molok69
 
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 05:44 pm
Religion is like a `mental virus` that infects the human mind! I don`t see any positive effects from it, and think it must be eradicated from the face of the earth as soon as possible! It is only slowing down the evolution of consciousness! Any thought`s?
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Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 05:48 pm
@molok69,
You're talking about something pretty diverse when you use the word "religion".

Would you ask Native Americans to give up their traditions that believe that animals are invested with spirits, and that animals should be thanked for giving their bodies to our use?

Would you shut down every missionary hospital in every poor country on earth?

Would you close down all the homeless shelters and soup kitchens?

Would you go to the family of a dying child and read them some passage from Sartre about the meaninglessness of life?
molok69
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:13 pm
@Aedes,
I respect my ancestors beliefs, but do not share them, I don`t believe that Thor creates lightning with his hammer.

Yes, I would ask the Native American that!
But Islam and Christianity are the biggest outbreaks of the virus!

No, just remove the religious part!

No, nothing wrong in good deeds, only religion!

No, there are other alternatives than Sartre!
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:19 pm
@molok69,
I wonder if belief in the 'evolution of consciousness' could consitute a form of religion.
molok69
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:27 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
I wonder if belief in the 'evolution of consciousness' could consitute
a form of religion.

I see your point!

But I think the development
of new thoughts and ideas contribute to an `evolution of consciousness` or what to call it!

I see some positive effects of religion in the past, but not much in the future!

Sorry! some spellcheckproblems!
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 06:54 pm
@molok69,
O.K. Molok. But, the very first industrial revolutions happened in nations or countries that were predominantly Christian. It doesn't seem as if religion in these initial revolutions acted as any kind of stumbling block so, why do we need to rid ourselves of religion if it is such a fact that religion didn't retard such progress before?

What do you say to that?
molok69
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 07:19 pm
@Pythagorean,
It`s hard for me to answer that without some `pseudophilosophy`!

The industrial revolutions where no result of religions itself, but by the conscious mind and it`s level of knowledge and intelligence. As I see it, religion is based upon knowledge and beliefs of the past, and that future knowledge and technology requires a more open minded, `truth` based way of thought processing.

For the most optimal progress of intelligence, I think there is no room for religious indoctrination!

And do we know how the world would have developed if religion did not exist earlier?
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 07:40 pm
@molok69,
Molok, I have to wonder if religion is part of that development you speak of, and if so, why must it be torn down? Religion has changed over time.

Also, I'm not so sure religion is necessarily close minded. Sure, there are some who are close minded about their religious views, but there are also some people closed minded about whether or not Joe Montana was the best quarterback ever. Just because some people are close minded doesn't mean all people who are religious or football fans are close minded. The Dalai Lama has said if science ever contradicts Buddhist teaching, go with the science. Christian churches have also changed a great deal, especially with the liberalization we've seen in the past 50 years.

Quote:
For the most optimal progress of intelligence, I think there is no room for religious indoctrination!


Indoctrination, I agree, can be dangerous, but I'm not sure what the danger is if we teach religion, or if some people find value in those teachings.
0 Replies
 
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 07:40 pm
@molok69,
Molok69,

The industrial revolutions were not made by religious thought or religious thinking, I agree. But the industrial beginnings took root within societies that were relgious. My question is, then, whether or not a society can even exist without some sort of humane or humanistic doctrine that supplies a framework that unifies societies and provides common rules for ethics and the like? After all we are not robots we are human and require (non-mechanical) standards in order to make agreements and live peaceably with one another.

I would also remind that there never existed a society that was atheistic (except the old Soviet Union which ended in failure).

So, I would argue that we first require a human environment (and whether or not this environment should rest upon religious principles I am not certain but I am certain that we are human and not robots!) and from there we can make technological progress.

That's my proposal, what say you to that?
0 Replies
 
ogden
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 08:35 pm
@molok69,
Molok, I see your point. Religion seems like a throwback to ritualistic supersticious times, and humans should set aside superstitions and embrace a more anylitical view of things. Religon, followed by culture (nationalism), and race, seem to be the primary justifications for terrible cruelty throughout history and still today.

It would be dificult though to look back at history and not see the positive contributions religion has had on mankind. Religious law predates common law (as a usefull social governor). Religious monastaries were the centers for learning and thinking throuought the dark ages. Many sciences of today stem directly out of these centers, not to mention religious art. So religion is a vital, in-expungable, part of who we are and where we came from.

I personally make a clean break from religion so as not to condone by association the horific deeds justified in religions name. Still, each one of us has the right to ascribe value, and who am I to say religion is not helpfull to them.

I think the danger is when we mistake beliefs for facts and in so doing discontinue the serch for truth, or when we take an exaulted view of ouselves and thereby de-value others and the environment.

Sorry for the long post:eek:.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Jan, 2008 08:52 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
O.K. Molok. But, the very first industrial revolutions happened in nations or countries that were predominantly Christian. It doesn't seem as if religion in these initial revolutions acted as any kind of stumbling block so, why do we need to rid ourselves of religion if it is such a fact that religion didn't retard such progress before?

What do you say to that?

Well, I'm not so sure that Christianity wasn't a stumbling block. Most technological advances in Europe happened only after the Reformation and Enlightenment took hold and the Church was pushed away.

The politicization of Christianity delayed "progress" in many aspects of European intellectual development for centuries. Look at how rigidly and dogmatically ancient thinkers like Plato, Aristotle, Ptolemy, and Galen were incorporated into European thought. Especially Aristotle -- was his contribution to philosophy, great though it was, worth an 1800 year hiatus until we could get a Descartes, the first European philosopher in all that time to break away from him? The problem was that the intellectual liberalism of antiquity (relatively speaking, of course), was lost when ancient thinkers became subsumed by Christian theology -- because departure from Christian orthodoxy in medieval Europe was anathema from the universities to the courts. So when did progress really happen? After the society rubbed its bleary eyes in the Renaissance and realized that there was an ancient past worth rediscovering, when ideas were transmitted to Europe through Islam, and certainly after the reformation when the supremacy of the Church fell apart.

By contrast, look at the Islamic world during that time -- even during the dark ages and early middle ages in the 8th - 12th centuries. Much greater advances in mathematics, astronomy, and medicine in the Islamic world than in the Christian world. That's not to mention the technological advances of China that shocked Marco Polo when he arrived, and the great astronomical advances of the Mesoamerican societies.


As for how to shed this virus of religion, all I can really say is this is happening, and it's happening at the only pace that societies can tolerate. Rapid cultural revolutions based on ideology (including atheistic ideologies) have been attempted by such illustrious people as the Khmer Rouge, the Nazis, and the Soviets. Marx and his biggest fanboy Lenin thought that Communism was so inevitable that society would just galvanize itself into that. But a lot of people have to die in these experiments. So you just can't force this to happen. Look how far we've come, though -- the "mental virus" proposition is something that would have gotten you burned alive a few hundred years ago (except that viruses hadn't been discovered yet). We're not only able to criticize or reject religion, but we're able to malign it.

The problem is that our country's leadership wears religion on its sleeve (and I'm not solely referring to the president, because everyone seems to pander to religion). This validates religion and all the skepticism of science and all the moral policy it contains.

I fear, however, that our progress is not inevitably going to lead to a happier, more enlightened time. We're outgrowing ourselves and polluting ourselves, and we're ridiculously vulnerable to epidemics. At some point there will be disasters that beat back population, beat back our economic luxuries (including technology), and we're not going to be so self-celebratory.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2008 02:51 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes,


Both the British and the American industrial revolutions took place on Christian soil, as opposed to, say, Indian soil. Most of the revolutionary inventions were made by men who were Christian. (James Watt who invented the steam engine in England was a Quaker.) Reformed Christianity is still Christianity. I would even argue that reformed Christianity (meaning purer Christianity) was a necessary condition for the advent of these industrial and cumulative knowledge based revolutions.

Mozlem nations didn't have cumulative and progressive industrial societies until the 20th Century. And the same goes for China. Japan is the exception.

So I must stand by my original statement that Christianity did not effectively hinder the very first progressive and cumulative industrial revolutions (all being Christian societies except Japan). On the contrary, it was something like the famous 'protestant ethic' which made them possible.

Having said that, I certaintly wouldn't deny that there have been and continue to be tensions between Christianity and science, the house imprisonment of Gallileo in Italy being the common example of this tension.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2008 02:57 pm
@molok69,
I think you've missed the point I was making, which was that ingenuity in Christian societies lagged considerably behind non-Christian societies until the Church was forced to withdraw from public life (at least from the way it was in medieval times). It wasn't until the Renaissance that Europe even approached contemporary Muslim countries for scientific scholarship, and in part this was due to a contemporaneous decline in the Muslim world (due mainly to internal fighting). And it wasn't until the Enlightenment that technology and scholarship really took off in Europe, leading ultimately to industrialization. What characterizes the Renaissance and Enlightenment more than the decentralization of the Church?
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jan, 2008 04:13 pm
@Aedes,
Those are good points, and you write a clear history. I guess I would disagree somewhat.

The older Muzlem and Sinic and classical societies may have achieved a great deal of scientific understanding (as well as philosophic speculative achievements) but it wasn't cumulative so it doesn't count if we are considering whether or not religion needs to be in a recess for cumulative technological, Historical progress (evolution of consciousness etc).

And the decentralization of the church was the result of a religious movement or awakening itself so, the church I would argue withdrew only because of religious demands, ironically, which were contemperaneous with technological Historical progress. I don't think it's reasonable to seperate the essentially perfervid Christian religious Reformation from the Enlightenment or from the later industrialization of Western society.

I basically view the initial scholarship and the following industrial revolutions as being dependent upon the essential Christianity. I don't believe that such a cumulative Historical growth in knowledge would have happened elsewhere outside of a Christian society --ever.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2008 12:20 am
@molok69,
Aside from the other issues we've raised, what about Christian society do you think is responsible for this growth? Do you think that if the Muslims had conquered all of Europe after invading Spain and after the fall of Byzantium, and that Christianity basically disappeared from Europe, that industrialization would have never happened?

And if you do think that it must have been the fact that it was a Christian society, are there particular aspects of the society that you hold responsible? Or do you think there is a divine explanation?

I have to protest vehemently if you think there is something unique to Christianity about this most recent epoch of progress in the world, and my protest is on several grounds:

1. There is no way to prove that the occurrence of industrialization in Christian societies is in any way dependent or even related to the religion -- this is an uncontrolled, retrospective analysis. It may be that Christianity deeply hindered progress, in fact, and were these same regions a different religion, perhaps we would have gone to the moon 200 years ago. Yes, Christianity was there; but is it causal?? There is no way to prove it one way or the other, and given the tremendous conservatism of medieval European intellectualism, and the overwhelming emphasis on theology in European universities, it's more likely that religion was a hindrance and not a help.

2. Geography and demography probably have far more to do with industrialization than did religion. Some of the most important technological advancements in Europe were in navigation and astronomy. It so happens that Europe has the largest coastline to landmass ratio of any region in the world, and it also happens that in the late Middle Ages, and particularly towards the end of the Crusades, port cities on the Italian peninsula (esp Venice) had become fabulously wealthy by virtue of their involvement in the Crusades. Northern Italy also had some of the great universities of Europe at the time.

By contrast, look at Africa. This is a continent in which sedentary societies were rarely possible because of malaria and sleeping sickness, and believe it or not elephants (which rampaged through any attempts at agriculture). There were some great city states and civilizations in ancient Africa, like Axum, Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Great Zimbabwe, and some major centers of learning (esp Timbuktu and Gao), but these actually collapsed in large part due to navigation in Europe (which made the trans-Saharan trade much less profitable). Africa has the smallest coastline to landmass ratio of any continent on earth, plus the Sahara constitutes an immense geographic barrier (I know, I've been there...) so there were never any advances in navigation (which was central to the pre-industrial technological advances). Eventually Africa became completely bypassed as Europeans took more interest in India and China. So the lack of industrialization in Africa wasn't due to an inherent cultural or cognitive inferiority, or the lack of Christianity. It was simply that geography prevented them from having the sedentary, agrarian societies that made population growth and ingenuity possible. (Africa, incidentally, is still very underpopulated -- it has only 800 million people despite being the second largest continent on earth).

3. I say this kindly, but it's highly elitist to give Christianity the credit for industrialization. Let's not overlook the pogroms, Crusades (which were wholly initiated by Christians for sketchy political and economic reasons), Church corruption, and the Inquisition. These things are all directly tied to the fact that this society was Christian; industrialization was not.

4. The industrial revolution did not primarily happen in Europe. It happened in the United States. And it might never have been possible without slavery, which in the early 19th century was a major economic boon for the US. (By the time of the Civil War slavery had become a major economic hurdle for the US).

So does Christianity itself really deserve credit for industrialization? I don't think that argument can be made. Yes, it was a Christian society, but whether that was beneficial, neutral, or deleterious is not crystal clear from history -- and I think the evidence points towards the deleterious.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2008 03:55 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes wrote:


Aside from the other issues we've raised, what about Christian society do you think is responsible for this growth? Do you think that if the Muslims had conquered all of Europe after invading Spain and after the fall of Byzantium, and that Christianity basically disappeared from Europe, that industrialization would have never happened?

And if you do think that it must have been the fact that it was a Christian society, are there particular aspects of the society that you hold responsible? Or do you think there is a divine explanation?




As far as your question whether industrialization would ever have happened if the pre-industrial history of Europe had been different I cannot say with certainty. I do believe, however, that, had not Christian societies initialized industrialization that it would have taken place much later at best.

As for your second question from the quote above, yes, I believe that there are certain aspects of those Christian societies that were necessary for industrialization to commence. As for part two of that question, whether it was something 'divine' that allowed Christianity or Christian nations to develop thusly, the most direct answer I can give is no.

Quote:


4. The industrial revolution did not primarily happen in Europe. It happened in the United States. And it might never have been possible without slavery, which in the early 19th century was a major economic boon for the US. (By the time of the Civil War slavery had become a major economic hurdle for the US).


The first true industrial revolution took place in England c. 1750-1850.

--------------

Here is an aricle whose contents I believe are accurate and reliable.

Christianity and the Rise of Science

Scroll down just a little for the contents which are followed by the text. The article is easy to read yet packed with information. I assure you it is worth the short amount of time it takes to read (its not very lengthy).
molok69
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2008 08:44 pm
@Pythagorean,
Let me point out that I think everyone is entitled to believe whatever they `want`. But `organized` religion may have such a strong psychological effect upon the human psyche, that the `victim` cannot imagine an alternative and/or better way of seeing things.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Jan, 2008 09:48 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
yes, I believe that there are certain aspects of those Christian societies that were necessary for industrialization to commence.

That's not really addressing my question. The question, put differently, is were these aspects so specific for Christianity that you cannot attribute them to any other factor?

Quote:
Here is an aricle whose contents I believe are accurate and reliable.

Christianity and the Rise of Science

Scroll down just a little for the contents which are followed by the text. The article is easy to read yet packed with information. I assure you it is worth the short amount of time it takes to read (its not very lengthy).

There are some wildly inaccurate claims in this article...

To credit Christianity with preserving literature during the Dark Ages, in fact calling it "exclusively responsible" as the article does, is flat out wrong. The degree of scholarship in Spain, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad, and even Timbuktu during the Dark Ages utterly dwarfed that of the contemporaneous Christian societies, including scholarship of classical texts. Much of classical literature, especially Greek literature was lost to "Christendom" until after the Crusades and particularly until the Renaissance. Maimonides, who was a prototype of Scholasticism, was a Jewish scholar living in Muslim Egypt who was engaging in Aristotelian logic a full century before Aquinas. In fact Aquinas' and the Scholastics' knowledge of ancient philosophy, including Aristotle, came mostly through Muslim scholars such as Averoes and Avicenna, as well as Maimonides who lived his life in Muslim lands. Nachmanides, another Jewish scholar in Medieval Spain, also wrote his philosophical works in response to the Aristotelian and Galenic tradition a full century before these works were known in Christian Europe.

The article impunes Muslim scholars for not looking for universal laws of nature. Again, flat out factually incorrect. Muslim physicians were studying anatomy through dissection from the 11th century and documenting their works. Dissection didn't enter Christian society until 500 years later with Jesensky and Vesalius. Muslim mathematicians made advances as early as the 7th century and continuing for 900 years, that weren't known in Christian Europe until the Enlightenment. Integral calculus was described by Al-Karaji in 10th century Persia and differential calculus was described by Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi in 12th century Persia -- so Muslim scholars had developed calculus centuries before Leibniz and Newton. This is not even to mention advances in trigonometry, geometry, and number theory that also predated similar developments in Europe by hundreds of years. I mean why do you think it is that we use Arabic numbers, which didn't enter Europe until around 1200? As for astronomy, astrology had been refuted by the 12 century; Al-Baruni described both gravity and the heliocentric solar system in 1121, 500 years before Newton. The earth's rotation was demonstrated by the early 15th century. And the invention of navigation equipment and clocks also predated Christian Europe by hundreds of years.

In fact it's not even fair to compare the two, because the Christian scientific advances were so delayed by comparison -- and by the time they happened they had been thoroughly informed by Muslim scholarship.

My problem with this article is not so much that its attitude is that of Christian apologist (which it really is in its open responses to "anti-Christians" and the "religion they hate"). Rather, the article plainly ignores contemporaneous science elsewhere in the world and how dependent later Christian advances were on earlier Muslim advances.

Look, I give all the deserved credit to European scholars for their achievements, no doubt. But there is also no doubt that they were centuries behind their Muslim contemporaries in scientific achievements, and the European achievements only were possible after the Crusades and Reconquista and commerce actually exposed Europe to Muslim scholarship -- not the other way around. And it so happens that Islam fragmented around the time of the Renaissance, with the collapse of Umayyad Spain, the advent of a new Turkish (Ottoman) empire in Anatolia, the Mongol destruction of Persia and then Baghdad, and the shrinking and in-fighting in the Abbasid caliphate in Cairo / Damascus / Baghdad.

So the Islamic world entered its own dark age around the time that scholarship in Christian lands was accelerating (and the nature of religion changing rapidly and sometimes with great hostility and bloodshed). The intellectual and technological legacy of antiquity went first to Islam, not to Christiandom, and it only later was received by Christiandom through Islam. The two were intertwined, but the advances you describe in the Christian world would never have happened without 900 years of Muslim scholarship happening first.
Pythagorean
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 03:06 pm
@Aedes,
That's a nice history and I love history.

But you must look at what happened. Christian societies are advanced technologically and historically. They are advanced today and we can see that is true.

My main point is that Western society and the Western tradition is for complex reasons a superior tradition. If a Muslim lives or studies in the West, then he can learn and become a great scholar or scientist so it is not a matter of race as I see it, but a matter of tradition and culture. But all one needs to do is just look up at the scoreboard to see who is more advanced and you will see that it is the West.

Look, why can't the Muslim societies of today learn from the advanced societies of the West? What is stopping them? Is it simply a matter of translation? I don't think so. I simply think that Western culture is better, perhaps not better than Japanese or Chineese but certainly better, in terms of knowledge and technology, than African societies or Muslim or Latin societies.

So we don't have to argue about history, we simply need to be aware of who is producing the most advanced technology. And it's not Muslims. And it really doesn't matter if a Muslim went to the moon in an ancient rocket ship in the year 1200, the question is: was their knowledge cumulative and progressive? The answer is obvious.
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 03:59 pm
@Pythagorean,
Pythagorean wrote:
But you must look at what happened. Christian societies are advanced technologically and historically. They are advanced today and we can see that is true.

But I strongly contend that the fact that they're Christian is nearly incidental to these advancements. Furthermore, as I've said a couple posts ago, there are strong direct arguments as to how Christianity was a hindrance to scientific scholarship, and I know of no compelling arguments as to how it was beneficial.

Furthermore, I think it's an artificial categorization to call scientific advancement Muslim vs Christian. The fact of the matter is it was a continuity that passed from Rome to Byzantium and Islam, and then later to the Christian world via the Muslim world. It was a technological continuity that was most productive in the regions that were most economically and politically stable. It's largely incidental that it happened in societies of a given creed.

Quote:
My main point is that Western society and the Western tradition is for complex reasons a superior tradition.

Superior because it's been most succesful in the last few centuries? Or superior because there's some identifiable feature unrelated to geography and economics in this society?

Quote:
If a Muslim lives or studies in the West, then he can learn and become a great scholar or scientist so it is not a matter of race as I see it, but a matter of tradition and culture.

You'd be wise to remember that the first universities in the world came about in Islamic lands, centuries before the equivalent existed in Christiandom. In other words, not only is university scholarship not unique to Christian tradition and culture, but it was later there than in other parts of the world (including medieval universities in China).

University of Al-Karaouine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I might add that Jewish university culture predates Christian university culture. The yeshivot existed in Muslim lands, where Jews were far better tolerated than in Christian lands, and some Jews attended Muslim universities from the late "Dark Ages". In Christiandom, the first known Jewish attendees in universities were medical students in 16th-17th century Italy (and they went into medicine because it was the only nondenominational area of study at the time).

It so happens that now the universities with the greatest growth and achievements have been in Western countries (with the MAJOR exception of the University of Tokyo, one of the world's greatest universities, which is in a Zen / Shinto country).

Quote:
But all one needs to do is just look up at the scoreboard to see who is more advanced and you will see that it is the West.

The West is more advanced because of military and economic dominance over Muslim lands for the last, oh, 500 years, and it's impossible to attribute this to uniquely Christian features of this culture. The rise in wealth and population in Western Europe coincided with major military victories over the traditional Muslim lands both at the hands of Christians and other Muslims. In particular Muslim Spain, which was probably the most advanced society in the medieval world, fell once and for all to Christians in the 15th century. By then the Seljuk Turks in the East had come to dominate the Islamic world, and their particular culture (which was NOT an Arab culture, unlike the previous 900 years) was much less developed. Eventually they formed the Ottoman empire, which was known more for its self-celebration than for its scholarship.

Then, as Britain and France became major competing colonial powers, the formerly great regions of Islam (esp Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine) fell deeply under European influence but did not especially benefit from it. Finally, this region utterly collapsed in WWI with the implosion of the Ottoman Empire.

So I think there is a lot of historical circumstance that has led the foci of wealth and knowledge to shift from one place to another. Certainly culture has a lot to do with its particulars, but I firmly believe that cultural superiority does not. The Muslim world was far less conservative than the Christian world until it found itself poor, marginalized, and displaced -- and this is what we see in the Muslim world today.

Quote:
Look, why can't the Muslim societies of today learn from the advanced societies of the West?

Some aspects of our society are advanced. Others are deeply primitive and we deny it because our self-image can't abide it.

Quote:
I simply think that Western culture is better, perhaps not better than Japanese or Chineese but certainly better, in terms of knowledge and technology, than African societies or Muslim or Latin societies.

How about better in terms of happiness? Or better in terms of philosophy? I know we're concentrating on science here, but you made a statement about superiority of culture. And there are important ways in which we're decidedly not superior.

I've spent a lot of time in Africa and quite shockingly I find people there for all their deep hardships to be happier, more generous, less aggressive, and more caring than people in the US. Oh, incidentally most of my time in Africa has been in Muslim countries (Gambia and Senegal), with some time spent in Christian countries (Ghana). I don't idealize them, but I think we have a lot to learn from them as well. Oh, this extends to Latin America as well, at least the countries I've spent time in (Peru and Mexico).

Philosophical complexity, as we have in the West, is not necessarily a good thing when it leads us to rationally rank societies in terms of superiority and inferiority. I find arguments like this to be very similar to the social darwinism of the late 19th and early 20th century, which obviously has highly destructive possibilities.

Quote:
we simply need to be aware of who is producing the most advanced technology. And it's not Muslims.

And in a few generations it won't be Christians either. If the US debt and economic insecurity leads to a loss of foreign investment here and a dumping of US bonds, then we're going to be looking up a very steep slope at the economy of China and in not too long India as well. Yes, they may be building upon our prior achievements, but that's the exact point I was making with Christian countries benefiting from Muslim achievements.

By the way, this Christian society isn't only Christian, as you know, and the beneficial features in a society that is majority Christian don't necessarily come from that group. Remember that Christians were forbidden from getting involved in finance by the Church for much of history because it was considered usury -- so the whole system of economics and banking (plus mercantilism) was deeply and profoundly influenced by Jews. This is particularly true in the major trading centers of early modern Europe, like Amsterdam and Venice.
 

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