How the Greeks' abandonment of religion led to science and technology

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
Science didn't even exist until, what, the 16th century? The idea that the Greeks "invented" science is nonsense, as is the idea that they "abandoned religion." They made progress in philosophy, mathematics, and other learning, but throwing it all in the "science" bucket is just plain stupid and betrays the fact that the "I F&%#ING LOVE SCIENCE" crowd are just cultists spinning their own mythological origin story out of half-assed history.

The "Dark Ages" did not exist. The medieval church preserved and studied knowledge. Many, if not most, of the greatest scientists and innovators were devout Christians or otherwise religious. The fedora atheist narrative of science worship is fake history, a bogus narrative, and it deserves to be pummeled to bits every time it comes up.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
I'm no historian, but I never heard of any society abandoning religion except for our current modern society, and look what happened because of it.
 

Abelard Lindsey

Woodpecker
This book: https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Rome-End-Civilization/dp/0192807285

says that the fall of Rome was indeed a civilizational collapse and that the dark age was indeed dark. Much of this book is based on archeological research that documents the decline of pottery and other forms of pre-industrial manufacturing. Pottery during the Roman era was of good quality and was produced on an industrial scale. It completely disappeared in the West with the fall of Rome. Other well recognized metrics of civilization; literacy, cleanliness, life span, etc. also dramatically declined with the fall of Rome.

Razib Khan did a good review of this book some years ago.

https://www.razib.com/wordpress/category/fall-of-rome/

There seems to be an effort at historical revisionism with regards to the dark ages on the part of certain political factions over the past 10 years or so. I have no idea of the psychological motivations behind this.

This historical revisionism has no basis in historical reality.
 

Abelard Lindsey

Woodpecker
A clue about this is the very nature of the modern English language. Much of the vocabulary that describes intellectual concepts, everything from civics to structural engineering, come from tje Latin language. Latin was the language of the original Greek civilization. Essentially no vocabulary that describes any intellectual subjects at all, comes from the languages that were spoken in the Middle-east (Levant) 2000 years ago.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Some of you guys show a strange dissonance in your reasoning, akin to the 'democrats are the real racists' type.

You say out of one side of your mouth: 'science worship is stupid, a cult, etc'; out of the other you say: 'most important scientists were devout Christians; the Church nurtured science; etc'. If worshiping science is stupid (and I agree), what does it matter if most scientists were Christians, or that the Church kept this knowledge. Knowledge is not all good. Knowledge without discipline (which is what science brings to the masses, usually in the form of easily reproducible technology) is very dangerous. You can find how dangerous it is by reading Genesis and learning that, while knowledge isn't bad, when it's not obtained the proper way, it is catastrophic.

You are right, of course that the Church kept knowledge, but it did not disseminate it all, and not all at once. In fact, it made sure to keep it very close. Its critics are correct in pointing this out, they are wrong in thinking it's bad.

The Church disseminated knowledge very carefully, and only in the late Middle Ages, when decadence was starting to seep through, did it start to let it out more liberally, leading to the scientific revolution and the 'enlightenment' that killed the spiritual tuning of our entire civilization, by elevating measurement and efficiency as the highest concerns, above beauty and the transcendent.

I don't believe the Middle Ages to be dark, but for me they weren't dark because they were a thousand year period of relative stability for most people. And its stability was, in part, due to the relatively slow drip of innovations. The Church did a great job of fostering stability, not by promoting science, but by keeping it in a leash.

So yeah, don't worship science. And that includes not painting the Church as the MIT. Its function was as much to keep as to hide.
 

Rob Banks

Pelican
↑ Agreed.

This reminds me of when right wingers or white nationalists say things like "Leftists are idiots in thinking white people are bad. White people invented the printing press, railroads, cars, computers, Western medicine, etc. Without those inventions, we would still be living in the dark ages and it would be so terrible!"

I agree that leftists are idiots for hating on white people, but the fact that whites brought all this technology into the world didn't exactly make the world a better place, in my opinion.
 

Ember

Ostrich
Gold Member
Abelard Lindsey said:
There seems to be an effort at historical revisionism with regards to the dark ages on the part of certain political factions over the past 10 years or so. I have no idea of the psychological motivations behind this.

I do. The publishing sector is Jewish dominated. If a historian wants to secure a respectable book deal there is no better way than to have the book bash Christianity.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
ilostabet said:
You say out of one side of your mouth: 'science worship is stupid, a cult, etc'; out of the other you say: 'most important scientists were devout Christians; the Church nurtured science; etc'. If worshiping science is stupid (and I agree), what does it matter if most scientists were Christians, or that the Church kept this knowledge.

It matters because it pokes a hole in the narrative that scientific curiosity and discovery is a fruit of secularism/atheist thinking. The narrative is bogus and should be challenged.

Of course I agree that not all "scientific" progress is positive or necessary. I'm as cynical about the hyper-technological world as many folks here.

Reasonable Christian people aren't competing for which side gets to "claim" science, the way that Boomer conservatives want to claim Not-Racist-ship over leftists. That's probably what you're referring to but I have no interest in such a thing. Science is just one tool for learning about the world, along with history, philosophy, and theology, and should be kept in its proper place, not elevated an object of worship.

I tend to think that science has already passed the point of diminishing returns and is, at this point, mostly resulting in the creation of gizmos that encourage us to indulge our worst impulses. It's a useful tool in the hands of a moral civilization, but a recipe for disaster in a godless one.

I agree that leftists are idiots for hating on white people, but the fact that whites brought all this technology into the world didn't exactly make the world a better place, in my opinion.

Come on, this is ridiculous. Computers, smartphones, airplanes, sure. I'll grant you that. But the printing press? You've got to be kidding me. You really think you'd be better off as an illiterate peasant? I doubt it. And medical science? Would you prefer it for over half of your children to die in infancy, or lose your wife to some easily-treatable disease because we don't understand the germ theory of disease?
 

Easy_C

Peacock
Rob Banks said:
↑ Agreed.

This reminds me of when right wingers or white nationalists say things like "Leftists are idiots in thinking white people are bad. White people invented the printing press, railroads, cars, computers, Western medicine, etc. Without those inventions, we would still be living in the dark ages and it would be so terrible!"

I agree that leftists are idiots for hating on white people, but the fact that whites brought all this technology into the world didn't exactly make the world a better place, in my opinion.

Plumbing is the single most important technology for improving actual quality of life. Trains are great too. I'm not so sure about the rest of it.
 

Paracelsus

Crow
Gold Member
HermeticAlly said:
I tend to think that science has already passed the point of diminishing returns and is, at this point, mostly resulting in the creation of gizmos that encourage us to indulge our worst impulses. It's a useful tool in the hands of a moral civilization, but a recipe for disaster in a godless one.

Science always turns to shit where it is misused. And it is misused almost without exception anywhere mathematically south of engineering, i.e. where science basically can't work to its full or passing potential because it can't eliminate other causes and it can't ask questions which can be disproven. Also see: the "crisis of reproducibility" in social science, where more than two thirds of all studies in these areas can't be replicated. Less than one in three of any study, survey, experiment, or meta-analysis is actually worth anything, since rather the point of the scientific experiment is that you can make your shitty alchemy work more than once under the same conditions somewhere else on the planet.

That in turn is partly because social scientists just do not understand statistics, but it's also because social scientists are seriously godless in that they don't even think they have to follow basic ethics, i.e. don't publish crap for which no harm will be visited upon you if you get it wrong.

And medical science? Would you prefer it for over half of your children to die in infancy, or lose your wife to some easily-treatable disease because we don't understand the germ theory of disease?

While medical science - at the hard end of biology, i.e. chemical reactions when you get down to it, i.e.e. reproducible and "safe" except when it suddenly isn't, i.e.e.e. Thalidomide, Warferin, DDT - is desirable, medicine as such is not science. There's a reason they call it medical practice ... because they still haven't got it right yet.

In particular medicine has only just started to realise sometimes the cost of intervention (for the patient's health) on a problem is actually equivocal if not downright fucking awful compared to what happens if you leave the problem alone. This is the issue of iatrogenics, summed up in the (supposedy) Hippocratic Oath the first principle of which is primum non nocere, "First, do no harm." That is, don't intervene with the result of making shit even worse.

The irony being that medicine has only in the past hundred years or so started actually observing that principle. It's only been in the past 150 years or so that your odds of survival were better going to a doctor than avoiding them. The Greeks, at least, understood that principle: inscriptions are scattered across one temple after another saying Apollo saved me, my doctor tried to kill me, usually after the patient had bequeathed his fortune to the temple.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
It seems the iatrogenic trap was escaped only for a brief period of time, because now whenever doctors go on strike in modern nations, mortality rates actually go down.
 

YoungColonial27

Robin
Orthodox
Science didn't even exist until, what, the 16th century? The idea that the Greeks "invented" science is nonsense, as is the idea that they "abandoned religion." They made progress in philosophy, mathematics, and other learning, but throwing it all in the "science" bucket is just plain stupid and betrays the fact that the "I F&%#ING LOVE SCIENCE" crowd are just cultists spinning their own mythological origin story out of half-assed history.

The "Dark Ages" did not exist. The medieval church preserved and studied knowledge. Many, if not most, of the greatest scientists and innovators were devout Christians or otherwise religious. The fedora atheist narrative of science worship is fake history, a bogus narrative, and it deserves to be pummeled to bits every time it comes up.

I find that an article I've read recently on Galileo exposes some of the flaws of the modern movement. Mainly that Galileo was challenged not just by the church, but many scientists outside it, and he responsed by strawmanning them.


If that's one of the world's most remembered and respected scientists, it's no wonder we have such a problem with critical race theorists and the anti-white cult infiltrating science and education. The foundation was rotten all along. The question is, can we fix the education system so that the next generation understands this, or will their be book burnings soon?
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Come on, this is ridiculous. Computers, smartphones, airplanes, sure. I'll grant you that. But the printing press? You've got to be kidding me. You really think you'd be better off as an illiterate peasant? I doubt it. And medical science? Would you prefer it for over half of your children to die in infancy, or lose your wife to some easily-treatable disease because we don't understand the germ theory of disease?

Whereas I, personally, might not have been better off, society as a whole would be.

Literacy for everyone, specifically, is one of the most anti-traditional ideas ever devised (which is, again, a reenactment of the original Fall, of knowledge without discipline), and in fact it cannot be separated from all the revolutions of the modern world, from the scientific to the protestant, from the French to the industrial. It was one of the primary means by which hierarchy was inverted, and to this day (and ever more starkly) contributes not to elevate the masses but to bring true intellectuality to the lowest possible level.
 

bucky

Ostrich
Whereas I, personally, might not have been better off, society as a whole would be.

Literacy for everyone, specifically, is one of the most anti-traditional ideas ever devised (which is, again, a reenactment of the original Fall, of knowledge without discipline), and in fact it cannot be separated from all the revolutions of the modern world, from the scientific to the protestant, from the French to the industrial. It was one of the primary means by which hierarchy was inverted, and to this day (and ever more starkly) contributes not to elevate the masses but to bring true intellectuality to the lowest possible level.
I've often thought something like this, that literacy might not be the great thing it's cracked up to be. Seems to me that the ability to read and write was generally considered an almost magical, godlike power in previous centuries and looked at with something akin to reverence. Nowadays that it's expected that everyone can do it a big chunk of writing is globohomo political propaganda or about the latest degenerate misadventures of Cardi B and Megan Markle and their ilk, targeted at barely literate masses who would probably be better off unable to read it at all.
 

Hermetic Seal

Kingfisher
Orthodox
Gold Member
Whereas I, personally, might not have been better off, society as a whole would be.

Literacy for everyone, specifically, is one of the most anti-traditional ideas ever devised (which is, again, a reenactment of the original Fall, of knowledge without discipline), and in fact it cannot be separated from all the revolutions of the modern world, from the scientific to the protestant, from the French to the industrial. It was one of the primary means by which hierarchy was inverted, and to this day (and ever more starkly) contributes not to elevate the masses but to bring true intellectuality to the lowest possible level.

It's worth pointing out that since I wrote that post a year ago, I became Orthodox, and my worldview has evolved since then, in some ways dramatically.
 

Sherman

Ostrich
Science isn’t the real problem. The problem is postmodernism. Postmodernists have contempt for science and believe everything is a social construct. Thus, they ignore the biological reality of two sexes and claim there are 100 sexes just because they say so. This is also the origin of their obsession with controlling the words everyone uses. Science can be used to debunk much of postmodernism.
 
The Ancient Greeks and Romans were some of the LEAST Scientific people in history!

One ancient fellow I read, from 2000 years ago, wrote about how if you plant beans and peas in one location, next year's crops grow better in that same spot. And that was it...

He didn't bother to ask why that was so. He didn't bother to ask any questions about it all. We know today he was looking at the Nitrogen Cycle.

Their buildings and roads were grossly over-engineered. When the number system you have to work with is: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X... then you can't afford to not "carry the one." That's why those things are still standing today.


The "dark" ages get a bad rap because people didn't write stuff down during that time. Although if you take the time, you can find it, and you'll see that it wasn't so "dark." It would also be insulting to those people to tell them they were living in "a dark age." How would you like someone from 1000 years from now to tell you that today is a "dark age" and you're not fortunate enough to live a couple centuries from now.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
I've often thought something like this, that literacy might not be the great thing it's cracked up to be. Seems to me that the ability to read and write was generally considered an almost magical, godlike power in previous centuries and looked at with something akin to reverence. Nowadays that it's expected that everyone can do it a big chunk of writing is globohomo political propaganda or about the latest degenerate misadventures of Cardi B and Megan Markle and their ilk, targeted at barely literate masses who would probably be better off unable to read it at all.

In traditional societies the Word is sacred, and the written word, when it exists, is to be guarded as to keep its sacred character, as it can only do so if it is not used indiscriminately by all and for all purposes. This is why, for example, the scripts in Egypt were given the name hieroglyphic and hieratic, to indicate its sacred (hieros) nature. A sure sign of societal decay is the use of written language for profane pursuits, especially by the merchant class. Humanistic anthropologists tell us that this is how written language arose, but that is absolute nonsense, that is its corruption, not its nature. Of course, in our times, what are we to do but to use it? We should still understand its essentially sacred nature.

Setting words to a permanent place (writing), because of its permanence, is infused with a very deep meaning and importance (this is why Moses receiving the written law is momentous and meaningful), and in traditional societies it is reserved only for an elite who are able to understand it properly and keep the sacred doctrine intact. Without this dynamic, it is possible to justify the democratization of everything: that everyone who should listen should instead speak, that everyone who should obey should instead rule. The root of all inversions is the democratization of the written word - which has immense power, and like in the garden, not all are equipped to handle, and are instead controlled by it.

This is why the printing press was the primary means by which the democratization of what is most hierarchic (that is, the sacred) took place. Everyone could read the sacred words, but could everyone understand them? Obviously not. The same process continues to happen, and increasingly so. And the written word becomes nothing more than another tool, devoid of any sacred character. In fact, it becomes almost nothing more than propaganda. And propaganda is dependent on the existence of a vast amount of midwits, which are literate, yet spiritually and intellectually ignorant. We still hear a lot the common complaint that the Church kept the Scripture from the masses while seeing everywhere what is has become in the hands of the masses, where anything and everything can be argued from Scripture, even the most aberrant and demonic things.
 
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