homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | Register | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » What if Christianity never existed (Page 1)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: What if Christianity never existed
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Apologies for those who do not like What if scenarios, like what if the Nazis had won the war and all that.

But another thread really did get me wondering how things would have turned out for humanity if Christianity never came to exist. As in God decided against sending His only Son or, alternatively, a Galileean carpenter turned preacher never came to achieve messianic status after his death.

Would Islam also not have come into being ? The spread of that religion seems to have happened as a counter measure to the spread of Christianity. And without these two dominant religions would we simply have had a continuation of a vast range of different tribal rituals, superstitions and cult practice, or would Secularism, (what ever that is), come to prominence at a much early stage in our history?

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3093 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Apologies for those who do not like What if scenarios, like what if the Nazis had won the war and all that.

But another thread really did get me wondering how things would have turned out for humanity if Christianity never came to exist. As in God decided against sending His only Son or, alternatively, a Galileean carpenter turned preacher never came to achieve messianic status after his death.

Would Islam also not have come into being ? The spread of that religion seems to have happened as a counter measure to the spread of Christianity. And without these two dominant religions would we simply have had a continuation of a vast range of different tribal rituals, superstitions and cult practice, or would Secularism, (what ever that is), come to prominence at a much early stage in our history?

So, your religion is divinely inspired, even if God chooses not to and theirs is purely reactionary. Nice.
Personally, I think the rise in population is what necessitated what good behaviour we have.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

 - Posted      Profile for Og, King of Bashan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
From a historical rather than faith based perspective, I have heard that Cyrus the Great is probably responsible for this not happening. He had a policy of setting Persia apart from earlier empires by letting local populations stay in place (or return from exile) and keep their religious beliefs, rather than enslaving or killing them all. Without that? Judaism probably doesn't make it long enough for Jesus to hit the scene.

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3132 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We'd either have competing "pagan" religious traditions, or the dominant "pagan" tradition would absorb the others, as the Roman did the Greek.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Perhaps by now we'd all be worshipping Marduk...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marduk

Either way, I love 'what if?' scenarios, and alternative histories! We wouldn't have the huge heritage of Christian art, literature, architecture etc. etc., but human nature being what it is, there'd be alternatives....

Sadly, human nature being what it is, there'd still be religions, and religious wars, of various sorts.

IJ

--------------------
The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9179 | From: Passing The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Bishops Finger
Shipmate
# 5430

 - Posted      Profile for Bishops Finger   Email Bishops Finger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
What mousethief said - but, indeed, who'd be the 'pagans'?

Personally, I trust and believe in Lord Marduk...all these new-fangled Greek gods are just so many Johnny-come-latelies....

IJ

--------------------
The future is another country - they might do things differently there...

Posts: 9179 | From: Passing The Glums At The Bus Stop | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It's been done. I think it was Gibbon (if you are interested I could find the citation) who wrote an essay "What if Alexander the Great Had Not Died in Babylon." The great Greek conqueror was a syncretist and, having not died in his 30s went on to consolidate his rule across the ancient world over a long life, moving on to strangle the nascent Roman empire and extend his rule across Europe. Under the aegis of the empire's peace steam power, already known to the Greeks, moved to commercial importance before the turn of the millennium. The young Yeshua-ben-Joseph was able to look up from his carpenter bench in Nazareth and watch the train go by, that connected Syria to Egypt. In this telling there was neither Christianity nor Islam, and the World Empire is pleasantly ruled in the 20th century by the emperor, Alexander XXXV.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5670 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Mere Nick
Shipmate
# 11827

 - Posted      Profile for Mere Nick     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Lots of folks would be worshiping money, fame and power. Thankfully, that doesn't happen anymore.

--------------------
"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

Posts: 2797 | From: West Carolina | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

 - Posted      Profile for Og, King of Bashan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Bishops Finger:
Perhaps by now we'd all be worshipping Marduk...

Presumably someone has been able to pinpoint when the last organic generation of Marduk worshippers was born, and what took their place. Or are they still out there? (Not talking about any odd neo-Babylonian movement that no doubt exists somewhere on the internet.) Mildly curious.

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3132 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Pangolin Guerre
Shipmate
# 18686

 - Posted      Profile for Pangolin Guerre   Email Pangolin Guerre   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My training being (in part) history, I cannot abide "what if"'s. Counterfactual history (pace Bishops Finger and Niall Ferguson) are at best parlour games best done after your third brandy. To answer a bit here. Islam - at least as we know it - could not have come into being without Christianity. (Jesus is, after all, recognised as a prophet.)

I did have this sort of conversation with a friend of mine (half Jewish, half Catholic, non-practising), and I said that a dominant monotheism was good to go. I said, my money might have been on Zoroastrianism. There goes my fiver. Oh, and another brandy, please.

Posts: 656 | From: 30 arpents de neige | Registered: Nov 2016  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Apologies for those who do not like What if scenarios, like what if the Nazis had won the war and all that.

But another thread really did get me wondering how things would have turned out for humanity if Christianity never came to exist. As in God decided against sending His only Son or, alternatively, a Galileean carpenter turned preacher never came to achieve messianic status after his death.

Would Islam also not have come into being ? The spread of that religion seems to have happened as a counter measure to the spread of Christianity. And without these two dominant religions would we simply have had a continuation of a vast range of different tribal rituals, superstitions and cult practice, or would Secularism, (what ever that is), come to prominence at a much early stage in our history?

So, your religion is divinely inspired, even if God chooses not to and theirs is purely reactionary. Nice.
EVERY religious person thinks their religion is "divinely inspired"/ true and the others aren't-- that's kind of the point. Why in the world would we follow a religion if we didn't think it was true? And really, that holds to every passionately held truth. We believe in something because we think it's true. Other than things that are just a matter of taste (i.e. chocolate mint is better than strawberry) or verifiable empirical truth (gravity is a real thing) that's the very nature of belief-- religious belief, political belief, whatever. To get all snooty about it seems rather silly.

Now the fact that we (the adherents of any particular belief system) believe our system is true and the others aren't doesn't have to mean we are so arrogant as to assume we can't be wrong. We can passionately hold a set of beliefs while still acknowledging we might be mistaken. And we can hold a set of beliefs while still defending the rights of others to hold different views.

That is a bit of a flaw in this particular thought experiment then, as well. It assumes Christianity is not true and therefore could "not exist". But for those of us who assume Christianity is true-- or at least based on a Truth-- that's not really viable. Even if no one believed in Christ, we (Christians) would assume there would still be "Christianity" because there would still be a God who loved us and acted incarnationally to come to us and seek us out. For the thought experiment to make sense we have to begin with the assumption that Christianity is not true, which I'm guessing is not an assumption most on this thread would share. But then, "what ifs" are by definition assuming things that we know are not the case.


quote:
Originally posted by Mere Nick:
Lots of folks would be worshiping money, fame and power. Thankfully, that doesn't happen anymore.

This. [Overused]

[ 30. June 2017, 16:16: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11087 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Peter Hitchens once described 'The Game of Thrones' as the Middle Ages without Christianity....

From a sociological point of view we could wonder whether various forms of paganism would simply have continued to develop, or whether human development would have eventually called for some kind of globalised religious system of some sort.

But from a 'Christian' perspective ISTM that our God, if he is Love, would always have wanted to reach out to us. He chose one way of doing so, but being God he could have chosen another. So I suppose we would have had Christianity by another name.

Posts: 6427 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
EVERY religious person thinks their religion is "divinely inspired"/ true and the others aren't-- that's kind of the point.

It is a poor start to a thought experiment about Christianity not existing by saying "but really it does" and to characterise another religion as purely reactionary. Describing Christianity as reactionary to its circumstances is just as valid.
It would be simple to say: What would happen if Christianity didn't exist?
That simple sentence.
Christianity and Islam are intertwined, so exploring that is a legitimate part of this experiment. But the way it was presented in the OP is unnecessarily biased.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
EVERY religious person thinks their religion is "divinely inspired"/ true and the others aren't-- that's kind of the point.

It is a poor start to a thought experiment about Christianity not existing by saying "but really it does" and to characterise another religion as purely reactionary. Describing Christianity as reactionary to its circumstances is just as valid.
It would be simple to say: What would happen if Christianity didn't exist?
That simple sentence.
Christianity and Islam are intertwined, so exploring that is a legitimate part of this experiment. But the way it was presented in the OP is unnecessarily biased.

No, it was framed in a way that was appropriate on a forum that is specifically targeting Christians who assume that Christianity is true. So the OP is simply saying, given our set of beliefs, what if...

One could of course frame the "what if" differently, "what if Christianity didn't exist because it isn't true" which would be an interesting thought experiment as well. That's the fun of a what if"-- unlike real life, you can begin with any set of assumptions you wish. But there's nothing inherently wrong or "biased" about a thought experiment that begins with one set of assumptions and not another.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11087 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
What you are describing is "What if God revealed Christianity in a Different way". Because the OP doesn't eliminate Judaism, but it does dismiss it.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
stonespring
Shipmate
# 15530

 - Posted      Profile for stonespring     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
A religion like Islam may have arisen in a world without Christianity, but it would not be Islam, because Islam sees itself as the final, complete, and undistorted revelation in a series that included the revelations that gave rise to Judaism and Christianity, but that became distorted by humans in the earlier religions.
Posts: 1504 | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
What you are describing is "What if God revealed Christianity in a Different way". Because the OP doesn't eliminate Judaism, but it does dismiss it.

Which, again, is a perfectly valid thought experiment, since "what ifs" are by definition open to all sorts of presumptions. You, of course, are free to submit a different thought experiment.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11087 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The best interpretation of the OP that I can arrive at following your thoughts is that it is flawed in its presentation.
Actually, I think that regardless.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I mean, Jesus. I know there has been a big dismissal of Judaism within Christianity, but it is part of the foundation of Christianity. The OP doesn't even mention it.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

 - Posted      Profile for SusanDoris   Author's homepage   Email SusanDoris   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Humans evolved with the brain and the language to think up the question, 'Why?', so we were probably doomed from the start to go through a succession of varing beliefs! Alongside the development of gods and religious beliefs went the continuous finding out how actual things actually worked and the passing on of the knowledge gained to subsequent generations. I think the move towards non-belief (and secularism) was inevitable whichever way you look at it, because the advances in science and technology have replaced many religious answers to that why question.

Prior to the Christian era, the written records of people's ideas and beliefs were fewer; they were read, understood and taught by only a few. Now there are many books where the written words are accepted by many as sacrosanct.

Just a few thoughts from this atheist.

--------------------
I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Posts: 2945 | From: UK | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
C.S. Lewis has discussed this. Can we imagine other planets with rational inhabitants? Do they have souls? Are they fallen? And if they are, could we imagine Christ coming to them, incarnate as an Ewok or something? I don't see why not.
Current quantum theory has it that there are, possibly, an infinite number of universes. Infinity is a fun concept, because any subset of something infinite is also infinite. Thus there are an infinite number of universes with human beings, with a fallen Earth, etc. etc. I have no problem with this. With an infinite number of cards to play with, you can shuffle the deck and get any layout you can imagine.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5670 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

 - Posted      Profile for Schroedinger's cat   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I have a problem with this sort of speculative history, because I am a big sci-fi fan. There is such a lot of SF that deals with questions of "what-if" for very small changes. Mostly, they show that very small, trivial changes can have big impacts across the rest of history.

The thing is, it makes questions this big impossible to start with. Maybe God would have revealed himself in another way, and everything would have been very much the same (although we might worship Frank instead of Jesus), or maybe we would all be speaking Latin, and beleving ourselves to be at the centre of the universe.

Or maybe some other minor change would also have happened, and we would all have been wiped out by an asteroid.

And, as Jonathan Bach in his superb book "One" muses (in one chapter), maybe another religious would have arisen based on another truth, and would have vied with the other faiths and won and destroyed them all. Or changed and shaped them differently.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

Posts: 18646 | From: At the bottom of a deep dark well. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

 - Posted      Profile for mark_in_manchester   Email mark_in_manchester   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Personally, if I became convinced there was no God and Jesus was therefore not His son - then I would have to place my Faith in something or someone else, or become a nihilist.

After all, you gotta serve somebody.

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1535 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
Shipmate
# 16840

 - Posted      Profile for rolyn         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
I mean, Jesus. I know there has been a big dismissal of Judaism within Christianity, but it is part of the foundation of Christianity. The OP doesn't even mention it.

Well, I only sketched it out in my head so if you think this needs to be added then by all means.
Judaism would not have spread as it was tribal and very much the preserve of those who espoused it. Paul was the big big player in *spread* by insisting that Jesus was the universally promised Messiah, available to everyone regardless of race, culture, gender, tradition or anything else.

As for 'bias' none was intended in the OP. Maybe Christianity and Islam did develop entirely independently of each other, I'm not an historian. It certainly wasn't meant to provoke the Us and Them mentality.

--------------------
Change is the only certainty of existence

Posts: 3093 | From: U.K. | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged
SvitlanaV2
Shipmate
# 16967

 - Posted      Profile for SvitlanaV2   Email SvitlanaV2   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
AFAIUI Islam owes a certain amount to Christianity and Judaism. Muhammad is believed to have had considerable contact with both Christians and Jews, and Jesus is revered as a prophet.

[ 30. June 2017, 19:32: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

Posts: 6427 | From: UK | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged
wabale
Shipmate
# 18715

 - Posted      Profile for wabale   Author's homepage   Email wabale   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Just to stay on firm historical ground for a moment, the Christian faith has often been a unifying factor which has been a catalyst and sometimes even the dominant factor in creating nations, from the coming together of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy to the emergence of African states in the 20th Century.

Somewhat more controversially, I too don’t think Islam would have happened in the way that it did without Christianity providing the initial challenge. However, being very impressed by ‘Dune’ by Frank Herbert, I wouldn’t rule out some other desert-based universal religion producing an empire that took over half the world, and replacing the Greek/Roman civilization.

Both Christianity and Islam have a relationship with military power that has helped create larger and ever more militarised political units. I can’t think of another universal religion that could have taken its place: there is of course Judaism , but perhaps let’s not go there. (However, I would point out that Judaism was remarkably adaptable, and was the basis of political states in South Russia and Ethiopia for example.) Without the Abrahamic religions one can imagine Buddhism filling much of the religious vacuum in the world, but probably not the political/military one. So perhaps the world would have become even more fragmented than the one we find outselves in. Or perhaps a more fragmented world would have been easy prey for a military state like that of Genghis Khan which relied simply on military technology and organisation.

Carl Sagan, the astronomer, envisaged a world where Greek philosophy became the dominant human force. Without the inhibiting effect of religion he thought human progress would than have happened much faster. (I don’t share this opinion.) One of his more striking illustrations depicted two spaceships with Greek letters on the side, mankind having conquered space long before the 20th Century.

Posts: 56 | From: Essex, United Kingdom | Registered: Jan 2017  |  IP: Logged
Brenda Clough
Shipmate
# 18061

 - Posted      Profile for Brenda Clough   Author's homepage   Email Brenda Clough   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Richard Garfinkle wrote one too -- an entire universe based on Ptolemaic philosophy. The space travel between the spheres was especially cool.

--------------------
Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

Posts: 5670 | From: Washington DC | Registered: Mar 2014  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I think the move towards non-belief (and secularism) was inevitable whichever way you look at it, because the advances in science and technology have replaced many religious answers to that why question.

Would there have been science without monotheism? The Greeks didn't seem inclined that way and they were the best shot the ancient world had. Science is a direct result of the belief that one can learn about God by studying His world. Without the idea that the world is rational because it is the creature of a rational god, we may never have had science.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I've actually done this in a book: no Christianity, and no Islam (partly for balance, and partly because I think ... well, maybe without ME Christianity, there might not have been Islam, or at least a radically different Islam).

My 1000-years-after-the-fall-of-Rome central Europeans (ignoring the whole magic thing) were Germanic pagans, but it's as if the Church of England had taken over the human sacrifices, blood rituals and warrior culture and reinterpreted it for decent people who didn't like to get entrails on their robes and thought that a fertility rite that involved mass drunkenness followed by an orgy just a bit infra dig.

The Jews are still there, though. That's where you get your science from.

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 8848 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The Jews are still there, though. That's where you get your science from.

The science-minded Jews went into Kabbala. Not sure science would have emerged from that.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Would there have been science without monotheism? The Greeks didn't seem inclined that way and they were the best shot the ancient world had.

Seriously dude? I can't even...

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Would there have been science without monotheism? The Greeks didn't seem inclined that way and they were the best shot the ancient world had.

Seriously dude? I can't even...
Point me at the Greek who invented the scientific method. Oh wait. That was a Christian.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Would there have been science without monotheism? The Greeks didn't seem inclined that way and they were the best shot the ancient world had.

Seriously dude? I can't even...
Point me at the Greek who invented the scientific method. Oh wait. That was a Christian.
[Roll Eyes]
First, not sure Ibn al-Haytham would have considered himself a Christian.
Second, science was being done before Jesus was a twinkle in his Father's Eye.
The increasing sophistication of the sciences has more to do with more information being gathered than the religion of its perusers. Not that religion can have no effect, it has, both positive and negative. Making the assumption that monotheism is inherently more scientific does not appear to have any basis in fact.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

 - Posted      Profile for Og, King of Bashan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
I think the move towards non-belief (and secularism) was inevitable whichever way you look at it, because the advances in science and technology have replaced many religious answers to that why question.

Would there have been science without monotheism? The Greeks didn't seem inclined that way and they were the best shot the ancient world had. Science is a direct result of the belief that one can learn about God by studying His world. Without the idea that the world is rational because it is the creature of a rational god, we may never have had science.
Good thing we monotheists were generous enough to share the good stuff with the Chinese, they might have been stuck in the stone age for years...

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3132 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Making the assumption that monotheism is inherently more scientific does not appear to have any basis in fact.

Which is not what I've said -- which level of misreading is probably why I've aroused such ire.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I read what you wrote again and can not see another interpretation. Can you help me here?

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

 - Posted      Profile for cliffdweller     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
this thread has officially gone off the rails.

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11087 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
First, not sure Ibn al-Haytham would have considered himself a Christian.

I'm almost certain he would have considered himself a monotheist.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
this thread has officially gone off the rails.

meh. It was half-tracked from the first.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
lilBuddha
Shipmate
# 14333

 - Posted      Profile for lilBuddha     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
First, not sure Ibn al-Haytham would have considered himself a Christian.

I'm almost certain he would have considered himself a monotheist.
[brick wall]

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

Posts: 16946 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The Jews are still there, though. That's where you get your science from.

The science-minded Jews went into Kabbala. Not sure science would have emerged from that.
The internet tells me that 22.4% of all Nobel prizes have been won by Jews. Clearly not all of them for science, but ...

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 8848 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Doc Tor
Deepest Red
# 9748

 - Posted      Profile for Doc Tor     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
(al-Haytham appears in the book too, or at least his works do)

--------------------
Forward the New Republic

Posts: 8848 | From: Ultima Thule | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

 - Posted      Profile for mousethief   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
The Jews are still there, though. That's where you get your science from.

The science-minded Jews went into Kabbala. Not sure science would have emerged from that.
The internet tells me that 22.4% of all Nobel prizes have been won by Jews. Clearly not all of them for science, but ...
I was talking about how science arose, not what's going on now. I don't think science would have arisen from Kabbala, which is where the analytical minds of medieval Judaism seemed to congregate. I may be wrong; that's okay too.

Now that science is here, the conditions of its genesis are of historical but not scientific interest. Anybody from any country or religion can drive a car, now that they've been invented. Anybody from any country or religion can do science now that it's been invented. Jews, as you rightly point out, have been no slouches in that department, and we owe a lot to Jewish scientists, and scientists of course of every religion or no religion at all.

--------------------
“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

Posts: 63113 | From: Ecotopia | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

 - Posted      Profile for no prophet's flag is set so...   Author's homepage   Email no prophet's flag is set so...   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
@OP
No Christianity, would Europe continue the Indo-European expansion to dominate the western hemisphere? Because capitalism is supposedly a Christian idea; the Chinese specifically abandoned overseas trade and exploration.

Maybe different timing for the European invasion by Columbus et al, maybe they repell the Spanish and maintain their culture. Maybe no communism, that other feral child of Christianity.

Maybe new world religious ideas invade Europe, with specific influence at not separating humans from their natural world context. So we don't pretend we can do economic development at the expense of the environment. We don't democracy by vote, we do it by consensus, accommodating all views. We don't boss each other around the same way.

So now I riff:
Jesus is named Ahtahkoop (Star Blanket) and ordained the sweat lodge. The last supper is beaver tail, venison and labrador tea. He leaves in a canoe. No one kills anyone. We think he became a hawk and flew into a sky of suns in 24 hour daylight from a lake of liquid jade (sundogs, a real phenomenon, where suns ring the entire 360° horizon). He talks to us in the sweat lodge. Tells us to be respectful and ask "can I help" to everyone and to help. And sharing is so obvious everyone assumes it.

--------------------
Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

Posts: 11075 | From: Treaty 6 territory in the nonexistant Province of Buffalo, Canada ↄ⃝' | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged
Og, King of Bashan

Ship's giant Amorite
# 9562

 - Posted      Profile for Og, King of Bashan     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
@NP, we sing that one every Christmas; the Huron Carol.

I do think this idea that somehow the Greeks were on track for steam engines and space travel before Christianity happened is a little silly. Athens' moment had passed long before Jesus' time. Civilizations have their moment, but the temptation to overreach into empire and the inevitable decline that follows is an almost unbreakable rule in human history.

--------------------
"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

Posts: 3132 | From: Denver, Colorado, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
simontoad
Ship's Amphibian
# 18096

 - Posted      Profile for simontoad   Email simontoad   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
No Christianity? Sol Invictus and Mithras get a boost in the Roman empire. Jewish unrest continues until the Romans get sick of them and flatten Jerusalem. Post-temple Judaism is born out of the maelstrom in a manner unaffected by Christianity's absence.

The Western Roman empire is severely weakened by infighting and pressure from the movements of peoples seeking to escape the depredations of steppe nomads (and get a piece of that juicy and safe Roman action). Over a few hundred years, the West has splintered into smaller and less stable kingdoms. There is no recognition of any central religious or political authority, although local leaders are wont to clothe themselves in the titles and symbols of Old Rome.

The Eastern Roman Empire lives, where Sol Invictus has become the dominant belief. The Emperors sponsor the worship of the Invincible Sun, and the magnificent Hagia Sophia is built as the central place of worship in Constantinople. The Emperor is seen as the incarnation of the Sun on earth, and while this belief is compulsory, it does not preclude belief in other gods, so the Jews are still in a precarious position.

By the seventh century, Rome in the east is at its maximum extent. Due to the strength of the nomads, it is unable to expand north of the Black Sea, and fights with the Bulgars, who have been pushed into the area around the mouth of the Danube. The Persians are in one of their declines, again under attack from the nomads. Armenia, that crucial buffer zone, is under Roman dominance. Palestine, Anatolia, Syria and Egypt are all posessions of the Eastern Empire, as is much of southern Italy. Palestine is a Jewish backwater of no particular significance.

In the Arabian Peninsula, a great Prophet is born. The region has long been influenced by Judaism, and Mohammed (BBHN) is well-versed in them. He receives a revelation from God and under his leadership the people of the Peninsula strike out towards Jerusalem. They conquer Persia, Palestine, Egypt, Syria, north africa and the Iberian Peninsula. In Southern France there is a pivotal battle, but without the unity of Christendom in the West, Charles Mantel loses. France, Italy and the Balkans are added to the Empire of Islam, blessed by God to an impressive extent. Victory is next to Godliness.

Only the Eastern Romans hold out, because of the strength of their walls in Constantinople and the blessings of the Invincible Son. Nevertheless, the Empire has been severely weakened by the loss of Syria and Egypt, and it stands alone against a foe of impressive unity and fervor.

Will the Arabs be able to destroy the only remaining bastion of the Empire of the Sun God? Or will it be riven by faction and splinter in the next generation?

Who knows.

--------------------
Human

Posts: 1186 | From: Romsey, Vic, AU | Registered: May 2014  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Seriously dude?, I can't even...

As one of your links was to Archimedes I'll use him as an example.
Archimedes got his statement of Archimedes' Principle wrong.
Archimedes stated that bodies float when they displace a weight of water equal to their weight. This is not true. A body floats when it displaces a weight of water equal to the weight of that part of the body that is under the water.

Galileo showed that experimentally. He had a tall glass cylinder, put a small quantity water in at the bottom, and put a wooden rod in the cylinder. The rod was heavier than the total weight of the water, but it floated anyway even though according to Archimedes' statement of his principle there wasn't enough weight of water for it to float in.

Archimedes says nothing in On Floating Bodies about conducting experiments. Whereas by the seventeenth century there was a developing culture of describing experiments.

The Greeks were very good at proving geometry from first principles and applying them: land surveying and astronomy both rely on geometry. And they could build mechanisms. But they didn't ever take the step of thinking that geometry could be used to describe physical laws, and they never had any culture of experimentation, certainly not of describing experiments.

(Your last link cites James Fraser to establish a point. I don't think any scholar who keeps up with current research would ever cite Fraser to establish anything about science or magic. They also use the word 'superstitions' to describe the Egyptians' practices, which again, no scholar who wants to be taken seriously by current scholarship would do.)

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10376 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

 - Posted      Profile for Dafyd   Email Dafyd   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think I must have got the revised version of Archimedes' principle wrong somehow. (If my statement were correct no part of an object less dense than water would sit under the water.) The point stands that Galileo's experiment floated a wooden rod in water that weighed less than the rod. According to Archimedes that shouldn't be possible.

--------------------
we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

Posts: 10376 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
hatless

Shipmate
# 3365

 - Posted      Profile for hatless   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It's the weight of the water displaced that counts. The rod displaces a volume of water equal to the volume of that part of the rod under water. This may be much less than the total weight of the water.

I think that both Archimedes and Galileo are right.

--------------------
My crazy theology in novel form

Posts: 4496 | From: Stinkers | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

 - Posted      Profile for mark_in_manchester   Email mark_in_manchester   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I was worrying about the (un-immersed) superstructure of the ship poking up out of the sea with a great big m.g acting downwards on it!

Meanwhile, a Canadian correspondent posts

quote:
...We think he became a hawk and flew into a sky of suns in 24 hour daylight from a lake of liquid jade...
Oooh. (sings) 'lah lah ...like a pearl in a sea of liquid jade...like a crystal swan in a sky of swans... lah lah'

So tell me where these bits of funky hippy imagery came from that I've been humming all these years! Or did you feed those lyrics back into your alternative vision, and they are their own source?

--------------------
"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

Posts: 1535 | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  4 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
Check out Reform magazine
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
  ship of fools