It's curious, our approach to what our new "religion" or philosophy our civilization should adopt. Do you think that the principles and religions symbols other culture's adopted were decided around a conference table? Or did they just evolve over time? There are apparent contradictions in the bible, ironic because it was more likely to have been edited by an institution than the Nordic myths, are there similar issues with other sacred texts?
I'd have to imagine that a cohesive philosophy or values system that is agreed upon would be more effective than one that is pasted together over the centuries, but how do you tell people: "All that stuff you used to believe [both the symbols and the principles] was wrong, believe this instead." Especially if they couldn't understand the justification.
One more thing to think about: Which would be harder, convincing someone that there isn't a god in the clouds watching over them or that a value of theirs (like equality) is false? My intuition tells me the first, since the theist's entire perspective on life would be based on the existence of such a god and the fact that he said to live a certain way. But, in my observation, it's the former. Word's getting out that god (a personified, sits-on-a-throne-in-the-sky God) doesn't exist, but a principle like equality persists. This is strange, because the case against god is a lack of supporting evidence, but the case against equality seems more substantial (it's disprovable).
I must object: first of all, some perspective: what you call the "scientific method" is a materialistic method; the (good, true) ancients never cared for it because they knew that quality is more important than quantity. A people that focus too much on quantity will lose sight of quality. From the viewpoint of quality, man is the vicegerent of God on earth. Man's relative position in space is unimportant compared to that...
I appreciate the response, nous, and I'd have to say that I actually agree with you and most points, either you are misinterpreting me or I didn't pay much attention to the details of my writing - terminology and phrasing. The perspective you're offering me is one I already have.
- I called them the "dark ages" because that's what they commonly called, not because I think of them that way.
- The personified Christian God (or whatever religion) is an invention of man, even if the higher purpose or principles he represents are not, and are not just arbitrary.
- I don't think the ancients were lesser evolved, but I wonder how many were still theistic followers (the less intelligent of the bunch, just like today). The thing about science vs. religion was an attempted explanation of how our society came to be post-modern and valueless. (The church was proven wrong: about existence of god, flatness of the earth -> people don't believe other things the church teaches, things that actually matter: principles and values). This kind of conclusion is like the thinking of a teenager who struggles to help grandpa use a computer, and then assumes he's completely incompetent and doesn't know anything about life.
- I understand some values make more sense than others, but I was trying to argue against a poster who claimed it was possible to live a fulfilling, meaningful life with only science and reason. A third poster mentioned that the satisfaction that people who are supposedly purely rational get from their work depends on valuing the pursuit of scientific facts, and the value of the truth cannot be proven since all value is perceived (I thought this was the cornerstone of nihilism, would I be wrong?). So I agree it's saner to value some things over others, but value cannot be proven with reason alone, even the valuing of reason. See reply #82 where someone caught on to this.
^ So I'd say any form of metaphysical or qualitative analysis would be considered unscientific because they are nonobjective because they reside in the human mind.