Mocking religion

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lpm
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Sun Apr 04, 2021 11:15 am

snoozeofreason wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:16 am
That sort of struck a chord with me because, over Easter, I have been worrying that my mum isn't going to church any more. I'm not a believer, and I am not worried about her soul. It's just that it's been a big part of her life, and it doesn't seem to be that any more - I speak of it as an activity rather than a belief.

It's an odd thing, but atheists often have a more "theological" view of religion than believers. For many practising Christians (and, I suspect, those of other faiths) religion is more about what you do than what you believe, and the conclusions they come to on that score are not so different to those of us who don't believe but still want to do the right thing. When I am with my mum, I generally accompany her to services and hang around for the coffee and chat afterwards. I doubt that anyone in the congregation has twigged that I don't share their theological beliefs, because it's not the sort of thing anyone talks about much.

I wouldn't worry about the tone of Roberts' tweet though, because I doubt that many believers would be bothered by it. In fact I can imagine her tweet being used as the basis of sermons - by vicars who are just as likely to agree with Roberts' view as to disagree with it. Most christians don't believe that the bible is literally true, nor do they believe that it is some sort of instruction manual that will tell you how to live your life in the way that a Haynes manual will tell you how to fix the carburettor on a Ford Focus.

Obviously not all religion is like that. I was brought up in the wishy washy C of E tradition where, as St. Jeremy Hardy used to say, you don't exactly lose your faith, just forget where you put it. There are people who take a more fundamentalist view - people who need there to be an absolute truth, and refuse to believe that anyone can disagree with this truth in good faith. But fundamentalism is as much a way of believing as a belief, and there are plenty of people who have abandoned religious belief, or never had it in the first place, but still operate fundamentalist mode.
Exactly this.

For the vast majority, no real thought goes into it. The brain happily holds the contradiction: people never come back from the dead but this person did come back from the dead. The chat after the show and the coffee mornings are what the brain really wants.

A minority worry about the contradiction and give it hard thought. Some come up with fantastical theological solutions involving miracles and Jesus being a tripartite being. Others realise it's simply fiction and move on to considering the ethical framework that christianity bequeathed us.

But it's the christian institution that has the problem - ongping decline. Humanism is a bit weird imo but it's successful in grabbing the ethics while rejecting the fiction. When young people are provoked into thought they are at risk of rejecting their birth religion and moving to a modern less fantastical framework - which is why christianity doesn't want anyone to provoke thought.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Allo V Psycho » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:21 pm

warumich wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:16 am
Allo V Psycho wrote:
I would ask, quite sincerely, what are the identifying features which make it clearly mockery, rather than a blunt statement of opinion? Is the intention of the speaker self-evident from the words themselves?
Oh come on really? Whether something is true or not has not much bearing on it being mockery. If a schoolchild gets bullied because of the shape of her nose, pointing out every day that "you've got a weird nose" is mockery, even if it's objectively true. It's not as if she doesn't know.

In this case, it's not as if Christians don't know people don't come back from the dead, otherwise it wouldn't have been much of a miracle when Jesus did it. And Roberts knows that they know, she just chose this example as a way of making others' beliefs look silly.
Perhaps I am not expressing myself very well, and there may be semantic issues involved. There may also be areas on which we agree, and perhaps we can start with these.

I think what Roberts wrote was both unwise and unkind. Unwise, because she has a public role, and in that role, she has to deal with people of many different viewpoints. While of course she is entitled to a personal opinion, I think accepting a public role carries with it the expectation of moderating your expression of views not directly relevant to that role, especially when their unguarded expression acts against the purpose of the role. One can of course still hold those views, and indeed express them privately. In this case, her blunt public expression of her private views may quite unnecessarily alienate some who she ought to be reaching out to, in her public understanding of science role.

Unkind, in that I know that many people do hold religious views, and find them a comfort and a solace, especially around the possibility of an afterlife, when the beloved dead are re-united. Unless a believer specifically invited me to debate with them on this issue, it seems to me to be kindly not to attempt to deprive them of this comfort, and indeed, to treat the person holding such views with respect, in the usual way.

Where we seem to be in disagreement is about the relevant adverb, and to my mind that goes to discerning the intention of the writer. She could have written angrily, or acidly, and I feel that this is different to writing mockingly. 'Mockingly' seems to me to imply that she intends others to laugh at such beliefs, and I genuinely can't see any of the signs that this self-evidently is the case.

So when you say "Oh come on really? ", then yes, really, I am quite sincerely unclear that she meant mockery, rather than some other emotion. Mockery in this particular context I would expect to include some aspect of the ridiculous - exaggeration, parody, or some other signifier of intent.

Of course, I might be wrong! Or indeed the semantic distinctions may be quite irrelevant... and my partner, looking at the length of this post, has just asked me "are you writing a paper about it?" and I suspect she might be mocking me just a little...

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:25 pm

I suggest Karen Armstrong's The Bible from the "Books that changed the world" series* as one introduction to the role of scripture in Judaism and Christianity. I'm sure there are others as well, but I found it via the other book in the series - Christopher Hitchens' "Thomas Paine's Rights of Man".

Scriptural fundamentalism is a fairly recent invention and the historical role of scripture is rather more complicated than "christians believe what the bible says".


*Of two books, AFAICT.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:44 pm

for what it's worth: my two-penny's worth:

a) if people are prepared to believe ridiculous things, they need to be prepared to have their beliefs ridiculed; and

b) since many religious people seem to think they have an absolute right to be nasty to people who don't share their beliefs (up to and including in some cases killing people), they shouldn't complain about a little harmless mockery.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by dyqik » Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:48 pm

Inflation has really affected the value of two-pennyworth's of opinion. ;). And that's my two cents worth.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Martin Y » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:27 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:33 am
And btw, dead people do come back to life. Exhibit 1: Doctor Who*

*Within limited parameters of 'dead'.
And within limited parameters of 'people'. See also exhibit 2: Jesus.

It occurs to me that Christians are aware that dead people don't come back to life. It would be an unimpressive magic trick if it were otherwise.

I really don't know how AR imagined this would be received, unless it was intended as some kind of pandemic-related think piece about how all those dead people aren't coming back so get your jabs and be careful. Too oblique if so. It just looks like a pointlessly mean spirited "You know their big religious celebration? It's actually just pretend. Didn't happen.".

I now look forward to discovering if she has any views to share on the existence of Santa Claus.

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:38 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:21 pm
warumich wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:16 am
Allo V Psycho wrote:
I would ask, quite sincerely, what are the identifying features which make it clearly mockery, rather than a blunt statement of opinion? Is the intention of the speaker self-evident from the words themselves?
Oh come on really? Whether something is true or not has not much bearing on it being mockery. If a schoolchild gets bullied because of the shape of her nose, pointing out every day that "you've got a weird nose" is mockery, even if it's objectively true. It's not as if she doesn't know.

In this case, it's not as if Christians don't know people don't come back from the dead, otherwise it wouldn't have been much of a miracle when Jesus did it. And Roberts knows that they know, she just chose this example as a way of making others' beliefs look silly.
Perhaps I am not expressing myself very well, and there may be semantic issues involved. There may also be areas on which we agree, and perhaps we can start with these.

I think what Roberts wrote was both unwise and unkind. Unwise, because she has a public role, and in that role, she has to deal with people of many different viewpoints. While of course she is entitled to a personal opinion, I think accepting a public role carries with it the expectation of moderating your expression of views not directly relevant to that role, especially when their unguarded expression acts against the purpose of the role. One can of course still hold those views, and indeed express them privately. In this case, her blunt public expression of her private views may quite unnecessarily alienate some who she ought to be reaching out to, in her public understanding of science role.

Unkind, in that I know that many people do hold religious views, and find them a comfort and a solace, especially around the possibility of an afterlife, when the beloved dead are re-united. Unless a believer specifically invited me to debate with them on this issue, it seems to me to be kindly not to attempt to deprive them of this comfort, and indeed, to treat the person holding such views with respect, in the usual way.

Where we seem to be in disagreement is about the relevant adverb, and to my mind that goes to discerning the intention of the writer. She could have written angrily, or acidly, and I feel that this is different to writing mockingly. 'Mockingly' seems to me to imply that she intends others to laugh at such beliefs, and I genuinely can't see any of the signs that this self-evidently is the case.

So when you say "Oh come on really? ", then yes, really, I am quite sincerely unclear that she meant mockery, rather than some other emotion. Mockery in this particular context I would expect to include some aspect of the ridiculous - exaggeration, parody, or some other signifier of intent.

Of course, I might be wrong! Or indeed the semantic distinctions may be quite irrelevant... and my partner, looking at the length of this post, has just asked me "are you writing a paper about it?" and I suspect she might be mocking me just a little...
Mate, it was on f.cking twitter, it wasn't an address to the nation, you're making it sound like it was an inaugural speech or something.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:43 pm

This is, if I've captured everything, the full list of tweet replies written by https://twitter.com/theAliceRoberts/
Just a little reminder today. Dead people - don’t come back to life.
There's a huge difference between being kind to people and placing beliefs and ideas beyond criticism and scrutiny. For centuries, of course, the Church wouldn't accept any real criticism.
Why is criticism unkind? No beliefs should be beyond scrutiny and criticism, surely? And this happens to be a belief that has pushed on my children since they were about 3 or 4. That's even more crappy. But - we're not meant to complain...
Of course people are allowed faith. But those ideas and beliefs are not and should not be beyond scrutiny and criticism.
I can show them love - but that doesn't mean I have to love or respect their ideas.
Why is criticism unkind? No beliefs should be beyond scrutiny and criticism, surely?
Not denigrating - just criticising. No belief should be immune to that, surely?
The one that stalks my children, particularly. And had its claws in me as a child.
By the way, you are more than welcome to mock my beliefs. Beliefs should not be above criticism or beyond mockery.
People have told my children about the resurrection as though it were a fact since they were about 3. I think it’s completely reasonable to point out that it’s nonsense. I respect everyone’s right to believe what they like - but that doesn’t mean I respect the beliefs themselves.
No, and I can’t prove unicorns or fairies untrue either. That’s not a reason to believe in them!
I don’t think so. There are plenty of people who’ve been lining up to tell my children otherwise, since they were about 3.
I agree completely. It’s terrible to push such damaging myths onto children. And yet we seem to tolerate it as a society.
Tell that to Monty Python.
Jesus doesn’t make eggs.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:08 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:26 pm
... Christians know that dead people don't come back to life, that's sort of why Jesus is so important.
warumich wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:16 am
... it's not as if Christians don't know people don't come back from the dead, otherwise it wouldn't have been much of a miracle when Jesus did it.
Martin Y wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 1:27 pm
It occurs to me that Christians are aware that dead people don't come back to life. It would be an unimpressive magic trick if it were otherwise.
... but people in this thread aren't even aware of what other people have already written in this thread. We can stop making this point now.

Jesus didn't actually come back to life, by the way. Conveniently he "ascended" to heaven anyway in some other not-dying way quite soon after.

In common with a lot of the things which christians think they believe, there's not even that much about it in the bible (or if it is, it's made up by St. Paul) with most the traditions we're familiar with being made up by the church.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-resu ... s_and_Acts
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by nezumi » Sun Apr 04, 2021 3:38 pm

According to my Dad, there's a lot of people who believe that Joseph of Arimathea was some sort of Ayurveda guru and saved Jesus' life. After he "rose from the dead*" he basically sodded off to india, tibet etc. My Dad might even believe this, he has a certain amount of gullibility.


* These people believe he was mortally wounded and in a coma but that JoA's amazing ayurvedic magic cured him.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Tessa K » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:00 pm

In those tweets she keeps referring to criticism. The original tweet wasn't criticism or scrutiny, it was a badly written statement challenging a core tenet of Christianity. There are plenty of better areas of belief to put under the microscope.

As lpm says, humanism is a bit weird. Apart from the funerals and weddings, which are a really great service, it has no USP, nothing to make it different from just generally behaving decently towards others. Some MPs and other public figures find it convenient to call themselves humanist because it's more palatable to sections of the population than 'atheist'. The BHA is usually more media savvy than this, which is why they get quoted more than the National Secular Society in, for example, campaigns against faith schools and for assisted dying.

This is what really happens when you come back from the dead: your shirt falls off and you get really grumpy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si5S4kdfarU

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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JellyandJackson » Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:42 pm

I wasn’t offended by the original tweet - I just thought Oh for goodness’ sake, don’t tell people or we’ll lose 2 days of Bank Holiday in sometimes decent weather, and you don’t even have to go to church. Like Martin said, I can’t wait to hear her views on Santa.

AR seems to have been on a bit of a mission (ho ho, sorry) lately, the one tweet which stuck in my mind was in reply to someone defining faith as belief in things for which we have no proof, she replied with “that’s the definition of psychosis”. This strikes me as needlessly unkind, esp to people who might have had psychosis or similar experiences (I’ve had a couple of hearing voice type episodes, and in the middle of a panic attack I’m not terrifically lucid - all those things are terrifying) and it also comes perilously close to doing that thing of using MH terms as an insult.

Some of the things in her list of tweets above I agree with - the way some aspects of Christianity (or rather, some people’s understanding of it, not mine) are communicated to children are wrong and harmful. And there’s plenty of criticise- the privileged access of religion into schools, the bishops in the HoL, misogyny, homophobia and a million other things.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Grumble » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:19 pm

Allo V Psycho wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 12:21 pm
I think what Roberts wrote was both unwise and unkind. Unwise, because she has a public role, and in that role, she has to deal with people of many different viewpoints. While of course she is entitled to a personal opinion, I think accepting a public role carries with it the expectation of moderating your expression of views not directly relevant to that role, especially when their unguarded expression acts against the purpose of the role. One can of course still hold those views, and indeed express them privately. In this case, her blunt public expression of her private views may quite unnecessarily alienate some who she ought to be reaching out to, in her public understanding of science role.
She also has a public role as the head of Humanists U.K., this wasn’t a public expression of private views, it was a public expression relating to a public facing position she has. Maybe this is in conflict with her science comms role.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by nezumi » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:27 pm

Me on facebook and not even caring:

And on the third day, Jeebus tunneled out of the cave using a rusty spoon and a bit of the cross. And Jo of Arimathea did meet him with a thunderous look about his countenance and he did say, How much did thee drink? and Jeebus did reply "well I can make water into wine and they did give water from sponges quite a lot of the way up, and side wounds doth look much like red wine so I hath been smashed as f.ck since Friday and I remembereth nowt. So Jo of Arimathea did look sheepish and sayeth he well, the lamb of god cannot be seen to hath been drunken and carried a cross up a hill "on a dare" so must he be seen as a "wrong-un" and shall he be "crucifiedeth" and it be obvious to all that he deserveth it, honest guvneatorus hail Caesar etetera etcetera but like all the good peeps and that know it was a double dog dare nudge nudge wink wink and that and this bloke called Pete or Paul or Saul or like Gertrude or summat basically said it was On Purpose cos something something and basically now we're in charge. So now some bloke reckons he's in charge and noone knows what's going on so.... Whatevs.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by JellyandJackson » Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:43 pm

I read this https://www.voice.wales/slave-labour-ch ... tims-claim just after I’d posted the list of bad stuff. It’s a nice example.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Boustrophedon » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:00 pm

Um, 'scuse me but what about Lazarus?
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by sTeamTraen » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:17 pm

JellyandJackson wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 4:42 pm
AR seems to have been on a bit of a mission (ho ho, sorry) lately, the one tweet which stuck in my mind was in reply to someone defining faith as belief in things for which we have no proof, she replied with “that’s the definition of psychosis”. This strikes me as needlessly unkind, esp to people who might have had psychosis or similar experiences (I’ve had a couple of hearing voice type episodes, and in the middle of a panic attack I’m not terrifically lucid - all those things are terrifying) and it also comes perilously close to doing that thing of using MH terms as an insult.
It's also very much not the definition of psychosis, or even close. That is actually a rather (and as you say, also needlessly) unpleasant thing to say.
Grumble wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 5:19 pm
She also has a public role as the head of Humanists U.K.
I didn't know that. A friend of mine is about to start work there. I'll see what she thinks.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by warumich » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:25 pm

The assumption that science and religion must stand in some sort of conflictual relationship is a pretty recent (i.e. mid 19th c) phenomenon, and it's not been demonstrated in history or contemporary social studies of science to have much merit, both empirically (i.e. there were and are plenty of religious scientists), and "doctrinally" (i.e. while there are plenty of specific religious doctrines that directly confront scientific evidence, these are by and large rarely particularly important to a religion, though that of course depends on the specific denomination we're talking about. This is developing into a long aside now, so I won't elaborate much more; I do realise that this will not be a position you guys will just take on trust from me. Upshot is though, doctrine is simply not as important to religion than defenders of the "conflict thesis" imagine. I'm happy to defend that view in a different post, but if you have 1.5 hours to burn, here's a link to historian Peter Harrison talking through the parallel histories of science and religion making this point for me, which I'd posted originally on nezumi's spirituality thread: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmCF-ChOEEI it's long but highly recommended). I would however need to stress that the "conflict thesis" is regarded as pretty much debunked by mainstream history of science, so it's not in any way a controversial statement. It's not just me.

Be that as it may, I still struggle to see this statement as not mocking but I suppose I have come across as more abrasive to you allo than I had intended. Not that this particularly matters for my point though; whether it was mocking, condescending or angry, it was still a stupid thing to write, because it's not just mocking that is counterproductive towards getting people to take your pov seriously condescension, sarcasm and anger etc are also counterproductive.
I get it that she is allowed to have a view outside of her dayjob, but I'd find it silly if the minute you clock off you do precisely the one thing that undoes whatever you are supposed to achieve on the job. If you have a job that is so opposed to your personal values, you may want to consider whether you're in the right profession.

Be that as it may, I'm perfectly fine with humanists trying to spread their message and convert people; if Jehova's Witnesses are allowed to do that, so are they. But keep in mind that JWs have a pitiful conversion rate given that they spam whole neighborhoods with their message. So if humanists want to be taken more seriously and win converts, they might want to consider being less confrontational. Not that I care particularly whether they do or don't, but you'd think a scientist would be interested in the evidence underpinning different communication strategies.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:52 pm

Why are you painting this as whether science and religion have a conflictual relationship?

Isn't it the faith vs atheism conflictual relationship? Or christianity vs humanist conflict? Science doesn't come into it and it's nothing to do with doctrine. Dead people becoming alive isn't a scientific topic, any more than the sun being pulled by a chariot is.

Where's the evidence that mockery, condescension, anger etc are counterproductive? Jehovah's Witnesses have a pitiful conversion rate as you say, while the humanist club is seeing fast growth. Atheism rates are soaring. Christianity in the UK has been diving since 1945, possibly with an acceleration in the last 30 years.

Looks to me that there's a winning message as it is. Are you arguing humanists would do even better if they were less confrontational? Hard to imagine even bigger success, but that's what your "if humanists want to be taken more seriously and win converts, they might want to consider being less confrontational" sentence seems to imply. Are you claiming christianity in western Europe would be in an even more dire state if Monty Python hadn't taken the piss?

Why change a winning formula? Is there any evidence from other countries or other time periods that suggests non confrontational formulas destroy religion even quicker?
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Gfamily » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:20 pm

I (don't) look forward to a future where there aren't communities that look out for the weak and powerless in the way that the religious ones did.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by lpm » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:46 pm

There's been a religion that looks out for the weak and powerless? When? Where?
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Gfamily » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:57 pm

lpm wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:46 pm
There's been a religion that looks out for the weak and powerless? When? Where?
lol!
My avatar was a scientific result that was later found to be 'mistaken' - I rarely claim to be 100% correct
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by Millennie Al » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:02 am

warumich wrote:
Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:25 pm
The assumption that science and religion must stand in some sort of conflictual relationship is a pretty recent (i.e. mid 19th c) phenomenon, and it's not been demonstrated in history or contemporary social studies of science to have much merit, both empirically (i.e. there were and are plenty of religious scientists), and "doctrinally" (i.e. while there are plenty of specific religious doctrines that directly confront scientific evidence, these are by and large rarely particularly important to a religion, though that of course depends on the specific denomination we're talking about.
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Except, of course, a man can easily serve two masters if they agree with each other - the problem arises when they differ.

It's hard to see from a modern British perspective, but people used to really believe in their religion. This did not cause much conflict with science when science was much less advanced than today. The theory of natural selection caused no trouble at all through most of human history because it only arose recently. There was no conflict between science and religion over medical matters when scientific medicine knew almost nothing. Religion said that the world worked in a certain way, science said that we could figure out truth about the world, and they happily coexisted until science started to discover things that conflicted with religious teachings. This exposed the fundamental conflict betwen them - science is about finding out things about the world, while religion is about knowing it already.
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by secret squirrel » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:04 am

Millennie Al wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:02 am
Except, of course, a man can easily serve two masters if they agree with each other - the problem arises when they differ.

It's hard to see from a modern British perspective, but people used to really believe in their religion. This did not cause much conflict with science when science was much less advanced than today. The theory of natural selection caused no trouble at all through most of human history because it only arose recently. There was no conflict between science and religion over medical matters when scientific medicine knew almost nothing. Religion said that the world worked in a certain way, science said that we could figure out truth about the world, and they happily coexisted until science started to discover things that conflicted with religious teachings. This exposed the fundamental conflict betwen them - science is about finding out things about the world, while religion is about knowing it already.
This doesn't reflect the actual historical record though, and seems to be based on looking at 20th and 21st century biblical literalists and projecting backwards. But this does a severe disservice to the religious thinkers of the past. The church was usually at the forefront of European science during the middle ages. Yes they believed the religious authorities should be the final arbiters of science, and yes they took scripture into account, but they also cared about physical observations. Back in the 4th century St. Augustine complained about Christians not taking modern science (as it was then) into account and thereby making themselves look ridiculous. I believe the context for that was the '7 days of creation' story (Augustine thought it was silly to take it literally).

If you actually look at medieval Christian theology you'll see a large amount of it is concerned with trying to make sense of scripture based on what was then 'known' about the physical world, and also basic logic. E.g. Augustine trying to accommodate Plato, Aquinas trying to accommodate Aristotle, Anselm trying to resolve the obvious paradoxes about omnipotence etc., Abelard thinking about what could be meant by the doctrine of the trinity, and so on. Obviously you can make studying the physical world a lot easier for yourself if you don't worry about what scripture says, but they did care about scripture, even though they realized that naïve readings of it made no sense.

Miracles didn't contradict science because the whole point of miracles was that they were outside of the natural order. Conversely, science didn't contradict religion because God was considered to have created a complex orderly universe governed by laws which he could break if he wanted to. When Copernicus published De revolutionibus he wasn't concerned at all about censure by the Church. I believe he was more concerned about the reaction he would get from fellow humanists, humanism at that time being concerned mainly with going back to the ideas of the ancients (i.e. the Greeks). Galileo had to work quite hard to get the church riled up about heliocentrism, which involved declaring that the Church should have no authority at all on matters of science, and making fun of the pope.

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shpalman
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Re: Mocking religion

Post by shpalman » Mon Apr 05, 2021 7:37 am

J.B.S. Haldane wrote:My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world.”
molto tricky

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