Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Some Christian History

Needing to post, haven't posted in quite a while, a 40-hour a week job can take up more time and energy than one may suspect. I've been doing a lot of reading until recently and I've slowed down but I've been reading steadily through several books, such as The Agnostic Reader (TAR), a collection of writings, articles, and essays, edited by S.T. Joshi. He's a big time H.P.Lovecraft fanatic and has compiled lots of books about Lovecraft and his writings, but he's also a big-time atheist figure and has three collection books, another being The Atheist Reader, which I don't even have yet.

Through TAR I've gone through about half of it already (it's long) and I'm excited to read some Mark Twain next. But one section I completed was talking about science, and Christianity, and the writings compiled a pretty incriminating viewpoint. See, I always viewed Islam as being the brightest of religions in it's early days and then swapping with Christianity in the medieval times, for the most part, and this kind of changes that view.

Many people are quick to point out that some of the greatest scientists were Christian, many Catholic, and I can agree that European Catholicism is actually pretty scientific in modern times, but I would heavily disagree that Christianity motivated scientific thought from 1400-1800. Though most of the greatest scientists happened to be Christian, usually Catholic roots, the bulk of them were hampered rather than helped by religious institutions. Bruno and Galileo are two great examples.

Also, the majority of the greatest innovations coming out of Europe had nothing to do with religion or even culture, but with needed enterprising dealing with the New World and making profit or beating the competition, such as other countries. The steam engine being one of the greatest turning points in history had to do with energy consumption and travel, mostly based in the Americas.

It seems, as I read books from the Science section, about evolution, or from the agnostic's perspective, that Christianity often was the reasoning behind holding back innovative thought, rather than producing new ideas, and that competitive markets and land wars often brought on the greatest ideas in history.