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Old 01-29-2018, 12:05 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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Is Monotheism the Cause of Civilization As We Know It?

Civilization predates monotheism by several thousand years.

Sumer, Babylonia, Ancient Egypt, the ancient Greeks, and many other advanced civilizations all over the world were all polytheistic.

This isn't even debatable.
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Is Monotheism the Cause of Civilization As We Know It?

Civilization predates monotheism by several thousand years.

Sumer, Babylonia, Ancient Egypt, the ancient Greeks, and many other advanced civilizations all over the world were all polytheistic.

This isn't even debatable.
I think you're missing the point of what I bolded.
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Old 01-29-2018, 06:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Is Monotheism the Cause of Civilization As We Know It?

Civilization predates monotheism by several thousand years.

Sumer, Babylonia, Ancient Egypt, the ancient Greeks, and many other advanced civilizations all over the world were all polytheistic.

This isn't even debatable.
The OP subject includes the words "as we know it." Sodom and Gomorrah were civilizations; would you wan to live in either place?
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
The OP subject includes the words "as we know it." Sodom and Gomorrah were civilizations; would you wan to live in either place?
Well then in that case it's true by definition since the civilization "as we know it" includes monotheism.
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Old 01-29-2018, 08:59 AM
 
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World history major and religion minor.

Civilization came about at the hands of polytheism. Not that you would call Roman and Babylonian and Egyptian culture civilized by today's standards.

People were still rubbing sticks together when people worshipped animals. By the time they started worshiping gods we started getting big cities and agriculture and standing armies. This is to say that civilization developed along with religion, not that such usually caused it. Ancient Judaism and some other monotheistic faiths have done no more for civilization than any other religion, so it does not follow automatically that monotheism alone produces advances in civilization.

Post-temple, Judaism began to alter its focus. Originally, it was thought that the temple would be rebuilt right away. But... there are several things that need to happen for the temple to be re-established. First, the priest must bless the area, and second a sacerifice must be offered of a I think they called it a red heifer. Third, a specific are is a building site. There's problems with this. The Muslims have claimed that this is their sacred of sacred locations despite being from Mecca and Medina and this being complete crap, so Jews can't build on their own temple mount. Also, the Jews have been scattered by the Romans and other groups, so many times and wandered through so many lands that the priest's bloodline is no longer known, so they don't have a clear way of selecting the person. Finally, that particular sacrifice? Either mingled with other animals, evolved or died out in the time Jews lost their land. Because they would have to either reinvent these things (in the last case this would involve attempting to revisit the breeding that brought that particular animal), many Jews now believe in building a better world, that the temple will come as a blessing from God when that task is done. Because of this, they are the leaders in Nobel prize for many categories, notably science.

Christians have also had a fair impact on civilization. They helped spread Greek and Roman ideals like republic and democracy, as well as more advanced medicine to regions that had none. Despite all this hype about Christians being anti-science, this isn't really the case. Yes, there are lunatics that believe in a flat earth, but in order to have modern science we had to believe in the notion of a created world which God called us to be co-creators in, that to study the world is part of our calling.

Atheists talk a good game about how they are the ones who brought forth these advances. It wasn't so. Many of the best scientists had at least some religious outlook. What have atheists done? Well, they screwed up and bureacratized medicine so it is for-profit rather than for-treatment . They have made mainly political or useless studies, so as trying to prove being gay is genetic or that pets can mourn their owners. Or spending all of their time and effort trying to disprove God instead of doing, you know, real science, observation and repeated experiments. What have Christian scientists done?

Look it up. There is a list on wikipedia called List Of Christians In Science And Technology. I can't link because this Kindle wont copypaste.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:07 AM
 
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...and_technology
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Old 01-29-2018, 12:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by granpa View Post
But what they achieved was with science and technology, and in spite of their religion, not because of it.
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Old 01-30-2018, 04:48 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
The OP subject includes the words "as we know it." Sodom and Gomorrah were civilizations; would you wan to live in either place?
The antebellum South was a monotheistic civilization; would you want to live there?

Civilization 'as we know it' could be argued to only have evolved/emerged over the past 50-60 years. Monotheism has little to do with it. Greek/Roman ideals were more influential in the development of later civilizations than anything else.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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This is a trick question, though I'm not saying that was necessarily the intent of the OP.

Civilization as we know it is a culmination of all the various elements which were involved in its development. That includes the devolution of the Republican Roman into Imperial Rome. The divine right of kings. The Inquisition. Colonialism and the systematically destruction of native peoples. The United States as we know it was created, in part, by slavery. Japan as we know it was created, in part, by Imperial Japanese expansion.

The trick in the title is that it implies that these things were necessary for those developments - ie, to develop a civilization in general - and are thus good (or, at least, to be accepted as necessary) that we might live in a 21st-century type civilization. Of course, that is not so. Civilization has pinballed around a lot on its way here. It's undertaken and experienced a great many things that define the precise way it is but that were not necessary to get to the general level of civilization that we currently enjoy.

Finally, the 'cause' in the title is all wrong. Monotheism was a shaping element of modern civilization as we know it, not some sort of catalyst for it.
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Old 01-30-2018, 08:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TRANSPONDER View Post
But what they achieved was with science and technology, and in spite of their religion, not because of it.
That's a nice guess. But it doesn't hold up.

The people who had religion in this list falls into three categories:

  1. Those whose religion was only incidental (you'll see a few here that they don't bother to mention it, because while they attended regularly, and weren't vocal about how the church was bad or something, it didn't seem to be a big part of things). You don't tend to find many of these prior to about the late 18th or early 19th century. What this tells me is that science was once considered a subset of religion, and possibly the church acted as a sort of "review board". In fact, Albertus Magnus is named the "patron saint of scientists." If science and religion were really mutually exclusive, explain to me how there could be such a thing. There couldn't.
  2. Those who had contributions in both science and religion. For example: Blaise Pascal (who contributed to science, math, and theology), Isaac Newton (made contributions to gravity, also privately was a Rapture nut), Stephen Hales (designed a type of ventilation system, a means to distill sea-water, ways to preserve meat, etc. Also an Anglican curate (curate is a rank of priesthood)), Michael Faraday (church elder, discussed relationship of science to religion, also a number of things to do with electromagnetism), Mendel (father of genetics, also preached an apparently famous sermon about Christ's appearance on Easter as a priest)
  3. Those whose faith bolstered their science and vice versa. For example: Robert Boyle (who argued that the study of science could improve glorification of God, and perhaps you've heard about him in chemistry class) and here's another one Georges Lemaître (creator of the Big Bang theory, whose theory was based on the creation)
There are people here who were the first to split atoms (Ernest Walton), people who made strides in genetics (mentioned some of them already, but there are more), people who invented the laser (Arthur Leonard Schawlow), people who invented scientific or mathematical constants (Boyle's law, Planck's constant, etc.), medicine (had a transplant? Thank Joseph Murray who helped set up transplant surgery, or how about Ben Carson neurosurgeon who separated conjoined twins at the head (the very same who was a presidential candidate)), and all sorts of things that made the world what it is today (Fred Brooks: IBM OS/360, Raymond Vahan Damadian: the MRI machine, Larry Wall: Perl programming language).

But by all means, I'm sure you're right, religion was a handicap they struggled to overcome.

It might also interest you to know that not only are religion and science not mutually exclusive but creation and evolution are not either. Denis Lamoureux wrote papers on evolutionary creationism. Just because there are fringe types that don't believe in science does not mean that anyone who is a science major is somehow tainted by it.

Last edited by bulmabriefs144; 01-30-2018 at 08:40 AM..
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