I should have been clearer: I think religion and science are based on different views of the world as well, and so in that sense I think they are in conflict too.
However, the "Conflict Thesis" as it is talked about in the discipline of history, has a more specific meaning: it refers to the idea that when you look throughout history, religion has always (or almost always) been in direct opposition to science and has tried to sabotage its progress for as long as it could. This is still quite popular in the public consciousness with phrases like "The Church burned lots of scientists in the Middle Ages" and the anecdotes of Galileo and Copernicus.
That's the historical version of the conflict thesis that historical scholars have pretty much unanimously abandoned. The relationship has been a complex one, and certainly not one of constant conflict: often science and a rational view of the world was supported (and in fact argued for) by the Church.
So when I say that the Conflict Thesis has been abandoned, I don't mean the idea that science and religion are not in what you might call a metaphysical conflict, but rather to the idea that they have always been hostile towards each other over the course of human history.
That's what I meant.
The author linked above certaintly isnt any sort of grand hsitorian or anything
I don't think I ever claimed to be a "grand historian or anything", not that I know what that is.
I'm sure he didnt go through every source with a historians eye.
And you're "sure" of this because ... ? I went over all the of the sources, looking at them objectively, taking into account their date, authorship, context and biases. If that isn't going through them "with a historians eye", what is?
When I watched "300" I didnt really care that it wasnt to the "T" about everything.
Neither did I. Then again, I also didn't come across reviews of 300 claiming it was an accurate depiction of history that has lessons to teach us. I've come across many of those for Agora. I also never heard of the director of 300 solemnly pronouncing about the things his movie can teach us about history. Amenabar did that. He even claimed that if the library depicted in the movie (the one that didn't actually exist) hadn't been destroyed (despite not existing) we'd now have colonies on Mars. In Germany Agora was publicised via a video of a guy asking people in the street who discovered heliocentrism and then "revealing" to them that it was Hypatia. Despite this being fantasy nonsense. Seeing the difference between Agora and 300 yet?
I also dont care a whit if its portrays Christians as bad.
I don't care who its warped depiction of history portrays as bad, but I do care very much about its warped depiction of history. That Christianity has done bad things is not an excuse for a movie that perpetuates myths - we wouldn't let theists get away with that and we shouldn't let others do so just because we happen to like the sentiments involved. That's not rational.
Crap is crap, even if it's our crap. Especially so, in fact.
Yeah I think it's quite obvious that I wasn't proclaiming Tim's blog to be gospel: the reason I linked to it was because it was an accessible summary of what's historically wrong with the film, why it's biased and why and how it seeks to perpetuate specific myths. After doing my own research, I found the summary to be fair and accurate.
And because it's written by an atheist who, like me, is worried that the myths perpetuated by this movie are going to find their way into the historic 'knowledge' (the things everyone KNOWS to be true about the past, but are usually false) of the general public. Particularly the atheist general public.
Anyway, nice to see you around here Tim. Hope you're not going to wind up like Freeman and reply to every thread on the internets that links to your blog though :P
"People used to not get older than 40 or 50."
That concept has been a major sticking point in many of my debates, that and the infamous "everyone used to die of toe infections". I have not studied much on the longevity of Europeans back then but I have read a fair bit about the longevity of pre-colonial North Americans. Unfortunately this was years ago and I no longer have access to them, and they seem non-existent on the internet. So if you could provide any references on pre-colonial North America longevity, I would be much obliged. If I remember correctly, it was the first European explorers to North America who noticed and reported on how healthy and tall and older people here got compared to those days in Europe. Thanks
If Agora is a 'myth', I can easily say the same about the bible and the stories within. So what if the movie Agora is not literally what happened, it is a historical drama not documentary or docudrama. It's amusing how older fictions with more followers and 'true believers' seem to somehow be more legitimate. Fiction is still fiction. History depends on written records, ideally as many as possible from divergent backgrounds describing the same thing. The truth is we really know very little about history especially when you go back more than 1000 years.
*cough cough* My head hurts so BLAH
If Agora is a 'myth', I can easily say the same about the bible and the stories within.
Yes. And? So? Does that make rationalists believing in myths okay for some strange reason?
So what if the movie Agora is not literally what happened, it is a historical drama not documentary or docudrama.
And if the director and promoters weren't selling it at factual and people weren't solemnly proclaiming it to be historically accurate and thus a cautionary tale from history there would be no problem. But they are.
The truth is we really know very little about history especially when you go back more than 1000 years.
So we can, therefore, make up any stories we like and believe anything we want? We can, within the limits of our sources, know quite a bit about the past actually. And we can certainly look at this movie, compare it to careful analysis of our sources on the subject and see that the movie distorts history.
What's amusing me is how many supposed "rationalists" are desperately trying to defend this silly movie. They sound more like emotionalists to me.