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DavidONeal

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Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« on: November 07, 2015, 09:50:58 pm »
This is one of the many arguments I hear from a atheist. I want to know your thoughts on this. How did the Bible or Christianity responsible to hold back humanity from progressing in technology and all that?

I have gotten a comment on one atheist (I think he maybe one)
"And my honest opinion religion is holding humanity back, yes it also can help people I do not disagree with that. But consider the things we don't quite know yet and our drive to make discoveries its what drives man to always push forward. It seems like religion can never really go forward unless somehow someone sees a new translation. Let me make an example: Just watch a children's movie its used as a device to stimulate emotion and sometimes teach us an overall life lesson either about relationships, sharing or caring for others and the thing you would do for them. Its a method humans have evolved to stimulate our minds and help us deal with situations on a humanistic level. But we all know these emotions and lessons have derived from fiction and at no point any positive outcome makes the movie more real. The problem with religion is the translation of this learning technique has been lost and at some point someone said those stories were actually real. Because come on some of those stories are just very old methods of thinking but that learning from a story technique still very much works. I love religious people just as much as my fellow atheists and I never want to change someone just help them think for themselves. Some people put religion above objective/logical thinking and when that starts to happen religion is holding someone back. Yes you may think by opposing religion will lead you into endless pain of hell but I do not have that fear because I do not think it exists. But I think anyone who uses the technique of fear of torture to not let you judge him seems like the worst kind of evil to me."
Thats a response I got asking that question.

But I also like a christian response.

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countdogula

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 03:34:48 pm »
The atheist is trying to make religion and science at odds with each other, and that is simply untrue. As a Christian, there is nothing holding me back from understanding our universe or progressing in technology. There are some examples of religious groups that eschew modern technology, but there are also examples of atheists that do the exact same thing, but both cases are a tiny minority.

The only area that I can think of offhand is us not wanting to allow experimentation on aborted babies, but if he wants progress at the cost of innocent lives then I will be happily anti-progress in that regard.
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Lion IRC

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2016, 04:07:24 pm »
It's hard to imagine King Solomon - arguably the wisest human in the bible - being somehow anti-technology or philosophically opposed to science or education.

See 2 Chronicles 1:10-12
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loganonekenobi

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2016, 04:03:49 pm »
The catholics did well on many subjects since they had the time and money to investigate.  However, when science ran afoul of the current church world view then folks were accused of heresy such as Galileo.
I remember 10 year ago or so genetic manipulation was a controversy.  "that's God place not ours."  I had to wonder if they could say that to a down syndrome child that might have led a normal life if the tech had less opposition.
As to killing babies, that's a whole other ball of wax but certainly we would not want to encourage mother to have babies for science.  However I get the idea that anything that is a part of the abortion argument will be opposed by the christians no matter how it may help the human race.

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loganonekenobi

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2016, 10:36:45 am »
Another point of religion holding science at bay in a very modern sence would be the space program.  I have heard many Christians say that it is a waste of time because God would not wipe out humanity.  Instead he will take his faithful in the second coming of Christ.  That being the case they feel that we waste our time and money to possibly avoid the extinction that has happened (or so the evidence goes) to 99.9% of species that have ever lived.
Being a non-believer I feel that we should make it a priority to live elsewhere.  I do not feel that any divine force will come and sweep us away from the next astroid or super volcano.  If one did I'm pretty certain I wont be on that ride.

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2016, 02:15:10 pm »
The catholics did well on many subjects since they had the time and money to investigate.  However, when science ran afoul of the current church world view then folks were accused of heresy such as Galileo.

History shows that Galileo got into difficulty fighting politicians rather than theologians. Note that in his time government and church were indistinguishable. Treason was defined as heresy and vice versa. And no matter how correctly or incorrectly people interpreted the implications of a new scientific theory, it was stupid for Galileo to ignore the power politics of his day.

It should be said that the implications of Galileo's theories were as open to interpretation as the biblical texts which people (mistakenly) thought couldn't be harmonized with empirical truth.

...I remember 10 year ago or so genetic manipulation was a controversy.  "that's God place not ours."  I had to wonder if they could say that to a down syndrome child that might have led a normal life if the tech had less opposition.
As to killing babies, that's a whole other ball of wax but certainly we would not want to encourage mother to have babies for science.  However I get the idea that anything that is a part of the abortion argument will be opposed by the christians no matter how it may help the human race.

Defending the sanctity of human life does a lot more for humanity and the welfare of the human race than arguments against the sanctity of life.

...cue the eugenics debate in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 seconds
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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2016, 02:18:38 pm »
You do know that many women have abortions when they discover their unborn baby has Downs Syndrome right?
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loganonekenobi

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2016, 05:44:46 pm »
You do know that many women have abortions when they discover their unborn baby has Downs Syndrome right?
To me it makes sence to do so.  Why put a child through that hell. It is just one of the many moral questions that science can bring.

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kravarnik

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2016, 02:11:12 am »
This is one of the many arguments I hear from a atheist. I want to know your thoughts on this. How did the Bible or Christianity responsible to hold back humanity from progressing in technology and all that?

I have gotten a comment on one atheist (I think he maybe one)
"And my honest opinion religion is holding humanity back, yes it also can help people I do not disagree with that. But consider the things we don't quite know yet and our drive to make discoveries its what drives man to always push forward. It seems like religion can never really go forward unless somehow someone sees a new translation. Let me make an example: Just watch a children's movie its used as a device to stimulate emotion and sometimes teach us an overall life lesson either about relationships, sharing or caring for others and the thing you would do for them. Its a method humans have evolved to stimulate our minds and help us deal with situations on a humanistic level. But we all know these emotions and lessons have derived from fiction and at no point any positive outcome makes the movie more real. The problem with religion is the translation of this learning technique has been lost and at some point someone said those stories were actually real. Because come on some of those stories are just very old methods of thinking but that learning from a story technique still very much works. I love religious people just as much as my fellow atheists and I never want to change someone just help them think for themselves. Some people put religion above objective/logical thinking and when that starts to happen religion is holding someone back. Yes you may think by opposing religion will lead you into endless pain of hell but I do not have that fear because I do not think it exists. But I think anyone who uses the technique of fear of torture to not let you judge him seems like the worst kind of evil to me."
Thats a response I got asking that question.

But I also like a christian response.

Hey, David.

This is my take on the question:

First, one needs to make distinction between "religion" and "religion." Not all religions are identical, in order to apply to them "religion held humanity back." Religion is a category, and that would mean all religion, which I think isn't true. Just like science is a category, and there are instances of science, where they don't contribute to  progress or human well-being - Nazi science ; weapons of mass destruction ; failed technologies and devices which killed people ; etc.


Second, your atheist dialogue partner seems to be assuming that religion is fiction. That's an assumption, because religion could very well be a real phenomena - and when the Bible says "Abraham met God," it is a historical moment of reality, that objectively took place, and not the fantasy crafting of a religious writer. It could also be the fantasy crafting of a religious writer as well, but it should be shown true, and not merely assumed as true and then reasoned from then onward(and describe movies and stuff, and how they affect human emotion, and how religion is like this, because it's fiction, and movies are fiction so... yeah).


Also, your dialogue partner seems to assume, once again, that religion advocates "putting objective/logical thinking in lower priority." This needs to be shown. I know most of the major religions, especially the monotheistic ones, use logical thinking and objective reasoning - from our shared reality, according to the almost universally agreed logical princples, etc. - in their rationale.


Now, if one follows my first point, then one ought to comprehensively examine each religion and not lump it together. I, for one, may speak from my knowledge and research on Christianity and its effect upon us:

- prior to education, healthcare and social care to become a state function, it was mostly, if not at all, done by Christians in Europe(not that they invented it, but they largely practiced these things, and they have become institutions of human society, which exist up to this day and are seen as beneficial and not at all holding back progress)

- prior to science becoming secularized, Christians were the main group doing science and contributing to human progress, and not only then, but currently there are many successful Christian scientists(about 60-65% of Nobel Prize winners - the highest reward in science - among all disciplines are self-professed Chrsitians)

- prior to Jewish government order being spread through Chrsitianity, and while it was taking place, much of human society had arbitrary rules, espoused by Kings, who saw themselves as "gods' representitives" on Earth. They were essentially making up what is good and evil, and were not subject to a standard of objectivty. That  changed, because Christianity had the inherent government structure of Judaism - where everyone(the priests, the kings, the laborers, etc.) were subject to one universal standard - that of God's Law and guidance. This can be seen as foreshadowing the institution of constitution as we have it today - but a secularized version(without God mostly). However, this was an absent thing in human society prior to Judaism and its eventual spread through Christianity - where everyone is held to a universal standard.


So, I don't think all religion is harmful, and it's very deceptive to lump it all together and claim "it's all harmful," because there are SOME that are harmful, or holding back progress. Christianity, for one, has had rather positive effects. And when your dialogue partner cites some preconceived negative, he needs to show it directly tying to religious teachings of the respective religino - and when a Christian murder, he needs to show how is that promoted by his religion ; or when a Christian is anti-science, he needs to show how that's tied to the religion. And not merely claim "Christian is anti-science, since he's a Christian, it must have to do with Christianity, because I believe religion and human progress are at odds." That's begging the question. I cannot cite "Chikatilo(the guy with the largest killing spree) is a serial killer... he was a teacher, since teaching and being a non-violent person are at odds in my view, then his teaching career is responsible for him becoming a serial killer!" One cannot rely on his presupposed beliefs, which aren't shown true at any rate, but assumed, and then reason from them to his faulty conclusion.


There's religion that has held back human progress - that's something which cannot be denied. But it's wrongful to lump it all together and claim each worldview that is in the category of "religion" has done so, or is doing so, by some general rule(that some worldviews which are in the category of "religion" are holding back progress, thus it must be the case that ALL worldviews i nthis category do so), but have to show specific connections, that show that as true.
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Atheist in Louisiana

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 08:40:21 pm »
It's not the bible that holds people back from growth.  What holds humanity back from growth is the mindset that some questions are unanswerable, or that some answers are unquestionable.  In the first case, it hinders humanity because it stops people from looking for those answers.  If you already believe the question cannot be answered, looking cannot be fruitful.  Why try to figure out what causes earthquakes if you believe that question can't be answered?  In the second case, it hinders humanity because it stops people from looking for real answers.  If you believe the sun goes around the Earth, then learning otherwise makes you a danger to the powers that be, as Galileo learned all too well.  If religion had its way, we would still be in the Dark Ages, which is when Christianity (a religion) had its way.
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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2016, 04:03:31 pm »
Whether the Earth goes around the Sun or vice versa is not a matter of salvation. You don't demonstrate your fidelity to Jesus Christ by holding to heliocentricity.

So whatever Galilleo or his detractors may have believed the facts to be, there is no biblical warrant for suppressing the truth - whether it be scientific or any other.

Religion, by and large, (ie Judeo-Christianity) has been an overall nett benefit to humankind.
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kravarnik

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2016, 01:35:59 am »
It's not the bible that holds people back from growth.  What holds humanity back from growth is the mindset that some questions are unanswerable, or that some answers are unquestionable.  In the first case, it hinders humanity because it stops people from looking for those answers.  If you already believe the question cannot be answered, looking cannot be fruitful.  Why try to figure out what causes earthquakes if you believe that question can't be answered?  In the second case, it hinders humanity because it stops people from looking for real answers.  If you believe the sun goes around the Earth, then learning otherwise makes you a danger to the powers that be, as Galileo learned all too well.  If religion had its way, we would still be in the Dark Ages, which is when Christianity (a religion) had its way.

First of all, something being unquestionable, or unanswerable, isn't a mindset motivated, or promoted, by the Bible. Whether a conclusion would be held with high certainty, to the point of the individual thinking it "unquestionable," is a matter of personal epistemology, not a religious teaching.

And let's not lie to ourselves - science, politics and the such, have also been guilty of that same thing. Political ideologies have been held, or shunned, due this same mindset. Scientific theories as well(the Big Bang being resisted initially, because too much leverage would be given to some religious worldviews ; the theory of evolution is held by many as some sacred relic, to which if you object, you're taken as blasphemer).


Also, you have the West in this state, precisely because Christianity had its way - major contributors to science progress, in the course of history, have been Christian(heck, even in these modern secularized times - where science for the major part is naturalistic, - you have about 65% of Nobel Prize winners being Christian...). The Church promoted universities, literacy, social and health care and the likes ; the Church(and in specific - Irish Christian monks) saved ancient knowledge, by preserving ancient works from barbarian invasions - which included the burning of libraries, - and copied them to provide literacy for the following generations. The modern scientific method is formulated by Christian thinkers - Bacon and Descartes. One of the most cherished, prestigeous, intricate works of art have been produced by Christian artists - music, literature, paintings and the likes, - dedicated most of the time to the Chiristian Lord and God.


If I follow the logic of your argument - citing a single case(of Galileo) as showing how Christianity in particular has "hindered humanity," then I may as well cite the rejection of the scientific community of the Big Bang theory as showing how science is hindering humanity.

The Church eventually, when the case for their position being wrong became strong, ceded the point. Just like the scientific community did with the Big Bang theory. It was a matter of fact, not a matter of principle, that the Church disagreed with Galileo(whom didn't providing good evidence for his position). To draw the conclusion that Christianity hindered HUMANITY, because some hypothesis was rejected due to insufficient evidence, is rather outrageous in terms of logical coherency.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 01:38:30 am by kravarnik »
"And even if you crush my body and drain it 'til the last drop - you can never touch my spirit, you can never touch my soul. No matter how bleak or how hopeless, no matter how hard or how far - you can never break my conation. Tear the will apart from desire." Insomnium - Weather the storm

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loganonekenobi

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 11:02:56 am »
I would like to bring up a point I have experienced from Christians I have encountered.  I cannot say what percentage has this view but I have heard some say "we shouldn't waste time and money on the space program because A) we have plenty of problems right here on earth (I can sympathize with this but this is a logical argument) and B) God is coming soon to retrieve the faithful and to pass judgement on the non-believers.
In the mind of a realist the last argument is most certainly not logical.  Current science states that we have had mass extinction events in the past and will have one in the future.  We as a species are unique in that we have the chance of prolonging our survival if we can get off this rock and on to other places.
The idea that God won't let his faithfull die of the natural causes that has killed 99.9% of every species that has ever lived is lazy at best and dangerous at worst.
If 1/3 of the world is Christian and most believe that God is coming soon then I see that as a large potential that is not only being unused but also could be opposing what might possibly help the human race onward.  I'm not going to assert that all 2+billion christians aren't contributing to our space race but if the idea is prevalent.....
Just s thought that is related to our science where religion is involved.

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kravarnik

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2016, 11:59:54 am »
I would like to bring up a point I have experienced from Christians I have encountered.  I cannot say what percentage has this view but I have heard some say "we shouldn't waste time and money on the space program because A) we have plenty of problems right here on earth (I can sympathize with this but this is a logical argument) and B) God is coming soon to retrieve the faithful and to pass judgement on the non-believers.
In the mind of a realist the last argument is most certainly not logical.  Current science states that we have had mass extinction events in the past and will have one in the future.  We as a species are unique in that we have the chance of prolonging our survival if we can get off this rock and on to other places.
The idea that God won't let his faithfull die of the natural causes that has killed 99.9% of every species that has ever lived is lazy at best and dangerous at worst.
If 1/3 of the world is Christian and most believe that God is coming soon then I see that as a large potential that is not only being unused but also could be opposing what might possibly help the human race onward.  I'm not going to assert that all 2+billion christians aren't contributing to our space race but if the idea is prevalent.....
Just s thought that is related to our science where religion is involved.

This once again needs to be shown to be tying to what Christianity teaches. Christianity never teaches "don't go to outter space, cause I am the Lord and you shouldn't do so, because I say so!" Christianity teaches that the Earth is important and that's the scene where most significant and crucial events will happen.

However, whether to oppose space programs, or not, isn't at all in the sphere of Christian teaching.


And again I'd reference my first post in the thread - you need to show connections between this behavior/belief/mindset and some Christian teaching. Just because someone is a Christian, and they believe X, or behave Y way, or have Z mindset, doesn't mean it necessarily comes from Christian teaching. Just like the scientists who created the atomic bomb, although scientists, cannot be said to be prompted up by science to create mass destruction weapons. And if one claims so, they need to show a connection, and not merely cite those, who created a mass destruction weapon, being scientists, thus science taught them to destroy and create tools for destruction.


While I understand your view, and I know such people exist - as you describe them, - I object to the underlying assumption that IT HAS TO TIE TO CHRISTIANITY! It does not have to, and if you claim that it does, then you need to show the connection, and not merely cite those, who have such mindset, being Christian, thus Christianity is responsible.

Hitler claimed to be a Christian. Then went to kill millions of Jews. According to this assumption, this must have been a Christian teaching... but Christianity never has any text that even remotely commands God's followers to exterminate Jews. And when Hitler did so, it was actually AGAINST what Christianity teaches - being merciful toward others, helping others, forgiving others, etc.


The same with the kind of people you cite - those do not hold such a mindset, because somehow Christianity has a teaching that leads to people opposing space programs.

I hope you won't take the above in the wrong way. But it indeed is true that Christianity does not speak on space programs, and if some Christian holds any kind of view toward it, it's their personal one, prompted up by personal reasons, or some other, and not religious ones.
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john doe

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Re: Did Religion Hold Progression Back?
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2016, 12:18:58 pm »
This is one of the many arguments I hear from a atheist. I want to know your thoughts on this. How did the Bible or Christianity responsible to hold back humanity from progressing in technology and all that?

I have gotten a comment on one atheist (I think he maybe one)
"And my honest opinion religion is holding humanity back, yes it also can help people I do not disagree with that. But consider the things we don't quite know yet and our drive to make discoveries its what drives man to always push forward. It seems like religion can never really go forward unless somehow someone sees a new translation. Let me make an example: Just watch a children's movie its used as a device to stimulate emotion and sometimes teach us an overall life lesson either about relationships, sharing or caring for others and the thing you would do for them. Its a method humans have evolved to stimulate our minds and help us deal with situations on a humanistic level. But we all know these emotions and lessons have derived from fiction and at no point any positive outcome makes the movie more real. The problem with religion is the translation of this learning technique has been lost and at some point someone said those stories were actually real. Because come on some of those stories are just very old methods of thinking but that learning from a story technique still very much works. I love religious people just as much as my fellow atheists and I never want to change someone just help them think for themselves. Some people put religion above objective/logical thinking and when that starts to happen religion is holding someone back. Yes you may think by opposing religion will lead you into endless pain of hell but I do not have that fear because I do not think it exists. But I think anyone who uses the technique of fear of torture to not let you judge him seems like the worst kind of evil to me."
Thats a response I got asking that question.

But I also like a christian response.

I think the point is bunko, pure and simple.  I'm an atheist but I'm not naive enough to think that as a species we are progressing toward anything at all.  Teleology is usually the bailiwick of the other side.  I'm not sure why this canard is so prevalent among the godless.