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» Ship of Fools   » Community discussion   » Purgatory   » What if Christianity never existed (Page 4)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: What if Christianity never existed
# 5549

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Originally posted by Crœsos:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
And finally it was realised that it is something assumed but which cannot be directly proven (since in non-Euclidean geometries it isn't necessarily true).

The highlighted bit would seem to be just as true of any of Euclid's postulates.

Originally posted by Dafyd:
I don't think one could easily observe that the fluid is pushing on itself internally. One could probably deduce it, but Archimedes doesn't. Again, one could probably deduce from observations that the lower parts of the fluid are pushed sideways but Archimedes doesn't.

Fluid flowing would seem to be the obviously observable (as well as etymologically obvious) example of fluid pushing sideways on itself internally.
It's an obvervable effect of fluid pushing on itself internally. There is a difference between an observable effect and an explanation in terms of what is going on within the fluid. Any division of the fluid into parts that push against each other is arbitrary. (That is, until you assume atoms (or molecules); but Archimedes goes on to talk about larger arbitrary volumes.

As I said earlier, postulate 1 seems to be more along the lines of Archimedes defining what he means by "fluid".
I am not convinced - he doesn't use the word 'defined', nor does he say that a fluid is a type of material substance - but the distinction may be merely performative. I don't see anything in the postulate that isn't true of a malleable solid.

Originally posted by Dafyd:
Actual historically existing monotheists have usually claimed that God does not operate on whim.

And yet they're always going on about "mysterious ways", which would seem to violate the "intellectually comprehensible" part of your formulation. You can't go around calling something 'ineffable' and then claim you can eff it.[/QB]
'Always'? The degree to which monotheists go on about it varies from monotheist to monotheist.

The argument is that a certain dash of ineffability is needed to get experimental science started. You need to assume that laws can't just be read off the universe by generalising off one or two observations or by arguing from basic axioms taken as obvious.

As I've said before even if one lot of monotheists are busy asserting that human reason cannot explain anything (monotheism is not sufficient) that doesn't address whether or not another lot of monotheists might be needed to get the scientific endeavour started.

Originally posted by Dafyd:
As I think I said before the argument is not that monotheism is sufficient for the scientific revolution, but that it was necessary.

This is, by necessity, a lot more speculative, but the fact that the putative contributions made by monotheism to the scientific revolution (comprehensible universe, etc.) were 'on offer' elsewhere would seem to answer the question in the negative.
I'll note that the putative contributions that you're talking about, that are on offer elsewhere, are those that I said were required to keep the scientific revolution going; not the additional contributions specific to (appropriate variants of) monotheism that I said in the second post were required to get it started.

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

Posts: 10146 | From: Edinburgh | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Grec Man
# 18813

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Without Jesus, people would have continued their idol worship without the chance to worship something far better. Like they do now...
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