Medieval times - A enlightened era…

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skakos
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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by skakos » Sat Jul 12, 2014 8:37 pm

WanderingLands wrote:
skakos wrote:Many people refer to the Middle Ages as a “dark” era. But why do they say that?

The main reason is that during these ages research in sciences like mathematics, geometry, astronomy et cetera was not so intense as, e.g., in the era before Christ. But is that really bad? Do we need cold geometry more than divine inspiration? Do we need raw mathematics more than the acknowledgement of our higher essence? Do we need astronomy more than a reason to look at the stars?

Why is research in more humanistic issues “bad” and does not constitute “progress”? Why is the Enlightenment… “light”? Don’t forget that history is written by the winners. And the winners in this case were crude enough to verify their win by naming their era with a name which is synonym to Light!

Any thoughts are more than welcome!
Looking above all of the perceptions of the Middle Ages, I'd say that you may have a point when considering there were the scholastics during that era. However, do you have any sources for me and others to help explore this further?
I was recently reading the book of Hans-Georg Beck "The Byzantine Millennium". In this book, he says much about Byzantium (the East did not have the same "dark ages" like the West) but one thing struck me as the most important: How logical can a claim that the 1,100 years of the Byzantine Empire was an era of decadence actually be? What kind of decline lasts for 1,100 years? I have written an article about the Byzantium scholars but it is in Greek and I do not know if it will be of any use to you.

The same applies for the west part of Europe as well. How can we tag a whole era as "dark"? Can there even be such a thing?

What we know today about the ancient Greeks, about philosophy, about science, about Aristotle, was preserved thought religious people (Arabs included). The people who started the Renaissance were raised by religious people. Even things we laugh at today - e.g. that the Earth is at the center of the solar system (even though we now KNOW that ANY PLANET can be at the center if we choose so since reference systems are arbitrarily selected - see "Why Galileo was wrong after all" http://harmoniaphilosophica.wordpress.c ... tists-too/) - was the SCIENTIFIC view of the cosmos at those days. There was no separation between religion and science as we know it with Dawkins today. Monks actually DID DO SCIENCE.

Science was for a long time based on the hypothesis that man was made in the image of God and - thus - could ultimately understand how God constructued the Universe. This was the foundation of scientific thinking for Newton and many other greats.

Start your research with the fact that monasteries were the universities of the time. This is the most important if you ask me. At the time of Galileo there were many Jesuites which conducted research on the Heliocentric system as well (!) - but this is not something that suits the agenda of people promoting a "war" between science and religion.

There were many scholars in the "Dark Ages". But not physicists.
This is of course a great problem for todays mentality, where we have Physics and other "I measure, thus I exist"-sciences as the new "Gods"...

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Clinias » Sun Jul 13, 2014 12:54 am

Skakos, you are in the hornet's nest here. Most of your interlocutors are atheists and their hatred of the Church is immense.

Here is website that talks of the good of the Middle Ages. The word "Dark" came from Petrarch who observed the loss of Latin education. It had nothing to do with the Church.

Remember when Atheists were in Charge like in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the Greek and Spanish civil wars--they had no problem killing tons of priests and nuns. So all their comments are kind of hypocritical.

Here is the link: http://listverse.com/2008/06/09/top-10- ... -not-dark/

This should help you. One of the things they point out is that under the Catholic Church, Seminaries were turned into Universities. The Catholic Church created universities. These Same universities Now atheists claim as their own and they persecute Christians.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Wyman » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:02 am

Since the French revolutionaries introduced the metric system, I believe they killed priests and nuns by the kilogram.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Blaggard » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:14 am

Clinias wrote:Skakos, you are in the hornet's nest here. Most of your interlocutors are atheists and their hatred of the Church is immense.

Here is website that talks of the good of the Middle Ages. The word "Dark" came from Petrarch who observed the loss of Latin education. It had nothing to do with the Church.

Remember when Atheists were in Charge like in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the Greek and Spanish civil wars--they had no problem killing tons of priests and nuns. So all their comments are kind of hypocritical.

Here is the link: http://listverse.com/2008/06/09/top-10- ... -not-dark/

This should help you. One of the things they point out is that under the Catholic Church, Seminaries were turned into Universities. The Catholic Church created universities. These Same universities Now atheists claim as their own and they persecute Christians.
Erm no actually I have a few points where I disagree in the Middle ages most of any sort of science was being done by the Church, although I do agree the power vacuum of the dark ages was creating a lot of division. I think we can say the church was spreading knowledge through faith during this time, and countries like England for example would have been less inclined to science without it see the history of England in the early middle ages. And the first university I know of was founded by the Malinese people (Africa: Timbuktu) in what would be known as the middle ages in Europe, it saw a population of 25,000 students come from both Africa and Europe and The Middle East and learn for the first time a system which educated people in modern knowledge in a University style education long before the Europeans ever got wind of such an idea. So the Muslims got their first, and in fact for centuries during both the dark and middle ages the Muslim knowledge which had used conquest of the libraries of Egypt et al and hence some extensive libraries, and also Indian knowledge had gone through its own Renaissance. Kinda sad through war and conquest the Muslim scholastic and particularly engineering, maths and science tradition that so outpaced Europe faded away, but then that was ingress in by Europeans and other more Eastern forces such as the Mongols, their cedents the Moghols et al.

People do seem to have a very Westernised outlook on history imagining Europe did something first they by no means had any ability or means to do until empires in other climes fell and freed up literature that then passed into Europe, such an ingress of material became the reason the renaissance began in the late middle ages, and the reason Europe flourished. People need to know their history. The Arabs and their colonies had the first true universities, the Europeans were bringing up the rear.
The University of Timbuktu was established in the 12th century. Located in the city of Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa, it was composed of three schools,[citation needed] namely the Masajid of Djinguereber, the Masajid of Sidi Yahya, and the Masajid of Sankore. During the 12th century, the university had an enrollment of around 25,000 students from Africa as well as parts of the Mediterranean within a city of around 100,000 persons. There were four levels within the University curriculum, that included, the "Circle of Knowledge", the "Superior Degree", the "Secondary Degree", and the "Primary Degree".[citation needed] In addition to religious principles, teachings included: geography, mathematics, the sciences, and medicine amongst others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Timbuktu

By the way the only reason I know this is through playing Civilisation V the University of Sankore is a wonder you can build that gives you scientific advantage over the plebs, (not Arab superiority in science, maths, engineering and so on, any half assed historian knows that). Let me assure you though it's grounds still exist now, and it's building is if not a university any more still a Muslim holy site.

Image

For context the man in the foreground is wearing modern clothing, if you have any doubt. I'd post a larger image, but then... :)
Last edited by Blaggard on Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:49 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:26 am

skakos wrote:Many people refer to the Middle Ages as a “dark” era. But why do they say that? ...
I thought the 'dark ages' were called that by the Historians because of the lack of historical documentation after the fall of rome in Europe to account for what went on, nothing more meant by it.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Blaggard » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:37 am

That's exactly why it was called the dark ages, meaning we don't know in the same way that Africa was called the dark continent before we mapped it and subjected the buggers to hundreds of years of imperial might if not light. It was the lack of historical knowledge at the time the term was coined. Of course now we know more, and we might call it the dark, sometimes grey could be lighter ages, but there you go. :)

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:48 am

Clinias wrote:Skakos, you are in the hornet's nest here. Most of your interlocutors are atheists and their hatred of the Church is immense.
Nah! If they are true Atheists ike me then they don't give a thought about 'the Church' or any religion for that matter.
Here is website that talks of the good of the Middle Ages. The word "Dark" came from Petrarch who observed the loss of Latin education. It had nothing to do with the Church.
Like this atheist said, its just a term that the historians used to cover a period where historical documentation was sparse or scarce if you prefer.
Remember when Atheists were in Charge like in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the Greek and Spanish civil wars--they had no problem killing tons of priests and nuns. So all their comments are kind of hypocritical.
lmfao! Given that the 'Church' has being killing its own and opponents since it started in Rome.

How do you Catholics who go to church deal with Jesus's words about not praying in public groups and only the Lord's Prayer being the prayer?
This should help you. One of the things they point out is that under the Catholic Church, Seminaries were turned into Universities. The Catholic Church created universities. These Same universities Now atheists claim as their own and they persecute Christians.
Depends what you mean by 'Universities' as it was the atheists who opened them up to the laity.

:lol: 'Persecute Christians'! We burning you at the stake? Torturing you? All things you'd happily do to the atheist if you had your way.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Blaggard » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:53 am

The Arabs had several universities, long before Europe ever did, in fact the far East beat us to it too, in fact back then we were so backward it would of been a bit of an embarrassment to see how much further on the world had come without their own dark age. Not sure how much more clear I can make that, but claiming Christians had the first modern universities is like claiming Europe invented the printing press, gun powder and the wheel. Westernised dumbery, The Americans will claim they invented the computer next. Abacus: Chinese. Difference Engine: English, the first valve operating self programmable computer, the war, Bletchley park: England. The victor writes the bs, especially when the first modern computer was kept top secret for 30 years. ;)

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:01 am

Blaggard wrote:... the first valve operating self programmable computer, the war, Bletchley park: England. ...
Barring the valves what about Zuse's Z1?

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Blaggard » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:04 am

Cool I did not know that. Thanks UK. :)

The first actual computer you could call a modern computer operating system without the bs of IBM et al. :)

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Jul 13, 2014 3:30 am

Then you'll love the Z3 and Z4. :)

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Clinias » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:29 am

Prof. Inge in his article "Religion" in the book The Legacy of Greece, notes several things:

"The Dark Ages, and the early Middle Ages, are the period during which the West was cut off from Hellenism." This is not due to the Roman Catholic Church but the collapse of the Roman Empire and the invasion of countless barbarian people who were NOT civilized. Civilization collapsed with the fall of the Roman Empire. It was the Catholic Church that restarted Civilization in Europe. It brought letters and educated the people. Since there was no leaders, the bishops became leaders throughout the West.

Prof. Inge continues:
"For these were the ages of the Catholic theocracy; and if we had to choose one man as the founder of Catholicism as a theocratic system, we should have to name neither Augustine nor St. Paul, still less Jesus Christ, but Plato, who in the Laws, sketches out with wonderful prescience the conditions for such a polity, and the form which it would be compelled to take." (pg 26)
I concur completely. Plato was the intellectual force of the Middle Ages. All Churchmen read him. Augustine, as Inge points out, owed much to Plato. The most fertile and ancient home of the Greek philosophy was Crete and Sparta. Both of these states had xenelasia laws to protect their citizens from foreign ideas and literature. This is what Wisdom teaches. Crete and Sparta had laws that prevented Cynics from coming to their land. (Rawson) Atheists weren't allowed in Crete or Sparta.

Prof. Inge writes that orthodox Platonism was as hostile to Gnosticism as the Church itself. (pg 36)

He further writes that "St. Paul is fundamentally one with the Platonists." (pg 55)

Prof. Jerry Dell Ehrlich wrote a book, Plato's Gift to Christianity, The Gentile Preparation for and the Making of the Christian Faith. After reading that book, it is clear that Plato is the Intellectual and Cultural creator of Christianity.

Plato had a huge influence on churchmen. Plato is the teacher of Christian philosophy and theology.

Socrates in the Republic that the goal of philosophy is to be “to be god-fearing and godlike” (Rep., §383c) Godlike is theosis which was part of the Doric Culture of Crete and Sparta. This "godlike" is akin to salvation.

Catholic Government is always about the salvation of souls. It is called the Principle of Sheparding. Shepards don't let wolves eat the sheep. The same paradigm with souls. It is the principle of Catholic government to protect the faithful and their salvation. Plato said as much in the Laws where atheists were to be interdicted. Plato calls atheism a malady. They were to be reeducated. If after five years of effort, if the atheist didn't change, they were to be put to death. Plato is a Philosopher.

Read Aesop? Aesop also in a general way talks of dangers inherent in the human condition. The Good has to be protected from the wolves. The atheist Soviet Union followed the same wisdom when religion and religious people were persecuted. Everybody persecutes everybody. Evil persecutes the Good and Good persecutes Evil.
That is reality. As one of the characters says in the last scenes of Kung Fu Hustle "Good can't co-exist with evil". That is a truism. That is reality.

The atheists in this thread, if in power, would act just like the Catholic Church against heretics--they would persecute religious people mercilessly. They did that in Republican Spain, Republican Greece, the Soviet Union, Communist China, Communist Vietnam, Communist Cuba. They are just hypocrites.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by skakos » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:10 am

Blaggard wrote:
Clinias wrote:Skakos, you are in the hornet's nest here. Most of your interlocutors are atheists and their hatred of the Church is immense.

Here is website that talks of the good of the Middle Ages. The word "Dark" came from Petrarch who observed the loss of Latin education. It had nothing to do with the Church.

Remember when Atheists were in Charge like in the French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and the Greek and Spanish civil wars--they had no problem killing tons of priests and nuns. So all their comments are kind of hypocritical.

Here is the link: http://listverse.com/2008/06/09/top-10- ... -not-dark/

This should help you. One of the things they point out is that under the Catholic Church, Seminaries were turned into Universities. The Catholic Church created universities. These Same universities Now atheists claim as their own and they persecute Christians.
Erm no actually I have a few points where I disagree in the Middle ages most of any sort of science was being done by the Church, although I do agree the power vacuum of the dark ages was creating a lot of division. I think we can say the church was spreading knowledge through faith during this time, and countries like England for example would have been less inclined to science without it see the history of England in the early middle ages. And the first university I know of was founded by the Malinese people (Africa: Timbuktu) in what would be known as the middle ages in Europe, it saw a population of 25,000 students come from both Africa and Europe and The Middle East and learn for the first time a system which educated people in modern knowledge in a University style education long before the Europeans ever got wind of such an idea. So the Muslims got their first, and in fact for centuries during both the dark and middle ages the Muslim knowledge which had used conquest of the libraries of Egypt et al and hence some extensive libraries, and also Indian knowledge had gone through its own Renaissance. Kinda sad through war and conquest the Muslim scholastic and particularly engineering, maths and science tradition that so outpaced Europe faded away, but then that was ingress in by Europeans and other more Eastern forces such as the Mongols, their cedents the Moghols et al.

People do seem to have a very Westernised outlook on history imagining Europe did something first they by no means had any ability or means to do until empires in other climes fell and freed up literature that then passed into Europe, such an ingress of material became the reason the renaissance began in the late middle ages, and the reason Europe flourished. People need to know their history. The Arabs and their colonies had the first true universities, the Europeans were bringing up the rear.
The University of Timbuktu was established in the 12th century. Located in the city of Timbuktu, Mali, West Africa, it was composed of three schools,[citation needed] namely the Masajid of Djinguereber, the Masajid of Sidi Yahya, and the Masajid of Sankore. During the 12th century, the university had an enrollment of around 25,000 students from Africa as well as parts of the Mediterranean within a city of around 100,000 persons. There were four levels within the University curriculum, that included, the "Circle of Knowledge", the "Superior Degree", the "Secondary Degree", and the "Primary Degree".[citation needed] In addition to religious principles, teachings included: geography, mathematics, the sciences, and medicine amongst others.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Timbuktu

By the way the only reason I know this is through playing Civilisation V the University of Sankore is a wonder you can build that gives you scientific advantage over the plebs, (not Arab superiority in science, maths, engineering and so on, any half assed historian knows that). Let me assure you though it's grounds still exist now, and it's building is if not a university any more still a Muslim holy site.

Image

For context the man in the foreground is wearing modern clothing, if you have any doubt. I'd post a larger image, but then... :)
But how is knowledge spread today if not also via FAITH?

Do you know what CERN looks for?

Do you believe the models they use to "discover" things really "exist"?

Or do you just take their word for it?

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Ansiktsburk » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:24 am

So, the "dark ages" is a definition, really. In answer to the OP. It's not, the "bad ages". as you say, enlightenment is not purely on a plus and minus scale.

Nietsche, and the death of God, is worth mentioning. The question is, is the focus on this life diminished by having a religion? And were people really better off, having a state religion to adhere to?

I think it depends on what kind of situation you're in.
For the rich and powerful (like the Di Medici and Borgia Popes) there was no difference, really. They don't care and go about their business regardless of religion, politics or whatever. Religion might be a tool to oppress people (in my used-to-be Protestant country, It was. Even into the 20th century.)

For an enlightened and well-fed person, well, religion will hamper you in your seek of truth if there are religious dogmas hindering you. Booze and sex seem to be less available in a religious country, unclear why. But religion can give you reconciliation in the big questions of life and death. And if you like it, the religion will give you a package of rules and buddys, which will make life less complicated.

For the poor guys, religion can be a light in the dark. And something that straightens up poor lifestyles an low morals. But undeniably, the mean lifetime has increased with God a bit sidelined, and life is more comfy.

Let's face it - it's not bad for religion with poor people. English is not my maiden language but if I translate from my uncouth northern language I think you recognize this one : Alas, how hard it is for a rich man to reach heaven.

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Re: Medieval times - A enlightened era…

Post by Blaggard » Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:39 pm

skakos wrote:
But how is knowledge spread today if not also via FAITH?

Do you know what CERN looks for?

Do you believe the models they use to "discover" things really "exist"?

Or do you just take their word for it?
The science is religion argument, really? Sigh.

By peer review, if it can't be expressed in terms in a journal that can then be used by independent people to replicate the experiment, many of whom often set out to prove it wrong, then it is left as wanting. How did religion tackle the advancement of knowledge? I am right and you are wrong because I an authority without any more evidence than what historical texts survived or were elided from history on the say so of a powerful group of Theocrats. And that is like science how?

No one in science takes anyone's word for it, in fact it's set up so you don't have to, a theory wont become one if one organisation, or one group of scientists or even the entire field cannot demostrate it. QED, is a fundamental of science, for religion it is I say so, you better believe it because I have more power. Yeah exactly the same. Name one theory in science, be it global warming, quantum theory, and I will show you a thousand people trying to prove it wrong. Can you say the same of faith, are there thousands of beleivers doing experiments to prove God does not exist to get a balanced outlook on the whole deal?

This argument never ceases to devolve reality from what actually happens in the scientific method. No I don't believe anything at face value, nothing whatsoever and never will, I leave that to religionists who have faith. I and any Scientist only believes in what was to be proven, every thing else means shit.

And no I don't believe the Scientific method is perfect, it is stacked with bias, but given the choice between blind faith and research, where would you stand?

Hypothesis an idea that is testable in experiment null or otherwise.

Theory an idea that has met with some objective value, must be able to be proved wrong or it's worthless.

Law, an idea that would be proved wrong if one single person produced a counter example.

The more solid a thing is the more easier it is destroyed. That's like religion is it?

And this is like dogma how?
Do you believe the models they use to "discover" things really "exist"?
No of course not, the refinement process is not that simple. How we go about discovery is like trying to keep back a damn of wrong. Not one thing in science is even remotely true let alone accurate, and year after year all you are doing is trying to hole up the cracks with better material, so the damn of theory doesn't break and swamp you in nonsense.

So since you clearly object to the scientific method, how would you suggest they proceed?

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