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Old 03-19-2001, 03:49 PM   #11
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Actually, the Christian takeover of Europe was often by convincing the leaders of the presumed One True Religion; they would then persecute anyone who would not go along with that. And they were not above such sacrileges as cutting down a tree in Saxony revered as the world-axis tree.

Of course, they also had less violent tactics, such as turning pagan deities into Christian saints and appropriating pagan holy places.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 03:52 PM   #12
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Also, one ought to consider the rise of Islam and Buddhism.

A Muslim apologist would ask how a religion revealed to a trader in some out-of-the-way desert place could have become a major world religion.

A Buddhist apologist would ask how a religion founded by the wayward son of some king could have become a major world religion.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 03:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by marduck:

"John R: But I will insist on the historical fact that it put a quick, final end to polytheism."

bunches of gods down, one to go.</font>
LOL! We'll see, but very funny in any event. Darn pesky persistent thing though, isn't it? (Belief that is)

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Seriously though Nomad you make some interesting points, but still to me it seems like people in those days had such an odd unscientific world view that they'd eat up most anything, people overlook the fact that in the days before widespread literature theatre etc. religion also served as entertainment & the only social activity available to the majority of folks.</font>
That is a good point, and helps to explain the attractiveness of religion in general, but certainly not the success of Christianity in particular. This is especially puzzling when we consider that Christianity DID expect everyone to forsake all other gods. That had to dampen enthusiasm for it wouldn't you think? I mean, isn't tolerance a virtue, especially since the Romans seemed to be so big on it during their first few hunderd years or so? That's one of the things that seemed to make Rome so successful, that it was so cosmopolitan and accepting of other religions.

Like I said, isn't this at least a little odd to the average atheist out there?

Nomad
 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:04 PM   #14
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by lpetrich:

Actually, the Christian takeover of Europe was often by convincing the leaders of the presumed One True Religion; they would then persecute anyone who would not go along with that. And they were not above such sacrileges as cutting down a tree in Saxony revered as the world-axis tree.</font>
Can you provide actual references to back you up on your theory here lpetrich? I would like to read them.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Of course, they also had less violent tactics, such as turning pagan deities into Christian saints and appropriating pagan holy places.</font>
Agreed, Christianity borrowed from a good many pagan traditions. I think this may the best explanation of the lot so far as naturalistic explanations for the success of Christianity are concerned. But it does strike me as inadequate.

As for your questions about Islam and Buddhism succeeding, I think that they are good ones. I have never seen a good response to Baalthazaq on this point BTW, that Mohammed was illiterate and lacked the gifts to spread his faith. Does anyone have any good explanations? I have always believed that military conquest was the big factor in converting people to Islam, and I haven't got a clue as to why Buddhism swept away the older religions of China (but not India where it started interestingly).

Peace,

Nomad
 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:14 PM   #15
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Can you provide actual references to back you up on your theory here lpetrich? I would like to read them.
</font>
Yeah, right. Go ahead, Loren. Do lots of research work for Nomad. While he provides no references to back up his assertion that:


Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
...Christianity succeeded largely without the benefit of state support and conquoring armies?
</font>
 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Omnedon1:

Nomad: Can you provide actual references to back you up on your theory here lpetrich? I would like to read them.


Yeah, right. Go ahead, Loren. Do lots of research work for Nomad. While he provides no references to back up his assertion that:

Nomad: ...Christianity succeeded largely without the benefit of state support and conquoring armies?</font>
Actually, I can do this, so if you or anyone can produce contrary evidence then I would like to see it. In the meantime, and supports at all for any of the claims made by atheists on this thread would be welcome. I do think the examination of supporting evidence is important, so I hope some of you will oblige my curiosity.

Peace,

Nomad

 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:31 PM   #17
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Smile

Nomad said:
"Like I said, isn't this at least a little odd to the average atheist out there"

Yeah somewhat, from Paul up to Constantine, but I still wonder if there would be Christianity today if it wasn't picked as the 'official' state religion then enforced as such.
On a completely different note, know any good sources that explain what was actually involved in a typical Christian service from the first or second century? always was curious about what the early church was like.
 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:38 PM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
John R: But I will insist on the historical fact that it put a quick, final end to
polytheism.

turtonm:Yes, I've noticed how successful Christianity was in ending polytheism in Africa, India, SE Asia, Japan.......

Nomad: I admit that Robson did not specify the Western world for you, but I expect he had assumed his readers would understand that. After all, if we are talking about Christian history (which we are), we are talking about Western history. </font>
Oh! Now you tell me. I thought Christian history included its successes in Europe as well as its failures in China, India and elsewhere. I see now what you're saying. You limit it to the area where it was actually successful, and then say: explain this amazing success! One could just as well point to China and say: Explain this amazing failure!

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
John R: And to god-kings; no ruler has advanced a new claim of divinity since Jesus.

turtonm Except in Polynesia, Africa, S. America....also, the Merovingians of France are supposedly descended from Jesus, no?

Nomad: Same point as above, and last time I checked, once Christianity came to dominate a region, god-kings became pretty much passe. Heck, I would even think your average every day atheist would think that this was a good thing.</font>
Who said anything about it being a good or bad thing? What does that have to do with the topic at hand? Like I always said, when you are beaten, you veer into condescension hoping nobody will notice you didn't actually respond. So how do you deal with the god-kings of Scandanavia, and the claim that Merovingians are descended from Jesus? Looks like even in Europe you haven't a case. There ARE some god-descended European potentates. But your buddy John's claim was "no ruler" not "no European ruler."

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

John R: Nor has any new religion had any lasting success since Jesus except two in the Judeo-Christian tradition: Islam and Mormonism.

turtonm: Except Sikhism, many African religions, many S. and Central American ones.....of course, most religions are disadvantaged compared to Christianity, they don't get to kill their enemies. Hard to start a new religion when you get killed.

Nomad: Still ranting are you Michal? Stay calm please. Perhaps Robson should have been clear that he was talking about Western history, so his point remains, and if you'll note, Christianity took over the Roman Empire and barbarian Europe without the benfit of armies (unless you count a monk or two as an army of some kind).</font>
Robson should have been clear, you are right.
But he wasn't, was he. I can't help it if he is ethnocentric and you are insufficiently grounded in a comparative perspective to avoid nodding dully at each of his sweeping nonsensical statements.

His point about a lack of armies won't hold either. I refer you to the Reconquista in Spain, and the wars against the Turks, and the Albigensian Crusade, and Charles Martel and various other parties.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Goes both ways. It failed in India, China, Central Asia, Africa and numerous other places. It is going out in N. Europe. It failed against Mao and Stalin was beaten by death, not Christianity (the Christians supported Stalin during the war).

Nomad: Hmmm... so the truth depends exclusively on whether or not it has enough believers? Do you really want to go there Michael? </font>
Steady, Nomad. I responded to Robson's points in his own terms. If you want to claim some special amazing attraction for Christianity, your theory has to account for its spectacular failure in other cultures where Christians lacked the power to put the infidels to the sword.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
John R: But judging by the record, if the barbarian consents to listen to one silly monk, he will be converted.

turtonm: Yes, like in India, China, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia.....all deeply Christian countries today.

Nomad:I thought you said Christianity's success was mundane and common? I do wish you could make up your mind.</font>
I do wish you could actually read. In the other thread I noted that Christianity's success in Europe could be accounted for by mundane and complex reasons. This is also true of its failures.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
On the other hand, perhaps Islam or Hinduism really is true. Or Buddhism for that matter. All of them look pretty theistic to me, so where does that leave atheism? An intellectual dead end wouldn't you say?</font>
Yes, a non-theistic approach to reality has been an utter failure in western science. I feel like an intellectual dwarf using antibiotics, compared to the giants who cure their children by praying or by rubbing cow shit in their wounds, like the thiestic Africans I knew. I can't believe those idiotic oil companies, who use nontheistic science to find oil, when they could be using creationist geology and locating it so much easier. And I don't know how I missed the overwhelming success of troops like the Mahdi's army and the Maji-maji revolt against modern, scientifically-equipped armies.

I honestly liked you better when you were teaching me about papyrii in an area where you actually knew something, instead of posting somebody else's ethnocentric garbage.

Michael
 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:47 PM   #19
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Actually, I can do this, so if you or anyone can produce contrary evidence then I would like to see it.
</font>
You can? Then produce your evidence that

Christianity succeeded largely without the benefit of state support and conquoring armies?

 
Old 03-19-2001, 04:52 PM   #20
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"...deal with the god-kings of Scandanavia, and the claim that Merovingians are descended from Jesus?"

Not sure if this is a good example, the Merovingians that is, don't they believe that Jesus did not die on the cross & went on to Europe with his wife Mary & kids in tow? I don't believe they consider Jesus God, but a great teacher who preached a leader must serve his people, the whole 'Grail' thing, Just a legend anyway, but they were pure monotheists, no triune for them, weren't they also perseuted as heretics by the Church of Rome?.
 
 

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