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Rodney Stark

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Submitted by Dennis Middlebrooks (United States), Jan 2, 2021 at 22:34

I will not be reading Rodney Stark's book. Years ago, I read an article by him in which he stated that Western Civilization owed nothing to the Classical Civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome, and used "air quotes" around the word civilizations when referring to them. So much for democracy, philosophy, the stage drama, poetry, concrete, Euclidian Geometry and the field of history!

Stark claimed that science was due to Judeo-Christianity and that secularism was the enemy of science, which claim would have come as a shock to Roger Bacon, Giordano Bruno, Galileo and Charles Darwin, each of whom, among many others, incurred the wrath of "Judeo-Christian Civilzation." Copernicus ensured his treatise on the heliocentric theory was not published until after his death out of fear of the Church. Yet the ancient Greeks gave us Archimedes and determined the circumference of the Earth and the distance to and size of the Moon, and the Romans made advances in plumbing and aqueducts that were not equaled in Europe until modern times. And yes, some Ancient Greeks also postulated the heliocentric theory 1,800 years before Copernicus.

Finally, Stark's claim that the Judeo-Christian God is "the rational creator of a comprehensible universe" is arrant revisionist nonsense. That is the perfect definition of the Deist God of men like Franklin and Jefferson, who had no use for Christian dogma. It was the anti-clerical Enlightenment, which stood against the obscuritanism of the Christian churches, which led to the advances in science, women's rights, Jewish rights and assimilation, and politics in the last 300 years. Judeo-Christianity stood in the way almost every time.

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