Christianity vs Ancient culture: who contributed more to the Western Civilization?

Mar 2013
1,341
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
#61
I have not speculated about Jesus and Christians living in the Stone Age in the way you have deliberately contorted my posts, I have speculated if any scientific advances would take place if Christianity appeared in a world in which we were still hunter gatherers.
Why should the Christians in Stone Age not be capable of making scientific advances if they were still hunter gathers? - They would be immediately the leading civilization since they had at least written-system. Your assumption is just as bad a guess as if a Christian asserted that the world would had been more advanced if Christians had lived in Stone Age.

Your speculation is still completely baseless and without any academic foundation by the way.


You have deliberately misunderstood the point I have been making, that religion is not the driver of scientific advance. I have not speculated about Jesus and Christians living in the Stone Age in the way you have deliberately contorted my posts, I have speculated if any scientific advances would take place if Christianity appeared in a world in which we were still hunter gatherers. This is to show that we would not be where we are today without the advances that did of course take place before Christianity, but that Christianity was not the driver of further advances, as "paganism" was not the driver of advances before Christianity. This is a pertinent point and directly addresses the OP.

Do you really not understand what I am saying. Do you really need to try and make a post about the antikythera mechanism seem a "random" post when it was directly under, and clearly related to the post on the sundial calendar. Did you really not understand the context of that post at all. I think know, you are playing games, and you can play with yourself.
Your post is bullock.

”Christianity” was actually the “driver of further advances” in Medieval Europe pretty much as Islam was it in Sahel-regions. Because these two religions inherited the classical legacy, preserved it, and improved it.

Without Christianity the Pagan culture of the Scandinavians/Vikings for example would not had developed into such a sophisticated culture had they remained Pagans. - Obviously, you lack some basic historical facts.

The rest of your garbage is just a load of baseless personal assumptions about me in order to hide the facts that you are completely ignorant on the topic and nothing have to offer. At least, your posts were not that much stupid as the Neo-atheistic losers tend to be.
 
Mar 2013
1,341
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
#62
I guess pagan was too broad a term to say what I meant. I meant the classical pagan civilizations in the Middle East, Greece and Italy. Wasn't referring to Pagans in Germany and the far reaches of Eastern Europe. Yes they were backwards relative to the Christians. I think OP is pretty clear what we are discussing and I was not bringing the areas that were still pagan by the dark ages into this at all.
The technology, science, agriculture, architecture and learning of the medieval Christians were not just superior to the Medieval Pagan cultures such of Scandinavians, but also to the Pagans of antiquity. Europe in High Middle Ages was much more superior than in Europe in Antiquity in term of the technology, science, agriculture, architecture and learning.

You also said: “and technology we were largely stagnant for a millenia and industrialization and Western success really started after Christianity lost it's main political power.”

That is completely bullock and nonsense, and without academic foundation. Edward Grant, Michael H. Shanks, David C. Lindberg and Ronald L. Numbers (all esteemed scholars of history of science) would disagree.

You also have no secondary academic source for your assumption.
 
Mar 2013
1,341
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
#63
1. You say : "The pagan Scandinavians played no role in European intellectual life until after their adoption of Christianity. The same thing for the Irish."
Now prove Christianity played a role in helping Scandinavians play a role in European intellectual life. Just showing that Christianity was present isn't enough. Just because Christianity was present when something happened, doesn't mean it's the cause. A lot of things can be present when anything happens. I could be eating an ice cream when a tornado hit, doesn't mean me eating said ice cream was what caused the tornado.
I know your post is not directed to me, but I will say something.

There is nothing wrong with that phrase that "The pagan Scandinavians played no role in European intellectual life until after their adoption of Christianity.”

Nothing suggests that the Pagan culture(s) of the Scandinavians would had developed into that sophisticated Christian culture had the Scandinavians remained Pagans. Because with Christianity the Pagan Scandinavians adopted a systematic written system and access to higher learning. After Christianization in Scandinavia (around 1000-1200 CE) we witness a Scandinavia with abundant written sources(for examples Snorri Sturluson and Saxo Grammaticus), we witness outstanding Christian cathedrals/churches unlike the primitive thre-temples of the Pagans, and we witness coinage(to make trade easier).

Pagan Scandinavians would not had achieved a high culture without Christianity. The other way was that Scandinavians should have converted into Islam which also offered a higher civilization like Christianity.

I am atheist and I had Viking Ages as subject as student of history at university, and all the other students would have told you what I am saying here, and you really don’t need to be a trained historian who have spent 3 years as student of history at university like me to realize the above. This is common knowledge and even the college students in Scandinavia know it.


Remember, I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with your conclusion, I'm trying to improve your argument tactics. Quotes help too. If you improve your argument tactics and prove the points I gave above, I'm more than happy to agree. Lastly, when you say how Germans/Irish/Anglo Saxons haven't produced "leading scholars" or "writing", or whatever.... what about all the non-Christian Romans and Greeks who did produce these things? If it's simply because the Germans/Irish lacked Christianity, then why didn't ALL non-Christians lack "leading scholars" or "writing" or whatever?
The Pagans of Romans and Greeks were of high culture unlike the Pagans of Germany for example. The Pagan Romans and Pagan Greeks turned into Christianity around 300-500 CE, and it was them who brought the Greco-Roman-civilization to the inferior Pagans of Germany, Scandinavia and Russia etc.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,094
Crows nest
#64
Why should the Christians in Stone Age not be capable of making scientific advances if they were still hunter gathers? - They would be immediately the leading civilization since they had at least written-system. Your assumption is just as bad a guess as if a Christian asserted that the world would had been more advanced if Christians had lived in Stone Age.

Your speculation is still completely baseless and without any academic foundation by the way.




Your post is bullock.

”Christianity” was actually the “driver of further advances” in Medieval Europe pretty much as Islam was it in Sahel-regions. Because these two religions inherited the classical legacy, preserved it, and improved it.

Without Christianity the Pagan culture of the Scandinavians/Vikings for example would not had developed into such a sophisticated culture had they remained Pagans. - Obviously, you lack some basic historical facts.

The rest of your garbage is just a load of baseless personal assumptions about me in order to hide the facts that you are completely ignorant on the topic and nothing have to offer. At least, your posts were not that much stupid as the Neo-atheistic losers tend to be.
Wow, are you drunk as you have clearly lost it. You know you have talked about "stupid neo atheistic losers" in your rant against me, then in another post described yourself as an atheist. You really are very very mixed up,but I'll be generous and put it down to not just being drunk, but not having full command of the English language and so misunderstanding the sense of other members posts.
 
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Mar 2013
1,341
Escandinavia y Mesopotamia
#65
There is a difference between a Neo-atheist and an Atheist. - Embarrassing that someone has to explain even such a simple thing to you.

Just go and speculate on what would had happen today if Jesus and the Christians had lived in Stone Age. We other will dedicate our time to proper academic works and actual history.
 
Jun 2017
2,398
Connecticut
#66
There is a difference between a Neo-atheist and an Atheist. - Embarrassing that someone has to explain even such a simple thing to you.

Just go and speculate on what would had happen today if Jesus and the Christians had lived in Stone Age. We other will dedicate our time to proper academic works and actual history.
There is nothing to Atheism except lack of belief.

There is a sort of political movement that gained fringe popularity a few years back called New Atheism(and that term doesn't have anything to do with their lack of religious beliefs being different) something tells me this isn't what you are talking about.
 
Jun 2017
2,398
Connecticut
#67
I know your post is not directed to me, but I will say something.

There is nothing wrong with that phrase that "The pagan Scandinavians played no role in European intellectual life until after their adoption of Christianity.”

Nothing suggests that the Pagan culture(s) of the Scandinavians would had developed into that sophisticated Christian culture had the Scandinavians remained Pagans. Because with Christianity the Pagan Scandinavians adopted a systematic written system and access to higher learning. After Christianization in Scandinavia (around 1000-1200 CE) we witness a Scandinavia with abundant written sources(for examples Snorri Sturluson and Saxo Grammaticus), we witness outstanding Christian cathedrals/churches unlike the primitive thre-temples of the Pagans, and we witness coinage(to make trade easier).

Pagan Scandinavians would not had achieved a high culture without Christianity. The other way was that Scandinavians should have converted into Islam which also offered a higher civilization like Christianity.

I am atheist and I had Viking Ages as subject as student of history at university, and all the other students would have told you what I am saying here, and you really don’t need to be a trained historian who have spent 3 years as student of history at university like me to realize the above. This is common knowledge and even the college students in Scandinavia know it.




The Pagans of Romans and Greeks were of high culture unlike the Pagans of Germany for example. The Pagan Romans and Pagan Greeks turned into Christianity around 300-500 CE, and it was them who brought the Greco-Roman-civilization to the inferior Pagans of Germany, Scandinavia and Russia etc.
Like I was talking about before most people were discussing the Greek and Roman pagans, and that's usually what is meant by the term(I also meant Egypt and the Middle East), you were the one who inserted Paganism from the undeveloped regions as proof of Paganism being bad for society. Paganism is used as a general term for religions with pantheons of deity's because it is simple and we kind of know what is being said.

I'm a trained historian who has spent 4 years as a student of history at university(3 years is shorter than US college) and every person on this site with at least an UG degree in history has spent more years studying it(though that's not really your fault, that's the system, you just decided to go there) than you at the university level and then there's some who have masters and phd's. It comes off really bad to throw around credentials at people as evidence even if they were out of the ordinary, and it comes off even worse when you don't actually have the advantage you think you have.
 
Jun 2017
2,398
Connecticut
#68
Why should the Christians in Stone Age not be capable of making scientific advances if they were still hunter gathers? - They would be immediately the leading civilization since they had at least written-system. Your assumption is just as bad a guess as if a Christian asserted that the world would had been more advanced if Christians had lived in Stone Age.

Your speculation is still completely baseless and without any academic foundation by the way.




Your post is bullock.

”Christianity” was actually the “driver of further advances” in Medieval Europe pretty much as Islam was it in Sahel-regions. Because these two religions inherited the classical legacy, preserved it, and improved it.

Without Christianity the Pagan culture of the Scandinavians/Vikings for example would not had developed into such a sophisticated culture had they remained Pagans. - Obviously, you lack some basic historical facts.

The rest of your garbage is just a load of baseless personal assumptions about me in order to hide the facts that you are completely ignorant on the topic and nothing have to offer. At least, your posts were not that much stupid as the Neo-atheistic losers tend to be.
How would stone age Christians acquire writing? What about Christianity changes anything here?
 
Jun 2017
2,398
Connecticut
#69
Not really. The historians of science would refute your post as nonsense.

It was actually PAGAN areas in Europe that were in “Dark Ages”-mentality and completely backward and primitive. Once they converted into Christianity they gained access to classical learning which were preserved, studied and improved by Christian societies. And throughout the Middle Ages it was mainly Christian states there were the utterly superior to pagan areas in Europe.

And Byzantine Empire never ever entered any “Dark Ages”.

These two threads may improve your historical knowledge:

The primitive Pagan barbarians and Christianization: a detour?

Byzantine science and cultural contribution to the world:


And here the esteemed professor of history of science: Ronald L. Numbers:







That is actually a myth which has been debunked by historians of science.

The Pagan Greeks and Romans had taboo, so they banned dissection. In a very brief period dissection did find place in Roman Egypt due to mummification but otherwise the Pagan Romans banned it.

When the christians arrived they had an alternative view on corpses: they did not see it as something holy unlike the Pagans, because the Christians believed it was some eartly issue as the souls have gone to heaven. So they actually began to dissect human corpses:

Source: Debunking a myth

In "Galileo goes to jail and other myths about science and religion" in page 43 and onwards it also deals with that myth.


Besides this, you are making a lot of baseless assumptions. I have picked just some few of them:



Not true. Aristarchus theory was refuted even by the Pagans many centuries before Christianity. And acturally it was the monks who preserved and studied the works of Aristarchus hence why we still have his texts.

Copernicus took this issue up, and he was Christian himself.

Furtheremore, the Pope and clerical people indeed liked his ideas, and it first until when the Protestant Reformation came that they had to be careful:

The Great Myths 6: Copernicus' Deathbed Publication - History for Atheists




The Christian Romans of Byzantium would be surprised to hear it:




Try eventual to check John Philoponus' works, counterweight trebuchet, the roaring lions and singing birds, and shipmills where they used Vitruvius' ideas in a reverse way here:

Byzantine science and cultural contribution to the world:
Pagan means believing in a pantheon of gods, most of the world's religions were pagan, no one is denying those regions were less developed, we aren't talking about them we are talking about the developed pagan civilizations, Greece, Italy, Egypt etc.

We also are all aware that Byzantium didn't enter the dark ages. Middle Age Europe typically is not referring to the Byzantine Empire, it is referring to the former Western Roman Empire and Germany.
 
Mar 2017
793
Colorado
#70
it would be appreciated if you stop making or implying false claims.
Since I provide documentation for each point, I submit that the claims are made by scholars who have studied these matters to a greater depth than either of us. Instead of making claims, I said: "look what this guy said."

The ruins of the Temple at Sais are still there. The "evidence" they discuss are inscriptions and artifacts found at the sight. You say "prove it, prove it". Take it up with the MANY references published by people who have studied the House of Life within the temple system, I merely pointed you in their direction. The best article is probably the JSTOR one I cited. Note my word "system". The temples were tied together in a network ... not isolated establishments. I don't have to prove anything. There are an overwhelming amount of published papers on this topic ... because it's interesting: centers of knowledge in the pre-Christian world that were organized and formed the basis for *ALL* the modern sciences ... some organized in the university structure, with formal teachers and multiple subjects. You don't believe it, no matter what citations are presented to you. You, of course, are free to do this. We're at an impasse: I present citations, you throw them out. Take it up with the archaeologists that did the research. I tend to believe people who make a career of such things. You, apparently, have inside knowledge to summarily dismiss their decades of scholarship.


We see a tremosous advament in knowledge in all kinds of fields from the 13th to 19th century, while we see little overall advancement in knolwdge from the 2000 BC to 1000 BC in Egypt
I can't provide evidence of scientific advancement during that period. However, your contention is that the entire bulk of pre-Christianity contributed nothing in comparison to Christianity. This, of course, is untrue (it's kind of funny how the scientific advancements of the Islamic Empire are being ignored, but that's not my period).

Euclid - Father of Geometry - 3rd century BCE
Hipparchus - Father of Trigonmetry and creator of first accurate star map - 2nd century BCE
------ all the rotating mechanical devices like astrolabes and calendars would be impossible without both of these elements.

Erastosthenes - Father of Geography - 3rd centurey BCE - Calculated circumference of Earth, distance of Earth to Sun, created first world map with parallels and meridians, founder of scientific chronology, creator of "Sieve of Erastosthenes" method for finding prime numbers still in use, first to calculate our current calendar including a leap day every four years, Caesar converted Rome's horrible awkward lunar calendar to the Egyptian model when he met Cleopatra.

Alcmaeon of Croton - 5th century BCE - first to identify brain as seat of understanding, first to distinguish understanding from perception, theorized connection of sensory organs to brain
Praxagoras of Kos - 4th century BCE - suggested the existence of neurons, contributed to understanding of circulatory system
Herophilus of Chalcedon - 3rd century BCE - distinguished between sensory and motor nerves and proved the existence of the nervous system by dissection, established the foundation principles of neuroscience, first to distinguish between cerebrum and cerebellum, first introduction of anatomical terms still in use
----- As in my previous post, the achievements of these men formed a starting point for medical science in the 1500's ACE

Archimedes of Syracuse - 3rd century BCE - anticipated Newton's calculus by inventing "infinitesimals" and "method of exhaustion" which are still taught, accurate approximation of pi, founded the sciences of hydrostatics and statics, invented the screw pump, compound pulleys, and war machines. "The relatively few copies of Archimedes' written work that survived through the Middle Ages were an influential source of ideas for scientists during the Renaissance." ... all over Egypt and remote parts of the Middle East, Archimedes screw pumps are still in use for irrigation.
Hero of Alexandria - 1st century BCE - "greatest experimenter of antiquity", constructed a working steam engine (the first Christian engine is 1698), a similar engine was used to "magically" open & close temple doors, invented first coin operated vending machine, first wind-powered machine (musical organ), invented automated theater productions, invented automatons like a statue that poured wine (Da Vinci did the last two, but Hero did them first 1500 yrs earlier).

Not Alexandria, but an obvious ommission:
Aristotle - 4th century BCE - "Aristotle's views on physical science profoundly shaped medieval scholarship. Their influence extended from Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages into the Renaissance, and were not replaced systematically until the Enlightenment and theories such as classical mechanics. Some of Aristotle's zoological observations, such as on the hectocotyl (reproductive) arm of the octopus, were disbelieved until the 19th century. His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, studied by medieval scholars such as Peter Abelard and John Buridan. Aristotelianism profoundly influenced Islamic thought during the Middle Ages, as well as Christian theology, especially the Neoplatonism of the Early Church and the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church. "

I obviously didn't have all this in my head. Why was it so easy for me to look them up? I can read. These pre-Christian men, and many more, are seen as making scientific and technological advances that formed the foundation of the modern world. For some reason, you totally ignore their contributions "no advances were made" ... despite the fact that your Christians studied their works as a starting point. Those early Christians felt that these men had made astounding advancements.


This was not the same systematic experimentation as we find modern times.
WHAT?!!

"Aristotle pioneered scientific method in ancient Greece alongside his empirical biology and his work on logic, rejecting a purely deductive framework in favour of generalisations made from observations of nature. "

You can read Dioscorides Phakas (1st century BCE) for his systematic approach to experimentation in medicine (pretty much, what I was taught in college chemistry).
 

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