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Old 11th December 2018, 05:13 AM   #241
dann
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
History for Atheists - New Atheism and Myths About History

Great article (and subsequent discussion) about Sam Harris' Horrible Histories.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th December 2018, 07:56 AM   #242
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
What? I've been posting here on and off under this profile for almost a decade. Why would this be an "alias"? You have some very strange and irrational ideas about many things.[Etc., etc.]
Thank you again for your thoughtful response. One of the things that makes me doubt that you are the real Tim O'Neill is that here you have been presented as an expert (amateur, but expert) and your interventions do not seem it for two reasons: because the tone seems more like someone who wants to turn this into Capulets and Montagues, but in the internet, which has much less charm. Secondly because you seem hooked on discussing details rather than looking at the overall comments I've tried to make.
As for the former, I suggest you relax. No one is more right because he insults his opponent more.

As for the details: you know perfectly well that Copernicus wrote a single work with his complete theory: Revolutionibus orbium coelestium. You know that what he had written before were manuscripts (Comentariolus or letters) or treatises on partial subjects (only three texts in total, if I am not mistaken). You know perfectly well that the Revolutions were only edited with a prologue that disavowed the real scope of Copernicus' work. Whether or not he authorized this stratagem, we don't know because he received the edition on his deathbed. Anyway this implies an involutntary autocensure. You know, or you should know, that the relative indulgence of the Catholic Church was practically from the beginning conditioned to the presentation of heliocentrism as a speculative (mathematical) hypothesis with no real value (just what the prologue attributed to Osiander said). And you know that years after Copernicus' death the Catholic Church joined with the Lutheran Church to actively pursue everything that sounded like Copernicanism. Do you deny that the churches actively pursued the New Science because it undermined the principles of your authority over faith and scientific knowledge? This is what must be made clear first and foremost. Then let us demystify everything you want.

Regarding Hypatia: to say that Hypatia was persecuted by the band of violent monks of Cyril for political reasons is like saying nothing. The whole culture of antiquity and of the Christian Empire in particular is an amalgam of politics, philosophy and religion. Hypatia was not the goddess of paganism that some like to recreate. It is not clear whether or not she was pagan and her philosophy was rather an esoteric school than what we understand by philosophy after the Enlightenment. It happened to many like Socrates, Plato or the Pythagoreans. But it is clearthat it represented a circle in which pagans and educated Christians gathered in search of a common wisdom and this is what the band of fanatical monks who bloodily tored her could not tolerate. Because the policy she defended was not that of the power of intolerance of the Church. That's why Hypatia can still be seen as a symbol of independence of thought in the face of fanaticism and Christian violence, in this case. Do you agree with this?

Now the more general question: do you agree that the Christian churches, in this case, have played a regressive role against science during the centuries of their political dominance in Europe? I am interested in that and not in your task of demystification of what you want.
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Old 11th December 2018, 10:18 AM   #243
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Thanks. I guess if you believe your Jesus is a material version of your immaterial God then I can see it kinda making some sense (at a very loooong stretch ). Not sure if it’s correct, but I’ve assumed you were born and indoctrinated into your religious beliefs, so I guess we’re talking about you being in a position of questioning and retaining those beliefs rather than how they were first formed. In the process I trust (have faith ) that you have the intellectual honesty do so without wearing rose-tinted glasses.

I realise that your purpose is to evaluate and not necessarily to abandon, but I’ve been amazed how long it takes some to abandon their god belief (10 years plus in some cases). Another thing that has amazed me is that even when some stop believing in their god they’re still frighten as hell by the prospect of going to a hell. A form of reverse cognitive dissonance, the residual power of strong belief, or an irrational phobia?

ETA – I guess another question that follows from my previous is – If there was no bible at all, would you still believe? I guess this question is purely rhetorical as it’s impossible to say what might have happened in different circumstances. These are the types of questions I would ask myself if I was in your position however.
My pleasure ynot. I appreciate you considering and trying to understand my responses, even though its not easy. And yes, "born and raised", so even recognizing the word "indoctrination" as accurate, rather than offensive has taken some time and effort. (Some of the glasses have darker tints it turns out, but I'll try to set those aside along with the rosy ones). Thanks for the encouragement.

Per your second point, I think kellyb's description of "neural networks" is both figuratively and literally true and can explain a lot of the the pace and struggle associated with change. I'm actually sometimes surprised by how quickly and extremely some people change their thinking. And I'm sometimes a bit skeptical as to whether some haven't swapped one form of indoctrination for another, (although seeing someone "break free" from a damaging mind-set is fantastic). I think it's a lot easier to change what you say you believe than to change your reactions and default behaviours, especially under stress. I.e., your conscious mind is a lot easier to change than your subconscious.

And yeah, it's hard to answer hypotheticals with much confidence, though it's interesting to contemplate them. I think in general terms though that mankind's efforts to explain a sense of the divine exists outside of (and predates) religious texts. Maybe I'd have been a star-gazing neanderthal many thousands of years ago
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Old 11th December 2018, 10:24 AM   #244
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
No, I just posted a lot here. https://www.ex-christian.net/
Thanks for sharing the link. I've assumed there are lots of forums like this, but have been hesitant to seek them out. Funny maybe that I chose this forum to open up this discussion, but I didn't want to presume an endpoint (e.g. ex-Christian) before getting started (not assuming that's what all the posters there are doing, it was just helpful for myself).
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Old 11th December 2018, 11:27 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Thank you again for your thoughtful response. One of the things that makes me doubt that you are the real Tim O'Neill is that here you have been presented as an expert (amateur, but expert) and your interventions do not seem it for two reasons: because the tone seems more like someone who wants to turn this into Capulets and Montagues, but in the internet, which has much less charm. Secondly because you seem hooked on discussing details rather than looking at the overall comments I've tried to make.
What a tangled non-sequitur. You yourself have already noted that I do not claim to be any kind of "expert", just someone with a very good knowledge of the work of those who are. Secondly, my tone has never risen above some mildly amused sarcasm in the face of someone who keeps making statements about history that are either demonstrably wrong or contradicted by the both the evidence and the professional consensus of scholars. Finally, your "overall comments" are wrong precisely because your "details" are wrong. Laughably so. So this "doubt that you are the real Tim O'Neill" schtick makes zero sense.

Quote:
As for the former, I suggest you relax. No one is more right because he insults his opponent more.
I'm perfectly "relaxed" thanks. Mildly amused, in fact. I usually find people resort to this weak tone policing when they know they have lost the argument. It's doubly amusing that this is how you ... began.

Quote:
As for the details: you know perfectly well that Copernicus wrote a single work with his complete theory: Revolutionibus orbium coelestium. You know that what he had written before were manuscripts (Comentariolus or letters) or treatises on partial subjects (only three texts in total, if I am not mistaken).
I know perfectly well (and, it seems, better than you) that the whole point of the Commentariolus , the later the Narratio Prima were, like Widmanstadt 's presentation to Pope Clement VII, meant to be careful and detailed summaries of the whole thesis, though without the full mathematical calculating material required to allow an astronomer use it in the place of Ptolemy's Almagest. So someone could only claim these were "treatises on partial subjects" if (a) they didn't have the faintest idea what they were talking about, (b) they did, but were trying to twist the facts and deceive people or (c) a combination of the two. I'll be kind and assume (a).

Quote:
You know perfectly well that the Revolutions were only edited with a prologue that disavowed the real scope of Copernicus' work. Whether or not he authorized this stratagem, we don't know because he received the edition on his deathbed. Anyway this implies an involutntary autocensure.
This doesn't matter given that, as I detailed in the article that you clearly didn't read, Osiander proposed such a preface only to get resistent Aristotelians to begin reading the book and argued that as they did so they would see that its thesis wasn't just a calculating device, but was a full cosmological model. And everyone understood that it wasn't just a calculating device from the beginning anyway - partially thanks to the Commentariolus and the Narratio Prima (these people didn't work in a contextual vacuum) and partially because ... this was clear from the text. So, again, you simply don't understand the material. Or rather, you refuse to do so.

Quote:
You know, or you should know, that the relative indulgence of the Catholic Church was practically from the beginning conditioned to the presentation of heliocentrism as a speculative (mathematical) hypothesis with no real value (just what the prologue attributed to Osiander said).
Garbage. The the Commentariolus made it clear this was a cosmological system. So did Widmanstadt. Cardinal von Schönberg was quite clear on that point. As was the Narratio Prima. You can't maintain this stupid fantasy that no-one knew this until after 1543 given the mass of evidence this is nonsense. You are simply wrong. Deal with it.

Quote:
And you know that years after Copernicus' death the Catholic Church joined with the Lutheran Church to actively pursue everything that sounded like Copernicanism.
Yes, after Galileo wandered into the interpretation of scripture at precisely the stage where that was a political sore point for the Papacy, and thus entangled heliocentrism with the politics of the Council of Trent and the Counter Reformation. Before that the Church did not care.

Quote:
Do you deny that the churches actively pursued the New Science because it undermined the principles of your authority over faith and scientific knowledge? This is what must be made clear first and foremost.
"MY authority"? What? And yes, I do deny that the Church persecuted "the New Science" generally, because that is total garbage.

Quote:
Regarding Hypatia: to say that Hypatia was persecuted by the band of violent monks of Cyril for political reasons is like saying nothing. The whole culture of antiquity and of the Christian Empire in particular is an amalgam of politics, philosophy and religion.
Yes, that's usually the weak gambit used by people who want to prop up the "Hypatia as martyr" myth. If you had actually read any scholarly work on the subject (such the book by Dzielska that you reocommened but clearly have not read) you'll see that both factions in the dispute were made up of Christians and it was a struggle between and old and new political guards fighting for dominance.


Quote:
Hypatia was not the goddess of paganism that some like to recreate. It is not clear whether or not she was pagan and her philosophy was rather an esoteric school than what we understand by philosophy after the Enlightenment.
Yawn. Please keep telling me things I've known for decades.


Quote:
It happened to many like Socrates, Plato or the Pythagoreans. But it is clearthat it represented a circle in which pagans and educated Christians gathered in search of a common wisdom and this is what the band of fanatical monks who bloodily tored her could not tolerate. Because the policy she defended was not that of the power of intolerance of the Church. That's why Hypatia can still be seen as a symbol of independence of thought in the face of fanaticism and Christian violence, in this case. Do you agree with this?
That one faction was Christian and aristocratic and included some aristocratic non-Christians as well and it was challenged by another faction of Christians over dominance, yes. That this had anything to do with the "intolerance of the Church" no - that is total fantasy that you are projecting onto events you don't understand

Quote:
Now the more general question: do you agree that the Christian churches, in this case, have played a regressive role against science during the centuries of their political dominance in Europe? I am interested in that and not in your task of demystification of what you want.
No. That idea has been rejected by historians of science for about a century. Please try to catch up (though I doubt your fundamentalist biases will let you - fanatics are always hampered by their emotions).
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Old 11th December 2018, 11:29 AM   #246
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Great article (and subsequent discussion) about Sam Harris' Horrible Histories.
Glad you found it useful Dann. Thankfully some here are more rational than some others, who seem more emotionally-driven than many fundamentalist Christians.
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Old 11th December 2018, 12:24 PM   #247
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
Glad you found it useful Dann. Thankfully some here are more rational than some others, who seem more emotionally-driven than many fundamentalist Christians.
Fundamentalist philosophers?
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Old 11th December 2018, 12:38 PM   #248
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
Fundamentalist philosophers?
There doesn't seem to be much philosophy involved, just emotions and irrational bigotry.
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Old 11th December 2018, 12:47 PM   #249
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
There doesn't seem to be much philosophy involved, just emotions and irrational bigotry.
"It's life Jim philosophy Tim, but not as we know it".
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Old 11th December 2018, 01:15 PM   #250
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
I've quoted two posts here because I found your other answer really interesting. While I appreciate keeping up must be getting difficult I hope you can take solace in the fact that so many people are finding your posts so interesting! Maybe you could roll up responses to several people into one to save time? (trimmed)

Hi P.J. Thanks for the reply. I'll have to do a little more experimenting with the quoting tools here to get the hang of it better. Once I've finished this reply, I'll (respectfully) trim the quoted portion from yours for ease of others reading the thread.

I'm really enjoying the thoughts and perspectives being shared in the thread and am glad others are finding it engaging and interesting too.

I agree with your assessment that what I'm describing needn't necessarily be theistic. I suppose the fact that it is not unequivocally so is precisely where the faith aspect comes in. And I agree many people and communities (both theistic and atheistic) demonstrate these traits we both appreciate. So religious affiliation (or lack thereof) is not a reliable predictor of character. We are agreed also that not every part of the NT fits well into my tidy summary

... sorry, gotta run here. I'll get back to your questions shortly. Am pondering definitions of both "supernatural" and "heaven". Back soon I hope.
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Old 11th December 2018, 05:20 PM   #251
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I think you will find that there will always be tension between skepticism and faith. They are impossible to reconcile, especially for a Christian. If you explore skepticism, you will always hit an idea that challenges Christian belief. You will hear your pastor/priest/whatever say something in their sermon that will make you internally chuckle, "OK, I know that isn't true." Your friend will tell you about how their prayers saved their loved one from some health scare and you will ask yourself, "And the doctors, what . . . just twiddled their thumbs?" You will begin to doubt.

The question will become: Can I keep my relationships with the faithful friends and communities intact even though I don't really believe what they do? I think in this day and age it's easier because so many people have begun to cast aside all the inconvenient bits of religious lore in favor of a practical kind of Spirituality, "OK, the Catholic Church is against birth control and pre-marital sex and they think the bread and wine physically become the body and blood of Christ. I don't really believe any of that. I still love God though, and that's what counts!" It's a pantomime, IOW, that most people act out in order to remain part of a socio-cultural construct that has been a big part of their life up until that point while still living their lives as they see fit.

Maybe you can do that forever. I'd wager, though, that at some point one of two things will happen: 1)You will find the pantomime becomes tedious to keep up and slowly drop the faithful or 2)You will find skepticism spiritually unsatisfying and re-embrace the faith communities you love -not that you will become unskeptical in most aspects of though, you will just cease to question faith because it feels better emotionally than the alternative.

For me, I went down path 1. I could never reconcile my Catholic upbringing with the reality science and critical thought lead me to.
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Old 11th December 2018, 11:20 PM   #252
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
"MY authority"? What? And yes, I do deny that the Church persecuted "the New Science" generally, because that is total garbage.
Sorry. A lapsus linguae.
"Do you deny that the churches actively pursued the New Science because it undermined the principles of your its authority over faith and scientific knowledge?"
I be glad to know your answer.
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Old 12th December 2018, 01:25 AM   #253
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
(...)
Yes, after Galileo wandered into the interpretation of scripture at precisely the stage where that was a political sore point for the Papacy, and thus entangled heliocentrism with the politics of the Council of Trent and the Counter Reformation. Before that the Church did not care.

(...)


Yawn. Please keep telling me things I've known for decades.




That one faction was Christian and aristocratic and included some aristocratic non-Christians as well and it was challenged by another faction of Christians over dominance, yes. That this had anything to do with the "intolerance of the Church" no - that is total fantasy that you are projecting onto events you don't understand



No. That idea has been rejected by historians of science for about a century. Please try to catch up (though I doubt your fundamentalist biases will let you - fanatics are always hampered by their emotions).
I get it. According to you, the Catholic Church was rather more stupid than Luther. He had realized the implications of heliocentrism for Christian dogma. The papacy did not. Suddenly, Galileo puts the subject on the table and the Church pursues the heliocentric theory with fire and blood for centuries - all because of this damned Galileo! It is the same thing that the precautions Osiander takes to camouflage Copernicus' message have nothing to do with Luther's accusations. It was only to deceive the Aristotelians. (By the way, I remind you that Aristotelianism, via Thomas Aquinas, was the official doctrine of the Catholic Church and its acceptance depended on its granting the venia docendi and the nihil obstat). And coincidentally, only coincidentally, they coincide with the clause that the Church tried to impose on Galileo in order to admit the publication of his theses. Forgive me for saying that I find your interpretation terribly naive or better biased.


But, in any case, the discussion of your misinterpretations of the Hypatia case and the Galileo case interests me less than its surprising conclusion.

First of all, what are those respected historians of science that deny the pernicious influence of the church on evolution of science in Europe?

Now the more general question: do you agree that the Christian churches, in this case, have played a regressive role against science during the centuries of their political dominance in Europe? I am interested in that and not in your task of demystification of what you want.

I am sorry, but I don’t find normal that you consider “fanatic” those that don’t agree with your negationist ideas. This is true fanaticism!

That the Christian church put an end to paganism by means of edicts of intolerance seems to me that even you cannot deny it. That the Christian monks who followed Cyril were tremendously hostile to anything that sounded like pagan philosophy, is evident. That they behaved terribly violently either. That Hypatia was considered by her followers as a philosopher and conservative of the teachings of the pagan philosophers (mainly platonic) either. So, that Hypatia was a victim of fanatical fundamentalist Christians but this had nothing to do with her ideological activity seems to me to be an extremely naïve or better biased interpretation.

The antiphilosophical environment (and science was not considered anything else then) of Christian culture is perfectly reflected in the following quotation:
Good Christians should beware of mathematicians and all those who are who are accustomed to making prophecies, for there is the danger of the mathematicians have made a pact with the devil to obnubilate the spirit and to plunge men into hell (Saint Augustine of Hippo: De Genesi al 2, XVII, 37 —my personal translation).
Keep in mind that it comes from the most philosophical Christian of the time. Practically the only one who deserves this name of such in the manuals. You can imagine what the other venerable fathers of the Church were saying about pagan philosophy (Aristide, Tertulian, etc.).

By the way, You don't remember the ban on pagan philosophy by Justinian either? Wasn't it intolerance? Have you never heard of the Inquisition and the index of forbidden books? Were these not a sign of the Church's anti-scientific fanaticism either? Are we fanatics who denounce this?

You complain that I remind you of things you already know. I am seeing if you are able to draw the right consequences from the facts we know because that is your problem.

(To be continued)

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Old 12th December 2018, 02:38 AM   #254
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
First of all, what are those respected historians of science that deny the pernicious influence of the church on evolution of science in Europe?
I'm not Tim O'Neill, but since your question is relevant to our own discussion, I hope you don't mind if I respond as well. BTW, you should read O'Neill's articles. If you find problems with his sources and conclusions, then I'd love to read them.

But think about it: why would the church oppose the evolution of science in Europe if it didn't oppose dogma? Because in most cases -- physics, mathematics, medicine, architecture, engineering, etc -- there is no conflict with dogma. Advances in those fields have no affect. That's why the idea that "science conflicts with religion" is so demonstrably wrong: most scientific discoveries are irrelevant to religion. Even evolution was supported from the start by biologists who were Christians, but then an allegorical approach towards Genesis had been around for a long time. Only those who took Genesis literally had issues.

Most historians of science have rejected the "conflict model". From here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_thesis
The "conflict thesis" is a historiographical approach in the history of science which maintains that there is an intrinsic intellectual conflict between religion and science and that the relationship between religion and science inevitably leads to hostility... The thesis retains support among some scientists and in the public,[1] while all historians of science reject the thesis, especially in its original strict form...
Please look into this, if you doubt it. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. You are doing a disservice to the men and women in history who worked on advancing the knowledge of humanity by propagating myths about how science developed.

Copernicus's heliocentrist theory passed pretty much without controversy for 70 years until Galileo. Where Galileo started to fall afoul of the Catholic Church was when he started arguing that Scripture supported heliocentrism, leading to charges of heresy. But even after that, Copernicus's own work supporting heliocentrism was allowed to be published after minor modifications.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
The antiphilosophical environment (and science was not considered anything else then) of Christian culture is perfectly reflected in the following quotation:
Good Christians should beware of mathematicians and all those who are who are accustomed to making prophecies, for there is the danger of the mathematicians have made a pact with the devil to obnubilate the spirit and to plunge men into hell (Saint Augustine of Hippo: De Genesi al 2, XVII, 37 —my personal translation).
Really, that is your own personal translation? Because the word "mathematicians" seems to be translated as "numerologists"/"astrologers" elsewhere, which makes sense in context regarding "mathematicians and all those who are who are accustomed to making prophecies". Are you sure that "mathematicians" is the best way to translate the word there?

Seriously, you come across as very naive. PLEASE look into this yourself. Fact check O'Neill's sources! That may be useful. And perhaps double-check your own translations with other sources.

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Old 12th December 2018, 04:03 AM   #255
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I get it.
(To be continued)
(Continued).
About Copernicus, Galileo and the Holy Church.
The anti-Copernican religious movement did not wait for Galileo. It had its own sources in the intransigence and totalitarianism of the churches, much stronger in the Catholic church for political and social reasons.

Copernicus had gotten rid of the Inquisition for several reasons. He had never directly opposed the authority of the Church. His texts were manuscripts, of limited circulation, dedicated to the Pope and with a prologue tending to diminish their effects. Finally, but not lastly, he had never developed an experimental basis for his theory. This one could be described by his opponents as a mere possibility, rather than an empirical certainty.
But when Galileo begins to carry out observations that disqualify Aristotelian-Ptolemaic astronomy (natural places, geocentrism, etc.) everything changes. Now we are not talking about possibilities, but about new science and certainty.

Niccolo Lorini, Dominican, and other religious begin their preaching against Galileo in 1612 in these terms: that it has come to their ears that a certain Galileo, following a certain Copernicus is exposing theories about the Earth and other points that contradict what the Bible says and the interpretations of the holy fathers, like Thomas Aquinas. That it is his duty to make him aware of the Holy Office, which is what he does. And the Holy Office takes it into consideration and begins to study the subject. Friends who are aware of the denunciation begin to turn away from Galileo and beg him to say that his theory is only plausible (Christof Grienberger or Cardinal Bellarmino). And let the Bible not be mentioned, because not even its claim that it can be considered allegorical - something that is in common use today - will be accepted. In other words, let it follow the path of Copernicus.

Note that Galileo has only one alternative. Either he retracts himself or he confronts the Church in the name of science. As he does not desdice -in the beginning- he ends up in the Holy Court and in domestic prison for the rest of his life, with the express prohibition of publishing anything. If he hadn't recanted, he would have ended up like Giordano Bruno for sure.

His great sin has been to oppose science to the authority of the Church, which is perfectly reflected in the self-accusation that he is forced to pronounce: He acknowledges himself to be suspected of heresy for having maintained the "false opinion that the Earth is not the center of the universe and moves". Note that it is to maintain scientific theories. It is not question to speak of the sex of angels. And that "abjures, curses and abhors the aforementioned errors" (the scientists) "and any other error, heresy or sect contrary to the Holy Church" (that is, the Church is the indisputable authority for whatever it likes to command).

In other words, Galileo's abhorrent crime was to discover that there is a scientific method to discover the truth that the Church cannot control. The church could not tolerate and that is why the Holy Inquisition fought with blood and fire until it could no longer. Of course, the church ended up recognizing that the Earth revolves around the Sun and that science cannot be contradicted by papal encyclicals even with the help of the Holy Spirit. Only four centuries later.

If this is not to hinder the path of science on the basis of superstition and intransigence, you will tell me that you understand by that.

(To be continued)

Last edited by David Mo; 12th December 2018 at 04:06 AM.
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Old 12th December 2018, 05:45 AM   #256
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I get it. According to you,... snip...

(To be continued)
Whilst I don't have a depth of knowledge on this topic I can read Tim's posts in this thread I can therefore see you haven't understood his posts. One would suggest a proverb containing a mote.
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:36 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Whilst I don't have a depth of knowledge on this topic I can read Tim's posts in this thread I can therefore see you haven't understood his posts. One would suggest a proverb containing a mote.
All right, then. I've tried to read the text Tim O'Neill dedicates to vindicating Christian science and I'm still not out of my astonishment. To illustrate his thesis that the church supported science, he gives a list of philosophers and others that is a hotchpotch. Aristotelians, scholastics, fideists... And to my very amazement, some who didn't even talk about things like science. If everything he writes is like that, it was a good thing he didn't have time to read more.

"Precedents of the new science" like Nostradamus and Paracelsus or less.
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:39 AM   #258
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
I'm not Tim O'Neill, but since your question is relevant to our own discussion, I hope you don't mind if I respond as well. BTW, you should read O'Neill's articles. If you find problems with his sources and conclusions, then I'd love to read them.

But think about it: why would the church oppose the evolution of science in Europe if it didn't oppose dogma? Because in most cases -- physics, mathematics, medicine, architecture, engineering, etc -- there is no conflict with dogma. Advances in those fields have no affect. That's why the idea that "science conflicts with religion" is so demonstrably wrong: most scientific discoveries are irrelevant to religion. Even evolution was supported from the start by biologists who were Christians, but then an allegorical approach towards Genesis had been around for a long time. Only those who took Genesis literally had issues.

Most historians of science have rejected the "conflict model". From here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_thesis
The "conflict thesis" is a historiographical approach in the history of science which maintains that there is an intrinsic intellectual conflict between religion and science and that the relationship between religion and science inevitably leads to hostility... The thesis retains support among some scientists and in the public,[1] while all historians of science reject the thesis, especially in its original strict form...
Please look into this, if you doubt it. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts. You are doing a disservice to the men and women in history who worked on advancing the knowledge of humanity by propagating myths about how science developed.

Copernicus's heliocentrist theory passed pretty much without controversy for 70 years until Galileo. Where Galileo started to fall afoul of the Catholic Church was when he started arguing that Scripture supported heliocentrism, leading to charges of heresy. But even after that, Copernicus's own work supporting heliocentrism was allowed to be published after minor modifications.


Really, that is your own personal translation? Because the word "mathematicians" seems to be translated as "numerologists"/"astrologers" elsewhere, which makes sense in context regarding "mathematicians and all those who are who are accustomed to making prophecies". Are you sure that "mathematicians" is the best way to translate the word there?

Seriously, you come across as very naive. PLEASE look into this yourself. Fact check O'Neill's sources! That may be useful. And perhaps double-check your own translations with other sources.
All right, then. I've tried to read the text Tim O'Neill dedicates to vindicating Christian science and I'm still not out of my astonishment. To illustrate his thesis that the church supported science, he gives a list of philosophers and others that is a hotchpotch. Aristotelians, scholastics, fideists... And to my very amazement, some who didn't even talk about things like science. If everything he writes is like that, it was a good thing he didn't have time to read more.

I have consulted three versions of Augustine and they all translate "mathematics". Of course, Agustín throws the child out with the water from the bathtub. You know.

Actually, Agustín didn't give a damn about science. He was influenced by neoplatonism. The only truth that interested him was in the ideas in the mind of God.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:16 AM   #259
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Interesting though this is, it should really be in it's own thread rather than derailing this one.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:43 AM   #260
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
Interesting though this is, it should really be in it's own thread rather than derailing this one.
Not at all, David Mo's responses are a perfect example of trying to balance skepticism and belief.
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Old 12th December 2018, 10:04 AM   #261
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
If everything he writes is like that, it was a good thing he didn't have time to read more.
If everything he writes is like that, it was a good thing he I didn't have time to read more.

Sorry.
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Old 12th December 2018, 10:08 AM   #262
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
All right, then. I've tried to read the text Tim O'Neill dedicates to vindicating Christian science and I'm still not out of my astonishment.
"Vindicating Christian science"? Have you really sunk to this level?

Tim O'Neill gives cites and tells us where he gets his information. You've given very little, not even a link to Tim's work where he "vindicates Christian science". How about showing where he is wrong?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I have consulted three versions of Augustine and they all translate "mathematics". Of course, Agustín throws the child out with the water from the bathtub. You know.
The Perseus Latin Dictionary translates 'Măthēmătĭcus' as "mathematician" or "astrologer". Given that Augustine uses it in the sense of complaining about those "making prophecies", which do you think matches the sense being used?

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Actually, Agustín didn't give a damn about science. He was influenced by neoplatonism. The only truth that interested him was in the ideas in the mind of God.
Augustine was interested in the world around him and concerned by uneducated Christians making inaccurate statements about it:
https://www.pibburns.com/augustin.htm
Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men.
David Mo, some sources for your views on Augustine and Copernicus would be useful. Is it possible that you are 'the believer' here, and those asking for sources are 'the skeptics'?

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Old 12th December 2018, 10:29 AM   #263
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Hi GDon. Thanks for the kind reply and question. (Hard to keep up with the thread here).
Yes, indeed!

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
Some of the major tension has arisen from recognizing how skeptical I am of other religions (or even other Christian groups who profess and express their faith very differently than I do). I've realized that I was not applying similar critical thinking about my own faith and community.
Yes, I agree that that is the most honest and best approach.

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
For example I've long been skeptical of TV faith healers, but enthusiastically and expectantly prayed for members of my own community.
I'm not sure I understand the issue. Prayers only work if they also work for shonky TV faith healers? This sounds more like a crisis of faith involving people rather than God. (From my perspective: I'm a theist, but prayers don't seem to have enough consistent effectiveness to believe it works in individual circumstances.)

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
For me, those are still different on many levels, but when someone from my community started acting a speaking a lot like someone on TV, it triggered some tension. Similarly, I've appreciated hearing leaders speak/preach about passages from the bible they find particularly uplifting or challenging in a positive way, but when a recent young leader got up to preach and mimicked the tone, intonation, and content of the more experienced leaders, it struck me as very ingenuous. But it also made me aware of times I had done the same sort of thing, parroting someone else's "lessons" or "insights" without much critical thought, and that created some tension for me as well.
Again, this seems like a crisis of faith involving people rather than God.

Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I feel tension now when people start sentences with "God says ..." or "I believe the word of God for you is ...", whereas I welcomed that sort of talk (from certain people) in the past. I feel tension regarding the exclusivity of certain claims and language too. For example, "salvation is through Christ". If by that someone means "if you repeat this prayer after me you will go to heaven when you die" (as per my upbringing), I can't accept that. However, if someone means, "Jesus' example was one of compassion and selflessness that was ahead of its time, and through which we have a chance to perceive and pursue something divine", I still have faith for that.
If someone in your community came to you and said that prayers don't work, and preachers are making it up as they go along, and you agreed with them: what would you recommend that person to do?

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Old 12th December 2018, 11:15 AM   #264
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Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
I get it.

Says the guy tho goes on to demonstrate that he actually "gets" little about this subject and knows even less.

Quote:
According to you, the Catholic Church was rather more stupid than Luther. He had realized the implications of heliocentrism for Christian dogma.
Again you show that you didn't even read my article on Copernicus, despite loudly insisting it's wrong. First of all, we have no reference by Luther to Copernicus. We have a reported dinner table quip about "a certain astrologer who wanted to prove that the earth moves and not the sky", but it dates to four years before De revolutionibus was published, to two years before the first edition of the Narratio and we know the Commentariolus was not in circulation in Wittenberg at this time. So - at best - this is a reference to some hearsay about Copernicus’ theory. Or it's not a reference to Copernicus at all, since Nicole Oresme, Jean Buridan, Nicholas of Cusa and Celio Calcagnini had all discussed a moving earth centuries earlier. Whoever he's referring to, the fact that Luther didn't consider this "astrologer " to be worth more than an after dinner chuckle means your claim he somehow grasped some vast threat heliocentrism posed to Christendom is clearly nonsense.

Quote:
The papacy did not.
The papacy were well aware of the full details of Copernicus' hypothesis by 1533, thanks to Widmanstadt's lectures in the Vatican Gardens. So was Copernicus' friend Bishop Tiedemann Giese of Culm, who had been sponsoring his friend's work since the early 1500s. And Cardinal Nikolaus von Schönberg, who was so interested in the thesis he offered to have a copy of the pre-publication manuscript of De revolutionibus made at his own expense so he could read it in full. To pretend that these people just didn't know or understand the full theory is ridiculous. And the fact that they enthusiastically embraced it shows your fantasy that the only religious response to the theory was condemnation is just ... wrong. Again, it's not just that you don't know what you're talking about, the problem is that you're continuing to cling to absurd pseudo history while wilfully ignoring evidence. Just like a fanatic.


Quote:
Suddenly, Galileo puts the subject on the table and the Church pursues the heliocentric theory with fire and blood for centuries
No, suddenly Galileo entangles the subject with the early 1600s hot button topic of who is allowed to interpret scripture at a time when this subject was politically sensitive to the papacy and so things changed. Before he began writing on how the Bible should be interpreted in light of heliocentrism, nobody cared. Galileo had been lauded by the Church for his discoveries and the fact that he was a Copernican was well-known to Church authorities and nobody cared. Once again, you don't understand the details because you don't want to - they get in the way of your ideological pseudo historical fantasy.

Quote:
- all because of this damned Galileo!
Yes. All because of Galileo's "Letter to Castelli" (1613) and, especially, his "Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina" (1615). Until then, nobody cared about Galileo's Copernicanism, even though everyone knew he was a Copernican. But in the political climate of the early 160os, the Church did care about a mere mathematicus deciding that he could interpret scripture - that was reserved for theologians. So Galileo's academic enemies used this to their advantage. If that wasn't what triggered the sudden change in Church attitude, you need to explain why Copernicus was not persecuted or condemned despite the Church knowing all about his thesis since at least 1533, why various of the small number of Copernicans who were operating in Catholic Europe between the circulation of the I]Commentariolus [/i] (1514) and Galileo's warning by the Inquisition a century later were persecuted for this idea (Kepler, for example) and why Galileo could have his Letters on Sunspots (1613) scrutinised by the Church and approved, despite the fact it makes his Copernicanism absolutely explicit. You really don't have a clue about this stuff.

Quote:
It is the same thing that the precautions Osiander takes to camouflage Copernicus' message have nothing to do with Luther's accusations.
If you actually knew any of the source material and bothered to read the letters between Osiande, Copernicus and Rheticus you would know that it was the scientific objections of the Aristotelians that Osiander's tactics were trying to circumvent and that he was not trying to "camouflage" anything - just to get them to begin reading the book so that they would get into the calculations and be persusaded by the argument.

Quote:
It was only to deceive the Aristotelians.
No, it was not to "deceive" them or anyone else. It was to convince them, so that "in this manner, induced to leave behind their severe critique in order to pass over to the pleasures of investigation, first they will become more reasonable; then, after they have sought in vain, they will come over to the author’s opinion". Again, you don't know what you're talking about because you simply don't want to know.

Quote:
(By the way, I remind you that Aristotelianism, via Thomas Aquinas, was the official doctrine of the Catholic Church and its acceptance depended on its granting the venia docendi and the nihil obstat).
You can't "remind" me of something that isn't true. Thomist Aristotelianism was hugely influential and widely accepted but it was not "official doctrine of the Catholic Church". If it was, there could not have been a flourishing anti-Peripatetic movement of Catholic Humanists of which Copernicus and his many fellow Catholics (eg his friend Bishop Giese) were a part. Over and over again you show you don't have a clue about this stuff.

Quote:
And coincidentally, only coincidentally, they coincide with the clause that the Church tried to impose on Galileo in order to admit the publication of his theses. Forgive me for saying that I find your interpretation terribly naive or better biased.
It's not "my" interpretation. If you had the faintest idea what you were talking about you would have cracked open a book by any historian of science on this subject written in the last century and realised that this "interpretation" is the consensus of the experts. You are floundering around trying to defend the dusty nineteenth century Draper-White caricature of the relevant history that no modern specialist in the history of science accepts. This is because (i) you seem to have got your understand third hand from popular histories and (ii) you are crippled by irrational prejudices and false assumptions. Your confident burble above is pseudo historical gibberish as a result.


Quote:
First of all, what are those respected historians of science that deny the pernicious influence of the church on evolution of science in Europe?
They are the leading historians of science working the field today. You are trying to cling to the outdated "Conflict Thesis" of the nineteenth century polemicists John William Draper and Andrew Dickson White. That simplistic idea has been rejected by historians of science for almost a century in favour of the "Complexity Model" of Jonathan Hedley Brooke. This acknowledges incidences of conflict between science and religion (e.g. elements of the Galileo Affair or some of the reaction to Darwin), but shows that the relationship between religion and science can't be reduced to simplistic black-and-white generalisations about either wholesale "conflict"/"retardation" or "harmony"/"encouragement". History isn't that simple. If I thought you were actually capable of educating yourself I'd recommend the new collection of essays by the best historians of science in the field, The Warfare Between Science and Religion: The Idea That Wouldn't Die (2018)

Quote:
Now the more general question: do you agree that the Christian churches, in this case, have played a regressive role against science during the centuries of their political dominance in Europe?
No. See above. And I don't believe you can make a similar simplistic argument the other way either. Have you considered actually educating yourself on what the actual experts in the field believe? Maybe you should give that a try.

Quote:
I am sorry, but I don’t find normal that you consider “fanatic” those that don’t agree with your negationist ideas. This is true fanaticism!
Er, yup. I consider "fanatics" to be people who cling to outdated ideas in the face of both overwhelming expert consensus and clear evidence presented by people who know vastly more than they do out of pigheaded ideological fundamentalism. You fit the bill perfectly.

Quote:
That the Christian church put an end to paganism by means of edicts of intolerance seems to me that even you cannot deny it.
That the fourth and fifth century Christian emperors continued the religious intolerance of their third century pagan predecessors is undeniable. That Roman emperors did not have the infrastructure or policing power to crush any religion by issuing edicts is also clear to anyone with a grasp of the mechanics of late Roman government. Those edicts were a symptom of paganism's decline, not its cause. Its cause was demographic. Bart Ehrman's excellent recent book The Triumph of Christianity (2018) explains why, though - again - I'm guessing you don't want to become informed by expert analysis on this subject either. Fanatics never do.


Quote:
That the Christian monks who followed Cyril were tremendously hostile to anything that sounded like pagan philosophy, is evident. That they behaved terribly violently either. That Hypatia was considered by her followers as a philosopher and conservative of the teachings of the pagan philosophers (mainly platonic) either. So, that Hypatia was a victim of fanatical fundamentalist Christians but this had nothing to do with her ideological activity seems to me to be an extremely naïve or better biased interpretation.
Then you had better explain that to current scholarly experts on the matter, such as Edward J. Watts (see Hypatia: The Life and Legend of an Ancient Philosopher, 2018) and Maria Dzielska, whose book you recommended but clearly haven't read. To try to characterise her death as a reacton by fanatical fundamentalist Christians to pagan learning is another cartoonish fantasy that does not survive contact with any detailed grasp of the evidence. Not that you care. You rely on third hand cliches and have no understanding of context or even what the evidence means. Speaking of which:

Quote:
The antiphilosophical environment (and science was not considered anything else then) of Christian culture is perfectly reflected in the following quotation:
Good Christians should beware of mathematicians and all those who are who are accustomed to making prophecies, for there is the danger of the mathematicians have made a pact with the devil to obnubilate the spirit and to plunge men into hell (Saint Augustine of Hippo: De Genesi al 2, XVII, 37 —my personal translation).
Keep in mind that it comes from the most philosophical Christian of the time.
Thanks for that beautiful illustration of your wilful ignorance. Gosh - Augustine is condemning mathematics is he? How terrible! You must be right after all.

Except ... you're not.

GDon has already helpfully explained your error here, but since - in typical fanatic style - you've blithely brushed that to one side, I'll explain further. Exactly where you got this version of the quote is unclear, since a Google on it leads back only to ... your post above (the use of the obscure word "obnubilate" here is found only in your version). But there are plenty of examples of this supposed condemnation of "mathematicians" in books and online, most of which can be traced back to this version:

"The good Christian should beware the mathematician and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell." (Morris Kline, Mathematics in Western Culture, 1953, p. 3)

Kline may well have been a good mathematician, but like a lot of non-specialists who dabble in history, he was a crappy historian. If anyone actually bothers to consult the work in question, they will find it is in section entitled "Against astrology and divination" and involves Augustine making arguments against astrology also used by sceptics today. He notes that twins should have the same horoscope but notes twins do not have the same personality or live the same lives:

"The so-called constellatons of these two could certainly not have differed in any way at all. So what could be more totally unlikely than that an astrologer, gazing at these constellations in the same horoscope, would say that one of them would be loved by his mother and the other not?"

He goes on to argue that if astrologers get anything right it's "the work of treacherously deceitful spirits" and says "sometimes ... these same unspeakable spirits predict, as if by means of divination, what they themselves are going to do." And THEN we get the quote you've bungled above, which (properly translated) reads:

"For this reason, good Christian, you must be on your guard against astrologers and anyone impiously practicing divination ..."
(Quapropter bono christiano, sive mathematici, sive quilibet impie divinantium ...)

The word Augustine uses is mathematici which does not mean "mathematician" here - it means "astrologer". See the definition of this word according to Lewis and Short:

"A. Măthēmătĭcus , i, m.
1. A mathematician, Cic. de Or 1, 3, 10; id. Ac. 2, 36, 116; id. Tusc. 1, 2, 5; Sen. Ep. 88, 26.—
2. An astrologer (post-Aug.): “mathematici, genus hominum potentibus infidum, sperantibus fallax, quod in civitate nostra et vetabitur semper et retinebitur,” Tac. H. 1, 22: “nota mathematicis genesis tua,” Juv. 14, 248; Tert. Apol. 43: “qui de salute principis ... mathematicos consulit, cum eo qui responderit, capite punitur,” Paul. Sent. 5, 21, 3.—"

So you are ... just plain wrong. But I've gone into detail on this because it shows how much of a fanatic you are. Like a true fundamentalist, you seized this quote from some second-hand source and didn't bother to check it. Anyone who did the obvious thing that a real rationalist would do and went to find a copy of De Genesi ad Litteram to look at in context would realise that he is not talking about "mathematicians" in the modern sense, but astrologers and diviners. But your biases mean you can't think rationally and so you didn't bother to do this simple, rational and obvious thing. And even when GDon showed you your mistake, you stubbornly refused to back down and insisted you had "consulted three versions of Augustine and they all translate 'mathematics'". Though - strangely - you didn't cite or quote any of these supposed "three versions of Augustine" or explain how or why they would say "mathematics" when, if you had actually consulted no less than three editions of the work, you could not help but notice he was talking about astrology. So that claim was a lie.

Again, you are a fanatic. You don't know the source material, you ignore the scholarly consensus of current experts (because you aren't interested in facts) and you lie when caught out in your ignorance. You are as bad as any fundamentalist Christian. Worse, actually, since you claim to be a rationalist. You are precisely why - as an actual rationalist - I bother writing the articles on my blog.

Quote:
(To be continued)
Yes, and your continuation was as full of crap as the stuff above. I've wasted enough time on you, because I know how futile it is trying to get boneheaded fanatics to see past their prejudices and wilful ignorance. If anyone else is interested or if they think you have actually made any pertinent points, I'll discuss things with them. You are a waste of time.
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Old 12th December 2018, 11:22 AM   #265
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Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer View Post
... My follow on question (if I may) would really focus on a few words-:

When you prayed for sick members of your community did you/do you believe that the prayers could lead to a supernatural cure or did you see it as a way for the community to express their support for that person?

Do you believe in a literal Heaven?

When you say "something divine" and "humans are more than the sum of their biological parts" do you mean something supernatural, or as I'd interpret it in most contexts, our ability to form social groups and societies based on mutual benefit rather than naked self interest?
Finally a second to get back to your questions P.J. I think the challenge for me is when I use terms like heaven or supernatural or divine, I have to admit that these terms are not clearly defined, at least for me. So discussing them in literal or absolute terms is hard. I like your description of mutually beneficial social groups, but when I say divine I also mean glimpsing a potential that we don't current understand or achieve completely.

Yes, when I prayed for someone I hoped (and still hope) that it will have an effect that is beyond what I could (currently at least) understand in natural/scientific terms. I've certainly been affected by prayer by being encouraged and "emotionally refreshed" and I have experienced physical sensations like tingling or warmth and have heard others say the same thing. I've heard reports of people gaining sight and hearing, and other types of physical healing but only secondhand or in ways that are difficult to verify.
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Old 12th December 2018, 11:34 AM   #266
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Originally Posted by sylvan8798 View Post
I've noticed (not from you, per se) that even a lot of non-believers really want Jesus to be the nice guy that we were all taught he was/is. For example, it is frequently mentioned that Jesus is not quoted as having said anything about homosexuality. And surely he would have, if it displeases him/God as much as we are told.

A closer reading of the new testament lead me to say "maybe not so perfectly nice as all that". For example, Jesus apparently had no problemo with the number of people who would be going to hell for their non-belief. There are other examples, if you read the gospels with a critical eye, rather than letting them just wash over you.
Fair point and worth further consideration. I am very cognizant that I may simply be creating a theism that "suits my fancy". I think the exploration is more fundamental than that, but it's a possibility
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Old 12th December 2018, 11:44 AM   #267
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Originally Posted by Egg View Post
Thinking in terms of miracles as defined as breaking the natural order in a physical way (as opposed to wonder). So, yep, the kind of thinking of the lone survivor of a plane crash or something preventing them getting on that plane. But I think that extends to the general idea of God blessing some people - the wealthy person saying "I'm so blessed" or the winner of a football match - it may sound like humility in that they're not ascribing it to their own work/ability, but actually they're suggesting they are favoured by a god who can and does act in the world, blessing some and not others. And doesn't it then follow that those who are disadvantaged in life somehow deserve their fate?

Similarly, the genie kind of god that grants prayers like wishes if only you just pray enough, believe the right things or repent in the right way.

In terms of what this actually looks like in the real world, it all really looks pretty arbitrary. And maybe the position of faith that God knows and sees a far bigger picture is as valid a response as rejecting such concepts of God as not reflecting love and justice.


I'm actually pretty familiar with both kinds. Plenty in the latter for a sceptic to get stuck into
Originally Posted by Minoosh View Post
"There but for the grace of God go I" is a particularly peculiar example of this. Like, too bad God's grace didn't apply to the poor schmuck you're comparing yourself to.

People probably mean well when they say these things though. It's just another way of saying, "I was lucky."
Agreed with you both that the implications of some of those terms are not as pleasant as they appear on the surface.

And my faith is definitely dependent on a presumption that God knows and sees a far bigger picture. I'm okay with not being able to know/comprehend all of that and will try to be willing to say "I don't know" as suggested earlier (good advice). I do like trying to explore and question it though, hopefully with some humility.
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Old 12th December 2018, 11:49 AM   #268
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
attempt5001,

Here is a piece of plywood lying on the ground. The length represents theism/non-theism, the width is knowledge/non-knowledge, (gnosticism/agnosticism).

Let's make strong theism the far end of the plywood. Strong atheism is one at the near end. (A strong atheist says "I see evidence that god doesn't exist," and a non-strong one says "I don't see evidence that god does exist.")

Gnosticism is on the left edge of the plywood; agnosticism on the right edge. In between are degrees of knowledge. We can place people in varying locations on the surface of the plywood, depending on their belief/faith/certainty.


The two men I mentioned in a previous post are both gnostic theists, standing at the far left corner. They each have a strongly held belief in their (version of) Christianity and they each KNOW it is correct -- and that the other's version is wrong.

You have begun to move from that corner of the plywood; you need to measure the distance of that movement, and not be afraid of the journey. Honest doubt and honest questioning can't be wrong, no matter what a religion or its adherents say.



Incidentally, to answer a question that you asked about those incidents, I told each of them that I would not discuss religion and would not accept their proselytizing. I had to reiterate that multiple times. The one who is still my friend will forget now and again, and I'll say, "You're doing it again!" He laughs, and stops doing it.
Good image. And thanks for the encouragement for the journey. What do you think would make a good third dimension on the plot? Maybe time spent exploring their position on the 2D surface?

I'm glad to hear you're still friends with one of your more zealous friends.
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Old 12th December 2018, 11:59 AM   #269
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think you will find that there will always be tension between skepticism and faith. They are impossible to reconcile, especially for a Christian. If you explore skepticism, you will always hit an idea that challenges Christian belief. You will hear your pastor/priest/whatever say something in their sermon that will make you internally chuckle, "OK, I know that isn't true." Your friend will tell you about how their prayers saved their loved one from some health scare and you will ask yourself, "And the doctors, what . . . just twiddled their thumbs?" You will begin to doubt.

The question will become: Can I keep my relationships with the faithful friends and communities intact even though I don't really believe what they do? I think in this day and age it's easier because so many people have begun to cast aside all the inconvenient bits of religious lore in favor of a practical kind of Spirituality, "OK, the Catholic Church is against birth control and pre-marital sex and they think the bread and wine physically become the body and blood of Christ. I don't really believe any of that. I still love God though, and that's what counts!" It's a pantomime, IOW, that most people act out in order to remain part of a socio-cultural construct that has been a big part of their life up until that point while still living their lives as they see fit.

Maybe you can do that forever. I'd wager, though, that at some point one of two things will happen: 1)You will find the pantomime becomes tedious to keep up and slowly drop the faithful or 2)You will find skepticism spiritually unsatisfying and re-embrace the faith communities you love -not that you will become unskeptical in most aspects of though, you will just cease to question faith because it feels better emotionally than the alternative.

For me, I went down path 1. I could never reconcile my Catholic upbringing with the reality science and critical thought lead me to.
Thanks for the thoughts xjx (my autocorrect changed that to xox, but fortunately I caught it). They definitely have the hallmarks of someone who has gone through it. You're right that it can be a difficult balancing act, but at present, I feel like the balance (and even tension) are more genuine than the apparent ease of embracing only one.
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Old 12th December 2018, 01:09 PM   #270
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think you will find that there will always be tension between skepticism and faith. They are impossible to reconcile, especially for a Christian. If you explore skepticism, you will always hit an idea that challenges Christian belief. You will hear your pastor/priest/whatever say something in their sermon that will make you internally chuckle, "OK, I know that isn't true." Your friend will tell you about how their prayers saved their loved one from some health scare and you will ask yourself, "And the doctors, what . . . just twiddled their thumbs?" You will begin to doubt.

The question will become: Can I keep my relationships with the faithful friends and communities intact even though I don't really believe what they do? I think in this day and age it's easier because so many people have begun to cast aside all the inconvenient bits of religious lore in favor of a practical kind of Spirituality, "OK, the Catholic Church is against birth control and pre-marital sex and they think the bread and wine physically become the body and blood of Christ. I don't really believe any of that. I still love God though, and that's what counts!" It's a pantomime, IOW, that most people act out in order to remain part of a socio-cultural construct that has been a big part of their life up until that point while still living their lives as they see fit.

Maybe you can do that forever. I'd wager, though, that at some point one of two things will happen: 1)You will find the pantomime becomes tedious to keep up and slowly drop the faithful or 2)You will find skepticism spiritually unsatisfying and re-embrace the faith communities you love -not that you will become unskeptical in most aspects of though, you will just cease to question faith because it feels better emotionally than the alternative.

For me, I went down path 1. I could never reconcile my Catholic upbringing with the reality science and critical thought lead me to.

Yes I think so.

It has been suggested that some Christians today can, putting a modern day interpretation on Biblical scripture, be quite comfortable with it. I find it hard to imagine minds as ductile as this. The famous American philosopher Daniel Dennett shared my skepticism I think.

When Dennett gave his presentation “The Evolution of Confusion” the main topic of discussion was “Non Believing Clergy”, as he and his colleague were studying the cases of clergymen who had lost their faith. Dennett formed the opinion that many lost their faith whilst studying at the seminary, when confronted with the detail of scripture, and the dubious history thereof.
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Old 12th December 2018, 02:17 PM   #271
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Originally Posted by GDon View Post
Yes, indeed!


Yes, I agree that that is the most honest and best approach.


I'm not sure I understand the issue. Prayers only work if they also work for shonky TV faith healers? This sounds more like a crisis of faith involving people rather than God. (From my perspective: I'm a theist, but prayers don't seem to have enough consistent effectiveness to believe it works in individual circumstances.)


Again, this seems like a crisis of faith involving people rather than God.


If someone in your community came to you and said that prayers don't work, and preachers are making it up as they go along, and you agreed with them: what would you recommend that person to do?
Hi GDon. Thanks again for the reply. These were primarily "take a look in the mirror" moments for me. My upbringing and community have shaped my ideas of faith and God, so critically evaluating for former, included the latter by necessity for me as well. I thought initially that this process would result in my concluding that "God is nowhere" (i.e., everything I attributed to God was just selective religious attribution of regular events). Instead, my current feeling is more akin to "God is everywhere" (i.e., God is evidenced by people, communities, actions, etc. much more broadly than I considered before).

Your last question is a tricky one and would depend on the individual. As I've mentioned, I don't want to discourage anyone, particularly if they are struggling. If I felt it would be helpful, I would encourage them to think of God and faith in a broader context then "cause and effect" prayer, or religious teaching, similar to what I am going through now. But I know that isn't an easy road. I think that those accustomed to being taught about faith and religion can be particularly inclined to simply follow the next strong opinion presented (whether it's a different faith, or atheism) and can end up no further ahead in terms of having lasting peace of mind.

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Old 12th December 2018, 03:06 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by xjx388 View Post
I think you will find that there will always be tension between skepticism and faith. They are impossible to reconcile, especially for a Christian.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Yes I think so.
But not impossible to compartmentalize and deny/ignore that there is any tension or conflict. Obviously doesn’t apply to attempt5001.

I guess theists “buddying-up” to science are attempting to bring it closer to their theism.
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Old 12th December 2018, 07:06 PM   #273
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
But not impossible to compartmentalize and deny/ignore that there is any tension or conflict. Obviously doesn’t apply to attempt5001.

I guess theists “buddying-up” to science are attempting to bring it closer to their theism.

Yes it is most refreshing to see attempt5001 trying to come to grips with the issue rather than "compartmentalize and deny/ignore". Commendable. All too unusual from my limited observations.

Science is the way God does stuff.
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Old 12th December 2018, 09:14 PM   #274
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
But not impossible to compartmentalize and deny/ignore that there is any tension or conflict. Obviously doesn’t apply to attempt5001.

I guess theists “buddying-up” to science are attempting to bring it closer to their theism.
Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Yes it is most refreshing to see attempt5001 trying to come to grips with the issue rather than "compartmentalize and deny/ignore". Commendable. All too unusual from my limited observations.

Science is the way God does stuff.
Thanks for the kind words gentlemen (I assume). It's been great to have some intelligent, respectful and challenging back and forth with folks like yourselves who think differently than me and express themselves clearly. Your responses and questions clearly show that you've read and considered my responses as well, rather than running through a list of pre-set "atheist speaking points", which I really appreciate.

Also, maybe scientists are "buddying-up" to God by devoting their lives to exploring and understanding the world around them and the laws that govern it.

I've got lots to think about and will take some time and space to do so. I may let this thread run its course at this point, but I'll try to engage on some other topics in hopes of finding similarly productive discussion. I'll weigh back in on this topic after some time if I have more thoughts to "put out there".

I was quite hesitant to start this thread, but am very glad I did. My sincere thanks to everyone who took the time the contribute.
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Old 13th December 2018, 12:27 AM   #275
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Most warm good wishes to you attempt5001.
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Old 13th December 2018, 12:52 AM   #276
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Originally Posted by TimONeill2 View Post
Says the guy tho goes on to demonstrate that he actually "gets" little about this subject and knows even less.

[Etc., etc.]
Thank you for your comment which I find perfectly confusing and anecdotal.

Believe it or not, I've read a few things on this subject, including the books you say I haven't read and a few more. What do you think of Paul Veyne, for example? Don't insist that I read your writings. I find them uninteresting, for the reasons I said in another comment that you have apparently not read. I don't read your blog. You don't read my comments. We are even.

I'll try to be concise because I don't have much time to respond to you.

You contradict yourself: You cannot say that Copernicus' theses were well known before De revolutionibus was published and that Luther had not heard of them. Or that something Luther said didn't become "viral," even if it was said in conversation. To claim that Osiander's cautious prologue was only to deceive the Aristotelians (to make them sting = to deceive) is an unfounded assumption. Osiander must have been very naive to think that such a ploy would deceive the rabid Artiotelians. You may or may not believe it. But the caution against the objections of the churches cannot be disdained either.

The Catholic Church was strongly commited heliocentrism before the Inquisition took action against Galileo. I remind you that Bruno was condemned for affirming the movement of the earth among other things. The correct thing to say is that certain sectors of the Catholic Church did not oppose Galileo's theses. That there are dissensions between moderates and conservatives is common in the Church in many periods. But that in this case the moderates turned to be ultra-conservatives when they saw that the Inquisition appeared, this cannot be denied by you. In fact, it would be more correct to say that they changed their minds as soon as they saw that Galileo was unwilling to lower his neck and recognize the absolute power of the Church over science with precautions such as those taken by Copernicus-Osiander.

What I don't know is how you have the cheek to deny that the papacy and the Holy Office's action against Galileo is one of the most savage attacks against the independence of science. To pretend that this attack would not have taken place if Galileo had not thought of proposing the allegorical interpretation of certain passages of the Bible is ridiculous and reveals a total ignorance of the history of previous centuries and those that followed. The same ignorance you demonstrate when I ask you for bibliographic references of historians who support your negationism (the non-existent "consensus") and you send me to a Wikipedia article that cites only a couple or three marginal historians. What are your sources? Wikipedia? The same ignorance you show when youquote the Christian background list of the New Science and you put into it all the metaphysical cosmology that Galileo threw to the ground. Including authors who have nothing to do with science such as Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Albert the Great or mathematical mystics such as Nicholas of Cusa, etc. Where did you get such nonsense? The New Science is a rupture with Aristotelian metaphysics, but also with platonic-humanist metaphysics. This rupture, not continuity, was based on the elaboration of a mathematical-experimental method that not even Copernicus had glimpsed and that begins with Galileo and ends with Newton. It is this method, which demanded independence of research and a truth alien to dogmas, that the Church was condemning for several centuries, until it had no choice but to agree with Galileo: when science and religious superstition clash, science must be right. It took some time to get here, but it ended up getting here.

By the way, if you haven't heard that Aristotelian metaphysics had become the essential core of Catholic thought before Galileo I recommend you take a look at the Capellone degli Spagnoli of Santa Maria Novella in Florence. It will save me from having to look for obvious quotes from you.

The other nonsense is that the triumph of Christianity had nothing to do with the persecution of the pagans. Apart from other considerations, there are two main political reasons that put an end to paganism: the repeated repressive edicts against them and the need to become a Christian in order to make an administrative career in the State. Peter Brown has a magnificent book on this subject that he would recommend if he thought he was going to read it. That the edicts and persecutions against paganism were not the main cause can be discussed. But that they existed cannot be denied in a debate on repression intelectuals even by a negationist like you. And if they existed, it was because of something, wasn't it? Or was it because the emperors liked to play floral games with the laws? Therefore, that Hypatia was the leader of an intellectual circle that brought together pagans and Christians cannot be ignored in any way among the causes of their "martyrdom".

And I don't know what other things of yours I have to dismantle. Oh yes, mathematics and Augustine. I think I've already answered that in another comment. Look for it, please. A precision: In Augustine's time one cannot speak properly of a separation between science and theology. Even reputed philosophers mixed the two, especially in this period. Augustine takes advantage of it and christianizes neoplatonism (not Plato, by the way). In those circumstances the union between mathematics and astrology was a manifestation of the conflict between the pagan fortune tellers and Christianity. The first was the strongest rival (stronger than the cult of the classical gods) and for Augustine the use of mathematics was linked to it. That is why in the condemnation of the divinatory arts Augustine throws the child (mathematics) along with the water (divination). I hope that his scarce knowledge on the subject will not prevent him from recognizing that when we talk about science in the fourth century we are not talking about what we mean by science in the twenty-first century.

You are right. I also have other better things to do than wait you to provide data that you do not want or cannot give. It's the bad thing about arguing with amateur experts.

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Old 13th December 2018, 07:51 AM   #277
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Originally Posted by attempt5001 View Post
I've got lots to think about and will take some time and space to do so. I may let this thread run its course at this point, but I'll try to engage on some other topics in hopes of finding similarly productive discussion. I'll weigh back in on this topic after some time if I have more thoughts to "put out there".

I was quite hesitant to start this thread, but am very glad I did. My sincere thanks to everyone who took the time the contribute.


As people here say, a thread like this puts the "E" in ISF -- a reference to the old name of the forum, the James Randi Educational Forum.


Stick around. Most people here are pretty nice. Read some of the other threads, not only the ones on religion. And don't agonize too much over your dilemma.
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Old 13th December 2018, 08:48 AM   #278
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Most warm good wishes to you attempt5001.
Originally Posted by xterra View Post
As people here say, a thread like this puts the "E" in ISF -- a reference to the old name of the forum, the James Randi Educational Forum.


Stick around. Most people here are pretty nice. Read some of the other threads, not only the ones on religion. And don't agonize too much over your dilemma.
Many thanks. See you around the forum.
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Old 13th December 2018, 10:45 AM   #279
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
As people here say, a thread like this puts the "E" in ISF -- a reference to the old name of the forum, the James Randi Educational Forum.


Stick around. Most people here are pretty nice. Read some of the other threads, not only the ones on religion. And don't agonize too much over your dilemma.
Seconded.

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Old 13th December 2018, 11:41 AM   #280
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Bluster-merchants like "David Mo" desperately need to have the last word, so I figured if I said I was tired of responding to him he would come back with another string of assertions. These guys don't really care about being right, they just need to create the illusion of being so. Notice how the response below, like all of his posts, is another collection of claims made with (seeming) great confidence and swagger, but citing no scholarship, referring to no relevant books or papers and drawing on no evidence or source material. This guy doesn't care about that stuff - he just makes faith statements and, in the face of carefully argued, well-sourced, scholarly counter-arguments, he just repeats his faith statements. He is a fanatic.

Originally Posted by David Mo View Post
Thank you for your comment which I find perfectly confusing and anecdotal.
Spare me your passive aggressive faux politeness. There is nothing "anecdotal" about what I said, so that's nonsense right off the bat. But I'm sure you were "confused" by a response that draws on real knowledge and scholarship - that would be foreign to you.

Quote:
Believe it or not, I've read a few things on this subject, including the books you say I haven't read and a few more.
As others have noted, your posts have been remarkably free of any citations of any scholars. And you keep blurting out assertions of positions that run counter to what modern scholars actually agree. So it is pretty easy to believe if you read on these subject at all it is not monographs by specialist experts but secondary works by non-specialists who just parrot the nineteenth century crap you're frantically clinging to. The only book you've cited so far has been Dzielska on Hypatia, though that backfired when it turned out I had read it and you obviously haven't, given that Dzielska argues the opposite to you. So don't try to fake some specialist knowledge here - it is quite clear you have none.


Quote:
What do you think of Paul Veyne, for example?
I think his stuff has no relevance to anything being discussed here that I can see. Now you seem to be desperately flinging out a name in the hope that it looks like you know what you're talking about. See above about bluster merchants.


Quote:
Don't insist that I read your writings. I find them uninteresting, for the reasons I said in another comment that you have apparently not read. I don't read your blog. You don't read my comments. We are even.
I read your weak dismissal of my blog articles and responded to it HERE. You skipped over my response. And I'm sure anyone reading this exchange has already detected the contradiction in "I've read your blog and it's bad" and "I don't read your blog".

Quote:
I'll try to be concise because I don't have much time to respond to you.
Yes, it's usually at around this point that bluffing bluster merchants suddenly become remarkably short on time.

Quote:
You contradict yourself: You cannot say that Copernicus' theses were well known before De revolutionibus was published and that Luther had not heard of them.
Luckily for me, I did not say that. I noted the fact that, contrary to your claims, we have good evidence that they were well known to various very senior members of the Catholic Church (Bishop Tiedemann Giese, Pope Clement VIII, Cardinal Franciotto Orsini, Cardinal Giovanni Salviati, Bishop Giampietro Grassi, Cardinal Nikolaus von Schönberg), so your idiotic claim that the Church hierarchy was unaware of his theory until 1543 is garbage. I then noted that Luther's reported quip dates to 1539, which is four years before De revolutionibus and two years before the Narratio . Given that we know that the Commentariolus was not in circulation in Wittenberg at this time, then - at best - Luther was working from some hearsay version of what Copernicus said. And that's if he was talking about Copernicus at all, which is far from certain.

Quote:
Or that something Luther said didn't become "viral," even if it was said in conversation.
When Luther really wanted to condemn something, he made sure it "went viral" by publishing thundering pamphlets or books on the subject. IF he was referring to Copernicus in this passing comment at dinner, he didn't consider the subject more than a brief bon mot over the after-dinner cheese. So he hardly saw heliocentrism as some great problem - unlike things he did write against, like the Papacy, rebellious peasants and Jews.

Quote:
To claim that Osiander's cautious prologue was only to deceive the Aristotelians (to make them sting = to deceive) is an unfounded assumption.
Osiander must have been very naive to think that such a ploy would deceive the rabid Artiotelians. You may or may not believe it. But the caution against the objections of the churches cannot be disdained either.
More nonsense. You need to learn to read better. Again, Osiander was not trying to "deceive" anyone. He was trying to persuade them to read the book by making its thesis seem like a calculating device at first until they got into the calculations and realised the truth of the cosmological model. And this is not an "unfounded assumption" or any kind of "assumption at all". Osiander TELLS us this in his letter to Copernicus and Rheticus dated April 20, 1541, which I quote at length in my article and quoted the relevant key phrase in a previous post here. Either you can't read or you are just trying to bluster past evidence you can't argue with.

Quote:
The Catholic Church was strongly commited heliocentrism before the Inquisition took action against Galileo. I remind you that Bruno was condemned for affirming the movement of the earth among other things.
Oh God - another myth! The Roman Inquisition worked from precedent and case law (see Thomas F. Mayer , The Roman Inquisition: A Papal Bureaucracy and Its Laws in the Age of Galileo, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, p.152, 169 and extensively elsewhere). If Cardinal Bellarmine had condemned Bruno for that in 1599, why was there any inquiry and assessment into heliocentrism when he investigated Galileo just 17 years later in 1616? That should have been a settled question by then and the 1616 inquiry would simply have referred to it rather than putting the issue to expert assessment. Bruno was not condemned for anything to do with heliocentrism and the 1616 ruling was the first time the Church had decided to rule on the question. So - wrong. You really don't have the faintest clue about this stuff.

Quote:
The correct thing to say is that certain sectors of the Catholic Church did not oppose Galileo's theses.
No, the correct thing to say is that no-one really cared much either way until Galileo started dabbling in Biblical exegesis. In 1616 lots of people cared about that. If I thought there was any chance you might be interested in actually educating yourself rather than staying mired in ignorance I'd suggest you read Richard J. Blackwell, Galileo, Bellarmine, and the Bible ( University of Notre Dame Press, 1991). But I realise fundamentalists like you don't like books by real scholars - they prefer to cling to their faith and bluster their way through arguments by shouting assertions.

Quote:
That there are dissensions between moderates and conservatives is common in the Church in many periods. But that in this case the moderates turned to be ultra-conservatives when they saw that the Inquisition appeared, this cannot be denied by you. In fact, it would be more correct to say that they changed their minds as soon as they saw that Galileo was unwilling to lower his neck and recognize the absolute power of the Church over science with precautions such as those taken by Copernicus-Osiander.
That the more conservative forces chose to condemn heliocentrism post-1616 is not something anyone can "deny", but luckily for me I have never done so. The problem is that you claim (i) they had done so formally earlier, (ii) they didn't do so with Copernicus because they were somehow unaware his thesis was an actual cosmology. Both these claims are dead wrong. This is why no historian of science on the planet accepts what you claim.

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What I don't know is how you have the cheek to deny that the papacy and the Holy Office's action against Galileo is one of the most savage attacks against the independence of science.
Now you're just making things up. Where did I say this? Quote me. This should be funny to watch ...

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To pretend that this attack would not have taken place if Galileo had not thought of proposing the allegorical interpretation of certain passages of the Bible is ridiculous and reveals a total ignorance of the history of previous centuries and those that followed.
Gosh. I guess all those historians of science and specialists in Galileo studies must be wrong then. Luckily we have "David Mo" - a random internet person who cites no-one and doesn't seem to have any grasp of the source material - to help us all see what's right. Lucky us.

The fact is that from when Copernicus first presented his thesis in 1514 to the first inquiry into Galileo's ideas a century later, the Church did not care about heliocentrism. They left it to the astronomers to argue over. And this was not because they were somehow so ignorant of it that they didn't understand it was an actual cosmology or that they didn't grasp that it contradicted a literal interpretation of certain scriptures - it's just that until the Counter-Reformation began to hot up into a real war (see "the Thirty Years War") and that began to have severe political ramifications for the Papacy, the Church was not as rigidly doctrinaire on this issue as you are assuming. You would know this if you had any detailed understanding of the context of all this stuff, but you don't and you can't gain any because you are a wilfully ignorant fanatic.

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The same ignorance you demonstrate when I ask you for bibliographic references of historians who support your negationism (the non-existent "consensus") and you send me to a Wikipedia article that cites only a couple or three marginal historians. What are your sources? Wikipedia?
Oh God - this is hilarious. Does this guy really think no-one is going to notice that I cited a whole book, published just a couple of months ago, detailing the whole myth of the outdated "Conflict Thesis" and containing essays by some of the most prestigious historians of science working in the field today? Here's that citation again: Jeff Hardin and Ronald Numbers (ed.s), The Warfare Between Science and Religion: The Idea That Wouldn't Die (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). And I posted the Wikipedia link because - as with all Wiki articles - it is a summary of the topic with quotes and full references. This saved me the effort of writing up such a summary myself. Finally, "a couple or three marginal historians"?! This is hilarious. David Lindberg? Ronald Numbers? J.H. Brooke? "Marginal historians"?! You have absolutely no clue at all. Both Lindberg and Numbers are Sarton Medal winners (look it up) and former presidents of the History of Science Society. Lindberg was also general editor of the eight-volume Cambridge History of Science. Numbers was editor of Isis (look it up) and is currently editing the new edition of the Cambridge History of Science. Brooke was editor of the British Journal for the History of Science and president of the British Society for the History of Science. These are THE leading modern historians of early science - they do not get any more prestigious than these giants in the field. And by calling them "marginal historians" you have just demonstrated both your near total and complete ignorance of the subject and how utterly idiotic your posts on it are. What a joke.

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The same ignorance you show when youquote the Christian background list of the New Science and you put into it all the metaphysical cosmology that Galileo threw to the ground. Including authors who have nothing to do with science such as Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Albert the Great or mathematical mystics such as Nicholas of Cusa, etc. Where did you get such nonsense?
Gosh - see above re those "marginal historians" like Lindberg, Numbers, Brooke etc. My list of the natural philosophers you mention shows that plenty of people were using reason and proto-scientific inquiry to explore the natural world during the Middle Ages and laying the foundation for the full flowering of real science while they did so. The Church had not problem with any of this - in fact, it encouraged it (most of those guys were churchmen). To say they have "nothing to do with science" is utterly ridiculous and - again - shows you have no idea what you are talking about.

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The New Science is a rupture with Aristotelian metaphysics, but also with platonic-humanist metaphysics. This rupture, not continuity, was based on the elaboration of a mathematical-experimental method that not even Copernicus had glimpsed and that begins with Galileo and ends with Newton.
Gosh - more statements of faith, straight out of the nineteenth century. Anyone who wants to bring themselves into the present day can read works like Edward Grant, The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages: Their Religious, Institutional and Intellectual Contexts (Cambridge University Press, 1996) and realise that there was as much continuity as discontinuity and that this "mathematical-experimental method" had medieval roots. They may also grasp things that "David Mo" doesn't, like the fact that what was being rejected was Aristotelian physics, not metaphysics. Don't be like "David Mo" - actually read books by scholars, rather than get your "knowledge" from crap on the internet.

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The other nonsense is that the triumph of Christianity had nothing to do with the persecution of the pagans. Apart from other considerations, there are two main political reasons that put an end to paganism: the repeated repressive edicts against them and the need to become a Christian in order to make an administrative career in the State. Peter Brown has a magnificent book on this subject that he would recommend if he thought he was going to read it.
*Chuckle*. What do you mean the book that was sitting here on my desk even as I read your hand-waving above?



God, this is hilarious. I read Brown's book when it was first published in 1996 and am just now consulting his new edition for an article I'm writing. So please tell us what exactly you think Brown says that contradicts a single thing I've said. This didn't go so well for you when you tried to cite Dzielska and I'm telling you now that it will not end well for you here either. You are completely out of your depth.

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That the edicts and persecutions against paganism were not the main cause can be discussed. But that they existed cannot be denied in a debate on repression intelectuals even by a negationist like you.
I've also got my copy of the Codex Theodosianus in front of me. Please cite the edicts that attack intellectuals and ban learning. This is getting too funny for words.

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And if they existed, it was because of something, wasn't it?
See above. Full citations please.

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Therefore, that Hypatia was the leader of an intellectual circle that brought together pagans and Christians cannot be ignored in any way among the causes of their "martyrdom".
Funny then that none of the sources say this was the issue.

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And I don't know what other things of yours I have to dismantle. Oh yes, mathematics and Augustine.
Hoo boy! Now things get really hilarious ...

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I think I've already answered that in another comment. Look for it, please. A precision: In Augustine's time one cannot speak properly of a separation between science and theology. Even reputed philosophers mixed the two, especially in this period. Augustine takes advantage of it and christianizes neoplatonism (not Plato, by the way). In those circumstances the union between mathematics and astrology was a manifestation of the conflict between the pagan fortune tellers and Christianity. The first was the strongest rival (stronger than the cult of the classical gods) and for Augustine the use of mathematics was linked to it. That is why in the condemnation of the divinatory arts Augustine throws the child (mathematics) along with the water (divination).
Utter garbage. Again, the word does not mean "mathematics" in the modern sense, it means "astrology". And mathematics was not "thrown out" by Augustine or anyone else. Which is why it was ensrhined in the Quadrivium of the Seven Liberal Arts and formed part of the foundation of all medieval education. No-one read this condemnation of astrology by Augustine and "threw out" mathematics, because (unlike you) they could read and understand what he was saying. You are wrong.

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You are right. I also have other better things to do than wait you to provide data that you do not want or cannot give. It's the bad thing about arguing with amateur experts.
*Chuckle*. If irony could be harnessed for energy that sentence above could power a small country. It's a good thing your pompous flatulance above is so funny, otherwise your wilful ignorance would actually be rather sad. Go away.
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