Art history questions my faith...as well as history itself


#1

I’m currently taking an Art History class that’s required for my degree and now we’re learning about the art so many millions of thousands of years ago. Like 3,000,000 BC and all.

We were viewing some extremely old anicent drawings in a cave of animals and were talking about it, this and that. Some girl in my class said that the first religion of the world was when people were worshiping animals! :eek: I was sitting there listening to her as well as the whole class was and thought, No! They should’ve been worshiping God (that is, ours!) but then the thought came to my mind: did God reveal Himself those many years ago?

I’m totally confused… :confused: I’m NOT an expert on any history obviously and since the Bible is real, than why does history contradict it?

Please don’t assume that I am losing faith…no, I’m just curious what is going on here? :confused:


#2

Because of some drawing?

Ask her if she knew the artist.

She’s just guessing what this drawing was about.


#3

[quote=SusanL]Because of some drawing?

Ask her if she knew the artist.

She’s just guessing what this drawing was about.
[/quote]

I think the main reason why she brought that up was because the drawings we were viewing also had a stick figure drawing of a person with it too, like as if it were worshipping the bull or whatever it was! So she just told the class that in general to make a point.

And who knows that she knows! :rolleyes:


#4

[quote=Paris Blues]I think the main reason why she brought that up was because the drawings we were viewing also had a stick figure drawing of a person with it too, like as if it were worshipping the bull or whatever it was! So she just told the class that in general to make a point.

And who knows that she knows! :rolleyes:
[/quote]

Well, if that bull was charging her, maybe she was down on her hands and knees praying for it to stop. :smiley: (Or praying for a Christian bull----nah, that’s another joke.)

Actually, that is more revealing about what she believes and not what the picture depicts. It’s amazing how we can put our own spin on different works of art without any background info.


#5

A drawing from 3 million years BC? I’m just curious as to how she knows the age of the drawing. That must be some long lasting paint!


#6

[quote=SusanL]Well, if that bull was charging her, maybe she was down on her hands and knees praying for it to stop. :smiley: (Or praying for a Christian bull----nah, that’s another joke.)

Actually, that is more revealing about what she believes and not what the picture depicts. It’s amazing how we can put our own spin on different works of art without any background info.
[/quote]

LOL!
:smiley:

But on the other hand, I think my instructor did mention that people did “worship” animals a long time ago. But why the heck would you worship a created thing and not the Creator? :frowning:


#7

Even if they were worshipping the bulls, so what? We know from Biblical history, secular history, and from looking around at world cultures, that people will worship some STUPID things just to avoid being accountable to His Majesty, the one true God.

As far as it being the “first religion” – how does she know? People worshipped animals, ancestors, spirits, rocks, all kinds of things. But before the Fall, mankind knew God. And afterwards, he began to reveal himself in specific ways. Animal worship being one of the oldest and most persisting forms of religious expression doesn’t contradict this.

By the way, congratulations on your entry in RCIA. God bless you! I myself am a convert.


#8

[quote=Paris Blues]LOL!
:smiley:

But on the other hand, I think my instructor did mention that people did “worship” animals a long time ago. But why the heck would you worship a created thing and not the Creator? :frowning:
[/quote]

The same reason that Moses had to stop his people from worshipping a golden calf. Or people worship money these days. People aren’t going to do the logical thing all the time.

I think that sometimes people want to worship what they can see and maybe control to some degree.

You know better because you were open to what the Father has revealed to you.

Btw: Congratulations on joining the church. :thumbsup:


#9

[quote=Thomas More]Even if they were worshipping the bulls, so what? We know from Biblical history, secular history, and from looking around at world cultures, that people will worship some STUPID things just to avoid being accountable to His Majesty, the one true God.

As far as it being the “first religion” – how does she know? People worshipped animals, ancestors, spirits, rocks, all kinds of things. But before the Fall, mankind knew God. And afterwards, he began to reveal himself in specific ways. Animal worship being one of the oldest and most persisting forms of religious expression doesn’t contradict this.

By the way, congratulations on your entry in RCIA. God bless you! I myself am a convert.
[/quote]

Oh thank you! I’m getting confirmed this November in two months! I’m soooo excited!!!

Now, getting back to the art stuff…like I said, what does she know about worshipping animals being the first religion? I mean, I don’t think she lived back 3 thousand some years BC ago and still lives young today to tell us that! :stuck_out_tongue:

But if you’re someone who doesn’t know a lot about stuff like me, you would be asking the question I asked, you know? Not that I’m stupid or anything, I just want to know!


#10

[quote=SusanL]The same reason that Moses had to stop his people from worshipping a golden calf. Or people worship money these days. People aren’t going to do the logical thing all the time.

I think that sometimes people want to worship what they can see and maybe control to some degree.

You know better because you were open to what the Father has revealed to you.

Btw: Congratulations on joining the church. :thumbsup:
[/quote]

Hey that reminds me that another girl brought up too about Moses and the golden calf and the instructor was like, “now, you’re going back to the Old Testament…” meaning that we’re not talking about that. That’s how I took it.

I had to laugh when our instructor as well as these other class mates of mine were talking about one of the reasons why the people worshipped animals - like the bull for instances - was because they knew the bull was strong and powerful and the person was I guess helpless against it, who knows! DUH! So is our Creator more powerful than the bull!!! So they took the bull as some “god”.

I was thinking, that’s a bunch of bull!
:stuck_out_tongue:


#11

There are two points that need to be made:

First, we have to remember that whatever drew those may not in fact have been human in the sense that is necessary to worry about if they worshipped God. IF God used evolution to get us where we are, then whatever drew those things would have been one of the various types of cavemen (neanderthal or cro magnon or whatever). In this case, it is not clear whether these creatures had souls or not. If they were just evolutionary steps toward humanity, then it is possible and in some cases likely to say thatGod did not give them souls. It would work like this: God creates, life, God creates monkeys, God evolves monkeys to caveman, God evolves caveman through various sorts of caveman, God evolves caveman to Adam and gives him a soul. Up until Adam, non of the other creatures needed to worship God anyways because they were not human.

That doesn’t mean God did use evolution. A lot of people, for instance, present very convincing arguements that the systems we use to date things are very flawed and can be affected by different factors present in all of nature. They have, for instance, tested certain things which they know to be only a few years old and resulted with a result of a few million years. These experiments have led them to be able to figure out just why the test was so wrong. They then realized that this reason tended to be present in every test that we do, which could indicate that all of our tests resulting in dates of millions of years are off incredibly. If you want to read about that, go answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dating.asp for tons of great info. Also check out answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/young.asp and
answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0913RATE.asp.

I personally am not one of those completely set on these ideas, but the fact is that they are very convincing and too many Catholics just ignore them and call creation science bogus. I think because the Church rightly tries to live in harmony with science, a lot of Catholics almost feel as if we ought to embrace every theory that’s put out there. People have some sort of Galilleo complex where they are afraid of disagreeing with science for fear that it will disprove their faith or something. I don’t think that creation science has everything right, but they have a LOT of ideas backed up by a LOT of good evidence. There’s nothing wrong with looking into it and even agreeing with it if it turns out to be right. Remember that quantum physics seems to disagree with a lot of previously accepted science too, but we don’t say it’s bogus, we just realize that we don’t know everything and have to keep learning to figure out the truth. There is some aversion to creation science because its got an alliance with religion, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Of COURSE there is an alliance, both religion and science are God’s truths, how could they not be deeply connected?

Now that I’m done rambling,

  1. Think about your traditional view of God creating Adam. Do you imagine God creating a baby? Do you imagine God creating a man about 30 years old? If you’re like the vast majority of people, you imagine God creating Adam about 30 years old. But Adam wasn’t thirty years old, he was one day old he was just created! The point is that God created (or could have if He didn’t) Adam with the apperance of age. Why couldn’t He do the same thing to the earth? He plopped Adam down looking like he was 30 years old even though the man was just created. In other words, He skipped over infancy, childhood, puberty, and such. Why can’t God create the earth with the appearence of age too? Is it impossible for God to make the earth so that our testing shows it to be so many billions of years old, or so that the ground would be filled with fossils, or that the caves would have paintings on the walls? Wouldn’t it even make sense for Him to do that, knowing that we would need things like oil which takes millions of years to form?

#12

[quote=Lazerlike42]There are two points that need to be made:

First, we have to remember that whatever drew those may not in fact have been human in the sense that is necessary to worry about if they worshipped God. IF God used evolution to get us where we are, then whatever drew those things would have been one of the various types of cavemen (neanderthal or cro magnon or whatever). In this case, it is not clear whether these creatures had souls or not. If they were just evolutionary steps toward humanity, then it is possible and in some cases likely to say thatGod did not give them souls. It would work like this: God creates, life, God creates monkeys, God evolves monkeys to caveman, God evolves caveman through various sorts of caveman, God evolves caveman to Adam and gives him a soul. Up until Adam, non of the other creatures needed to worship God anyways because they were not human.

That doesn’t mean God did use evolution. A lot of people, for instance, present very convincing arguements that the systems we use to date things are very flawed and can be affected by different factors present in all of nature. They have, for instance, tested certain things which they know to be only a few years old and resulted with a result of a few million years. These experiments have led them to be able to figure out just why the test was so wrong. They then realized that this reason tended to be present in every test that we do, which could indicate that all of our tests resulting in dates of millions of years are off incredibly. If you want to read about that, go answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/dating.asp for tons of great info. Also check out answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/young.asp and
answersingenesis.org/docs2005/0913RATE.asp.

I personally am not one of those completely set on these ideas, but the fact is that they are very convincing and too many Catholics just ignore them and call creation science bogus. I think because the Church rightly tries to live in harmony with science, a lot of Catholics almost feel as if we ought to embrace every theory that’s put out there. People have some sort of Galilleo complex where they are afraid of disagreeing with science for fear that it will disprove their faith or something. I don’t think that creation science has everything right, but they have a LOT of ideas backed up by a LOT of good evidence. There’s nothing wrong with looking into it and even agreeing with it if it turns out to be right. Remember that quantum physics seems to disagree with a lot of previously accepted science too, but we don’t say it’s bogus, we just realize that we don’t know everything and have to keep learning to figure out the truth. There is some aversion to creation science because its got an alliance with religion, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Of COURSE there is an alliance, both religion and science are God’s truths, how could they not be deeply connected?

Now that I’m done rambling,

  1. Think about your traditional view of God creating Adam. Do you imagine God creating a baby? Do you imagine God creating a man about 30 years old? If you’re like the vast majority of people, you imagine God creating Adam about 30 years old. But Adam wasn’t thirty years old, he was one day old he was just created! The point is that God created (or could have if He didn’t) Adam with the apperance of age. Why couldn’t He do the same thing to the earth? He plopped Adam down looking like he was 30 years old even though the man was just created. In other words, He skipped over infancy, childhood, puberty, and such. Why can’t God create the earth with the appearence of age too? Is it impossible for God to make the earth so that our testing shows it to be so many billions of years old, or so that the ground would be filled with fossils, or that the caves would have paintings on the walls? Wouldn’t it even make sense for Him to do that, knowing that we would need things like oil which takes millions of years to form?
    [/quote]

It’s either that or some person back in the 1800s (the same year the cave with the drawings were “accidentally” found) decided to take a crayon and found a cave and started
"drawing away", who knows! Then maybe it was the person that drew the animals was the same person who discovered it, WHO KNOWS!!! I’ll have to go back to my book and look it over again.

Just to let you know, these caves are somewhere in cetral France I think…maybe some of you know about it.


#13

The caves you speak of are authenticated, Paris Blue, and I think they are a testament to the incredible spirit of man.

Remember, there is not discrepency between Truth and God…He is the author of ALL TRUTH, and just because we cannot understand it all means just that - we cannot understand it all.

Besides, we don’t know why those people drew those beautiful drawings (I have seen them - they are stunning. The caves are no longer open to the public in order to try and preserve them) - perhaps they were drawing them in HONOR of God.


#14

[quote=LSK]The caves you speak of are authenticated, Paris Blue, and I think they are a testament to the incredible spirit of man.

Remember, there is not discrepency between Truth and God…He is the author of ALL TRUTH, and just because we cannot understand it all means just that - we cannot understand it all.

Besides, we don’t know why those people drew those beautiful drawings (I have seen them - they are stunning. The caves are no longer open to the public in order to try and preserve them) - perhaps they were drawing them in HONOR of God.
[/quote]


#15

Apparently the cave paintings date from 13,000 to 15,000 BC.

teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/lessonplans/theme/caves02.htm

culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/


#16

[quote=LSK]The caves you speak of are authenticated, Paris Blue, and I think they are a testament to the incredible spirit of man.

Remember, there is not discrepency between Truth and God…He is the author of ALL TRUTH, and just because we cannot understand it all means just that - we cannot understand it all.

Besides, we don’t know why those people drew those beautiful drawings (I have seen them - they are stunning. The caves are no longer open to the public in order to try and preserve them) - perhaps they were drawing them in HONOR of God.
[/quote]

                     I envy Sir, I wanted to view them myself but was disappointed for the reason you state. I have several color prints taken of the oriiginal drawings I treasure. I also agree with your statement about Truth and God. As to Lazer what you say concerning Carbon Dating is true in part. It is flawed to some extent. However the test or tests to which you make reference may also have been flawed. The case of The Shroud of Turin is an example. Carbon Dating calculates it was rendered sometime in the 1300s. As you can imagine this came as a blow to the true believers. Then someone remembered the fire.The Shroud was saved by a brave Fire-Fighter but it's glass case had been broken. As a consequence the believers retaliated against Carbon Dating by claiming there were, free Carbon atoms from said fire, in the air, thereby nullifying the results. On that I am neutral.
                      Dan

#17

Paris,

Read The Everlasting Man by G.K. Chesterton. The chapter called, “The Man in the Cave” (or something similiar).

They were worshipping God.

–Mike


#18

Mijoy:

Excellent reference! I’m gonna go ahead and retell some of his points.

P.B.:

Just because we have cave drawings does not equal animal worship. They may have drawn them for fun like we do. They could have been used for target practice or even pictures to amuse their children. But to automatically assume that ‘oh there’s a giraffe, they must have worshipped giraffes’ is not scientific at all but superstition by people who call themselves scientists.

What we can assume though is that the cave drawings do reveal something. It shows that man was not in the same level as the animals. “Art is the signature of man.” GKC further says that upon the first line of the first cave drawing, man did not just draw a line to make a reindeer but he drew the line declaring boldly that he is separate from all the animals in the world.

in XT


#19

modern humans did not exist 3 million years ago


#20

Welcome to college, where practically every professor of any discipline will use his/her authority to let the youthful and enthusiastic pupils in his/her class know that to be enlightened one must not be religious.

I got it in Biology, Calculus, Cultural Anthropology, History, Psychology, Humanities, Philosophy, Comparitive Religions, Economics, even Speech.

I knew one professor who was steadfast in his Catholic faith. One.

The fact of the matter is that PhDs by and large are a very liberal profession. Conservative professors tend to cluster together at conservative schools where they can feel supported and encouraged. That leaves the rest of us with the apathetic to the evangelizing atheist most of the time.
There tends to be some common understanding that college students are in a time of “exploration” in which they “learn” to “question” the way they were raised and are “challenged” to let go of any “preconceived notions” they entered the school with. (Re: now that you are out of the house, you should drop everything your parents spent the last 18 years teaching you in the trash and pick up everything I–a stranger you have known for a few days–say to believe instead.) So many of the other students appear to accept this structure, which makes the believer firm in her faith feel like the odd man out. Other students or even teachers seeing this weakness are quick to pounce on it.

One thing I noticed is that there are plenty of other people around the room who are uncomfortable with the talk as well, but they don’t feel like they are in a position to question the teacher (or they don’t want to, because of personality, fear for grades, lack of concern, etc). Many just spit back out whatever the teacher wants to hear to make it through the class, then do a brain purge at the end of class. Unfortunately, many successfully “question” their faith enough and become atheists or agnostics in the college years. One telling thing is how many come back to their faith once they leave the youthful or rebellious stage.

I encourage you to join a Catholic ministry for college students. Many other religious people are going through the exact same thing you are.

The number one piece of advice I have for you is to never believe a non-practicing Catholic on what the Catholic church teaches. (You don’t know how many times I had professors tell us what the Catholics believe; they were often WAAAAAY off base.)

Many find the challenges presented to them make them actually grow stronger in their faith lives as they have to research the whys and hows instead of just the whats. You might not ever “prove” it to someone else, but you might find yourself immersed in the rich traditions and beauty of Catholicism before you know it!


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.