[FoRK] Science, Magic, and Religion, was: Re: Absolutely shocking... Ray Comfort manages a (mostly) sane answer?

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Apr 9 19:16:22 PDT 2010

On 4/9/10 12:24 PM, Jeff Bone wrote:
> ...
>    http://www.scienceforums.net/forum/showthread.php?t=50812
> 10. Imagine, for a moment, a world where religion never existed, for whatever reason. Its citizens go about their lives having never heard of any religion. In your mind, what would the world be like -- worse, better? Why?
> [Ray's supposed answer: ]  I think that a world without religion would be a much better world. Imagine no 911. Imagine no terror-threats from Islam. No suicide bombs. Imagine no pedophile priests or money-hungry televangelists. Imagine no Roman Catholic Crusades against innocent people or torturous Inquisitions against those who denied their religion. Imagine no religious nuts carrying signs at soldiers funerals saying that it’s good that they died or that “God hates fags.” Imagine no religious hypocrisy, and no trail of human blood down through history through the mass of religious wars. No witch burnings, no hindrances to science . . . imagine.
> Man has always used religion for his own political or economic gain. Hitler did it. America does it. Iran does it. The Pharisees in the time of Christ did it.
> Religion is a very grimy and murky bathwater, and those who don’t look carefully can easily miss the baby. A world without religion…how wonderful that would be. May God hasten the day.


However, it was probably necessary to get to the modern mindset from the 
millennia of dreck we had to get through one way or another.
The class referenced below is excellent.  I've been listening to it 
while I program some image matching algorithms.  She makes the point 
that it was the co-opting of various forms of logic, mysticism, and 
philosophy (natural and otherwise), along with monotheism itself, that 
supported the path from antiquity to modern scientific thinking.

I've not seen this covered in this way anywhere.  Very interesting in 
many ways.


Science, Magic, and Religion
Courtenay Raia
Course Description

Professor Courtenay Raia lectures on science and religion as historical 
phenomena that have evolved over time. She examines the earlier mind-set 
before 1700 when into science fitted elements that came eventually to be 
seen as magical. The course also question how Western cosmologies became 
"disenchanted." Magical tradition transformed into modern mysticisms is 
also examined as well as the political implications of these movements. 
Includes discussion concerning science in totalitarian settings as well 
as "big science" during the Cold War.

    1. Course Introduction: Science, Magic, and Religion Lecture favorites
       Lecture 1 - Course Introduction: Science, Magic, and Religion

    2. Greek Mysticism and Rationality Lecture favorites
       Lecture 2 - Greek Mysticism and Rationality

    3. The Patristic Period Lecture favorites
       Lecture 3 - The Patristic Period

    4. The Witch Craze Lecture favorites
       Lecture 4 - The Witch Craze

    5. Reformation and Revolution Lecture favorites
       Lecture 5 - Reformation and Revolution

    6. 17th Century Thought Lecture favorites
       Lecture 6 - 17th Century Thought

    7. Newton and the Enlightenment Lecture favorites
       Lecture 7 - Newton and the Enlightenment

    8. Mechanical Philosophy Lecture favorites
       Lecture 8 - Mechanical Philosophy

    9. Religion, Regicide, and Revolution Lecture favorites
       Lecture 9 - Religion, Regicide, and Revolution

   10. Nature and Romanticism Lecture favorites
       Lecture 10 - Nature and Romanticism

   11. Darwin and Science Lecture favorites
       Lecture 11 - Darwin and Science

   12. Romanticism and Spiritualism Lecture favorites
       Lecture 12 - Romanticism and Spiritualism

   13. Psychical Research Lecture favorites
       Lecture 13 - Psychical Research

   14. Human Sciences and Freud Lecture favorites
       Lecture 14 - Human Sciences and Freud

   15. Gnostic Revival Lecture favorites
       Lecture 15 - Gnostic Revival

   16. 20th Century Physics Lecture favorites
       Lecture 16 - 20th Century Physics

   17. Quantum Mechanics Lecture favorites
       Lecture 17 - Quantum Mechanics

   18. Spiritualism in the New Age Lecture favorites
       Lecture 18 - Spiritualism in the New Age

   19. Final Lecture: Science, Magic, and Religion Lecture favorites
       Lecture 19 - Final Lecture: Science, Magic, and Religion


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