very often religions picked and chose what they would accept and what they would reject—and caused great pain and confusion in the process. How long did it take the Catholic Church to formally accept Gallileo’s scientific view? We still have Fundamentalist religions that refuse to accept the empirically established age of the earth, that humans and dinosaurs did not inhabit the earth at the same time and continue to maintain that all biblical stories are literally true. We even get such rationalizations as that god actually faked the fossil record to test the faith of believers.  All in all, I think religions have done more harm than good when it comes to understanding and accepting science. We still have a long way to go to get over the damage religion has done by its refusal to accept anything that contradicts their understanding of the bible. The footdragging continues. The damage continues.

[ Edited: 06 September 2013 08:42 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 07 September 2013 05:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 06 September 2013 01:30 PM

but while Brooke’s view [religion and science relationship is complex] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind

Not much of a source there Hakeem. If that were written up in a wikipedia article, it would get flagged. What “studies show”? Which historians accept? This could be acceptable in an introduction, maybe. But did this book provide any backup to these statements?

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Posted: 07 September 2013 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Lois - 05 September 2013 06:59 PM
garythehuman - 05 September 2013 03:35 PM

Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

Do you think that if there was no strong religious faction that some other group wouldn’t have taken on the job?

Lois

What other group do you have in mind?  I am not aware of any that could have motivated the common people to read, as they were motivated to read the Bible. 

Again I want to point out I am non-religious, not necessarily anti-religious.  It is my opinion that most atheists have a Dentonian blind spot when it comes to rationally discussing the many positive contributions that were made by people using religious traditions to improve society and only see the dark side.  Religion has been an highly useful means of organizing Western Society sine the agricultural revolution.  If people can’t see this then they may be atheists, but they are not rational, scientific, nor even reasonable in their thinking.  I no more like non-religious fundamentalists than I do religious fundamentalists.  They both ignore the truths they disagree with.

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Posted: 07 September 2013 01:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Lausten - 06 September 2013 05:55 AM
Lois - 05 September 2013 06:59 PM
garythehuman - 05 September 2013 03:35 PM

Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

Do you think that if there was no strong religious faction that some other group wouldn’t have taken on the job?

Lois

Thank you Lois. That is the real question. Theists like to argue that since the Bible happens to discuss ethical issues, it is a book that provides guidance on ethics. Similarly, since they happened to have power due to historical circumstances, they taught people to read the Bible, therefore they promoted literacy.

In “The Importance of Being Earnest” Oscar Wilde’s Algernon says “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.” Apropros of that, rarely is anything “the real question.” There are many real questions, on this point and most others.

The question discussed briefly above probably is the most immediate and pertinent response to the fractured history coming from some Christians, as Lausten correctly points out. However, perhaps a more important question overall - one that is often lost in the various turf battles such as the above - is where we go from here. I am interested in exploring the possibilities that a Humanistic religion might have for the promotion of literacy, reason, science and a wide collection of other good and important values.

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Posted: 07 September 2013 06:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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garythehuman - 07 September 2013 01:41 PM
Lois - 05 September 2013 06:59 PM

Religion has been an highly useful means of organizing Western Society sine the agricultural revolution.

Well, that’s a statement. I provided a brief framework, which I’m prepared to add detail to if you want to discuss a particular point. I am aware of scientists in the Vatican and the recent archaeology that might indicate a move toward rituals and gatherings preceded the move toward settlements, but I don’t see those as support for your argument. The Bible was used to teach reading because they owned the schools. Eventually some people moved North, away from that, and started other schools. And what about all the other literate cultures? There appears to be plenty of motivation for learning to read.

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Posted: 13 September 2013 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Lois - 06 September 2013 08:37 PM


It’s true that most religions did eventually accept science and scientific discoveries but only after a lot of footdragging and sometimes outright refusal to accept the scientific view that still goes on to this day. Very often religions picked and chose what they would accept and what they would reject—and caused great pain and confusion in the process. How long did it take the Catholic Church to formally accept Gallileo’s scientific view?


The source I cited had stated

If Galileo and the Scopes trial come to mind as examples of conflict, they were the exceptions rather than the rule

Science & Religion: A Historical Introduction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press

I do NOT say this as a bible-believer (considering I am not a christian)

But it does not seem to me there are necessarily in conflicts. The quote I gave has shown that this is the consensus view of historian.
With regards to Galilleo and life, here are some interesting things:

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/news/audio/NUMGAL.mp3  see especially 6:30-11:30
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IVAandreligion.shtml

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Say: He is God, the Unique.
God, the Self-Sufficient.
He does not give birth, nor was He born.
And there is none equal to Him.

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Posted: 13 September 2013 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lausten - 07 September 2013 05:11 AM
I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 06 September 2013 01:30 PM

but while Brooke’s view [religion and science relationship is complex] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind

Not much of a source there Hakeem. If that were written up in a wikipedia article, it would get flagged. What “studies show”? Which historians accept? This could be acceptable in an introduction, maybe. But did this book provide any backup to these statements?

The book is mentioning the dominant and consensus view of historians. That itself should make one think.
The book was published by John Hopkins Univesity press and was authored by Gary Fernegran who teaches Humanities at the Oregon State University.


Cooberation of these claims of consensus can be seen in

Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in 20th century America.
By Benjamin Zeller ( Assistant Professor of Religion at Lake Forest College)
page 10

To see the ebook page see

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Say: He is God, the Unique.
God, the Self-Sufficient.
He does not give birth, nor was He born.
And there is none equal to Him.

Quran (112: 1-4)

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Posted: 13 September 2013 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Lausten - 07 September 2013 05:11 AM
I.J. Abdul Hakeem - 06 September 2013 01:30 PM

but while Brooke’s view [religion and science relationship is complex] has gained widespread acceptance among professional historians of science, the traditional view remains strong elsewhere, not least in the popular mind

Not much of a source there Hakeem. If that were written up in a wikipedia article, it would get flagged. What “studies show”? Which historians accept? This could be acceptable in an introduction, maybe. But did this book provide any backup to these statements?

The book is mentioning the dominant and consensus view of historians. That itself should make one think.
The book was published by John Hopkins Univesity press and was authored by Gary Fernegran who teaches Humanities at the Oregon State University.


These claims of consensus have also been mentioned in

Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in 20th century America.
By Benjamin Zeller ( Assistant Professor of Religion at Lake Forest College)
page 10

This page can also be read at google books.


For more details you can refer to

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/news/audio/NUMGAL.mp3  see especially 6:30-11:30
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/misconceps/IVAandreligion.shtml

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Say: He is God, the Unique.
God, the Self-Sufficient.
He does not give birth, nor was He born.
And there is none equal to Him.

Quran (112: 1-4)

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Posted: 13 September 2013 04:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Lois - 05 September 2013 06:59 PM
garythehuman - 05 September 2013 03:35 PM

Like it or not, another thing religion (Protestantism) has contributed to society is the spread of literacy in Europe during the reformation and beginning the tradition in the U.S. of making childhood education available to the general public.

Do you think that if there was no strong religious faction that some other group wouldn’t have taken on the job?

Lois

Mostly no. 
For the time period encompassing the Enlightenment and the subsequent creation of the USA up until 1900 or so.
Before there was Social Services or Child Welfare what was there?  Missions.  Churches.  Before Social Security?  Churches and Church services.
Catholic and protestant Orphanages, hospitals, charities.
Schools were almost entirely religious, same with colleges. Harvard and Yale…both christian schools.
First schools for women…christian.
What group would have taken on literacy or poverty between 1600 and 1900?  No group.  It was only in the church’s interest.(basically good P.R.)
It is just the facts.  That was the matrix then. It happened to be religious at a time of great egalitarian awakening of culture, politics, and education.
The church was “it” by default.  And the thing is some of the churches still are today.

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