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WHAT obscurantism

pseudoscientific theory

The word "obscurantism" is often accompanied by the epithet "religious".

Sometimes even the set, do not hesitate to equate religion and obscurantism.

Meanwhile, obscurantism and not always religious, and religion is not always equivalent to obscurantism.


The word "obscurantism" was born as a Russian,to be exact - the Church Slavonic translation of "obscurantism" of the Western term. Root "besie" in Church Slavonic is insanity. Thus, obscurantism - is "in the darkness of insanity." This is consistent with semantic filling of the word "obscurantism", from the Latin proiskhodyashemu obscurans - blackout.

term Birth

In the XVI century in Germany there was a satiricalbook published anonymously. However, the authors of it are known, they were thinkers, humanists Mole Rubean, Ulrich von Hutten, Herman W. Bush and Mutsian Ruf. Pamphlet ridiculed the ignorant and immoral clergy and scholastics.
The Latin title of the book - «Epistol? Obscurorum Virorum »- has a double meaning. It can be translated as "Letters of unknown people" that emphasizes the insignificance of character, and as a "dark Letters people", ie, unenlightened, uneducated.
With a light hand of the German humanists peoplereject science, education, progress, became known as obscurantists, their position in life - obscurantism, and the Russian language the word has been translated as "obscurantism".

The ratio of obscurantism and religion

If we look at the historical developmentthe human mind, we can see that obscurantism was often hand in hand with religion. To some extent, it is natural that religion is by nature conservative, one of its tasks - to maintain the moral foundations of society, therefore the cautious attitude to everything new from the religion necessarily.
But such a position of religion is not always turn intoobscurantism. For example, not so long ago the religious people called the Internet "the devil's network," and then came the official sites of dioceses, individual parishes, many other religious resources. Religion has adopted technical innovation without obscurantism.
Undoubtedly, we can talk about religiousobscurantism, when "under the banner of" religion instigate legal proceedings against the teaching of Darwin's theory in schools. But not every believer - an opponent of evolutionary theory. Intelligent, educated Christians see no contradiction between faith and scientific theories, and therefore do not reject science. On the other hand, there are many people who do not differ religiosity, but they can be safely counted among the obscurantists.

non-religious obscurantism

There are many reasons that leadHuman reject science and progress. One of them - the mindless worship of the "old days." For example, some women think: "Our grandparents did not go neither to what doctors, gave birth in a field on the border without midwives, so why should we turn to doctors? In maternity hospitals only children and pregnant women will cripple! "Do not trust science, such women doom themselves and their children in a cruel lottery of natural selection, by which scientific medicine could protect.
Another example of non-religious obscurantism -pseudoscience. Water, supposedly capable to perceive information, astrological predictions, vague arguments about some abstract "energies of the universe", telekinesis, etc. - Lack of such ideas is not. Science rejects them for lack of evidence, causing anger among the defenders of these theories: science too conservative, the researchers linked the universal conspiracy! Such reasoning can also be called obscurantism.
So obscurantism - is any rejection of science and progress, no matter how motivated or dictated it.

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