a) there was no dark ages. that’s a modern myth
b) why shouldn’t it be read as metaphors? Consider the nature of numbers. Numbers are analogies for real things. There’s no alternate reality where numbers live. Numbers are a fiction. Practical but a fiction. Metaphors are a practical fiction. They both teach but different things.
In the sciences we use the metaphors appropriate within the sciences.
They work within that realm.
In other realms, we have other metaphors that are used that are appropriate for their purposes.
We get into problems with we try to mix up metaphors that work in one field and apply them in another.
Perhaps in your religion, the metaphors used by your group are the only true metaphors that are appropriate for all things. That’s ok, and I’m fine with that.
And if someone tries to encroach on your religion by saying, “Our texts ALSO speak your metaphors” when they don’t (like young earth creationism), then you’re right to say, “No, you don’t represent our religion.
But honestly, I’d rather be done with it and see all the metaphors for the metaphors they are, and use each appropriately within their realms and not continue to overlap one into another.
The fact is, Naveed, the “Dark Ages” wasn’t all that dark.
It’s an old fashioned term. It’s being thrown away for a good reason. Too much old bad, wrong, incorrect history attached to the term.
The Popularization of “Dark Ages” concept made it practically useless as a historical term, which is why they don’t use it much anymore.
It _implies_ backwardness.. and in the popular mind (and in many _incorrect_ accounts of history, often pushed by groups with agendas), the winnowing it down to little pockets here and there as opposed to the broad spectrum that it once was applied to… doesn’t change how it’s viewed in the popular mind.
Middle Ages is a more appropriate expression.
That’s not revisionism. It’s removing the taint from a historical period which is wrong.
Continue to use it if it suits you, but it places your worldview, in my mind, to the 19th century religion/science debates, this antiquated view that “there is irreconcilable differences between science and religion that cannot be crossed”.
It’s an old battle. Somehow it got resurrected, but when *I* was growing up… in school, the 19th century science/religion thing was considered a part of history, and we had reached a point of reconciliation between religion/science through secular humanism.
Some how, we went backwards around the late 90s, earl 2000s and old ideas were made new again.
Total Elimination of Religion was not on the agenda that I saw growing up, except for some nutcases here and there.
Tolerance was the name of the game. Kooks were dealt with individually when they came up. Young Earth Creationism was the stuff of 19th century ideologies that a few groups still believed in… and people calling religion the scurge of the earth and cause of all wars were ahistorical crackpots.
Now though, it’s shifted. The world has gone mad and polarized.
My heroes were Joseph Campbell, Carl Sagan, Poul Anderson (sci-fi writer), Borges, Heinlein, Huxley, Joyce, Keats, Stanton (women’s rights), Mark Twain, Elie Weisal, Robert Anton Wilson, Benjamin Britton, Dali, Popper, Russell, David Attenborough, Bohm, Einstein, …
… I’m reading through a list of famous agnostics and it’s like a “Who’s who” of people that I found influential in my life and way of thinking.
Atheist? No. Agnostic? Yes. There’s much difference there. Much.
I just don’t like inaccurate views of history. I don’t like views of history that paint this guy bad, that guy good. Too much like the movies, too neat and pat, not enough like messy real life.