Well I will have to say that Pro missed some of my arguments, has some of his facts wrong and has not jumped over some of my arguments that doesn't fit his theory.
Brief Comment on the Protestant Reformation
I do not say that Protestantism is the most perfect form of Christianity. About the only thing Luther got right was "salvation by faith", though later he added works to it. The same can be said about other Protestant denominations. Many of them never reached the full extent of what the Bible taught, but it was a work in progress as was science and democracy. As the truth of the Bible opened up after being locked by the Catholic Church for centuries the ideas for freedom and science were opened as well. Indeed, the Bible is way more understood today than 500 years ago when men were people were just beginning to read it for themselves. Cons chart for deaths because of religion (which is not the true religion of the Bible) is pale in comparison to the death caused by the religion of Secular Humanism and the taking of God out of society (USSR, Nazi Germany, People's Republic of China, WWI, Imperialism, Vietnam).
Renaissance and Human Rights
I will argue that history has shown that the works of Petrarch, Coluccio Salutati, Lorenzo Valla and Pico Della Mirandola did much to bring Europe to the idea of human rights because their writings are full of why God gives man human dignity through His incarnation and the idea that we are made in God's image. But that is for another debate.
I think it is telling when Pro didn't address Galileo.
Again I will repeat that the pioneers of science were Protestant and the Bible influenced their worldview when doing science and I will keep saying it until Pro proves me otherwise.
Robert Boyle: To him, the Bible was so important that a large part of his funds went to having the Bible printed in several languages. Boyle even said that conflicts between science and the Bible were due to a mistake in science or wrong interpretation of the Bible. "Even when some revelations are thought not only to transcend reason, but to clash with it, it is to be considered whether such doctrines are really repugnant to any absolute catholic rule of reason, or only to something which depends upon the measure of acquired information we enjoy." 1 In A Discourse of Things Above Reason, Boyle writes that he believes that God's attributes can be known by studying God's creation. "I study the book of nature I find myself oftentimes reduced to exclaim with the Psalmist, How manifold are Thy works, O Lord! in wisdom hast Thou made them all!" 2
Isaac Newton: He wrote 1.3 million words on Biblical subjects. “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God.” “When I wrote my treatise about our system, I had an eye upon such principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity, and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.” He even gave good advice on interpreting the Scriptures, “It is the perfection of all God’s works that they are done with the greatest simplicity … And therefore, as they that would understand the frame of the world must endeavor to reduce their knowledge [science] to all possible simplicity, so it must be in seeking to understand these [prophetic] visions.” If they didn't believe in what he wrote, then why listen to them? Why would they even bother writing? They wasn't forced to write these things, but they chose to because that is what they believed.
I could go on if Pro would not have limited this debate to 10,000 words. I am disappointed.
Pro gives credit to the printing press for bringing knowledge and science of today, but if this were true, that the printing press brings knowledge and science, then the Chinese and Koreans should have been way ahead of Europe.
Pro goes on to say that some of the people I mentioned were skeptics of parts of the Bible. To that I will say that, of course they did. The Bible was just in the process of being read. Even great Protestant figures like Martin Luther, John Calvin and John Knox kept many traditions of the Catholic Church that are not found in Scripture. Like I said before, today we have a better and clearer understanding of the Scriptures since the Protestant Reformation. I will agree with Pro that they were against a strict and rigid view of religion because religion then was more about power and control, but about the Bible, Newton had a positive, but not perfect, view of the Bible as something more than just written by man, he realized it was from God. I will remind Pro that the Bible had been locked away for centuries by the Catholic Church. I discuss how Western Rationality is based on the Bible in my other debate.
Since Pro fails to have provide any sources to back up his assertion that the Catholic Church began adopting Aristotelian science in the 13th century and not before, I will ignore it for now. Also Pro needs to have evidence that scholars besides the Catholic Church could read the Bible. I would agree that scholars were allowed to read the Bible, scholars that were in Catholic schools of thought with strict interpretations of the Bible that would fit with Catholic doctrine (which is not based solely on the Bible and whose teachings contradict it), I could provide sources for this, but we would be moving into the realm of the Catholic religion not being truly Bible based. I would even do it if I had more words.
While the US does have a representative form of government I will remind Pro that it is not the only power. The people do not have sole power in our Republic. Our government has three powers the people (Congress), the executive (President) and judicial (Courts). When the Founding Fathers set up the government, originally the Senator were not picked by the people, but by the States, therefore the States had a power. Also to note that the electoral college was not as democratic as it is today, electors were free to vote for their candidate without being dictated by popular or state consent. The Democrats have made America more democratic since the early 1900s something the Founding Fathers would not have favored. Also the Democrats want to get rid of the electoral college creating direct democracy.
Pro states that Common Sense was written as propaganda as if he can mentally read what Thomas Paine was really thinking when he wrote it, a common thing historians do on the left instead of just reading what it written and attributing it as the thoughts that the author truly believed. Though, Paine was a deist and against organized religion (Catholics, Anglicans and Puritans) he was not adverse to the Bible and used it to defend his thoughts on many subjects. In Age of Reason Thomas Paine begins by "a powerful confession of rationalist faith in a divine creator whose design can be appreciated by man in the Bible of Creation, whose principles are eternal."3
Pro states that the Magna Carta did not give the common man any rights. However, this is not true for there were freemen who were peasants at the time and their personal property, including land, was protected. Even the peasants who were under nobles were granted some rights that included protection for their possessions from being seized by the royal government and the protected from heavy fines they could not pay. While I agree it wasn't the greatest it was a step in the right direction.4
On Hotman, Beza and Mornay. These Huguenots based the following ideas on what the Bible's opinion was on government: Francois Hotman argumented for representative government, religious freedom and an elected monarchy all based on the Bible; According to Theodore Beza, the Bible gives people the right to change their government if the magistrates are violating the natural rights that God has given man. Vindiciae contra tyrannos, possibly written by Mornay, was a pamphlet that also used Scripture to promote the idea that had king should only be obeyed as long as he subjected himself to the laws that God had set up.
On Separation of Church and State. Pro gives credit for this to the Enlightenment, however, this idea was first written about by two people of the Reformation. The first was Martin Luther in the doctrine of the two Kingdoms.5 The other was a reformist of the anabaptist movement, his name was Michael Sattler. He advocated for the protection of the church from the state (this idea was adopted by the Founding Fathers, not protecting the state from the church).
Pro does not give me any evidence by source that John Adams changed his views, therefore what he wrote stands unless Pro can come up with a later quote that contradicts the quote I mentioned. Pro cannot keep putting thoughts into people's heads. Pro also states that the Founding Fathers agreed that the Bible would not make a free society without a source. In contrast I have given him a source that shows that the Founders not only respected it, but applied it to their lives and way of thinking influencing their government making and believed society and the world should read and follow it.
Pro again says that the Enlightenment conquered the idea of original depravity. However, Montesquieu, Madison and Locke all believed in man's sinful nature and that only government founded on the Bible's view of government could rightly fix the sinfulness of man. Again, I could right so much more with more sources.
1. Boyle, Robert. 1690. Reflections on a Theological Distinction
2. Boyle, Robert. 1660. Seraphic Love
Forgot all about this one. Sorry it went unvoted.
I'm surprised that no one listed what those Modern Western values are. If they had been listed, we would have been able to see that every one of them has corollary in Bible.
Every western value is based on the axiom that all men are created equal, and the men who expounded it used God, if not always as an entity, but as a concept to ground the idea of intrinsic, inalienable rights. It is actually the enlightenment philosophy that owes more to Christianity. Hat tip to con.
I don't think this debate will do justice to the theme. Though I am debating this I have another one on the same subject that will go more in depth if anyone is interested. I have it titled The Bible is the Foundation of Western Civilization.
Secularism is not anti-Christian.
There was certainly philosophy in the late Roman Empire, but nothing like that of the Enlightenment. Historians consider the Enlightenment to have started in the mid-late 17th century, at the earliest.
Also, do you not realize that religious skepticism and secularism were the Enlightenment's defining characteristics?
enlightenment philosophizes goes back to christian rome
This is a really cool one where I don't have a particular opinion. I might've taken it but I'm too busy atm. Looking forward to following this one though