Serious question. My girlfriend got in an argument with me, saying that the church's existence has been an overall net negative. I think that isn't quite right, but she cites that the church made people pay to go to heaven, has hindered, and still hinders the progression of science and technology, and uses its wealth to collect artwork and build fancy cathedrals. How would you argue against this?
Please be nice.
>and uses its wealth to collect artwork and build fancy cathedrals
I fucking hate this meme
We're quite lucky a bunch of silly christian monks decided to try and save all they did during the dark ages. At least someone was thinking about the future, and not just grabbing as much Roman land as possible.
>The church made people pay to go to heaven
And then they took that money and reinvested it in the community. The church might have been greedy, but it certainly wasn't stingy. Besides that, it's not like the excess wealth that a farmer generated back in the day could have been used for much of anything.
Also, keep in mind that artwork requires artists and appraisers and curators, and that cathedrals require individuals to be employed to build them. Even if you argue that they were spending money on extravagant things, those extravagant things would have created jobs and opportunity for people to live better and more fulfilling lives.
I'm not saying it's the most efficient way to do it, but it's certianly better than doing tn
The fact it's was a essential for the "enlightenment"?
Regardless of what ever criticisms one has about the church or even the enlightenment itself, secular kings or lords, heathen tribes, and in general any and all intellectualism itself(see Ancient Greece) had no reasoning to give a single fuck about those outside its own sphere of family, peers or tribe, making slavery, gladiators fighting and even genocide perfectly reasonable, even admirable things.
Without it and the cultural values it had passed on, even unto secularists, the greatest criticism your girlfriend would have about past mistakes or practices, would be her tribe or people didn't think of it first.
It's actually how modern science came to be. Hard to believe, but rudimentary forms of the scientific method had been kicking around within the church since the early middle ages. Although the church and science clash more later, really it was the guys who knew how to read that were starting to figure things out, and what they did early on was the basis for future science.
Mendel was a priest.
>We're quite lucky a bunch of silly christian monks decided to try and save all they did during the dark ages
Wait, would the silly christian monks have to save all they can if dark ages din't happen due to religions by then?
everyone was a priest or religious back then
[spoiler]except those francmasons, of course. pesky little francmasons inventing the dictionary, humph[/spoiler]
it's not that the Catholic Apostolic Church was negative or positive to civilization, it just acted like the framing background. a world without christians would look totally different
An economically dominant group or class always needs a system of final and absolute truth, which forms the global ideological base and provides the moral/rational justification of its rule.
It is well known that Christianity was patched together from the elements of the idealist philosophy of Plato and the primitive Jewish myths and folklores that found resonance with Greeko-Roman expansion.
>The dark ages had nothing to do with religion
Were people in the Dark ages religious?
Were they anticipating the rapture in the near future?
Did they see any need to improve a sinful fallen world before Christs return?
She dropped almost all of the fedora memes
I'll just respond to the science thing with this:
Not to mention that the Church was pretty much The patron of science - Kings did not care unless it made them richer or stronger
The Church never made anyone pay to go to heaven - that's not even a strawman of selling indulgences, which is what she could only be referring to
Those Cathedrals were built by the people of the cities in which they lived. Aside from their liturgical function they were a place where the community gathered (think St. Mark's square for example). The Cathedrals were a piece of pride for a city and they competed with each other to build them more grand and more beautiful. They were very good for the economy and made everyone happy.
I'm sorry OP but your girlfriend is an idiot and should get back to the hearth.
Oh and - pic related - that's Georges Lemaitre - the guy who formulated the Big Bang. Notice the collar?
>contrived blanket shoehorn is supposed to be taken as well known historical citation.
This is /his/, not /pol/, not /r/atheism, religion may or may not have been a contributing factor to the Dark Ages, it may even have prevented further damage, but summing up the entire event to it alone, is disegenous, and beneath the discussion of /his/.
Take your agenda pushing elsewhere.
Churches have done much that deserves censure, but on the other hand, for centuries the Christian and Muslim churches in the West and Near East were the centers of learning, repositories of earlier Roman and Greek works, developments in things like astronomy and mathematics, and much more besides.
If it's an answer of what good the church has done, get this book for her. Or have her watch this series:
If it's to refute these charges, go look up something on catholic answers. I mean the Church is the biggest charity in the world, bitching because they don't give even more to poor people instead of building beautiful building seems petty.
You are so ignorant of History, you do not realize how powerful religion and the church were in the dark ages.
Before the modern period, religion was not a separate activity, it permeated all human undertakings, including economics, state-building, politics and warfare.
It wasnt til the end of the thirty years wars (wars of religion) that the concept of an imperial roman empire came to an end, and the rise of secular thinking let to scientific and economic growth unprecedented during the centuries of religious dominance.
>the church made people pay to go to heaven,
This is simply false. The church did sell "indulgences" at one point, but that was a means of allowing people to sacrifice money as a form of penance. It was penance for sins which helped people get into heaven, by reconciling them with God via personal sacrifice.
>has hindered, and still hinders the progression of science and technology,
After the collapse of the Western Roman empire the church was the primary force maintaining the western intellectual tradition. Classical works on reason and philosophy (which became the basis for the sciences) were preserved, copied, and spread by religious orders long before they were "rediscovered" by renaissance scholars. In fact, most of those scholars were educated in institutions chartered by the church. (For example: Galileo was educated in a Monastery, and taught at Universities chartered by the Pope)
>and uses its wealth to collect artwork and build fancy cathedrals.
The Church isn't always forthcoming on the details of it's finances, but when forced to divulge them in U.S. court cases, church documents showed that over 85% of the Church's budget in the U.S. was spent on healthcare and education.
Also, as an institution, the church has been focused on preserving western culture since Rome fell in the 5th century. Art and architecture are part of culture and are worth preserving, so the essence of the complaint is itself a canard.
>and uses its wealth to collect artwork and build fancy cathedrals.
Also since I'm assuming your gf is a university student, the annual revenue of Vatican City is about the same as a mid-sized university. Have her look up where she went to college and compare their revenue with the Vatican's. Then tell her to STFU.
You could argue very easily that half the missionary work should be counted against the church. Going to a 3rd world and keeping the most useless members of society alive doesn't do anything but make more useless people breed. Furthermore since it involves money leaving your own country and going to another country it's actually directly harmful.
Charity work, unless done in very specific ways, is the dumbest use for money ever.
So different, and yet... how different?
Humanity has always followed a pattern of ways to worship, be it gods, kings or even petty nobles.
How truly different would the world be had say, the druids, taken over as the dominant religious sect of europe?
I never said Relgion wasn't a huge facet of life for people historically, your putting words in my mouth.
More importantly, that still does not address said statement that "Relgion caused the dark ages" as well as why both pre and immediately post Dark Ages, people were just as equally as religious yet the time period passed.
And it was the industrial revolution that lead to the explosion of economic and scientific power. Nothing singularity inherent of "secular thinking" that hasn't shown up in history before, without said "unprecedence" showing up.
>that still does not address said statement that "Relgion caused the dark ages"
I addressed that in my first post. People were more concerned with their souls and heaven than improving the world. That is why the roman roads and plumbing fell into disrepair.
Pre Dark ages, the Roman elite used greek scientific reason to build the empire, not prayers.
Its quite simple, do you pray for your car to start, or do you turn on the ignition.
That, is the difference between people in the dark ages and modern society.
Churches and christianity in general unified tons of people that otherwise would have believed in almost anything before christianity showed up.
Religions before christianity were a dime a dozen and it was a crapshoot on what their beliefs and moral systems were.
very different, to the point of an alternative Earth even
without Christianity there's no Constantine, withouth Constantine there's no Rome fall (and moving to Constantinople), without christian conversion there's no modern Euro countries by fusing old roman and "barbarians" such as franks, goths, visigoths, saxons, etc., without those there might or not be a Muhhamed, without Muhhamed there's no Crusades, without losing the Crusades there's no Columbus, and so on
holy shit kid
grow the fuck up
Rome was a superstitious shithole, that is the entire purpose of Plato addressing the masses.
People walking around, making the most insane bible belt fundamentalist, look like Richard Dawkins, muttering praises to pantheons of gods for every building they pass, throwing food away for every arbitrary reason when asking the gods, believing that monsters really were stalking them cause of the gods, just read the book.
This was Rome, Greece, already growing of its power, it wasn't a reasonable place, yet you hold it up as this somehow a contrast when everybody all of s sudden, became super religious then the dark ages happened.
If what you said was true, Rome should have never rose, what you have is a historical hypothesis you yourself proposed.
I said the roman elite used greek science to make their empire, I also said the elite use religion to control the masses.
The problem with the Dark ages was the elite were illiterate barbarians who had instead become controlled by the church.
>no fall of rome without constantine
Are you joking? Like, seriously? You think the fall of rome falls completely on the shoulders of constantine as a proponent of christianity?
Well i politely disagree with yours and Gibbon's arguments on this matter.
>Dark Ages meme
>hurr durr it was caused by Christianity
The "Dark Ages" if you can call them that was just the general period of political fragmentation caused by the fall of the Roman Empire, and was not especially worse than any other place at the time. How about you look at actual contributing reasons to why European society fragmented?
>Economic shift to East because of political instability
Hell the "Dark Ages" only apply to Western Europe because during this time the Byzantine and Islamic world was thriving.
Blaming Christianity or religion is laughable and will accordingly get you laughed at by any serious historian.
Not to mention that to lump the entire Middle Ages into the Dark Ages is ridiculous. The Dark Ages were from 400 AD (fall of Rome)-Charlemagne.
So let me understand.
The elite used Relgion to control the masses, the Relgion of which priests were elected officials/political leaders as well as elites themselves, of which then caused the dark ages.
>The Dark Ages were from 400 AD (fall of Rome)-Charlemagne.
Everyone has a different opinion on when the dark ages ended, Charlemagne indeed brought a brief Renaissance but this ended with the collapse of his dynasty.
The Dark ages ended in the 12th century in some places and the 19th century in others (Spain)
>Without Constantine there is no Rome fall
Hehehehehe you know that Rome was almost entirely a symbol by the time of Constantine and served no strategic or even economic interest right?
Hell we don't even need to go all the way to the 300s AD to see Rome's decline as the center of the Empire. Rome had lost it's title as center of the empire during the Roman empires zenith under the 5 good emperors.
The true economic and political heart of the mid-late Roman empire was always in the East.
>Going to a 3rd world and keeping the most useless members of society alive doesn't do anything but make more useless people breed.
Can we stop this meme.
The more that third world children die, the more children third world people will have to make up for those deaths.
Until the 1600s/1700s, it was the unifying force of Western society and the motivation to do and build great things.
>Rome, perhaps the most legendary ancient military Empire in history, known for its vast military conquests of other people and nations, brought to their knees by barbarians
No anon, something happened to Rome, as it happens to all great civilizations, it was not JUST Relgion that left the gaping hole in history known as the Dark Ages...
My hypothesis is a loose generational cycle brought on by living conditions.
Third world countries generally have larger families with shorter lifespans. Developed western countries have smaller families with larger lifespans.
The decline of science and art in the Roman Empire predates the rise of Christianity, the Fayum mummy portraits, for example, ceased to exist somewhere in the 3rd century. What caused the Dark ages was the collapse of the Roman Empire, which also began before Christianity became influential, during the Crisis of the Third Century.
It could be argued that Christianity prevented Greek and Roman knowledge from disappearing completely, it was thanks to monks, specially in places like Ireland, which weren't part of the Roman Empire and therefore weren't affected by the collapse, that so many writings survived. When Charlemage decided to revive classical learning in the 8th century, he went after teachers in Ireland, for example.
Besides, unlike most people believe, the Catholic Church wasn't particularly powerful for much of the "Dark Ages". From 400AD to 750AD, the Pope was merely the Bishop of Rome, a vassal of the Byzantine Empire, selected by the Exarch of Ravenna. It was only during the Carolingian period that the Church gained power thanks to their association with the Frankish ruling dynasty, and that is the period known as the Carolingian renaissance, it collapsed after the death of Charlemagne though, and the Church declined again, during the 9th century the Papacy was merely a plaything of Roman noble families and priests and bishops were appointed by local aristocrats. It was the Investiture Controversy that changed that, and put the Church in a prominent position again, from that position, they could found universities and help start the Renaissance of the 12th century, which began pulling Europe out of the mud.
It's funny to see so many progressives and SJWs criticizing the Church, because they were basically the SJWs to the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. While nobles were always fighting and killing each other and peasants, the Church was advocating pacifism, central organization of society under a religious doctrine, the universal brotherhood of man. Without that role, it's hard to imagine Europe recovering from the collapse of civil authority after the fall of Rome. In many cities and regions, once the magistrates were gone, the Bishops were the only ones between the cities and anarchy.
> the Church was advocating pacifism, central organization of society under a religious doctrine, the universal brotherhood of man.
Konrad, after receiving a commission from the Archbishop of Mainz, also set to work seeking out heresy in both Thuringia and Hesse, and quickly gained a reputation for being unreasonable and unjust. According to most accounts, Konrad accepted almost any accusation as true, and regarded suspects as guilty until proven innocent. Those accused of being heretics were quickly sought out by Konrad's mobs, and told to repent or else be burnt at the stake. Those accused of heresy were also encouraged to denounce others, with the implication that their own lives might be spared if they did so. Konrad included commoners, nobles and priests in his inquisition: Heinrich Minnike, Provost of Goslar, was one of Konrad's first targets, and was burnt at the stake. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX commissioned Konrad to eliminate heresy throughout the whole of Germany, granting him permission to ignore standard church procedure for the investigation of heresy. According to many sources, news that Konrad was to pass through an area almost invariably caused widespread panic.
I can attest to something analogous for this in terms of mathematics
in western mathematics, the fact that mathematical rules could be found demonstrated in the universe was seen as a sort of proof and sign of god, a beautiful mark of his direct action, so to research and understand math was to try to understand the glory of god further
I think that's kind of pointless to say
yes humanity as a whole moves towards knowledge and improvement of civilization over time in whatever strictures, but the church did act as central authority of sorts and bearer of that standard
to deride them (even if you say it isn't a negative remark) by saying "but it could've been different" means literally nothing, because it wasn't. they did fund research, even if only by making secluded semi-independent communes that have preservation of knowledge as a tenet of their religion
In that case it really shows that charity work there is no better than burning money. As you said they can replenish their own population. Maybe burning money would be slightly better, it would at least be highly entertaining. If had any concern for the children of Nigeria I would be a liberal talking about the evil institution of boarders.
>that the church made people pay to go to heaven, has hindered, and still hinders the progression of science and technology, and uses its wealth to collect artwork and build fancy cathedrals
you dont you stupid faggot. you argue what the church does that isnt complete shit and argue that there's a net positive when weighed against above points. jesus christ leave it to some churchfag to not understand a basic cost/benefit analysis
Christianity by itself isn't particularly influential, except it facilitated the "unification" of Europe and sorta led to the creation of the printing press. Add in the tradition of clergy-scholars, especially Jesuits, and it becomes apparent that Christians have overwhelmingly improved the quality of life on Earth.
>they did fund research, even if only by making secluded semi-independent communes that have preservation of knowledge as a tenet of their religion
and if they didn't maybe some other mecenas would fund it, if he was visionary enough
i just think we can ignore the frame and go for the details because it's useless by now to deny or to support christianity as a major influence in Europe's growth. they were just there, what else was?
maybe it isn't christianity's direct responsibility but Diocletian splitting the empire was the last nail in Rome's coffin. or if you'd like, the first one. would that had happened if Constantine didn't want to move closer to Near East?
The Big Bang was not "invented" by Lemaitre, in fact what he proposed was solar creationism.
The Big Bang theory isn't even considered correct anymore. A version of Steady State is universally accepted.
I think a better question is what science has it supported when it was in control. Nowadays it has to accept everything really.
The answer is, all science that did not threaten the official story.