Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Faith, without knowledge, is superstition.
I wish I could remember the name of the 3rd (or 4th?) Century AD philosopher who said that. He had been born into a Christian home and educated by neoplatonists and Greek Biblical scholars. As a young man he embraced the Roman state religion and denounced Christianity and Judaism, recognizing them as separate religious expressions of a common heritage. He suggested that both religions were not true religions but instead were superstitions since both have their origin in divine revelation. Since divine revelation (by definition) cannot be subjected to falsification, they are not systems that can be rationally analyzed. (He went on to argue that the state religion was rational ... etc).
Christian philosophers wrestled with this argument for nearly 800 years before finally rationalizing it under St Thomas Aquinas. Interestingly, Aquinas used Aristotle as the basis for his Summa Theologia. Whose writings, interestingly, he would not have known about except for the efforts of an arab (or maybe Persian? Anyway, a Muslim) philosopher known to the west as Avicenna. This was during the day when Muslims believed that scientific and philosophical inquiry were important venues for praising Allah than simply nekkid obedience to the Quran. And as all botanists will quickly point out, a genus of mangroves, Avicennia, was named in honor of him.
And that's the rest of the story.