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Christianity

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Frank 013
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Re: Christianity

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Quote:MeasterAuronWhich sciences pray tell were subjugated during this time?Astronomy, medicine, history, the list goes on. Even to this day elements of the church fight against the teaching of evolution. Quote:MeasterAuronPop quiz what was the Roman religion at this time?What time? The Roman Empire was gone during the dark ages. But during its death throws it was primarily Christian, from Constantine's rule forward. Quote:MeasterAuronAnd what would history have been like without the French Revolution?Different.
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Quote:My understanding of the situation was that anything seen as sorcery was also heresy. All I've heard on the matter is alchemy was easily accepted by church doctrine.Quote:If you can show me where the Byzantine Empire had concrete, steam and water powered geared machinery, running water, and heated bath water then you will begin to have a case.Well they certainly had some form of concrete. They built massive aqueducts so I can only assume they had running water. And they definitely had baths although I'm not quite sure if they were heated.I don't know about the water clocks and steam powered toys. I would assume they atleast had some since they were part of the Roman empire and experianced prosperity while Rome was in decline.Every idea not in line with church doctrine.Quote:Although in my current research I am finding that heresy crimes in the dark ages seem to have been very rare, this is attributed to the fear the church inspired and the lack of literate people.Which do you think it can be better attributed to?Quote:Earlier, you brought up examples of church members that had knowledge of the sciences. This proves my point beyond any examples I could give.The church could have been at the forefront of human enlightenment; instead they chose to stand in its way.I'm surprised you did not see this from the beginning.Where did it say that this information was withheld?Quote:They were the foreign invaders. Saxons, Vikings, Huns etc. So wouldn't they have been prospering after stealing all the treasures of Rome?Quote:You missed the point. It's the knowledge lost the setback to mankind, culturally and technologically. Together with the sickness, chaos and violence. Finally the suppression of knowledge by the church only increased the recovery time.We didn't lose knowledge when the Aztec and Incan empires fell? They had brain surgery, herbal medicine and baths. Western civilization could have recovered a large percentage of Rome's advances if they'd met the Aztecs and Incans with peace.Quote:Again you missed the point, its not about Columbus its about the setback in advancement that did indeed affect the whole planet.It was just a little jokeQuote:And the Dark Ages aside none of this Challenges my original statement that Christianities only original idea was the extremism of their bigotry torwards women.I know but its a very enjoyable debate. Every story must come to an end.
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Frank 013
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Re: Christianity

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Quote:MeasterAuronAll I've heard on the matter is alchemy was easily accepted by church doctrine.I think that that might have been determined by the person and their relationship with the church, and was probably more common in the earlier part of the time period. honestly I do not recall seeing anything specific about alchemy in my studies. Quote:MeasterAuron Well they certainly had some form of concrete. They built massive aqueducts so I can only assume they had running water. And they definitely had baths although I'm not quite sure if they were heated.Ok but were these roman adaptations or advancements over roman technology?Quote:MeasterAuron I don't know about the water clocks and steam powered toys. Not toys, big machines. Quote:MeasterAuron I would assume they at least had some since they were part of the Roman Empire and experienced prosperity while Rome was in decline.Surely, but did they advance the technology any further? To my knowledge the answer is no.Quote:MeasterAuron Which do you think it can be better attributed to? It's hard to say, the early church was less powerful and was attempting to win over believers through friendliness and adoption of local customs. During this period I believe heresy was nonexistent. Later when Christianity became well established and people began to question the established dogma it probably was a combination of the two. Finally when Christianity had its hands around Europe's neck it was probably mostly through fear. Quote:MeasterAuron Where did it say that this information was withheld? It was clearly withheld, I said it, you did not have to. Quote:MeasterAuron So wouldn't they have been prospering after stealing all the treasures of Rome? Some did in a financial sense, but they failed in their true goal, which was often to be accepted and admitted to roman society. Later the northern raiders hit the British Isles and France mostly, they were forced away from their homes by overpopulation and lack of resources. Quote:MeasterAuron We didn't lose knowledge when the Aztec and Incan empires fell? They had brain surgery, herbal medicine and baths. Western civilization could have recovered a large percentage of Rome's advances if they'd met the Aztecs and Incans with peace.True but the damage had been done, and why do you think the Spanish were so aggressive towards a new culture? Is it possible that their religious bigotries were even partly involved? Quote:MeasterAuron It was just a little jokeOh, what's the punch line? Quote:MeasterAuron I know but it's a very enjoyable debate.Very well, then we should continue.Later
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Quote:Ok but were these roman adaptations or advancements over roman technology?Well these things did come from Rome because Byzantium was basically just Rome with a different capital. The point is Byzantium maintained these technologys, if they didn't improve on them that makes it a lull in technological progress, not a step backwards, and since Rome was on the decline I don't see why we should expec that they would have improved much on their own technologies even if they didn't fall.Quote:Not toys, big machines. Steam powered machines. I was only aware of a spinning device used for entertainment.Quote:Surely, but did they advance the technology any further? To my knowledge the answer is no.To my knowledge the answer is yes with reguards to medicine. And who says they need to advance it any further. You talk about the dark ages in terms of knowledge lost. This knowledge wouldn't be lost it would just remain unimproved for a long period of time. If we use that definition we could have several "dark ages" when mankinds ingenuity was lacking.Quote:It's hard to say, the early church was less powerful and was attempting to win over believers through friendliness and adoption of local customs. During this period I believe heresy was nonexistent.Later when Christianity became well established and people began to question the established dogma it probably was a combination of the two.Finally when Christianity had its hands around Europe's neck it was probably mostly through fear. There we go. Heresy was nonexistant, so who's to blame for the illiteracy, the church or the fuedal lords?Quote:It was clearly withheld, I said it, you did not have to. Why because it was bishops and monks who came up with it? That doesn't prove they withheld it from the public. Nor would lack of public knowledge, people may have simply been too uneducated to care, or understand. Besides debate would no doubt have continued as the earths shape was still not proven at this time.Quote:True but the damage had been done, and why do you think the Spanish were so aggressive towards a new culture?Is it possible that their religious bigotries were even partly involved?I suppose. Mainly though Cortez was a power hungry barbarian. He did aly with other natives to defeate the Aztecs.I don't know about Pizzaro though. I'll have to look into it. Every story must come to an end.
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Frank 013
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Re: Christianity

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Quote:MeasterAuronThe point is Byzantium maintained these technologies, if they didn't improve on them that makes it a lull in technological progress, not a step backwards, and since Rome was on the decline I don't see why we should expect that they would have improved much on their own technologies even if they didn't fall.It appears that in many cases the Byzantium Empire was behind in technology, having lost or poorly adapted the Roman technologies left behind. the point is they can hardly be called Byzantium technologies; they were Roman, simply maintained by parts of the former Empire. These technologies were available throughout the Roman Empire before its fall, had the Dark Ages not come about the knowledge would have persisted throughout Europe and several hundred years of additional knowledge would certainly have been beneficial. In any case it would not have been lost to the western world completely. Quote:MeasterAuronSteam powered machines. I was only aware of a spinning device used for entertainment. I have seen designs for a multiple blade saw and some other industrial steam and water powered machinery that used churns and other spinning wheels. Quote:MeasterAuronTo my knowledge the answer is yes with regards to medicine. Like what?And what happened to that knowledge between then and the 20th century when we had to rediscover those same procedures?Quote:MeasterAuronAnd who says they need to advance it any further. You talk about the dark ages in terms of knowledge lost. This knowledge wouldn't be lost it would just remain unimproved for a long period of time.This information was lost to Western Europe during the Dark Ages and that turned out to be a loss for the entire world when the western nations emerged as the superpowers they became. Quote:MeasterAuronIf we use that definition we could have several "dark ages" when mankind's ingenuity was lacking.But none of them had the lasting worldwide effect as the Dark Ages of Europe. Quote:MeasterAuronThere we go. Heresy was nonexistent, Yes briefly, but was dreadfully enforced later.Quote:MeasterAuronSo who's to blame for the illiteracy, the church or the feudal lords?I would say both, the church had the knowledge, but they refused to share it, largely because they did not want independent interpretations of the bible. The lords were to blame to some extent as well, but they were not immune to church law either, so most would not have gone against the church's decision. Quote:MeasterAuronWhy because it was bishops and monks who came up with it? No because those ideas were dangerous to the church.Quote:MeasterAuron That doesn't prove they withheld it from the public. Nor would lack of public knowledge, people may have simply been too uneducated to care, or understand. The fact that it was never disclosed to the public is proof. It was either shared or concealed there is no middle ground, and when the idea was put forth later by independent observers they were accused of heresy by the very church which held the same information. The last time I checked that was called a conspiracy.Quote:MeasterAuron Besides debate would no doubt have continued as the earths shape was still not proven at this time.Surely, but there was no debate in a public sense. And the information was apparently decided by the church to be faulty or dangerous (possibly both) and never revealed, later it was staunchly denied. Quote:MeasterAuron I suppose. Mainly though Cortez was a power hungry barbarian. He did ally with other natives to defeat the Aztecs.That appeared to be more out of necessity than tolerance.But you should look into the church's response to the native presence in the Americas, the debate was very interesting. Their theories ranged from sub humans, to humans not born of Adam, meaning that they did not suffer from the burden of original sin, because they had never been exposed to Christianity, they were deemed innocent but were ripe for conversion. An act that would condemn most of them to hell (in the eyes of the church) when Christ was denied, but that was A-ok. Later
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Re: Christianity

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A quick note on the issue of heresy. I haven't read through the rest of this thread, but as regards heresy, what you have to understand is, that functionally, heresy was initially a way of demarcating orthodoxy, which is really just another way of saying that declaring a doctrine heretical was a way of feeling out what the Church was all about. That means two things: 1) it means that a doctrine was only heretical if it purported to be a part of Christian belief, and 2) that, at least initially, heresy was very much about maintaining the logical consistency between points of doctrine that were already well-established. The first point is important because the reason that heresy had such a stigma attached to it is that the heretics initially wanted to align themselves with the Church. The Church was not, in the early phases, some monolithic institution beyond all reproach -- it's appeal to early Christians was that it was a community of belief, and they wanted to be a part of that community, even if membership made them a target in the eyes of the powers that be. In that regard, calling a doctrine, like Manicheism, for example, heretical wasn't much different from a group like the Libertarian party distancing themselves from a a splinter group that espouses, say, a ban on gay marriage. It's essentially a way of saying, "That isn't what we're all about, and we don't want anyone associating that belief with our group." What happened in effect is that much of the growing body of doctrine in the early Church arose as the church fathers considered various ideas that were coming up from affiliated communities and decided whether or not they fit in with the rest of Christian doctrine. And in a lot of cases, these heretical ideas really did cause problems with already accepted Christian doctrine. Logical consistency was a key issue in determining whether or not a doctrine was heretical -- if you couldn't reconcile it with what the Church already held to be important, then obviously you couldn't adopt it as part of the belief system. You could jettison the whole system, or modify the whole -- and the church did sometimes modify the whole system, such that former church fathers were later deemed heretical -- but that only means that the history of heresy and doctrine is largely a history of retrospect.Where all of this gets problematic is in the later ages when the Church has become essentially the keystone in the whole of European civilization. But that happened by a very gradual process, almost imperceptibly, and was not apparantly the goal of the founders or early innovators in the Church. Vast changes took place between those early years and the later hegemony of the Church, and it's important to maintain a clear sense of the dynamic historical development and the way it impacted ideas like heresy.Anyway...Also, in regards to the development of medieval technology, you two may have overlooked an important factor: social construction. A feudal society, like that which persisted from about the 9th century onward, is unlikely to produce the sort of technological development that a capitalist, free-enterprise economy fosters. Soviet society was ostensibly secular, but its social and economic structure left it ill-equipped to innovate with its technology. Most soviet technology resulted from the reallocation of vast resources into the Cold War competition over military superiority -- it's doubtful whether soviet society would have developed, say, space flight, without the impetus provided by rumors of American space flight. While there were technological advances during the medieval period, the society itself would have to reorganize itself in order to produce the sort of sustained, interested technological development we associate with modernity, and that reorganization was finally the result of outside forces.
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Re: Christianity

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Quote:It's essentially a way of saying, "That isn't what we're all about, and we don't want anyone associating that belief with our group."This fit in perfectly with my expectations of church tolerance. Quote:Where all of this gets problematic is in the later ages when the Church has become essentially the keystone in the whole of European civilization. But that happened by a very gradual process, almost imperceptibly, and was not apparently the goal of the founders or early innovators in the Church. Yes, the rule was abused by influential, corrupt people who had been given too much power, (this is by no means limited to the church) the effect was still limitation of free thought and suppression of scientific, medical, cultural and philosophical development.Quote:social construction. A feudal society, like that which persisted from about the 9th century onward, is unlikely to produce the sort of technological development that a capitalist, free-enterprise economy fosters. I was not overlooking this; it is another result of the Fall of Rome, and one more limitation (in the list of many) that existed during the Dark Ages. Later
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Frank 013: Yes, the rule was abused by influential, corrupt people who had been given too much power, (this is by no means limited to the church) the effect was still limitation of free thought and suppression of scientific, medical, cultural and philosophical development.I don't think it was simply a matter of abuse. The change in the scope and office of the Church resulted in changes in character. Think of it this way: if a chess club disbarred any member who advocated using timers during play on grounds that it shifted the emphasis away from strategy and towards stock reaction, we'd probably think it somewhat eccentric, but we wouldn't exactly pity the ejected member. He could always go join a different club, or start his own. But if the chess club were the biggest chess club in the world, and included every prominant world leader, and if those leaders conducted a great deal of business under the auspices of the chess club, then exclusion from the club would be geometrically more problematic. The heresy of advocating time clocks during play would be more problematic because advocating it too strongly would amount to excluding one's self from the society in which one lived, regardless of whether or not the chess club wanted to be the sole arbiter of social integration.So, yes, there were abuses, and opponents of organized religion tend to make a very big deal of those abuses, but the bigger impact was, I think, made by the extent to which Western society had organized itself around the Church. Even a necessary, functional practice like that by which an isolated community defines itself can become sinister when it is retained by a totalistic community.I was not overlooking this; it is another result of the Fall of Rome, and one more limitation (in the list of many) that existed during the Dark Ages.I think it's a limitation only if you're willing to vouch for a particular point of view. The medievals (and, incidentally, the Dark Ages are generally recognized to have ended by the Carolingian renaissance, circa 800-900 CE) may not have developed much technologically, but they developed art and society to a high pitch of refinement. The further you persue medieval history, the more that refinement may resemble a straightjacket, but I feel sure that the more technology progresses, the more the same complaint will be applicable to our own society.Nor, might I add, does it strike me as a direct consequence of the Fall of Rome. Feudalistic society arose in large part as the consequence of the introduction of new technology to Europe, equestrian technology specifically, and more to the point: the stirrup. This made calvary more important, and the land requirements involved in keeping and training horses required a reorganization of land ownership and social hierarchy. Those were the terms under which feudalism developed. Edited by: MadArchitect at: 3/16/07 3:10 pm
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Frank 013
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Re: Christianity

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Quote:MadNor, might I add, does it strike me as a direct consequence of the Fall of Rome.Feudalism was a direct result of the fall of Rome, without the fall the vacuum of authority would not have been there for the system to have developed.Later
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Re: Christianity

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You're right to the degree that feudalism probably could not have arisen in conjunction with Rome. If nothing else, the Carolingian redistribution of land was probably a great deal easier under the Chruch than it would have been under the Empire. But the Fall of Rome only opened a vaccum. That vacuum could have been filled by any number of competing social systems -- the eventual domination of the Byzantine Empire, for example, or a system of city-states like that of the pre-Empire Greeks. That feudalism arose is due to a specific confluence of social and cultural factors that had very little to do with Rome. One of the factors, as I've pointed out, was the introduction of an Oriental technology -- the stirrup -- that gave to European calvary an importance that it never had in Rome. Another was the system of loyalties sanctified by Christian religion, which probably would not have found similar sanction under Roman statist polytheism. Saying that feudalism arose as a direct result of the Fall of Rome implies too linear an aspect to history, which is one of the drawbacks of such far-reaching hindsight. It takes a great deal more effort to imagine that pivotal moments in history were as likely as current events to go another way rather than the one we see in print.
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