Free thought is the forerunner for invention discovery and technological upliftment
Although free thought was not particularly encouraged by the Church it could never be stopped
DO you think Science and technology would have been much ahead of where we stand today had the Church taken a very positive and encouraging stance on Free thought
I voted yes but now that I have thought about your question more, I think my answer is "no". Many times people do things against the odds. If the church had not questioned and attempted to stop free thought, some people may have simply lost interest in their research and given up. Because the church did not make it easy, some researchers felt the need to continue their work to prove the church wrong, etc.
I also voted "yes". of course Church have stopped many great "thinkers". But if not the Church have been there it would probably be some other organisation that stopped people to think free. All people can't even think free today and it's not always because of the Church.
I really encourage freethought - people should make their own opinion on the origin on the universe and not pay some organization to tell them it, and supress things that are disagreeable with what is taught even though it's true, or more true than what is already in place. Organized religion is not my thing.
The answer to the poll is certainly "yes" but I would welcome some sort of moral authority (although not necessarily a religious one). Our record for putting new technology to good use is not in any way satisfactory.
That's called parenting, and emotion. Emotion and common sense will guide us down a moral path. We don't need a church or a government telling us our morals when we can do it ourselves.
Emotion is not, I think, a very good guide when deciding moral actions.
When a wrong is committed, the victim of that wrong is normally emotionally inclined to seek vengence. That is a perfectly normal emotional response, but it is not a rational way to decide the punishment for wrong-doing.
Also, bear in mind that common sense is often neither (common nor sense).
Given that The Church has sponsored a lot of research, and that clergy have done a lot for science and technology, I'm not really sure how it "stopped" Science. Even in cases like Galileo, it was mostly the fault of the scientist (Galileo decided to piss off every intellectual within a few hundred miles, which included a lot of clergy). Outside of cloning and evolution, religion really hasn't had a major negative effect on science.
I think environmentalists are more likely preventing science, especially in agriculture and rocket science. We're not even allowed to use animals in medical tests.
I think there were a lot of things in the past that hindered the development of science, what you said being one of them. I voted yes.
I agree that Galileo was a tit - I have written so many times. The man was an ass - an egotistical git of the first water.* So what? That hardly absolves the Church from responsibility for the centuries of stagnation in science.
The Church got seriously involved in science when it had no other choice - it was either that or get left out of the loop completely.
* He is credited with lot's of things he didn't do and not credited for his real achievements - the systematic approach to astronomical observation. He was the first person since the Greeks to systematically observe the 'heavens' and we owe him a great debt of gratitude for that alone. His other achievement of note would be his concept of relativity - a massive step forward in scientific thinking.
Every person who tries to do something good for the people faces lots of obstacles. Here, the good is in the form of free thought leading to useful inventions and discoveries which ultimately benefit mankind. It is unfortunate that the church (or for that matter, any organization or set of people involved in 'hooded' or regressive thinking) had to stand in the way. So, I voted Yes for the poll.
As a non theist, I see religion as the opposite of free thought. Therefore, our society by definition would be more free thinking and to me that means more advanced. I think technology would also be more advanced in many ways, though perhaps not to the extent I'd like to believe.
Just a quick question - you say you are a non-theist rather than an atheist. Given that the two terms mean the same thing (and they do, as in 'a-' being 'apart from' or 'not'), I'm interested as to why you use that particular term...is it the 'stigma' attached to 'atheist'?
It is the stigma. There are a lot of organizations which use the word "atheist" in the name that I would prefer not to be associated with. I'm aware that the words have the same meaning.
Fine - just interested. Without wishing to distract too much from the thread, could you give me an example(s) of the sort of organisation you mean?
Atheist Revolution, American Atheists just to name a couple.
OK....fair enough, thanks.
I am a theist, and even as a theist, or any other st, it is quite evident that the whole of the world had been held back during that time including those who believed in God. The dark ages? I wonder whether that part of human history had anything to do with real religion, but more with governing, power and control? So that freedom could never be possible? And any creativity was stifled, or burnt at the stake? Those had been very dark times especially for people who believed in God, who were completely fearful of expressing their thoughts. Made for very brave people though and a good revival.
I wonder whether periods like that are essential, like the cycles in stocks and shares. You always have to have darkness before you can really have light. People had to be stifled before they rose up in rebellion to take responsibility of their freedom. Think Mao Tse Tung (or maybe he stole it from someone wiser before him) said:
Maybe we needed that extreme in darkness so that we could have the struggle that evolved into lightness. An inevitable development in our history? Must admit however I am really glad that I did not live at that time. Goes totally against everything I value in my life. Most of all freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of thought.
I don't think you can put the blame on religion. It's much more complicated than that.
There are plenty of countries where freedom of speech and the press are restricted, but allow different religions.
If you train people how to think and respond, they forget how to think on their own. And whether the source is religious or political, the result is still the same.
Bottom line, fear of change is the real culprit.
There is no doubt that mankind would have progressed much faster had the church taken a liberal view of free thought. However, it is not right to blame the church alone. Man must have been intelligent enough to separate the free thought process from religion (after all, I think that is how most of the progress during the Renaissance age was made)
Well put and got me thinking. At that time there were really very few literate people. Life was completely different from today. It was very dark, and the opportunity for learning was restricted to those in high positions in the church and royalty. Anybody else had to work really hard at it passing on knowledge from fathers to mostly sons. Just thought about it, sometimes people produce miracles when their freedom is taken away from them. We are spoilt in the developed countries in that we can have education, it is so easily available to us. But in those days they had to work very hard at it, especially when the church was checking up too, and when things come harder, it seems to be in human nature to work harder for that which they have a passion for. Also, possibly there could have been discoveries made, or special works, that were never accounted for because they were not allowed to be accounted for and had to be hidden, or were burnt by the church?