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uziq
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put another way, there's a sort of ideal-kantian liberal secularism, a 'public sphere' of civil discourse and dialogue, which functions as a kind of neutral space within social relations and institutions. then there's secularism-as-ideology, 'brand secularism', which can lapse into a sort of chauvinism of its own and a point of pride. there's the sort of secularism that can be wielded to brow-beat someone. it's not altogether unlike the sort of aggressive atheism you get, wherein atheists directly take their own 'neutral' non-committal belief as an affront/offense to religious folks. and it ends up convincing nobody, and only further retrenching the religious. you saw that a lot in france, especially in the wake of the charlie heddo attacks. it wasn't as simple as the outpouring of grief and solidairity after, say, 9/11. a lot of french people were proudly declaring their 'secularism' basically as a sort of direct assault on the values of islam. this combative, antagonistic mode is really the opposite of the former type of secularism, which is civil, polite, and curious rather than demagogic.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
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uziq wrote:

a lot of french people were proudly declaring their 'secularism' basically as a sort of direct assault on the values of islam. this combative, antagonistic mode is really the opposite of the former type of secularism, which is civil, polite, and curious rather than demagogic.
I thought you said the French weren't racist. My experience of the French is they're thoroughly racist.

The mistake Europe made was to allow the jews to practice their nuttery, the muslims demanded and got the same rights and now two backward cults are in endless conflict with europe the battleground.

https://i2.wp.com/techfinguy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/p08x7zjq.jpg?fit=400%2C225&ssl=1
Either have a secular state or don't.

Last edited by Dilbert_X (2020-11-03 23:32:17)

Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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i said i don’t think macron is a nativist and i don’t think the french are racist ‘all in all’. as in they’re not ethno-nationalists or white supremacists. i’ve already said at length that the particular demographic who read and get behind charlie hebdo are the jeremy clarkson ‘political correctness gone mad!’ types. and i’ve also said that every large post-colonial/post-imperial state has blind spots and a certain points of ignorance, as they’ve tried to transition and assimilate into a newer modern epoch. i’ve been quite clear, really.

lots of ‘little englander’s, and their french equivalents (la france profonders?), do have unexamined or unreconstructed assumptions from some far-off glorious past. that’s generally how nationalism works: largely in the realms of the imagination. a certain sort of person will claim to be an ‘idealist’, a ‘secularist’, a ‘free speech activist’, etc, but really they’re just there to single-out and put pressure on whomever doesn’t conform to the homogenous, native mainstream. they haven’t really taken onboard the liberal (or republican) ethos. it’s the ‘equality! but only when it applies to meeee!’ lot who are blithe about it being revoked from others (sound familiar?).

i think it’s amazing you’ll talk about france’s issue being jews. you have literally no idea about their history or the formation of their secular state at all. none. we are talking a country that had to achieve secular republicanism through huge amounts of bloodshed, wrenching it from a landed aristocracy and clerical class. but their problem has been judaism and islam? LOL.
Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,715|4911|eXtreme to the maX
Freedom doesn't work if people use it to practice vicious supremacist religions.
Homogeniety does work, multiculturalism does not.

The problem now is europe has allowed all these weird cults, catholics, jews, muslims etc to become established.

If people believe a giant invisible electric panda is running the universe they should have their head adjusted with high frequency electricity.

Last edited by Dilbert_X (2020-11-04 00:25:16)

Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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europe has allowed weird cults to ‘become established’?

how the F are you going to try and make out like the spread of catholicism in europe is somehow tied in to ‘multiculturalism being a failure’? europe was a collection of dynastic-christian civilisation for millennia before it was ever secular nation states. catholicism ‘become established’?

it’s like you’ve done no reading at all. you’re conflating two of your hobby horses here: religion is evil and multiculturalism has failed! it’s like reading a tabloid when drunk.
Dilbert_X
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Multiculturalism has failed when people who have been given sanctuary are running around with machine guns or chopping heads off teachers.

Also religion is evil, its never been a force for good.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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it’s election day, can’t you at least be a little bit interesting or original now? we’ve all heard your dawkins-level analysis thanks.
Dilbert_X
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Your hipster-level analysis has delivered nothing.

The god-deluded have had the last 4,000 years, lets try 4,000 years without religion and compare at the end.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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have no idea what that timeline even means. you’re not very good at history at all, are you?

many of those ‘god-deluded’ people made groundbreaking contributions to science.

many of the first states to industrialise or widely disseminate knowledge and bodies of learning were christian. much of it took place under the aegis of a protestant ethic and worldview. doing good works, transforming the earth into man’s image, etc.

whoosh! over your head. they’re all gibbering idiots in smocks.

Last edited by uziq (2020-11-04 01:10:12)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
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Yes, and the Amish built barns, but no space-stations.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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i really can't be bothered to explain to you for the 350th time how western civilization developed.

you want it to be a 'religious dark ages' suddenly bursting into an enlightened 'age of science'. it was nothing like the sort. you are merely a simpleton who wants world history and something as complex as society to conform to your black-and-white prejudices. no dice, i'm afraid.

Last edited by uziq (2020-11-04 01:14:54)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
+1,715|4911|eXtreme to the maX
Balancing the dark ages and catholicism against the progress we've made in spite of religion is there a net benefit or not?

Religion has had its day, if it ever really did, and needs to be gone.
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
Member
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you don't even know what 'the dark ages' were. you have a schoolboy's understanding of the topic. the catholic church was one of the main and only vehicles for what knowledge we did have from antiquity/the classical era, after the collapse of rome and 'civilization' in much of western europe. godless or pagan barbarians were the norm; the church preserved traditions - preserved very real and tangible texts at risk of going up in flames - such as scholastic scholarship, a lexicon, logic and math from antiquity, early natural science, etc.

of course you think the dark ages is synonymous with 'religious rule! blind faith! tyranny!' nevermind the fact that the roman civilization that immediately preceded it was rinsed in fucking religion, both state and private. nevermind the fact that the church fathers in the middle ages were receptive of classical/antique ideas and knowledge from the islamic scientific world, and were busy developing aristotlean logic and many aspects of the 'rational western mind' which underpin the 'enlightenment'.

please go and read a fucking book. any one, it hardly matters. it will be a vast improvement.

Last edited by uziq (2020-11-04 01:48:51)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
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And none of this would have happened without religion?
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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it's impossible to say. history is what it is. only you want this black-and-white, dualistic, simplified take. everybody else with even a cursory grasp of history knows that's how it is. if you want to spend your time on counter-factuals or whataboutery, go ahead. but it's not history.

in the case of the very real and physical process of preserving texts, moving them from one safe refuge to the next, the millions of man-hours that went into manuscript copying and reproduction in monasteries and religious establishments ... yes, it's fair to say that, without religion, we wouldn't have knowledge of aristotle's natural sciences and logic, or pythagorean math. so much has been lost to waves of barbarism and the collapse of civilizations. the christian church was the only institution at that time widespread and stable enough (not to mention functionally literate enough) to preserve something from the ruins of rome.

western civilization was profoundly shaped by christianity, and christianity specifically gave many of the distinguishing characteristics to the cast of 'the western mind'. it was a rebellious, enterprising religion, with a profound emphasis on individual doubt and individual faith. it's not hard to see how that led to the modern rationalist-skeptical mindset (descartes is the most obvious connecting bridge, here). radical doubt is a part of christian theology. the protestant work ethic and the early scientific-inquiring mind, as in newton or bacon, are good examples of this. there isn't such a vast gap between christian church fathers rinsed in logic and scholasticism arguing over how many angels would fit on the head of a pin and an early scientist peering down a microscope to delve into the theretofore unseen mysteries of creation: both come out of the same culture and the same worldview, the same will to knowledge, the same method of doubt and proof.

could it have been otherwise? who knows. we were shaped by christianity, that's just how it is. might dinosaurs have one day evolved to sit down for dinner and use a knife and fork? it’s just as possible that, without the spark of christianity (with its vouchsafed heritage of hellenism), that western civilisation as we know it would have been a non-starter, another muddling heap of tribes and kingdoms that never came to anything, a batch of bread without yeast.

Last edited by uziq (2020-11-04 02:20:35)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
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You could probably say western civilisation and mathematics were shaped by the desire to work out the best time to plant crops and predict tides.
Democracy may have evolved out of the need to have enough food to make it through the winter without starvation or bloodshed.

I think religion has written its own distorted history and the minuses really outweigh the pluses.
Epstein didn't kill himself
Larssen
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Maths wasn't invented in western civilisation..... many societies came up with their own systems independently.

Also if we speak of 'western civilisation' we reference plato, aristotle and socrates first, not farmers and agriculture. Which is also an imagined connection because it took until the renaissance for the west to really claim that heritage for their own.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-11-04 02:48:30)

uziq
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Dilbert_X wrote:

You could probably say western civilisation and mathematics were shaped by the desire to work out the best time to plant crops and predict tides.
Democracy may have evolved out of the need to have enough food to make it through the winter without starvation or bloodshed.

I think religion has written its own distorted history and the minuses really outweigh the pluses.
'you could probably say' that, except it's entirely illiterate and wrong on about 1,000 points.

it's almost as if, by ignoring and dismissing half of all human knowledge, you're full of vague and laughable ideas.

I think religion has written its own distorted history and the minuses really outweigh the pluses.
the overview i just limned above was written by secular theorists in the 19th and 20th centuries, not as a church apologia or religious triumphalism. this is common ground for most of western sociology: weber, simmel, durkheim. it is also mainstream history, and has been written about at length by an entire legion of 'enlightenment' historians, from renan through to taine.

this is broadly conceived as part of the heritage of humanism and enlightenment.

Which is also an imagined connection because it took until the renaissance for the west to really claim that heritage for their own.
yes and no. the renaissance was more a rediscovery of classical antiquity in toto, a revived interest in a wider canon of greek and roman thought (including most notably the pre-socratics, and effectively a world of philosophy from 'before' that of the foundations of christianity). that was due to the widespread dissemination of texts, and the work of a growing corps of translators, scholars, classicists, publishers, printing presses, etc. the connection to socrates, plato and aristotle was not 'imagined' only in the 15th century. it was literally a large part of the christian theology through the middle ages. western christianity was formed and filtered through the hellenism of socrates->plato->aristotle. church fathers were intimately familiar with aristotlean logic; almost all of scholastic philosophy is based on it; anyone formally educated or graduating from a medieval university would have known them. so no, the connection to the 'big three' of greece was not solely dreamed up in the 15th century. if you are even vaguely familiar with plato's or aristotle's thought, you will see its isomorphism with christian metaphysics. it was this greek philosophy that took christianity from a bunch of moral-ethical parables (i.e. the gospels) and turned it into a universal system. but i digress.

Last edited by uziq (2020-11-04 03:07:11)

Larssen
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To elaborate a little more what I mean to say is that Greek and Roman civilisations as the wellspring of the West is a connection that was built only starting in the renaissance and later enlightenment. Art, society, intellectual life consciously started modelling itself after those examples & ideals in history. But there's no linear passing down of all that from those civilisations to ours; much of what we learned about the Greeks and Romans was even acquired through Arabic translations because a lot of stuff here was either lost or destroyed.

Last edited by Larssen (2020-11-04 03:11:53)

Dilbert_X
The X stands for
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So to summarise 'the church' kept records of greek theories but nothing much was done with any of it until the secular enlightenment?
Epstein didn't kill himself
uziq
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there is a linear transmission of greek philosophy through christian-medieval theology. the wider world of antiquity, i.e. pre-socratics or other pagan beliefs, sure. but half the early church fathers were platonists and hellenists. the entire early church of rome was an adaption of greek philosophy. the connection is significant, not buried and lost. you're right that renaissance revivalism was a broader trend and 'fashion', though.
Larssen
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I believe the church started looking to them only after the 10th, 11th or 12th century as well.
uziq
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Dilbert_X wrote:

So to summarise 'the church' kept records of greek theories but nothing much was done with any of it until the secular enlightenment?
read a history of logic, for god's sake.

read a history of the dark ages. lots of things happened in the medieval period. we weren't sitting around on knowledge waiting for the enlightenment. do you think agriculture, architecture, governance, law, ethics, etc. didn't progress at all for 1,000 years?

you are so badly illiterate on these topics that it's like having to give an a-level lesson in each and every post.

go and READ A BOOK for FUCK's sake.
uziq
Member
+380|2257

Larssen wrote:

I believe the church started looking to them only after the 10th, 11th or 12th century as well.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian … ne_Fathers
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/neoplatonism/

nope, sorry. the world of hellenistic philosophy was very present and alive throughout the christian tradition. as i said above, it is in large part what shaped it from a practical everyday moral-ethical system, as outlined plainly by jesus in the gospels, into something more like a universal-metaphysical system.

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