Thursday, July 2, 2009

Before There Was Science, Everything Was A Religious Miracle.

"Theology has to recognize Science Fact, but Science does not have to recognize Theology Myths."

One of the first recorded known epidemics dates to the 5th century, when typhoid is said to have killed one out of four residents of ancient Athens.

The next major plague, known as the Plague of Justinian, began in the eastern Mediterranean in 541-544 AD and struck Italy and especially southern Europe in a succession of waves was probably the first appearance of the bubonic plague. It is named after the Byzantine Emperor who ruled from Constantinople, and is thought to have been brought over in grain ships from the southern Mediterranean. The first plague is the least known and written about of all the bubonic plagues because it devastated most of the population and no one was able to document this outbreak. This ancient plague then cycled and lasted for 200 years. Because of the massive waves of death devastating 75% to 80% of the population of the time, the science, math, and architecture of the Greek and Roman knowledge died along with them. It is believed that this was the true downfall of the Roman Empire. Even the knowledge of the formula for making concrete died with the Black Plague. The formula for concrete was not rediscovered again until the mid-1800s. I use this example to show how long it really took to regain the simple knowledge that the ancient Romans once had.

Because the lack of knowledge on how diseases were caused and spread, religion stepped in and explained it all as God’s vengeance on a sinful population. Even in our most recent history, the outcry from the ultra-religious when AIDs first started to appear was that this was God’s way of punishing the homosexual community. I think of the pre-puberty boy who got the disease from a blood transfusion, but the extreme religious proclaimed, “That if this boy has AIDs, then he must be a homosexual.” Of course those in the business of religion will tell you the only way to stop this purging of sinful souls are to repent, pray, and pay homage to those whom speak for God. This was true during the out break of the plagues and even today with any disease that is new and not fully understood.

The Plague died out until another virulent outbreak hit Europe in the early 1300s. Europe was beset by poor harvests and other problems that may have provided a fertile ground for this plague to establish itself again in the continent. It was worst in Europe during the 1340s. The Black Death is estimated to have killed anywhere from 30% to 60% of Europe’s population with each wave of the disease, and the theologians were there again to bring civilization through this crises with more religion as they saw it.

The larger social effects of the plague were substantial, encouraging the persecution of minorities believed to harbor the plague, which found prime targets in the poorest, dirtiest section of town where rats and fleas were most at home. Under religious influence being the dominate knowledge, once again things that could easily be explained by science, became a miracle as the theologians cashed in on the misery.

So in conclusion, make no mistake that organize religion is a business and the product it is selling is Hope in desperate times, Eternal Life should you or your loved ones succumb, and pronounce damning faults in those whom do not buy into their marketing package. Science facts that explain away religious miracles are to be ignored at best or deemed a blasphemous sin as an attack on what is self-evident.

1 comment:

  1. I especially enjoyed your conclusion that organized religion is a business selling hope, eternal life and damnation for those who don't 'buy' the product. It's a PR advertising scheme of perfect proportion. Billy Mays, may he rest in peace, should have done one of his famous infomercials for this 'product.'Can you envision such an infomercial. Surely some comedian has spoofed religion in a similar manner.

    Without all of the hoopla, magic and miracles, religion would have gone the way of the steam engine long ago. As long as it 'promises' hope and eternal life, people will continue to buy the product, although it seems that fewer people these days are in the market.