Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Christian Crusades and Inquisition


During the Dark Ages the Church continued gaining wealth and power rapidly becoming a safe-haven for “legalized” corruption and criminality. During this most bleak period of human history at least 40 different Popes are known to have bought their way into the papacy. Leadership was constantly changed as allegations of high-crimes were perpetually surfacing. In the period from 891-903AD alone, the papacy was changed over 10 times.

“The Church amassed inordinate wealth during the Dark Ages. Patrimonial properties, the Church-held lands that were free and clear of taxes or military obligation to the king, made up between one-quarter and one-third of western Europe. In addition to patrimony, bishops often held territories in feudal tenure, obliging them like any count or baron to provide the king with soldiers when called. The Church made money by collecting revenues from imperial rulers, by confiscating property as the result of court judgments, by selling the remission of sins (called ‘indulgences’), by selling ecclesiastical offices (called ‘simony’), and sometimes by simply taking land by force… The Church, now enormously wealthy, interested itself more in collecting money than in relating to its members. The medieval Church's preoccupation with riches was such that its ten commandments were said to have been reduced to one: ‘Bring hither the money.’ Priests were selected more on the basis of their money than upon any other virtue. A huge disparity developed not only between the clergy and the laity but also between ranks of the clergy.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (51-57)

From 1095-1291 the seven Christian Crusades were a series of religious/military conflicts fought against Muslims, Pagans, Mongols, Cathars, Hussites - any and all political enemies of the Popes. The Crusades recaptured Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslim rule and furthered the Christian churches dominance in Europe. Following the Crusades came the Church Inquisition which lasted from the 13th all the way up to the 19th century, killing countless millions in its path. The driving ideology behind the Christian Inquisition was simple: convert or die. Pope Gregory IX in 1231 declared that all heretics be burned to death, citing the Gospel of John 15:6 as justification for the Inquisition’s brutal ideology: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

In 1231 Pope Gregory IX established the Inquisition as a separate tribunal, independent of bishops and prelates. Its administrators, the inquisitors, were to be answerable only to the Pope. Its inquisitional law replaced the common law tradition of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ with ‘guilty until proven innocent.’ Despite an ostensible trial, inquisitional procedure left no possibility for the suspected to prove his or her innocence; the process resulted in the condemnation of anyone even suspected of heresy. The accused was denied the right of counsel. No particulars were given as to the time or place of the suspected heresies, or to what kind of heresies were suspected. A suspected friendship with a convicted heretic was also a crime, yet no information was given as to which heretic the accused was to have ‘adored.’ The names of the accusing witnesses were kept secret. One's only recourse was an appeal to the Pope in Rome which was so futile as to be farcical. The friar Bernard Delicieux declared that: if St. Peter and St. Paul were accused of 'adoring' heretics and were prosecuted after the fashion of the Inquisition, there would be no defense open for them.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (78)

Inquisitors were chosen primarily based on how vigorously they prosecuted heretics. They were prosecutor, judge, and sometimes executioner rolled into one with no checks or balances from any other power. Inquisitors had their own spies, messengers, and assistants who answered only to them, and they answered only to the Pope. In 1244 the Council of Narbonne decreed that no heretic’s wife be spared because of her husband (and vice-versa), no sentence mitigated due to sickness, young or old age, and that every sentence include flagellation. Through sanction from Pope Innocent IV, from 1252 all the way until 1917, using torture to extract confessions was a legal option for the church. Inquisitors dressed in black robes with black cowls over their heads and used many gruesome machines/methods to coerce confessions like the rack, water boarding, and slow roasting while covered in lard.
 
“Inquisitors grew very rich. They received bribes and annual fines from the wealthy who paid to escape accusation. The Inquisition would claim all the money and property of alleged heretics. As there was little chance of the accused being proven innocent, there was no need to wait for conviction to confiscate his or her property. Unlike Roman law that reserved a portion of property for the convicted's nearest heirs, canon and inquisitional law left nothing. Pope Innocent III had explained that God punished children for the sins of their parents. So unless children had come forth spontaneously to denounce their parents, they were left penniless. Inquisitors even accused the dead of heresy, sometimes as much as seventy years after their death. They exhumed and burned the alleged heretic's bones and then confiscated all property from the heirs. Inquisitors rarely shared the money collected with the Episcopal courts, the civil government, or spent it building churches as planned. One historian writes how the inquisitor was often able to ‘seize everything for himself, not even sending a share to the officials of the Inquisition at Rome.’ Inquisitors were reluctant to pay for even the cost of feeding their victims, encouraging the families or the community to pay such costs.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (80)

Countless millions in Europe were tortured and killed for believing or practicing a religion other than Christianity. As soon as Columbus and the colonizers came to America the Inquisition continued all the way down to Mexico and Peru. Christianity’s ideology of a vengeful, controlling, Father-like, singular God provided the perfect spiritual propaganda to militarily conquer those who refused to convert. After the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre killing 10,000 in 1572, Pope Gregory XIII wrote to Charles IX, “We rejoice with you that with the help of God you have relieved the world of these wretched heretics.” The Inquisitor Francisco Pena said in 1578, “We must remember that the main purpose of the trial and execution is not to save the soul of the accused but to achieve the public good and put fear into others.

The Inquisition was still active in some places as late as 1834. During and after the Inquisition, the Reformation Wars resulted in thousands of Christians killing Christians and the witch hunts condemned many innocent Pagan women to death. This is why the “Holy” Vatican stood by and the Pope did nothing to pacify World Wars I and II. This is why the Vatican helped give Nazi scientists American passports after the war. Beneath a veil of benevolence, the Vatican is not only complicit but one of the driving forces behind the global conspiracy.

“The dark side of Christian history has been and continues to be about the domination and control of spirituality and human freedom. Orthodox Christians built an organization that from its inception encouraged not freedom and self-determination, but obedience and conformity. To that end, any means were justified. Grounded in the belief in a singular, authoritarian and punishing God, orthodox Christians created a church that demanded singular authority and punished those who disobeyed. During the Dark Ages, civilization collapsed as the Church took control of education, science, medicine, technology and the arts. Crusaders marched into the Middle East killing and destroying in the name of the one Christian God. The Inquisition established a precedent in the Middle Ages for the systematic policing and terrorization of society. The Protestant and Catholic Counter Reformation sparked wars where Christians slaughtered other Christians, each convinced that theirs was the one and only true path. And the holocaust of the witch hunts plumbed the depths of horror as it eradicated countless women and men as well as the belief in earth-based divinity.” -Helen Ellerbe, “The Dark Side of Christian History” (185-6)

“From the very beginning of our quest to unravel the Christ conspiracy, we encounter suspicious territory, as we look back in time and discover that the real foundation of Christianity appears nothing like the image provided by the clergy and mainstream authorities. Indeed, far more rosy and cheerful than the reality is the picture painted by the vested interests as to the origins of the Christian religion: To wit, a miracle-making founder and pious, inspired apostles who faithfully and infallibly recorded his words and deeds shortly after his advent, and then went about promulgating the faith with great gusto and success in ‘saving souls.’ Contrary to this popular delusion, the reality is that, in addition to the enormous amount of bloodshed which accompanied its foundation, Christianity’s history is rife with forgery and fraud. So rampant is this treachery and chicanery that any serious researcher must immediately begin to wonder about the story itself. In truth, the Christian tale has always been as difficult to swallow as the myths and fables of other cultures; yet countless people have been able to overlook the rational mind and to willingly believe it, even though they may equally as easily dismiss the nearly identical stories of these other cultures.” -Acharya S., “The Christ Conspiracy” (21)

“The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving the world and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.” - Thomas Jefferson


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49 comments:

Ben Holsapple said...

No rational person (not even a Christian) would disagree that the Church has been the cause of many atrocities over the years. I am curious, though, as to what practical relevance such history has. The thing about institutions like religions and governments is that they tend to change over time as people die. Institutions are a human construct and so cannot be intrinsically evil any more than a gun can be intrinsically evil; they can only be used by evil people.

I'd like to ask a question: What do you think of Germany? During the time of Adolf Hitler, Germany precipitated what is probably widely accepted as one of the most grievous atrocities ever committed. Knowing this, should we in the present day condemn the state of Germany for the actions of their forebears?

I would be surprised if there were any institution of consequence in the world which has not, at some point in its history, committed some atrocity or another.

To phrase it dramatically, the condemnation of the son for the sins of the father is a dangerous prospect. I gather you would not accept it from the Church, and I'd like to be sure that you're not accepting it from anyone else, either.

Eric Dubay said...

Christians eat cookies!
~Eric

John said...

so saying it is the bad person not the institution that is the issue... I beg to differ as murder has been called for in the name of religion and the name of god, and very rarely in the name of a vicar.

Eric Dubay said...

Thanks to Dorothee for this link:

Catholic Inquisition

Most people have some knowledge of the holocaust. The 6 years of torture and atrocities that the Jews suffered under Hitler and the Nazis during the Second World War. While in no way downplaying the terrible events of the holocaust, such a massacre does not compare to the severity to the torture and murder that took place under Papal authority during the 605 years of the Inquisition. From the beginning of the Papacy, until the present time, it is estimated by credible historians that more than 50,000,000, men and women have been slaughtered for the crime of heresy charged against them by Papal Rome. This Video contains actual photographs of some of the instruments of torture that were used.

Ben Holsapple said...

Is that not to be expected? The Church has been around for about 1800 more years than Germany, or any other institution. Of course it has more skeletons in its closet. About 10 million people were killed in the Holocaust, not counting those killed in combat. Considering that the Church has been around over 10 times longer, it should be reasonable to expect 10 times as many atrocities.

10*10 million = 100 million, which is twice as many deaths per year as the figure you quoted for the Church.

I bet the United States government has killed many times more people than Saddam Hussein ever did - but that's because it's been around longer, not because it's inherently worse.

John: Murder has been called for in the name of every cause that has ever existed. That does not make those causes evil. Following the Holocaust plotline, millions of people called for the murder of Adolf Hitler in the name of peace. Does that make peace evil?

Ben Holsapple said...

Another quick numerical point: Total casualties of World War II are estimated at 60 million people, including military and civilian casualties. More deaths in 6 years than you said the Church caused in two thousand. I'd say the Church is doing a mite bit better than Germany on that front.

I know "total casualties" is different than direct killing because of heresy, and we'd have to include things like deaths by crusades - which, I believe, add a couple million deaths to the toll - hardly enough to tip the balance.

I must also disagree with your use of the word "severity." The Holocaust does not compare to the Church's sheer numbers, true - but it greatly exceeds its "severity." 10 million in 6 years is far more severe than 50 million in 600.

caveman said...

There has been a stream of wisdom passing down the ages and at every turn man has attempted to collect the water into a container so that he can wrap his mind around it. Those containers don't flow, they stagnate, the flow continues in the stream. Let go of your stagnation and let it back into the stream to flow.

Om

Torq said...

*Chuckles*

Caveman: You have expressed a point in words. To follow your own argument this is now a container which has begun to stagnate. Following your own advice I should not listen to you and instead get back to the business at hand!

I see what you are saying, eternal consciousness is the point, you have just chosen a method of expressing yourself which is self defeating.

Eric: I patiently await your explanation of the difference between the two phrases "Christians eat cookies" and "Masons kill millions," without appealing to some code of value. You studied philosophy, I don't need to explain Hume's Guillotine to you.

Tao said...

the sides of your container are echoing and you think you hear wisdom from your own reverb.

For a man in a container made by someone else, you sure are proud to stagnate there.

Ben Holsapple said...

Caveman, Tao, forgive me for putting this bluntly, but...those are just words. It's very poetic, to be sure, and it has value for that, but as a logical statement, you didn't say anything. I must even disagree with Torq's statement that he shouldn't listen to what you're saying, because as far as I can see, you're not saying anything that it is possible to disagree with. It sounds deep, yes, but that doesn't mean it's logically sound.

Caveman, what exactly does it mean that there is a "stream of wisdom passing down the ages" and how does that relate to the discussion?

Tao, how, based on this discussion, how have you deduced 1) that I am in any type of container, or, 2) assuming that the container exists, how have you deduced that it was made by someone else, or, 3) how have you deduced that I am stagnating?

Again, I don't mean to be rude, I'm genuinely interested, I just don't know what else to say to that.

Tao said...

caveman was me on my cave retreat I'm back now. In fact there is much to my words.

If I see someone struggling I blow in their sails. If I see someone fixed on their course I stir the ocean.

I'm glad you are thinking. If you had no container you would have no fear of what lay outside.

How could you come to the aid of an institution passed down through the ages and taken on as your own if you had no allegiance to it?

Ben Holsapple said...

I have no fear. Most especially, I have no fear of Christianity being proven wrong, as I do not consider myself a Christian because I do not believe many of their teachings. I do not require allegiance to an institution to defend it when it is attacked unfairly or being held to a different standard than other institutions.

The church is an institution that is constantly bashed for inappropriate reasons. There are appropriate, rational reasons to criticise the Church, but the idea that it is worse than any other institution because of the quantity of suffering it has caused, or that it is intrinsically evil at all, is a gross misinterpretation of the facts. Generally, people who bash the Church exaggerate its mistakes, ignore its duration, and, most importantly, pretend that it has done no good in this world whatsoever.

It is logically invalid to apply a different standard to the Church than to any other institution, which is what my example of Germany is intended to illustrate.

In addition, it is logically invalid to assume that transgressions committed hundreds of years ago, by completely different people, have any bearing on the present day. The Holocaust occurred within the lifetimes of people still alive today, yet we do not condemn Germany. Why would we condemn the Church for something committed 10 lifetimes ago?

If you want to condemn the Church, go ahead. But you must condemn what it is now, not what it was 600 years ago. There is no reason to care what it was like then; the only thing that matters is what it is like today.

Tao said...

"Most of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness."

What is the need of an institution who give people such a false start in life, removes their innate perfection and gives them an indoctrination, so so rigid that they may fight and die for it?

Torq said...

Tao: I must say that you have been rather rude here. As one who also is in search of wisdom I feel it is my duty to point this out to you.

Also your statement, "Most of the world's religions serve only to strengthen attachments to false concepts such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness," which may or may not be true, is essentially dogmatic in nature. In fact this is a teaching derived from the Organized Religions of Buddhism and Taoism.

Further, you grow defensive when your ideas are challenged, how is this any different from any other belief system. How is your system more "pure" or "true" than any other? What is your standard of comparison?

Struggle as you will, you cannot evade this thrust. It is not me you struggle against, it is Truth and Truth is indeed the Way.

*Bows from the waist*

Tao said...

that was not my statement that you quoted me as saying, i just quoted but did not source my quote, hua Hu Ching

I then asked, in my own words;

What is the need of an institution who give people such a false start in life, removes their innate perfection and gives them an indoctrination, so so rigid that they may fight and die for it?

rude? it did not affect the birds outside, so maybe it was not the sounds that were rude but the ears on which they fell.

Demosthenes said...

Something that Torq perhaps missed in his response to your Hua Hu Ching quote, Tao, was in pointing out that you (and Ching) are are assuming that these concepts (self,
life, death, heaven, earth) are, in fact, false concepts. If there is any truth to them at all, in any way, an Institution such as the Church could be construed as good, for the work it does in putting forth these ideas in contextual and many times reasonable ways (though not always). It is also being assumed that the "Integral Oneness" does not include these conceptions. Though this is perhaps a completely different theological debate, I wonder how we could apply this quote to the current topic without ascertaining its truth and viability first.

And, though your assessment of subjective rudeness is quite lovely, I am disinclined to believe that this debate would have any bearing on the birds.

Torq said...

Tao: Apologies for the confusion. I misunderstood your post, but don't see how this changes anything. You referenced a quotation which you believe, and followed it up with a criticism of other belief systems. You have not answered my objection.

To be fair to you, it is actually quite impossible for you to do so. The philosophical (and yes theological) dilemma which you, and Eric, have created for yourself requires that all predicates of value be treated equally. That you do not actually do so is to your great credit.

Demosthenes: You are quite right in your assessment, and the issues you raise here with the concepts Tao is using is quite good. Thank you for pointing this out.

Also, props on your choice of a name!

Ben Holsapple said...

I don't think it was that rude (no ruder than I have been, certainly), but I do think it is important to recognise the essence of what you said, which I think Torq is getting at - but I want to phrase it differently:

You essentially said that religion is bad because it teaches something you disagree with.

It's fine to believe this, but this is not a rational argument. You can make it a rational argument by convincing us all that self, life, etc do not exist, at which point we would have to accept that the Church is indeed leading people astray, but I imagine that would be an exceedingly difficult prospect.

This is also a very dangerous concept if applied a little more liberally. In another of his posts, Eric states that he disagrees with scientists, in that speed is not limited to 3x10^8 m/s as Einstein said. Does that make science as an institution bad?

Ben Holsapple said...

I think I need to take it even a little bit further. This is precisely the kind of thinking that leads to atrocities like the Crusades: someone doesn't believe what I believe, so they are bad. The Church made this mistake 600 years ago, and radical Muslims are making it now. There is nothing wrong with disagreement, but we have to be careful what comes out of that.

I understand that you think you're right and the Church is wrong, but you cannot condemn them for disagreeing with you. The most important factor in determining Truth is discussion and free thinking. If no one challenges our opinions, how are we to know if they are correct? It is this way in science and it is no different in philosophy.

To condemn those who disagree with you is to assume that you are, now and forever, in sole possession of Truth - and that is the truest form of stagnation.

Tao said...

Sure strong men look for weights to lift, woodcuters for trees to cut and philosophers for debates to have.

If I stood by the words of the Tao to the letter as they appear printed then I would be a complete hypocrite. And it would not be Tao, I would surely stagnate.

Someone has died, for sure that is true. And look, life goes on. Nature is not a linear process. "One" comes as environment for, and perceiving organism of, over and over, just for the pleasure of it. No reality exists without an observer, no observer can be without something to observe. Thereby observer and observed are one complete process, and that is nature, containing life and death, yet being neither.

When the fruit falls and rots, it appears to have ended, yet is it the begining.

You may feel I have wandered off course there. Yet I can not talk in terms of life, death, heaven and hell as absolutes. I see all as interdependent, mutually arising, this is that. I am you and you are me and he is he and I am the walrus" (I won't source that quote).

Ben Holsapple said...

Again, that response is very poetic, but it is not a rational argument. There are no ideas in those words that relate to the discussion at hand. I am forced to draw the conclusion that you do not have a rational reason for your beliefs at all, but presumably merely "feel" that they are true.

It seems that it would be ineffectual to continue the discussion in a rational manner. As I do not have the flair of a poet or the knowledge to quote Chinese thinkers, I will leave discussing the matter on your terms to someone who does.

In the meantime, I'm going to go get my things out of storage; no one is observing them, I'd better make sure they still exist.

Tao said...

feeling over rationality: I'd rather be feel happy than be right, and as no one can know only guess then it is a good place to sit.

To reach this state you must one by one remove each obstruction.

"It is not for us to find love but to remove, one by one, the barriers inside us that keep us from it." Rumi

Tao said...

In a universe that ultimately no one can ever know, then to use rationality is entirely irrational.

Ben Holsapple said...

Well then yes, this is where we differ. I am a scientist; I believe the universe is inherently knowable and rational.

I do not understand how you can either be happy without a desire to be right, or have opinions at all in a world that you perceive to be inherently irrational. Frankly, I don't know how you can even function as a human being without "believing" in rationality. Our reason is the essential difference between man and beast.

But, again, if you do not accept rationality as valid, and you would rather be happy than find truth, then there is no point to continuing this discussion. We have completely different goals.

Eric Dubay said...

Wow, great discussion everyone! I'm really enjoying the mind-expanding debate taking place here. I agree with everything Tao says, but I'm very impressed and interested in Torq and brother Holsapple's points as well. Thanks for the lively, thought-provoking arguments. Peace

~Eric

John said...

The Bibble

Tao said...

Imagine if science said the meaning of life were "8.2*Phi" (or insert another answer of your choice).

and that up until that point the mystic was happy and the scientist busy with measurements and calculations.

Now continuing past that point; the mystic is still happy and the scientist has a moment of brief happiness. - Until he says "erm, now what?".

Imagine telling Grandma "hey the meaning of life is 8.2*Phi!!" She may be less than impressed. "look son, i was having a nice cup of tea and watching the birds."

I feel the debate has gone full circle. I was delighted with the comment that Ben Holsapple said "I am forced to draw the conclusion that you do not have a rational reason for your beliefs at all, but presumably merely "feel" that they are true." This is wonderful and true, merely was an odd choice of words as it is great not mere. I am very happy in my knowledge that life is unknowable. I feel happy, complete, light on my feet. Life is hubagubalubaloooo. I couldn't put it in words or give you an equation, but I can display my smile, delight, awe, and peaceful face to the world. Yes I feel it, I know there can be complete peace as if people drop their prejudices they will see that "WOW this is incredible! I draw in air I carry fuel."

Now retrace the debate, in reverse. You find it gets very surreal as you go back up the track, reversing the debate, more and more concepts enter the pool. As I felt I ended with no fixed concept and completeness, we end (start) the debate with many. Ben standing up for institutionalised thought is the start of our debate yet about half way around the circle. "Institutions are a human construct and so cannot be intrinsically evil any more than a gun can be intrinsically evil" Previous to that is one of the institutions in question Christianity. A bunch of people (probably Paul) stating in "fact" what a mystic before them had said.

Before it got written as fact that mystic in question would probably have said, "well guys, it's tough to get this on paper as such, but you know, chill out, be nice, don't confuse your grandma." Forwards again from that came institutionalisation of that thought, arguments over interpretation, and as documented by Eric much that would have embarrassed today's birthday boy. From there .. well scroll up..

Torq said...

*chuckles* I need to get a better internet connection! I do think this conversation has been pretty hopping as well.

Tao, if you contend that the world makes no sense and the only values which are important are the ones which we "feel" than you have lost the ability to disagree with Ben or myself. You "feel" such and such, and I "feel" something different. Your feeling is no more or less valid than my own, it's a feeling! I understand that you have "felt" the urge to have this conversation, but as you do not believe that the world is understandable I will not expect you to explain yourself.

As I mentioned earlier you obviously do not actually practice your philosophy. If you did, why would you eat? The world is irrational so there is no actual point to doing so. You just have your "feelings" which are ultimately just the byproduct of your upbringing, conditioning, and the biological impulses of your body.

I fear Tao, that you are ultimately the same person who Eric is trying to awaken here. Think about it, if you are willing to engage in rationality for just a moment. If everyone believed as you do, than the NWO (I neither affirm nor deny the actual existence of the conspiracy here) would have a much easier job on it's hands. It just has to make people feel happy (drugs and conditioning should easily do the trick) and not even bother convincing them that something is actually right. The NWO would be able to take over easily and the whole "Brave New World" scenario would be foolproof.

Ben Holsapple said...

"I am very happy in my knowledge that life is unknowable."

If life is unknowable, then you can't know anything about it - including the fact that it's unknowable.

If you know something about it - anything at all - then it is knowable.

Your position defeats itself.

muzuzuzus said...

Great exploration of history of Christianity, Eric

From your quotes from The Dark Side of Christian History:

"“The dark side of Christian history has been and continues to be about the domination and control of spirituality and human freedom. Orthodox Christians built an organization that from its inception encouraged not freedom and self-determination, but obedience and conformity."

Say it all. They 'view'ed nature as fallen, thus any ecstatic participation within the fathomless dimensions of nature was/is considered 'demonic'. Because the 'Prince of Darkness' was supposed to be in control of fallen nature, till the '2nd coming' would sort 'old nick' out

Another poster keeps using an anaology with Germany. As in WHY don't we blame 'Germany' for the Holocaust. I would anser that the rise of Nazism, and its sadism derived not from abstract 'Germany' but from the MYTH of Hitler and the Nazis. A big part being the myth of the ubermensch (superman), and 'pure blood' etc etc etc. It s such as that--MYTHS which fuel actions, and so it did and still does with the Christian myth

Take how I began with that quite. Spiritual suppression. That means people being allowed. ADULTS being allowed to pick and eat enthogenic vegetation for spiritual purposes. Guess what, like then, all those hundreds of years ago it is prohibited! And even in what was supposed to be last liberal place where people had this freedom, Holland/Amsterdam at the beginning of December sacred/magic mushrooms were banned from being sold!

The Pope has just made his Christmas speech demonizing people who are Gay!

What has changed?

Nothing.

Look at the world the state it is in. LOOK! What has changed?

Nothing because many people are still clinging, and having imposed on them by cultural institutions these absurd myths. And unresolved/not understood they also go un~conscious and effect secular practices

So it is very important indeed to see through these myths for what they are, and not be apologists for them.

Ben Holsapple said...

Just as there was a "myth" of Hitler and the Nazis, there was a "myth" of Pope Innocent and the Crusaders. I do not intend to demonstrate that the Church has never been led astray; everyone and everything has been led astray. I only intend to demonstrate that condemning the Church for that being led astray is pure hypocrisy.

As I understand it, the modern Church has renounced the atrocities of the Inquisition. Go ask the current Pope if he thinks the Inquisition or the Crusades were the right thing to do. Modern Christians, on the whole, do not think they should kill non-believers, just as modern Germans, on the whole, do not believe they should kill Jews. As I have said before, it is very dangerous to condemn the son for the sins of the father - in the Church's case, the great-great-great-great-grandfather.

I read the Pope's words. He did not "demonize" people who are gay. He said "it is not an outdated metaphysics, if the Church speaks of the nature of the human being as man and woman and asks that this order of creation be respected."

In my experience with the Church, there is in fact very little "demonizing" that occurs. Homosexuals are viewed as living a sinful lifestyle. So are hedonists, prostitutes, thiefs, adulterers, etc, etc. There is no demonizing; everyone sins. The Church has been emphasizing that homosexuality is a sin, not demonizing those who commit it.

Every parent has been forced to tell their child that something they did was wrong. That is a far cry from demonizing them.

If you like, you may disagree with the Church on whether homosexuality is a sin, or bad, or whatever word you like. But do not attack it with rhetoric designed to paint it in a bad light. It is simply not true.

Tao said...

I am being asked to throw away my life and stop eating because .. erm .. wow, too odd.

Being happy, feeling the truth is somehow secondary to being able to *think* you understand? Again, too odd.

My stand it this, no one will know the whole truth. To take that a religion can give you one, and then fight for that, be at the whims of the ways of that, is much madder and much further from happiness than I would wish on anyone, yet is the way of the large large majority of humanity. Including those arguing the case my way is wrong.

Putting faith in an institution, man made of course, is, and can be none other than a cop out on the biggest question of life.

You will end the game with "FAIL: return to start."

My reckoning after taking the path of discovery, obviously reading a lot broader than most, is that If you're happy, you're right. Life as we know it is illusionary conceived, every element from belief to "fact" as we see only phenomena of the One Nomena. You wont and will never know the Nomena. If you look hard enough at some photons at home, do you expect to learn about tungsten and glass in a semi vacuum? If you look hard enough at an image on your PC screen do you expect to learn about the semi-conductive ways of silicon and binary?

I bask in the beauty and wonder of every moment and because I can not rationalise that or put it in words, I am told that I my life has no meaning and must end.

Well no, it makes no sense in relation to organised religion GOOD, that makes it even better.

I will go out to the lake and be amazed, in years to come, you may see my point.

Eric Dubay said...

Beautiful

Ben Holsapple said...

I believe you are mistaking Torq's point.

If the universe is irrational, then there is no point in you eating, because you don't know if it will satisfy your hunger or not. There is no point in you walking, because you don't know if it will get you places or not. When posting your responses, you may as well press "delete" as "post" to achieve the desired end. The fact that you do things like eat, walk, and press "post" indicates that you do understand that the universe is rational, as all people do, whether they admit it or not. I do not know how to convince you of this with words; it is evident in every minute of every day, and there is nothing I could possibly say that would be more convincing than the world itself is.

I am not using organised religion to argue against you. Never have, and probably never will. I am using the precepts of reason, which are far more fundamental than any religion. It is not Christianity that proves you wrong, it is the underlying rationality of existence that is present in all things. Your denial of this is, quite simply, delusional. You may say whatever you like; the fact that you press "post" instead of "delete" proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you know that the universe follows rational laws. Why you persist in pretending that you don't, I haven't the slightest clue.

Tao said...

A computer follows (normally) rational rules, ones set by man. So "Post" will (normally) Post.

Delete, I have tried, is more reliable as it does not depend on the internet.

Mans insistence that the world obey and act in a way he can understand measures and builds to that model. Good design is seen as simplicity. The static mind shapes that man lays over the world, the net of his imagination, 3 dimensions, straight lines, set units of measure have no part in nature. Straight only exists until you get close enough to see the wobble or spins or waves.

I see also a problem in the notion of "people in a world as separate to them". When truer is that the universe acts, man is part of the action, like a standing wave or whirlpool he has no fixed self but appears to be a thing. A snowflake, appearing unique is a part of the water table, for that moment in time he maybe unique but is part of the stream.

If one thing is irrational (lets take quantum physics) and that is a part of the whole, then the whole can not be rational.

But, yes I do see the futility in this talk. I find greater pleasure away from explanation so will again be away for some time.

Torq said...

Enjoy your break Tao. I am not really sure what you are responding to here. What does quantum mechanics have to do with any of the questions we have raised here? This is a fall back used by an ever growing number of people, "because quantum mechanics is weird the universe is irrational." This is patently false because that which is irrational could not be understood by reason. What really happened when we started studying quantum physics is that reality stopped behaving in a way that we expected. So we developed a new theory to deal with it.

Theory = Understandable = Rational

I also have problems with many of the things which you have brought up. They are profound questions, but if you don't believe that the world is rational, then I don't know how you have developed opinions relating to them.

As I said, enjoy your time on the lake. I will do the same.

Eric, thank you for providing an interesting conversation!

The Capitalist said...

Isn't it wierd how people can be coerced into believing practically anything? I'm against the mindless following of religion myself, but see many of these arguments as following a concept equally as mindlessly. Ben will have no greater chance of getting people here to think about the root of thier ideas than he would have trying to get the old religious lady to think how it was possible for Jesus to literally walk on water.

Each has thier own BELIEF, which is not necessarily based on reason.

Anonymous said...

It is clear that the god of love is the god of death and terror...how such a loving god can be sadistic and still be worshipped by many is beyond me...

N-Spot said...

Tao doesn't actually believe anything. He simply embraces what is. He's hungry, he must eat.

When a man keeps trying to discern the sun, he loses his sight.

Men without sight trying to discern an elephant in the dark cannot but comprehend a fraction of its nature.

How is it after staring at logic and the greatness of the universe anyone can see anything anymore at all?

I have heard that philosophy does not provide answers but, rather, clarifies the questions. Indeed, any class of philosophy I have entered or talk I have heard never claims to provide answers. If reason and rationality was enough to provide humanity with adequate answers then we would probably have the answer by now. But like those feeling an elephant in the dark we all claim to know the answer, to know the truth, but we never get any closer to peace, or harmony. It is like Spock said, "logic is the beginning of wisdom".

Ben said...

Does Tao not believe that eating will satiate his hunger? Does he not believe that moving his legs in a certain way will cause him to move forward? Does he not believe that I am wrong about several things?

These are all beliefs, whether correct or incorrect. Let's not try to couch things in mystical language to confuse reality. Of course he believes things, as we all do. There are (hopefully) things that he is not sure about, as there are things that we are all unsure about, but that does not mean that any of us do not have beliefs.

Many scientists have spent a great deal of time trying to discern the Sun; rather than going blind, however, they have actually found a great many answers about its nature (and plenty of new questions, of course). Certainly we have progressed quite far from believing a chariot draws it across the sky!

I do agree, though, that philosophy often does not provide answers, but rather illuminates the proper questions. Was it Socrates who was called by the Oracle the wisest man alive, not because he knew more than other men, but because he knew how much he did not know? Note, however, that this did not in the least cause him to stop seeking answers!

Anonymous said...

Eric-

I last posted you about your incorrect conclusion regarding "magic mushrooms" to be the Manna as presented in the Bible.....and I gave you a video to watch about the Terfezia AKA "the desert truffle."

I would really like your thoughts on this NEW fantastic video I have linked to you. This is one of the best that I have seen. it's titled:
"THE POWER BEHIND THE NEW WORLD ORDER."
Seen Here:
http://vimeo.com/21573581

Sooner or later I would like you to understand the differences between TRUE Christianity and the fraud which all laymen incorrectly conclude is synonymous with Christianity.. which actually is...and history shows..the "Babylonian Vatican and the Roman Catholic Religion...which are an absolute extension of the Mystery Schools and their teachings! I know you are familiar with these thoughts...but still...you continue to intimately link Satanism/New Age/Mystery Schools and Christianity together. They are not the same!
You are very smart and have helped me a great deal on the NWO...but you are failing me on this critical issue over and over again.
Let me know your thoughts...please.. and
let the truth be known...
-Aldo

Eric Dubay said...

Hey Aldo, thanks for the message. I just watched that documentary and enjoyed and agreed with it for the most part. It began to lose me when it equated meditation, yoga, and vegetarianism with Luciferianism. That is a bit much. Just because I don't eat meat, stretch daily, and take time to sit quietly by myself doesn't mean I'm a New Ager, Luciferian, anti-Christian or anything else the movie implied. I also disagree that the supposed fruition of a few very vague prophecies (Greece, Rome, Alexander the Great) are grounds to believe that every word in the Bible comes from God (an assertion made in the film). What about all the scriptures left out of the Bible? What about other texts considered Holy around the world? And why is God a one hit wonder? Why hasn't he written another best-seller in 2000 years?

Sooner or later I would like you to understand the differences between TRUE Christianity and the fraud which all laymen incorrectly conclude is synonymous with Christianity.. which actually is...and history shows..the "Babylonian Vatican and the Roman Catholic Religion...which are an absolute extension of the Mystery Schools and their teachings! I know you are familiar with these thoughts...but still...you continue to intimately link Satanism/New Age/Mystery Schools and Christianity together. They are not the same!

I think you're absolutely right that the "Babylonian Vatican and the Roman Catholic Religion" are very different from true Christianity. Why do you say that I link "Satanism/New Age/Mystery Schools and Christianity together?" Thanks for the link and comment. Peace

Anonymous said...

From a certain POV, Christianity is Luciferianism.

CHRIST = LUCIFER = 74 via Simple English Gematria where A=1, B=2, C=3...Z=26.

Anonymous said...

I may also add that the implications are that all religion is Luciferianism...including Vegan, and all the schools of meditation out there.

Anonymous said...

hi eric,

how are you!
You are really writing a lot of different topics, good work, especially about the role of the church in history. There have been so many injuries in the name of the church and so many people (millions) were killed.

I have a question to you: Could you put some prayers on your blog within the right subject, for example where you have written something about occult or magic themes?

If you do not want this, no problem, then I must make/create my own page. I would like to have a honest answer. Thanks a lot. I do not want that you are getting in trouble with this as the prayers have a big effect especially for people who want to get free of everything devilish!

1.)I renounce Satan, the evil and devil now and I trust you, Jesus Christ, as my Lord with help of God father. Thanks, Amen.

2.)In the name of Jesus Christ I brake all magics and curses backwards to Adam and Eve and I order now all demons, Satan, evil and devil out of me in the name of Jesus Christ. Yes, with help of God father. Thanks, Amen.

3.)In the name of Jesus Christ I brake and untie all vows, promises, oaths, slips of the tongues and blood brotherhoods backwards to Adam and Eve and I now trust you, Jesus Christ, as my Lord. Thanks, Amen.

Anonymous said...

You exposed catholicism, not Christians. Catholicism is not Christian. Catholicism is a war cult of unbiblical lies.

Gary Man said...

You know something that always bothered me about religion in America? You grow up with the thoughts that it is great to share, and it's good to give and all this and that. Then when you get older, you mature, you become an adult you realize it's all bullshit.

All that 'don't be greedy' look at the churches, and how rich they are. This always bothered me. The catholic church especially, you have the damn Pope who makes it well known how rich and wealthy he is, yet you read the bible and it's all love your neighbor, help the poor, don't be greedy, have love for one another, don't you think they should at least practice this at the very least? It's not Jesus is king, and he was great for being poor and showing the way, this is what they tell you growing up, but when you grow up you realize Jesus isn't their king. No one church has a Pope who thinks he's god, and their king is money. Money is their god, and it's the only thing they really care about.

The crusades show just how blood thirsty they were. No different to when they took over America and used religion as an excuse to go on a mass genocide killing spree and nearly wipe out the entire American Native Indians race.

Xinyu Hu said...

Am I the only one who is getting tired of hearing the anonymous who keeps on claiming that Catholics are not "true Christians?"

For the record, this anonymous still has yet to prove "sin" is real.



Anonymous said...

Hi,

how is it that still now and then the Holohoax slips in here and there ?

Please people dont fuel the myths that contributed to so much hardships for a lot of people since dawn.

Do we need money, politics and Mc Religion ? For what ? Who benefits ?Is the world a nice place today ? Is there a better way ?

Is it time to promote peaceful coexistence without the Force factor regardless who claims the right to rule others ?

Live well.