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Poll, Has religion made the world better?


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Poll: Does religion make the world a better place? (57 member(s) have cast votes)

Has religion made the world better or worse?

  1. Better (11 votes [19.30%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.30%

  2. Worse (38 votes [66.67%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 66.67%

  3. It is irrelevant and does neither. (8 votes [14.04%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 14.04%

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#76    danielost

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:14 PM

View PostEverdred, on 24 February 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

The problem with the idea of these "Islamic" contributions to the world is that it takes the contributions of many people who happened to be Muslims and attributes it to Islam.

The historical reality is that the Arabs, after concocting that religion, were driven to war and expanded rapidly, conquering peoples living in the remnants of the highly advanced Roman Empire.  The Arabs imposed laws making conversion to Islam a very smart socioeconomic choice, and so most people, being not especially bound to their faiths, converted, and then went back to studying the same philosophy and science they had been before the conquest.  But then, starting in the 14th century, an increasingly anti-science trend emerged in Islam and eventually it became heretical and illegal to study things other than the Quran, and thus Islamic society stagnated and was rapidly surpassed by other societies without such religious constrictions.

So in fact Islam has clearly been a force against advancement.  It was only in the period when Islam did not seek to religiously influence study that advancement occurred.

View PostEverdred, on 24 February 2013 - 08:45 PM, said:

The problem with the idea of these "Islamic" contributions to the world is that it takes the contributions of many people who happened to be Muslims and attributes it to Islam.

The historical reality is that the Arabs, after concocting that religion, were driven to war and expanded rapidly, conquering peoples living in the remnants of the highly advanced Roman Empire.  The Arabs imposed laws making conversion to Islam a very smart socioeconomic choice, and so most people, being not especially bound to their faiths, converted, and then went back to studying the same philosophy and science they had been before the conquest.  But then, starting in the 14th century, an increasingly anti-science trend emerged in Islam and eventually it became heretical and illegal to study things other than the Quran, and thus Islamic society stagnated and was rapidly surpassed by other societies without such religious constrictions.

So in fact Islam has clearly been a force against advancement.  It was only in the period when Islam did not seek to religiously influence study that advancement occurred.

The Catholic church did the samething during the so called dark ages.  Bugt europe recovered Islam has not.

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#77    Professor T

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

Lol!
:lol:
This thread has turned into a showcase for Religious Ego! :w00t:  How Facinating!!!

Red-hen, your video was Propaganda... You do realise this, dont you?
Freetoroam, While Europe was floundering in the dark ages, Islam was in a golden age of Science.. thats a fact btw..
Knight of Shadows, please dont get so offended by the infidels, sad fact these days is that Islam is in the dark ages now..

Edited by Professor T, 24 February 2013 - 10:22 PM.


#78    redhen

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:45 PM

View PostProfessor T, on 24 February 2013 - 10:22 PM, said:

Lol!
:lol:
This thread has turned into a showcase for Religious Ego! :w00t:  How Facinating!!!

Red-hen, your video was Propaganda... You do realise this, dont you?

It's propaganda in the sense that it disseminates information for a specific purpose (bring back lapsed Catholics), but it's not propaganda in the sense of "Manipulation of information to influence public opinion".

Nothing in the video is disingenuous. Obviously though the bad parts are left out; burning of heretics/witches, sexual abuse, etc.

I'm not making the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has a spotless record, just pointing out credit where it's due.


#79    Professor T

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 10:58 PM

View Postredhen, on 24 February 2013 - 10:45 PM, said:

It's propaganda in the sense that it disseminates information for a specific purpose (bring back lapsed Catholics), but it's not propaganda in the sense of "Manipulation of information to influence public opinion".

Nothing in the video is disingenuous. Obviously though the bad parts are left out; burning of heretics/witches, sexual abuse, etc.

I'm not making the claim that the Roman Catholic Church has a spotless record, just pointing out credit where it's due.

Oh but it is disingenuous.
The first hospitals in the world were built in Greese as far as I know, but more specifically the first that could be recognised as hospitals because they served that purpose alone were in islamic countries, and pre-dated the catholic church..

But in highlighting this and getting into a debate about hospitals and dis-assembling the propaganda in the video I would be missing the point of the OP which is Has religion made the world better? So I'll stop here.............. Except to say, that Religion takes credit where it is not due...

Edited by Professor T, 24 February 2013 - 11:51 PM.


#80    Knight Of Shadows

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:10 PM

View PostProfessor T, on 24 February 2013 - 10:22 PM, said:

Lol!
:lol:
This thread has turned into a showcase for Religious Ego! :w00t:  How Facinating!!!

Red-hen, your video was Propaganda... You do realise this, dont you?
Freetoroam, While Europe was floundering in the dark ages, Islam was in a golden age of Science.. thats a fact btw..
Knight of Shadows, please dont get so offended by the infidels, sad fact these days is that Islam is in the dark ages now..
that's sad but true ... oh metallica

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truthful was Allah The Most High And Great


#81    GreenmansGod

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:39 PM

I don't think any of those inventions come from Islam (religion) They came from the Arab people not from their religion.  Many of the inventions credited to the "Islam" got their start in India.  Like the number system we use today.

http://en.wikipedia....and_discoveries

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#82    Professor T

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:47 PM

If a man or woman invented a cure or inspired a generation but happened to be catholic, islamic or other, their religion would take the credit of their deeds to further it's self.. And religion will use that to inspire more follower's for it to control and force conformity..


#83    GreenmansGod

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 11:58 PM

Thanks Prof T, that is what I was trying to say.

"The moment you declare a set of ideas to be immune from criticism, satire, derision, or contempt, freedom of thought becomes impossible." Salman Rushdie

#84    redhen

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 02:58 AM

View PostProfessor T, on 24 February 2013 - 10:58 PM, said:

Oh but it is disingenuous.
the first that could be recognised as hospitals because they served that purpose alone were in islamic countries, and pre-dated the catholic church..

The myth of a Muslim Scientific Golden Age is just that, a myth.

"The first physicians under Muslim rule were Christians or Jews.[24] One source indicates the first prominent Islamic hospital was founded in Damascus, Syria in around 707 with assistance from Christians."

http://en.wikipedia....ospital#History


#85    Professor T

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:11 AM

View Postredhen, on 25 February 2013 - 02:58 AM, said:

The myth of a Muslim Scientific Golden Age is just that, a myth.

"The first physicians under Muslim rule were Christians or Jews.[24] One source indicates the first prominent Islamic hospital was founded in Damascus, Syria in around 707 with assistance from Christians."

http://en.wikipedia....ospital#History
Yep, answered with............

View PostProfessor T, on 24 February 2013 - 10:58 PM, said:

Oh but it is disingenuous.
The first hospitals in the world were built in Greese as far as I know, but more specifically the first that could be recognised as hospitals because they served that purpose alone were in islamic countries, and pre-dated the catholic church..

But in highlighting this and getting into a debate about hospitals and dis-assembling the propaganda in the video I would be missing the point of the OP which is Has religion made the world better? So I'll stop here.............. Except to say, that Religion takes credit where it is not due...



#86    redhen

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 03:21 AM

I'm not going to count up the good and bad from each religion, that would be tedious. I just gave my simple opinion.

It may all be moot. Religion seems to have been with us from the beginning going back to Göbekli Tepe12,000 years ago, and it will probably be with us til the end.


#87    eight bits

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 07:45 AM

Quote

Freetoroam, While Europe was floundering in the dark ages, Islam was in a golden age of Science.. thats a fact btw..

It's an interpretation. In your view, were the Indians and Persians, for example, not already engaged in arts and sciences? Islamic conquest made them what, in your opinion, better artists and scientists? Wonder why they fell behind so soon, then. What are your thoughts on the Byzantine Empire? That's not going to be in Europe anymore? Not Chrisitan enough for you?

I agree with your criticism of redhen's video, not because it is propaganda, but because it is lousy propaganda. To credit Bacon's teacher with "inventing the scientific method" is absurd - not "wrong," because as an interpetation it is safe from rightness or wrongness, but it's an absurd interpretation. Few sciences are "Baconian." Meteorology used to be, but even they have come a long way recently.

Good propaganda? Often that's propaganda in spite of itself, or even propaganda that backfires. Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is about the grinding poverty of the Dust Bowl Depression in the United States. It was made into an iconic film. Soviet authorities allowed few American films to be shown circa 1940 in the USSR, but they showed this one. Their reasoning could be lifted from Knight: See? Maybe we live in avoidable grinding self-inflicted poverty, but there was a time, not long ago, when Westerners lived worse than we did!

And why was that good propaganda? Because Russians and those they had conquered went to the cinema, and saw that poor American farm families, at the very depth of destitution, nevertheless owned their own trucks. Nobody in the audience did. It could not have been clearer that there never was a time when average Americans lived worse than average Soviets, just times when Americans lived better than Americans at other times. It's easy to confuse the two ideas.

Could there be good Christian propaganda, and especially propaganda contrasting how different religious beliefs might affect living conditions on Earth? Sure, and especially Catholic propaganda. Catholics, along with the Eastern Orthodox (whose former empire you have apparently decided wasn't in Europe at the time in question), view the purpose of human life as achieving union with God. Islam, as one translation of it holds, seeks submission to.

Does your mind's ear not hear the difference between the two phrases? Does the difference cash out in practice? Is there a Catholic humanist tradition? Not the euphemism for aggressive atheism, but the view that human beings are worthy, competent, and autonomous spiritual agents? Sure, inherent human depravity remedied by "submisson to Jesus" is a Protesant reading of the scriptures, and Protestants don't exist until centuries after any Islamic "golden age."

There are lots of criticism of Catholicism to be made, and I've made quite a few of them here. But in the long run, what drives societal outcomes is what the society thinks people are. In all places and at all times, Jews contribute to learning, science, commerce and culture, often despite severe persecution from their almost always far more numerous and envious neighbors. Runners up among the Abrahamics are Christians, who despite themselves and with a two-steps-forward-one-step-backwards gait, applied the humanism that is inherent and central in their faith. And then there's Islam.

Jews worship God standing on their feet. Christians worship on their knees. Muslim worship on their hands and knees. As it turns out, that's pretty much all you need to know to assess long-term relative average person-for-person contribution to human earthly well-being.

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#88    Frank Merton

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

I think it is widely thought in many schools of history that it was the conquest of North Africa (especially Egypt and the Levant -- technically not North Africa but in the same sweep) that lead to the real dark ages in Europe.  The earlier barbarian invasions had done a lot of harm, but at root they were just migrations that didn't upset settled urban patterns and replaced part of the Empire by a series of kingdoms.  Once Europe was cut off from papyrus and other critical Egyptian products, however, settled urban life entered serious collapse.

Ironic then that it is the two largest monotheistic religions (that have a jealous god) that brought about a millennial decline in Western progress.


#89    Professor T

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 08:28 AM

View Posteight bits, on 25 February 2013 - 07:45 AM, said:

It's an interpretation. In your view, were the Indians and Persians, for example, not already engaged in arts and sciences? Islamic conquest made them what, in your opinion, better artists and scientists? Wonder why they fell behind so soon, then. What are your thoughts on the Byzantine Empire? That's not going to be in Europe anymore? Not Chrisitan enough for you?
:lol: Yep it is an Interpretation, and admitably, I wrote that response wrong and should have written "Freetoroam, While Europe was floundering in the dark ages, Islamic nations were in a golden age of Science.. thats a fact btw.." because you have obviously mis-interpreted my post as a vote of support for islam, which I can safely say it wasn't..

This is exactly why I try to avoid religious debate, and have mostly done so up until now..
Why the interrogation? What nerve did my post hit? What perspective are you comming from by asking "Not Christian enough for you"?
Please, don't even bother answering these questions here in this thread, because I'm quite sure I know..

Let's not miss the point of the OP which is Has religion made the world better?...

Edited by Professor T, 25 February 2013 - 08:37 AM.


#90    eight bits

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

Professor T

Quote

because you have obviously mis-interpreted my post as a vote of support for islam, which I can safely say it wasn't..

I understood you just fine. I disagreed with you. There was only one "Islamic nation," at the time in question, Arabs. Every other nation who was governed according to Islam was "an Islamic nation" by coercion. Oh, wait a minute, so were the Arabs... well, no matter, because we're talking about places that were civilized at the time of their "conversion." Some of the non-Arab coerced places had advanced and productive civilizations before, during, and, at least for a time, after their conquest.

"Golden age" does not equal "inefficient even at assimilating the people they conquered."

Quote

because you have obviously mis-interpreted my post as a vote of support for islam, which I can safely say it wasn't..

It is none of my concern whether or not you support Islam. The question was "Did the Islamic Golden Age happen?" You instructed another poster that it did, and claimed that your view was a fact. No, it isn't a fact. It is, at best, a possible interpretation of events, and a controversial one. I hope that I showed something of why it is controversial.

Quote

Why the interrogation? What nerve did my post hit? What perspective are you comming from by asking "Not Christian enough for you"?

Why the fishing expedition? You're posting on a discussion board. You may expect your pontification to be met with others' interrogation. You not only stated your opinion, you corrected a fellow member of the community in the bargain, claiming that she had made an error of fact. She hadn't.

Do you want to answer my questions or not? If not, then any excuse is as good as another.

Quote

Let's not miss the point of the OP which is Has religion made the world better?...

"An Islamic Golden Age happened" facially asserts an affirmative answer to the poll question, that 25 or more generations ago, Islam did make the world better for a while. Discussing whether that is true, or even tenable, is on-topic here.

Edited by eight bits, 25 February 2013 - 09:28 AM.

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