Originally posted by axial soliton:
This is not difficult. Christianity suppressed science and oppressed scientists through the Dark Ages and for as long as it could control education and information. An example among many :
I've gotten a bit weary of the boards and took a little break. Sorry I didn't get back to you. I did after all ask you a question. Anyway, I looked at the link you suggested. The old Galileo and Copernican issue. Yes, the Roman Catholic Church was involved in this and did seek to stop Copernicus from publishing his new views. The church made a mistake here. This incident has become convenient "proof" that science, not the Church, should be trusted. And yet even if it did happen exactly like it is claimed, it still doesn't mean that science will always be right. We forget that scientists are humans, fallible, prejudiced, and often times, blinded by their own worldview. When it comes to everyday science, science that can be demonstrated and tested in the laboratory every day by anyone, then science can be trusted. But when it comes to the science of history, the science of origins, it is not so trustworthy.
However, the main disagreement I have with your reply is this: I disagree with you that Christianity suppressed science. In general, I think the opposite was the case. In general. I'm taking some of my ideas here from a book by Dr. James Kennedy entitled What If Jesus Had Never Come?.
In fact, the Christian worldview in combination with the Greek mind is responsible for the birth of modern day science. The Greeks got the process started, but only took it so far. Where does Christianity come into play here? Well, there were several factors that positively influenced scientific inquiry and research. First, the idea that there is a rational God who is behind the creation. He is the source of all truth. It meant that the world is a rational world and has order and design. It meant that it could be studied and understood. It meant that God is the origin of scientific laws and as Scripture says who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," Hebrews 12:3
Then there is the command that God gave to mankind to fill and subdue the earth. He appointed us as caretakers and the world was here for our good as well as for God's glory. We have been given not only the authority but the responsibility to understand and care for the earth. It was created for us to live in and enjoy among other reasons and in it we see God's glory.
Even Francis Bacon who is credited for developing the scientific method was a strong believer. He said "There are two books laid before us to study, to prevent our falling into error; first, the volume of the Scriptures, which reveal the will of God; then the volume of the Creatures, which express His power." Scripture is first, but the volume of the Creatures is also there for our benefit. Modern man has thrown out the first book and henceforth has made amny wrong interpretations of the second book.
As you know, many of the early scientists who made great scientific discoveries were Christians who believed in God's Word. It is funny, but their belief in the Bible didn't seem to hinder their scientific work. You would never guess that a Christian could actually do any scientically worthwhile research if you listened to many people today who belittle anyone who claims to be a scientist and actually believe in the Bible. But whether we hold to a naturalistic worldview or a Judeochristian worldview, that will influence the way we interpret scientific observations. In that sense, there is no such thing as an unbiased scientist. So if Christians are disqualified on the basis of their worldview, then it follows logically that everyone else must also be disqualified as well.
Christianity wanted to be the institution to tell people how to live in the world around them and control what they did and how they did it.
Yes, the Roman Catholic Church may have fallen prey to that in the past. However, you forget that God gives us authority in the Bible to tell people how they should live. That is not a bad thing. We need that kind of moral guidance since we are sinners and all have a tendancy to first of all go our own way. God's moral law really isn't such a bad thing. Just imagine how much better off the world would be if we all followed just the last 6 commandments of Moses' 10 commandments!! God's laws are all given out of love. He loves us and wants us to know how to live a fulfilling life. He wants to protect us from making mistakes that will harm us and others. He gives us moral direction because He loves us. Either His Word is true and the commands are binding or the Bible is false and the commands are a bunch of man-made lies.
Of course we all have a free will and do not have to live like the Bible says, but then when we suffer the consequences, we cannot complain. We humans want our freedom, but then when we suffer the consequences of sin, we long for the protection that God's moral law would have provided for us. We can't have our cake and eat it too.
Control means power and money. Now, science is superbly providing information to people on how to live in the world around them and getting better at it all the time. And, science does not have the control and ego baggage.
Axial, it is not Christianity as such, but individual Christians who got their priorities mixed up. No Christian is perfect. Power and money corrupted the Roman Catholic Church in the Dark Ages. It has brought a bad name on Christianity. Jesus is always the one who we follow. If we follow people, we will always be disappointed. That is why we are told to keep our eyes on Jesus. Of course we are also told to live out our faith and not to be a hypocrite, but no one is perfect. Hopefully there is a growing trend towards holiness in our life, but until we get to heaven, we will always struggle with sin, pride, selfishness, bad attitudes, etc.
I have to take issue with you on this statement: "science does not have the control and ego baggage. " That is just not true. In a perfect world, you could say that, but you forget that scientists too are sinners. They want fame. They want their names in the limelight. They want the money for future grants. They want the respect that comes with discoveries. In fact, some want it so much that they falsify things on purpose. The examples that could be given are numerous. Take Ernst Haeckl or the guy who did the famed Peppered Moth experiment, or a recent example here is Japan is of an archaeologist who faked some of his archaeological finds. How about Piltdown Man, etc. Pride is very much involved and science in the area of origins is not nearly as unbiased as you might want to believe. The examples are many.
Why does Christianity feel it necessary to compete with science on technology?
The bible is not a very good technology book. Why is Christianity even in the business of technology?
I'm not sure what you mean here by Christianity competing with science on technology. Christianity is not in the business of technology. However, the Bible presents us with a comprehensive worldview for life. It is not a science textbook, but when it touches on science it is accurate. Christianity is a worldview that is not disconnected from reality like most other religions. Buddhism here in Japan is hardly concerned with truth at all. But Christianity is. It stands and falls on it being historical truth. Otherwise, it is nothing more than a fairy tale and has no value whatsoever. It claims to be true. It claims to be the Word of God. If we can't believe the Bible in the areas that it can be verified, then how are we supposed to believe the Bible in the areas that we cannot verify - all the spiritual truths taught about sin, heaven, etc. So we are not about to give away any ground to atheistic scientists or to allow them to try and relegate Christianity to just the religious or moral realm of life. No, we believe it is truth. God is the only one who knows how the world really did come into existence. He is the only eyewitness, and the Bible gives us the account of the only eyewitness. Scientists these days start off by eliminating God from the picture in the very beginning and then try and explain the world. No wonder they struggle so much!! Their presuppositions are wrong. ANd it is not going to get any better for members of the First Church of Evolution.
What we need is a strong philosophical institution to maintain and improve things like integrity, kindness, and morality. Maybe after the Church's present morality crisis, it can step up to that role. This is the point that needs to be stressed. Technology is not the same as philosophy. People need both.We need our religions to teach kindness.
You are right in saying that technology is not the same as philosophy. But the problem of finding a strong philosophical institution to improve things is not so simple if we are all sinners at heart. And the Church can never fill that role unless people recognize the Bible as true. Otherwise, why believe and follow what the Church says? Who cares? There is no such thing as true sin since there is no god and then it follows that there is no judgment for "sin" or accountability for how I lived my life after death, so I am free. But that is a whole other issue.
At least I am glad to see that you don't see science and technology as the savior of the world. Science too needs controls put on it or we're going to be growing humans to clone organs for ourselves in the not too distant future. Science is not good or bad in and of itself, but it certainly has the potential to be used for positive purposes or for harmful purposes. You can't relegate Christianity to the area of philosophy(meaning it is not really true in real life) and then expect people to really follow what it says in the moral area of life.
Also, and this is a biggie, I think you are forgetting that science itself is based on certain philosophical presuppositions. Nice try, but you can't divorce science from philosophy.
[Fixed quoting. --Admin]
[This message has been edited by Admin, 11-04-2002]
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| ||Message 29 by axial soliton, posted 09-05-2002 5:15 PM|| ||axial soliton has not yet responded|
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