Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Troy

In Native American and African Traditions Science was not Separate from Religion

Recommended Posts

Why Native Americans do not separate religion from science

        
The knowledge of the medicinal qualities of these plants clearly grew out of a process of observation and experimentation. She learned how to distill the essential elements of a plant to create an extract of its medicinal properties. In fact, her refrigerator was filled with bottles of extracts.

 

However, some of these plants also had mythological stories that spoke of their origin in the supernatural realm. These stories instructed the Blackfeet how to communicate with the plant, to care for it, how to protect its ecosystem, restrict knowledge of the plant and its over-harvesting.

 

My grandmother believed that a powerful supernatural being, “Ko’komíki’somm,” gave humans certain plants to use as medicine. She also understood, based on their scientific properties, that a plant was indeed a medicine.

 

The Spirituality of Africa

 

Indigenous African religions refer to the indigenous or native religious beliefs of the African people before the Christian and Islamic colonization of Africa. Indigenous African religions are by nature plural, varied, and usually informed by one’s ethnic identity, where one's family came from in Africa. For instance, the Yoruba religion has historically been centered in southwestern Nigeria, the Zulu religion in southern Africa, and the Igbo religion in southeastern Nigeria.

 

"African spirituality simply acknowledges that beliefs and practices touch on and inform every facet of human life, and therefore African religion cannot be separated from the everyday or mundane."

 

For starters, the word "religion" is problematic for many Africans, because it suggests that religion is separate from the other aspects of one's culture, society, or environment. But for many Africans, religion can never be separated from all these. It is a way of life, and it can never be separated from the public sphere. Religion informs everything in traditional African society, including political art, marriage, health, diet, dress, economics, and death.

 


 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always find it interesting how people try to separate "religion" from "a way of life".

A religion IS a way of life.
Or atleast that is what it's supposed to and designed to be.

The problem is most people in the West don't practice the religions that they preach or claim to believe in so many grow up believing that "religion" is merely something that you do one or two days out of the week rather than 24/7.


Also, the author....like most people....is equating KNOWLEDGE with SCIENCE.

The two are pretty much synonymous in today's colloquial conversation.
But technically.......Native Americans and Africans didn't practice "science".

They had their own sets of knowledge, beliefs, procedures, and other concepts.
But "science" in it's most literal sense actually belongs to the West because "science" involves a particular and specific set of procedures in order for it to be accepted.

So to call the knowledge of ancient Africans and Native Americans "science" would be like calling their ancient places of worship "churches".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pioneer, equating science to the "west" is like equating religion or spirituality to the west.  Don't get caught up in western language and constructs. 

 

African the cultures that predated western civilization engaged in what we might call science and religion.  

 

Del your last statement reminded be of Harry Potter.  If you ever so the films, the study of magic, in the classroom, was indistinguishable from a science lecture.  Is this what you mean?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did not say "western medicine vs eastern medicine" that is you reflecting again Del. 

 

I think I essentially agree with Pioneer. I believe however he treats science as if it is the invention of Europeans.  Maybe they came up with the word but not the concept.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy

 

Pioneer, equating science to the "west" is like equating religion or spirituality to the west. Don't get caught up in western language and constructs.

African the cultures that predated western civilization engaged in what we might call science and religion.


I'm inclined to agree with you on religion because the definition of what constitutes a "religion" is so vague that many of the practices around the world from past to present can be labled as religion or religious.

But again, calling the knowledge ancient cultures "science"....while I understand what you MEAN when you say "science".....I have to go back to the fact that what they knew did not fall under the technical concept of "science" as it is known in the West.

Again..............

Don't confuse KNOWLEDGE with SCIENCE

For it to be "science" it has to be derived from a strictly specified type of method that simply didn't exist back then.





Del

 

What's te difference between Eastern and Western Science. @Troy


Great question!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Del why ask me to define "Eastern Science?" You brought it up. Why don't you define it? 

 

Again Pioneer all I can say is that you should stop viewing everything through the lense of the "West."  This is why you can't see that what you call "Knowledge" could have been obtained in a method that is indistinguishable from you you call science today.  If you read the article I linked to, "Why Native Americans do not separate religion from science" You'd get a clearer understanding of the point I'm making.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps we should invent (perhaps one already exists) a NEW WORD that encapsulates the knowledge and the methods used to arrive at this knowledge by human beings both modern and ancient which would INCLUDE "science" and the scientific method but would also include much much more.

Again, to call what the Africans and Native Americans did and how they did it "science" would be like going up to a Jewish or Buddhist and asking them about their "church".
What they have isn't called that.

And what the Africans and Native Americans had wasn't called "science".

But if people want to continue to use that term for lack of a better one until a new one is invented or revived....I understand.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We may not agree on the terminology but atleast we can all agree that CYNIQUE was wrong when she said that science never espouses religion, lol.

The information provided in this thread has proven otherwise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 06/04/2018 at 11:35 PM, Troy said:

Del why ask me to define "Eastern Science?" You brought it up. Why don't you define it? 

Troy if you don't want to clarify your position. Even after Pioneer said he would like to hear your definition that's fine. I am temporarily retiring from arguments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Delano "Eastern Science" is a strawman that you've created for some reason.  There is nothing for me to defend on that point and I've made my position clear. 

 

Why don't you simply say what you want to say about "Eastern Science?"  

 

This is not about "arguing" this is about clearly saying what you think.  Rather that having others read your mind.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

We may not agree on the terminology but atleast we can all agree that CYNIQUE was wrong when she said that science never espouses religion, lol.

If you'd have ever checked the definition of "espouse", you'd stop desperately and pathetically clinging to this idea.  

espouse:adopt or support (a cause, belief, or way of life):synonyms:adopt, embrace, take up, accept, welcome

 

None of the definitions of this word apply to science's attitude toward religion.  Science acknowledges  religion but does not incorporate it in its work, even if individual scientists may be religious in their private lives.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isaac Newton dedicated Primcipa Mathematica to God.

So I can't agree with that statement. Newton isn't making the  statement as a layman. You could argue whether Newtown was emotionally unbalanced and paranoid. However that has no bearing on his scientific and religious pronouncements. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't agree with what you say. His mental state does have a bearing on his scientific and religious pronouncements.  And what religion is God?  What religion are the Natural laws of physics tenets of?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynique
 

None of the definitions of this word apply to science's attitude toward religion. Science acknowledges religion but does not incorporate it in its work, even if individual scientists may be religious in their private lives.

 

Well then you obviously disagree with Troy's thread that clearly states that Native American and African science is NOT SEPARATE from religion.
 

 

And you also disagree with YOURSELF because in another thread YOU said:

"
IMO, science is already a religion complete with disciples and self-worship. And religion is a science with the power to convert the human species."

https://aalbc.com/tc/topic/5024-the-new-religion/?page=1

 


So how can science be a religion in and of itself without incorporating religion?????
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not all mental illness is about schizophrenia.  A fanatical religious zealot is a state of mind that can influence a person's view of the world.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 7:59 PM, Delano said:

So if a mathematician is mentality imbalanced does that invalidate a Beautiful Mind?


Interesting subject.........

It appears that mental illness doesn't always affect the intellect, sometimes it just affects the emotions.

Some of the most brilliant works in both science and the arts are from those who were mentally ill.

How many singers and musicians have produced their BEST jams while they were drunk, high, or in a crazed episode?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Originally I believed science has, or should, have nothing to do with religion. Now I'm not so sure...

 

I'm not talking about comingling Christian fundamentalist dogma with science -- that is not possible.

 

What I'm talking about a reverence for life, the environment, and even each other... that does not have to be, nor should it be, separate from science.

 

Maybe what i really mean is spirituality (as opposed to reigion) spirtuality is not mutually exclusive of science.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody has their own conception of science and religion and spirituality, which are all fluid words with multiple definitions. So what someone says on this subject is a reflection and expression of how they personally interpret definitions - definitions which are not carved in stone.   I don't think it's necessary for there to be a mutual consensus about questions having to do with abstract ideas.  Each of us should just believe what we want to. As far as i'm concerned, words get  in the way.    If some among you require the validation of others agreeing with you, then so be it.  I'm done with debating the subject.  

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought for a second after reading the topic. I have no first hand knowledge of Native American or African Tradition.  I don't even know what you mean. The only references I have are movies. 

The last time I experienced science or mathematics was mid 80's. I can't think of any tradition that I follow. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Troy

 

 

Originally I believed science has, or should, have nothing to do with religion. Now I'm not so sure...


Lol, well WELCOME to my side!

Glad to have you!




Maybe what i really mean is spirituality (as opposed to reigion) spirtuality is not mutually exclusive of science.


I don't know if I'd say spirituality is opposite of religion.
I think the two are often if not usually interwined at different levels and in different cultures.

We know spirituality exists outside of religion, but many if not most religions center AROUND a particular understanding of one's spirituality.



It's strange how you talk about reverence for the environment...lol.
I was at a city council meeting the other week and argued for 20 minutes with some of the White women in the auditorium because I felt they were taking up too much time focusing on "environmental issues" and not enough on urban issues like the water in Flint, affordable housing, and school funding in the inner city.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Del No one alive really has first hand accounts of Native American or African Traditions.  Much was this was destroyed like the people of Tasmania.  We are losing African and Native American languages along with the traditions that went with them. Islam and Christianity have seemingly taken over most of Africa and the United Stated for that matter.

 

Pioneer when I wrote "as opposed to religion," that does not mean I spirituality is the "opposite" of religion. That is not what that combination of words mean. I was using "spirituality" and an alternative word to "religion," in contrast to religion, etc.

 

If being less firm in my original position places me in your corner Pioneer, that is cool, but if I start talking about multiple human races then you know I've really lost it ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Del No one alive really has first hand accounts of Native American or African Traditions. Much was this was destroyed like the people of Tasmania. We are losing African and Native American languages along with the traditions that went with them. Islam and Christianity have seemingly taken over most of Africa and the United Stated for that matter.


The more I look at history, the more I wonder if this wasn't the TRUE purpose of most organized religions in the first place.
....to destroy or drive underground the ancient traditions that promoted TRUE spirituality and replace them with dogmatic beliefs that promote violence and sexual repression.

This is one of the reasons I was so fond of the movie Black Panther.

It shows a Black society where their beliefs centered around actually TRAVELING to another realm to meet with their ancestors and communicate with them instead of a religion that simply tells them to read supposedly "holy" scriptures and believe in them without any evidence to support it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...