Thursday, July 17, 2008

Athens and Jerusalem

To those who bash religion as the source of all evil - please think again. Literally. Faith and reason serve to complements each other. The rise of science ( meaning knowledge) would not have been possible without belief in one God. Monotheism was based upon a rational assumption that one God in charge of the universe would administer his creations rationally. Therefore, man could attempt to unravel the workings of the natural world. Medieval education included the trivium of verbal arts, grammar, logic and rhetoric and the quadrivium of the sciences including, geometry, astronomy, arithmetic and music. The decline of Western Greece and Rome allowed for the rise of Muslim learning in the East from about 750 A.D. to 1250 A.D. The key component in all of this widespread learning was monotheism, which, because it was based upon the major premise of One God who created and controls the natural world - as well as the supernatural, the realm of faith - scholars and thinkers could think about and posit rules of natural philosophy, of the wonders of the external world, of the causes and consequences of phenomena. Without either Christianity or Islam, civilization could not have advanced. No conflict, no problem existed between the tradition of pagan Athens and Christian Jerusalem. All of Western progress has been a marriage between rationalism and religious faith. So to you atheists and agnostics who take pride in your so-called rational approach to reality - consider these words: "If at some period in the course of civilization we seriously find that our science and our religion are antagonistic, then there must be something wrong either with our science or with our religion." Havelock Ellis (1839-1939) in "The Dance if Life," merely points out the historical error in your way of thinking.


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