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The claim that science is an offspring of Christian thought is often made in Christian-atheist debates. Theists argue that Christianity provided the necessary foundation for science to develop, such as the belief in a rational and orderly universe created by a benevolent God. Atheists, on the other hand, point out that many scientists throughout history were not Christians, and that science has developed independently of religion.

I think there is a subtle assumption that other civilizations did not have access to science. At least in my culture (Indian) scientific inquiry and science was there and we had Aryabhatta for example who investigated planetary motion.

This is an obvious artefact of racism which still prevails in society. Is this a valid argument?

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  • Comments have been moved to chat; please do not continue the discussion here. Before posting a comment below this one, please review the purposes of comments. Comments that do not request clarification or suggest improvements usually belong as an answer, on Philosophy Meta, or in Philosophy Chat. Comments continuing discussion may be removed.
    – Philip Klöcking
    Oct 31, 2023 at 5:10
  • IMO, Floris Cohen's works are recent and detailed studies regarding Scientific Revolution: The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry, University of Chicago Press 1994, and The Rise of Modern Science Explained: A Comparative History, Cambridge University Press 2015. Oct 31, 2023 at 10:12
  • Finally, GER Lloyd's comparative studies: The Ambitions of Curiosity: Understanding the World in Ancient Greece and China, Cambridge UP, 2002, with Nathan Sivin: The Way and the Word: Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece, Yale UP 2002, Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections: Philosophical Perspectives on Greek and Chinese Science and Culture, Oxford UP 20024, The Delusions of Invulnerability: Wisdom and Morality in Ancient Greece, China and Today 2005, Principles And Practices in Ancient Greek And Chinese Science, 2006. Oct 31, 2023 at 10:18

12 Answers 12

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First, concerning “the belief in a rational and orderly universe” one can just quote wikipedia:

The philosopher Pythagoras used the term kosmos (Ancient Greek: κόσμος, Latinized kósmos) for the order of the universe. Anaxagoras further introduced the concept of a Cosmic Mind (Nous) ordering all things.

Hence the idea to consider the universe as an entity ordered by a god is much older and independent from Christian belief.

Secondly, concerning science in European antiquity one can point to the work of Lucretius from the 1st century BC and his work “De rerum natura”. Lucretius came from an Epicurean tradition.

Thirdly, concerning the general claim "often made in Christian-atheist debates"

that science is an offspring of Christian thought

Could you give further reference to show which other arguments are provided to support the claim from the title?

In any case, Āryabhaṭa seems to be a good counter-example.

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    So all this does is to shift the statement to "science is a product of the belief in an ordering God". Oct 28, 2023 at 15:41
  • The concept of Ma'at, the Divine World Order, predates ancient Greece by about 3000 years. Āryabhaṭa was about 1500 years before present, so, after Christianity started?
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 28, 2023 at 16:38
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    @ScottRowe Do you have any clue that Christianity influenced Āryabhaṭa? We are in the 5th century A.D., probably in the Eastern part of India.
    – Jo Wehler
    Oct 28, 2023 at 16:59
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    I thought the point was to show that science pre-dates Christianity. Can't really be an offspring of it then.
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 28, 2023 at 17:25
  • @JoWehler Christianity reached India in the 1st century and was a thriving minority religion in the subcontinent by the 5th century, although concentrated on the western coast.
    – g s
    Oct 29, 2023 at 23:57
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Even if the premise that Christianity provided the right environment for science to be born were true, it does not follow that it is necessary for it. That Christian countries developed science, were they the only one, might just be the product of happenstance and path dependence. It also doesn't prevent reverse causality, i.e. that society that developed the scientific method opportunistically embraced a Christianity.

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    Even bare rock can grow lichen, right?
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 28, 2023 at 20:32
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Maybe my first installment was a bit rushed so let me try and improve it a little.

The claim that science originates from Christian thought is vastly overblown.

First because it ignores the scientific contributions of countless non-christian philosophers, scientists, historians and theologians, be they ('pagan') Greek, Muslims, Persians, Indians or Chinese.

Where would modern mathematics be without the Indo-Arabic base-10 numerals? Without the concept of zero?

The second reason is that it ignores the complexity of history, its messiness, and some well-established facts. The comments mentioned Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei. The Church did reject heliocentrism for centuries, but also the zero, and later differential calculus and evolution. There's a pattern. In general, the church institution has been scientifically conservative.

The other side of the coin, of this historical pattern -- and that is where it becomes philosophically more interesting, more dialectical than just another sterile fight between theists and atheists -- is that the proponents of heliocentrism and countless other scientific discoveries in the West were also men of the Church, or of some church, until the church rejected them.

In late medieval and early renaissance Europe, when "Western science" was born, a great deal of science and education was done by one church or another. Or more precisely: by certain individuals, certain societies and sub-groups within the vast human groups that one could label "the Catholic Church", "the Lutherans", "the Anglican Church", etc.

It could not be otherwise: nothing is without a cause, and science itself could not come from nowhere. It had to be born in a pre-scientific milieux.

Copernicus obtained a doctorate in canon law and was probably ordained priest, as in 1537 he was one of four candidates for the episcopal seat of Warmia, in Poland.

In Italy, the heartland of Catholicism, Giordano Bruno was a Dominican friar, before he was excommunicated by the Catholics, and later by the Lutherans too... His ideas went way beyond heliocentrism: he thought of stars as distant "suns" around which exoplanets could orbit... That kind of talk was just too wild for the times. Likewise, his theology and hermetology were "out of this world".

Galileo was educated by the Benedictine at Vallombrosa. His Dialogue on the Two World Systems was in fact commissioned by the Pope Urban VIII, a friend from Florence, then newly elected, in an effort to take the latest science into consideration. The Pope wanted some dispassionate, fact-based comparison between 2 hypotheses: geocentrism and heliocentrism. Galileo's Dialogue was that and more: it argued, it mocked geocentrism, and it vehemently promoted heliocentrism. The Pope felt betrayed and unleashed the dogs.

In England, Isaac Newton wrote theological and occult treatises, of the kind that Bruno would have approved of.

The Role of Occultism

The interplay between science, theology and occultism (eg astrology, alchemy and magic) is typical of this historical transition between the essentially qualitative and "enchanted" (tied to religion) medieval world view of scholasticism into the essentially quantitative and "disenchanted" (untied to religion), mathematical world view of modern science.

During the transition, hermetology is a very big deal. Why? Is that simply because of a yet partial, unfinished transition, with people like Newton yet unable to tell magical thinking from science? I would rather take occultism as an indication that people were trying to reconcile Christianity with the cosmological thinking of the ancients, Plato and Plotinus included.

The link is explicit in the case of Marsilio Ficino, one of the first Italian humanists. He was an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism in touch with the major academics of his day, and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. (source: Wikipedia)

He was also the first translator of the Corpus Hermeticum, a "collection of 17 Greek writings whose authorship is attributed to the legendary Hermes Trismegistus, a syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth."

Ficino's translation was a great success that launched a fashion for hermetology -- or hermeticism as we call it today -- in Western Europe.

What Ficino was after though, was not just magic spells and astrological themes, but a form of syncretism between the Bible and the Greeks. He had to try and prove that God had also inspired other cultures, not just Christianity but also the pagan Greeks before it. He had to try and define a religious syncretism between Jesus and Socrates (so to speak), in order for the ancients to be seriously studied, and translated in Europe.

At this point of the argument, the average Christian is usually seized by a holy fear for magic practices, while the average atheist is often puzzled, asking herself:

"Why did Newton, Giordano Bruno, Kepler or Marsilio Ficino even try to save some parts of this mythological nonsense and "wisdom literature" of the ancients? Why occultism? Why didn't Newton found a purely rational (hence atheist) form of science?"

The answer is probably that they couldn't possibly do so, at the time, both politically and psychologically.

It was spiritually impossible, too long a jump.

Nowadays science has made so much progress that it's easy to forget or cancel theology. But by the 16th and 17th centuries science had done very little yet. It was but starting its march, and to begin this journey was to jump in the unknown. It was scary work, spiritually speaking, and one couldn't do it without some faith, without faith that the universe had a meaning, a sense, some inherent Logos, and that us little creatures were able to decipher the Logos with our little-l logos of little creatures.

And so the early humanists needed a theology to found their rationalism. Just a different one than the Catholic dogma. They found it in the ancients, as rehashed by the Italian hermetologists, in Neoplatonism, and then in the Freemasons who stem from the same root.

In summary, Freemasonry and all this "occult stuff" can be seen as a needed historical and spiritual transition between strict Christianity and theism, (and arguably, atheism), a transitional theology that justified a renewed faith in reason, and an interest in ancient (pre-christian) science, philosophy and theology.

Now we are very far from the original claim.

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I would argue the core structures of science, the discoursive method of mutual pursuit of truth, academia and the idea of a universal education, were all from the Ancient Greeks. Christianity involved burning such 'pagan' writings with very few exceptions, and it was only with the arrival of translations from Arabic to Latin from books that survived in the Arabic world, that science in the West began.

But, it was the overturning of Ancient Greek writers as preeminent authorities, that defined the Rennaissance, with corrections of Galen and Aristotle.

It's reductive and counterproductive to lump a huge area of human culture and it's impacts in the way you imply. Christianity opposed heliocentrism, but was far more accomodating to evolution than people realise. When the first European universities were being set up in Italy they were hubs of progress, but later it took universities that dissented from the model of prioritising Greek and Latin Classical learning to develop steam engines and modern thermodynamics. Just like Islam had it's Golden Age and House of Wisdom in Baghdad, but also a countermovement that suppressed 'non-Islamic' ideas.

I think it's worth mentioning that the idea of binding laws of the cosmos did help underpin things like the universal law of gravitation, the idea Heavens and Earth could be under the same law. And that an argument can be made that rights discourses, laws of war, and social contracts, can be related to Christian influence. But not as inevitable or canonically in the theology, but as selected and chosen and developed from, and argued for. In a similar way there are arguments for and against slavery in Christianity and Islam. What a student chooses to hear, is as important as the teaching.

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    I think you're being charitable with the last point. Could not Isaac Newton (for example) just as easily have gotten his idea of universal laws that govern everything from Pythagoras or Plato, as from the Bible?
    – code_monk
    Oct 28, 2023 at 20:05
  • Basically, every person is individually on the hook for whatever they assent to or persecute, which has been said for a long time. No blanket ideologies can avoid that. We should be focussing on individual responsibility.
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 28, 2023 at 20:28
  • @ScottRowe: I don't think it's as simple as that. Some cultural structures enable modes of life, in ways that can't alwsts be foreseen.
    – CriglCragl
    Oct 28, 2023 at 21:29
  • @code_monk: I mean, maybe, maybe not. Wading in with preconceptions to find evidence to confirm a predetermined worldview, isn't going to be productive though, whether atheist or Christian. What is motivating a given enquiry? I'm pretty fascinated by the development of human thought, & I'm open to pursuasive cases from informed people, from sociologusts & anthropologists & those immersed in the details of the evidence. If you are too: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_and_science plato.stanford.edu/entries/laws-of-nature plato.stanford.edu/entries/religion-science
    – CriglCragl
    Oct 28, 2023 at 21:40
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    @ScottRowe: Trust the process. What gets there, will get there. Sense of humour is an important marker. If you can laugh at yourself & others, your're on the way. If you can laugh, then, you are winning.
    – CriglCragl
    Oct 28, 2023 at 23:29
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I don't know how you could prove such a claim. It is certainly the case that there are examples of the spirit of scientific enquiry that pre-date christianity. Let us also not overlook examples of people having been tortured and excommunicated for rational beliefs that were in conflict with the prevailing christian dogma.

Where you have an example of science being practiced, facilitated or encouraged by a christian religious establishment, you could legitimately ask whether that arose specifically from the christian nature of the organisation, or whether the example would have arisen if the organisation had been the centre of some other religious belief. In other words, the fact that a christian belief system prevailed might simply have been coincidental. A great many cultural, intellectual and economic practices evolved during the time when christianity was the pervading background to life, so are they all 'offsprings' of christianity? Offspring suggests that there was some essence passed down from the parent, and I see little hard evidence to support that claim in relation to christianity and science. Places such as abbeys provided an environment in which people with the ability to read and write had the time to think and converse, and it is that alone which might have facilitated the development of ideas, rather than the religious context.

Incidentally, I have given you an upvote for reminding us of the unconscious racism that still pervades life and show itself in the tendency to equate philosophy with the philosophy of a primarily north-western male sub-set of humans.

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"Science" in a historical context has a pretty specific meaning. Ancient people who theorized about the movement of planets or mixing metals together weren't doing science as we know it. Observation and theories are a part of science but just doing that isn't science.

Which is to say, there isn't a bright line of science and non-science. There are debates about who the first scientist was.

For me personally, I think the first scientist was Francis Bacon, who popularized the ideas of empiricism and experimentation as part of the scientific process.

If you accept Bacon as the father of science, then you would inevitably say yes, Christianity was important. One of Bacon's main motivations was drawing a line between that which we could discover in fact (science) and that which we could only debate (religion, philosophy). He was influential for centuries until the scientific revolution took place.

In our specific timeline, yes, science sprang out of Christianity. It's true that science would have developed without Christianity (Muslims came awfully close and made several important contributions along the way). It's true that someone else could have done what Bacon did without the same motivations. History could have very easily unfolded a different way. But it didn't.

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There are a lot of invalid claims bandied about in both religious and atheist apologism, and this is one of them.

The modern scientific method developed in a continent dominated by Christian thought, this is true. But its antecedents are clearly visible in both pre-Chrisitan, and non-Christian empiricists. And empiricism is a universal human learning process, and does not rely upon any religion or non-religion.

What science probably required to develop, was a network of universities sharing thinking, and an openness to question dogma. Christian societies built the network of universities, discovered the Greek empiricists in writings shared from Muslim scholars, and started scientific inquiry during the renaissance.

It appears to have been an accident of history that the reformation broke the thought control of a single church, and then the clear ideological failures of the 30 years war broke the credibility of religious dogmatism, that then allowed free scientific inquiry to flourish in the enlightenment. Crediting this to Christianity -- does not seem to be a plausible reading of sociologic history. These events were historical accident, not a necessary feature of the religion.

That our modern scientific method developed in a Christian continent does not mean it could not have developed elsewhere, and the hostility to science within much of Christianity does not support that science is intrinsic to it.

I don't see this argument as racist in any way, just as an example of the rationalizations that apologism tend to drive people to.

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  • "hostility to science within much of Christianity" doesn't reflect the positive attitude of the the Catholic church (largest denomination) represented by Pontifical Academy of Sciences or conferences like this). Mainstream Protestant is ALSO positive, represented by the works of Allister McGrath or the Biologos Institute). Oct 29, 2023 at 17:13
  • And in recent decades Christian philosophers have been embracing neuroscience and try to integrate the findings into a more wholesome theology of a person. Unfortunately, these voices are drowned out by non-mainstream anti-science creationism, especially in America. Although I voted up your answer, I take issue with your saying "much of Christianity does not support that science is intrinsic to it", which is dismissive of a large camp of Christian thinking that sees a perfect harmony of reason and faith which has been thriving since 13th century Aquinas who made that explicit. Oct 29, 2023 at 17:17
  • @GratefulDisciple There is enough flexibility in theology that any religion can be made compatible with science. That does not obviate the long history of problematic interference by Christian organizations with science that has been a feature of in particular the early history of science. There is an innate conflict between the “question everything” principle central to science and the “revealed truth” principle so central to Abrahamic faiths in particular.
    – Dcleve
    Oct 29, 2023 at 20:14
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    I probably have to write my own answer (don't want to clutter the comment space with discussion), but I want to provide a corrective on 2 things while staying objective & descriptive by appealing to the history of various societies and their religions. First, about "interference", yes, religion is a double-edged sword but some religions interfere more than others, Buddhism maybe the least, and Christianity has a checkered history (today's YEC movement is definitely on the bad side). ... Oct 30, 2023 at 15:41
  • But a religion provides 2 things: motivator and promise of order, both cannot be provided by science, although the latter is provided by philosophy of science but then when pressed for justification, even being philosophy of science is not equipped to provide a guarantee. In superstitious religions where you appease the gods by rituals we got negative support, even 4th century BC great Greek philosophers have to fight against them. In today's major religions we have some support, such as Islam of the Middle Ages, or ancient Indian religions (sadly, I'm quite ignorant about them). Oct 30, 2023 at 15:50
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In my life, I've found that science is almost hard wired in human nature.

What is science? I interpret it as cause-and-effect combined with communicating to others in an act to pass on learned outcomes by teaching.

When I watch a child

  • poke their sibling,
  • throw a clump of dirt, or
  • run to scare a flock of birds

they are all trying to see if they can influence their environment. This experimentalist attitude appears nature, not nurture.

When they combine the desire to cause a change in their environment with the desire to repeat, increase, or decrease the change, they are exercising the Scientific Method. As they take what they've learned and share (brag, teach, train) others explicitly or implicitly, they are sharing the experiment making it repeatable and hence enabling others to conduct the same experiment to arrive at a similar outcome.

As I have seen this in every culture from every part of the world I have traveled, I truly believe it to be human nature and not a learned behavior, not a Christian teaching.

As a Christian myself, the New Testament / Gospel do not appear to have parables of scientific behavior. While Jesus teaches many lessons through story, he does not describe a process by which one should perform and experiment, collect observations, and then report the results so others can repeat the experiment. His parables are didactic; meant to serve as examples, not as methods to explore one's environment.

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  • I think Jesus wanted people to explore their inner environment, which is very much a scientific enterprise, probably the most important one. I greatly respect him, but some of his followers less so. I like the line from the movie LUCY - "Pass on what was learned"
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 29, 2023 at 0:54
  • "In interpret it as cause-and-effect combined with communicating ..." that's not science. It's kinda-sorta the first half of science, but too much superstition is faulty interpretation of cause-and-effect. That's why "science" requires looking for other possible causes for your observed outcomes than the one already in your head.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 29, 2023 at 18:41
  • @ScottRowe - I'd be interested in hearing of a parable or words directly attributed to Jesus that invoke the experimental nature of science. I believe that Jesus' teachings were intended for each individual to interpret some aspects themselves and hence inspired introspection. However, Jesus did not seem to advise people to "choose a path", "perform an experiment", and "test their hypothesis". He was much more prescriptive and expected each individual to commune with God to determine the path God had chosen for them. Oct 30, 2023 at 2:30
  • @RonJohn - I happily accept Wikipedia's steps of the scientific method (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method). Causality is crucial to this method - the independent variables are intended to affect the dependent variables - hence cause-and-effect. Superstition fails the scientific test because it cannot be repeated by others - a fundamental tenet of the scientific method. I am implying that humans are attracted to cause and effect - "poking the environment". They also enjoy telling stories. That covers 5 of 6 of the steps: observation, hypothesis, test, analyze, and report. Oct 30, 2023 at 2:36
  • @user3533030 except that "analyze, and report" can be very, very flawed. "Test", too.
    – RonJohn
    Oct 30, 2023 at 2:41
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None of the ten existing answers appears to challenge a fundamental way in which the question has been misformulated. With regard to Pythagoras and Anaxagoras (mentioned in the current top answer), it should be noted that Abrahamic religions, which predate both by over a millenium, include the idea of "a rational and orderly universe" as well as benevolence. The Pentateuch, which details this, also predates them by a large margin.

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  • I did mention Sumerian ideas, which I think predate Abrahamic ones.
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 30, 2023 at 23:07
  • @ScottRowe, my point was that the title of the question should have been not what currently appears but rather "On the claim that science is an offspring of Judaism?" if the question is based on the items listed there. As far as I know Sumer were not monotheists. Besides, I can't find any mention of them on this page. Oct 31, 2023 at 12:31
  • Ok. Maybe the title should be that it came from Sumerians, or even farther back, lost to history? Most likely the correct answer. I referred to Ma'at somewhere in a comment. It is considered Egyptian but they got it from the Sumerians. "The Divine World Order" I think is the source of concepts of science. It has nothing to do with theism.
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 31, 2023 at 12:39
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    @ScottRowe, you are now trying to provide an answer to the question. I am merely commenting on the formulation of the question. The OP's interest clearly involves theism (whether you agree or not is a separate question). Oct 31, 2023 at 13:21
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Scientific and rational thought predates Christianity: it was present in Greek philosophy in 3rd and 4th centuries BCE, and in Indian and Chinese thinking prior to that. That being said, Through most of European history the main container of literacy — and the primary groups that had the leisure time to pursue intellectual endeavors — was the monastic tradition in the Catholic church (and later in the Protestant sects). In fact, the early university system developed as an adjunct to Christian institutions, traces of which can still be seen in the modern university, and so it's fair to say that science needed the structures of Christian religion to take root. However, by the 16th/17th centuries a class of well-to-do lay people (commoners and nobility) had arisen who could pursue scientific endeavors without the constraints of ordinated monasticism, so science started to spread beyond the control of the Church. Which, of course, the Church didn't like…

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Theists argue that Christianity provided the necessary foundation for science to develop, such as the belief in a rational and orderly universe created by a benevolent God

Note very specifically what part of this is the "belief". The theist belief is not "There is a God, therefore I believe there to be order", the assumption is "There is order, therefore I believe that there must be a God who created it".

Christianity and science agree on the same kind observation of order in the universe, but they each apply it in a wildly different (and one might say orthogonal) way.

science is an offspring of Christian thought

For one thing to be an offspring of another, they need to share a common root. Not just the same kind of root, the very same root. To use a simple example, if my father is called John Smith, and your father is called John Smith, we are not proven to be (half) siblings, unless your father and my father are the very same person called John Smith. Similarity between our fathers is not sufficient, there needs to be equality (i.e. being the same person).

Furthermore, I assume we can all agree that the consideration of who is the offspring of whom depends on their point of origin, whereby the younger one of the two is considered the offspring.

The existence of rational thought and empiricism well before the concept of Christianity already refutes the main point. Let's use the ancient Greeks and Babylonians here as a generally accepted example, though I could argue that the very nature of the stone/bronze ages already contained scientific empirical thought processes.
In (temporary) conclusion, even if they did share the very same root, since Christianity appears much later on the timeline of humanity than science, rationality and empirical thought does, this would make Christianity the offspring, not science.

But then we get to the second point. I want to point out the bolded part of the previous section. While I agree that Christianity and science make a similar kind of observation about order in the universe, it is not one instance of this observation (i.e. one person remarking the existence of order) that spawned both Christianity and the entire field of science.

Therefore, there is no common root between Christianity and science. There is a common kind of root, but it's not the very same root.

In conclusion, while there are similarities in their roots, these are not an equality.


I think there is a subtle assumption that other civilizations did not have access to science. [..] This is an obvious artefact of racism which still prevails in society. Is this a valid argument?

If this refers to the assumption that other civilizations did not engage in science, I do consider that a form of discrimination-driven train of thought, but not necessarily one of race.

Your observation might be somewhat biased as you come from a culture which is not just religiously and culturally, but also racially different from the roots of Christianity. However, there's no reason to exclude racially-similar non-Christians from the claim that non-Christians did not engage in science. Let's use the Norse "pagans" as a leading example here on people who were called barbarian savages by the Christian powers that be (were?) at the time.

It depends on the definition of the claim and how the boundaries are being drawn, e.g. Christianity vs the others, geographical Europe vs the rest of the world, genealogical Europe vs other anthropological roots, a nation/kingdom vs the rest of the world, Old Testament religions (which include more than just Christianity) versus the others, ... I don't believe we can find the correct label unless the person making the claim explains precisely what the basis (or assumption) for their claim is.

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What we witness now as the offspring of the scientific revolution of the 16-17th century I think is the result of the ban of the spirit from reality. This process to my understanding started with Christianity - that initialy banned the spirit from the physical reality to a religious one, represented by God - and gradually during the last centuries philosophers and scientists expelled the spirit to the vastness of the universe and time, even before the big bang. And unfortunately they are still trying to eliminate it completely. Whenever the spirit pops up they do their best to push it back: that's the driving force behind our scientific evolution these days. So in this sense and in this context, I agree with "science is an offspring of Christian though". Also note that Christianity was in fact "prepared" by ancient Greek philosophy. Also, stricly speaking, the middle-ages "Christian Majesty" was in fact split into different forces inside Europe; one of them was science.

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  • I am not getting the link of how banning the spirit is related to thinking other cultures didn't have access to science?
    – Scott Rowe
    Oct 30, 2023 at 23:15
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    The other cultures, searched for the answers inside them, by having a holistic aproach in understanding the world around them. The spirit was everywhere, everything was seen as a manifestation of spirit. On the contrary ... (from wikipedia) Newton and Leibniz incorporated a way of thinking ... now used in a new non-teleological way. This implied a shift in the view of objects: objects were now considered as having no innate goals... Oct 31, 2023 at 10:04
  • ...Different types of things all work according to the same general laws of nature, with no special formal or final causes. During this time, the declared purpose and value of science became producing wealth and inventions that would improve human lives, in the materialistic sense of having more food, clothing, and other things... Oct 31, 2023 at 10:05
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    In Buddhism, the goal is to get a realization of things by connecting to your inner self. All meaning comes out from this path. The spirit is not banned, on the contrary it's the connection with the spirit that is the means and the goal of this process. Oct 31, 2023 at 11:57
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    I agree with that. It's that "meaningless" that fueled the evolution of modern science. But I also beleive that we are now at a point where we have to bring that meaning back, in order to make the step forward. Polarization fuels evolution but at some point a reconciliation must be made; polarization is the search of the meaning (what we want to) and reconciliation is the realization of it (what we have become of). Oct 31, 2023 at 13:01

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