……………………..Limits are for governments.

For Now We See Through a Glass Darkly: An Attempt at Identifying Greek/Roman Distortions of Our Past, Present, and Future

Light dances on the highly polished heavy wooden door as a man in a tie emerges into the spring air. He descends the broad steps, still shaded from the sun’s rays by eight enormous columns, and pauses to look at his watch. He is a Senator, elected by the voters in his state two years ago. On the face of his elegant watch, one hand indicates IX and the other IV. Stepping into the hustle of the sidewalk, his eyes adjusted, he hardly seems to notice the carefully tended gardens beginning to bloom around him and moves efficiently to his next appointment. It is Saturday, March 23.

Our Greek and Roman heritage flows indelibly like a current through our daily lives from its headwaters in the ancient world. Today our calendar, numerals, architecture, forms of government, titles, astronomy, sculpture and symbolism all embody to some degree, or borrow, what belonged to these ancient societies. Much of our understanding of our history, and therefore of ourselves and nature, come from early Greek and Roman sources.

But what if, through the accidental abundance of Roman documents and edifices, this actually only provides a singular and quite distorted view of the cultures and eras before Greece and Rome? What if Classical culture was a continuation of the ancient world – but an inferior, lesser progression from previous people and cultures of the Aegean and Asian world? If we assume this is the case we can begin to ask new questions, and perhaps even push our way past the Classical wall between us and antiquity, and discover what has been hidden or obscured by unquestioning over-reliance on those particular witnesses.

It also allows us to question whether Greece was the cradle of modern civilization in its democratic form, or if in reality, Greek and Roman culture and philosophy actually casts one of the deepest and darkest shadows over the world, to this day. And we can observe whether, to the extent that we step out of these long shadows, we experience accelerated and unexpected creative and scientific advancement in all spheres of life.

Deep shadows: the Pontifex Maximus was the title of the high priest of the Roman State cult. This title and office is the same held by the Pope.

The Pontifex Maximus was the title of the high priest of the Roman State cult. This title and office is the same held by the Pope.

Four Considerations

1. The Persistence of Rome

To generally mark out and confirm the persistence of Roman government over the West, even after the supposed fall of Rome itself, I present these candid observations:

Christianity did not adopt pagan culture, but rather Rome adopted Christianity and continued its main offices, language, and philosophy from the city of Rome. It enforced the use of Latin in all manuscripts and learning; it maintained the scientific and political teachings of Aristotle and Plato as the authoritative educational standard for centuries, until the European Renaissance; and the office of Pontifix Maximus, High Priest of the Roman State religion, was continued in both title and functions through the Pope. This would explain why one may see an underlying continuity of Roman gods and goddesses in European art and churches.

 

 

 

 

3. Plato’s Long Shadow

karl-popper via anchaesmicasa wordpress comAs Karl Popper has exhaustively demonstrated in his book, The Open Society and Its Enemies: The Spell of Plato, the political philosophy of Plato possesses the earliest roots and full explanations of totalitarian and collectivist systems, and of the original misanthropic view of man as a slave by nature, who is only fit to be bred and ruled by a ruling class. (It may not be any accident or coincidence that the Club of Rome bears the name of that Iron Empire.) These philosophies persist to this day in almost the exact form and details Plato gave them in his writings 23 centuries ago.

 

 

 

 

2. The Tendency to Verify the Known

To very briefly introduce the problem of the over-confidence of scholars in Classical sources to interpret the ancient world, I present examples of several civilizations whose mythologies have no written record or textual narrative, yet as a whole are interpreted as reflections of Greek mythologies, and in popular documentaries, the Minoans are approached almost entirely in the context of passages from Plato’s writing: 

Back of the epingle en or. Decipherment and translation, by Dr. Aartun of the Linear A inscription on the gold pin is as follows:  a-ma-wa-si . ka-ni-ya-mi . i-ya . za-ki . se-nu-ti . a-ta-deTranslation: ”Devout yourself to the true friend who returns to you the good, who is free from hostile thoughts” (lit. “clean from hate”). Source: http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

Back of the epingle en or. Decipherment and translation, by Dr. Aartun, of the Linear A inscription on the gold pin possibly reads as follows: a-ma-wa-si . ka-ni-ya-mi . i-ya . za-ki . se-nu-ti . a-ta-de
Translation: ”Devote yourself to the true friend who returns to you the good, who is free from hostile thoughts” (lit. “clean from hate”). Source: http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/1-minoan-crete-linear-a/

Ancient cultures preceding and contemporaneous with Greek/Roman civilization, such as the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Etruscans, are interpreted through what is known in Greek histories, and their gods are automatically equated with Classical gods. This is the case, despite the fact that their texts remain undeciphered – or even undiscovered; they are thus not allowed to speak for themselves.

In fact, there is no shortage of examples which show that because of their own biases, the Greeks and Romans were sometimes quite unable to understand or accurately interpret cultures that were very likely in many respects their betters. And so these Classical reports can be false, idealized, or even slanderous.

As for city-states with elected governments, it is known that Etruria was unable to unify its own cities in the face of foreign invasion. Whether they had experimented in voting or not is a matter of speculation; but the Etruscans did not have a strong central government, preferring to exist as independent, prosperous provinces.

Front of the Minoan epingle en or

Beautiful Minoan epingle en or

 

 

 

 

 

4. Other Possible Questions About Our Past

candle-wallpaper-300x500 via furloo comIt would be wonderful to keep in mind, when holding up our small candle to look far back into the deep past of the Earth and its people, that there are many languages that remain untranslated, to this day. These include those of the Aegean cultures already mentioned, and also the writing of the Indus Valley people, besides others. Also, in some cases an ancient language may have been successfully translated, but the majority of tablets remain unavailable because of modern-day socio-political tensions – such as is the case in Ebla.

These ancient peoples’ character and relationships, manner of daily living, quality of life, writing or lack of it, are all still awaiting revelation. What was the founding genius and spiritual principles they built their original cultures upon, as preserved in their legends? What was the manner of the decline and fall from the original genius of the people, and what finally caused their cities to become abandoned?

What advanced cultures may have existed without leaving megalithic monuments or any trace upon the Earth? Is it possible that the physical preservation of great stone cities skews our view of the past toward highly centralized societies, and leaves the cultures that did not favor massive building projects unrepresented in our history?

Are there lost cities on the continental shelves, beneath the sea, which push human history even further back in time? These questions and others may help us begin to identify distortions and knowledge gaps, and to acknowledge the possibility of some of the lack or limitations in our present understanding of the ancient world. An excellent starting point for new discovery would be to set aside the powerful temptation to refer only to what is known through Greek and Roman sources, even ignoring them for a time, in order to study the unique character and genius of these unknown people on a case by case basis.

~P. West, 2013

Advertisements

27 responses

  1. I do not want to break my word not to continue the 9/11 related discussion over on the thread ‘Why politicians would want to burn the Declaration of Independence’ so I’ll reply to you here. (Please feel free to trash this comment though, as it is unrelated to your post).

    I was not stating fact, I was making an analogy. I was saying that if we make legitimate forensic evidence-based investigations into 9/11 taboo because we are so jaded by all the squabbling over unfounded ‘conspiracy theories’ that would be a bit like making astronomical research taboo because of all the endless squabbling over different religions.

    My point was that people’s ‘conspiracy theories’ have nothing in common with genuine evidence-based scientific research, even when both are concerned with the subject of 9/11. The same can be said of people’s religious superstitions which have nothing in common with genuine astronomical research, even when both are concerned with the subject of ‘the heavens’ or the creation of the universe.

    If you give someone a verifiable fact about 9/11 such as the fact that the seismic signals were impossibly low for a building collapse, or no porcelain toilet fragments were ever recovered or the entire marble facade of the WFC across the street went missing, or the dust continued breaking down to the size of DNA in some bizarre ongoing breakdown process, or high levels of Tritium were found at ground zero etc they will tend to react as if you were attacking their religion, rather than just presenting verifiable evidence which they can check for themselves. This makes it almost impossible to talk about 9/11 and therefore impossible to create a consensus based on the HUGE amount of evidence available. Instead the consensus is split into a selection of competing conspiracy theories (19 hijackers with box cutters and office fires vs Bush and an inside job with a controlled demolition). The emotional conflict between these competing conspiracy theories (beliefs) prevents most people from looking at the ACTUAL EVIDENCE (science).

    Maybe I didn’t explain my point clearly enough.

    March 27, 2013 at 5:54 am

  2. Abondon TV says: “I do not want to break my word not to continue the 9/11 related discussion over on the thread ‘Why politicians would want to burn the Declaration of Independence’ so I’ll reply to you here.”

    The post was not about American founding documents, it was about the Green Party leader claiming that renewable energy is “reliable” and that it is also “free.” The topic of the post was claims by politicians and scientists that they can provide everyone a “warm comfortable home” using “wind, solar, and tides, which costs us nothing.” There was nothing about the “Declaration of Independence” in the post; in fact, it was not an American blog.

    I was addressing the issues surrounding new energy sources, and the engineering, infrastructure, and resource requirements that are going to be necessary if any new energy is going to be made available and affordable to as many people as possible. Any one who argues that there is “free energy” while simultaneously claiming that the resources and infrastructure needed to develop and ship the new technology to domestic and international markets must be dismantled, cannot possibly have the expertise, knowledge, or experience to address the subject in the first place. The replacement technology will not come to the West or to the world without the means of mass producing it and shipping it; it will require abundant coal and oil and capital until it is actually in place.

    Also: It may be that religions have some degree of “superstition” in them as you say, but as a generalization of all religious thought, this characterization is truly lacking in depth and study. I suggest it is a false dichotomy you are working under, if you then imply that the claims of science are uniquely reliable and that the scientific approach guarantees accurate and objective results and observations. This is not supported by history; in fact it is falsified by history and by the shameless abuses of science we are now witnessing. If I could leave you with a good thought, it would be this: pure science exhilarates and humbles us with how little we know.

    Now thank you for dropping by.

    March 27, 2013 at 10:54 am

    • Yes that blog title mistake was a copy and paste error on my part. Sorry, in a rush!

      FWIW I think you’re reading a little too much into my comparison. I was just making a distinction between the different approaches of belief/ faith/ superstition/ speculation vs reason/ evidence/ experiment/ the scientific method.

      March 27, 2013 at 5:25 pm

  3. The Satires of Aules Persius Flaccus. Persius was an Etruscan who lived 34-62 AD, and addressed his theme to the Romans.

    PROLOGUE.

    Argument.—I never drank of Hippocrene, never dreamed on Parnassus. The maids of Helicon and the waters of Pirene are meat and drink for my masters—the acknowledged classics—not for me, a poor lay-brother, with my humble, homely song (1-7). Others succeed: the parrot with his Greek, the pie with her Latin. They have not dreamed on Parnassus either; but they have a teacher—the great master Belly—and Sixpence is their Phoebus Apollo. Hark how they troll forth their notes! (8-14).

    Alas for me! no golden Muse, no silver sixpence inspires me. Quis leget haec?

    SECOND SATIRE.

    Argument.—Macrinus, you may well salute your returning birthday. Your wishes on that day of wishes are pure, whereas most of our magnates pray for what they dare not utter aloud. Any one can hear their requests for sound mind and good report, but the petitions for the death of an uncle, a ward, a wife, the prayer for sudden gain, are mere whispers (1-15). Strange that, in order to prepare for such impieties as these, men should go through all manner of lustral services, and trust to the ear of Jove what they would not breathe to any mortal (15-23). Strange that men should fancy because Jove is not swift to strike the sinner dead that he may be insulted with safety, or easily bought off by a lot of greasy chitterlings (24-30).

    Pass from wicked to foolish prayers. Grandam and aunt would have skinny Master Hopeful a wealthy nabob, would have him make a great match. Girls are to scramble for him, and roses spring up beneath his feet. Silly petitions! Refuse them, Jupiter (31-40). Nor less silly are those prayers whose fulfilment the suppliant himself defeats—prayers for a hale old age, despite rich made-dishes (41-43); prayers for wealth, while the worshipper expends his whole substance in sacrifice (44-51).

    The trouble lies in this, that men judge the gods by themselves. Because gold brings a joyous flutter to their hearts, they think to sway the gods by gold, and change to gold the vessels of the sanctuary. The gods are measured by our ‘accursed blubber,’ that flesh which corrupts all that it handles. Yet the flesh tastes what it touches, and enjoys the ruin which it has wrought. But what can a pure god do with our gold? To him it is a spent toy, an idle offering. Let us give the gods honest and upright hearts, and a handful of meal will suffice to gain their blessing (32-75).

    THIRD SATIRE.

    Argument.—The Satire opens dramatically. A young Roman of the upper classes is discovered asleep, snoring off the effects of yesterday’s debauch. To him one of his familiars, half companion, half tutor, who rouses him by telling him that the sun is already high in the heavens, and it is time to be up. The young fellow bawls for his servants, brays for them, and makes a show of going to work. But nothing suits him. He curses the ink because it is too thick, then he curses it because it is too thin, and finally swears at pen and ink both. ‘You big baby,’ exclaims the monitor. ‘Do you expect me to study with such a pen?’ asks the young man with a whine. ‘Don’t come to me with your puling nonsense, you dab of untempered mortar, you unformed lump of clay. You are lazing away the time, when every minute is of moment, when the potter’s wheel should fly faster and faster, and deft hands should mould the vessel of your life (1-24). But I see you think that you have already attained perfection. You are satisfied with your position in life, move in a good circle. Tell that to the profane vulgar. I know you, every inch of you. Shame on you, that you, with your training, should live like a brutish creature, who does not know what a rich jewel he is flinging away, who sinks without a struggle in the slough of vice, whose soul dies and makes no sign. But you, who know better, will have a dire fate. No worse doom could Jove himself bring down on cruel tyrants than the vain yearning for lost virtue, which they can never hope to regain. Nay, worse than the brazen bull of Phalaris and 119 the pendent sword of Damocles is the consciousness of sin, the pallor that blanches not the cheek only, but the very heart (25-43). You are past the age of childhood, and have not the excuse of tender years. If you were a child, I could understand your behavior. I remember my own childhood, how hateful and unprofitable task-work alternated with frivolous play, how I dodged the learning of the piece I had to speak, how I had no thought for any thing save dice and marbles and tops (44-51). But you have reached a higher level. You know the great norms of life, the doctrines of the Porch; you understand the distinctions of Right and Wrong. Pshaw! As I live, you are snoring still. Wake up, I say, and tell me—have you any aim in life? Or are you nothing better than a boy following sparrows with a pinch of salt?’ (52-62).

    ‘Be wise to-day; ’tis madness to defer.’ Go back to the first principles of all true philosophy, the constitution of the universe, the position of man in that universe, the great laws of Ethic as derived from the great laws of Physic. In brief, study your Stoic catechism. Do not allow yourself to be diverted from higher study by success in the lower ranges of life. You lawyer there, for instance, do not let hams and sprats, the gifts of thankful clients, seduce you from the ambrosia of true philosophy (63-76).

    ‘I have got all the sense I want. I would not be for all the world one of your painful philosophers, with head tucked down, eyes riveted on the ground, mumbling and muttering a lot of metaphysic trash—chimaera bombinans in vacuo—and the rest of the scholastic stuff. What! get pale for that? What! miss my breakfast for that!’

    Great applause in the galleries, and a rippling reduplication of laughter from the muscular humanity of the period (77-87).

    Such men as the centurion are hopelessly lost, have already ‘imbodied and imbruted.’ Like Natta, they are unconscious of their moral ruin. But there are those who, half-conscious of their condition, consult a physician of the soul, a spiritual director. The state of this class is set forth in a dramatic parable. A man feels sick, goes to see a doctor, follows his advice for a while, gets better, and then, despite all remonstrance, violates the plainest rules of diet and falls dead (88-106).

    ‘Sick! Who’s sick? Not I. No fever in my veins. No chill in hands or feet.’

    ‘But,’ ‘the sight of money, the meaning smile of a pretty girl, makes your heart beat a devil’s tattoo. Coarse flour shows that you are mealy-mouthed, and tough cabbage brings out the ulcer in your throat. Kindle the fire of wrath beneath the cauldron of your blood, and Orestes is sane in comparison’ (107-118).

    FOURTH SATIRE.

    Argument.—Socrates is supposed to be addressing Alcibiades. You undertake to engage in politics? You rely on your genius, do you? What do you know of the norms of right and wrong, you callow youngster? What do you know of the subtle distinctions of casuistry, that you undertake to say what is just and what is unjust? You have a goodly outside, but that is all, and you are fitter for a course of hellebore than for a career of statesmanship. What is your end and aim in life? Dainty dishes and basking in the sunshine? The first old crone you meet has the same exalted ideal. Or do you boast of your descent? You praise your lineage, you trumpet forth your beauty, just as yon market-woman cries up her greens (1-22).

    You do not know yourself. Who knows himself? Every one sees his neighbor’s faults, no one his own. You sneer at the curmudgeon who groans out a health over the sour stuff he gives his laborers on a holiday (23-32). And while you make mock at him, some fellow, who is standing at your side, nudges you with his elbow, and tells you that you are as bad as he, though in another way (33-41). And so we give and take punishment. This is our plan of life. We hide our faults from ourselves. We get testimonials from our neighbors to impose on our own consciences. Awake to righteousness! Put your goodness to the test! If you yield to the temptation of covetousness, of lust, in vain will you drink in the praises of the rabble. Reject what you are not. Let Rag, Tag, and Bobtail take away their tributes. Live with yourself, and you will find out how scanty is your moral furniture (42-52).

    FIFTH SATIRE.

    [The theme of the Fifth Satire is the Stoic doctrine of True Liberty. All men are slaves except the philosopher, and Persius has learned to be a philosopher—thanks to Cornutus, to whom the Satire is addressed.]

    Argument.—Persius speaks: Poets have a way of asking for a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues, whether the theme be tragedy or epic.—Cornutus: A hundred mouths, a hundred tongues! What do you want with them? Or, for that matter, with a hundred gullets either, to worry down the tragic diet which other poets affect. You do not pant like a bellows, nor croak like a jackdaw, nor strain your cheeks to bursting in the high epic fashion. Your language is to be the language of every-day life, to which you are to give an edge by skilful combination. Your utterance is modest, and your art is shown in rasping the unhealthy body of the age, and in impaling its faults with high-bred 152 raillery. Be such your theme. Let others sup full with tragic horrors, if they will. Do you know nothing beyond the frugal luncheon of our daily food (1-18).

    Persius: It is not my aim to have my pages swollen with ‘Bubbles from the Brunnen of Poesy.’ We are alone, far from the madding crowd, and I may throw open my heart to you, for I would have you know how great a part of my soul you are. Knock at the walls of my heart, for you are skilful to distinguish the solid from the hollow, to tell the painted stucco of the tongue from the strong masonry of the soul. To this end I fain would ask—and ask until I get—a hundred voices, to show how deeply I have planted you in my heart of hearts; to tell you all that is past telling in my inmost being (19-29). When first the purple garb of boyhood withdrew its guardianship, and the amulet—no longer potent—was hung up, an offering to the old-fashioned household gods, when all about me humored me, and when the dress of manhood permitted my eyes to rove at will through the Subura with all its wares and wiles, what time the youth’s path is doubtful, and bewilderment, ignorant of life, brings the excited mind to the spot where the great choice of roads is to be made—in that decisive hour I made myself son to you, and you took me, Cornutus, to your Socratic heart. Where my character was warped, the quiet application of the rule of right straightened what in me was crooked. My mind was constrained by reason, wrestled with its conqueror, and took on new features under your forming hand. How I remember the long days I spent with you, the first-fruits of the festal nights I plucked with you. Our work, our rest we ordered both alike, and the strain of study was eased by the pleasures of a modest table (30-44). Nay, never doubt that there is a harmony between our stars. Our constellation is the Balance or the Twins. The same aspect rules our nativities. Some star, be that star what it may, blends my fate with yours (45-51).

    We are attuned each to other; but look abroad, and see how different men are from us and from each other. Each has his own aims in life. One is bent on active merchandise, one is given up to sluggish sleep, another is fond of athletic sports. One is drained dry by dicing, another by chambering and wantonness; but when the chalk-stones of gout rattle among their fingers and toes, they awake to the choke-damp and the foggy light in which they have spent their days, and mourn too late their wasted life (52-61).

    But you delight to wax pale over nightly studies. A tiller of the human soul, you prepare the soil, and sow the field of the ear with the pure grain of Stoic wisdom. Hence seek, young and old, an aim for your higher being, provision for your hoary head (62-65).

    ‘Hoary head, you say?’ interposes an objector. ‘That can be provided for as well to-morrow.’ To-morrow! ‘Next day the fatal precedent 153 will plead.’ Another to-morrow comes, and we have used up yesterday’s to-morrow, and so our days are emptied one by one. To-morrow! It is always ahead of us, as the hind wheel can never overtake the front wheel, though both be in the self-same chariot (66-72).

    The remedy for this and all the other ills of life is True Liberty—not such as gives a dole of musty meal, a soup-house ticket to the new-made citizen; not such as makes a tipsy slave free in the twinkling of an eye. Now Dama is a worthless groom, and would sell himself for a handful of provender. Anon he is set free, as you call it—becomes Marcus Dama. Excellent surety! Most excellent judge! If Marcus says it is so, it is so. Your sign and seal here, good Marcus. Pah! This is the liberty that manumission gives. Up speaks Marcus: ‘Well! Who is free except the man that can do as he pleases? I can do as I please. Argal I am free as air.’—‘Not so,’ says your learned Stoic. ‘Your logic is at fault. I grant the rest, but I demur to the clause “as you please.”’—‘The praetor’s wand made me my own man. May I not do what I please, if I offend not against the statute-book?’ (73-90).

    ‘Do what you please!’ cries Persius, who identifies himself with the Stoic philosopher. ‘Stop just there and learn of me; but first cease to be scornful, and let me get these old wives’ notions out of your head. The praetor could not teach you any thing about the conduct of life with all its perplexities. As well expect a man to teach an elephant to dance the tight-rope. Reason bars the way, and whispers, “You must not do what you will spoil in the doing.” This is nature’s law, the law of common-sense. You mix medicine, and know nothing of scales and weights? You, a clodhopper, and undertake to pilot a ship? Absurd, you say; and yet what do you know of life? How can you walk upright without philosophy? How can you tell the ring of the genuine metal, and detect the faulty sound of the base alloy? Do you know what to seek, what to avoid, what to mark with white, what with black? Can you control your wishes, moderate your expenses, be indulgent to your friends? Do you know how to save and how to spend? Can you keep your month from watering at the sight of money, from burning at the taste of ginger? When you can say in truth, “All this is mine,” then you are truly free. But if you retain the old man under the new title, I take back all that I have granted. You can do nothing that is right. Every action is a fault. Put forth your finger—you sin. There is not a half-ounce of virtue in your silly carcass. You must be all right or all wrong. Man is one. You can not be virtuous by halves. You can not be at once a ditcher and a dancer. You are a slave still, though the praetor’s wand may have waved away your bonds. You do not tremble at a master’s voice, ‘tis true, but there are other masters than those whom the law recognizes. The wires that move you do not jerk you from without, but masters grow up within your bosom’ (91-131).
    154

    So Avarice and Luxury dispute about the body and soul of an un-Stoic slave (132-160).

    A Lover tries to break the chain that binds him to an unworthy mistress (161-175).

    Another is led captive by Ambition at her will (176-179).

    Yet another is under the dominion of Superstition (180-188).

    But why discourse thus? Imagine what the military would say to such a screed of doctrine. I hear the horse-laugh of Pulfennius, as he bids a clipped dollar for a hundred Greek philosophers—a cent apiece (189-191).

    Source: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/22119/22119-h/22119-h.htm

    May 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm

  4. adolfogiurfa says:
    16 May 2013 at 12:34 pm
    About reading…..a controversial book: John Lamb Lash´s “Not in HIS image”

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    adolfogiurfa says:
    16 May 2013 at 12:36 pm
    You are like Hypatia…

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    16 May 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Adolfo says: “Not in His Image describes the rich spiritual world of pre-Christian classical Europe—the Pagan Mysteries, the Great Goddess, Gnosis, the myths of Sophia and Gaia—and its future as a force for reconnecting to the earth. John Lamb Lash’s riveting account describes the decisive arc of history from the dawn of the Christian Erato the present moment of global terror, a trajectory driven by faith-based violence and fundamentalist politics. Countering the patriarchy of monotheistic religions with the Gnostic story of the wisdom goddess, Sophia, Not in His Image gives us back our heritage and guides us beyond destructive social chaos toward a sacred ecological path for the future.John Lamb Lash is an exponent of the practice of mythology.”

    Judging by the dust jacket, this book looks like yet another fashionable, slanderous hit piece on Christians – victims of Rome and of the Roman Catholics – and a glorification of Roman corruptions and perverted distortions of great myths. Western scholars are in large part totally unaccountable for their deceitful handling of the past, and no young people think to question these clever men who are adept at using myth to confirm their own ideology. Also, regarding Hypatia, I would be ashamed to teach anything Plato or Aristotle said.
    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    16 May 2013 at 4:51 pm

    Do not forget, Rome was founded by the most incomprehensible fratricide of all when Romulus killed his own identical twin for the control of the newly founded city. Next in Roman records, the women from an unsuspecting neighboring town were invited by the Romans and seized and raped and kept for wives, according to tradition. It is no wonder that their Jupiter was a rapist himself. But this may actually signify that this was a dastardly perversion of the beautiful and intelligent myths the Romans borrowed, corrupted, and popularized.

    Do not tell me that there is any respect for women in that worthless, aggressive, perverted empire. It is well known that Greek and Roman women were kept at home while courtesans went to feasts. And why don’t you study the Cult of Dionysus, a debauching, disgusting cult that was used by the Greeks and Romans to degrade other cultures around them, before they invaded and destroyed these other nations and wiped out all memory of their own myths and their histories.

    It would be the most devastating step back for women conceivable, to return to the Roman pagan understanding.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    16 May 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I have preserved The Satires of Aules Persius Flaccus in the comments on my blog here.
    https://zekeunlimited.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/for-now-we-see-through-a-glass-darkly-an-attempt-at-identifying-greekroman-distortions-of-our-past-present-and-future/

    Persius was an Etruscan who lived 34-62 AD, and addressed his theme to the Romans. Well worth a read if any one desires to show a little sense and caution before traipsing thoughtlessly and ignorantly down the roads leading back to Rome.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    16 May 2013 at 5:29 pm

    And what is this? Romans say they worship a goddess, and make the girls prostitutes in the service of a female idol? And make any attractive girls in the entire realm into courtesans for the pleasure of a powerful aristocracy? Do you honestly think that is respect for women, because their was a statue of Aphrodite or Athena? Gentlemen, doesn’t this really work in the opposite direction of respect and honor of women? Don’t you think it is possible that the pagan religions and philosophies actually only justify the actions of the aristocracy and the military men? Think about this.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    16 May 2013 at 5:59 pm

    And what a coincidence. The new Romans want to force our daughters into public schools, lower the age of consent, teach sexual practices beginning in kindergarten, provide contraceptives and morning after pills for girls – even paid for from the public purse! – and keep a national database on every child. And they claim to be liberating women! This is the worst twist of irony and deception of all, that Roman pagans are now cast as the liberators of women and “countering the patriarchy.” That is just breathtaking.

    Where is the accountability in all of this? What is being done to underage girls under the cover of liberation and paganism? Will Americans really let Romans make their daughters into whores?

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    May 16, 2013 at 1:13 pm

  5. adolfogiurfa

    You are absolutely right. Let us end the Roman Empire once and for all.

    May 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

  6. Adolfo says, “Let us end the Roman Empire once and for all.”

    Hello Adolfo, very good plan. (: Now, how shall we do away with it?

    I think Timoclea of Thebes had the right idea about what to do with Plato’s followers and soldiers:

    May 27, 2013 at 12:32 pm

  7. ARCHIVED COMMENTS

    Zeke says:
    29 May 2013 at 5:41 pm

    EM says, “Romans would be well advised to remember that we sack Rome, if you annoy us enough. That we don’t give a damn much of the time ought not to be construed as either stupidity nor as acquiescence… it is simply marginal tolerance. We know what you are “up to”, and we do not agree to it. We just have other more important things we’d rather spend our time and efforts upon. (Like weddings and graduations and parties and all…)”

    According to Plato, the purpose of the state is to prevent change. The mobility and change of the democratic, open society was to him the source of all evil and tumult; his ideal was the separation of the classes so that the aristocracy was preserved and the authority of the philosopher king was upheld. The aristocracy is allowed to have weapons, chariots, art, land, and palaces. The rest of the people are bred and managed in order to serve the aristocracy.

    But there were other people who did not arrange their societies in this way. These other cultures did possess conjugial love, strong families, upward mobility, a merchant class that produced wealth rather than concentrating it on a few degenerate and powerful families, and there was private ownership of land. I am describing the Etruscans right now, but there were others who appear to have had developed less rigid societies. However, these were invaded by the Romans, subjugated, and all of their writing and histories were destroyed. The Celts, the Etruscans, the Thraceans, the Phrygians, the Lydians – these conquered people of Rome and their literature are reduced to nothing but inscriptions. I believe that their writings were taken, altered, and published by Greek and Roman authors, and it is time to cause the Roman Empire to disgorge what it has ruthlessly devoured and trampled to residue. It may be possible to restore the genuine history and identity of many ancient people, and to reclaim history so that civilisation itself is no longer defined as the presence of a ruthless and degenerate Aristocracy that enslaves all others in service of their palaces. That is not our true history.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    adolfogiurfa says:
    29 May 2013 at 5:48 pm

    @Zeke: There is a difference between aristocracy and kleptocracy….The ideal aristocracy is that of the heart not of the wallet.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    adolfogiurfa says:
    29 May 2013 at 5:57 pm

    …Then, during the golden age, we had the distinctive instinct to discriminate properly, the conscience to recognize and respect a superior level of being and such respected beings did not ask for any power over us other than just to hopefully follow their example without any obligation at all.
    Now, and from a long time ago, the world it is up side down, like the Tarot´s “Hang man”, the vilest and most corrupt and stupid at the top: The “winners”, those lenders at the Temple whipped away by Jesus.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    29 May 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Speaking of empires, what is the difference between “United Nations” and World Empire?

    When you see your economies being subjugated, your traditions, language, and culture being systematically removed, your children becoming property of the state, and populations being removed from their lands or large groups of other people being placed in your land deliberately, there are some signs that you are falling under Empire.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    29 May 2013 at 6:10 pm adolfogiurfa says: “…Then, during the golden age, we had the distinctive instinct to discriminate properly…”

    What do we know about the Golden Age? What are the descriptions of that mythical time which would allow us to qualify and describe what physical and spiritual conditions existed? Once again, this myth is reduced to a few Greek and Roman sources – known world powers with a vested interest in retelling the past.

    It is easy for modern comparative mythologists to select a few details about the Golden Age and ignore others. For example, the legends of the Golden Age seem to testify of extraordinarily long lifespans, and also it always ends in cataclysm because of a terrible corruption and violence. So whatever the state of the Golden Age was, it was not incorruptible. What made the Golden Age Golden? This is an open question, with many missing pieces. Without standards, comparative mythologists cannot resist confirming their own ideologies and Roman historians.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    29 May 2013 at 6:32 pm

    And it is customary for World Empires to demand Tribute of its vassal states, while destroying and remaking their economies to weaken them, keep them subject, and yet provide what is needed to the ruthless, perverted Aristocracy.

    America’s Real Contribution to U.N. Is Unknown

    How much money does the United States currently contribute to the United Nations and its various agencies? Surprisingly, no one knows for sure.

    The State Department does report on its spending at the United Nations, but it is only one of several federal agencies that give money to the world body each year.

    In its fiscal 2014 State and Foreign Operations budget proposal released in April, the Obama administration asked for $1.57 billion for contributions to international organizations, including $617.6 million for the U.N. operating budget — up from $568.8 million in fiscal 2012. But other agencies giving to the U.N. include the Departments of Labor, Energy, Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services, CNS News reported.

    Fiscal 2007 legislation stipulated that the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) report all federal agencies’ contributions, but the requirement expired in 2011.

    Now Republican Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming and Mike Lee of Utah, and others, are submitting legislation that would reinstate the requirement”

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    gallopingcamel says:
    30 May 2013 at 5:44 am

    Zeke says: 29 May 2013 at 5:58 pm
    “When you see your economies being subjugated, your traditions, language, and culture being systematically removed, your children becoming property of the state, and populations being removed from their lands or large groups of other people being placed in your land deliberately, there are some signs that you are falling under Empire.”

    Great nations rise owing to the merit of their institutions and they fall when those institutions become corrupt. If you doubt this I ask you to read “Why Nations Fail” by Acemoglu and Robinson. The authors see a contrast between “Extractive” and “Inclusive” institutions.

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-Nations-Fail-Origins-Prosperity/dp/0307719219/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1370017218&sr=1-1#reader_0307719219

    May 31, 2013 at 9:21 am

  8. Archived comments

    Zeke says:
    June 13, 2013 at 10:05 pm

    “All of us allow a smidge of wrongdoing in our lives, even if it is only snapping up office supplies of pens and paper (or being online at work). Over time, if nobody seems to care, the smidges get bigger: part of my Law of Acceleration that drives human behaviour. For these people, we can see how far the process has gone.” ~Doug Proctor

    This is probably a very good explanation, and is applicable to what is observed.

    However, there may be an even better and more useful principle to apply in these cases: that the political class now seeks to enact inequality before the law in order to preserve their rank.

    The practice of having separate sets of laws for separate classes is very ancient. It is characteristic of the Law Code of Hammurabi, but its most respected apologist is Plato. According to Plato, the purpose of the state is to prevent change. The mobility and change of the democratic, open society was to him the source of all evil and tumult; his ideal was the separation of the classes so that the aristocracy was preserved and the authority of the philosopher king was upheld. The aristocracy is allowed to have weapons, chariots, art, land, and palaces. The rest of the people are bred and managed in order to serve the aristocracy and their palaces.

    I think it is time to look at the political philosophy of Plato and reject it once and for all. If anyone doubts that this is the philosophy held by academics, experts, and scientists, I will provide countless examples of this view expressed in our history books. Countless, countless examples. Even in the last century, the ideal of an opulent and powerful aristocracy that has impunity, privilege, and power has been written into our history books as the source of all great culture, wealth, and architecture. Once more, civilization itself has been misattributed to the aristocracy, and the stratification of society, for a long time now in our history books.

    Yet this view has been totally falsified by the scientific and political advancements in the US, which separates powers, preserves individual rights, and forbids any office ever becoming hereditary. While Plato argued, “Surely, there is no difference, so far as their natural fitness for keeping guard is concerned, between a gallant youth and a well-bred dog?”, history shows that intelligence and inventive and creative genius comes from every quarter of society, and that everyone benefits when there is mobility, literacy, and the ability to create wealth from genuine effort and inventiveness.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    ~archived comments cont’d~

    Doug Proctor says:
    June 14, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Zeke –

    Good comments about the original/underlying principles of the State. I hadn’t thought that the inequality of the classes was a design feature; I’d thought of it as a defect due to human nature.

    When I was a kid we were told “Gimme, gimme never gets,” to which I recall saying, “Yes, because grabsie got it first!” Perhaps it should have been “gimme, gimme” never gets because he’s not one of those allowed to get it.

    Changing the culture: if transparency is maintained (somewhat in doubt, despite the internet), the only way the Boys will get their extra stuff is if it is contractually organized that way. We’re seeing that with the huge bonuses CEOs get, bonuses that are in excess of their income. There has been some pushback, but (in Calgary) where big oil has big profits (when commodity prices are high), we are seeing multi-million dollar bonuses and severance/retirement packages that are perceived socially but also legally as part of their regular income. So there is very limited amounts of control on them not getting it – though most is really just because they can’t easily give themselves bizarre salaries without complaint.

    So the culture change for Yeo et al would be to have end-of-term retiring or “transition benefits” (hey, that’s a workable term!) of some adjustable percentage of their regular income. That way they don’t have to work scams to get that big prize at the end, and since it is at the end, there is virtually no way for us to stop them.

    There are enough people at the top these days, though, Zeke, who came from below to say that the system is no longer hereditary class or long-term class based. It is still a power-based system, but the system doesn’t reward those who are in it as a matter of course, which it did for the old aristocrats. The guard keeps changing, so the guard keep having to dig into the trough for themselves. Plato would have hated it, all this churning and pushing and shoving for the good stuff, as opposed to those who had it all set up and just wanted to keep things humming along.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    June 14, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Well what any theory needs to explain in our present situation is why politicians are interested in removing the basic necessities, pleasures, and conveniences of modern life from people.

    We are all accustomed to recognizing corruption in politics when we see it. The interests of the citizens are betrayed for the sake of junkets, personal gain, or for the sake of foreign players and ideologies.

    But I believe what we are seeing in politics now goes far beyond that, in the sense that the political class is not solely interested in enriching itself – although that is part of it. This global political cabal is even more interested in impoverishing others and reducing the standard of living of everyone, even if it does not enrich them at all to do so.

    How does one explain that? I have not been able to account for this behavior for a long time. If one is rich, why devote so much resources and effort to reducing water, electricity, transport, and the simple advancements of modern life enjoyed by everyone else? This is why I find Plato’s Republic so interesting. It explains this mania within the political class to impoverish others (which we agree would be the result of these low-carbon policies). It establishes class privileges to most conveniences and wealth, which is only enjoyed by the aristocracy, and cannot be allowed for the lower classes.

    And as one possible test, one would simply need to show that this is the definition of civilization that the academics have been slipping into our history books for a very long time.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    June 16, 2013 at 8:10 am

  9. “Despite these achievements, the influence of Aristotle’s errors is considered by some to have held back science considerably. Bertrand Russell notes that “almost every serious intellectual advance has had to begin with an attack on some Aristotelian doctrine”. Russell also refers to Aristotle’s ethics as “repulsive”, and calls his logic “as definitely antiquated as Ptolemaic astronomy”. Russell notes that these errors make it difficult to do historical justice to Aristotle, until one remembers how large of an advance he made upon all of his predecessors.[8]” ~Wik

    Of course, this last statement rests on the assumption that the philosophical expressions of the cultures around and preceeding Greece are known, and that Aristotle improved upon them. And that is a false assumption, since the writings of these cultures are lost.

    July 24, 2013 at 1:23 pm

  10. November 9, 2013 at 11:38 am

  11. ~Archived comments via http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/29/peer-review-last-refuge-of-the-uninformed-troll/ ~

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    December 30, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Seems to have morphed from trolls to Galileo. Oh well…

    Galileo observed the “four” moons orbiting Jupiter and later the phases of Venus. He knew from observation that the Geocentric Universe was wrong.

    The Catholic Church was not the author of the Geocentric Universe. They can thank Aristotle for that – 300 years before the birth of Christ. Ptolemy in 140 AD would write several volumes on the Geocentric Universe, which was accepted by the Catholic Church because it was consistent with scripture which had the sun moving and the earth fixed.

    The above point may appear a mere quibble but it is important to note that the Church did not originate the theory, they merely helped to enforce it. The scientists in Galileo’s day were adamant defenders of Aristotle and Ptolemy, more so than the Church. [snip]

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Samuel C Cogar says:
    December 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

    David M. Hoffer, I enjoyed reading your commentary and thus I thank you for posting it. I also agreed with pretty much 100% of what you said ….. because it is what was needed to be said, …… and said again n’ again n’ again.

    And you were 100% correct when you stated this, to wit:

    “A retreat to authoritarian arguments in the face of dead simple observations is not new. It is a repeat of history. Not having learned from it, we appear to be condemned to repeat it.”

    I believe it was the above statement that “sparked” a lot of posted commentary about Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, et el, which in my opinion was “much ado about nothing” simply because all their “trials and tribulations” were the result of “history repeating itself” during the 2nd Millennium AD.

    Which by the way, was just a “repeat of history” that occurred at the beginning of the 1st Millennium AD. And we are now on track for a “repeat of history” in the 3rd Millennium AD iffen the “authoritarian arguments” win out over common sense and factual science.

    If the “authoritarians” had not burned the Library of Alexandria in the 1st Millennium AD ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Library_of_Alexandria ) …….. and the “authoritarians” (Church of Rome) had not mandated subservience during both the 1st and 2nd Millennium AD, …. then the likes of Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler et el would have had access to the knowledge of the world’s great astronomers such as Hipparchus (162 to 127 BC – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipparchus ), … and therefore they would not have been subjected to said “trials and tribulations” during the Dark Ages of Authoritarianism.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    January 1, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Science was held in place for centuries by adherence to Aristotle and Plato. Galileo’s mistake was that he refuted Aristotle and Ptolemy, which were upheld by the Roman Church, and produced many counterarguments and observations. Wik says, “…the influence of Aristotle’s errors is considered by some to have held back science considerably. Bertrand Russell notes that “almost every serious intellectual advance has had to begin with an attack on some Aristotelian doctrine”. Russell also refers to Aristotle’s ethics as “repulsive”, and calls his logic “as definitely antiquated as Ptolemaic astronomy”.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    January 1, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Galileo Galilei to the Most Serene Grand Duchess Mother:

    Some years ago, as Your Serene Highness well knows, I discovered in the heavens many things that had not been seen before our own age. The novelty of these things, as well as some consequences which followed from them in contradiction to the physical notions commonly held among academic philosophers, stirred up against me no small number of professors – as if I had placed these things in the sky with my own hands in order to upset nature and overthrow the sciences. They seemed to forget that the increase of known truths stimulates the investigation, establishment, and growth of the arts, not their diminution or destruction.

    Showing a greater fondness for their own opinions than for truth, they sought to deny and disprove the new things, which, if they had cared to look for themselves, their own senses would have demonstrated to them. To this end they hurled various charges and published numerous writings filled with vain arguments, and they made the grave mistake of sprinkling these with passages taken from places in the Bible which they had failed to understand properly, and which were ill suited to their purposes.

    These men would perhaps not had fallen into such error had they but paid attention to a most useful doctrine of St. Augustine’s, relative to our making positive statements about things which are obscure and hard to understand by means of reason alone. Speaking of a certain physical conclusion about the heavenly bodies, he wrote: “Now keeping always our respect for moderation in grave piety, we ought not to believe anything inadvisedly on a dubious point, lest in favor to our error we conceive a prjudice against something that truth hereafter may reveal to be not contrary in any way to the sacred books of either the Old or the New Testament.”

    He continues regarding the many academics who remain hostile to him:
    “Perisiting in their original resolve to destroy me and everything mine by any means they can think of, these men are aware my views in astronomy and philosophy. They know that as to the arrangement of the parts of the universe, I hold the sun to be situated motionless in the center of the revolution of the celestial orbs while the earth rotates on its axis and revolves about the sun. The know also that I support this position not only by refuting the arguments of Ptolemy and Aristotle, but by producing many counterarguments; in particular, some which relate to physical effects whose causes can perhaps be assigned in no other way. …{These} men have resolved to fabricate a shield for their fallacies out ot the mantle of pretended religion and the authority of the Bible.”

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    January 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

  12. “Those that can, will learn. Those that can not, must be taught.” pg

    Those that have been taught must quoit authority as they have none of their own.

    I have often encountered seemingly intelligent well educated people that can not learn new facts that contradict the old ones that they were taught. It is as if they had read only memory with no ability to erase and rewrite. I guess that is why those that “brainwash” for cults like to get’em young.

    Any Liberal Progressive over 30 must have brain damage, as they are unable to relearn from life experience. ;-) To correct the Garbage IN that they were fed while in school. Those that do “wake up” often become the strongest anti-cultist.

    When I was very young, the good sisters of the Catholic school would not argue about religious teachings as the “Holy Father” (pope) had declared it so and he spoke for god! I guess they thought I was very “stiff necked” that I would not bow before such an authority on facts.

    AS our friend EMSmith says:”The facts just are!”

    Authority only has opinion. pg

    January 13, 2014 at 10:43 pm

  13. pg sharrow says, ““Those that can, will learn. Those that can not, must be taught.” pg Those that have been taught must quote authority as they have none of their own.”

    Hey PG, I am so glad you pointed that out!

    There seems to me to be a profound flaw somewhere in the way that Western scholarship and culture views knowledge. A person reads several recent books, or a summary of a subject by an expert or authority in the field, or he goes to University and is taught by an academic, and then is fairly secure that he has some knowledge on the subject. In fact, he has an expensive piece of paper saying that he is well-informed on the topic. And in some cases he is; and most importantly, others believe he is. (: However, later in life, this same individual may discover that what he was actually taught was largely just the personal preference and view of the authors or the professors, or the ridiculous paradigm in fashion at the time.

    I think we have all been through that. You don’t even have to be a progressive (;

    And so we begin to sift through the knowledge, and reject what was just preference, assumptions, conjectures, and sleight of hand. You keep what is reliable and useful. This process may happen many times in life. I suppose the best thing we can expect from this situation is that each individual is free to judge and choose who and what are the best, most reliable, and most trustworthy sources of knowledge. That is all religious freedom is, and that is all scientific freedom is.

    “When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s a wonder I can think at all!”

    ~Paul Simon

    January 14, 2014 at 4:43 pm

  14. @Zeke; I don’t believe that this is a flaw in western scholarship. It is a part of human behavior to be a follower. Only a few, True Leaders, are willing to go out ahead and “Scout Out” the way. Those that are, want to be “Leaders”, are actually just trying to be at the head of the mob and direct its’ activities. The act of “Direction” is much more important to them then the actual destination. Control more important then beneficial outcome for others.
    True scholarship should include training for ethical treatment of others. Followers are a responsibility not an aggrandizement. Unfortunately those that achieve position through scholarship or by birth, generally have a low opinion of those that do not have their achievements. They believe they have a GOD given “Right” to direct others lives. After all, GOD put them in charge. Too bad that most of them have been educated far beyond their intelligence.
    Luckily, I am a true wizard and follow my own path. An interesting path it has been. ;-) This internet allows me to roam the world and examine the knowledge of men from my little garden&dwelling. I can have intercourse with those that tolerate my drivel by long distance and can withdraw to fix dinner or pet the cat. 8-) pg

    January 14, 2014 at 10:43 pm

  15. PG, we have all been enjoying and learning from your posts for a long time. Thank your kitty and Mrs. PG for letting you have time to post!

    January 15, 2014 at 3:24 pm

  16. @Zeke; I enjoy and find interesting your scholarship and essays on various subjects. An open mind that sheds light rather then a dark closed one.

    Trolls should keep to their dark caves and not vex the seekers of enlightenment. ;-)

    It may be that Physics and psychics spring from the same source. Dark matter/energy, Aether, the true GOD particle! the foundation of everything. Both the fabric and soul of the Universe. ” In the beginning there was chaos and then there was the word and the word was GOD.” Works for me.

    “We must assume behind this force [in the atom] the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. ” –Max Planck, accepting the Nobel Prize for Physics, 1918

    Evolution and Intelligent Design are not contradictory. The creation of everything, works because everything that does not work is discarded. Modern man is the way he is because GOD wanted it that way, or actually women wanted it that way. (intelligent design?) :-) Evolution only, would have resulted in a much different outcome. More like a tall thin gorilla. with small genitalia. LoL pg

    January 15, 2014 at 11:19 pm

  17. Thank you for your kind remark. Sometimes I just need to have a place where I can talk about subjects other than what the Progressive Scientists and World Empire Activists are doing to the rest of us in the name of our “health” and “peace.” They are really really kidding themselves.

    January 17, 2014 at 7:59 pm

  18. Progressive Scientists and World Empire Activists (“UN”) know that they are committing fraud because they are clever enough to be very deceptive about their real objectives.

    January 17, 2014 at 8:04 pm

  19. ARCHIVED COMMENTS WUWT

    Ted Clayton says:
    January 21, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Analogy of the Cave by Plato (ca. ~400BC)

    Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. According to Plato’s Socrates, the shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.

    The difficulties described by Unmentionable, relating to sensing, perceiving and knowing, have been keenly noted and explored for millenia.

    ~^~^^~^~^^~^^~^~^^~^^~^~^^~^

    Zeke says:
    January 21, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Well Plato hated democracy and was suggesting the need for philosopher-king (perhaps himself), so he overinflated the role and importance of the philosopher in society quite a bit.

    It is probably the source of the entitled attitude of the “intellectuals” and “revolutionaries” who don’t really produce anything, and as Karl R Popper noted, they never ever get their intended results. Look at the 1900′s in China and Russia.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^^~^~^~
    Ted Clayton says:
    January 21, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Zeke said @ January 21, 2014 at 9:49 am;

    Well Plato hated democracy and was suggesting the need for philosopher-king …

    Democracy at the time was a “theory”, or more accurately, a philosophical construct.

    As well, Greek Democracy was extended only to “citizens”; most were not citizens, and citizenship existed almost exclusively within cities. Citizenship, voting and Democracy were mainly a ‘tool’ of the City State, used to dominate, subjugate & exploited the ‘hinterlands’ (everything outside the Walls).

    That the words “citizen” and “city” are similar, isn’t incidental … is why we Blue-Urban and Red-Rural … and”Phil Robertson for President” bumper-stickers.

    But the problems Unmentionable experiences, grappling with Science, were clearly recognized by Plato, his associates, and less well-recorded (less wealthy & powerful) people in a long line before them. One can make a lot more progress with these difficulties, by knowing that the issues have been long-studied, and building on past work.

    =====

    Yes, current Academia, and Intellectualism such as it now exists, have their issues. In decades & generations not at all distant, the actually issues were very different. Beware looking at the frailties of Academia today, and mistaking them for the ‘core problem’.

    … Because, to substantial degrees, there are actually more-foundational difficulties in play. Mary Shelley and others of her time & circles sketched these matters. But they aren’t really the complaints we often see leveled at Science & Scientists, today. The Frankensteing we know, is largely the product of Hollywood & Co.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~

    Zeke says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

    Ted Clayton says, “Democracy at the time was a “theory”, or more accurately, a philosophical construct. As well, Greek Democracy was extended only to “citizens”; most were not citizens, and citizenship existed almost exclusively within cities. Citizenship, voting and Democracy were mainly a ‘tool’ of the City State, used to dominate, subjugate & exploited the ‘hinterlands’ (everything outside the Walls).”

    All very well, however, that is not why Plato objected to democracy. He objected to it because democracy was a source of change and conflict – two of the greatest societal evils, in his mind. The state ideally would prevent all change and preserve order.

    Regarding and the system he preferred, he placed the philosopher-king in absolute control, and a permanent aristocracy around him. The other class would not be allowed to possess certain goods and capital, such as horses, chariots, art, and other luxuries.

    And thank you for pointing out the interesting way that Unmentionable was using the shadow analogy. In his use, the theories are the shadows.

    ~~~^~^~^~^^~^~^~^~^~^~^

    Ted Clayton says:
    January 21, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Zeke said @ January 21, 2014 at 11:02 am;

    … Plato objected to democracy … because [it] was a source of change and conflict …

    Plato’s big running-theme, is his objection to having the unqualified discharge important roles in society. Over & over, he uses the role of Ship’s Captain, and Doctor to point to the costs of letting role-assignments be filled by people who don’t know what they’re doing.

    And that’s the root of his low opinion of Democracy. People without knowledge, skills or ability, casting ballots on matters in which those assets count, toward success.

    Modern Democracy, and the degree to which it has enjoyed some success, dates to the emergence of the affordable Printing Press. And for the very powerful reason, that it enabled common people to acquire drastically increased amounts of information, and even elements of an education.

    Plato could see plainly, 2,400 year ago, that an education (the exclusive prerogative of Aristocracy, then) made all the different, in being qualified for many of the roles that exist.

    And 2,400 years later … the qualified, the educated, the skilled & practiced can indeed see into the sun & understand it … whereas those who lack those assets, as Plato accurately noted, can’t.
    ====

    There is an undercurrent of ‘political correctness’ going on here; that it is ‘unfair’ or ‘unsavory’ or otherwise an undesirable condition, that some people have abilities (and qualifications) that others don’t have. That there is something faintly scurrilous, that can even be justifiably attacked, about the possession of qualifications that … not everyone possesses.

    That whatever one’s grievance … it’ll do to glare at the astrophysicist.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

    Zeke says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Ted Clayton says,
    “Plato could see plainly, 2,400 year ago, that an education (the exclusive prerogative of Aristocracy, then) made all the different, in being qualified for many of the roles that exist.”

    True, Plato “could plainly see 2,400 years ago that an education made the [difference].” Perhaps, he even knew that maintaining a changeless, stable state meant there could be no education, horses, chariots, private land, weapons, and even pastries (!) for the lower class. In fact, his view of the purpose of education was to produce philosophers who were alone fit to rule.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

    vukcevic says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    It is a strange world, today in what once was the cradle of civilization, education of women is frowned upon, and yet nearly two and half millennia ago Plato said:
    Women need to be educated in same way as man, if expected to think and do as men (approximate translation from my Logic science syllabus from decades ago).
    Zeke says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    Women were only to be educated if they were within the Guardian Class, in order to support the Philosopher-king.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

    Ted Clayton says:
    January 21, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Zeke said @ January 21, 2014 at 2:08 pm;

    Perhaps, [Plato] even knew that maintaining a changeless, stable state meant there could be no education, horses, chariots, private land, weapons, and even pastries (!) for the lower class. In fact, his view of the purpose of education was to produce philosophers who were alone fit to rule.

    Plato believed the sensible world (and therefore society) is non-real. That what the senses apprehend & report (‘what goes on in the world’) is but shadows on the cave wall. In his conceptualization, what is Real is completely invisible, but can be apprehended by an act of Pure Mind. The ability to Know the Real can be cultivated.

    His Real (but invisible) world is intrinsically changeless. Of Perfect Form, and Immutable. (The immutability/indivisibility notion/principle was a general feature of Greek thought, and also underpins the work of others to whom we now reference modern Atomic Theory … and astrophysics.)

    Plato disdained what his lessors (and we) take to be ‘reality’. To him, the normal world is constantly changing, but in meaningless, valueless ways. And this pattern of change is both unpredictable and beyond control, because it is merely the fleeting shadows of eternal forces that are only barely known, even to such as himself. What the eyes see, the ears hear, is but Chaos; pay no Mind.

    To him, the world, worldly affairs, society, the State, was all simply Unworthy.

    And besides, people like himself were wing-nuts, in the Halls of Power of their day.

    ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^

    January 21, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  20. Continuation of the theme: the Greek writers were the source of ossified thinking during the Middle Ages. Learning and science could only begin to advance by “stripping off” scholastic reliance on Greek and Roman writing:

    “[I]t becomes a thing not only useful, but

    absolutely necessary, that the excess of honor and admiration with which

    our existing stock of inventions is regarded be in the very entrance and

    threshold of the work, and that frankly and without circumlocution stripped

    off, and men be duly warned not to exaggerate or make too much of them.”

    ~Francis Bacon

    It remains a most stunning sleight of hand that Christians are faulted for having impeded knowledge for centuries, when it was really the scholastics and monks, writing in Latin and studying the Greek and Roman writers, who were the source of this stagnation of understanding. And yet this does not stop modern scholars from claiming that science and learning has been renewed from the Dark and Middle Ages, by returning to the works of the pagan philosophers and logicians, that is, the Greeks! It was adherence to and dogged memorization of Greek works that cemented all learning for centuries. The Roman Church, moreover, even forbade the translation of Scriptures into any vernacular language – for example, Pope Innocent III forbade Bible reading in the common language in 1200.

    Francis Bacon continues:

    December 17, 2014 at 6:17 pm

  21. “For let a man look carefully into all that variety of books with which the

    arts and sciences abound, he will find everywhere endless repetitions of

    the same thing, varying in the method of treatment, but not new in

    substance, insomuch that the whole stock, numerous as it appears at first

    view, proves on examination to be but scanty. And for its value and utility

    it must be plainly avowed that that wisdom which we have derived

    principally from the Greeks is but like the boyhood of knowledge, and has

    the characteristic property of boys: it can talk, but it cannot generate, for it

    is fruitful of controversies but barren of works. So that the state of learning

    as it now is appears to be represented to the life in the old fable of Scylla,

    who had the head and face of a virgin, but her womb was hung round with

    barking monsters, from which she could not be delivered. For in like

    manner the sciences to which we are accustomed have certain general

    positions which are specious and flattering; but as soon as they come to

    particulars, which are as the parts of generation, when they should

    produce fruit and works, then arise contentions and barking disputations,

    which are the end of the matter and all the issue they can yield.

    Observe also, that if sciences of this kind had any life in them, that could never have

    come to pass which has been the case now for many ages — that they

    stand almost at a stay, without receiving any augmentations worthy of the

    human race, insomuch that many times not only what was asserted once is

    asserted still, but what was a question once is a question still, and instead

    of being resolved by discussion is only fixed and fed; and all the tradition

    and succession of schools is still a succession of masters and scholars, not

    of inventors and those who bring to further perfection the things invented.

    In the mechanical arts we do not find it so; they, on the contrary, as having

    in them some breath of life, are continually growing and becoming more

    perfect. As originally invented they are commonly rude, clumsy, and

    shapeless; afterwards they acquire new powers and more commodious

    arrangements and constructions, in so far that men shall sooner leave the

    study and pursuit of them and turn to something else than they arrive at the

    ultimate perfection of which they are capable. Philosophy and the

    intellectual sciences, on the contrary, stand like statues, worshipped and

    celebrated, but not moved or advanced. Nay, they sometimes flourish

    most in the hands of the first author, and afterwards degenerate. For when

    men have once made over their judgments to others’ keeping, and (like

    those senators whom they called Pedarii) have agreed to support some

    one person’s opinion, from that time they make no enlargement of the

    sciences themselves, but fall to the servile office of embellishing certain

    individual authors and increasing their retinue. And let it not be said that the

    sciences have been growing gradually till they have at last reached their full

    stature, and so (their course being completed) have settled in the works of

    a few writers; and that there being now no room for the invention of better,

    all that remains is to embellish and cultivate those things which have been

    invented already. Would it were so! But the truth is that this appropriating

    of the sciences has its origin in nothing better than the confidence of a few

    persons and the sloth and indolence of the rest. For after the sciences had

    been in several perhaps cultivated and handled diligently, there has risen up

    some man of bold disposition, and famous for methods and short ways

    which people like, who has in appearance reduced them to an art, while he

    has in fact only spoiled all that the others had done.1 And yet this is what

    posterity likes, because it makes the work short and easy, and saves

    further inquiry, of which they are weary and impatient. And if any one take

    this general acquiescence and consent for an argument of weight, as being

    the judgment of Time, let me tell him that the reasoning on which he relies

    is most fallacious and weak. For, first, we are far from knowing all that in

    the matter of sciences and arts has in various ages and places been

    brought to light and published, much less all that has been by private

    persons secretly attempted and stirred; so neither the births nor the

    miscarriages of Time are entered in our records.”

    December 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm

  22. Francis Bacon, the “father of empirical science,” continues his observations on the state of knowledge in his day. He was particularly referring to Aristotle, whose influence in the natural sciences was impeding all research:

    “So that Time is like a river which has brought down to us things light and

    puffed up, while those which are weighty and solid have sunk. Nay, those

    very authors who have usurped a kind of dictatorship in the sciences and

    taken upon them to lay down the law with such confidence, yet when from

    time to time they come to themselves again, they fall to complaints of the

    subtlety of nature, the hiding places of truth, the obscurity of things, the

    entanglement of causes, the weakness of the human mind; wherein

    nevertheless they show themselves never the more modest, seeing that

    they will rather lay the blame upon the common condition of men and

    nature than upon themselves. And then whatever any art fails to attain, they

    ever set it down upon the authority of that art itself as impossible of

    attainment; and how can art be found guilty when it is judge in its own

    cause? So it is but a device for exempting ignorance from ignominy. Now

    for those things which are delivered and received, this is their condition:

    barren of works, full of questions; in point of enlargement slow and

    languid, carrying a show of perfection in the whole, but in the parts ill filled

    up; in selection popular, and unsatisfactory even to those who propound

    them; and therefore fenced round and set forth with sundry artifices. And if

    there be any who have determined to make trial for themselves and put

    their own strength to the work of advancing the boundaries of the

    sciences, yet have they not ventured to cast themselves completely loose

    from received opinions or to seek their knowledge at the fountain; but they

    think they have done some great thing if they do but add and introduce into

    the existing sum of science something of their own, prudently considering

    with themselves that by making the addition they can assert their liberty,

    while they retain the credit of modesty by assenting to the rest.”

    source: http://www.constitution.org/bacon/instauration.txt

    December 17, 2014 at 6:50 pm

  23. Wikipedia

    Medieval Christendom[edit]

    Teaching at Paris, in a late 14th-century Grandes Chroniques de France: the tonsured students sit on the floor.
    Beyond the fact that Clerical celibacy functioned as a spiritual discipline it also was guarantor of the independence of the Church and of its essential dimension as a spiritual institution ordered toward ends beyond the competence and authority of temporal rulers.[17]

    During the decline of the Roman Empire, Roman authority in western Europe completely collapsed. However, the city of Rome, under the guidance of the Catholic Church, still remained a centre of learning and did much to preserve classical Roman culture in Western Europe. The classical heritage flourished throughout the Middle Ages in both the Byzantine Greek East and the Latin West. Will Durant argued that certain prominent features of Plato’sideal community were discernible in the organization, dogma and effectiveness of the medieval Church in Europe:[18]

    The clergy, like Plato’s guardians, were placed in authority… by their talent as shown in ecclesiastical studies and administration, by their disposition to a life of meditation and simplicity, and … by the influence of their relatives with the powers of state and church. In the latter half of the period in which they ruled [800 AD onwards], the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire [for such guardians]… [Clerical] Celibacy was part of the psychological structure of the power of the clergy; for on the one hand they were unimpeded by the narrowing egoism of the family, and on the other their apparent superiority to the call of the flesh added to the awe in which lay sinners held them…”In the latter half of the period in which they ruled, the clergy were as free from family cares as even Plato could desire”.[18]

    In his book The Ruling Class, Gaetano Mosca wrote of the medieval Church and its structure:

    …the Catholic Church has always aspired to a preponderant share in political power, it has never been able to monopolize it entirely, because of two traits, chiefly, that are basic in its structure. Celibacy has generally been required of the clergy and of monks. Therefore no real dynasties of abbots and bishops have ever been able to establish themselves…Secondly, in spite of numerous examples to the contrary supplied by the warlike Middle Ages, the ecclesiastical calling has by its very nature never been strictly compatible with the bearing of arms. The precept that exhorts the Church to abhor bloodshed has never dropped completely out of sight, and in relatively tranquil and orderly times it has always been very much to the fore.[19]

    January 28, 2015 at 11:58 am

  24. Zeke January 9, 2015 at 11:12 am
    The geography by Ptolemy was incorrect. This kept most Europeans from attempting to round the southern tip of Africa to go to India for centuries. Exceptions to the rule, such as Vikings and Basques, would have had a high degree of independence from the Roman Church – for Basques refused to have their priests appointed for them from outside. Wisely.

    The map from the 1400’s that is claimed to be Ptolemy’s map was different from all descriptions and maps based on Ptolemy’s writings before that. A monk somewhere drew a passage which would allow circumnavigation of earth. This may have inspired travel, or helped the bolder Italian explorers convince fearful sailors to strike West, but it is not a Ptolemaic map (except it still has the southern hemisphere totally wrong as Ptolemy did.

    In nearly all areas of discovery, invention, exploration and new observations, the lonely protagonists were in conflict with the ancient writers doggedly upheld by the Roman Church. Galileo is not an isolated case to be dismissed away.

    Zeke January 9, 2015 at 11:55 am
    Not only that, Peter was a married man! :)

    January 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm

  25. Zeke January 9, 2015 at 11:00 am
    It was the adherence to the Greek and Roman writers in the Roman Church that was the source of ossified thinking during the Middle Ages. Learning and science could only begin to advance by “stripping off” scholastic reliance on Greek and Roman writing:

    “[I]t becomes a thing not only useful, but

    absolutely necessary, that the excess of honor and admiration with which

    our existing stock of inventions is regarded be in the very entrance and

    threshold of the work, and that frankly and without circumlocution stripped

    off, and men be duly warned not to exaggerate or make too much of them.”

    ~Francis Bacon

    It remains a most stunning sleight of hand that Christians are faulted for having impeded knowledge for centuries, when it was really the scholastics and monks, writing in Latin and studying the Greek and Roman writers, who were the source of this stagnation of understanding. In logic they taught Porphyry, in all things Aristotle and Plato, in geography and astronomy, Ptolemy, and of the human body they taught Galen. The maps of Ptolemy and his astronomy were the dogma of the Roman Church. All scientists and inventors who discovered anything were overturning some matter of dogma from the Classical scholars which Rome enforced.

    And yet this does not stop modern scholars from claiming that science and learning has been renewed from the Dark and Middle Ages, by returning to the works of the pagan philosophers and logicians, that is, the Greeks! It was adherence to and dogged memorization of Greek works that cemented all learning for centuries. The Roman Church, moreover, even forbade the translation of Scriptures into any vernacular language – for example, Pope Innocent III forbade Bible reading in the common language in 1200.

    January 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

  26. ~Archived Remarks on The Big Bang~

    David A July 2, 2015 at 4:04 am says:
    Do these folk really know what they are talking about? What exactly is this space that is expanding ever quicker?

    Zeke says:
    Hippy Revelator Zeus Moses Guy fades in from white, to the sound of choral singing, to answer some questions about the Big Bang.

    The answer is: Your question is meaningless. :D ;)

    Zeke July 2, 2015 at 11:17 am says:
    Probably the Jesuit Priest Georges Lemaître got the Cosmic Egg from Ovid.

    The Cosmic Egg broke.

    So in that case, it all ends with Ovid’s Section IV Book XII–Book XV (end, line 879):
    Rome and the Deified Ruler

    Stay tuned for that.

    ralfellis July 2, 2015 at 12:20 pm says:
    >>Probably the Jesuit Priest Georges Lemaître got
    >>the Cosmic Egg from Ovid.

    Actually, he probably got it from the Egyptians. The Cosmic Egg was the egg of the Phoenix, which was cognate with the Primaeval Mound. And the Primaeval egg-mound broke open at the birth of the universe to reveal the Sun. And the Phoenix will return every 2,140 years, to engender the birth of the new revitalised Sun.

    Zeke July 2, 2015 at 12:35 pm says:
    What emerged from the Cosmic Egg in the case of the Big Bang Theory, though, is:

    Gravity – let’s name it Nephalim, for the Hebrew word “to fall”
    Time – go with Chronos
    Darkness – how about Apollyon or Abaddon
    Chance – O Fortuna, perhaps Eris

    And together they created everything.

    Nice cyclic Egyptian touch too, I really like the Cosmic Egg with the Bird.

    July 2, 2015 at 1:00 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s