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This week’s open thread.

 
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  1. This is the current Open Thread, where anything goes – within reason.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. A123 says:

    Humor for the Open Thread.

    Guess who is #1 in Chinese Biographies according to Amazon?

    PEACE 😇
     

    • LOL: songbird
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @tyrone
  3. A123 says:

    For anyone interested in auto racing that includes RIGHT turns.

    The full race 24 Hours of Daytona replay is now available for streaming. Much more civilized than trying to stay up for 24 hours non-stop.

    PEACE 😇

    • Thanks: mal
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  4. That guy in the bottom right at the first glance looks as if he’s dragging a dead drunk comrade by the hair.

    [MORE]

    (Until you notice the bench, that is)

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  5. songbird says:

    What are the some of the most mainstream movies that show a Jewish fingerprint? (Without having Jewish characters, valorizing the Other, or obviously trying to move the Overton window, or being deeply subversive)

    I think this is an interesting question for film buffs. I’m not very knowledgeable about films, but I shall give a few mainstream films that I think show a Jewish fingerprint:

    [MORE]

    Indiana Jones: Raiders and Last Crusade. It is easy to see them as a revenge fantasy, though they are still very mainstream movies. Though, perhaps, anything with Nazis should be disregarded as too obvious.

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) I thought this one was very Jewish, even before I knew that the star Danny Kaye was Jewish.

    Amadeus (1984) Biography about Mozart. This is the most interesting one that I can think of. Many Jews are involved in classical orchestras. And I once knew one that wrote some weird political essay about the movie, which I struggled to understand. It seems to me that there is a genuine admiration for Mozart in the film, though perhaps, leavened by a wistful envy. It’s a good film, I think. Though its crass depiction of Mozart is influenced by true life, I still admit I find it a bit distasteful.

    I still struggle with trying to figure out the hidden themes of this movie. One view of it might be that it is secretly environmentalist, and promoting the idea that Mozart was made into a prodigy by the careful attention of his father, while Salieri was a loser because he didn’t have the same early attention. But, IRL, Salieri was more successful than Mozart, at the time.

    I’ve also thought that the genre of superhero movies has a Jewish character. Part of the reason is how they often promote big cities, whereas, I think Gentiles, especially in America, are more inclined towards suburbs or rural settings. And I believe a lot of the superheroes were created by Jews. IMO, Westerns are really the genre that shows a Gentile fingerprint.

  6. Is 9mm really such a weak calibre?

    3 dead in murder-suicide over snow removal dispute, prosecutors say

    One of the strangest videos I have seen in a while. People are so angry these days…

  7. @A123

    Why the preference to counterclockwise motion? At the park next to my apartment where I run around the track a few times a week I see somebody going around it clockwise perhaps one time a month. It is noticeable. I always run counterclockwise and I do not have a clue why this happens to be.

  8. SafeNow says:
    @Morton's toes

    Why counter-clockwise around the track? Runners World writes:

    “Just about every circular sport runs counterclockwise-horse racing, NASCAR, baseball. Why? Who knows? Though most believe it was probably an arbitrary decision and tradition that started with the chariot races at Rome’s Circus Maximus stadium in the sixth century BC, experts in biomechanics think there also may be some coincidental physiological benefits. Most people are right-leg dominant, so they use their left leg more for support. When running counterclockwise, you’ll take longer strides with your right leg-which allows for more propulsion and speed on the turns.”

    Regarding the runner you observed who runs clockwise, I suspect that this contrarian, oppositional, contentious running predilection is not limited to his running.

  9. songbird says:
    @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    I came close to witnessing a shooting once. It was a road rage incident, in a place with practically no traffic. Rural area. Didn’t see or hear it, but they shut down the road.

    On a note related to the story, I wonder how many people are killed by recycling trucks and recycling in general. Probably quite a few, if you added it up. Probably more than nuclear energy, I’d suppose.

    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
  10. Saakashvili urged Ukraine to prepare for the loss of Mariupol and Kherson.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  11. A123 says:
    @Morton's toes

    Why the preference to counterclockwise motion?

    My reference to right turns was a not so subtle jab at NASCAR. To be honest, modern stock car drivers have a substantial skill set. NASCAR ran the Daytona Road Course last year. And, a number of NASCAR drivers, such as Chase Elliott, have successfully run in IMSA races.
    ____

    There are both clockwise and counterclockwise auto racing circuits. However, almost all of them are one way only for safety reasons.

    Gaps in the walls allow emergency crews quick track access. The marshal’s station below is fairly safe with the flow of traffic “Left to Right” and would be very dangerous for cars moving “Right to Left”.
     
     

    PEACE 😇

    [MORE]

      

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  12. songbird says:

    Regarding the idea that men and women had a different ratio of reproductive success throughout history:

    At least in Europe, I would suppose that most of that isn’t explained by harems, but by women dying in childbirth and widowers remarrying. Often men were motivated to remarry in order to have a woman to look after the children they already had. So, it might be that the chad was really already the dad.

    Perhaps, men who were already dads were more responsible, or children were a form of wealth that increased a man’s reproductive success. Or they were helped by the focus of the society, looking to find a new mother.

    • Replies: @info
    , @jay
    , @jay
  13. There’s been a surprising lack of condemnations against Russia the last few days. Expected more “Release Navalny or NS2 gets cancelled!” statements.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
  14. @Haruto Rat

    Once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

  15. songbird says:

    I wonder if the reluctance of early American TV shows to depict pregnancy was really a covert attack on natalism, wrapped in the costume of priggish moralism about sex.

  16. @A123

    I wonder if the clockwise racing circuits might have some correlation with countries where they drive on the left side of the street with the steering wheel on the right side of the car.

    I notice on twisty roads in my own cars that they corner very very slightly better in left turns and I am guessing the suspension is balanced and then I sit on the left side of the car my measly little 150 pounds of additional weight presses the left side of the car ever so slightly more tightly against the pavement. This is one data point and I would be curious if anybody has a similar experience with driver’s-side-right cars and maybe they corner very very slightly better going to the right?

    Or I could be imagining this!

    • Thanks: That Would Be Telling
    • Replies: @Down Force
    , @reiner Tor
  17. tyrone says:
    @A123

    Pay-offs via “book deal “…..that one way to git-ur done.

  18. Max Payne says:

    Most effective Covid-19 vaccine on the market! Works in -1000 seconds (that’s right it goes BACK in time and cures your pussy-like ailments):

    [MORE]

    As for Putin… his lack of personal ownership of a computer (be it smartphone, laptop, desktop, or secret KGB intranet terminal)… gotta hand it to the guy that’s some serious dedication to OPSEC. His past regimentation must have been strict. I guess being a foreign agent in Germany all those years, dealing with SIGINT and EW.

    Of course, as a public figure there is a benefit staying offline. Not cheapen your words for one. Musk, Trump… all they do is spam, 98.26% of which is utter jibberish.

    To be a god-emperor one must act like a god-emperor. God seldom speaks and when he does always in commandants. You know in the back of your mind Putin doesn’t waste his time twiddling his thumbs on pleb-tech. I know “guys” (read: fags) who can’t “work” (read: waste time) unless they have a $1,500 monitor for their computer (to play minecraft no less). Putin can govern a state without a personal computer of any kind. Must have a team of Mentats or an abacus in his pocket or something.

    What I want to know is how exactly did Putin manage to purge the Chosen(tm) oligarchs that entrenched themselves in the belly of the Russian deepstate.

    Post soviet Russia was a breeding ground for scum and villainy. If I was a RuJussian and some short ass ex-KGB goyim was threatening my hard-scammed rubles I would be bribing corrupt federal/military officials left-right-and-center, hiring ruthless russian gangs to tear up political opposition, paying off whole commie-blocks to vote “Yes for Israel”, maybe even fund hairy scary mohammedans to make noise along the borders, whatever.. anything to prevent Putin and his so called Russian government stealing back my rubles.

    So it seems either these oligarchs are really REALLY retarded (like Djibouti retarded) or Putin had some extreme deepstate support. Putin doesn’t seem like someone who is leaning on the illiteracy of communism, the retardation of religion, or the fervour of militarism to remain and maintain power.

    I wonder how many disconnected (offline) loyalist he commands in the shadows. The untallied diehards.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Bashibuzuk
  19. @Morton's toes

    I wonder if the clockwise racing circuits might have some correlation with countries where they drive on the left side of the street with the steering wheel on the right side of the car.

    Most if not all oval tracks are counterclockwise (IMS, Daytona, Pocono, Texas Motor Speedway, et al.) while many (most?) road courses run clockwise (Road America, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, et al.)

    But it doesn’t matter in open-wheel racing— F1, Indy Car, et al.— where the driver is situated in the center of the car. Same with sports car racing. In IMSA in the three fastest classes, where lateral force is much greater— Daytona Prototype International (DPi), Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2), Le Mans Prototype 3 (LMP3)— the driver is positioned in the center of the car.

    I notice on twisty roads in my own cars that they corner very very slightly better in left turns and I am guessing the suspension is balanced and then I sit on the left side of the car my measly little 150 pounds of additional weight presses the left side of the car ever so slightly more tightly against the pavement.

    You need to tell your mechanic you’re having problems hitting the apex and he needs to adjust the camber and caster settings on your car to handle the offset static load. But he might first send you over to your tire shop to figure out the slip angle of your tires which will affect the lateral force. Also be sure to ask your mechanic if he thinks you need weight jacker device* to adjust the diagonal load. 😀 🏎

    * https://racer.com/2020/08/14/an-inside-look-at-indy-weight-jacker-tricks/

    • Replies: @Down Force
    , @A123
  20. Beckow says:
    @Max Payne

    Putin was an accidental leader, that’s how he snuck in. He is bold and competent, but for some reason misses the big picture: neo-liberalism is on its last legs. His inability to see it, or unwillingness to do something about it, is a weakness. He may still do ok by being slightly better than everyone else. That is not hard these days with Vice-President Biden (he doesn’t strike me as presidential), the clown in Britain, old lady in Germany, deviant in France, and a gayish Pope. Not much of a contest.

    even fund hairy scary mohammedans to make noise along the borders

    The hairiest people in the world are Armenians, Georgians and Greeks – all Christians. Something to do with Caucasus heritage tens of thousands of years ago. Most Semites can be swarthy, but have less hair.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  21. @Beckow

    Putin was an accidental leader, that’s how he snuck in.

  22. @Down Force

    Correction: quasi-static not static

  23. @Morton's toes

    Your right turns are much sharper than your left turns, so the tires don’t wear off the same rate both directions. That could be part of the explanation.

    As for the race tracks, I think it’s easier to see other cars to the left of you than to the right, simply because that’s the side you are at. Hence the counter-clockwise races.

  24. Bringing over the very important discussion about the Russian aviation industry.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-138/#comment-4454628

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  25. What do you think of this video analyzing China’s chances of becoming the next world power? Some of his arguments are that China will experience massive aging in the next generation similar to that of Japan, which will cripple Chinese prospects for world domination. He also argues that the Chinese are lying about their fertility rate, and the actual Chinese fertility rate is closer to 1.0. He also argues that, as an atheistic society, the Chinese feel no sense of purpose in their lives and are generally unhappy as a result.

  26. Malenfant says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    > China will experience massive aging in the next generation similar to that of Japan, which will cripple Chinese prospects for world domination.

    No.

    Check out China’s population pyramid: https://www.populationpyramid.net/china/2020/

    Then compare it to America’s, and Japan’s. China is not at a structural disadvantage per se — and this goes double when you consider the fact that China’s population is about 4x larger than the USA’s. They have many, many more young people than America does, and this isn’t going to change any time soon.

    They’re also not quite so burdened with structural catastrophes like American pension systems, out of control medical and legal/regulatory costs, etc. There are still strong family bonds. Old people are not a lead anchor in such a society.

    > He also argues that the Chinese are lying about their fertility rate, and the actual Chinese fertility rate is closer to 1.0.

    Even if that’s true — and it probably isn’t — the white American TFR isn’t terribly far from 1.0. It’s probably around 1.5 right now. And the USA has a much smaller population reservoir.

    > He also argues that, as an atheistic society, the Chinese feel no sense of purpose in their lives and are generally unhappy as a result.

    This is evidence of ignorance and bias. The West has been an “atheistic society” de jure since roughly the late 18th century. This has become culturally apparent since roughly the middle 19th.

  27. @Malenfant

    I don’t think European societies were truly atheistic until the 20th century. It’s also important to note the huge differences between urban and rural populations, between different countries, and different times, because the same society could and sometimes did become more religious over a few decades even during a secular trend of secularization (pun unintended).

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  28. @reiner Tor

    The serial production of the PD-14 and especially the PD-35 engines will be a momentous development for the Russian aviation industry.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  29. @Malenfant

    Germanic countries and Eastern Europe were de jure religious societies till 20th century.

    Even French were quite religious before their Third Republic and secularization law of 1905.

  30. @songbird

    I Love Lucy apparently broke this taboo when the actress Lucille Ball became pregnant in real life.

    • Agree: songbird
  31. @ImmortalRationalist

    He also argues that, as an atheistic society, the Chinese feel no sense of purpose in their lives and are generally unhappy as a result.

    Which is a non sequitur. Nihilism is not an atheistic belief. Nihilism is a Christian belief about atheism, and that is an important distinction.

  32. @reiner Tor

    There’s PD-8 as well. In general it seems like Russia is getting back on track on engines. Last year Russia finally managed to complete new engines for naval ships too.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  33. @advancedatheist

    I remember very well the late Soviet Union, which was a supposedly 90% atheistic. It tried to lead the masses with a quasi-religious ideology of progress.

    It failed.

    The immense majority of people need a transcendent dimension to their lives to continue having and raising children. The hope of economic growth and social betterment is not enough.

    People need something to believe in to build a strong society. That is why if you want to cull an ethnic group, a nation, a culture or a civilization, you first subvert religion and “kill” their gods.

    This is a very ancient and tried tool of psychological warfare…

  34. @advancedatheist

    Not all atheists are nihilists, but some are. You probably agree that atheist can be a nihilist, but nihilism is an impossibility for a Christian.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  35. @Shortsword

    I just realized that the first MC-21 with the PD-14 engine has already had its maiden flight in December. So it’s actually in a more advanced stage than I believed.

    I had thought that that flight was actually with the American engines.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @Mitleser
  36. Ok, does anyone know studies or books that talk about the differences between driven people and not so successful people? The only know that I know is “the secret lives of driven kids”, it was very interesting and open my curiosity about it, does exist a book like “secret lives of driven aduts?

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  37. @reiner Tor

    It’s been doing flight tests since 2017 with foreign engines. One of the delays has been that sanctions prevented Russia from buying composite material for the plane. Luckily Rosatom develops composite material so they were able to produce it instead.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
  38. @streethotdogseller

    The secret lives of driven autists would be the most interesting to me.

  39. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    May I ask which website is this video hosted on?

  40. Svevlad says:
    @Shortsword

    They realized it’s futile

  41. @Bashibuzuk

    Your examples in the photographs are impressive. – Thanks.

    The immense majority of people need a transcendent dimension to their lives

    Our lives don’t fit perfectly well in – with what we know about our existence and about the world. There are holes – and people instinctively shy away from them. Religion allows us to encounter those rather frightening holes and – the insecurities they cause.

    Progress can’t fill them, because they are eternal – death and birth and death and birth and death and birth. The structural insufficiency of progress with regard to our existential problems is being reflected in the poor aesthetic quality the monument of progress above shows. – Whereas the church – is looking good!

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Bashibuzuk
  42. Passer by says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    He has some really stupid takes, for example that the US will soon stop immigration. The Dems taking over the US, and effectively turning it into a one party state, really blew up his prediction. The US elite will never allow that to happen.

  43. @songbird

    The reluctance of early American TV shows to depict pregnancy was simply a reflection of norms of American society of the time. For much of American history, it was considered improper for a woman who was obviously pregnant to be seen in public. I remember hearing this from some older acquaintances and being surprised by it, but it seems to have been a widespread attitude in America in the past:

    One should recall that pregnant women, in
    some social circles, rarely showed themselves in public. A
    pregnant woman-an obviously pregnant woman-was one
    who in a sense was wearing a large bodily sign that said:
    look, I’ve had sexual intercourse, and this is the result. It
    was not that there was anything shameful about pregnancy
    (just as there is nothing shameful about sex between
    married couples); but it was shameful to talk about it, or
    show it, or the like. Sex was supposed to be a purely private
    affair.

    https://scholar.smu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1110&context=law_faculty

    • Replies: @songbird
  44. @Dieter Kief

    Pardon my bluntness, but what is it with all these ungrammatical dashes in your posts? It’s as though you can’t complete a sentence without one. It makes your posts hard to read and, even though you make a number of good points, likely causes people to dismiss what you say.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  45. songbird says:
    @Indiana Jack

    I recall hearing about the thing with pregnant teachers stepping down. I not sure about that though – they really did have a more exacting ideology about health back then – I recall hearing some old student guideline book from my school being read aloud. It was full of things like get ten hours of sleep and drink milk. Also, there was undoubtedly a social edge to getting married women out of the workplace, so they could be good homemakers.

    Have to say I am really skeptical about pregnant woman hiding in the home. With the Blue Laws, stores were often closed when men got off work, so women were required to run all the errands. Men had women buy socks for them, and things like that. I doubt a woman would refrain from being seen publicly, just because she was pregnant.

    • Replies: @Rosie
  46. mal says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    To be fair, Buran was an amazing technological achievement, just way ahead of its time. Similar to Space Shuttle.

    To the overall point, I’m an atheist and I agree. In my view, a successful society requires a “frontier spirit”, curiosity and desire to look over the horizon. To that end, people need to believe that there is something over the horizon, and that they somehow belong there in the big picture. Obviously, for me it’s about exploring the secrets of the universe, and carrying the evolutionary process to the stars. But to people not dreaming about interstellar biological empires and ecosystems, religion can be a suitable substitute.

  47. A123 says:
    @Down Force

    many (most?) road courses run clockwise (Road America, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Laguna Seca, et al.)

    Most U.S. Road Circuits run Clockwise [CW]. However, Laguna Seca is CounterClockWise [CCW]. The split is much more even in other parts of the globe.

    A great deal of racing takes place in support classes that have U.S. standard left hand seating in the vehicle. CW circuits are much easier for driver changes because the driver door does not open towards a wall. On a CCW circuit, a Bronze rated driver can vastly complicate (and thus slow) the pit stop by positioning the car to close to the wall.

    Morton: I notice on twisty roads in my own cars that they corner very very slightly better in left turns

    Non-professional drivers to tend to place the car more accurately when turning towards the driver’s side. This makes the corner feel better. The larger angle (and huge hoods on some models) leads to more variation including missing the corner apex, or worse yet impacting it.

    Some mechanical aids may help. However, I would recommend training & practice for the fleshy bits behind the wheel.

    PEACE 😇

  48. @Dieter Kief

    I agree with what you wrote, with two notable precisions:

    1) I was born and lived most part of my youth a mere few km from the VDNKh and its Monument to the first space explorers (the one in the picture).

    I have always found (and still find) this monument beautiful and expressive. Although Communism failed in USSR (as any atheist ideology would in due time anywhere around the world), it has nevertheless produced many fine example of architecture and art (Moscow’s metro comes to mind).

    2) The recently built main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces is interesting because it is far from being a typical Orthodox Cathedral. It is quite innovative, perhaps departing a bit too much from the Russian Orthodox church-building tradition.

    OTOH this tradition has been strongly altered after the Raskol and the reign of Peter the Great. My favorite Russian churches are the wooden churches of Kizhi, built by the local peasants.

    https://www.wmf.org/sites/default/files/styles/project_gallery_full_size/public/projects/gallery/RUS_Kizi_Pogos_JPEG_img-01.jpg?itok=VgR_AfVq

    I only used the Cathedral of Armed Forces to illustrate the religious revival in Russia.

    There are better examples of Russian church-building tradition at the link below.

    https://hramy.ru/rare/domongol.htm

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  49. @silviosilver

    I’m writing as if I’d be talking to somebody at times – so. – – – I grew up in a pub (literally – we had no living room) and heard people talk and talk and talk – long before I started reading and writing (I did not talk much as a child). French philosopher Jacques Derrida and Socrates and Plato reflected on the subject before me. German writer Arno Schmidt developed an extensive sign-regime, to bring his texts closer to the colloquial form they had in his mind before he wrote them down. Tom Wolfe does that too if in a slightly different (more pop-oriented) manner. Arno Schmidt is the self-taught, non-university trained but nonetheless – : – super-brainy and rough (and spergy) type.

    (Thanks for the good points).

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  50. @mal

    Intellectually inclined people need transcendence. It might come in many forms, space exploration is one of them. It is something “beyond”, something expanding our boundaries. Problem is, if everything is material only, and there is no ultimate meaning to it all, then in the end our quest as a species is futile. We feel it deep inside –
    instinctively – and we stop to breed. Any civilization that comes to this negative realization crumbles and/or dies out.

    Any ideology that aims at existing for a somewhat extended period of time, needs a metaphysical component. Early Bolcheviks were frequently inspired by Cosmism, but Stalinist state stiffened any further developments of this very promising philosophical trend. Who knows what would have happened if it didn’t.

    I agree about Buran and the US shuttles. It is saddening to see them dispensed with.

    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
  51. @mal

    But to people not dreaming about interstellar biological empires and ecosystems

    Its nice to think about such things when one is surrounded by modern niceties, but would such dreams bring you comfort and trust in your future, if you would live in a real frontier society, where danger would be ever prevalent? Could such dreams even be a basis for group solidarity? For some reason I believe that for people who would live in such society, such dreams would sound like hollow propaganda.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @silviosilver
  52. @Dieter Kief

    If it’s making you happy, knock yourself out, I guess. But to me it comes across less as somebody “talking to me” and more like somebody who isn’t sure of what he wants to say. Conforming our writing to our speaking is more of a barrier to communication than an aid to it, imo.

    Btw, Tom Wolfe – of whom I’m a huge fan – used those stylistic devices much more sparingly.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  53. @AltanBakshi

    OTOH early Soviet society was very much space oriented, way more so than in the relatively comfortable Brezhnev era.

    People need dreams and myths when they fight and experience hardships. I would say more : people need fighting and hardships to be able to build strong and enduring dreams and myths. When you face death, you acquire an energy that can be directed towards transcendence.

    Our society is more comfortable nowadays, and see the results below:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/health-53409521

    • Agree: mal
  54. @Passer by

    You phrase that as if Russia gives it away for free or subsidises it in some way for the needy across Europe. It’s the basis of their economy and they sell it at the going rate.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Mitleser
  55. @AltanBakshi

    Its nice to think about such things when one is surrounded by modern niceties, but would such dreams bring you comfort and trust in your future, if you would live in a real frontier society, where danger would be ever prevalent?

    I don’t think it’s much of a criticism to say that ‘cosmism’ – let’s call it, to use a term already introduced into the discussion – is only appropriate in a certain context. In fact, I’d turn that around and say that it’s precisely because of context – ie human development having reached a certain point and outgrown earlier religious modalities – that the need for something like cosmism has arisen. In a preliterate society, cosmism would not only have provided cold comfort to a family whose child had just been eaten by a bear, it wouldn’t have answered to any felt need among the people either. Today, cosmism does answer to such a need.

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AltanBakshi
  56. Passer by says:
    @Europe Europa

    View post on imgur.com

    Considering the rise of the asian market, and the long term decline of the Europe, i wouldn’t call “selling gas to the EU” the basis of Russia’s economy.

    “My meeting with Minister Lavrov highlighted that Europe and Russia are drifting apart. It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe.”

    Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union

  57. @mal

    To be fair, Buran was an amazing technological achievement, just way ahead of its time. Similar to Space Shuttle.
    To the overall point, I’m an atheist and I agree. In my view, a successful society requires a “frontier spirit”, curiosity and desire to look over the horizon.

    Brings back memories of 80s. Glorious times. The digital revolution just took off while the Space Shuttle become a synonym of the new era with unbound possibilities. Stars and galaxies were within reach, as confirmed by Star Trek the Next Generation.

    Here is an AutoCAD promo featuring 3-D rendering of the space shuttle. The future had arrived.

    https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRCMLIdoqD42Vym_jR2NHGYsgvJMbrw8t5_6Q&usqp=CAU

  58. songbird says:
    @mal

    Arguably, the Buran was superior to the Shuttle. For example, it could fly on autopilot. And I believe it was designed to be able to redirect, to sort of fly, rather than be a completely passive glider. Though that is with the caveat, that its safety record can’t be evaluated because it only completed one flight – and, of course, that it was developed secondly, with inspiration from the Shuttle.

    And I think it is probable that neither of them made much sense, in the long run, and the money would have been better spent just trying to relentlessly decrease $/kg to orbit.

    I suppose it probably included military tech, but it is almost a shame that they didn’t try to do a firesale to Japan or the EU, just to try to get it flying more.

    • Agree: mal
  59. @silviosilver

    Same here -huge fan of Tom Wolfe, even of his graphic excesses. One of the not so big group of authors whose books I’ve read completely. I even liked The Kingdom of Speech.

    You might enjoy having a look at a small section of a page of Arno Schmidt’s Opus Magnum Zettel’s Traum, which weighs in at 3,8 kilos. This small section is typical of the way in which the book is written:

    Now – I don’t like that too much and think it is way overdone. But – even Schmidt did indeed find numerous readers.

  60. @silviosilver

    Early Russian Cosmism appeared in the late nineteenth century. It was not a coincidence that Soviets were the first to launch a man into space.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_cosmism

    Also earlier references to possible extraterrestrial life are to be found much earlier. Giordano Bruno was often cited by Soviets as a precursor.

  61. @silviosilver

    You have a point, I agree, but is Cosmism enough for family men? Or how I would put it? Such abstract ideas as interstellar empires, possible future terraforming scenarios, bioengineering and so on, how such ideas motivate men and women to bond and make babies? In my opinion Cosmism can be a good source for motivation for a minority of some highly specialised and idealistic men, but for masses such promises sound hollow, at least as long as there are no concrete results, but only some distant promises that will be realised in future, or so I so believe. But personally to me, such ideas sound inspiring.

    As a glue for social cohesion and solidarity? No, I dont believe that Cosmism can be such glue. Not at all. Still if there is enough surplus production in society and some charismatic personas speaking for it, then Cosmism can be an engine for societal change, but I really dont believe that masses would be ready to make personal sacrifices in the name of the Cosmism.(Without the heavy hand of state!)

    Personally I would give my support to totalitarian utilitarian cosmist one world government dictatorship, which would put all humanitys resources in the fanatic quest of reaching the stars, to make humanity a space faring civilization in the next hundred years, but maybe totalitarian is too much? Authoritarian? No, not enough, it must be totalitarian, or masses start to question and criticize too much. Every day citizens would make a pledge that humanity will reach the stars, news would be full of reports of new astronomic findings, all tv channels would broadcast documentaries about rocket engines and exoplanets, there would be more than ten channels for scifi series etc, etc….

  62. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Soviet Union, which was a supposedly 90% atheistic

    But mostly, not more than 2-3 generations from very God-fearing, often illiterate, people, and at which stage the secular concepts can be translations from the religious ones of a generation earlier.

    In the 19th century, this was a process evident still even in the most sophisticated people. Marx was grandchild of a Jewish Rabbi, and the fact that two generations was not sufficient to prevent hum programming “software architecture” in the style of messianic Biblical prophecies. (Which was also in Hegel, whose teenage years were in the Evangelical Lutheran theological seminary).

    Similarly, Nietzsche was a son of a Lutheran pastor, and despite his brilliant education in Ancient Greek and Latin; we find within Nietzsche writing style there can be felt still an exhortatory voice of a protestant preacher.

    The exhortatory preacher in Nietzsche’s writing, is probably partly why reading Nietzsche is so popular today with American teenager, whose mainstream culture is still habituated to this dramatic Evangelist style millions hear in the Church every Sunday.

    immense majority of people need a transcendent dimension to their lives to continue having and raising children. The hope of economic growth and social betterment is not enough.

    In all our human and non-human ancestors, there was no “need of a transcendent dimension” to have children. Having children was not a choice, but a result of having sex, which is an instinct hardwired into endocrinologically normal mammals. Nature has made sex enjoyable to man, for the reason of children as a byproduct.

    It’s only in the last few generations, where man has become technologically sophisticated enough to conveniently separate sex from having children, that having children has become a voluntary choice – which is an unprecedented situation, which was historically usually only made by nuns or monks who could suppress their sexual impulses.

    When having children becomes a choice, the vast majority of people still choose to have children. For example, only 9% of Russians today do not have children in their life. The social and economic problem is that a large proportion of people have one child, instead of two children.

    As for the influence of religion on having children – mainly when the religion bans the use of contraception, and therefore undoes the voluntary choice in the consequences of having sex that had emerged in the 20th century. This is most evident in groups like Amish and Haredim, which ban the use of contraception, as well as many other aspects of the 20th and even 19th century.

    People need something to believe in to build a strong society. That is why if you want to cull an ethnic group, a nation, a culture or a civilization, you first subvert religion and “kill” their gods

    This modern (i.e. 20th century and 19th century) Max Weber sounding perspective is already more or less an admission of post-religion, as the definition of a God for believing people, is that its existence is not dependent on people believing in it, but that it actually exists.

    For God-fearing people, the point is that God exists regardless of human political and cultural history, and created the world before he created humans. God may be pleased or displeased with men, but he certainly cannot be killed by them.

    Today, passionate atheists are often mentally closer to God-fearing religious people, than those who act like religion is a lifestyle or sociological phenomenon; as the atheists who are one generation from God-fearing religion, might view the religious claims as having real ontological implications, while the “religious lifestyle” people seem to view religion as a sociological phenomenon, that is a product of particular peoples and cultures.

    When religion becomes a kind of cultural and lifestyle decoration, or fashion accessory, it’s a sign that we are so far from God-fearing people, that we do not even understand the idea of fearing religion anymore. 19th century atheists like Nietzsche, who was only one generation from his God-fearing pastor father, still could not view mildly religious claims, as being less than ontological ones.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  63. @AltanBakshi

    Personally I would give my support to totalitarian utilitarian cosmist one world government dictatorship, which would put all humanitys resources in the fanatic quest of reaching the stars, to make humanity a space faring civilization in the next hundred years

    That’s a distinct possibility, it is actually quite probable.

  64. At the fin-de-siècle and near the end of his life Émile Zola published, Fécondité, the first novel of a quartet (The Four Gospels) as part of his attempt to replace traditional Christianity with a socialist humanist Gospel (the heros of the respective novels were to be named after Matthew, Luke, Mark and John).

    (N.B. I haven’t read this specific work of Zola’s, so I am relying on summaries)

    The protagonist, Mathieu, and his wife who over the course of the novel end up having a dozen children in defiance of the social rejection they face are juxtaposed with their urban acquaintances who have various excuses for not having children (or more than one or two) as well various social institutions or situations where children are either unborn or mistreated.

    The protagonist and his wife decides to abandon his factory job producing farming tools and leaves for the countryside while their descendants end up dominating Paris and starting the project of settling Africa.

    It is probably rather heavily influenced by the concerns about decay that flowed through in varied forms in all sections of 19th and early 20th century French society, but I nevertheless found it an interesting ideological oddity.

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  65. @Bashibuzuk

    Thanks Bashibuzuk.

    1 question: Did you – maybe even while adoring the monument of the space Soviet space explorers – come across the (bitter and moving) novel Omon Ra by Victor Pelevin?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  66. @Dmitry

    In all our human and non-human ancestors, there was no “need of a transcendent dimension” to have children. Having children was not a choice, but a result of having sex, which is an instinct hardwired into endocrinologically normal mammals. Nature has made sex enjoyable to man, for the reason of children as a byproduct.

    Humans are not (just) animals. The earliest known building is temple (Gobekli tepe). And fertility rites are among the earliest religious practices.

    This modernist (i.e. 20th century and 19th century) perspective is already more or less an admission of post-religion, as the definition of a God for believing people, is that its existence is not dependent on people believing in it, but that it actually exists

    Already in the Old Testament, the Jewish prophets clearly link the religious covenant of the Hebrews with YHWH Adonai as the only way for the Jewish people to survive as distinct human group. I am surprised you did not think about it Dmitry.

    For God-fearing people, the point is that God exists regardless of human political and cultural history, and created the world before he created humans. God may be pleased or displeased with men, but he certainly cannot be killed by them.

    One religion can replace another and one God can replace (“kill”) other gods. We both know that the Abrahamic religions had this tendency to replace native creeds.

    Today, passionate atheists are often mentally closer to God-fearing religious people

    Atheism is often a form of religious thought. Given that it is impossible to prove or disprove the reality of God, one choses either to belive in God or to believe that there is no God. In both cases it is a matter of belief that might indeed be quite passionate in certain people.

    The more casual attitude towards God’s unproven (in) existence is Agnosticism. But even Agnostic people still believe in “energy”, “spirit ” and other New Age stuff.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @AltanBakshi
    , @Mikel
  67. @Dieter Kief

    Yes of course, I am a great fan of Pelevin.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  68. For the minority of people who would be interested George Knapp has two hours of interview up on youtube with Robert Bigelow. If you get to the end you will learn that you can win a 500 000 dollar prize from RB if you submit the winning entry in his essay contest (< 25 000 words) on Proof that there is an Other Side [of life you silly goose].

    The contest website: http://bigelowinstitute.org/

    The first half of the Knapp-Bigelow interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn3o7uC8yq4

    Bigelow's office would make a lot of people drool but his and Knapp's barber work looks like they got ripped off. (Bigelow's office definitely makes me drool.)

    • Thanks: Bashibuzuk
  69. Most of the discussion of Sputnik V on twitter seems to be in Spanish. Not too unexpected since many Latin American countries are buying it but still somewhat interesting.

  70. @songbird

    Yes IMO the Buran was “better” than the Shuttle, the Soviets only launched the Buran once, the clowns at NASA continued with the Shuttle for decades, with a $1.6 billion launch cost and 14 dead astronauts, well done NASA, the minute you hear some one praise the Shuttle program, you know you’re talking to a retard

    I think the Soviets only built the Buran because they didn’t understand how pork powered rockets work, most of the engineers would have known it was bad idea, but maybe the Yanks are up to something that we can’t figure out, so we should build one too

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @songbird
  71. @AltanBakshi

    No, I don’t think cosmism has any hope of serving as a social glue or instilling in people a sense of duty to form families. This is certainly one disadvantage it has compared to traditional religion. I think nationalism could serve that function handily enough however. Nationalism has the added the advantage that it’s easier (but not necessarily easy) to “turn down the dial” as needed compared to traditional religious belief. I mean, take the Amish or Haredis. Obviously their breeding practices cannot continue indefinitely without the world running hard up against its carrying capacity. (Short of that, who in his right mind would want to see 500 million haredis?) But what chance does anyone have trying to convince them to have fewer children? Only a totalitarian take-no-prisoners approach could alter the behavior of these scum people.

    to make humanity a space faring civilization in the next hundred years,

    I don’t see the need to rush it. For me the religious promise of cosmism doesn’t lie in the physical achievements of, say, reaching a certain destination in space or terraforming a planet, but in the ‘hope’ that some higher understanding of our purpose will become apparent to us through attempting to accomplish those physical goals.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  72. Accidentally found this New York based NGO called “Free Kazakhs”. Just scrolling through some tweets:

    *Nazerbayev is a Russian communist

    *Russian vaccine is hybrid warfare

    *China is fascist terrorist state

    *Calls for EU and USA to save Kazakhstan

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @Blinky Bill
  73. A123 says:

    More humor for the Open Thread.

    PEACE 😇
     

  74. mal says:
    @AltanBakshi

    You have a point, I agree, but is Cosmism enough for family men? Or how I would put it? Such abstract ideas as interstellar empires, possible future terraforming scenarios, bioengineering and so on, how such ideas motivate men and women to bond and make babies?

    It is for me and my 2 year old who obsessed with with rocket launches and orbital mechanics (I showed him Kerbal Space Program), every cell tower is a rocket now :). It is true that women are less into fantastic geekery, but they generally follow where wealth and power is, and i hate to turn religious discussion materialistic and militaristic, but the military and the rich will be throwing $trillions on the more practical aspects and applications of cosmism. Women will follow.

    As a glue for social cohesion and solidarity? No, I dont believe that Cosmism can be such glue. Not at all. Still if there is enough surplus production in society and some charismatic personas speaking for it, then Cosmism can be an engine for societal change, but I really dont believe that masses would be ready to make personal sacrifices in the name of the Cosmism.(Without the heavy hand of state!)

    Well, Elon Musk has a cult following among ordinary people simply because he made rocket launches and landings look cool. It is also true that you shouldn’t overcomplicate things for ordinary people, so the whole forced evolutionary accelerationism business need not be emphasized excessively. For example, Musk himself knows that people living in his visionary Mars City will not be humans, at least not humans as we are currently. Even worse, a lot of them will be Trump voters (skilled trades people etc). But that’s not heavily emphasized.

    Elon Musk managed to inspire and unite large cross section of society, especially young people, to build a planetary habitat for mutant Trumpers. If such thing is possible, i think anything is possible. If nothing else, we will get people excited about rocket launches, and more public funding for science. And of course, the ultimate objectives will be discovering life on other worlds and giving humans a proper context.

    Currently, humans view themselves as part of planet Earth. Which is fine but it leads to fallacies such as “finite world” etc. If you read the comment section on the BBC article that Bashibuzuk posted, they are cheering their own extinction because of this. That’s a problem. If the mindset where to switch however, from “finite Earth” to “infinite Universe”, especially living Universe, the death cult cheerleaders would lose a powerful argument, and more babies would come.

    No, not enough, it must be totalitarian, or masses start to question and criticize too much.

    Not sure we need to be so drastic. Good marketing should do the trick. If the likes of Elon Musk can use their cult power to pump Doge Coin, they can pump making babies idea just as well. There is a problem of resource allocation to space colony projects, but as i mentioned earlier, the military and the rich will solve it in order to achieve their own goals.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  75. @ImmortalRationalist

    I am an agnostic and I have a magnificent purpose in life. My agnostic friends are also purpose-driven people. We all want to make the earth a better place. We take this very seriously and we volunteer and give of ourselves in the ways we can, especially to the poor and disenfranchised. We are also politically involved.

    I have visited China twice. I do not speak Chinese however the Chinese are hugely motivated by their children and by taking care of their aging parents. They are also very driven by education. These two factors give purpose to their lives in a profound way that may be missing in Western Christians.

  76. Rosie says:
    @songbird

    Have to say I am really skeptical about pregnant woman hiding in the home.

    And why stop there? Doesn’t appearing in public with a newborn or a toddler who. Alls you “Mom” likewise advertise that you’ve had sex with someone? That is the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard of.

  77. @Shortsword

    Saakashvili urged Ukraine to prepare for the loss of Mariupol and Kherson.

    Even failed Georgian president Saakashvili sometimes has lucid moments. In 2015 he said that if Ukraine develops successfully, in 10 years people would live like under Yanuk.

    It appears that Ukraine did not develop successfully, though. Those who “love” Ukraine from afar would tell you about wages in US dollar rising. Those who actually live in Ukraine would tell you that all utility costs (electricity, heating, water, natural gas, etc.) have risen manifold since 2013. Protest against rising prices of utilities are happening all over the country. Most of my relatives have left that sinking ship, but my cousin is too old to move. She lives in Kiev, and she tells me that her monthly heating bill in winter exceeds her pension.

    So, losing Mariupol and Kherson should not worry Ukrainian government too much. Losing the country should.

  78. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    temple (Gobekli tepe). And fertility rites are among the earliest religious

    As a religious practice. Humans reproduce with or without fertility rites, as our human and non-human ancestors have for thousands of generations before the emergence of such festivals.

    Just as we can eat without food festivals, and breathe air without breathing festivals – nature has not quite relied on the hazard of religious practices for ensuring essential biological function of reproduction.

    On the other hand, it’s possible we will need something like fertility rites, corybantic dancing, Dionysian Mysteries, etc, to connect our lives to transcendence, and not fall into a sense of nihilism.

    Fertility rites, was important for spirituality of our ancestors, much more than their reproduction.

    Jewish prophets clearly link the religious covenant of the Hebrews with YHWH Adonai as the only way for the Jewish people to survive as distinct human group.

    I think Ancient Hebrews considered that the god they are in communication with, is the only legitimate authority – the one which has created the world itself.

    So to the extent they believe their religion, they could not consider themselves to be killing other gods, but rather being the only nationality correctly communicating with god.

    In Exodus (which of course is mythological, rather than historical story), the Egyptians were under the same god as the Hebrews, but disfavoured and unrecognizing of him. So when Pharaoh is supposedly saying “your god”, but the point of the story is that it is everyone’s “god”, and Pharaoh is punished for acting as if it was just “your god”. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+8&version=NIV

    This is the same thoughts when conquerors’ religions are displacing conquered peoples’ religions.

    When Conquistadors destroy Aztecs and their religion, religious ones could not believe they are killing peoples’ gods. Rather, they (to the extent they believe their own religions) believe those other gods do not exist, and that they are showing the reality and truth to the natives.

    The idea that gods can be killed by men, or that they could die by our neglecting them, is a poetic belief, but a poetry of modern times, that would not be likely understood before the 19th century.

    I’m not an expert about history though, so it’s possible this theme has existed in some 18th century sources. But the idea of awakening old gods, killing gods, and ancestral gods dying from neglect, is a theme in German Romanticism across the 19th century, more in poetic setting, and in a context of loss of religion at the time.

    Atheism is often a form of religious thought. Given that it is impossible to prove or disprove the reality of God, one choses either to belive in God or to believe that there is no God. In both cases it is a matter of belief that might indeed be quite passionate in certain people.

    The more casual attitude towards God’s unproven (in) existence is Agnosticism. But even Agnostic people still believe in “energy”, “spirit ” and other New Age stuff.

    Agnosticism is the sensible view for people in the 21st century context, when there is little choice for an God-fearing religion, and it only exists in small cultic communities.

    But in the 17th century, agnosticism, would be felt by us as a more untenable position. If you ask yourself “Will the negative thought I felt about my neighbour, be the balance point that places me in hell for eternity after I die?”

    Then you answer agnostically: “Well, maybe it will place me in hell, or maybe it will not – who knows because I don’t know if God exists or not?”

    The agnostic response is not really acceptable from an emotional point of view: most of us need “yes” or “no” answer, when the choice is about a serious God-fearing religion. The agnostic view itself should probably slide to “Yes”, in the way of Pascal’s wager.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  79. @Bashibuzuk

    I’d argue that religions promising an after-life are nihilistic in that their message is that regardless of how shit this world might be, you get to go to paradise so long as you’ve joined the right club (which just happens to be your parent’s one and/or the dominant one in your geographical area). “Opiate of the masses” kind of stuff.

    In contrast, an atheist would say, “Nah, I’m going to make my time count and make this world a bit better for my kids. I might change my mind on my death bed, but that’s fine”.

    These are ideals of course, and 90% of people just go along with the prevailing cultural paradigm because they just want a quiet life without having to do much thinking about eternity.

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
  80. @songbird

    In Adamstown, Maryland, a 64-year-old man died after a recycling services truck he was riding on the back of overturned on an icy roadway around noon Monday, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said.

    Kinda tragic that a 64yo is having to ride the back of a garbage truck in freezing conditions to (presumably) put bread on the table.

    • Agree: songbird
  81. @Dmitry

    A people deprived of transcendance would not reproduce. They would literally have no future. A people who have lost their gods would become something else if they adopt the gods of their conquerors. Any people holding strongly to their creed would not disappear, unless physically exterminated.

    In the Genesis, the creation myth is natrated by using plural Elohim for God. El or Elah was widely distributed among the Semitic tribes as the name of their god and in the earliest times, the God of Abraham was just the tribal spirit of a Northern Arabian population. Interestingly enough, the word Allah derives directly from this Semitic root. The early Hebrews did not deny the reality of other divine beings: Baals etc, rather they believed their God being the strongest one and the right one, while others were seen as demons masquerading as gods. Later on, the early Christians did exactly the same with the gods of pagan populations they converted. The only ones who flatly deny the existence of any other higher being are the Muslims, their affirmation of faith (Shahada) is the proclamation that there is no other god but Allah.

    Gods are basically memetic packages of information associated with their own semantic fields. The soul of a people is their culture: the information system that allows this people to find meaning in their existence. There is no meaningful existence without cukture, no culture without myths, there are no myths without gods and heroes. Abrahamic faiths have displaced, negated and destroyed the cultures of the converted populations. They have captured their souls and made them slaves to their Semitic God.

    This is why Jews deny the humanity of the Goyim, that is why they basically consider them as soulless animals : Akums whose spiritual nature is inherently inferior to a Hebrew. That is why Christianity sees all non-Christian as irredeemably damned, unless they accept Christ. And it is for this reason that Muslims consider all Kuffar as ignorants who will not find the Straight Path to Salvation (As-Seerat Al Mustakeem). The Abrahamic God, shared by these religions is a virulent meme, a theological virus infecting human consciousness, destroying and digesting the previous native theological memetic package and thriving in the infected populace brains.

    The mystics spoke of Egregores arising from the consciousness of the multitudes, God is fed through such an egregor. If you completely annihilate the egregor related to a God, this God dies. That is why in the ancient time the Christians heard the proclamation: “The Great God Pan has died”.

    Ancient people were aware of these things, modern people are too blind to understand that what lives through them is their ancestors information, in both genetic and spiritual terms.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    , @AP
    , @Dmitry
  82. @Bashibuzuk

    OK I did this much research on the Bigelow 500 000 dollar essay prize. 25 000 words is 100 8.5 X 11 inch pages, 12 point font, 1 inch margins, double spaced. So it is not a quantity of work to mis-under-estimate. Still as a writing exercise it might be a great project. You have to file an application by the end of the month but you have until August to write the essay.

    (and I wrote a half-page of an outline of a fraction of an abstract. Probably I will forget about it within 24 hours.)

    I have met one of the judges who would probably recognize my face but certainly not my name. He chaired Erik Davis’ PhD research committee. If I recall correct Davis finished in 2018 and he got a PhD in religious study from Rice U with a thesis on Terrance McKenna, Philip K. Dick, and Robert Anton Wilson. The Robert Anton Wilson part of his book is excellent but he really should have gone with Burroughs and not McKenna. I have my complaints about modernity but I applaud that a man can now write a PhD thesis on McKenna, Dick and Wilson.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  83. @Shortsword

    There is but one solution!

    [MORE]

    • LOL: Svevlad
  84. @(((They))) Live

    Sadly, you are right about the Shuttle. Although, it did some very useful things, like putting HUBBLE in orbit and later maintaining it.
    No one can, though, deny the tremendous PR value that the Shuttle possessed and that it enhanced enormously the US standing in the world (until the second disaster, that is).

  85. @Shortsword

    Why can’t we all just get along?

    [MORE]

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Hyperborean
    , @AnonFromTN
  86. Mitleser says:
    @Europe Europa

    This was debuked last year as a wrong claim.

    (1) Share of natural gas as percentage of Russian exports: 6%. Historically hovers between 5%-10%. This isn’t altogether insignificant, but not all that central in the grand scheme of things and overshadowed by yearly fluctuations in commodity prices.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/gas-realism/

  87. @Bashibuzuk

    Me too!

    I just think that maybe he is a bit deficient when it comes to transcendence. That might make him a tad – too bitter in the end.

    If you don’t mind: How old were you, when you read Omon Ra – and did it have a disillusional effect on you?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  88. @songbird

    Arguably, the Buran was superior to the Shuttle.

    I don’t have a firm opinion on the question, but I know a Hungarian aviation magazine editor who is of the firm opinion that it was inferior. I think the rocket engine wasn’t reusable for example, and he pointed out that the American Shuttle was also theoretically capable of unmanned flight, but it was way less useful that way. The Buran was flying unmanned (it was a useless mission without cosmonauts) because the life sustaining module wasn’t yet ready, so while in theory it was similar in that respect, in practice it was actually inferior in that it wasn’t capable of manned flights.

    This guy is moderately Russophobic, though. (He is still fair and balanced enough that he vehemently attacked a newspaper article claiming that MiG-25 was not a sophisticated airplane “because it was made of stainless steel and not titanium alloy like the SR-71 Blackbird.” He pointed out that the SR-71 had a totally different role and wasn’t produced in very large numbers, unlike the MiG-25, and that if they had only needed a few dozens, then probably the Soviets would also have been able to use titanium alloys, whereas for a thousand planes the Americans also had to resort to using stainless steel at the time.) So overall I put some weight on his opinions despite his moderate Russophobia.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Vishnugupta
    , @songbird
    , @utu
    , @utu
  89. @Bashibuzuk

    Given that it is impossible to prove or disprove the reality of God

    Im not going to start arguing about this, but such agnosticism is not a Buddhist position. We have an excellent case, though I will never share our arguments for it, here.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  90. @AltanBakshi

    For clarification, could you define what you mean by ‘God,’ Bashibuzuk? Even in abstract terms. If you mean something like national or civilizational spirit, then such god would be possible for us, but you use word ‘God,’ with a capital first letter. Which implies that you believe that there is some kind of absolute power, or omnipotent deity. Once again Im not going to tell why we refute the existence of such ‘God.’ Im just interested what you mean by God.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Coconuts
  91. @utu

    Oh of course they stole the plans. Though it must be pointed out that it was still not very easy to build it, and it might actually have been more expensive to build based on the stolen (though modified) plans than to simply design something for the Soviet industrial capabilities. The Americans obviously designed the Shuttle with their own industrial capabilities in mind, so replicating it was not very easy.

  92. @silviosilver

    Only a totalitarian take-no-prisoners approach could alter the behavior of these scum people.

    Or order of their rebbes? Why Amishes are scum in your opinion? Young Amishes are given a choice if they want to live in normal society or stay with the Amishes, many choose to leave the Amish community, and they can still continue visiting their relatives in the Amish community. Thats a best proof that they are not a cult.

    but in the ‘hope’ that some higher understanding of our purpose will become apparent to us through attempting to accomplish those physical goals.

    I understand, still such ‘hope’ is too abstract ,too impersonal for masses to believe and pursue.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @silviosilver
  93. Woh.

    • Thanks: Blinky Bill
  94. @AltanBakshi

    Which implies that you believe that there is some kind of absolute power, or omnipotent deity.

    Correction, I meant that you believe that one cant deny the possibility for such power or deity, right?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  95. @reiner Tor

    The Buran concept was superior when you take into account the Energia rocket which straight off the bat gave the Soviets a manned moon mission capability.It was also scalable with additional boosters to exceed the Saturn V enabling a direct ascent moon mission.Glaushko proposed setting up a two man moon base with this enhanced variant.

    The Energia was designed to be progressively more reusable starting with the boosters and followed by the main stage as well though a lot of work bordering on a complete redesign would be required.

    Though the facts on the ground are that the Buran only had one flight and the ceramic tiles had unacceptably high thermal damage which pushed back the second flight well into the 1990s which didn’t occur for obvious reasons.

    But it could be argued that the spinoffs specially the RD 170/180/191 engines were of greater value than what was gained by the US from the space shuttle program at much lower cost.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  96. Coconuts says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I think some evolution in religious philosophy had gone on between Bashibuzuk’s first example of the relationship between the Old Testament God and his neighbours, and Christianity and Islam (probably later Judaism, I don’t know enough about that). The concept of God used by Christians starts to designate something with properties such that there can be only one of them, and it is something that doesn’t itself change and doesn’t come into existence, so it can’t die. Other spiritual beings like devils and angels and deified people can exist but only derivative from this single divine nature.

    Discussion and conflict then starts to revolve around which revelation or source of knowledge concerning this divine nature is the true one, what if anything it has communicated and by whom (Dmitry was talking about this).

    Something related seems to happen with pagan deities in the Greek and Roman world, where various gods are understood to have a set of essential properties and a set of accidental ones, so you can have many gods with varying accidental properties like names and appearances, certain stories and legends, but which all share an essence and so are really the same god.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  97. @The Spirit of Enoch Powell

    Even .22LR can be sufficient in to save a life.

    It’s no fun being shot with anything.

  98. @AltanBakshi

    I have briefly mentioned what I think gods are in my reply to Dmitry. Memetic information packages, attractors of human thought formed in a cultural semantic field of a given population. I should have added that this might also be connected with Jungian archetypes. That’s how I see human gods, but there might also well be god (s) that are completely beyond human ability to grasp or understand. And there might also be the Absolute that we cannot even describe or meaningfully discuss in any way. This Absolute, transcendent and completely supramundane being would not be possibly proven or disproven because it would be entirely beyond our facility to analyze and describe phenomena. We wouldn’t have the right words to talk about this Absolute. Even calling him Absolute would be a limitation to his transcendent character, for true Absolute must also be irreversibly immanent.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  99. @AltanBakshi

    many choose to leave the Amish community, and they can still continue visiting their relatives in the Amish community

    My understanding was that they are given a “funeral” and all contact is broken off with them. Is it not so?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AltanBakshi
  100. @Vishnugupta

    at much lower cost.

    Though the basic design was stolen, and the cost was still nearly crippling.

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  101. @Coconuts

    Atheism is often a form of religious thought. Given that it is impossible to prove or disprove the reality of God, one choses either to belive in God or to believe that there is no God. In both cases it is a matter of belief that might indeed be quite passionate in certain people.

    I was interested in this comment made by Bashibuzuk, and its teleological implications.

    Something related seems to happen with pagan deities in the Greek and Roman world, where various gods are understood to have a set of essential properties and a set of accidental ones, so you can have many gods with varying accidental properties like names and appearances, certain stories and legends, but which all share an essence and so are really the same god.

    This was later development started by Platon(and Socrates?) and his followers(Platonists). Similar process (sadly) happened with traditional Iranic and Indic Polytheism. Thats why Apostolic Christianity gives a great value for Platon and Aristoteles, they were forerunners who prepared the ground for the One true God.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  102. @reiner Tor

    I wouldn’t say stolen..this is a charge levied on practically all USSR projects that look similar to their western counterparts like say the Tu 144.Its more a case of the laws of physics being the same for everyone and people independently arriving at similar solutions to identical problems given the state of technology at the time like how a lot of fourth generation fighters adopted the euro canard configuration.

    • Agree: Blinky Bill, mal
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  103. @Coconuts

    You are correct, the change in Judaic thought happened after Babylonia captivity and under the influence of the Mazda Yasna. It is not a coincidence that the Bible has been most probably put down in writing after that.

    Zoroaster was the first to proclaim that Yezdan (Ahura Mazda) was the only true creator God, the only true source of everything existing and that all the other gods (Devas) were demons under the power of Ahriman (Angra Manyu). Before Zoroaster, everyone including Semites, believed in the plurality of divine beings, which of course fits well with the Jungian psychology aspect of mythological elaboration.

    The angels are also a Zoroastrian innovation as is the concept of the messiah / redeemer and the eschalotological fight between good and evil at the end of times. Zoroastrian thought was the matrix that transformed the tribal Semitic creed of the Hebrews into the virulent Abrahamic religious meme that it has become in the late antiquity. A virulent spiritual program that ended up completely destroying native European religious systems that were thousand years old at the time of contact between European Paganism and Abrahamic Monotheism.

    Zoroaster paid this transgression against the plurality and diversity of the divine with his life. He was sacrificed to the Devas when he was captured by the Turanian nomads. This is also what my Slavic ancestors did to the early apostles of Christ.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  104. @reiner Tor

    “People only become full members of the Amish church when they are baptized as adults. Those who leave before baptism do not face the official excommunication and shunning that comes with leaving after baptism.”

    https://amishamerica.com/why-do-amish-people-leave-their-communities/

  105. @reiner Tor

    “People only become full members of the Amish church when they are baptized as adults. Those who leave before baptism do not face the official excommunication and shunning that comes with leaving after baptism.”

    https://amishamerica.com/why-do-amish-people-leave-their-communities/

  106. @AltanBakshi

    This was later development started by Platon(and Socrates?) and his followers(Platonists).

    Wrong. European Paganism, just like Hinduism had this universalist approach since probably the times of the Unetice Culture. The same thing happened in pre-Columbian Meso-America. It happened in India with a religion related to the European Paganism.

    And frankly, how could it be otherwise? Human thought is wired in a certain manner, our subconscious is revolving around some archetypal attractors that are largely similar among peoples.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  107. @Bashibuzuk

    Thanks for clarification. I mostly disagree, sounds bit like Advainta Vedanta, but I value your opinion.

  108. @Bashibuzuk

    To claim that people were panentheists or philosophical monists in Avestan Iran, Vedic India and Archaic Greece is just silly, just what Vedantin would say, and how they always reinterpret the past.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  109. @Blinky Bill

    Warning: NSFW

    [MORE]

    She’s a lonely, overworked waitress in a downbeat Chicago pizza joint, and he’s the president of the People’s Republic of China on a tour of the United States. Their stressful, boring lives are about to heat up like a pizza oven after a chance encounter outside Manny’s Pizza Barn. “Call me Xi Dada,” he says. From there, Delanie takes Xi Jinping by the hand and leads him on a whirlwind tour of of Chicago as they struggle to keep their hands off each other.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  110. AaronB says:

    The Rise and Fall of Religion.

    Every religion begins as a great cry of liberation from the conventions of the day. Every religion dies by being assimilated by the Establishment.

    The great benefit of religion to mental health is that it shows you this world and this existence is not of ultimate significance. The great effort of every Establishment is to deny this – is to keep people attached to earthly concerns – status, money, social convention. Religion reminds one that you are not your social role. The Establishment wants to convince you you are nothing but your social role – your entire value lies in your “use” to society (by how much you benefit the elite).

    So there is a constant tension between religion and the Establishment, such that the Establishment is constantly trying to coopt, assimilate, and redefine religion and turn it to Establishment ends (which focus on earthly life). Religion is a sort of “avenue of escape” that the Establishment is constantly trying to seal shut.

    Sadly, Christianity died in the West by being completely assimilated to Establishment concerns. In the first few centuries AD, Christianity was a refuge from earthly concerns, from money, wealth, status, honor, even from sex and family. By the 19th century, to be a good Christian meant being a good soldier, a prosperous merchant, a man of high status, a family man – in short, a good man of the Establishment, tied to earthly concerns, advancing the earthly concerns of his society, identified entirely with his social role.

    The avenue of escape had been finally, successfuly sealed, completely. (And the West waits with bated breath for the next Way of Liberation that will arise – probably many small ones)

    Under the more tag is my illustration of this principle in regard to each individual religion.

    [MORE]

    Buddhism – forget about all those stuffy rules, rituals, and practices of the Hindus! Forget about caste! Forget about asceticism! Free yourself even from all positive definition of the Absolute – it cannot even be conceptualized as Atman. Abide in Emptiness!

    Buddhism is basically Hinduism for export- without the rituals and conventions. Hinduism responded to this challenge by reformulating itself along Buddhist lines – Vedanta, considered the core of Hinduism today, is essentially Buddhist in conception just adapted to Hindu thought patterns.

    That was how Hinduism survived – freedom-within-rules (Judaism did a similar trick with Hasidism).

    Christianity- away with all those stuffy rules, rituals, and conventions of Judaism! All those pointless sacrifices! Don’t even be much concerned about survival or clothing or food, dont plan for themorrow even! All of that ties you to existence- God will take care of you! Away with the Law!

    Christianity is basically Prophetic Judaism without the Law.

    Although Protestatism later degenerated, originally it was surely a cry of liberation from the Establishment takeover of Catholicism (the Medici Popes were no longer even reaidually Christian). Luther in fact was heavily influenced by the Theologica Germanica, that great book of mysticism that is almost Buddhist – and mystics are the perennial dissidents against the Establishment.

    Original Judaism – can it be seen as a massive simplification of Egyptian religion and rejection of its excessive concern with one’s “career” after death – a form of concern for earthly existence? Perhaps ancient Paganism in general? It is well known that ancient Egypt was an extremely religious society with an obsessive concern with the afterlife (which is basically an extension of concern for this life). Babylonia society was very religious.

    One imagines these ancient religions had grown very cumbersome and overly laden with rules, rituals, and developed an excessive focus on life on this earth. Egyptian mummies are buried with money, gold, and often a retinue of servants. Such a conception of the afterlife is materialistic. And ancient Pagan religion was excessively “transactional” – I worship my God he will defend me.

    While Judaism obviously retained this prudential aspect, it began to stress the note of worshiping God for its own sake without expectation of reward. And while Judaism seems to us encumbered woth ritual and Law, one imagines compared to Egypt and Banylon, it was a cry of liberation and a refocus of attention away from materialism.

    In the 17th century, Judaism experienced another great crisis – the focus on the Law had again become too cumbersome and materialistic. The rise of Hasidism, with its mysticism, its emphasis on emotion and nature (the Bal Shem Tov was a great nature mystic who refused a better paid position to remain among the green hills he loved to wander). In Hasidic houses today, one sees plaques on the walls reminding one that “it is a great act of virtue to be constantly joyfull”.

    Like Hinduism, Judaism only survived by freedom-within-rules.

    Taoism – the world’s foremost dissident movement, arising necessarily in the world’s foremost culture of addiction to rules and conformity. Taoism could arise in mother culture but Confuciam China. And indeed Confucius is constantly mocked and made the butt of jokes in Chuang Tzu, one of the fiunders of Taoism.

    Mahayana Buddhism – the revolt against overly stuffy and conventional Theravada Buddhism.

    Chan Buddhism – the great revolt against stuffy Establishment Mahayana Buddhism, which was beginning to be overly conventional and assimilated to religion.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack, Not Raul
  111. Although Protestatism later degenerated, originally it was surely a cry of liberation from the Establishment takeover of Catholicism. Luther in fact was heavily influenced by the Theologica Germanica, that great book of mysticism that is almost Buddhist – and mystics are the perennial dissidents against the Establishment.

    Are you sure?

    Interesting that for you later Lutherans are degenerated in comparison with the original message.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  112. @AltanBakshi

    I have never claimed that they were monists anywhere. I didn’t write anything about monism. And this has nothing at all to do with Advaita.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  113. AaronB says:

    I have been thinking lately about the difference between dissidents and counter-culture.

    A dissident is someone who accepts the basic world view of the Establishment and the values of the mainstream – and all Establishments and mainstream are the same since man organized himself in states.

    A dissident merely wants to tweak, or sometimes heavily modify, the way mainstream values are implemented in his society, often by returning to previous forms, but not always.

    For instance, the Establishment in America accepts racial hierarchies. The dissidents on Unz also accept racial hierarchies. The difference is only in how the racial hierarchy should be structured, and which race should occupy which position.

    Unz is a dissident website- it fully accepts the implicit assumptions of the Establishment and the mainstream, but wants the way these values are implemented to be heavily modified.

    A dissident wants to become the Establishment – but he does not question the values underlying the Establishment.

    A dissident ultimately is a sub-genre of the Establishment – the “loyal opposition”, in a way.

    A counter-culture rejects the values of the Establishment and the mainstream in toto – it rejects the very mental structure, the mental construct, through which the Establishment sees the world.

    I have often made the – serious – mistake of thinking I am in a counter-cultural environment when I am only in a dissident environment, where my challenges of Establishment values were met with unexpected hostility.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Daniel Chieh
  114. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Luther was a genius, but also a very unstable and unbalanced man, full of passion and pride.

    While he was influenced by mysticism, and had enough perception to see that the Catholic Chutch of his day had become completely assimilated to the Establishment and no longer functioned as a genuine Way of Liberation, he was nowhere near “seeing through” society itself or Establishment values themselves. He himself wanted to become the Establishment.

    Perhaps he was halfway between a dissident and counter-culture as I define it in my other comment.

    Engaging with the mystics is a step on the path to liberation, but only a step.

    Like all Christians, it was very important for him to convert Jews or if, failing that, humiliate them – Christianity was a “replacement theology” religion, and so its self-esteem was – tragically- tied to Jewish submission or humiliation (like Islam, also tragically).

    It is only in modern times that Christians mostly have overcome this unfortunate psychological outlook. (And it appears that some Muslims are taking that step today)

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  115. @Bashibuzuk

    Neo-Platonists believed that there is underlying reality or absolute and all gods are just different manifestations of that absolute, you claimed that such beliefs predated Platonists.

    Not all ancient Hindu schools believed that there is one absolute, but such belief was propagated by Vedantins, though their line of thought had its precedents in Upanishads, but not in Holy Vedas.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  116. @Malenfant

    Even if that’s true — and it probably isn’t — the white American TFR isn’t terribly far from 1.0. It’s probably around 1.5 right now

    The difference between 1 and 1.5 is big. The latter is literally 50% more children.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
  117. @AltanBakshi

    Read my comments again. It has nothing to do with Vedanta or Neoplatonicism (although there is nothing wrong with any of them) and everything to do with Jungian archetypal representations in a cultural semiotic field. Also it was more about the memetic power of information systems than about any given religious system.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  118. @AaronB

    But to him, it was not enough just humiliate or begrudgingly tolerate Jews like the Catholic church had done before, but to destroy Jews completely as a community. To burn their synagogues and homes, to put them into forced labour or slaughter them. So to you such man is a genius?

    • Replies: @AaronB
  119. @Not Only Wrathful

    Live births over the last 4 years for China.

    2016, 17,860,000
    2017, 17,230,000
    2018, 15,230,000
    2019, 14,650,000

    My estimate for the year 2020, 12,920,000

    The pundits always predict a decline in total births, but they always over do it.

    • Replies: @Malenfant
  120. @Bashibuzuk

    My heresy radar is blimbing…

    Okay, okay you get pass, sorry if I misunderstood you…

    (Still nothing wrong with Vedanta?)

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  121. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Sure.

    You have a tendency to see things in black and white, and expect others to also. I have no problem seeing the good and the bad in people.

    The psychological term for your way of thinking is called “splitting” – people have some negative traits, so you “split” them off from the good traits and put them entirely in the negative camp.

    I am also not as ethnocentric or chauvinistic as you – I do not lose the use of my reason just because someone is hostile to the group I belong to.

    In Buddhist terms, Luther is not bad but simply suffers under a delusion. Specifically, his delusion is that for him to have worth, certain others must be divested of worth. This is one of the most common delusions of mankind, and a primary source of suffering for many people.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  122. @AaronB

    I have often made the – serious – mistake of thinking I am in a counter-cultural environment when I am only in a dissident environment, where my challenges of Establishment values were met with unexpected hostility.

    Yep, you should contemplate the seriousness of your mistake, on your way to labour camp for counter cultural thinkers.
    How you could not understand the repercussions of you sharing your revolutionary ideas with mere dissidents?

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @AaronB
  123. @AltanBakshi

    (Still nothing wrong with Vedanta?)

    The different belief systems correspond to different psychological profiles. There is nothing wrong with that: different people are just different. If no one is forced, manipulated of coerced to subscribe to a particular belief system, then people will find their way according to their karma. There would be no distortion.

  124. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    I guess the Buran would not have had a Challenger incident because Russia didn’t do sea recovery, so they couldn’t splash down the boosters and attempt recovery, which actually was cost neutral at best.

    For practical purposes, the Shuttle engines were not as reusable as they were supposed to be, since they were lifting the tank. They were put under more stress than they were designed for, and needed to be disassembled and entirely rebuilt each time.

    I don’t believe the Buran’s engines needed to be fired to achieve orbit. Or if they did, it was light use.

    Though I doubt either system made sense. Lot of danger in side loading anything with thermal tiles, for one. The Dreamchaser toploads under a faring and can land on any commercial airstrip. With miniaturization, it probably doesn’t make sense to build a spaceplane as big as the Shuttle.

  125. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Indeed 🙂

    While you joke, you would indeed like to send me to the labour camps.

    And while you are powerless and will remain so, I think we are entering once again an era of political fragility and the return of the labor camps- metaphorical and real – and one must re-learn the arts of political camouflage and subterfuge. Taoism can help greatly in this.

    The great era of liberalism, where one can openly express one’s ideas, is over. Did it ever really exist? Probably not for the masses, and that freedom was never as strong as its mythologers would have it, but it was real at least among some intellectuals.

    Karlin mentions the return of the “secret salons” of the 18th century, where radical thinkers discussed exciting new ideas outside the gaze of the conservative Church. I was reading that letter writing became a major literary form, often with an eye to future publication, because it was a useful medium to discuss – and develop into mature form – subversive ideas outside the public eye.

    We are entering one of mankinds periodic Ages of Anxiety, Stupidity, and Control. You should be flattered – in a way you represent the spirit of the age 🙂 In this new age thinking may become an exciting and daring act once again. It has been suggested that mankind invents feminine modesty and prudery in order to stimulate the sexual imagination and add an element of thrill and daring to relations between men and women. Too easy access to sex and completely uncovered bodies become boring.

    To really stimulate interesting thought, it may be necessary to create an oppressive environment. Too much freedom may be inimical to free-thinking.

    Certainly the history of novel ideas is as a reaction against inherited stupidities. Exciting new thinking may require the creation of a stupid Establishment to react against, of a system of inherited stupidities.

    If so, counter-culture and Establishment may need each other and play off each other. The victory of either may spell death. Too much counter-culture or too much Establishment – too much chaos or too much order – may spell death.

    If so, stupidity may have its rights – and in the higher economy of life, may be as necessary as intelligence.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  126. @AaronB

    Hmm, so there should there be no limits for extreme behaviour? Is it okay for a religious leader to want to destroy those who do not belong to his religion, in my opinion you are justifying radical Islamist behaviour, I can also say that one should see good in then, but what that helps with anything? Of course everybody has something good in them, thats self evident.

    I may be a bit chauvinist, but an ethnocentrist? Thats a new one, maybe Im not a rootless cosmopolitan, but Im definitely somewhat rootless nomad, and I feel at home in quite different places. There is no one nation or ethnic group to which I feel loyalty, but multiple ones.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  127. songbird says:
    @(((They))) Live

    Despite the idea that there were these two ideological systems that were competing during the Cold War, there seems to have been a lot of copycatism. Not just on technology programs like the Shuttle or Concorde, but in foreign policy, drowning worthless African regimes with foreign aid.

  128. songbird says:

    If the Buran was better, I wonder it it was due to political differences.

    Congress is a good system for pork and probably a bad one for space.

  129. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The Abrahamic God, shared by these religions is a virulent meme, a theological virus infecting human consciousness, destroying and digesting the previous native theological memetic package and thriving in the infected populace brains.

    Given that peoples “infected” with this “virus” have been he most accomplished, humane and refined in history (especially compared to most pagans*) perhaps “virus” is not the most realistic metaphor? Maybe rather, a cure? Maybe a software upgrade? Evolution? Virus metaphor might work for post-Christian -isms though.

    *I mean the transformation of Americans from bloodthirsty demon-worshipping Aztec or Mayan pagans to Baroque-music producing, relatively civilized Mexicans has been evolutionary, not some sort of “illness.”

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  130. @Blinky Bill

    Why can’t we all just get along?

    Wolves and sheep can get along only in a fantasy world.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  131. @AaronB

    While you joke, you would indeed like to send me to the labour camps.

    Dont be such a neurotic and paranoid wacko.

    Im a supporter of Russian and Chinese Imperialism, traditionalist and a Buddhist, not a Nazi or Commie, in a nutshell.

    • Replies: @Blinky Bill
    , @AaronB
  132. @AP

    Sure, but from the point of view of the native cultures and religions the Abrahamic “religious package” was certainly destructive. It erased the previous belief systems and installed its own belief system. That’s what a virus does: taking control of the system to spread its copies. Interestingly enough, the pagan religious traditions usually did not proselytize, they accepted different creeds and accomodated them into a whole.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
  133. @AltanBakshi

    Oh, I forgot to mention that those Islamists are also fighting against the establishment.

  134. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Wolves and sheep can get along only in a fantasy world.

    Which ones are wolves and which ones sheep? And do they know who they are?

    (Sorry, a Socratic moment :).

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  135. @AltanBakshi

    Im a supporter of Russian and Chinese Imperialism, traditionalist and a Buddhist, not a Nazi or Commie, in a nutshell.

    After reading hundreds of your comments AltanBakshi, I have to agree this is a very accurate self description.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AnonFromTN
  136. @Beckow

    Which ones are wolves and which ones sheep?

    At any given moment, whoever is weaker is sheep. However, after the crash of the Empire the tables would be turned. Considering the hatred of the Empire by ~80-85% of world population, many would cheer former sheep along when they become wolves and brutally tear still warm corpse. It won’t be a pretty sight.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  137. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Religions and cultures don’t have a point of view, people do. This upgrade from primitive paganism liberated the people from their subjugation to nature (making them not slaves or subjects to it and it’s gods, but heirs and children of the Creator Himself), improved the lives of the people. In Northern Europe, primitive dwellings and forts were replaced by soaring cathedrals and sturdy beautiful castles, cities appeared, music and visual arts became complex in their beauty. The drive to understand and master the natural world that their Father gave them resulted in technology that made people almost like gods; they used it to eliminate various plagues, to traverse the whole world, settle it, and to liberate other peoples from their darkness.

    It’s just weird to consider such a process to be an infectious one. Infections generally make one weak, or even kill them. The peoples who adopted the Christian faith in contrast became masters of this world.

    Now, the ideologies that weaken or go against that faith can indeed be compared to aversive viruses.

    • LOL: sher singh
  138. @AP

    The peoples who adopted the Christian faith in contrast became masters of this world.

    That’s a convenient view, but the reality is exactly opposite. The peoples who adopted Christian faith lost mastery of their world, became “flock” (we all know what animal this word applies to) of the Pope or his Orthodox equivalent. That’s exactly why in many countries nationalists often turn to local pre-Christian belief systems. Those belief systems are just as non-sensical, the only advantage being that they are local, not imported.

    • Replies: @AP
  139. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Lol, Chinese imperialists are operating re-education camps as we speak and sending writers they don’t like to jail. Russian imperialists and traditionalists sent dissidents and writers to prison and Siberia. European traditional nationalists to prison.

    But I’m a neurotic wacko for describing your position accurately 🙂

    I also said metaphorical labor camps as well – I was referring to other forms of repression and persecution of free thinkers, of which there are many, and which I have no doubt you support. You seem like the type who would be quite thuggis against free thinkers, like Daniel Chieh, who glorifies violent repression.

    Your Buddhism seems quite doubtful to me, to say the least 🙂 Doesn’t quite square with your imperialism and support for aggression.

    My Buddhism may be unorthodox, but it has support in some language in some texts and among certain canonical Buddhist writers – support for aggression, imperialism, hatred and dislike of certain ethnicities, being very attached to political outcomes, does not even have that level of support.

    But I am fine with you calling yourself what you like. What you are is on display here – and no fairy tales about you tolerating free thinkers, please.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AltanBakshi
  140. @AP

    Well, the difference between a parasite and a symbiont is a small one. And it mainly depends on the function of the immune system. The Indo-European native religious traditions existed for many thousand years prior to their eradication by the Semitic Abrahamic religious package. These traditions were very stable and allowed for the survival and cultural development of the European man.

    The Abrahamic religious package allowed for an increased centralisation and stratification of the social systems. It also worked towards erasing of the tribal differences and allegiances to the clan. This process of human uniformisation gave the memetic package more human ressources to exploit towards its self propagtion.

    But when the brainwashed population lost its psychological and cultural common sense (its semiotic immune system), this same Abrahamic package allowed for the infilration of the more damaging variants (the Judaic and the Islamic ones). It also produced mutant strains of universalism, humanism and liberalism through a phenomenon of enlightenment akin to a phenotype conversion. Finally it produced Communism, both the traditonal Bolshevik kind and the Frankfurt school cultural type.

    A viral infection takes some time to complete itself. In the case of ethnic groups the religious virii take centuries to completely rewire the physiology of the host. But sooner or later a virus is either cured, or it is integrated into its host genome and becomes avirulent or it kills its host.

    Today we witness the ongoing demise of the “Judeo-Christian” civilization. Only the Judaic part is standing strong, the Christian is degraded. The Abrahamic religious package has possibly completed its transformative action on the psyche of the European man. Unless the final stage is the Islamic overtake of Europe, which we will know im the comming decades.

    • Replies: @AP
  141. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    It is you who writes opposites. In the Christian view we are children and heirs of God, made in His image.Thus we see ideas about inherent rights of nan, abolition of slavery, become widespread. Under paganism man was subject to nature; it makes sense for extreme nationalists to like paganism because they subjugate man to the Nation. The combination of individualism and universalism arising from Christianity provides for more freedom than under pagans or nationalist totalitarians.

  142. @AaronB

    A counter-culture rejects the values of the Establishment and the mainstream in toto – it rejects the very mental structure, the mental construct, through which the Establishment sees the world.

    You are still allowing yourself to be confined by the use of punctuation and words. You need to become natural and grunt effusively(interpretive farting is also a good idea) – but only after you give your worldly good to Karlin.

  143. @AP

    The combination of individualism and universalism arising from Christianity provides for more freedom

    More freedom, my foot! That’s exactly what we see even as we write: more freedom.

  144. @AP

    Under paganism man was subject to nature

    I am not sure this is exact. How was the ancient Greek neoplatonic pagan more subject to nature than his Jewish or Christian counterpart ?

    Given the destructive action of the Abrahamic religions, we have no trace left of the Slav paganism and very little left of the German/Scandinavian and Celtic paganisms. Therefore we have no idea of how complex or deep these religious systems possibly were. All we know is that these belief systems existed for thousands of years and would probably continued their existence under some form if not for their encounter with the exotic and virulent Abrahamic belief system.

    I would actually love to know what were exactly the beliefs and convictions of the Wendish priests of Rhetra, but they were hunted down and killed, their Gods were assigned by the victorious Catholic crusaders among the demons to be forgotten and erased.

    These Gods were the Gods of our ancestors during thousands of years. We are not Abraham’s children. I don’t see why the ancestors of Hebrews and Arabs should be seen as more worthy of respect than our own European ancestors.

    This Archetype was worshipped by your ancestors for thousands of years AP. Probably since the unified paneuropean cultural realm of the Unetice. But if you think that praying to a crucified Jew is more appropriate, then so be it. We all free now to respect what we have chosen to respect.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    , @AP
  145. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, the difference between a parasite and a symbiont is a small one.

    Not really. All complex multicellular organisms derive from a symbiotic process. The difference between a human and a bacterium or other single-called organism without organelles is a huge, not small. As is the difference between Europeans reaching the moon and producing cathedrals and Bach, versus those living in earthen huts and chanting to their tree gods around a decorated pole.

    The Indo-European native religious traditions existed for many thousand years prior to their eradication by the Semitic Abrahamic religious package. These traditions were very stable and allowed for the survival and cultural development of the European man

    Indeed. Bacteria have been around longer than people and may still be around after people leave this world. Would that make complex life an infection of some sort?

    This process of human uniformisation gave the memetic package more human ressources to exploit towards its self propagtion

    This is only half the story. The increased complexity that came with Christianity resulted not only in increased universalism but also in increased individualism. Not only societies, but also each person living within them became far more complex, intelligent, and interesting.

    Today we witness the ongoing demise of the “Judeo-Christian” civilization

    Maybe, or maybe it will recover. If not – well, a bacterium cannot succumb to cancer. This is a problem of complex and beautiful organisms.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  146. @AaronB

    You seem like the type who would be quite thuggis against free thinkers, like Daniel Chieh, who glorifies violent repression.

    Tell us more about these sexy masochistic fantasies you have of me.

    • LOL: AltanBakshi
  147. I wrote somewhere on this site that Greta’s main problem is not even Asperger’s, but stupidity.
    Here is confirmation:
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-11-17-observers-shocked-greta-thunbergs-inability-to-answer.html?utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fzen.yandex.com&utm_campaign=dbr

    • Replies: @Aedib
  148. EldnahYm says:
    @AP

    You are simply crediting all advances that occurred after Christianity’s adoption to Christianity. If you’re going to adopt these assumptions, you have no basis for denying the modern critic of Christianity who blames it for modern liberalism, mass immigration, minoritarianism, atomism, relativism, dysgenics etc. But I bet you will not accept this.

    Most of the northern European advances you credit to “Christianity” could instead be credited to something like “Roman technology” and Christianity be looked at as an ideology free-riding on a Roman civilizational model which pre-dates the adoption of Christianity.

    Besides, in other parts of the world we have alternative models where your story about Christianity simply doesn’t work. In China Christianity is a dangerous foreign cult which undermines national unity, opens it to malign foreign influence, and leads to wars, and has been that way for hundreds of years. Modern Japan’s rise is partly the result of successful persecution of Christianity.

    One could also spend ages nitpicking your simple story of a linear advance from the adoption of Christianity onwards. From a human welfare standpoint, all of those fancy buildings didn’t do the majority of people much good, and the world remained Malthusian until relatively recently. From the perspective of who built the fanciest stuff, even you have to admit that the picture isn’t as nice as you described. At the very least, the post-Classical, pre-Renaissance world had regressed in many ways.

    Crediting Christianity with medical advances is a particularly big stretch on your part. Medical practices in Europe were worse than useless for treating infectious diseases. Europe was a backwater in this respect. The Chinese had variolation to treat smallpox centuries before the Europeans, and the Europeans were the last part of the civilized world to learn of it.

    I say all this not to advance the thesis that Christianity is responsible for all modern ills and that all of the advances in northern Europe described had nothing to do with Christianity. I think that thesis would be an exaggeration. Certain forms of Christianity have been used to spread literacy, universalistic religions probably do have an advantage for larger scale societies as opposed to smaller, tribal ones, and the pathetic state of medicine in Europe has to be blamed on the retention of Classical ideas. Roman doctors, whether Pagan or Christian, were on the wrong track with regard to infectious disease. Nor do I believe something so laughable as the idea that all medieval technological advances are linked to Roman ideas. Besides, any honest person will have to grapple with the fact that Christian ideas are highly varied. But your story is even more of a caricature than the one I could present, one which I don’t even believe.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Coconuts
    , @AP
  149. @AP

    I don’t think going to the moon has anything to do with adopting an Abrahamic religion. Also, Roman Empire and ancient Greece were pagan and yet produced beautiful and complex cultures. As did Sumerians and Egyptians and ancient Aryans from the Sintashta Arkaim. Neither of these cultures was inferior to the Ancient Hebrew culture, they were equal or arguably superior. Therefore, the European man would have still produced science and culture even without converting to an Abrahamic religion.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
  150. Malenfant says:
    @Blinky Bill

    USA, 2018: 3,791,712 live births.

    …Of which only about half were white.

    So to @Not Only Wrathful’s point — the difference between 1.0 and 1.5 may seem large, but, given their vastly larger population base, China can keep up at 1.0 for a hell of a lot longer than white Americans can survive at 1.5. They’ll still have far more births, more children, more energy.

    And that’s granting China is at a 1.0 TFR, which is an assumption. (And seemingly a rather prejudiced one.) Official statistics have it at 1.69. In other words, the Chinese TFR is plausibly higher than the white American TFR.

  151. @AaronB

    So those who dislike your arguments – are automatically against free speech? How narcissistic one can be?

    Only an utter idiot would jail you, or send you to labour camp, making martyr out of you, would be the only way how your ideas would get some prestige.

    If we start to speak about what kind of hypothetical justice system in my ideal society would be, then in such society you would not be punished for some online writings, but you would get 20 lashes (with bamboo cane) if you would irritate publicly people with your idiotic stuff. Really you have a messiah or some kind of martyr complex if you think that random people on internet dream about jailing you or something.

    (Im not now writing about you, but I would prefer system of internal exile over labour camps, in most cases at least)

    • LOL: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AaronB
  152. @AP

    I understand your point, and Christianity has in my opinion done much, much more good than bad. But abolition of slavery is not thanks to traditional or apostolic Christianity.

    It is said in the New Testament that even though master hits you, you must be faithful to your master as to God. Though in some versions of Bible the word servant and not slave is used, but in reality those servants were much more slaves in a modern sense than servants. Also it was basic stuff for Early Medieval Christian Kingdoms to buy and sell slaves, Church didnt see much problem with it, though freeing of Christian slaves was seen as a pious act. Still Roman or Germanic Christians did not think in anyway that slavery was in conflict with their faith, I actually once had a long debate about this topic.

    Christianity would be perfect as a theistic religion, if it would just accept that its not absolutely necessary for everyone, but maybe that would be death for authentic Christianity, religious vigour would be lost, and its precisely what has happened to various Mainline Protestant sects, like Lutherans and Episcopalians.

  153. @AltanBakshi

    Oh I forgot to add that everyone who supports Israel is a de facto supporter of Imperialism, so this is very much ‘pot calling kettle black’ -situation. No matter what you say, occupying territories inhabited by hostile people, with a different culture and faith, is Imperialism par excellence. Actually Israel is praiseworthy in its adaptation of Imperialism to modern circumstances. When most are forced to bow before the jealous God of liberalism and equality.

  154. @ImmortalRationalist

    The fact that he believes that China and Russia are going to war over Siberia because of global warming gives you everything you need to know about his accuracy of prediction, or lack of thereof.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  155. @Daniel Chieh

    This is pretty epic BTW, worth listening to the end where Russia “inevitably” has a leadership crisis and a civil war; Siberia then secedes to join China. I think I saw a Shadowrun campaign like this, only that was cooler with Yakut spirits creating a magical totalitarianism.

    This belongs in the same fictional category.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  156. SafeNow says:

    I am in the U.S. I play online chess — international speed games. No Russian player has ever made a snide post-game chat comment to me. If he makes any comment, it is “good game.” (“gg”). U.S. players occasionally do make a mean comment. Also, a Russian player will resign a hopelessly lost game, whereas an American player will just play it out sometimes, or walk away from the game; these are not courteous.

  157. Coconuts says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The angels are also a Zoroastrian innovation as is the concept of the messiah / redeemer and the eschalotological fight between good and evil at the end of times. Zoroastrian thought was the matrix that transformed the tribal Semitic creed of the Hebrews into the virulent Abrahamic religious meme that it has become in the late antiquity. A virulent spiritual program that ended up completely destroying native European religious systems that were thousand years old at the time of contact between European Paganism and Abrahamic Monotheism.

    I’d read that Persian religious thought had influenced the Jewish tradition, and given the geographical proximity and power of the Persians it isn’t surprising. Greek philosophy seems to have also played some role in the development of Christianity, perhaps influencing the environment in which it originally emerged, certainly the way in which it was later interpreted.

    Finally I was thinking about the Roman Empire itself. Not too far from where I live there are a lot of remains of Roman frontier forts and military settlements and you can see in the votive altars and statues that the various people present were worshiping the gods of different peoples simultaneously, and that the Roman tendency to connect different local gods to Roman deities was strong. There were also temples to ‘Eastern’ mystery religions that were popular in the military in the last period of the Western Empire. Given the simultaneous prominence of the military’s imperial cult in these areas, I wondered if Christianity had taken hold partly by being a more economic form of religiosity, melding all of these different cultic activities and tendencies into a single religion and set of ceremonies. This could also reflect the need for something that emphasised unity within the Empire as it was showing increasing tendencies to fragment.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  158. @Vishnugupta

    Just look it up, they literally downloaded the design. And there would have been another way, iirc, they just decided to do a near carbon copy of the American one. They certainly based their design on the American one.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  159. Coconuts says:
    @EldnahYm

    Most of the northern European advances you credit to “Christianity” could instead be credited to something like “Roman technology” and Christianity be looked at as an ideology free-riding on a Roman civilizational model which pre-dates the adoption of Christianity.

    Probably what Bacon, Descartes, Newton and so on did during the ‘Second Scientific Revolution’ qualifies as something novel, its own kind of thing and previously unknown, even though the starting point was the Aristotelian tradition and some of the Roman and medieval engineering and other innovations as they existed in their period. They initiated a kind of revenge of natural philosophy over religion and traditional philosophy which is still ongoing.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @EldnahYm
  160. @reiner Tor

    Just look it up, they literally downloaded the design.

    If something is designed to glide back to earth it needs to be shaped like an airplane. And if you take a closer look at the existing aircraft, especially the civilian ones, they all look identical.

    The only idea that the Soviets may have “borrowed” is the thermal protection of the underbelly by using thousands of custom sized and shaped, temperature resistant, tiles to “coat” the areas exposed to friction heat. This idea eventually proved to be not the smartest one.

    The main difference between Shuttle and Buran was that the latter lacked own lift -off engines. The Shuttle engines were useful only during lift-off and provided significant percentage of the total thrust. In space, and especially during descend, these bulky engines were just dead weight (or dead mass to be exact).

    Buran depended entirely on Energia rocket for lift-off. It was equipped with small rocket engines, sufficient for maneuvers in space, which freed a lot of weight for other, more useful loads.

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @Simpleguest
    , @reiner Tor
  161. @Coconuts

    Christianity is a syncretic religion organized on an Abrahamic basis. It has incorporated elements of neoplatonic thought, Middle Eastern mystical traditions and Mithraist and Zoroastrian elements too.

    I have also thought about how Christianity might have been a religion Roman elites used to try to unify the ethnically and religiously diverse masses of the Roman Empire, like today the “Wokism” is also used to try to unify the multicultural West.

    The end result in the West might actually be the same as in the Western Roman Empire (which was ethnically more heterogenous) : weakening, fragmentation, cultural downfall and depopulation.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  162. @Simpleguest

    I just wanted to add that the Soviets may have “borrowed” the concept, the idea behind the Shuttle i.e. a reusable space craft that would lift-off like a rocket and descend, or glide back like an airplane.
    When you apply the same concept, inevitably you end up with very similar results.

    Probably the Soviets just wanted to give it (the idea) a try, just in case. Eventually, it proved to be a dead end, at least with the current level of development of human technology.

  163. @AltanBakshi

    Personally I would give my support to totalitarian utilitarian cosmist one world government dictatorship, which would put all humanitys resources in the fanatic quest of reaching the stars, to make humanity a space faring civilization in the next hundred years, but maybe totalitarian is too much? Authoritarian? No, not enough, it must be totalitarian, or masses start to question and criticize too much. Every day citizens would make a pledge that humanity will reach the stars, news would be full of reports of new astronomic findings, all tv channels would broadcast documentaries about rocket engines and exoplanets, there would be more than ten channels for scifi series etc, etc….

    Whether space colonization is a good idea depends on the average quality of life of the future sentient beings that will colonize space. If quality of life is on average negative, one could argue that space colonization is evil due to spreading vast amounts of suffering across the universe. Antinatalism, if taken to its logical conclusion, implies that space colonization is one of the greatest evils imaginable, and that Earth would be better off as a dead planet completely devoid of life. Although humanity in its current form will almost certainly never colonize the universe. The entities that will colonize the universe will either be posthumans or some form of superintelligence, and such entities may be capable of wireheading.

    Relevant:
    https://longtermrisk.org/risks-of-astronomical-future-suffering/
    https://reducing-suffering.org/will-space-colonization-multiply-wild-animal-suffering/
    https://reducing-suffering.org/utopia/
    https://reducing-suffering.org/how-likely-is-wireheading/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7nsv4n_Bgk

    • Replies: @mal
  164. Aedib says:
    @AnonFromTN

    What do you think about the pompous and self-righteous speeches of Eurocrats? They feel the little clown Borrell was humiliated in Moscow and threat Russia with “terrible retaliations”.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @Passer by
  165. @Daniel Chieh

    Empire Earth had the best Russian plot.

    A nationalist (transhumanist) Russian leader, Grigor, unites and revivifies collapsed 90s era Russia, previously run by gangsters, defeating Western backed traitors. However they wound him and he passes over control to an AI copy of himself (incarnated in a mecha) called Grigor II. Grigor II conquers Europe and China and tries to conquer the US. However, he becomes evil and so a Russian general defects to the Americans and they send an army back in time to kill Grigor II.

    The expansion had a (crypto-fascist) Chinese leader colonising space after the collapse of the PRC. It also ended with war against the West.

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
  166. @Dieter Kief

    I read nearly all his novels and quite a few short stories. I think Pelevin made a speciality of metaphysical dark humor and transcendent trolling. He has the talent of telling very deep things with a trolling laugh. He is a philosophical troll.

    Take this video below from the Generation P movie:

    Ain’t it quite interesting in the light of the latest developments?

    😄

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  167. @Bashibuzuk

    I would actually love to know what were exactly the beliefs and convictions of the Wendish priests of Rhetra, but they were hunted down and killed, their Gods were assigned by the victorious Catholic crusaders among the demons to be forgotten and erased.

    There is a fellow, Leo Zagami, alternately fascinating and drooling loon, who claims nothing was erased. Everything was preserved in the Vatican archives. When Malachi Martin described Satanists inside the Vatican, he was exaggerating what would be better described as eclectic scholars who are not bashful about their investigations all over the darn place.

    Zagami is an occultist so he has that Get Out of Jail Free card that his books are filled with misdirections and blinds intentionally and the dedicated-sincere can go through them straight.

    I have only read a couple of his books and they are quite maddening.

    For example I have read this one:

    Some of what is in there is great but there is so little of it that efficiency plummets.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  168. @Morton's toes

    My personal conclusion is that at a certain time, probably by the middle Bronze Age, the intermarriage of the Bell Beaker males and local (mostly Corded Ware) females produced in Central Europe a thoroughly blended population that built the Unetice Culture. A truly pan-European phenomenon, linking the Bell Beaker West and the Corded Ware East and speaking a proto-Indo European language that became the lingua franca / koine allowing for the relative uniformisation of religious symbols and practices across Europe as demonstrated by the Urnfield Culture burial practices and sacred circular enclosures.

    https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antiquity/article/ring-sanctuary-of-pommelte-germany-a-monumental-multilayered-metaphor-of-the-late-third-millennium-bc/583BE3828E1DB4B638F6E34F96B18125

    https://www.ancient.eu/article/235/the-nebra-sky-disk—ancient-map-of-the-stars/

    These people would have had a common priestly class and a common mythology. After the demise of the Unetice Culture and the subsequent evolution of the Celtic Hallstatt / Latene Culture and the proto-Slavic (ptoto-Antes) Lusatian Culture, the unified religious and cultural ensemble was fractured. But both Celts and Slavs would have kept at least a part of the common tradition. The Baltic Slavs kept it alive in Arkona until the twelfth century.

    The Slavs being less affected by the Roman Empire and the Mediterranean cultural realm, have probably kept more of the archaic elements intact. In fact Slav society changed very little from the Unetice times to the times of the early Rus.

    Thinking that these people had no culture, no philosophy, no metaphysical doctrines is of course very short sighted. The ancestors of Europeans had nothing lacking in them when compared to the Semitic people.

  169. Dmitry says:
    @Coconuts

    When you are reading Descartes and Spinoza, you might still have some sense of scholastic writings – not in their conclusions, but in their reasoning style (even though both had run away from their religious studies, to become a soldier and lense maker, respectively).

    But in Hume, there is sense of modern empirical thinker, in open rebellion against the church and against religious thought.

    The main value of the Church in European intellectual history, was to preserve the thought of the Greek and Roman Ancient World, to preserve texts from the Ancient World, and to train people in skills needed to access them.

    Scholasticism was too constrained by religious dogma to produce a Great Philosopher, but the medieval philosophers practiced building complicated arguments, writing textbooks on Aristotle’s logic, and establishing institutions which would create a great (albeit only secular) harvest in subsequent centuries.

  170. AaronB says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Ha! Its a little bit too late for the old “you are beneath my lofty notice” pose 🙂

    Your long trail of agitated and angry responses to my comments makes clear you are extremely threatened and distressed by them.

    Although I do agree that you should see my comments as completely unthreatening and innocuous- but I can’t control what anxious people find fearful 🙂

    Also, authorirarians can’t pull off “I’m so secure that I don’t care what you say”. They would then be liberals.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AltanBakshi
  171. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    Within a short time after the adoption of Christianity that had been created in the Middle East, Europe fell into many centuries of Dark Ages (let’s say, from 524 – with the execution of Boethius, to 15th century Florence – or around 900 years), and would only rise again alongside rediscovery of the knowledge of civilization in texts inherited from the Ancient World, during the Renaissance.

    Of course, adoption of Christianity was not a cause of the collapse of civilization, but adopting exotic religions created by people Romans had conquered, is viewed typically by historians since Edward Gibbon, as being a symptom of the increasing weakness and fracturing of the Roman world.

    Christianity was valuable in leading to rebirth of civilization in Europe, through preservation of texts from the Ancient World in monasteries, and training people in skills needed to access them, and establishment of institutions and associations of learning, and of Latin as a European-wide language of scholars. The key things about which knowledge was preserved as a byproduct of Church activities, was originally created by civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome – so there is a preservation of Ancient knowledge by the Church, but the value was more preservation of knowledge than production of it.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AP
  172. @Aedib

    What do you think about the pompous and self-righteous speeches of Eurocrats? They feel the little clown Borrell was humiliated in Moscow and threat Russia with “terrible retaliations”.

    Sure, Borrell was deeply offended in Moscow: his hypocrisy was exposed for all to see. This fighter for freedom of speech, this knight in a shining armor, was impolitely asked about journalists jailed for their professional activities in vaudeville Baltic states, about banning of Russian TV channels in those same statelets, and about closing of three opposition TV channels in another American vassal, Ukraine. He could not say anything coherent, just mooed, poor thing.

    In fact, the EU has already run out of sanctions, they’ve introduced even those that hurt them more than Russia. When Eurocrats are offended, they, like toddlers in a sandbox, have tantrums. So, one should react to them exactly like to toddlers: ignore, unless you are prepared to spank them.

    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Aedib
    , @Passer by
  173. @AaronB

    Your long trail of agitated and angry responses to my comments makes clear you are extremely threatened and distressed by them.

    Very cool projection. I can’t fault you for being neurotic though, after all, much like the rest of your mental illnesses, you can’t help it.

    But its still fun to laugh at you.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  174. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    people deprived of transcendence would not reproduce

    All our ancestors human and non-human, have reproduced, with or without achieving a sense of “transcendence”. Nature has ensured that people want to have sex to the extent they feel heterosexual lust, and historically often the most nihilistic and nontranscendent people (e.g. rapists, etc) have reproduced.

    It’s only a result of technological habits of the last century, that sex could be conveniently separated from reproduction, and in our time we now have a choice or voluntary aspect to having children, when mostly peasant population of the past had many children without a choice.

    Today, vast majority of people will have children (e.g. 91% of Russian citizens), but the political/economic problem is created by a large proportion of people having only 1 child instead of 2.

    From the viewpoint of “transcendence”, the 21st century idea that you should invest in your children, can seem more spiritually responsible, than the unthinking reproduction of our ancestors.

    Even today, I wouldn’t be surprised if transcendence and spirituality, can not often reduce natality. Spiritual men and philosophers of the past, seem to have below average natality for their times, and transcendent perspectives can also support anti-natalism as we see in the writing of Schopenhauer.

    their God being the strongest one and the right one, while others were seen as demons masquerading as gods. Later on, the early Christians did exactly the same with the gods of

    Strength or weakness of other supernatural entities relative to God, would be dependent on objective reality, not subjective beliefs.

    You cannot kill another person’s god, but you could convert another people to understand it is not god that they worship.

    The idea that you could kill peoples’ gods, is assuming that gods don’t exist, but are a creation of peoples and cultures. This is a very normal viewpoint for us, but not before the 19th century.

    consciousness of the multitudes, God is fed through such an egregor.

    This is the standard modern secular view, a little in the style of Feuerbach.

    But it assume that god doesn’t exist, in the sense God-fearing people believe – that God is an objective power, that doesn’t depend on your imagination.

    ancient time the Christians heard the proclamation: “The Great God Pan has died”.

    Ancient people were aware of these things, modern people are too blind to understand that what lives through them is their ancestors information, in both genetic and spiritual terms.

    When propagating religion, they could I’m sure see the loss of peoples’ faith in rivals as a positive sense, as in this “death of Pan” myth created by Early Christians.

    But to be Early Christian, will mean that you don’t believe that Pan is a god. Rather, you would want people to understand reality of who is actually god.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  175. Passer by says:
    @Aedib

    It means that Russia and Western Europe are culturally incompatible and that Russia will be moving away from Europe. I could have told you that this is how it was going to end 10 years ago. But russian leadership believed in better relations with Europe to the end, without realising that it is not the same Europe anymore.

    • Disagree: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
    , @Philip Owen
  176. @Dmitry

    All our ancestors human and non-human, have reproduced, with or without achieving a sense of “transcendence”. Nature has ensured that people want to have sex, and historically often the most nihilistic people (e.g. rapists, etc) have reproduced.

    Sure people can have babies outside of any religious setting, but primitive people literally bathed into the spiritual: for an animist or a folower of shamanism everything around was infused with spirits. And since the earliest times the sexual act was seen as somewhat magical. It is still the case today in many esoteric traditions.

    Strength or weakness of other supernatural entities relative to God, would be dependent on objective reality, not subjective beliefs.

    There is nothing objective at all in the religious beliefs in general. The religious experience is always deeply subjective.

    But to be Early Christian, will mean that you don’t believe that Pan is a god. Rather, you would want people to understand reality of who is actually god.

    You should read the Sayings of the desert fathers. You would see for yourself that they did not deny the existence of other gods, but saw them as demons. This is also clearly mentioned in the Gnostic apocrypha.

    This is the standard modern secular view, a little in the style of Feuerbach.

    LOL

    Egregore (also spelled egregor; from French égrégore, from Ancient Greek egrḗgoros ‘wakeful’) is an occult concept representing a distinct non-physical entity that arises from a collective group of people. Historically, the concept referred to angelic beings, or watchers, and the specific rituals and practices associated with them, namely within Enochian traditions.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egregore

    Very modern indeed…

    LOL

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  177. @Bashibuzuk

    Here’s a description of Egregores from the Theosophic point of view:

    https://theosophy.wiki/en/Egregore

    Other words that have been used to describe an egregore are archetype, group consciousness, and zeitgeist. Rupert Sheldrake’s morphogenic fields are egregores.

    This is very close to what I mentioned in my comments: religions as memetic packages unfolding in a semiotic field. That’s a modern and secular manner to describe it if we need one.

  178. Mikhail says: • Website
    @AnonfromTN

    In NY, the local NPR affiliate WNYC picks up BBC bits at 3 PM during the week. One of them featured host James Coomarasamy and one of the Beeb’s Moscow based propagandists Sarah Rainsford (Steve Rosenberg being the other). In a segment on Alexey Navalny and the Borrell-Lavrov meeting, Rainsford had the gall to say that Sergey Lavrov has defended the indefensible. That’s sheer nonsense as discussed in the below video.

    https://theduran.com/eu-external-affairs-commissioner-borrell-humiliated-by-russias-lavrov/

    Navalny has committed crimes involving a French cosmetics firm and not observing the parole conditions accorded to him. Navalny’s disrespectful manner at a court hearing didn’t help his standing. Anglo-American courts are known to tack on added time to defendants who carry on in a boorish way.

    Good for Lavrov. In actuality, it’s Coomarasamy, Rainsford and Borrell, who if anything defend the indefensible.

  179. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Passer by

    Regarding Russia, the neocon/neolib leaning bent of the EU is indeed putrid. They don’t represent all of Europe. The EU itself doesn’t constitute all of Europe.

    There’s some reason for cautious optimism. It really isn’t in the West’s best interests to be so hypocritically anti-Russian to the degree evident.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Passer by
  180. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    Within a short time after the adoption of Christianity that had been created in the Middle East, Europe fell into many centuries of Dark Ages (let’s say, from 524 – with the execution of Boethius, to 15th century Florence – or around 900 years)

    Myths of the Enlightenment whose purpose was not objective.
    and whose ideas about the middle ages were often false or exaggerated.

    https://theneomedievalist.blogspot.com/2021/01/how-enlightenment-ideology-obscured.html?m=1

    I hope you do not believe that people in the Middle Ages thought the Earth was flat?

    Explain how the lands of Rus, Germany, Scandinavia fell into “Dark Ages” after adoption of Christianity. And why did Byzantium not have “Dark Ages?” The civilized parts in the West fell to recently Christianized barbarians. Had they not been Christianized what would have become of those lands?

    is viewed typically by historians since Edward Gibbon, as being a symptom of the increasing weakness and fracturing of the Roman world.

    Gibbon – anti-Catholic bigot, whose well-written works are interesting as an example of thinking from his age but not so useful otherwise. Gibbon writing about the Christian age is like a Bolshevik writing about the time of the Tsars. Even wiki summarizes:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Gibbon#Legacy

    “Edward Gibbon’s central thesis in his explanation of how the Roman empire fell, that it was due to embracing Christianity, is not widely accepted by scholars today.”

    The key things about which knowledge was preserved as a byproduct of Church activities, was originally created by civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome – so there is a preservation of Ancient knowledge by the Church, but the value was more preservation of knowledge than production of it.

    Technological innovation in Europe of the Medieval Period:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_technology

    After the Renaissance of the 12th century, medieval Europe saw a radical change in the rate of new inventions, innovations in the ways of managing traditional means of production, and economic growth.[2] The period saw major technological advances, including the adoption of gunpowder, the invention of vertical windmills, spectacles, mechanical clocks, and greatly improved water mills, building techniques (Gothic architecture, medieval castles), and agriculture in general (three-field crop rotation).

    [MORE]

    Architecture and construction
    Pendentive architecture (6th century)

    A specific spherical form in the upper corners to support a dome. Although the first experimentation was made in the 3rd century, it wasn’t until the 6th century in the Byzantine Empire that its full potential was achieved.

    Artesian well (1126)

    A thin rod with a hard iron cutting edge is placed in the bore hole and repeatedly struck with a hammer, underground water pressure forces the water up the hole without pumping. Artesian wells are named after the town of Artois in France, where the first one was drilled by Carthusian monks in 1126.

    Central heating through underfloor channels (9th century)

    In the early medieval Alpine upland, a simpler central heating system where heat travelled through underfloor channels from the furnace room replaced the Roman hypocaust at some places. In Reichenau Abbey a network of interconnected underfloor channels heated the 300 m2 large assembly room of the monks during the winter months. The degree of efficiency of the system has been calculated at 90%.[20]

    Rib vault (12th century)

    An essential element for the rise of Gothic architecture, rib vaults allowed vaults to be built for the first time over rectangles of unequal lengths. It also greatly facilitated scaffolding and largely replaced the older groin vault.

    Chimney (12th century)

    The first basic chimney appeared in a Swiss monastery in 820. The earliest true chimney did not appear until the 12th century, with the fireplace appearing at the same time.[21]

    Segmental arch bridge (1345)

    The Ponte Vecchio in Florence is considered medieval Europe’s first stone segmental arch bridge since the end of classical civilizations.

    Treadwheel crane
    Treadwheel crane (1220s)

    The earliest reference to a treadwheel in archival literature is in France about 1225,[22] followed by an illuminated depiction in a manuscript of probably also French origin dating to 1240.[23] Apart from tread-drums, windlasses and occasionally cranks were employed for powering cranes.[24]

    Stationary harbour crane (1244)

    Stationary harbour cranes are considered a new development of the Middle Ages; its earliest use being documented for Utrecht in 1244.[25] The typical harbour crane was a pivoting structure equipped with double treadwheels. There were two types: wooden gantry cranes pivoting on a central vertical axle and stone tower cranes which housed the windlass and treadwheels with only the jib arm and roof rotating.[1] These cranes were placed on docksides for the loading and unloading of cargo where they replaced or complemented older lifting methods like see-saws, winches and yards.[25] Slewing cranes which allowed a rotation of the load and were thus particularly suited for dockside work appeared as early as 1340.[26]

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  181. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I don’t think going to the moon has anything to do with adopting an Abrahamic religion

    I doubt a non-Christian people would have gone to the moon. The Greeks and Romans never bothered to to cross the Atlantic.

    Also, Roman Empire and ancient Greece were pagan and yet produced beautiful and complex cultures.

    I was focused on the northern barbarian peoples who were transformed by Christianity. Rome and Greece were complex and produced beauty, but they were a dead end. What do you think of these words by the Russian philosopher Berdyaev? (Spengler’s view of Classical technology was the same as that of Berdyaev)

    [MORE]

    To assert that Christianity is hostile to man’s activity contradicts, in the first place, history. The greatest possible human activity was manifested during the Christian epoch and the most dynamic development belongs to nations that have embraced Christianity—the nations of the West. It has proved itself to be a force building up and directing history. Even its foes were forced to admit that the nations of the ancient civilizations of the East—China, India, Persia—nations which refused to accept Christianity—fell out of step with the world’s history: they stagnated, they lived in the past, they did not face the future. It was only Christianity that made nations capable of looking towards what was to come.

    This can be explained by the messianic nature of Christianity, by the faith that the world was going
    forward to its definite, all-explaining goal—the kingdom of God. The very conception of history as
    a dynamic process, possessing a meaning of its own and advancing towards the highest aim, was created by Christianity. Such a conception became possible because, in the midst of history, Christ, the Saviour of the world, came into it, or in other words, the meaning of the world’s processes was incarnated. The Greeks and the whole of ancient civilization had no true conception of history; their minds were not directed forward; they conceived the world as a revolving circle. The Greek was meditative, not active. He had an aesthetic love for the beauty of the cosmos, for the world’s harmony; his religion was closely related to the myths of the past, and in this past the myths played an important part.

    Christianity, on the other hand, lives not only in the past, but in the future as well. It is looking forward to the second coming of Christ, to the kingdom of God, to the end of the world, when the whole meaning of existence will be realized. The dynamism which was introduced by Christianity into the history of human societies is related to this seeking for God’s kingdom—to the seeking for perfect life. Christianity alone knows aught of this intense seeking, this dissatisfaction with the existing world; it alone has implanted this anxiety in the soul. Man dares to be satisfied only with a perfection as complete as that of the Heavenly Father…

    The Greco-Roman civilization, aristocratic in its very principles, despised work and looked upon it as the portion of the slaves; it is only since Christianity, since the Gospel, that work and those who do it have been sanctified. Christ himself worked: “The labourer is worthy of his hire.” The parables concerning the talents and the vineyard speak of human labour, of human activity, of human creative gifts: man must return his talents multiplied to God (Matt, xxv, 14-30; xxi, 28-31). The activity of man^ must be fruitful; he is told to till the soil; he must return increased all that he has received. Nowhere does the Gospel justify passivity. Christianity established the dignity of every man, ‘fashioned in God’s image and after his likeness,’ and it opens an endless vista of perfection, a perfection not only of individuals but of social meaning. Christianity affirms that man is a spiritual being, and spirit is ever active; that is the definition of spirit. Matter is passive and inert. A spiritual being cannot but strive towards eternity, perfection, the fullness of life, and such a striving implies movement, dynamic development, activity.

    It was Christianity that set man free from the power of Nature, from the elemental forces in the midst of which ancient heathen man lived. In the pagan world man saw demons and spirits everywhere: he was afraid of them and felt that he was subject to them. Christianity released man from this dread of the chaos of dark demoniacal forces underlying Nature, it freed the human spirit from oppression; it raised man and subjected his fate to God, not to elemental natural forces, to the inner, not to the outward. Man could not learn to know Nature scientifically and conquer it technically so long as he thought it was peopled with spirits upon whom his own life depended. Christianity set man free from this pandemonism, thereby spiritually preparing the development of natural science and technical progress, the conquest of nature and its subjection to mankind.

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @sher singh
  182. mal says:
    @ImmortalRationalist

    Antinatalism, if taken to its logical conclusion, implies that space colonization is one of the greatest evils imaginable, and that Earth would be better off as a dead planet completely devoid of life.

    We can feed those people to lions. It will increase happiness of lions and decrease unhappiness of the antinatalists. Win win. Also, animals, on balance, prefer to live rather than die, (try killing a mosquito some time, she will dodge you as hard as possible, definitely doesn’t want to die), from that we can conclude that their happiness/unhappiness ratio is above one. Exceptions exist of course (whale sometimes committing suicide and so on), but those are relatively rare.

    More fundamentally, suffering is an important feedback mechanism and we wouldn’t want to eliminate it anyway. Pointless suffering should be minimized (like you probably shouldn’t torture animals), but ability to feel pain is important (like if you stick your hand in a fire, you need a feedback mechanism telling you that something is wrong).

    Although humanity in its current form will almost certainly never colonize the universe.

    Well sure! Your great grandmother was a tree rat. Your great granddaughter will be a radiation resistant superintelligent squid adapted for subsurface oceans of Europa. It is perfectly normal. Evolution never stops. It is our duty, as humanity, to give it a little push and maybe steer it a little bit to minimize losses and rationalize the process. But we are all one big family stemming from the common genetic lineage. We are at least 4 billion years old, and hopefully will carry on for many tens of billions of years into the future. Within the family, changes are normal and expected, and it’s fine. T Rexes may no longer be with us, but even dinosaurs march on as pigeons. As long as the family spreads, individual branches are not that critical. Though obviously, survival is important to the individual branch.

    • Agree: Svevlad
  183. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Under paganism man was subject to nature

    I am not sure this is exact. How was the ancient Greek neoplatonic pagan more subject to nature than his Jewish or Christian counterpart ?

    I was referring particularly to the forest barbarians; pre-Christian Greeks and Romans lacked the drive to expand horizons and dominate nature through technology for different reasons. My quotes from Berdyaev in the other post capture this. Spengler had similar observations but he did not attribute the difference between Classical (“Appolinian”) and Western (“Faustian”) to Christianity despite noting that it was under Christianity when the Westerners came to dominated the world.

    Given the destructive action of the Abrahamic religions, we have no trace left of the Slav paganism and very little left of the German/Scandinavian and Celtic paganisms. Therefore we have no idea of how complex or deep these religious systems possibly were.

    They could not have been so deep and complex if they have left no written records suggesting complexity. Nor did those people lead lifestyles or produce lasting cultural or architectural monuments implying complexity.

    All we know is that these belief systems existed for thousands of years and would probably continued their existence under some form if not for their encounter with the exotic and virulent Abrahamic belief system.

    As would the Iroquois, Sami, Chukchi, etc.

    I would actually love to know what were exactly the beliefs and convictions of the Wendish priests of Rhetra, but they were hunted down and killed

    I would too. I would love to hear the sounds of the songs sung by our homo erectus and Neanderthal ancestors also, but am glad that we have evolved beyond them.

    These Gods were the Gods of our ancestors during thousands of years. We are not Abraham’s children. I don’t see why the ancestors of Hebrews and Arabs should be seen as more worthy of respect than our own European ancestors.

    That is a decorated pole. This is far more beautiful and built soon after the decorated poles were thrown away:

    It was a project of my Rus ancestors.

    Here is another:

    More impressive than the crude objects of the primitive pagans.

    But if you think that praying to a crucified Jew

    The Son of God is for everyone. He is Universal. He inspired the world’s greatest arts, literature, music, science, and His followers liberated much of the world from darkness. Unlike the faith of the decorated poles.

  184. @AaronB

    “Aaron likes to piss me off, I also like piss him off, very simple.”

    “Though you are 99% of time wrong, I am the real idiot, because of my pride and attachment to Buddhism I cant to stop arguing with you, we are just two fools locked in this futile state”

    Heres few comments that I wrote to you not long time ago, maybe you project, but I have tried to be honest with you. Still it was often funny to debate with you, but at the moment it seems that you dont have anything substantial left to say. You have reached the advanced stage of egoism – claiming to know others mind perfectly without building a good and solid argumentation for your reasoning.

    Aaron I love debating, its one of the best things in life, I have always loved it. I have great respect for both physical and verbal forms of fighting. Though verbal is superior. Both forms of fighting can be most noble ways to act if motivation arises from the need defend lives or ones Dharma. Without practice one can never become a master of something.

  185. AP says:
    @EldnahYm

    You are simply crediting all advances that occurred after Christianity’s adoption to Christianity.

    Yes. It’s rather logical, given that for centuries prior to Christianity Northern Europeans didn’t accomplish much, and Greeks and Romans while brilliant theorists were not so focused on transforming the world.

    If you’re going to adopt these assumptions, you have no basis for denying the modern critic of Christianity who blames it for modern liberalism, mass immigration, minoritarianism, atomism, relativism, dysgenics etc. But I bet you will not accept this.

    These problems are all due to the erosion of Christianity. The Classical world also experienced an erosion – Christianity then stepped in, and everything turned out better.

    Most of the northern European advances you credit to “Christianity” could instead be credited to something like “Roman technology” and Christianity be looked at as an ideology free-riding on a Roman civilizational model which pre-dates the adoption of Christianity.

    You put it backwards. Christianity came first, and transmitted the Roman and Greek knowledge while combining it with a non-Classical weltanschauung – the Christian drive to not only further contemplate and study the natural world as the Ancients did but also to control it. So already in medieval times practical refinements were being made, and systems were created (universities, scientific method) that would maximize advancement. So already monks were trying to come up with perpetual motion machines or to transform materials into gold, not just theorizing.

    Besides, in other parts of the world we have alternative models where your story about Christianity simply doesn’t work.

    Places like China or India had a thousands of years head start but were eclipsed by the Christian Europeans who had recently emerged from barbarism.

    Crediting Christianity with medical advances is a particularly big stretch on your part. Medical practices in Europe were worse than useless for treating infectious diseases. Europe was a backwater in this respect.

    Correct. I didn’t mention medical advances overall. I think medieval Europeans pioneered use of quarantines and invented eyeglasses.

    The Chinese had variolation to treat smallpox centuries before the Europeans, and the Europeans were the last part of the civilized world to learn of it.

    Chinese came up with variolation in the 15th century. Yet centuries later Europeans invented vaccines; Pasteur was a very devout Christian.

    • Replies: @EldnahYm
    , @AltanBakshi
  186. @Simpleguest

    if you take a closer look at the existing aircraft, especially the civilian ones, they all look identical.

    It’s because of the manufacturing and maintenance technology. The fuselage needs to be cigar-shaped so that the sections of it are identical (except the cockpit and the tail section), which makes it easier to produce. The engines need to be hanged on the wings to make maintenance easier. Aerodynamically it’s not the best shape.

    Anyway, regardless of shape, the Soviets downloaded the whole documentation of the American Space Shuttle. I’m not sure if it made it that much easier for them to make a similar vehicle, but it probably helped a lot.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  187. @AP

    One nitpick: the Northern European pagans had much lower population density due to the slow process of local plant domestication and adopting plants not well suited for the climate. Unlike in the Mediterranean, Northern Europeans couldn’t adopt the Near Eastern agricultural package without significant modifications.

    That said, I think it’s pretty obvious that Christianity was at the very least not incompatible with technological and scientific development and the creation of beautiful works of art and some of the most impressive architecture.

    • Replies: @songbird
  188. @Bashibuzuk

    I have also thought about how Christianity might have been a religion Roman elites used to try to unify the ethnically and religiously diverse masses of the Roman Empire, like today the “Wokism” is also used to try to unify the multicultural West.

    Hmm, already in the 2nd and 3rd century most inhabitants of ‘Romania’ felt being members of one Roman nation, as an example emperors could have their origins in far away provinces, like Pannonia, Hispania and Libya. To me it seems that the differentiation between the inhabitants of original City state of Rome and subjects of the Empire had almost totally disappeared by the time of Caracalla and Severus.

    In the time of Constantine I, Christians were a minority, probably only 10-20% of the Empires population. To me it seems, that many people in the Late Antique did not anymore take seriously gods, yes they often believed in their existence, but they were too human and frail in comparison with Christ, especially after the tumultuous 3rd century, it must seemed to then that their traditional gods could not give much protection to the empire.

    Its no good that the gulf between Christians and non-Christians is growing in the West, theres already too much atomisation in the society.

  189. @reiner Tor

    Anyway, regardless of shape, the Soviets downloaded the whole documentation of the American Space Shuttle. I’m not sure if it made it that much easier for them to make a similar vehicle, but it probably helped a lot.

    Probably it did save a lot of time and cost, if true. But then again, Soviets just needed to look at the Shuttle, when it first flew, to know all they needed to know. They were on par with Americans about rocketry, aerodynamics, materials etc.

    Again, I am not sure that Soviets were totally convinced that the concept behind the Shuttle is a viable one, due to its numerous technical constraints and costs. That’s the main reason why Buran was shelved when Soviet Union collapsed.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  190. @Simpleguest

    The Soviets feared that the Shuttle only had military applications (installing giant space lasers and bringing them back to Earth for maintenance) and that it might moonlight as a space bomber. That’s the main reason why they built their own thing. Otherwise they didn’t need it.

  191. Fertility rates of the people are much more complicated than you claim. I believe that its fallacy to claim that fertile people stay fertile through multiple generations, or that transcendent thinking is somehow in conflict with fertility, in Russia Buddhists have very good rates of fertility, in Tibet people are extremely fertile. Small family sizes are quite a problem for Buddhism, when theres six or seven sons, its not a problem if one or two becomes a monk, its a blessing, but when theres only one son, its a big problem and parents are almost always against if their only son becomes a monk.

    [MORE]

    Statues of loving couples are extremely common in ancient Buddhist temples. No wonder, because Dharma is beneficial for both monks and married couples.
    .

    Dont over generalise, maybe some western ascetics were anti natalists(and maybe Jains), in Dharmic religions its seen that holy men are extremely beneficial for the fertility of lay people, they bring good and peaceful energy, there is less struggle and more harmony in community, all which is good for married life. Even western historians admit that Buddhism and Hinduism have always been very connected with various fertility cults.

    https://images.nortonsimonfoundation.org/fcgi-bin/iipsrv.fcgi?FIF=F1972111S.ptif&WID=500&CVT=JPEG

    Our temples are full of fertile spirits of nature, or Yakshas, when monks live well and properly, then the fertility of lay people is guaranteed.

    I should not say this, but compassionate sex in marriage is Dharma practice to us. But hey guys, Buddhists have never been prudent with sex like Abrahamic people. There is no stigma or complexes with it.

    All Buddhists schools even agree that Buddhas path to awakening began in that previous life wherr he met his wife Yasodhara, now I must stop before going to secret Tantric stuff.

    Oh well, we even have literal fertility goddesses, which are still quite popular. And before some idiot claims this is later addition, the Buddha himself endorsed such religious practices. I have purposefully linked photos of very ancient Buddhist art.

    Like goddess Hariti

    Here is Hariti in Tibetan form, she has hundreds of children and she is a protector of children, women have traditionally prayed her for easy child birth and pregnancy. She is only one example among many others. How the hell our monks who promote such figures are anti-natalist?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  192. @AltanBakshi

    For clarification, my comment was addressed to Dmitrys comment 184#

    Also a small correction, the female figure in the red hair is the goddess Hariti in a Tibetan style, and only modern piece of art that I posted, all other are extremely ancient, among oldest Buddhist statues, and its for a good reason, so that no western revisionists could claim that such fertility figures would be later addition or ‘degeneration.’

    By the way that Hariti in the Tibetan style is painted by a Russian(or Ukrainian?) Buddhist painter Nikolai Dudko.

    https://thangka.ru/burji-lhamo/

  193. EldnahYm says:
    @AP

    Yes. It’s rather logical, given that for centuries prior to Christianity Northern Europeans didn’t accomplish much, and Greeks and Romans while brilliant theorists were not so focused on transforming the world.

    It might seem logical if it weren’t the case that northern Europe remained a backwater long after the adoption of Christianity. To say northern Europe didn’t accomplish much is also rather ridiculous. For just one example, Scandinavians made it to north America, a feat which would not be replicated elsewhere.

    These problems are all due to the erosion of Christianity. The Classical world also experienced an erosion – Christianity then stepped in, and everything turned out better.

    In other words, what AP thinks is good = Christianity, bad = not Christianity. Pure assertion on your part.

    You put it backwards. Christianity came first, and transmitted the Roman and Greek knowledge while combining it with a non-Classical weltanschauung – the Christian drive to not only further contemplate and study the natural world as the Ancients did but also to control it. So already in medieval times practical refinements were being made, and systems were created (universities, scientific method) that would maximize advancement. So already monks were trying to come up with perpetual motion machines or to transform materials into gold, not just theorizing.

    Places like China or India had a thousands of years head start but were eclipsed by the Christian Europeans who had recently emerged from barbarism.

    According to your logic, Ethiopians should be the most advanced people in the world.

    When some other part of the world is ahead of Europe, that only shows how impressive it was that Christian Europe later got ahead. When some other part of the world is behind Europe, that only shows how superior Christianity is. Using this kind of argument, it’s impossible to falsify anything you say.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
  194. EldnahYm says:
    @Coconuts

    Descartes, Newton, and the rest of the boys in the band wouldn’t have seen it that way. To them, what they were doing is enunciating the divine laws by which the universe is governed. Newton in particular was a serious theologian. In all of the examples AP mentions of technological advances to be credited to Christianity, he would actually have a stronger case by singling out Newton’s contributions, which were plainly influenced by Christian philosophical ideas.

    The ideas of Locke and Hume(Dmitry rightly mentions him) were damaging to religion in a different way than the people you mentioned. I believe there has been a tendency to conflate scientific and empirical thinking with skeptical and relativistic thinking as if they are the same. This conflation has introduced a great deal of rot. Locke and Hume are partly to blame for this state of affairs.

    • Agree: AP
    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Coconuts
  195. @AP

    In the pagan world man saw demons and spirits everywhere

    Christians were no different. Early Christianity was obsessed with rooting out demons.

    The rest of the quoted passage hardly amounts to anything more than empty assertions, which may be true, but are the sort of thing that can never really proven to everyone's satisfaction either way.

    Christianity, whatever good it may have done, was clearly a massive step backwards for rationality. It is not so surprising that it was only with the rise of doubt about the literal truth of Christian dogmas (among thinking people) that scientific investigation was able to bloom.

    • Replies: @AP
  196. @AltanBakshi

    Why Amishes are scum in your opinion?

    I was referring to Haredis with that comment. (What else am I supposed to think of that sick, supremacist cult?) Amish aren’t nearly as bad, but I still wouldn’t want to be surrounded by them.

    It remains to be seen how long they can maintain their ferocious fertility rates. Some people blithely assume that at some point their fertility rates must reduce, or that the growth of their populations will be stymied by apostasy, but I’m not so sure that either of those “must” occur.

  197. To think that Christianity alone is behind the success of the western world, or that Christianity was a semitic mind virus which made Roman empire to fall, and led Europe to “Dark Ages,” are both crude caricatures.

    If Christianity would have been this magical protector of its adherents and some kind of highest state of humanity, then why the more Orthodox and authentically Christian East fell under Islam, why now most descendants of ancient Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians and Hebrews are now Muslims? Why Greeks, Levantines and Armenians suffered centuries under Islamic rule?

    Also if Christianity would have been this semitic and tyrannical virus, why then monks enthusiastically preserved old Pagan knowledge and philosophy? Admired Pagan philosophers and literature. Unlike Muslims in the Middle East, for whom everything predating Islam was just superstition and darkness(though not for every Muslim).

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @silviosilver
    , @AP
  198. Mr. Hack says:
    @AP

    I would just like to add to your very excellent comment, that it is only within Christianity that man not only can raise his status here in this life, but also in the next life too. Indeed, both lives become one united whole where man can truly become a god, something for which he was created for from the very beginning. Anybody here got something better to offer?

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  199. AP says:
    @silviosilver

    Christians were no different. Early Christianity was obsessed with rooting out demons

    Rooting out and confidently defeating all those demons is not the same thing as worshipping, being beholden to, and following them. The first process went hand in hand with the incredible victories over the natural world.

    • Agree: Kent Nationalist
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  200. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Also if Christianity would have been this semitic and tyrannical virus, why then monks enthusiastically preserved old Pagan knowledge and philosophy?

    A very good observation. Basically, these wise Christian religious men found something worthwhile even within these old pagan religions, that ultimately pointed to pre-Christian man’s yearnings to touch the transcendent nature of God. The prime example of this would probably best be represented by the old Greek religious system:

    “In the years before Christ, many wise and virtuous people had appeared. For example, the ancient Greeks had reached quite high standards of philosophy about the good and about God. Their philosophy, in fact, contained seeds of the truth, the so-called “spermaticos logos.” Moreover, they were very religious people, but of course they did not know the true God; they were idolaters, yet very pious and god-fearing people. They were not atheists, as certain ill-informed contemporaries of ours represent them; those who do not know enough about these things. For this reason, by attempting to remove its faith in God from the psyche* of our devout people even without their consent, educators, teachers, politicians and civil governors act in a way inconsistent to the memory of the Greek race, and so they commit “hybris”2 in the ancient meaning of the word. In essence, they attempt to de-hellenise our people, because the Tradition of the Greeks (throughout our ancient, recent and modern history) is a Tradition of piety and respect for God. All the worldwide cultural contribution of Hellenism was and is based on this piety and respect for God. In the philosophy of the ancient Greeks we can perceive a certain yearning for the unknown God… for the experience of God. They were faithful and devout, but they did not have the true and completed knowledge of God, as they still lacked communion with Him, so that Theosis was not possible for them.”
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/general/theosis-english.pdf

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  201. @Bashibuzuk

    You should read the Sayings of the desert fathers. You would see for yourself that they did not deny the existence of other gods, but saw them as demons.

    This is very true, early Christians believed that Pagan gods were demons, but as you probably know, demon was not so bad word then, as it later became during the Middle Ages. So to us moderns what they meant by demon would be more like spirit of nature, which sometimes were malevolent, and sometimes more neutral.

    It wouldnt even be a heretical Christian position to claim that Pagan gods exist as lost spirits, who are not anywhere near as powerful as the true God and not worthy of worship.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AP, RSDB
  202. @Mr. Hack

    that it is only within Christianity that man not only can raise his status here in this life, but also in the next life too

    I very much respect your faith, but Mr. Hack isnt this the same promise given by many religions? Gain true happiness and salvation, in this life and in the next?

    Or what you mean by raising ones status in this life?

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  203. @AP

    Places like China or India had a thousands of years head start but were eclipsed by the Christian Europeans who had recently emerged from barbarism.

    Indian and Chinese civilizations are about as old as Greek or Italian, Vedic literature is about as old as Homeric, and Greeks had writing centuries before Indians, around same time Chinese got their letters, few people seem to remember how old is the Greek civilization, much older than Greece of sophists and Alexander of Macedon. Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were born two thousand to three thousand years before the Christ. Etruscan civilization is not so old, but still began three thousand years ago. So Indians and Chinese definitely did not have a head start in comparison to Italians and Hellenes.

    Btw I agree with you on Gibbon. He was a maker of anti Christian propaganda.

  204. @AP

    Thanks for your comments AP as usual they are well written and thoughtful.

    There is much to discuss here, and I will take the time to write a thoughtful reply. For now, I will only notice something that perhaps we should clarify from the very start: simple does not necessarily mean inferior and complex does not necessarily mean superior.

    In my opinion, a simple, and efficient method is usually better than a more complex and somewhat more efficient method. This is mainly due to what Nassim Taleb has called “antifragility”.

    We have then to ask the question; if religious teachings and spiritual traditions are methods, what are they made for, what do they strive to achieve? And then analyze their respective efficiency in achieving that goal, their simplicity, complexity, antifragility etc.

    We need a common scale to compare different spiritual traditions, as we have a common scale to compare for exemple living organisms (you have mentioned that bacteria do not die of cancer in one of your comments).

    • Thanks: AP
  205. @AltanBakshi

    Also if Christianity would have been this semitic and tyrannical virus, why then monks enthusiastically preserved old Pagan knowledge and philosophy?

    Christianity was responsible for considerable destruction of pagan writings, and much of what was “preserved” occurred unintentionally as Christian scholars pored over pagan texts in order to better denounce them. You have to remember, before Christianity became the law of the land, it underwent a real war of words with the pagan world so there was a great deal of this denouncing going on.

    • Replies: @Kent Nationalist
  206. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    If Christianity would have been this magical protector of its adherents and some kind of highest state of humanity, then why the more Orthodox and authentically Christian East fell under Islam, why now most descendants of ancient Greeks, Syrians, Egyptians and Hebrews are now Muslims?

    Because it was necessary but not (quite) sufficient. Still, the Christians of Byzantium held their own against the Muslim onslaught for many centuries longer than did the Persians and the distant kingdoms of India. And perhaps their defeat at the ands of other Christians in the 12th century contributed to their later defeat at the hands of the Ottomans.

    Also, as a twisted half-cousin of Christianity, Islam has a “magic” of its own.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  207. @silviosilver

    Christianity was responsible for considerable destruction of pagan writings, and much of what was “preserved” occurred unintentionally as Christian scholars pored over pagan texts in order to better denounce them.

    Why think that anything would have survived without Christianity? None of the pagan rulers at that time were interested in preserving them. Nor did the secular Romanised aristocracy.

    • Disagree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  208. @AP

    Your logic doesnt make any sense to me.
    How it was necessary, are you a determinist or fatalist?

    Some large Indian kingdoms, like Viyanagara and Gajapatis, survived much longer than Byzantium, and anyway most Indians are still Indian culturally and religiously, they stayed Indian, unlike (most)Hellenes, Egyptians, Mesopotamians and Syrians, they were great Christian nations, but now only small and quickly disappearing Christian minorities are whats left of them. Even Greeks lost great majority of their lands.

    In my humble opinion Christs power is not found in material inventions and great conquests, but in simple and pious life, such beliefs made people to feel spiritual kinship with each other, which strengthened bonds of community, when every man had just one lawful wife, there was no need to fight for women like in Islamic societies, where rich men had multiple wives, and such behaviour was legitimised by the religion. So often only way for a poor man to have women, was by being a warrior or bandit.
    Same with medieval Christian egalitarian ethos, though social classes existed, it was common for nobles to show piety by feeding and clothing the poor. There was even a common tradition that queens and kings washed the feet of the poor, just like Christ had done. Same with the belief that king could heal sick by his touch, it was common for kings to receive hundreds of sick people every year and touch them. Sultans and Padishahs would never done anything similar.

    Also, as a twisted half-cousin of Christianity, Islam has a “magic” of its own.

    Sad that God favored Islam over Zoroastrians…

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @AP
  209. AP says:
    @EldnahYm

    Yes. It’s rather logical, given that for centuries prior to Christianity Northern Europeans didn’t accomplish much, and Greeks and Romans while brilliant theorists were not so focused on transforming the world.

    It might seem logical if it weren’t the case that northern Europe remained a backwater long after the adoption of Christianity.

    They had a lot of improving to do form a very low base but the improvement was rapid, new plowing technology for example happened early.

    To say northern Europe didn’t accomplish much is also rather ridiculous. For just one example, Scandinavians made it to north America, a feat which would not be replicated elsewhere.

    It was indeed an accomplishment, but they had a shorter route and the enterprise was impermanent.

    These problems are all due to the erosion of Christianity. The Classical world also experienced an erosion – Christianity then stepped in, and everything turned out better.

    In other words, what AP thinks is good = Christianity, bad = not Christianity. Pure assertion on your part.

    You can ague that with modernism, Communism etc. Christianity carried within it the seeds of its own destruction.* A legitimate argument. But then, is it not better to flourish to an extent that would otherwise never have been achievable and then die, than to be immortal in savagery? Is is better to evolve into humanity and then disappear, than to be bacteria forever?

    Christendom has not yet fallen, so it is too early to predict its demise.

    According to your logic, Ethiopians should be the most advanced people in the world.

    Ethiopians were cut off and isolated, an perhaps inherited characteristics play some role. But still, they were more advanced than their neighbors, avoided foreign domination much longer, and their places better so Christianity played an important and positive role for them..

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  210. Passer by says:
    @Mikhail

    There is chasm between Russia and Western Europe, it is not simply several eurocrats, it is enough to see the huge difference in views on LGBT and gender fluidity among ordinary people.

    When RT, the mouth of the leadership that hoped to wrestle Europe away from the US (and it failed) says that, you will know that there is a serious issue.

    https://russian.rt.com/opinion/825520-popova-ssha-baiden-zapad-liberalizm-ideologiya

    Macron himself said that Russia’s conservative model made it incompatible with Europe.

    • Thanks: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    , @Mikhail
  211. @AP

    The activity of man^ must be fruitful; he is told to till the soil; he must return increased all that he has received.

    We must increase the GDP of Ukraina by importing Negroes.

    • Replies: @Simpleguest
  212. @AP

    “Immortal in savagery, bacteria forever?”

    How flattering…

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  213. @sher singh

    We must increase the GDP of Ukraina by importing Negroes.

    We must increase the DP of Ukraine by importing Negros.
    Fixed it for you.

  214. Aedib says:
    @AnonfromTN

    I had fun reading the furious Editorials from Elpais.es and TheGuardian. It seems that Eurocrats started to realize that they depleted their sanctions arsenal and failed to kill the bear. They wanted to lecture Russia on human rights and received a contemptuous answer. So, they started to realize they lack hard power necessary to back they inflated demands.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @AnonFromTN
  215. songbird says:
    @reiner Tor

    Old growth oak grown in cold climates would have been impossible to cut down in the bronze age. Not even easy with iron. If you are cutting a small oak with a chainsaw, you’ll want a powerful one with a sharp chain. You can grow to appreciate the hardness of oak just by cutting saplings with a lopper.

    Additional agricultural advancements happened later, like the horse collar and horse plow. They undoubtedly helped increase population. Were they due to Christianity? It’s possible, but I am skeptical.

    Often, the fruits of population increase are conflated with the fruits of a philosophy. The Enlightenment is the big one. The Renaissance is probably another. A lot of the cultural development of ancient Rome was probably increase in population density and scale, even though they practiced slavery.

  216. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    There are certain steps or phases that one must go though in this life in order to reach the final state of Theosis (uniting with the uncreated energies of the living God, thus becoming a god): humility, asceticism, the Holy Mysteries and prayer. Along this path, the individual must learn to totally shed his belief that one can elevate oneself by any means of his own, that he is fully dependent on God’s grace alone. Of course, not all actually reach the final state of sanctification in this life, but fortunately that is not the most important part of the process:

    Throughout the whole of our life the Orthodox Christian must struggle, so that, slowly-slowly within the Church, with the Grace of God, with humility, repentance, prayer, and the holy Mysteries, he may be sanctified and deified. This, however, is the purpose of our lives; the great aim. It is not so important exactly how far we progress. Our struggle itself, which God blesses abundantly, has value both in the present age, and in the age to come

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  217. Passer by says:
    @Aedib

    On the contrary, they got massively triggered by the Borrel fiasco and there were many anti-russian outbursts in Europe. Which is boxing them in as a US puppet. Basically, liberalism made Western Europe a forever puppet of the US. Russophobia too. Just like intended, by the way.

    Euro culture was deliberately terraformed in order to make them forever puppets, who want that by themselves.

    • Replies: @Aedib
    , @sudden death
  218. FerW says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Personally I would give my support to totalitarian utilitarian cosmist one world government dictatorship, which would put all humanitys resources in the fanatic quest of reaching the stars, to make humanity a space faring civilization in the next hundred years, but maybe totalitarian is too much?

    This odd statement-question gave me pause. Having quietly read in the order of 1000s of comments in this forum I had imagined AltanBakshi to be a grounded, rather than stars-bound, Buddhist. Are you saying that you would indeed give your support for one such globally totalitarian “cosmist” project?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  219. Passer by says:
    @AnonfromTN

    In fact, the EU has already run out of sanctions

    They didn’t, the latest sanctions round was banning Belarus from hosting various sports events.

    Banning countries from international sport events is quite effective tactic at humiliating opposing countries.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  220. @Aedib

    It seems that Eurocrats started to realize that they depleted their sanctions arsenal and failed to kill the bear.

    I think Russia should distance itself from the EU ASAP. A lot of heavy and high-tech industrial products, the market for which Germany stupidly lost, are now imported from South Korea. This should never change: there must be a long-term price to pay for stupidity. I think Putin is doing the right thing by building a lot of plants to liquefy natural gas. LNG should be sold to the highest bidder. If European asses freeze in winter as the result, let them take their grievances to Brussels eurocrats. If Europe wants to shoot itself in the foot, it’s their problem. Putin is not the president of Europe, so he should not give a hoot about European problems. Let those pathetic vassals ask their seignor for help. A fat lot of good it’s going to do them.

    • Agree: Aedib
  221. @Passer by

    Banning countries from international sport events is quite effective tactic at humiliating opposing countries.

    In fact, it’s more feel good than economically damaging. It’s also very short-sighted. Actions like this only bring the day closer when non-imperial-dominated world creates its own sports events.

    Geopolitically speaking, Europe and minor imperial vassals like Canada and Australia will go under with the Empire, while 85% of the world will breathe a sigh of relief.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @A123
  222. Passer by says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Russia is just lucky that the West is declining, because Russia is a declining country too. Both as share of world GDP and as share of world population. It lost half a million people in 2020 alone.

    Both the West and Russia are declining.

    Btw Canada and Australia are not minor, they provide enormous natural resources as well as strategic depth to the US Empire.

    US + Canada + Australia have more territory than Russia.

  223. Aedib says:
    @Passer by

    Off course there were massive anti-Russian outbursts. What I mean is this crying-game is more and more funny every day.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  224. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Your logic doesnt make any sense to me.

    How it was necessary, are you a determinist or fatalist?

    The precondition for the meteoric rise of the West and it’s eventual domination of the world was its conversion to Christianity. Abandonment of Christianity may be its downfall.

    Some large Indian kingdoms, like Viyanagara and Gajapatis, survived much longer than Byzantium

    Yes but these were much further from the Islamic heartland.

    In my humble opinion Christs power is not found in material inventions and great conquests, but in simple and pious life, such beliefs made people to feel spiritual kinship with each other, which strengthened bonds of community, when every man had just one lawful wife, there was no need to fight for women like in Islamic societies, where rich men had multiple wives, and such behaviour was legitimised by the religion. So often only way for a poor man to have women, was by being a warrior or bandit.
    Same with medieval Christian egalitarian ethos, though social classes existed, it was common for nobles to show piety by feeding and clothing the poor. There was even a common tradition that queens and kings washed the feet of the poor, just like Christ had done. Same with the belief that king could heal sick by his touch, it was common for kings to receive hundreds of sick people every year and touch them. Sultans and Padishahs would never done anything similar

    As usual you have written poetically and beautifully. You are correct. I have been describing the domination and improvement of the world by Christians but it went hand in hand with and was no less important than the conquest of oneself and self-improvement.

    Sad that God favored Islam over Zoroastrians

    This was one history’s greatest tragedies. The world lost such a jewel. I wonder if the Persian was against Byzantium that preceded the conquest contributed to this disaster. I am reminded of Russia’s tragic choice to support regicide against a Christian monarchy and go to war with it on the side of secular France and liberal Britain, and how this opened the door to the Bolshevik horror.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  225. A123 says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Geopolitically speaking, Europe and minor imperial vassals like Canada and Australia will go under with the Empire, while 85% of the world will breathe a sigh of relief.

    Reality speaking, there is no reason to believe the end-state will have two sides. For example, China will accelerate its campaign of de-Islamification after Mullah Merkel’s Imperial Caliphate falls.

    It is hard to predict exact lines of how things will play out. However, it is certain that the IslamoGloboHomo Empire continues to lose ground that vs Christian Populism. Dhimmi collaborators stealing the election from Trump has deepened the divide among the factions. And, it will ultimately backfire against the SJW sharia-left liberalism.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  226. Svevlad says:
    @mal

    I have a similar, if less idealistic idea. I’d call it “balls”, “courage”, “killer instinct” or just good old chutzpah. It’s a trait of individuals, but “stackable” into entire ethnies. I can’t really describe what it is, but I can describe easily what it isn’t: not knowing to use fuckin MS Office to it’s fullest extent because you don’t want to press a button out of fear of “breaking something;” when you shitcan any plans because they aren’t “realistic” instead of just extending the deadline and working towards it anyway; not wanting better and so on and so forth.

    Basically, on a national scale, a form of collective will and a goal that nothing can stop from being reached.

    • Agree: mal
  227. @A123

    However, it is certain that the IslamoGloboHomo Empire continues to lose ground that vs Christian Populism. Dhimmi collaborators stealing the election from Trump has deepened the divide among the factions. And, it will ultimately backfire against the SJW sharia-left liberalism.

    Never change, my precious man. In honor of you, I’ll have to record a clip of that.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: A123
    • Replies: @songbird
    , @A123
    , @silviosilver
  228. @Mr. Hack

    You claimed that only Christianity promised better state in this life and salvation in the next, right? But in my knowledge every traditional religion promises higher spiritual states for those who take their faith seriously. Yes they often employ different terminology, and have different ways for reaching those elevated states of existence, but still they have the same marketing strategy. Your life is shitty without our true faith, so renounce your old ways and find true happiness with us, also as a free extra you get transcendental states, so subscribe now, before its too late!

    (Sorry, I couldnt resist, irony is a poison of mind…)

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Mr. Hack
  229. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Nobody can match the Indian revachists.

    They will tell you that Japan is about to crush China because of a stimulus package, while simultaneously explaining that Japan’s initial period of stagnation was due to their idiotic policy of not importing tens of millions of Indians.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  230. @Passer by

    The Popova op-ed is great but I don’t read Russian and the only translation I can find is the one from the google translate bot. Is there an RT English version I missed?

    • Replies: @Passer by
  231. @FerW

    Im just a Buddhist individual, though I will defend my religion against slander and falsehoods, I do not represent personally all ‘traditional’ Buddhists of the world.

    In my opinion Buddhism is neither against or for cosmism, or its more complicated, depends what is more beneficial at the moment. At least cosmism as a dream is better for the nations and peoples of the world than progressive dream of the world of the tomorrow. There would be new frontiers, less stagnation, even the one world cosmist government would crumble in few centuries if not before, because its impossible even with the technology of future to directly control planets that are light years far away from each other. If they develop some kind of permanent worm holes between different planets, only then mankind could have an interstellar centralised empire, but that really sounds more far fetched than faster than light travel.

    Though we give greater respect for animal life than most religions, human life is for us very special, maybe even more special than for the others, because its an extremely small chance that one is born as a human, a true sign that one has done more good than bad, though as merit can be gained, it can also be lost. For a Christian its just Gods will that one is a human, so theres no contrast with other possibilities, like being praying mantis, or fly, after all there is an absurd amount of insects and strange water creatures, much more than humans.

    What would be better than spread humanity to other planets, and at the same time spread the biosphere of our dear mother Earth(Prithvi) to distant stars?

    Surely such struggle for conquest of space would be more moral goal, than shallow consumerism of modern post-industrisl society, but I must add that I would not agree with a cosmist one world government, if it had lots of Americans in leading positions, maybe Im wrong, but Im extremely biased against USA.

    • Replies: @FerW
  232. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Very modern indeed…LOL

    As described in the article, it is 19th century, and originated in a wonderful romantic book of Jan Potocki (Manuscript Found in Saragossa).

    should read the Sayings of the desert fathers. You would see for yourself that they did not deny the existence of other gods, but saw them as demons.

    This is the kind of text I would like to read, but the point of our argument is not whether they described other peoples’ gods as demons, but whether they believed that gods could be created by people believing in it, and that gods would die when people stop to believe.

    The idea that gods are created by peoples’ belief is an accurate perception of reality, but a perception which requires you to not see these gods as an objective reality. Those are gods which might sometimes interact with man, but such objective gods hardly require man’s beliefs to exist.

    Once you see gods as requiring man’s belief to exist, then they are no longer really gods – rather, they become as they had for writers like Herder, as part of collective culture, or “soul of the people”.

    Early Christians believe that Pan might be some kind of demon, but the distinction between demons and god, is part of objective reality for them.

    If they believed the difference between demons and gods, is a result of peoples’ belief systems, then they would undermine the strength of their own belief in god as an objective reality.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AltanBakshi
  233. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Given that it is impossible to prove or disprove the reality of God, one choses either to belive in God or to believe that there is no God

    Yes, there are many things that are impossible to prove or disprove: unicorns, fairies, werewolves, gods,…

    In fact, natural sciences don’t prove or disprove anything. Proofs only belong to the realm of mathematics and logic. Science only deals with empirical evidence that supports or falsifies hypotheses so, given the available evidence, the rational and scientifically minded person has to choose whether to believe or not in that type of things.

    But this does not mean that believing in fairies and not believing in them are equivalent positions. They’re not, for any rational and well informed person.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  234. songbird says:

    I believe European attributes are often mistaken for Christian ones. IMO, it is not Christianity that caused the changes in Europeans so much as it is Europeans that caused the changes in Christianity and made it distinct from other religions and from non European branches of Christianity.

    And there was a great change is Mesoamerica, when Europeans brought their blood and technology there, which consequently allowed for a population explosion, after the initial collapse. Try farming without fertilizer or draft animals, and it won’t get you very far.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  235. Passer by says:
    @Morton's toes

    It is incredible that you can get something like this from Government Media of any major power today.

    Eng translation

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/civilisational-fracture/

  236. Passer by says:
    @Aedib

    Well, Borrel is now urging sanctions on Russia just as we speak.

    It is actually a good thing as it will force Russia to move away from that infectious zombie, the EU.

    • Agree: Aedib
  237. @AP

    Because it was necessary but not (quite) sufficient.

    I understood that you meant that the Islamic rule and defeat of Eastern Christians was somehow necessary? Those poor Christian nations did not themselves choose to give up on Christianity, only after centuries of oppression greater Syria, Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Egypt became majority Muslim. Even in the 11th century Christians were probably a slight majority in Syria and Egypt, Greeks of Anatolia fought desperately for every inch. Easterners didnt abandon Christianity, still look what has happened to them.

    Yes but these were much further from the Islamic heartland.

    Whats your definition of Islamic heartland? Arabs conquered most of Pakistan in the early 8th century, from that time Sindh and most of Western Punjab has been under a rule of Islam, and if you dont accept them being parts of the heartland, surely greater Iran is? Which btw borders those lands which were once thought to be Indian(India+Pakistan).

    As usual you have written poetically and beautifully.

    Really? Im a quick thinker and English is not my native language, but I love to write extremely quickly, you know stream consciousness stuff, so everytime when I read again my old commenst, Im quite irritated by how many small grammatical errors I have verywhere, and how repetitively I use some words.

    Anyway it sadly seems that once again Christianity is becoming the religion of minority, in the west at least, so you guys should make some adjustments, learn again how to be the counter or underground culture in the society, if that was possible in such desperate circumstances as in the 3rd century, when both Rabbinic and Roman authorities persecuted you guys, then the Christianity of the 3rd century was probably quite manly religion, how else Christians could have gained numerous converts among Roman legionnaires, or run away slaves? By being whiny conservatives who constantly give up before the enemy?

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AP
  238. @AP

    Sassanian Iran and the Zoroastrian clergy have been weakened by the Manichean heresy and the Mazdakite reforms, which led to a coup against the Shahanshah.

    [MORE]

    The Mazdakite reformers were egalitarian proto-Communists. According to Gumilyov they have received the enthusiastic support of the Babylonian Jewry (the most numerous and influential Jewish community at the time). Later on, after the Spenta Huna (Hephtalite / White Huns) intervention and the restauration of order by Khosrow Anushirvan, the population of the empire was burdened by increased taxes, the reactionary Zoroastrian clergy increased their power and persecuted the religious minorities. Gumilyov writes about Jews fleeing Iran and Mesopotamia towards the Caucasus and Khazaria.

    Later, when Islamic armies marched against the last Sassanian Shahanshah, the masses did not stand in defense of the royalty and the priestly class. The ethnic and religious minorities were tired of the Zoroastrian clergy oppression. Therefore Islam was as well received by the Syriac Christians, the Sabeans and Jews of the Sassanian Empire, as it was also welcomed by the Jews of the Byzantine Empire and later Spain.

    Also, one of the Prophets most important compagnons – Salman – was himself Persian, some of the early detractors to Islam actually accused Mohammad of changing the Arabic traditions under the influence of Salman Al Farisi. Therefore, Persian Muslims were treated rather well when compared with other converts. Finally, most Sassanian troops in Mesopotamia were Syriac Christian (Nestorian) Arabs that have sometimes supported the Mazdakite reforms and later easily converted to Islam.

  239. @Mikel

    Mikel maybe you are right, but whats good for you or me, is not good for everyone. Isnt that just the logic of religions, that our truth is for everyone?

    By the way sorry for my heated comments in our last exchange of words.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  240. songbird says:

    I believe it’s perfectly natural to esteem one’s distant ancestors and to be curious about their lost customs. But even in the timeline of the Greco-Roman world, we can perceive a primitive beginning followed by increasing sophistication in the mythology.

    I confess I am fascinated by the subrosa paganism found in Tain, but I fear it would be disturbing to go back too far. Probably, we’d see human sacrifice later than we’d expect it. And there’s archeological evidence that supports the idea that among PIE the king had sex with a mare and then everyone ate it. Count me out, if neopagans want to revive that custom.

  241. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    My comment you respond to is summary of the standard view of mainstream historians.

    View of Edward Gibbon that Christianity was a cause of collapse of civilization, is not the standard view, as I have written in that comment.

    Christianity’s role in the re-emergence of civilization, was to the extent that institutional church activities helped to preserve Ancient Greek and Roman knowledge.

    about the middle ages were often false or exaggerated.

    Since at least the 19th century, there has been a re-adjustment in evaluation of medieval achievements. But this is a relative adjustment.

    You only need to compare a page written by anyone like Cicero, with texts from Middle Ages – it’s like comparing something written by an adult, with something written by 10 year old children.

    This is ended with the arrival of Renaissance writers like Montaigne and Machiavelli, who themselves learned their sophistication from studying Ancient writers.

    You can verify this yourself, in the bookshop – compare reading classic texts, with medieval texts. The decline of European thought compared to the Ancient World, is like if Classical Athenian writers, had been sent returned to the mythic world of Hesiod. Sophisticated writing exited only among scholastic schools, where it was constrained by dogma, but was able to preserve some aspects such as Aristotle’s logic.

    Myths of the Enlightenment

    Well here is example of decline and very slow re-birth – history in the sense that Thucydides wrote it as opposed to Herodotus, only re-emerges in limited way in Italian Renaissance, and then the enlightenment, after many centuries of absence.

  242. @Dmitry

    As described in the article, it is 19th century, and originated in a wonderful romantic book of Jan Potocki (Manuscript Found in Saragossa).

    Sorry Dmitry, it seems that you didn’t read the article well, it is said that the egregores might actually originate in the Enochian traditions. Right there in the first paragraph.

    Egregore (also spelled egregor; from French égrégore, from Ancient Greek egrḗgoros ‘wakeful’) is an occult concept representing a distinct non-physical entity that arises from a collective group of people. Historically, the concept referred to angelic beings, or watchers, and the specific rituals and practices associated with them, namely within Enochian traditions.[1]

    LOL

    More info here:

    https://theosophy.wiki/en/Egregore

    The Ancients believed that gods needed to receive sacrifices to keep or increase their power. Even Jews fed their YHWH by burning sacrificial animals (he likes the smell of the burning flesh, I am not joking it’s in the Bible).

    And of course in some cultures they also believed that the gods could be destroyed or die. This is the case in the Norse/Germanic tradition about the Twilight of Gods. IIRC it was also the case in pre-Columbian Meso-American religions. Gods haven no infinite lifespan neither in Buddhism, nor Hinduism.

    That was one of the arguments Christians used to prove that pagan gods were not true gods, but demons parasiting on the pagan ignorance to derive power from worship and sacrifice. It is also discussed in the Gnostic Christian scripture: the Archonts and the Demiurge enslaved human souls because they basically derive their power and ultimately existence from this dominion.

    Muslims simply deny the existence of anything independent from Allah, they are radical Monotheists. For them there are no other gods but Allah, that’s why they deny Holy Trinity.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Pericles
    , @AltanBakshi
    , @Dmitry
  243. @Mikel

    When I don’t know something, I just don’t know. I don’t try to justify my beliefs about what I don’t know.

    😉

    • Replies: @Mikel
  244. @Dmitry

    The idea that gods are created by peoples’ belief is an accurate perception of reality, but a perception which requires you to not see these gods as an objective reality. Those are gods which might sometimes interact with man, but such objective gods hardly require man’s beliefs to exist.

    Once you see gods as requiring man’s belief to exist, then they are no longer really gods – rather, they become as they had for writers like Herder, as part of collective culture, or “soul of the people”.

    Im perplexed? In Buddhism we believe that ultimately different Buddhas and gods are just manifestations of our mind, that they dont exist objectively or independently. Such view has always been common among learned Buddhists, though in folk Buddhist practices of common people situation varies.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  245. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Muslims believe in angels and Jinn..

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  246. A123 says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Never change, my precious man.

    Of course not. THE TRUTH is constant.

    — In Russia, the failure of Communism heralded a return to Christian tradition and the Orthodox Church.
    — In the U.S. and Europe, the failure of SJW Left-slam will similarly herald a return to Christian tradition.

    It will be interesting to see if:

    • Existing Protestant Churches can return to traditional values.
    • Entirely new lines of Christian Churches arise to replace the failed ones.

    Best guess is a mix of both. Probably more the latter, especially overseas. Churches that have become Godless have no good way back. Every European church that declared “welcome rape-ugees” is pretty much eternally damned for placing Christian children at risk to serve ungodly masters.

    PEACE 😇

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  247. @AP

    They only exist by the will of the All Merciful, Lord of the Worlds, one and only, mighty Allah, brother! (According to Islam)

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  248. @AltanBakshi

    That’s sarcasm you were employing, not irony.

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi
  249. @Daniel Chieh

    His preposterous bullshit is a one-man knockdown argument for nuking the criminal state of Israel.

  250. @AP

    Agree, but they are just other intelligent lifeforms and are absolutely not independent from Allah. Nothing is independent of Allah. Before the beginning of time Allah existed, after the end of times only Allah will remain. He created all his creatures only to manifest his mugnifucent powers and receive their devotion and adoration. This is Islamic orthodoxy.

  251. @Kent Nationalist

    Why think that anything would have survived without Christianity?

    Well, there are no guarantees in life, but since pagans (and pagan rulers) felt no inclination to eradicate pagan thought, a betting man around 300CE would surely have figured the odds of pagan writings surviving on into the future would be better under a pagan regime than under a Christian one.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bashibuzuk
  252. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I understood that you meant that the Islamic rule and defeat of Eastern Christians was somehow necessary

    No. Christianity was necessary but not quite sufficient for a people to experience a meteoric rise in civilization and power, making them hard for non-Christians to defeat. It turned Europeans into masters of the entire world, made isolated Ethiopia the best place in sub-Saharan Africa.

  253. AP says:
    @silviosilver

    Not if the pagan rulers were Germanic barbarians who couldn’t care less.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  254. @silviosilver

    I think we could be reasonably certain that culture and knowledge would have been thriving under the imperial protection of the likes of Julian the Apostate. A shame that he did not rule long enough and that later Emperors did not follow in his footsteps.

    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Julian-Roman-emperor

  255. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Assuming no eventual destruction at the hands of Arab, Turkic or German invaders, likely a long period of relative stasis, as in China. No discovery, expansion and transformation of the New World, and technological advancement would have been slow and incremental. The latter issue might have made resistance to some massive barbarian invasion harder.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  256. Pericles says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The Ancients believed that gods needed to receive sacrifices to keep or increase their power. Even Jews fed their YHWH by burning sacrificial animals (he likes the smell of the burning flesh, I am not joking it’s in the Bible).

    Next, look up the meaning of ‘holocaust’.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  257. @AP

    They were happy enough to spread Christian teachings – surprisingly, given how much Christian values clashed with the traditional Germanic ethos – so it’s safe to presume they’d have been at least as happy to spread/preserve pagan teachings.

    There’s little reason to think that technological advancements would have been any slower (it would, presumably, have continued to be “incremental,” just as it was under Christianity). As for the other historical developments you mentioned, there are so many variables in play that you couldn’t possibly claim to know with certainty that, say, the Americas would never have been reached and settled. Get real.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  258. @Bashibuzuk

    Credulous Jew-lover impressed by magic tricks (literally, read his account of his conversion to Paganism)

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  259. @Bashibuzuk

    he likes the smell of the burning flesh, I am not joking it’s in the Bible).

    You are a very perceptible guy. Still Upaya.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  260. @AP

    I have a hard time believing this AP for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that Greco-Roman and early Byzantine science and technology were superior to anything that Europe produced in the early Middle Ages. Possibly even superior to anything invented in Europe prior to the Renaissance. If anything they would have had a Renaissances type development in Europe 5-6 centuries earlier. They were much more rational compared to middle ages’ European Christians, who were actually rather obtuse even compared to their Muslim contemporaries from the Islamic Golden Age. Petrarch called this period Dark Ages for a reason. Arguably early Muslims were better at preserving the heritage of Antiquity and building upon its basis. A notable example below :

    https://www.iis.ac.uk/publication/ikhwan-al-safa-and-their-rasail-introduction

    https://iep.utm.edu/ikhwan-al-safa/

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    , @AP
  261. @Kent Nationalist

    You really should explain more why you despise Neoplatonicism so much. I am genuinely perplexed by your radical rejection of anything attached to this tradition.

  262. @Bashibuzuk

    A shame indeed. It was all too little, all too late by that point, I’m afraid.

    Perhaps it was never realistic that Christianity could be held at bay. For starters, the principal advantage monotheism has over polytheism is that it is intellectually more satisfying. Rather than a myriad of competing gods, each doing their own thing and vying with one another for often rather petty ends, making it all but impossible to draw any consistent moral lessons from their behavior, monotheism simplifies man’s connection to the divine and makes the moral claims it presents seem more “objective.”

    Secondly, I have this notion of “theological inflation,” which is another way monotheism beats out polytheism. Polytheists make various claims about the abilities – the “power” – of their various deities, such that it’s possible to compare them with each other. Eg, Apollo is said to have such and such ability, and Poseidon this and that ability, and you can compare them on this basis and argue about one being greater than the other. Even if society proscribes doing this publicly, it’s something a person can always do in the privacy of his mind – when deciding which deity to become a special devotee of, for instance. Then along comes monotheism with its one God, whose powers are greater than all the polytheistic gods combined and then some. That’s a pretty attractive proposition! Whatever you have to give up in terms of tradition and myth and culture, you more than make up for by the feeling that “My God is better than yours” – which is particularly appealing to those on the fringes of the existing society.

    Thirdly, Christianity made a big show of caring about the interests of the masses. I’m not aware of anything in pagan society that could compete with Christianity’s elevation of the status of little guy, the pauper, the no-hoper. Christianity was able to combine the appeal of monotheism to intellectuals with the popular appeal of elevated status to the masses, and it was this combination of intellectual and popular appeal that made it politically portentous. And the rest is history.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  263. @AltanBakshi

    When I hear anasheed I always recall that the Prophet considered the singing, dancing and playing of music as unbefitting for a Believer.

    A Salafi brother I once met (a blond and blue eyed berber) once told me that “George Michael is a devil’s whistle “.

    Perhaps he was up to something.

    😄

  264. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    I agree that what is coming won’t be pretty. The contradictions have been allowed to accumulate longer than usually in the past – and contradictions are really just growth of hostility and hatred. The unique mono-power dominance plus the nukes have frozen the world for 2-3 generations. It might unravel.

    I am still troubled by the “wolves and sheep” analogy, it is too black and white and it suggests deterministic behaviour. Today we find an element of “self-hatred” in the West suggesting a “Waiting for the Barbarians” moment. As the poem suggests, many see the hated enemy Barbarians as a solution. It never works out that way. The “wolves” might have to work their way through the collapse on their own. As Job told his wife: “Just look away from the evil“. Quite simple, but she couldn’t resist.

  265. Coconuts says:
    @EldnahYm

    Descartes, Newton, and the rest of the boys in the band wouldn’t have seen it that way. To them, what they were doing is enunciating the divine laws by which the universe is governed. Newton in particular was a serious theologian. In all of the examples AP mentions of technological advances to be credited to Christianity, he would actually have a stronger case by singling out Newton’s contributions, which were plainly influenced by Christian philosophical ideas.

    Yes, you are right here. I did have something fairly specific in mind, I was thinking of the way in which the new approach to empirical study of reality via experiment and using quantitative methods and mathematical description of the phenomena changed the way in which reality was understood. As far as I see it this was the beginning of the pursuit of an objective description of reality and an enhanced focus on maximising human utility and power over attaining truth or wisdom, the kind of thing Aristotle or Plato would have understood as the goal of philosophy.

    Though as you say Descartes, Newton and so on were all Christians and rationalists and were in many ways also motivated by traditional philosophical and theological concerns as well.

    Dmitry’s take that there was no great philosopher between the fall of Rome (St. Augustine?) and Hume was rather powerful and reminded me of Bertrand Russell.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @Dmitry
  266. Coconuts says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Possibly even superior to anything invented in Europe prior to the Renaissance

    In the Dark Ages in Europe there seems to have been a few agricultural inventions that were unknown to the Classical World and which helped increase the population so that it was larger than it ever had been under the Romans.

    There might be a kind of argument along the lines of larger population, harsh warlike conditions and a patriarchal religion that believed in a divine moral code that contained evolutionarily advantageous teachings, progressively breeding a human of a different kind to that which had been seen in Europe for a long time, since the Classical period of Plato and Aristotle. This would be ‘Based Western Man’, who endured up until the 20th century but has since disappeared and was (in)famous for a lot of politically incorrect reasons.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Bashibuzuk
    , @silviosilver
  267. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I have a hard time believing this AP for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that Greco-Roman and early Byzantine science and technology were superior to anything that Europe produced in the early Middle Ages.

    It had built up slowly over thousands of years. Spengler and Berdyaev basically agreed that the Classical knowledge was largely contemplative in nature, not geared towards exploring new frontiers , transforming nature, and pushing limits.

    Spengler: “It need hardly be said that classical man, who felt himself and his environment alike Euclidian, set himself a priori in hostile opposition to the very idea of technique. If by “Classical” technique we mean something that arose with determined effort above the universal dead perfection of the Mycenean Age, then there was no Classical technique. Its triremes were glorified rowboats, its catapults and onagers mere substitutes for arms and fists – not to be named in the same breath as the war-engines of Assyria and China – as as for Hero and his like, it was flukes and not discoveries that they achieved…here and there they played with data (why not?) that probably came from the East, but..no one made a serious effort to introduce them into the ensemble-picture of life.”

    So yes, likely incremental changes over time, but nobody was going to go to the other side of the Atlantic, much less to the moon, on the Christian timeframe.

    If anything they would have had a Renaissances type development in Europe 5-6 centuries earlier.

    Christian Europeans were driven to explore and master the physical world. Doing so was a way of understanding God, it was almost like a specific type of prayer or meditation for them. It was no coincidence that the basis of modern science was made by churchmen. Non-Christians would simply not have had such a drive. The Classical people simply didn’t see the world and their place in it in such a way that would have made a Renaissance possible.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  268. info says:
    @songbird

    Bad Hygiene killed many,many mothers in historic Europe:
    https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/why-women-used-to-die-during-childbirth/

    Doctors not washing their hands killed many of them.

  269. jay says:
    @songbird

    Bad Hygiene killed many,many mothers in historic Europe:
    https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/why-women-used-to-die-during-childbirth/

    Doctors not washing their hands killed many of them.

    • Agree: songbird
  270. jay says:
    @songbird

    Bad Hygiene killed many,many mothers in historic Europe:
    https://www.bellybelly.com.au/birth/why-women-used-to-die-during-childbirth/

    Doctors not washing their hands killed many of them.

  271. jay says:

    Sorry for my series of posts. I kept getting error messages.

  272. AP says:
    @Coconuts

    In the Dark Ages in Europe there seems to have been a few agricultural inventions that were unknown to the Classical World and which helped increase the population so that it was larger than it ever had been under the Romans.

    Correct. Also crop rotation.

    But Bashibuzuk spoke about prior to Renaissance, not just Dark Ages. There was an explosion of new technology in Europe in the 11th-13th centuries, prior to the Renaissance. From wiki:

    [MORE]

    Artesian well (1126)

    A thin rod with a hard iron cutting edge is placed in the bore hole and repeatedly struck with a hammer, underground water pressure forces the water up the hole without pumping. Artesian wells are named after the town of Artois in France, where the first one was drilled by Carthusian monks in 1126.

    Central heating through underfloor channels (9th century)

    In the early medieval Alpine upland, a simpler central heating system where heat travelled through underfloor channels from the furnace room replaced the Roman hypocaust at some places. In Reichenau Abbey a network of interconnected underfloor channels heated the 300 m2 large assembly room of the monks during the winter months. The degree of efficiency of the system has been calculated at 90%.[20]

    Rib vault (12th century)

    An essential element for the rise of Gothic architecture, rib vaults allowed vaults to be built for the first time over rectangles of unequal lengths. It also greatly facilitated scaffolding and largely replaced the older groin vault.

    Chimney (12th century)

    The first basic chimney appeared in a Swiss monastery in 820. The earliest true chimney did not appear until the 12th century, with the fireplace appearing at the same time.[21]

    Treadwheel crane (1220s)

    The earliest reference to a treadwheel in archival literature is in France about 1225,[22] followed by an illuminated depiction in a manuscript of probably also French origin dating to 1240.[23] Apart from tread-drums, windlasses and occasionally cranks were employed for powering cranes.[24]

    Stationary harbour crane (1244)

    Stationary harbour cranes are considered a new development of the Middle Ages; its earliest use being documented for Utrecht in 1244.[25] The typical harbour crane was a pivoting structure equipped with double treadwheels. There were two types: wooden gantry cranes pivoting on a central vertical axle and stone tower cranes which housed the windlass and treadwheels with only the jib arm and roof rotating.[1] These cranes were placed on docksides for the loading and unloading of cargo where they replaced or complemented older lifting methods like see-saws, winches and yards.[25] Slewing cranes which allowed a rotation of the load and were thus particularly suited for dockside work appeared as early as 1340.

    Oil paint (by 1125)

    As early as the 13th century, oil was used to add details to tempera paintings and paint wooden statues. Flemish painter Jan van Eyck developed the use of a stable oil mixture for panel painting around 1410

    Mechanical clocks (13th to 14th centuries)

    A European innovation, these weight-driven clocks were used primarily in clock towers.

    Blast furnace (1150–1350)

    Cast iron had been made in China since before the 4th century BC.[29] European cast iron first appears in Middle Europe (for instance Lapphyttan in Sweden, Dürstel in Switzerland and the Märkische Sauerland in Germany) around 1150,[30] in some places according to recent research even before 1100.[31] The technique is considered to be an independent European development

    Paper mill (13th century)

    The first certain use of a water-powered paper mill, evidence for which is elusive in both Chinese[33][34] and Muslim paper making,[35] dates to 1282.

    Vertical windmills (1180s)

    Invented in Europe as the pivotable post mill, the first surviving mention of one comes from Yorkshire in England in 1185. They were efficient at grinding grain or draining water. Stationary tower mills were also developed in the 13th century.

    Water hammer (12th century at the latest)

    Used in metallurgy to forge the metal blooms from bloomeries and Catalan forges, they replaced manual hammerwork. The water hammer was eventually superseded by steam hammers in the 19th century.

    Dry compass (12th century)

    The first European mention of the directional compass is in Alexander Neckam’s On the Natures of Things, written in Paris around 1190.[42] It was either transmitted from China or the Arabs or an independent European innovation. Dry compass were invented in the Mediterranean around 1300.[43]

    Astronomical compass (1269)

    The French scholar Pierre de Maricourt describes in his experimental study Epistola de magnete (1269) three different compass designs he has devised for the purpose of astronomical observation.[44]

    Scheme of a sternpost-mounted medieval rudder
    Stern-mounted rudders (1180s)

    The first depiction of a pintle-and-gudgeon rudder on church carvings dates to around 1180. They first appeared with cogs in the North and Baltic Seas and quickly spread to Mediterranean. The iron hinge system was the first stern rudder permanently attached to the ship hull and made a vital contribution to the navigation achievements of the age of discovery and thereafter.

    Spectacles (1280s)

    The first spectacles, invented in Florence, used convex lenses which were of help only to the far-sighted. Concave lenses were not developed prior to the 15th century.

    Watermark (1282)

    This medieval innovation was used to mark paper products and to discourage counterfeiting. It was first introduced in Bologna, Italy.

    The first extant treatise of magnetism (13th century)

    The first extant treatise describing the properties of magnets was done by Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt when he wrote Epistola de magnete.

    University

    The first medieval universities were founded between the 11th and 13th centuries leading to a rise in literacy and learning. By 1500, the institution had spread throughout most of Europe and played a key role in the Scientific Revolution. Today, the educational concept and institution has been globally adopted

    Textile industry and garments
    Functional button (13th century)

    German buttons appeared in 13th-century Germany as an indigenous innovation.[47] They soon became widespread with the rise of snug-fitting clothing.

    Horizontal loom (11th century)

    Horizontal looms operated by foot-treadles were faster and more efficient.

    Chain Mail (11th-16th Century)

    The most common type during the 11th through the 16th centuries was the Hauberk, also known earlier than the 11th century as the Carolingian byrnie.[59] Made of interlinked rings of metal, it sometimes consisted of a coif that covered the head and a tunic that covered the torso, arms, and legs down to the knees. Chain mail was very effective at protecting against light slashing blows but ineffective against stabbing or thrusting blows. The great advantage was that it allowed a great freedom of movement and was relatively light with significant protection over quilted or hardened leather armour.

    Arched saddle (11th century)

    The arched saddle enabled mounted knights to wield lances underarm and prevent the charge from turning into an unintentional pole-vault. This innovation gave birth to true shock cavalry, enabling fighters to charge on full gallop.

    Spurs (11th century)

    Spurs were invented by the Normans and appeared at the same time as the cantled saddle. They enabled the horseman to control his horse with his feet, replacing the whip and leaving his arms free. Rowel spurs familiar from cowboy films were already known in the 13th century. Gilded spurs were the ultimate symbol of the knighthood – even today someone is said to “earn his spurs” by proving his or her worthiness.

    Cannon (1324)

    Cannons are first recorded in Europe at the siege of Metz in 1324. In 1350 Petrarch wrote “these instruments which discharge balls of metal with most tremendous noise and flashes of fire…were a few years ago very rare and were viewed with greatest astonishment and admiration, but now they are become as common and familiar as kinds of arms.”

    Combined arms tactics (14th century)

    The battle of Halidon Hill 1333 was the first battle where intentional and disciplined combined arms infantry tactics were employed.[dubious – discuss] The English men-at-arms dismounted aside the archers, combining thus the staying power of super-heavy infantry and striking power of their two-handed weapons with the missiles and mobility of the archers using longbows and shortbows. Combining dismounted knights and men-at-arms with archers was the archetypal Western Medieval battle tactics until the battle of Flodden 1513 and final emergence of firearms.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @songbird
  273. Obviously really dumb. Iran actually has some achievements of their own in terms of having a space program.

    This person shows very typical “dissident” behavior. He fearmongers about Iran to support and justify American military in the region but at the same time he will also insult Iran saying it’s weak and has no achievements.

    • Replies: @songbird
  274. If there was an election in 1917 in the Russian Empire to preserve the monarchy or not, what would the result be?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  275. @AP

    The problem with this list AP, is that it (perhaps unwillingly) ignores some of the similar developments that either were preserved since the Roman times in Byzantium or happened earlier in the Islamic world and were imported in Western Europe.

    The Byzantine and Muslims preserved much of what was lost during the Western European Dark Ages. Some of these concepts found their way back during the Crusades. While Islamic World was wreaked by the Mongol invasion and Byzantium was still reeling after the sack of Constantinople, the Catholic Franks (as Western Europeans were known to both Muslims and Greeks) could get ahead of their Orthodox and Islamic rivals.

    It’s not to say that Western Europe lacked in talent in the late Middle Ages, quite the opposite : the infusion of Norse and Germanic blood did much good to the intellectual abilities of the Western European population. But their technical development was not accomplished in a vacuum. Just like today, the impressive Chinese technology is forging forward starting from a Soviet and Western basis it acquired in the 90ies.

    It is possible that if a Han Chinese historian writes about the development of 5G or quantum computing in year 2500, he or she would present these technologies as a purely Chinese product and conveniently forget that the basic physics behind them were European-made.

    And yeah, the first School of higher learning in medieval Europe was opened in the tenth century in Cordoba, then capital of the Islamic Cordoba Caliphate. It was opened to students of all faiths, Muslims as well as Jews and Christians.

    Córdoba was also the intellectual centre of al-Andalus, with translations of ancient Greek texts into Arabic, Latin and Hebrew. During the reign of al-Hakam II, the royal library possessed an estimated 500,000 volumes.[13][20] For comparison, the Abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland contained just over 100 volumes.[13] The university in Córdoba became the most celebrated in the world. It was attended by Christian students from all Western Europe, as well as Muslim students. The university produced one hundred and fifty authors. Other universities and libraries were scattered through Spain during this golden age.[21]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliphate_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

    One must give credit where credit is due.

    This demonstrates two things : first that these scientific developments were hardly due to the Latin Catholic beliefs of the Western European population and second that there were hardly independent of what had been learned in Islamic or Byzantine Orthodox realm. In both Islamic and Byzantine cases, the scientific basis was formed in antiquity.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  276. @Coconuts

    This is probably correct. Islamic and Byzantine authors writing during the Crusades acknowledge the fact that those who they called the Frankish knights (a generic they used for all Western European Crusaders) lacked in elegance, culture or refinement, but certainly not in courage and intelligence.

    I believe that the combative spirit of those who survived the Dark Ages, coupled with the knowledge they acquired during the Crusades allowed for the re-start of technological innovation in Europe and an intellectual and cultural rebirth. While Byzantium and Islamic realm were weakened by invasions and internal troubles, Western Europe was gaining knowledge and strength.

  277. @Shortsword

    Prior to February revolution it would probably have been a constitutional monarchy.

  278. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    What I was trying to convey is that it is only within Christianity that man can unite himself to his Creator in a very special way, that begins in this life and can be completed in the next life through the process of Theosis. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the concept of God in an anthropomorphic sense doesn’t really even exist within Buddhism, so there’s no God to be united too? I too have a great respect or your Buddhist faith and find it fascinating that the Buddha himself made many similar remarks as did Jesus Christ many centuries later. The differences and similarities of the two faith systems need to be honored and studied more thoroughly.

    Dozens, and dozens of parallel sayings by both Jesus and Buddha

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AltanBakshi
  279. songbird says:
    @Shortsword

    UAE is too small to have a real indigenous space program, even if Arabs were smarter.

    • Replies: @Shortsword
  280. songbird says:
    @AP

    The Celts had chain mail.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  281. @Mr. Hack

    https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/religionwiki/images/4/4c/Asoka_Kaart.gif/revision/latest?cb=20090514175045

    https://religion.wikia.org/wiki/Therapeutae

    In his refutation of the Christian religion, Celsus wrote that Jesus spent his youth in Alexandria where he joined an esoterical society and learned magic before returning to the Holy Land. If the society he mentioned were the Therapeutae, then the parallel sayings of Jesus and Siddhartha would be easily explained.

    The Apocryphal Gospel of Mary Magdalena presents also some similarities to Buddhist concepts. Unfortunately, only a quarter of the Nag Hammadi manuscript is still lisible. Other Gnostic sayings of Jesus are also somewhat similar to some Buddhist teachings.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  282. @songbird

    As did Norse and Rus warriors later on.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @songbird
  283. @songbird

    True, but that just makes the entire thing look even more fake and gay.

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  284. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Passer by

    There is chasm between Russia and Western Europe, it is not simply several eurocrats, it is enough to see the huge difference in views on LGBT and gender fluidity among ordinary people.

    When RT, the mouth of the leadership that hoped to wrestle Europe away from the US (and it failed) says that, you will know that there is a serious issue.

    https://russian.rt.com/opinion/825520-popova-ssha-baiden-zapad-liberalizm-ideologiya

    Macron himself said that Russia’s conservative model made it incompatible with Europe.

    RT posts views that don’t always mesh with each other. Numerous Americans aren’t happy with the BLM/George Floyd coverage. Macron has a way of drifting and being hypocritical. Fox News (which has been criticized for becoming a bit more like CNN and MSNBC) has run segments critical of transgender athletes in high school women’s sports.

    I maintain a basis for cautious optimism on the premise that it’s not really in America’s best interests to be so anti-Russian.

  285. @Coconuts

    Dmitry’s take that there was no great philosopher between the fall of Rome (St. Augustine?) and Hume was rather powerful and reminded me of Bertrand Russell.

    If “great” is taken to mean “skillful at philosophizing” then there were a number of greats. If they no longer seem so great, it’s because next to nothing of what they said is of any real relevance to the sorts of things that are believed today and the kinds of reasons that are given for believing them.

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  286. @Coconuts

    a divine moral code that contained evolutionarily advantageous teachings

    Such as?

    Certainly not clerical celibacy.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Coconuts
  287. @AP

    So yes, likely incremental changes over time, but nobody was going to go to the other side of the Atlantic, much less to the moon, on the Christian timeframe.

    So if the Portuguese weren’t Christian, they supposedly would have shown no interest – no way, no how – in trying to find a route around Africa to India, allowing them to circumvent Italian and Arab middlemen in the spice trade. It was only Christianity that made them want to do that. Why would anyone believe this?

    • Replies: @AP
  288. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I’ve read some of these accounts long ago, even have a book on this topic somewhere within my library (scattered throughout my house). Personally, I don’t buy any of these accounts and feel that because Jesus was already deified and actually a part of the Godhead within the Trinity, he had no need to attend any esoteric schools in Egypt or elsewhere (India has also been hypothesized as such a destination). Although he attended school within the great Temple in Jerusalem as a child, you’ll note that the much older learned Rabbis were soon sitting at his feet and being awed by his knowledge of the Old Testament. I think that Siddhartha was a very wise man that perhaps preached good principles of ethics and morality that are supernaturally etched into the hearts of all men. The same could be said of others too, including Lao-Tzu, and perhaps even Plato within the Greek philosophic tradition. The parallel sayings, are of course not always identical, as in the proverb of the prodigal son, and one can learn from both renderings.

  289. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    As part of the vastly expanded and improved mail system implemented my the Mongol Horde?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  290. AP says:
    @silviosilver

    So if the Portuguese weren’t Christian, they supposedly would have shown no interest – no way, no how – in trying to find a route around Africa to India, allowing them to circumvent Italian and Arab middlemen in the spice trade

    If instead of Portuguese there would have been pre-Christian Romans, they would not have bothered to devote themselves to finding and implementing mass technological changes to enable themselves to circle the globe. Greeks and Romans simply did not have such a relationship with technology. In their long history they did not show such fundamental technological changes as did Christians when they figured out how to move between continents. As Spengel wrote, “If by “Classical” technique we mean something that arose with determined effort above the universal dead perfection of the Mycenean Age, then there was no Classical technique. Its triremes were glorified rowboats…”

    It doesn’t appear that in the ~1,000 of Western Classical history there was incredible improvement in maritime technology. Trireme style ships were used from the 7th century BC until the 4th century AD (they just grew bigger into Quinqueremes).

    • Replies: @silviosilver
    , @AltanBakshi
  291. @AP

    You keep citing Spengler as though he is the last word on the matter, as though he’s actually proven any of his assertions. If you assume, as he did, that it’s principally (or solely) a civilization’s metaphysical ideas that are responsible for its historical development, I can why he’d be attractive to you, but there’s a reason so few in academia take Spengler seriously. Even in his own day, when there was a greater market for such speculative musings on the fate of civilization, he was often dismissed as a charlatan.

    “If by “Classical” technique we mean something that arose with determined effort above the universal dead perfection of the Mycenean Age, then there was no Classical technique. Its triremes were glorified rowboats…”

    It’s difficult to take that seriously. “Its space shuttles were glorified kites….” makes about as much sense (ie none).

    It doesn’t appear that in the ~1,000 of Western Classical history there was incredible improvement in maritime technology.

    If Christian belief was the causal agent behind their development, why didn’t they appear in, say, 330? Or 750? Why did it take seven hundred years after the official adoption of Christianity? Sorry, but “Christianity did it” is a baseless just-so story.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  292. @Mr. Hack

    You can become a Brahma god in next life according to Buddhism, if you seriously practice benevolence, compassion, empathetic joy and equanimity. Though yes what we mean by god is totally different thing, still its all according to Buddhist logic, previous acts and states of mind affect and determine your next acts and states of mind, though this is not deterministic, being can choose different variations, that in time will lead into wildly differing scenarios, present is never static.
    (Buddhist analysis and philosophy of time is a huge topic, with different schools of thought, and Ive never studied them, theres already so much else to learn.)

    Dont take this as offense, its true that most Theistic religions dont have an anthropomorphic God, but theres one major exception Dvaita Vaishnavites, who theologically are in my opinion almost like Christians, they only have different names and traditions.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvaita_Vedanta

    They have a loving and almighty God, Vishnu, who is distinct from humans, and always will be, but has many times born among humans as Avatara, because He is compassionate and righteous, and has shown men the way to liberation, so that they could become like him. They also believe in eternal damnation of those who do not believe in Vishnu.

    [MORE]

    In 1975, Jack Kornfield co-founded the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts, with Sharon Salzberg and Joseph Goldstein, and subsequently in 1987, Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California.

    Names, names… What do they mean?

    In Kornfields website, he claims that Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw, who are legit Buddhist monks, were his teachers in the early 70s, and he also claims that he is a teacher of Theravada Buddhist tradition. Theravada Buddhism doesnt acknowledge lay teachers or lineages, those two teachers died long time ago. Only monk that Kornfield is presently affiliated is very controversial English “monk” Ajahn Brahm, who was expelled from Thai Wat Pha Phong Buddhist monastery more than decade ago(he is LBGT friendly false monk btw). Kornfield has repeatedly condemned Burmese Buddhists and their Monastic Sangha, for their views regarding the illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants. Also there was a time when he advocated “responsible” use of psychedelics on his site, though he later removed the page, but it can be found with waybackmachine.
    http://web.archive.org/web/20150225195753/https://jackkornfield.com/psychedelics-antidepressants-spiritual-practice/
    There was lots of criticism in Theravada community because of this. No Buddhist teacher can claim that psychedelics are medicine.

    Anyway its quite common that there are western lay teachers who have just gone to meditation retreats of some Buddhist master and then they later claim that those monks are their teachers, yes they often are, but not in the way how they imply. True Guru-disciple relationship and the relationship between a lecturer and student are quite different, and both relationships are common in Buddhist context, but those western teachers rarely clarify what was the true nature of their relationship with their ‘teacher.’ They purposefully obfuscate situation, so that gullible Westerners think that “oh he must be a great master, he studied under these great masters.” This is extremely common in the west, especially with His Holiness. I also could easily claim that Dalai Lama is my teacher, I have been in his lectures, seen him multiple times, done meditation with his guidance (in a big hall with hundred others). Technically he is my teacher, but if I would just say that he is my teacher, people would get a wrong impression, that it would be personal and close relationship, right? Big monks, Buddhist masters, they often give teachings to large lay audiences, those teachings can be very long, continue for days, weeks even, with a minute details and descriptions. After such retreat/lecture anyone can say that this and this monk is my teacher.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  293. @silviosilver

    Also I recall that Spengler was an atheist. To him societies were organic and cyclical, not very Christian way to see things?

    Anyway Europes direct world domination was relatively short affair, beginning in the early 19th century and ending in the 20th century, and UK, Germany, Dutch were not apostolic Christians but heretics, and France was practically least Catholic of Catholic countries in the 19th century. Its true that Europeans ruled Americas before the 19th century, but it was practically only thinly populated periphery. In mainland Asia, Portuguese and Spanish were repeatedly beaten, even when confronted with weakest possible enemies, like Khmers midst of civil war and under attack of Siam, or Omani arabs. Though they ruled Oman, some minor Indian possessions and Malacca for some time.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambodian%E2%80%93Spanish_War

    They even could not conquer Pinay Muslims before the end of the 19th century
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish%E2%80%93Moro_conflict

    APs conquest or domination metric as a proof of Christianitys great qualities, is not very sound case from the view of Christian ethics, except with few exceptions like Aztecs.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  294. @silviosilver

    Indians solved the problem, by claiming that all the gods are just different aspects of one God, for its hard for a man to comprehend the nature of the highest and infinite God, thus its easier that he communicates with the infinite absolute through his various manifestations. Neplatonists were trying to achieve something similar in the west.

    Its sad that Western Polytheism disappeared, because we could have easily syncretized with them.(Though we have already, partially at least)

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  295. @silviosilver

    Read Darwin’s Cathedral by David Sloan Wilson.

  296. @Passer by

    Which is boxing them in as a US puppet. Basically, liberalism made Western Europe a forever puppet of the US. Russophobia too. Just like intended, by the way.

    Euro culture was deliberately terraformed in order to make them forever puppets, who want that by themselves.

    So you really miss the good ol days when truly sovereign and not puppet European powers could do whatever they wanted just like in 1812, 1856, 1914 and 1941? 😉

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  297. Coconuts says:
    @silviosilver

    If “great” is taken to mean “skillful at philosophizing” then there were a number of greats. If they no longer seem so great, it’s because next to nothing of what they said is of any real relevance to the sorts of things that are believed today and the kinds of reasons that are given for believing them.

    They mostly are recognised as ‘greats’ though, unless by authors with axes to grind like Russell. A lot of what they said is still relevant to the sorts of things that are believed today; there are still many Christians and theists more generally. Neo-Aristotelianism and neo-Scholasticism are small but still active fields of study in Western philosophy.

  298. Coconuts says:
    @silviosilver

    reiner Tor beat me to it, but I’ll mention gay uncle theory as well as D.S. Wilson.

  299. @AP

    If Romans would stayed Pagan, why they would not have continued exploring the world?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romans_in_Sub-Saharan_Africa

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanno_the_Navigator

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero%27s_exploration_of_the_Nile_river

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pytheas

    Anyway Portuguese caravel is based on Muslim technology.

    The caravel has origins in earlier Portuguese fishing boats built in the 13th century based on the medieval Islamic qarib.[2] The caravel was developed in about 1450, based on existing fishing boats under the sponsorship of Henry the Navigator of Portugal, and soon became the preferred vessel for Portuguese explorers like Diogo Cão, Bartolomeu Dias or Gaspar and Miguel Corte-Real, and by Christopher Columbus.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravel

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @songbird
  300. @sudden death

    That’s a disingenuous argument. The frequency of wars had been decreasing since the Napoleonic Wars, long before the Americans came. Some of the recent peacefulness is due to nuclear weapons, I presume that they would be still here anyway. There’s also the issue that armies have become much smaller due to a number of factors, none of which have anything to do with American domination. This was probably one reason for Putin’s decision not to swallow the entire Ukraine whole back in 2014, and it also already played a part in Gorbachev’s decision to abandon the Warsaw Pact countries, as he couldn’t finance a huge mass army while at the same time keeping a world war capable well equipped modern military. In the event, he chose the latter but ended up with neither. Anyway, it’s certainly more difficult for a military to keep a hostile population under its thumb than it was a century ago.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @sudden death
  301. @Bashibuzuk

    Zheng He didn’t discover anything, though. He visited a number of known ports with a huge fleet to assert Chinese dominance.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  302. AP says:
    @silviosilver

    If Christian belief was the causal agent behind their development, why didn’t they appear in, say, 330? Or 750

    Starting from low base. The West was taken over by barbarians. If not for Christianity, it would have been a case of primitives living over abandoned ruins.

  303. @reiner Tor

    And Columbus was sailing to the Orient, but serindiptously ended up landing in the Island of San Salvador.

    Vikings discovered Vineland. Interestingly, their travels there ended around the times Norse people became thoroughly Christian. Also Christian Norse abandoned Greenland. Although both developments were probably due to climate change making travelling there impractical.

    Irish monks might have reached Island and perhaps even further North West. We will probably never know where their Ultima Thule was located. It is probably the only example of long distance oceanic travel motivated by religious zeal. And it fits perfectly with what AP describes. But it was historically speaking a minor development.

    And some spurious claims have been made about the Chinese reaching Americas before Columbus.

    https://io9.gizmodo.com/does-this-map-prove-that-china-discovered-america-befor-1442911790

    Of course its probably as fake as the idea that Christopher Columbus might have had access to Islamic maritime maps which were also later used to draw the Piri Reis map.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piri_Reis_map

    Bottom line, Columbus has discovered Americas, but not because he was Christian, and Christianity has nothing to do with European long distance transoceanic exploration.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @AP
    , @AP
    , @Daniel Chieh
  304. AP says:
    @reiner Tor

    Also his huge boats were not as advanced as those of the Portuguese.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  305. @Bashibuzuk

    And Columbus was sailing to the Orient, but serindiptously ended up landing in the Island of San Salvador.

    Because he was choosing a different route, one previously unexplored, never used by anyone. That’s when you can have a chance of discovering a previously unknown land. Zheng He traveled to well known locations using well known sea lanes, so he never had a chance of discovering anything previously unknown.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  306. @AP

    And why do you think that the early caravel was superior to the large Chinese seafaring junks?

  307. AP your technology/world conquest argument isnt even Christian in its logic. Its the same materialist logic as employed by Liberals and Communists, that material progress is the true metric for success. Such base materialist world view has nothing to do with Apostolic Christianity, it removes genuine meaning from Christian religion, it seems that Americas rotten influence had infected you with its false god, and its heresies like prosperity theology have left their mark on your spirit.

    What then when one day Anti-Christ and his flocks are bragging of their successes, how they rule over all this fallen world? By your metrics lords of this world have truth behind them?

    Once upon a time men of the West had high level of morals, which is the root reason for their success. I can imagine how an old Manchu official in the 19th century, with his concubines, eunuchs and slaves, was more preoccupied with different kind of aphrodisiacs and fine pieces of art, than with the general welfare of his nation, or with piety, if compared with British and Dutch traders and sea captains, who were in no way perfect men, but still prayed every day, morning and night, read Holy Bible to their underlings, were actively engaged with Christian charities and missionary work.

    Sometimes Im genuinely shocked how common some false views are nowadays, like that Brits or European colonists were somehow more evil than men of the other civilizations, people who believe such lies, can never comprehend past, I dont mean that there were no evil Brits, there were many, but at least their society tried to restrict and control them, though not always successfully. Often in Asian countries local officials were like small gods, who could terrorise and torment commoners without any limits.

    Im now overly generalising things, but I believe you get my point

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @AP
  308. @AltanBakshi

    Not all Manchus in the 19th century of course, some officials were very upright, but it was horrible time for China, the narcotics problem was unimaginable, there is nothing comparable in modern day. For clarification I should state that the late Imperial China gave more possibilities to be corrupt for its ruling elites than Protestant countries of Europe.

    Manchus had lost their vigour and asabiyyah. In such cases only emperor like Peter I, could revive the state, Manchus sadly lacked their Meiji or Peter I, who would have killed all the parasites and reformed the state.

  309. @reiner Tor

    Because he was choosing a different route, one previously unexplored, never used by anyone

    I agree. But does it have anything to do with Columbus being a Christian ?

    Also, I forgot to mention Basque fishermen who might have started fishing cod banks near Newfoundland in the early sixteenth century. Although fish was used as one among the early symbols of Christ, I don’t think the Basque and later on the Malouin fishermen went into the North Atlantic driven by the Holy Ghost.

    https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/basques

    Also starting from the late fifteenth century the Pomor used extremely well built ships to go sail the northern Russian coast and reach the Svalbard archipelago. Later on the same type of ships was used by Dezhnev’s cossacks to reach Alaska. It had nothing do with them being Christians and everything to do with whaling, finding walrus and narwhal tusks and exploring better fur trade spots in the Russian north.

    Just like legendary Sindbad the sailor trading in the Moluccas had nothing to do with him being a Muslim. Neither being Muslim helped the Indonesian seafarers reaching Australia centuries before it was “discovered ” by Europeans.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-australia-51763669

    All this has obvisously nothing religious about it: it’s business only.

    Perhaps Western European people were more in need of seafaring exploration for business reasons?

    Perhaps the trading routes were under Islamic or Italian (Venetian / Genoan) control and Portuguese had no other choice but to sail towards African west coast?

    And then Spanish had to do with the Portuguese controling the sea-route to India etc…

  310. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Bottom line, Columbus has discovered Americas, but not because he was Christian

    Commerce and conversion of heathens were both motivators for such projects.

    Admittedly, from a Catholic website:

    Columbus accepted the hospitality of a Franciscan monastery. The Prior, Father Juan Perez, happened to be the Queen’s confessor and he took a strong interest in the extraordinarily zealous seafarer. (It was Father Perez who later was to celebrate the first Mass in America — on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.) This good priest had a friend at the King’s court, Louis de Santangel (who would be put in charge of all Church revenues for Columbus’ design) and the two men were able to convince the Queen of the project’s merit, particularly since the Church was prepared to help in financing the first expedition. We can clearly understand the Church’s interest in the venture when we see the compelling argument that Columbus offered to explain its purpose: “. . . To carry the Name and doctrine of Jesus Christ into regions so distant.” Permission was obtained from the Catholic Kings and preparations were soon under way.

    Christopher also presented his plan to Pope Alexander VI in letter, hoping to secure missionaries accompany him on the journey. He wrote: “I trust that by God’s help, I may spread the Holy Name and Gospel of Jesus Christ as widely as possible.” The Pope granted his request on the second and other subsequent expeditions….

    Knowing that a plenary indulgence would be gained by all who received Holy Communion on the Feast of Our Lady of the Angels, August second, the courageous explorer-missioner chose that date for his departure

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  311. @AP

    Well, in this case I must agree that he was really driven by the religious as much as economics considérations. Although the cynical voice in my left ear is still whispering: “they have put In God we Trust on the US dollar, that’s how religious they are”…

    But you have convinced me that in Columbus case the religious beliefs were probably important.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  312. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Vikings discovered Vineland. Interestingly, their travels there ended around the times Norse people became thoroughly Christian

    Leif Erickson was an Orthodox Christians tasked with converting heathens:

    https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/09/leif-eriksson-the-first-orthodox-christian-in-america/

    Leif Eriksson: The First Orthodox Christian in America

    Most people are aware that the Norse explorer Leif Eriksson was the first European to reach America, some 500 years before Christopher Columbus, but very few know he arrived as part of a Christian mission. Fewer still realize Leif Eriksson was an Orthodox Christian. Having become a hirdman (guard) of the royal army of King Olaf Tryggvason in Norway, Leif had himself accepted baptism into the Christian faith, and had received from the King orders to travel to Greenland with a priest in order to convert the Norse settlements there.

    [MORE]

    When their ships were blown off course, Leif and his companions ended up in what we now know as Newfoundland. After getting back on course, and converting the Greenlanders to Christ, Lief and his crew returned to this Newfoundland, where they built permanent settlements, settlements that included the construction of churches. While the Norwegian presence in North America was short lived, the fact that the first Christian presence on the continent was Orthodox is significant.

    Although King Olaf Tryggvason had accepted baptism at Canterbury in England, the first Christian rulers in Scandinavia were kinsmen of the rulers of Gardarike, or Kiev (The Rus, of course, were not Slavs but Scandinavians, most hailing from Sweden).

    King Olaf had himself grown up under the protection of Grand Prince Valdemar (Vladimir), who famously converted the Rus to Christianity in 988. Norse Christianity was Orthodox in tone and appearance from the beginning, and the last of Norway’s pre-schism Christian kings, Harald Hardrada, was openly rebuked by Rome for adhering to Eastern traditions. He brought into the Norwegian Church a number of priests and bishops from Novgorod and Gardarike, and also Miklagard (Constantinople), where he had headed the Varangian guard in service of the Byzantine emperor.

    The first Christian presence in the Americas, then, was not merely Orthodox in the sense of pre-schism, but had strong ties to the cultural and ecclesiastical traditions of the Orthodox East. This fact can clearly be seen in the interiors of the thousand year old Norwegian stave churches that we see today.

    [Yes, I know, Rus were a fusion of Wends and Scandinavians, not pure Scandinavians as the article states -AP]

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  313. @Bashibuzuk

    I’ll take AP’s position here and note that Christianity had a certain specific way of approaching the world that was very conducive for scientific understanding in a way that previous thinking did not seem to permit. Take, for example, Linnaeus’ reasoning for classification of animals:

    “The Earth’s creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalist’s task to construct a ‘natural classification’ that would reveal this Order in the universe.”

    Christianity had a certain radical element on it which is distinctive from pagan religions in that it gives little consideration to “nature”, in contrast to say, Taoism or most folk beliefs in general. This could, yes, be argued of various other Abrahamic religions. Its strident notions of humans as divine, superior and deserving of mastery of all about them would drive an esoteric belief as well that the divine truth could be seen through study, and that it was acceptable and indeed holy to understand this.

    As you noted yourself, alchemists attempted to discover the origin of God through their experimentation(and the ultimate notion of the transmutation of the soul), the physician Paracelsus intensely believed in occult magic within a Christian context to allow him to heal all ills, and discover the nature of God.

    His philosophy about the true nature of the virtues is reminiscent of Aristotle’s idea of the natural place of elements. To Paracelsus, the purpose of science is not only to learn more about the world around us but also to search for divine signs and potentially understand the nature of God. If a person who doesn’t believe in God became a physician, they would not have a better standing in God’s eyes and will not succeed in their work because they don’t practice in his name. Becoming an effective physician requires faith in God. Paracelsus saw medicine as more than just a perfunctory practice. To him, medicine was a divine mission and good character combined with devotion to God was more important than personal skill. He encouraged physicians to practice self-improvement and humility along with studying philosophy to gain new experiences.

    And of course, there’s Newton but his ascetic practices are well known to all here by now, I’m sure. The point is, there does seem to be something unique about Christianity that really encourages this kind of exploration, and accommodates people we would gently call as autistic now but instead allows them to contribute in an uniquely beautiful way. I have to rush off to my labors now, but I want to also note the contribution of Trappist monks as a source of technology; I can freely confess that there also seemed to be pagan examples of technology(like the Greek computers) but none of them seemed to try to implement them in a practical and daily way like the Trappists did for themselves.

    • Thanks: AP
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  314. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    An excellent post. Allow me to clarify:

    AP your technology/world conquest argument isnt even Christian in its logic. Its the same materialist logic as employed by Liberals and Communists, that material progress is the true metric for success

    I think you misunderstand me. Technology and world conquest are neither the purpose of Christianity nor the standard by which religions ought to be measured; rather, they are side effects. Your example of the pious British and Dutch traders highlights this perfectly.

    An aspect of the Christian view is liberation of oneself from “demonic” nature and reorientation of how one sees one’s position within the natural world. A son and heir of God the Creator is very different from someone beholden to forest spirits. Inevitably this personal process had wider societal and historical (including technological) consequences.

    That love and mercy were central to this faith meant that those consequences have been largely positive in the world, although all people are flawed and there have been some counter-examples.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  315. @AP

    Rus were Sveas from Roslagen, hell in Finnish language Sweden is Ruotsi, which comes from old Norse Roþrslandi, which is root for the Rus. Its Slavic revisionism to claim that Rus were Wends. Rus were NORSE! Later they Slavicised and got assimilated, but their origins are in Vikingr. Stop this false politically motivated revisionism!

    https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Ruotsi#Finnish

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  316. songbird says:
    @AltanBakshi

    According to Herodotus, Phoenicians circumnavigated Africa.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  317. @Daniel Chieh

    This could, yes, be argued of various other Abrahamic religions. Its strident notions of humans as divine, superior and deserving of mastery of all about them would drive an esoteric belief as well that the divine truth could be seen through study, and that it was acceptable and indeed holy to understand this.

    I agree that other Abrahamic religions probably had a similar impulse. Islam certainly had it during its Golden Age. That’s why I posted the link to the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity.

    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ikhwan-al-safa/

    Moreover, it is well known that both Muslim and Christian scholars used ancient Greek knowledge to build upon. Muslims also had access to Indian (in a large cultural sense) and Chinese sources to advance science. Question is: why had European Christians achieved more than their Islamic or Jewish counterparts?

    I believe that the answer is probably multi-faceted; it includes human capital (Western Europeans being mainly derived of Latin, Celtic, Germanic and Norse ancestors) , geopolitical situation (Mongol invasion of the Islamic heartland) and economic considerations (Muslims having access to spice, slave, ivory and gold trade without long range oceanic seafaring). Therefore, Christianity alone does not determine the success of the Western civilization.

    And I would also add, that while Christian faith transformed the mind of the European heathen, the mind of the European heathen also transformed Christianity and made it into the conquering doctrine it became in the late Middle Ages. This can be inferred from completely different evolution of the Oriental (Nestorian) Church that spread among Central Asian populations, but ended-up nearly extinct, with Islam converting the majority of its flock. Here the conditions were different and the outcome derived from them was accordingly completely distinct from Europe.

  318. songbird says:

    Not shocking that Muslims who controlled the traditional sea route to the East had more robust ships, but it is probably meaningless. As the population of Atlantic and Northern Europe increased stormier areas like the Baltic and North Sea had increased trade. This led to the development of the cog.

    The Venitii had bigger ships than the Romans, and triremes and quadremes were only naval ships. Not used for trade. It is not surprising that they didn’t change much before gunpowder.

  319. Non-whites say how “racist” whites are, yet in reality there is no bigger cucks, appeasers and moral cowards than Western whites.

    When you compare Western white self-doubt, introspection and cultural relativism to Chinese (and also Russian) ruthless self-interest and self-belief, there is just no comparison really. Totally outclassed.

    But that is precisely the reason every non-white thug, miscreant and malcontent is piling in on Western whites, precisely because they do project weakness, self-doubt and being an easy target as a culture and society.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Coconuts
  320. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The voice in your ear may be cynical, but are you implying that those that inscribed those words on the dollar were cynical too? Sure, America has strayed far from its original ideals, but it’s still a worthy inscription that should remind its citizens of a sentiment that still should hold sway.

  321. @AltanBakshi

    No. You are wrong here Altan. It’s a long debate I don’t have the time to get into right now, but suffice to mention that as early as time of Truso, the Wends (Balto-Slavs) and the Norse interacted and intermixed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truso

    Also the finds of horse sacrifice burial rites in Old Ladoga are typical of the Old Prussian pagan customs found in Kaup necropolis.

    http://www.wiskiauten.eu/index.php?id=28&L=1

    Vikings have also extensively traded with Kaup the population of the Kaup region, but Norse did not practice horse burial, but ancient Saxons did. Saxons have been neighbors to the Wends since times immemorial.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wulfsen_horse_burial

    I have shared a link with AP a few months ago about Wends possibly taking part in the Anglo-Saxon conquest of the British Isles.

    https://www.wilcuma.org.uk/who-are-the-anglo-saxons/rugians-wends-tribal-slavonic-settlers/

    Bottom line, Rus warriors were probably of mixed Norse/Baltic/Slav stock, not pure Norse.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  322. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I’m no quite sure why you spend so much time going over Jack Kornfield’s biography, and perhaps not the most flattering one at that? The book that he wrote took quotations out of Buddhist texts and also from the New Testament and made some worthwhile comparisons of Siddhartha and Jesus. Was his book somehow flawed?

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  323. @Mr. Hack

    They were Freemasons. Heretics from an Orthodox point of view.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  324. @Bashibuzuk

    Few non Norse mercenaries and trade emporiums in foreign lands, means that Norse were Wends?
    Whats next? That Slavs were Ancient Egyptians?

    But yep, lets argue about this some other time.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  325. @Mr. Hack

    Those words replaced original American motto in bills during Eisenhower’s administration. So quite late development.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Disagree: Bashibuzuk
  326. @Mr. Hack

    I have not read his book, still one should be ever vigilant, and keep watch on heretics…

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Heretical_Teachers

    • Thanks: Mr. Hack
  327. @advancedatheist

    It’s the belief of naive Christians that atheists will tend to be consistent and thus be nihilists, as that is the obvious conclusion of their belief system which rules out the possibility of metaphysical meaning.

    Of course this is a false belief, because atheists are allergic to consistency, and so are very attracted to extremist utopian ideologies like progressivism, anti-racism, or else the opposite pole of bizarre racial mysticism (these are actually similar, as progressivism is basically just a xenophilic racial mysticism).

  328. @Bashibuzuk

    Christianity alone might not, but it’s an essential factor, and was almost definitely what pushed Europe far past what should have been peers or superiors in the far East. They had strong trade networks, high human Capitol, long experience with organizing huge bureacratic states, but in the end it wasn’t close until fairly recently (coincident with the West’s de-Christianization).

    Trying to tie the success of Europeans to either just Christianity or just Human Capitol or just whatever else is like trying to tie the success of the body to just the liver or just the heart. Or maybe it’s just the sugar that makes these cookies so good, throw that flour away! When you find a winning recipe, you shouldn’t mess with it radically; a different formulation is probably going to be worse and so experimentation should be gradual.

  329. @AP

    I was well aware that unlike his father (a staunch Odinist), Leif Eriksson was baptized in the Christian faith. I am also aware of the religious and political influence the ancient Rus had on the Norse kingdoms around the times of Yaroslav the Wise. Unified Rus was a major European power at that time, Yaroslav married his daughters to several European kings.

    But I don’t buy the Orthodox Church being first in America part, it is obviously pure propaganda. Even though Leif was Christian, his crew men most probably were still largely pagan, as were his fathers’ men who settled Greenland. Anyway, Island and probably Greenland Norse settlers remained strongly influenced by pagan customs for a very lengthy period of time as Islandic Sagas demonstrate.

    And I don’t think anything remotely Christian has been found in L’ Anse aux Meadows.

    I would therefore largely see the whole Norse American saga more along these lines: pagans fleeing the encroaching Christian domination as far as possible and settling Island, Greenland and launching hunting, trading and timber logging expeditions to Vineland.

    • Replies: @AP
  330. @AltanBakshi

    Few non Norse mercenaries and trade emporiums in foreign lands, means that Norse were Wends?

    A few Norse mercenaries among the Rus warriors, means Rus were Vikings?

    At that time Wends were kicking Viking arses in the Baltic, why would Slavs “invite” Vikings, if they could place themselves under Wendish protection?

    As I wrote it is a lengthy debate (did you know that the Muslim traders who met Rus people in Khazaria or Volga Bulgaria classified the Rus among the Turkish tribes ?)

    🙂

  331. @AP

    Sorry I repeat myself, but still its quite strange that only Catholics and especially Protestants were so blessed by God, seems that God hath not much love for the Slavs, or maybe God withhold his blessings, for Slavs were not as good Christians like the Dutch and Englishmen?

    I dont buy your logic, technology has its relative value, but both evil and good men are capable of invention, same with the conquests. If now would be the year 700-1000 ad, Muslims would employ absolutely similar logic in defence of their faith. “Objectively we are true monotheists, unlike Christians who have fallen into darkness of polytheism, thats why God blesses us and Christians lose to us everywhere, from Spain to Caucasus, and why our customs are more refined, our ways nobler, our great cities Damascus, Baghdad and Cordoba are like ornaments of paradise, in comparison with the rugged and dirty hamlets of infidels.”

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
    , @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
  332. @AltanBakshi

    In my experience it’s the opposite, Orthodox followers insist what pure, deeply cultured and ancient Christians they are compared to the heretical, rootless Catholics and especially Protestants.

    Orthodox Christians are the worst for denominational snobbery, as it were.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  333. @AltanBakshi

    rugged and dirty hamlets of infidels.

    I read once the description of a travel made to France and Rhine region by a tenth century Cordoban Muslim trader. And this is more or less what he wrote. The natives appeared to him brutish and dirty, their country dysfunctional and their villages and towns inferior in every imaginable way.

    Also, I think perhaps that in a couple of generations, as things go, the Han Chinese travellers would write something along these lines about North American cities (Detroit perhaps), although probably without the religious overtones.

    🙂

    • Replies: @Europe Europa
  334. Beckow says:
    @reiner Tor

    …it’s certainly more difficult for a military to keep a hostile population under its thumb than it was a century ago.

    In some ways more difficult, but in others easier: media is more consolidated, extreme misery has disappeared making everything less urgent, and the ability to buy (and sell) a career has increased with virtual money.

    In Ukraine, Kremlin is waiting for enough people to be disillusioned. I doubt that will happen, not in the way they think – desperate people become more foolish, not less. But they are not the biggest fools around – we have EU leaders who think that stomping feet is a policy. EU is heading towards an unstable racially-mixed reservation with no hinterland and few resources. That Borrell guy – old and decrepit, fearful and unclever – is a good representative for EU, an EU-in-a-box, Brussels should market him.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  335. @Europe Europa

    Well, they’re not the ones with female priests and rainbow flags. Gold watches over rainbow flags, I’d say.

  336. Dmitry says:
    @AltanBakshi

    For Buddhist people, Buddhist doctrine is referring to objective reality, not a subjective beliefs.

    When Buddhist people say there is no self, or that “gods” are just a product of the mind, they are making objective claims about a reality, which doesn’t depend on their belief in it.

    When Abrahamic religions believe that God exists objectively – the point is that God is not dependent on peoples’ belief in it. Similarly, the difference between God and some demons, is not dependent on subjective belief, but is an objective reality, in the same way as there are objective laws of classical mechanics in our Enlightenment view.

    If you believe that Gods depend on man’s belief in them (as in style of e.g. German romantics), then you are rejecting fundamental of worldview Abrahamic religion that was described in the Bible. This is nowadays a mainstream view, developed across the 19th century, and it seems very natural to us, including to people supportive of religion like Max Weber. But in God-fearing times, it would be quite a heresy.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  337. Passer by says:
    @Europe Europa

    Having too much wealth and power causes decadence. Other countries simply can not afford to be “saving the world”, or put others first.

    Diversity experiments are also not generally supported in high competition areas of the world, where internal stability in the face of external competition takes primary importance.

    If the West was just 10 % of the global economy there would be an immense western hysteria about all those huge and alien foreign powers throwing their weight around and controlling everything, which would probably trigger some nationalistic reaction.

  338. @Shortsword

    Iranians would give everything they have just to have a chance to become citizens of the UAE. The only thing that is “fake and gay” is your attitude

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @AnonFromTN
  339. Dmitry says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Ancients believed that gods needed to receive sacrifices to keep or increase their power

    So that the gods will be favourable to them, rather so that the gods exist or have power.

    The idea you would have to sacrifice to a god, so that the god has power, would be inherently contradiction – as why would sacrifice to an unpowerful god. First we would have believed that the god is powerful over us, and then (somewhat fearing) to sacrifice to that god.

    Jews fed their YHWH by burning sacrificial

    Emerging from this Iron Age beliefs, they view sacrifice so the God is pleased with them, not so that the God is powerful or so that he exists.

    To zoom forward far into history – in the decades soon after the death of Jesus, Paul (and his students) created or propagated the theory that God has sacrificed his human son, so that man himself would be redeemed.

    God doesn’t sacrifice his son to create man, but to redeem him spiritually.

    Paul himself writes quite clearly that you can eat sacrifices to idols, because idols are not important in this world.

    It’s useful to read carefully Paul’s opinion on sacrifice – he says that gentiles sacrifice to devils, but he also says idols are not anything compared to god.

    “18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

    19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

    20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

    21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

    22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?”

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2010&version=KJV

    Gnostic Christian scripture: the Archonts and the Demiurge enslaved human souls because they basically derive their power

    Doesn’t this sounds a little more like Scientology?

    We know Demiurge is from Plato’s . He created the world, but it’s not clear why. It may be for artistic motives, or as a kind of experiment. His own existence (in Plato) doesn’t depend on man’s belief in him.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  340. @Mr. Hack

    When I came to the US in 1991, a post-doc in the lab where I worked (American born and bred) showed me “in God we trust” on the US dollar bills and said: “see, this is the only God we trust in”. My subsequent experience in the US showed that he was 100% correct.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  341. Dmitry says:
    @Coconuts

    I didn’t say there was no Great Philosopher between Ancient World and Hume.

    I just wrote that Hume is a strong example of a “Great Philosopher” of Modern History, where his text reads without a theologian style. He writes in a way which is in rebellion to theological style of writing, and his voice sounds more like the style of thinking we recognize from people writing in scientific papers today.

    In Descartes and Spinoza, the texts still has quite a theologian’s style of writing and reasoning. About Leibniz, I cannot say, as I haven’t read his books, but only some chapters about his philosophy.

    Locke writes in a very causal, conservational way, which reminds me reading texts some pages of Renaissance writers like Montaigne and Machiavelli. So with Locke also there isn’t so much of theological way of writing, from my impression.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Coconuts
  342. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    So with Locke also there isn’t so much of theological way of writing, from my impression

    He writes in agreement with theologians of his time and within a religious context; but I mean in terms of his way of thinking – it already seems to be something quite different, and with this conversational causal style:

    https://www.uvm.edu/~lderosse/courses/intro/locke_essay.pdf

  343. @Dmitry

    It may be for artistic motives, or as a kind of experiment

    In the Gnostic scriptures, the Demiurge was an imperfect god who arose from an error made by Sophia the divine wisdom who was one of the entities emanated from the True Absolute God. The Demiurge being ignorant, creates a world of suffering and his Archonts keep human souls captive in this world. The Demiurge creates this world out of hubris and because in his ignorance he doesn’t have a moral understanding of what he is doing.

    Christian Gnostics equated the True Absolute God with our Heavenly Father. Some sects also equated the Demiurge with YHWH. In general, they were rather antisemitic, although many of them were probably of Hellenised Jewish ancestry. Of course they were also antipagan.

    Different Gnostic sects had widely varying teachings that were based on a Neoplatonic interpretation of the Jewish religion and admixed with different kinds of Eastern mysticism. But their view of this world being a negative place, and of its creator being imperfect, was probably common to all the Gnostics. In the Gnostic apocrypha, Jesus came to redeem humans from this world of suffering and to free them from the domination of the Archonts. To bring those who receive his teachings and discover Knowledge back to their Heavenly Father and out of this world forever.

    A beautiful teaching, very moving.

    http://gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

    • Thanks: AP
  344. @Not Only Wrathful

    Iranians would give everything they have just to have a chance to become citizens of the UAE.

    Maybe 0.1% of Iranians. Maybe even 1%. But not the others, sorry. Get better instructions from your supervisor.

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  345. @Shortsword

    Are homosexuals subject to legal repercussions in Iran if they keep their proclivities discrete? Does the Iranian military intelligence keep a file of homosexuals for blackmail purposes when useful?

    It’s pretty disgusting but things run better if you leave them alone if they don’t parade it.

  346. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Yes, I agree. I should let people keep whatever beliefs float their boat. Life is hard enough as it is and if people manage to convince themselves that their existence has a meaning through religion, there’s no much purpose in dissuading them.

    However, what are blogs for if not to debate beliefs and ideas? When I see religious people engaging in reasoned arguments to defend their beliefs, I must assume that these people are mature enough to withstand opposing views.

    As for your comments in the last thread, I did not find them especially heated. I must have learned to expect some personal attacks when debating you 🙂 What I do find off-putting is when you guys gang up against Aaron for no good reason that I can discern and use the ethnic card in an unprovoked way.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  347. @Shortsword

    UAE is a fake and gay country.

    In fact, it’s seven fake and gay micro-states (emirates; sounds modern, doesn’t it?) “united” into one slightly bigger fake and gay country.

  348. @reiner Tor

    Wonder if there is any systemic data or inguiry into the freguency of wars over 5-6 last centuries, at least in Europe, accounting intensity, scale and duration?

    But anyway, even if excluding hot wars, the slightly implied idea that European truly sovereign states, especially dominant, with hegemonic aspirations, would somehow be more friendly with Russia without USA influence even in nuclear age, seems not plausible.

    All those dominant European sovereigns had huge conflicts (France 1812, England&France 1856, Germany 1914, 1941) with Russia and the dubious long term use it could extract from that sovereign European system that other sovereigns who felt threatened by that dominant power were more eager to step into alliances with it (England 1812, England&France 1914,1941).

    So the real thing that is being decried from RF perspective is not USA dominance perse, but a relative European unity under that dominance, which makes it harder to divide&rule.

  349. @Bashibuzuk

    Oh – I would love to see this movie. Did not know it existed. I’ve read a few of Pelevin’s later novels too. Generation P and Buddha’s Little Finger. I liked them. The lighter and more ironic novels of Ukrainian writer Andrej Kurkov I loved even more – Picnic on the Ice and Pinguis don’t Freeze .

    The – ironic – if not sarcastic? – sentence in the clip above about the creative guy they’re about to meet and who costs in the minute what they make in a week I liked best – hehe.

    You did not answer my question whether it was a rather disillusioning experience (= a bitter experience?) to read Omon Ra. I’d be all ears if you’d be willing to write about it.
    (I think Omon Ra is one of those rare books that will survive their decade (it already has…), and one question is: What – individual – traces did they leave in the minds of their readers (I’ve studied literature and philosophy, etc. in Heidelberg, than Konstanz in the German south and there was this once even famous group of all kinds of humanities experts working on the question how the works of literature – work, so to speak, in the mind of the reader. Their journal was called: Poetic und Hermeneutic. – Their last volume of 550 000 characters has the title: The Arts – Not Beautiful Any Longer. Oh – and one very last one was called Terror and Play.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  350. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Yes, it’s a bit odd that in the 21st century one still has to explain why believing in fairies and other paranormal phenomena is not as sound as not believing in them but it was you who brought up the subject of believing in things that are beyond the sphere of empirical evidence.

    And, as you can see here, some people even have the nerve to argue that scientific progress was a consequence of one particular kind of supernatural belief. As if we didn’t all know what happened to Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno and countless others. The authors of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum were the promoters of free exchange of ideas and scientific research in the Enlightenment, indeed…

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
    , @Mr. Hack
  351. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    They even could not conquer Pinay Muslims before the end of the 19th century

    No, the Philippines were firmly in the hands of the Spaniards for 4 centuries, longer than most American colonies. They may have had trouble subjugating the Muslims (the current government in the Philippines also has this problem), just like they never managed to pacify the Mapuche and other remote American tribes, but the Philippines was one of the last colonies lost by Spain, who had to hand them over to the USA after its defeat in the 1898 Spanish-American War.

  352. @Shortsword

    “Fake and gay” is your term for remarkably successful?

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    , @songbird
  353. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    What else can you expect from a cynical atheist?

  354. @Not Only Wrathful

    It’s a small country without any independent culture or history. But by some accident of history they happened to get very large oil reserves and in addition to this the oil is particularly cheap to extract. To make up for their historical non-existence they spend massive amount of money on international PR projects. That’s very fake and very gay.

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  355. Mr. Hack says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I’m no expert on the history of the motto, but it seems that it was first used after Congress approved of it in 1866, after the civil war. If its author was not a Mason, would you feel more comfortable with its sentiment? The US, as you know, is a counntry of many different faiths. I certainly feel that the motto does not in any way desecrate the beliefs of my Orthodox faith. In all things, we’re to trust in the Lord’s providential hand in human affairs.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  356. @Mikel

    you who brought up the subject of believing in things that are beyond the sphere of empirical evidence.

    Well, that is what belief is all about. For the phenomena that we can experience empirically no belief is needed. Basically, people belive because they don’t know. Those who know need not believing anymore. Pistis vs. Gnosis.

    Now, about faeries, did you ever hear of the machine elves?

    https://nationalpost.com/health/aliens-machine-elves-living-slinkys-scientists-to-study-the-entities-people-meet-on-drug-dmt

    Our senses are limited, our brain is a electrochemical processor. Our operating system experiences glitches and sometimes even the “blue screens of death”. We are imperfect creatures.

    There are things that will mostly be outside of our normal day to day perception. Therefore, people will sometimes bump into some strange and unexpected phenomena. And they will believe in strange and marvelous things.

    And, as you can see here, some people even have the nerve to argue that scientific progress was a consequence of one particular kind of supernatural belief.

    As the saying goes “we are what we eat”, on the mental level we certainly “are what we believe”. Belief systems have an important impact on human behavior (Aĺahu Akbar – Boom!). But of course they do not determine everything.

    IMHO the most reasonable approach is to remember that whatever we experience as humans, on physical or mental level, is just as good as our perception and our mental clarity. We can believe in anything suits us best, as long as it does not get into the way of our and other people happiness.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  357. songbird says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    I guess chain mail became a lot easier to make after the water hammer, but I find it bizarre that it would be on some list of medieval inventions. In fact, I think it is likely that several “medieval inventions” really existed earlier. The treadmill crane and tidal mill, for example, but probably others.

    Classical society was not lacking in inventiveness, as Herot of Alexander and Archimedes demonstrate. Or the Antikythera mechanism. Greco-Roman statues were at least as impressive as Renaissance ones, perhaps, even more so, as the best do not survive.

    AP would seem to have us believe that the reason that the Belgae or the Germani didn’t have a Jan van Eyck or Bruegel is that they were pagans, not that their population and trade were pretty thin on the ground until later technologies helped them explode. Once we understand the cause of the Northern Renaissance, it is easy to understand that it was the same factor in the South.

    I am not sure his historical Christian triumphalism can explain the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages, or why Christianity did not save the Roman Empire.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Dmitry
  358. @Shortsword

    It was a bunch of fishing villages that now get to live like kings, while Iran was a great civilisation that is now surpassed by remote parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

    If Iran is real and straight while the UAE is fake and gay then sign me up dearee

  359. @Mr. Hack

    I don’t think anything about God should be written on the moneys. Moneys are either the tool of Mammon or Caesar or both. Jesus Christ was clear about it.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  360. Passer by says:

    The World in 2050

    Asia as the center of the global economy

    In the next 30 years, the world economy will show a drastic shift in geo-political power, from old economies to new, from West to East.

    It is time for Russia to move away from the EU

  361. @Bashibuzuk


    A gold coin of the Kushan Empire 2nd century.

    What a fine empire it was! Led by partially Hellenised Aryan tribes of the steppes, Tocharians and Scythians.

    Byzantines often had the image of Christ on their coins.

  362. @AnonFromTN

    You really have to idea of the reality of people’s lives in those two countries, do you? Like most people discussing politics on the internet, everything you believe you see in the world is really just whatever flatters you.

    😉

    Best, next time, you actually look up expatriate numbers. There’s over half a million Iranians who have managed to be allowed into the UAE to live. That is the max they’d ever allow but already exceeds your idiot expectations.

  363. Mikel says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    Well, that is what belief is all about. For the phenomena that we can experience empirically no belief is needed.

    We are in agreement here. But my point is that not all beliefs have the same value from a rational perspective. Believing in the likelihood of life in other parts of the universe and believing in the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster are very different manifestations of the same act of believing. Believing in fairies and in gods, not so much.

    As for the subject of consciousness that you brought up some time ago, I have been doing some reading and my provisional conclusion is that the late Marvin Minsky, a famous researcher in artificial intelligence, was correct: consciousness is a scientific mystery only insofar we keep using multiple definitions of the word. When you have something like 28 ways of defining consciousness you cannot have a theory that will explain all of them simultaneously. But when we agree on using one single definition, the subject becomes much more amenable to study and understanding.

    I first heard his idea in this debate that is mostly about Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem and other problems associated with the limits of our understanding (btw, I found this video thanks to Mr. Hack, who some time ago shared an excellent link to online documentaries: https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/)

    In fact, some researchers recently found the structures of the brain that activate consciousness (in the way that we understand it in everyday language):

    https://news.wisc.edu/researchers-wake-monkeys-by-stimulating-engine-of-consciousness-in-brain/

    But a full understanding of how brains work (even animal brains) still seems to be very far in the horizon. Some researchers think that, paradoxically, “human brains aren’t equipped to understand themselves” because “no machine can have an output more sophisticated than itself”:

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/an-existential-crisis-in-neuroscience

    Of course some people always find a way to see this kind of scientific humility as a confirmation of their supernatural beliefs. So be it.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  364. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    And I don’t think anything remotely Christian has been found in L’ Anse aux Meadows.

    Not much was fond there but the settlers were likely Christian, as was Leif Erikson.

    https://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2015/09/the-vikings-in-newfoundland-canadas-first-orthodox-parish/

    We know that the Norse seafaring parties who traveled to North America contained mixed crews of Thor-worshipers and Christians (Erikson himself started out as the former, and ended up, rather early in life, as the latter). We also know that one of the parties of settlers his adventures produced the first Canadian-born child of European extraction, a boy named Snorri, whose grandchildren included three bishops right around the time of the Great Schism (news of which traveled very slowly to Viking lands, in any case).

    It is almost certain that no Orthodox priest was present at the first settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows. Yet archaeological digs further northwest on Baffin Island present an interesting possibility. A thirteenth-century Thule native site produced an intriguing relic: a tiny carved figure dressed in European clothing, with evidence of a cape over the shoulders, and a long cloth draped around the neck, hanging down to the feet – and marked with a cross. Robert McGhee, who specializes in Arctic archaeology at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, suggests this figure shows a crusader who served as a retainer for a viking captain. This is based on the theory that Christian clergy in northern Europe did not wear pectoral crosses until a much later period.

    Yet we know both Saints Cuthbert and Adamnan, saints of the Orthodox west, both wore such crosses, as we can see today on display at the cathedral in Durham, in the north of England. It seems more difficult to believe that a crusader would have traveled thousands of miles with pagan Vikings, rather than a Christian priestmonk, seeking out mission territory, or more likely, seeking a remote monastic home, as we know the Celts did in Greenland centuries before. Whether this figure represented an Orthodox priest or a cleric of the western Latins after the Schism, we’ll likely never know.

    But for Orthodox Christians in Canada, the rubble at L’Anse aux Meadows and the carving from Baffin Island remind us that a minute Orthodox presence likely existed in Canada long before two world wars, and long before the Reformation. These facts confirm that the first Christians to set foot on our soil were from what is sometimes erroneously called the “undivided Church” – the Orthodox Church before the breaking away of Rome. And our brother Leif the Lucky, along with his kinsmen at L’Anse aux Meadows – and perhaps even a lone priestmonk on Baffin island, were what one might think of as founding members of the first Orthodox community in Canada – whether they knew it, or not.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  365. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Sorry I repeat myself, but still its quite strange that only Catholics and especially Protestants were so blessed by God, seems that God hath not much love for the Slavs, or maybe God withhold his blessings, for Slavs were not as good Christians like the Dutch and Englishmen

    Under Christ, Slavs became the most numerous and were on track to become the most powerful of the European peoples (and thus all the world’s peoples), until the sin of defending the regicide, and choosing to (as a nation) allow themselves to be taken by godless Bolshevism brought them down.

    If now would be the year 700-1000 ad, Muslims would employ absolutely similar logic in defence of their faith. “Objectively we are true monotheists, unlike Christians who have fallen into darkness of polytheism, thats why God blesses us and Christians lose to us everywhere, from Spain to Caucasus

    The difference is that Christendom kept improving, from 700 to 900, to 1100, to 1500, etc. until it eclipsed the entire world.

  366. FerW says:
    @AltanBakshi

    At least cosmism as a dream is better for the nations and peoples of the world than progressive dream of the world of the tomorrow.

    What would be better than spread humanity to other planets, and at the same time spread the biosphere of our dear mother Earth(Prithvi) to distant stars?

    Surely such struggle for conquest of space would be more moral goal, than shallow consumerism of modern post-industrisl society…

    It could be, yet not too much morality is needed to improve upon the state of affairs in certain parts of our materialistic world. The thing that surprised me, though, about your statement-question was how readily the nationalism-bent Buddhist I had imagined seemed to commit to the uncertain, open-ended, “fanatical quest” (as you put it yourself) of a global dictatorship. A benevolent one, of course. (Alas, the translation of benevolence to good is hardly a given.)

    Although I asked specifically about your position, I find the more general comments about Buddhism interesting, thanks.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  367. Coconuts says:
    @Dmitry

    Ah, I see what you meant now.

    I hadn’t really thought about it before, but yes, Hume and Locke are more literary and readable than the Scholastics and Descartes. I think I started reading philosophy via secondary works and then books that are written in a rather turgid style (philosophy of mind and things like that from the 90s and 2000s), so assume reading it may be arduous. Still I wonder if many people read a lot of things like Aquinas’ Summa without some specific topic or issue they want to find out about.

    Montaigne is very readable. Pascal is also interesting in this respect, even though his Pensees are fragmentary it is unlike Descartes or the Scholastics and is more accessible.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  368. AP says:
    @songbird

    AP would seem to have us believe that the reason that the Belgae or the Germani didn’t have a Jan van Eyck or Bruegel is that they were pagans, not that their population and trade were pretty thin on the ground until later technologies helped them explode.

    It’s a complete coincidence that for thousands of years those peoples were living like primitives but within a couple of centuries of converting they were creating wonderful architecture, were inspired to delve into the study of the natural world in order to wring from it its secrets, and built increasingly complex societies. They just never got around to it. Prior to Christianity Slavs were worshipping this:

    But without Christianity they surely would have eventually developed something like this on their own, except with Perun or Dazhboh rather than Maria Oranta:

    And its just bad luck that the Iroquois and countless other peoples never got around to making beautiful art, discoveries, etc. Or that the Aztecs just had crude pyramids rather than ornate beauties. Or that the Chinese and Hindus never conquered almost the entire world. But those northern Europeans (Germanics, Celts, and Slavs), alongside the older post-Roman peoples soon after converting began the process that would lead from the dark forests to all of those things.

    Because they got lucky. It had nothing to do with what Daniel explained, more eloquently than did I:

    [MORE]

    Christianity had a certain specific way of approaching the world that was very conducive for scientific understanding in a way that previous thinking did not seem to permit. Take, for example, Linnaeus’ reasoning for classification of animals:

    “The Earth’s creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalist’s task to construct a ‘natural classification’ that would reveal this Order in the universe.”

    Christianity had a certain radical element on it which is distinctive from pagan religions in that it gives little consideration to “nature”, in contrast to say, Taoism or most folk beliefs in general. This could, yes, be argued of various other Abrahamic religions. Its strident notions of humans as divine, superior and deserving of mastery of all about them would drive an esoteric belief as well that the divine truth could be seen through study, and that it was acceptable and indeed holy to understand this.

    As you noted yourself, alchemists attempted to discover the origin of God through their experimentation(and the ultimate notion of the transmutation of the soul), the physician Paracelsus intensely believed in occult magic within a Christian context to allow him to heal all ills, and discover the nature of God.

    His philosophy about the true nature of the virtues is reminiscent of Aristotle’s idea of the natural place of elements. To Paracelsus, the purpose of science is not only to learn more about the world around us but also to search for divine signs and potentially understand the nature of God. If a person who doesn’t believe in God became a physician, they would not have a better standing in God’s eyes and will not succeed in their work because they don’t practice in his name. Becoming an effective physician requires faith in God. Paracelsus saw medicine as more than just a perfunctory practice. To him, medicine was a divine mission and good character combined with devotion to God was more important than personal skill. He encouraged physicians to practice self-improvement and humility along with studying philosophy to gain new experiences.

    And of course, there’s Newton but his ascetic practices are well known to all here by now, I’m sure. The point is, there does seem to be something unique about Christianity that really encourages this kind of exploration, and accommodates people we would gently call as autistic now but instead allows them to contribute in an uniquely beautiful way. I have to rush off to my labors now, but I want to also note the contribution of Trappist monks as a source of technology; I can freely confess that there also seemed to be pagan examples of technology(like the Greek computers) but none of them seemed to try to implement them in a practical and daily way like the Trappists did for themselves.

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Dieter Kief
  369. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    Of course some people always find a way to see this kind of scientific humility as a confirmation of their supernatural beliefs. So be it.

    When Kant showed the mind cannot know the “thing in itself” (reality), precipitating the cultural crisis that we are still living through today (perhaps in its final consequences), he went on to suggest that precisely this leaves room for faith in the traditional God.

    Nietszche was scathing on this sleight of hand- “bringing in God through the back door”, he derisively called it.

    Of course what Kant showed, was that we have no basis for knowing ultimate reality at all, not paving a way for faith in God.

    Some researchers think that, paradoxically, “human brains aren’t equipped to understand themselves” because “no machine can have an output more sophisticated than itself”:

    Interestingly, in the Hindu Upanishads the Self is described as the seer that cannot see itself, the fire that cannot burn itself, the light that cannot illuminate itself, the knife that cannot cut itself….

    And even more fascinatingly, in the older Hinayana tradition of Buddhism, nowhere does it say the self does not exist- only that nothing that is an object of knowledge can be regarded as the self.

    Might it be that the mind – which shines a light outward- cannot on principle see itself? That on principle the mind cannot become an object of knowledge? The seer cannot see itself?

    This does remind one of Goedels Incompleteness Theorem – every system must start with assumptions it cannot prove.

    There is a religious tradition which sees God as precisely that Mystery – as precisely that realm we cannot know or understand, ever, on principle. In Buddhism, it is Emptiness – the realm that cannot be captured in words or concepts (in that sense it appears empty). Among the Christian mystics, it is the Via Negativa.

    And why is “mystery” such a fraught and laden word, with connotations of magic and wonder – and for that matter, why should wonder be seen as marvelous and thrilling? Why does mankind seem to attach positive significance and emotional thrill to terms that might be thought to indicate mere ignorance and lack of knowledge- mystery and wonder?

    Why is it that some men have felt that what cannot be known is more significant in some sense than what can be known? Why have some men seemed to worship Mystery? That itself is a mystery 🙂

    John Gray wrote a book called Seven Types of Atheism. Not a religious man and an avowed nihilist, he is scathing about the first 6 types of atheism which he sees as kinds of religion that only makes sense in a theistic context and reactions against Christianity (atheism is meaningless in a Taoist or Buddhist context).

    But the final type of atheism which he discusses in the context of Schopenhauer does not seek refuge in any new ideal or faith – but accepts the Mystery, at what we can never know or understand. Buddhist atheism.

    Might there not be something healthy and life giving about simply confronting mystery, that which we can not know in principle or ever – and not always need to know?

    But this kind of atheism, curiously enough, is also a religious tradition- and it is no accident that the Christian mystics were generally barely tolerated and often persecuted. In a sense they are atheists. In another sense this kind of atheist is religious 🙂

    • Replies: @Mikel
  370. @Morton's toes

    Amateurs run anti clockwise. Professionals, there were some once, ran clockwise. The change of direction was meant to keep professionals out of amateur races.

  371. Coconuts says:
    @Europe Europa

    When you compare Western white self-doubt, introspection and cultural relativism to Chinese (and also Russian) ruthless self-interest and self-belief, there is just no comparison really. Totally outclassed.

    I’m uncertain about how sincere this is, at least for some progressive Westerners. Neo-Marxist, Frankfurt school type stuff seems to have sunk deeply into Western culture, and part of their way of operating was to look at things (culture, racial issues and so on) with the correct ‘critical consciousness’, identifying the way they fell short of the (Marxist) utopian ideal, then problematise the thing for later critical deconstruction by identifying its supposed internal contradictions.

    This is why the introspection and self doubt always seems to assume particular forms with particular targets. The progressive can move smoothly from encouraging the lamenting of the evils of their own race or nation’s history, seeming to take the part of foreigners, to denouncing and calling for action against the same foreign powers whose part they just appeared to be taking. Undermining the bourgeois cultural system of their own country by making it’s history seem like one of evil is liberating, but so is (sometimes simultaneously) attacking the bourgeois power apparatus of another country using forms of military or economic intervention. Both advance the dialectic.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  372. AP says:
    @Mikel

    some people even have the nerve to argue that scientific progress was a consequence of one particular kind of supernatural belief.

    The idea that it was all a coincidence is far more outlandish.

    As if we didn’t all know what happened to Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno and countless others.

    You may not believe in fairies, but you believe in fairy tales. In this case, the modern post-Christian fairytale that the Christian faith held back progress and that the fate of these people was an example of this.

    In reality, Copernicus, Galileo, and Bruno were deeply religious men who were inspired by their faith, without which their discoveries would not have occurred. Newton was the same way. Copernicus was a Catholic canon and Bruno was a monk. Bruno worked with magic and astrology and his faith was a weird heresy; provided with numerous chances to recant, he chose death. He was not killed for his heliocentrism alone.

    http://blogs.nature.com/soapboxscience/2011/05/18/science-owes-much-to-both-christianity-and-the-middle-ages

    Few topics are as open to misunderstanding as the relationship between faith and reason. The ongoing clash of creationism with evolution obscures the fact that Christianity has actually had a far more positive role to play in the history of science than commonly believed. Indeed, many of the alleged examples of religion holding back scientific progress turn out to be bogus. For instance, the Church has never taught that the Earth is flat and, in the Middle Ages, no one thought so anyway. Popes haven’t tried to ban zero, human dissection or lightening rods, let alone excommunicate Halley’s Comet. No one, I am pleased to say, was ever burnt at the stake for scientific ideas. Yet, all these stories are still regularly trotted out as examples of clerical intransigence in the face of scientific progress.

    Admittedly, Galileo was put on trial for claiming it is a fact that the Earth goes around the sun, rather than just a hypothesis as the Catholic Church demanded. Still, historians have found that even his trial was as much a case of papal egotism as scientific conservatism. It hardly deserves to overshadow all the support that the Church has given to scientific investigation over the centuries.

    That support took several forms. One was simply financial. Until the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was the leading sponsor of scientific research. Starting in the Middle Ages, it paid for priests, monks and friars to study at the universities. The church even insisted that science and mathematics should be a compulsory part of the syllabus. And after some debate, it accepted that Greek and Arabic natural philosophy were essential tools for defending the faith. By the seventeenth century, the Jesuit order had become the leading scientific organisation in Europe, publishing thousands of papers and spreading new discoveries around the world. The cathedrals themselves were designed to double up as astronomical observatories to allow ever more accurate determination of the calendar. And of course, modern genetics was founded by a future abbot growing peas in the monastic garden.

    But religious support for science took deeper forms as well. It was only during the nineteenth century that science began to have any practical applications. Technology had ploughed its own furrow up until the 1830s when the German chemical industry started to employ their first PhDs. Before then, the only reason to study science was curiosity or religious piety. Christians believed that God created the universe and ordained the laws of nature. To study the natural world was to admire the work of God. This could be a religious duty and inspire science when there were few other reasons to bother with it. It was faith that led Copernicus to reject the ugly Ptolemaic universe; that drove Johannes Kepler to discover the constitution of the solar system; and that convinced James Clerk Maxwell he could reduce electromagnetism to a set of equations so elegant they take the breathe away.

    Given that the Church has not been an enemy to science, it is less surprising to find that the era which was most dominated by Christian faith, the Middle Ages, was a time of innovation and progress. Inventions like the mechanical clock, glasses, printing and accountancy all burst onto the scene in the late medieval period. In the field of physics, scholars have now found medieval theories about accelerated motion, the rotation of the earth and inertia embedded in the works of Copernicus and Galileo. Even the so-called “dark ages” from 500AD to 1000AD were actually a time of advance after the trough that followed the fall of Rome. Agricultural productivity soared with the use of heavy ploughs, horse collars, crop rotation and watermills, leading to a rapid increase in population.

    It was only during the “enlightenment” that the idea took root that Christianity had been a serious impediment to science. Voltaire and his fellow philosophes opposed the Catholic Church because of its close association with France’s absolute monarchy. Accusing clerics of holding back scientific development was a safe way to make a political point. The cudgels were later taken up by TH Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, in his struggle to free English science from any sort of clerical influence. Creationism did the rest of the job of persuading the public that Christianity and science are doomed to perpetual antagonism.

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @AltanBakshi
  373. @Passer by

    Nicholas I gave Eurasianism a stronger effort than modern Russia. He failed dismally. Peter the Great and Nicholas I represent a peak and a trough of a cycle Russia has been repeating since the foundation of Kiev if not before. On the whole Europe wins.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  374. @AP

    Druids were keen on oak groves. The people of Mari El still are.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  375. @Shortsword

    They were traders/pirates who had to ask the British to rule them to stop the constant raids they made on each other.

  376. @AP

    as we know the Celts did in Greenland centuries before

    According to what I have read, we have no evidence of Irish monks reaching Greenland.

    Icelander historical books suggest that some Irish monks or hermits might have been living there when the Norse settlers came, but according to what I read no archeological traces of their presence were found anywhere on the island.

    Basically it proves that the people who wrote this article about Leif Eriksson make somewhat exagerated claims.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
  377. Passer by says:
    @Philip Owen

    Eurasianism was never possible in a world where the West comprised three thirds of the global economy. But today, Europe is on a long term decline and its people and culture are designated for elimination by the powers that be. The only way for Russia to make it is to move away from the declining West and be part of mutipolar, multi-civilisational Asia, which is returning to its position as the center of the world, comprising most of the global economy, being the biggest continent and having the biggest population. Meanwhile Europe can return to being a small peninsula of Asia, where a new USSR is being built and nasty experiments are being made upon your kind. Now its your turn.

  378. @Philip Owen

    Pagan Slavs also had their sacred groves and Wendish pagan priests who practiced divination in these groves were called Tree-seers = Drevvidy (from Slavic Древо видеть).

    • Thanks: Philip Owen
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Philip Owen
  379. Passer by says:

    I suggest for Karlin to make an article on an issue of huge importance – that is – the divorce between Russia and Europe.

    • Agree: Aedib
  380. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    Might there not be something healthy and life giving about simply confronting mystery, that which we can not know in principle or ever – and not always need to know?

    Yes, I think it is good and possibly liberating to simply accept that there are things that we will never understand in our lives and perhaps no human will ever be able to understand. Why should evolution have given us brains capable of understanding everything?

    However, if we want to be intellectually honest, we should at least try to understand what is a legitimate mystery and what is just wishful thinking. That our understanding of reality has limits imposed on us by biology does not mean that anything is possible, especially if that anything conveniently includes the mythical beliefs we received from our family and our cultural tradition.

    On the other hand, some people may be able to live happily not being intellectually honest and just accepting the myths of their community. I am in no position to judge them personally, the only thing I think I can judge is their reasoning process.

    • Agree: AaronB
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    , @AaronB
  381. Mikel says:
    @AP

    Yes, sure, that is why scientific progress accelerated in the 20th century, at the same time that people in the scientifically advanced countries abandoned religion and Christianity had to make (and is still making) grotesque contortions in order to accommodate our new scientific knowledge to its old teachings.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @Coconuts
  382. @Mikel

    the only thing I think I can judge is their reasoning process

    Reasoning has nothing to do with it. It’s more like the process of studiously avoiding reasoning. I believe it’s purely psychological. Some people are timid and emotionally immature. They need a father figure to give them orders and take responsibility for everything. What better father figure than some kind of god, in Christianity that old bearded man in a nightgown you can see painted in churches. Others are intellectually and emotionally developed and willing to take responsibility for their actions and circumstances. Like Laplace, they don’t need that hypothesis.

    • Replies: @AP
  383. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Yes, sure, that is why scientific progress accelerated in the 20th century

    You are trying to change the subject to distract from the exposure of your ignorance.

    Christendom had achieved global scientific dominance long before the 20th century. It had achieved it during religious times, by the work of deeply Christian people, inspired by their faith, typically under the sponsorship of Christian Churches. The claim that Christianity stood in the way of scientific progress is an odd one, given these facts.

    Isaac Newton: “He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.” “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” “God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.”

    Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy:

    “The Earth’s creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalist’s task to construct a ‘natural classification’ that would reveal this Order in the universe.”

    Louis Pasteur, father of modern medical microbiology, discoverer of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization:

    “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” “Posterity will one day laugh at the sublime foolishness of the modern materialistic philosophy. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.”

    Etc. Etc.

    The accelerated progress of the 20th century simply built upon the work of these religious people, using tools designed by them.

    But go ahead and believe the fairytales told by the 19th century “Enlightened,” if it makes you feel better about being an Apostate who betrayed the faith of his people.

    and Christianity had to make (and is still making) grotesque contortions in order to accommodate our new scientific knowledge to its old teachings

    Ignoring the central role of the Christian faith in the existence and development of Western science involves grotesque contortions. As we know, you are an expert at that.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    , @AltanBakshi
  384. AP says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Some people are timid and emotionally immature.

    Generally speaking, atheists are like proud and rebellious adolescents.

  385. @Beckow

    In some ways more difficult, but in others easier:

    I was talking about the military only, because that was the example that sudden death gave. It’s more difficult to control a hostile population using a modern military.

    • Replies: @Beckow
  386. Mr. Hack says: • Website
    @AP

    Two really good books that explore the symbiotic relationship between faith and science that I added to my own private library long ago are:

    “Sciene and Faith” by Vladimir Vukanovic and “Scientists Who Believe, 21 Tell Their Own Stories” by Eric C Barrett & David Fisher. It seems that the really great minds seem to gravitate towards a belief in God. Both books include so many wonderful quotations attesting to the abiding faith of so many well known scientists. Anyone (including Mikel and Professor Tennessee) would benefit greatly from a good reading of these two books. As Alexi Carrel stated: “a human being needs God as he needs water and air”. Johannes Reinke: “Nature appears to us not as a chaos of blind forces, not as a disorderly mix of energy and material particles; quite the opposite, order is plainly there. To human beings lost on our planet, God’s essence remains a deep mystery, however, the observation of nature leaves no doubt about the reality of his existence, which is transcendent and immanent at the same time.”

    So many great quotations and stories within these two books…

  387. @Dmitry

    For Buddhist people, Buddhist doctrine is referring to objective reality, not a subjective beliefs.

    I am not sure what you mean by this, but some schools of Buddhism literally believe that reality is inherently subjective. I dont remember the exact phrasing, but it was something like “subjective existence of phenomena is their objective existence.”

    For Buddhist people, Buddhist doctrine is referring to objective reality, not a subjective beliefs.

    To us other philosophies look odd, for they constantly postulate the existence of phenomenas that are not perceivable by the senses or mind. We accept only two Pramanas, valid ways to gain knowledge, either direct perception or perception through inference.

    Yes I understand your point about Abrahamic religions, God is something that exists by its own power, Svabhava. Exodus 3:14. Still Bible is not so logically consistent as you think, there are different cultural layers in, some books are much older than others, and reflect different understanding of God. It is commonly accepted fact among researchers that ancient Hebrew religion slowly developed into Monotheism, previous phase was Monolatry, that there is a national God, who competed with other gods, and before that its even more complicated. Oldest books of Bible call God, not by the name YHVH, but by the name Elohim, which is plural for Lords or gods. Its quite complicated topic, the ancient Hebrew notion of divinity, and its intimately connected with ancient politics. Especially when Kingom of Judah became its own political entity, independent from the Kingdom of Israel.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  388. @Mikel

    Yes, I agree. I should let people keep whatever beliefs float their boat. Life is hard enough as it is and if people manage to convince themselves that their existence has a meaning through religion, there’s no much purpose in dissuading them.

    You know, you are also propagating some kind of metaphysical view of reality, that there is no ultimate meaning, or do you claim that such view is not your assertion about the nature of the reality? Its quite bold metaphysical claim. Or do you just claim that true meaning can be found, but not through religion? In Buddhism we think that everyone has their ‘view,’ or drsti, but some views are more beneficial for general welfare of beings than others, some views can co-exist, some views can co-exist, some cant, but all are subject to change.

    However, what are blogs for if not to debate beliefs and ideas? When I see religious people engaging in reasoned arguments to defend their beliefs, I must assume that these people are mature enough to withstand opposing views.

    Yes you are quite right.

    About Philippines, there was three Muslim states that were in war with Spanish till 19th century, it was not just insurgency or some kind of rebellion, or subjugation of backwards tribes people, Chinese supplied Muslims constantly with arms.

    I have somewhat conflicted views about Philippines, because they are Catholic country midst of Asia, where Catholicism doesnt belong, but now when I think, maybe its a blessing, without Spanish, they probably would be Muslims like Indonesians. Though originally Pinays were Hindu-Buddhist. So maybe I should be thankful for Spanish, and maybe its good to have one Christian Asian country.(Not you ROK, not you!)

  389. @AP

    Regicide is indeed a horrible sin, but it was first committed by the English in 1649 and later by the French. Both were blessed by huge colonial empires and cutting edge technology, In France they did same stuff with the religion as Bolsheviks did, churches were destroyed or desecrated, priests killed, monks forced to marry, there were even state sanctioned cults of Reason and Supreme Being, which both were in my opinion even more dangerous to Christianity than Bolshevism. Communism is very honest towards religion, it wants to destroy them or just doesnt accept their premises and allows them to exist under strict watch of state, but those “cults,” imitated the outward appearances of genuine religion, though they were shortlived, their psychological imprint had left deep stains in the western psyche, deeper than stains left by Communism.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  390. @FerW

    There is often no best option in the world, and all things are in a constant flux. If globalisation continues and old nation states disappear, or slowly lose their internal cohesion, things that uphold them, then in such situation Cosmist goal for humanity would be better and more moral than hedonist dream of progressive liberal world without borders. You know a world where most important thing would be individuals freedom to express oneself. With our technological progress such innocent sounding logic would have horrible consequences, gender reassignment surgery would be nothing in its grotesqueness.

    Also Im not a nationalist, I despise petty nationalism, in my view its shortsighted. South Korea is an excellent example. Those fools so despise their culturally close neighbours, that they are ready to become a fake copy of America. Same with the Eastern European butthurt belt, if they would have a common sense, or any sense of Realpolitik, they could play USA and Russia against each other and gain much. Its extremely clear that Russia is the weaker power, and doesnt have will, like American elites, to spread their way of life, or armies to other countries, except in the case of former USSR, but petty nationalism makes them blind.

    Thank you very much for liking my comments about Buddhism, but please remember that though Im more of a rightist, Buddhism is for everyone, so I dont see no problem why even a socialist could not be a good Buddhist, even if we would not agree about politics. By socialist I mean social democrats and such, not commies.

    • Replies: @FerW
  391. @AP

    It was only during the “enlightenment” that the idea took root that Christianity had been a serious impediment to science.

    Are you sure? Various Humanist and Neoplatonist ideas were wildly popular in Italy during the Renaissance. Some free thinkers even dreamed of reviving Classical Paganism. No matter how you put it, the Italian Renaissance was greatly inspired by the Pagan past.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemistus_Pletho

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Coconuts
    , @Agathoklis
  392. Coconuts says:
    @Mikel

    Yes, sure, that is why scientific progress accelerated in the 20th century, at the same time that people in the scientifically advanced countries abandoned religion and Christianity had to make (and is still making) grotesque contortions in order to accommodate our new scientific knowledge to its old teachings.

    I think there is some truth in what AP is saying. Organised study of the natural sciences requires a political, cultural and philosophical context and in the West, until recently (last 40 years) this was underpinned by mass Christianity. In the 20th century it is possible to compare the scientific achievements of Christian and religious societies with atheistic ones, where ‘scientific atheism’ was the dominant state ideology. Promoting scientific atheism among the population seems to result in no gain in the quality or quantity of natural sciences research, compared to countries where much of the population were still creationists.

    Lately the abandonment of mass Christianity in Western countries is actually happening and it looks like we are not seeing its replacement by positivism or secular liberal centrism but by some new knock-off version of Marxist thinking in the guise of progressive identity politics. What is noticeable here is that there doesn’t seem to be the same desire to preserve intellectual independence and freedom from this ideology among natural scientists, instead many are inclined to become its bitch and find reasons to rationalise whatever the theorists come up with.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @Dmitry
  393. @Bashibuzuk

    But hey Bashibuzuk, you belong to our Chad Aryan Dharmic gang, so you can have sacred groves once again!

    https://zen.yandex.ru/media/o_schastie_tut/siuda-edut-bezdetnye-pary-i-boginia-ianjima-daruet-radost-materinstva-ee-celitelnaia-sila-pomogaet-prosiascim-5e541f6f83bd090b7e98c353

    Янжима or Yantgzenma is just Tibetan name for Saraswati, these photos, except the last two ones are from Buryatia, from the sacred grove of Goddess Saraswati.

    https://avatars.mds.yandex.net/get-zen_doc/235990/pub_5e541f6f83bd090b7e98c353_5e596818f9af6a13103b2dc8/scale_1200

    We just love sacred groves and the benevolent spirits of nature that inhabit them!

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
    , @Bashibuzuk
  394. Coconuts says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Are you sure? Various Humanist and Neoplatonist ideas were wildly popular in Italy during the Renaissance. Some free thinkers even dreamed of reviving Classical Paganism. No matter how you put it, the Italian Renaissance was greatly inspired by the Pagan past.

    I’ve often seen the argument that AP is referring to framed in terms of religion being an impediment to science, Christianity being singled out by Enlightenment critics because they were operating in very Christian cultures.

    Pagans were considered okay in the measure that they were considered to really be irreligious, people who didn’t believe in their gods, any kind of God, had no ‘organised religion’ and so on and who were in reality good empiricists and sceptics.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  395. @AP

    Christendom had achieved global scientific dominance long before the 20th century. It had achieved it during religious times, by the work of deeply Christian people, inspired by their faith, typically under the sponsorship of Christian Churches. The claim that Christianity stood in the way of scientific progress is an odd one, given these facts.

    Could you be more specific and clarify what you mean by “long before the 20th century?” There was some divergence in the 17th, but West really achieved scientific superiority in the latter half of the 18th, and true dominance or hegemony in science in the 19th century.

    Heck, even in the late 18th century Brits copied Indian technology in such matters as making of rockets, or how to make complicated surgical operations.

    • Replies: @AP
  396. @AltanBakshi

    Very strange that Radical Platonism in Byzantium: Illumination and Utopia in Gemistos Plethon (Cambridge Classical Studies) is not in the sources of the Wiki page on Plethon as it is probably the most comprehensive and enlightening monograph on his thinking:

    • Thanks: AltanBakshi, Mr. Hack
  397. @Coconuts

    Pagans were considered okay in the measure that they were considered to really be irreligious, people who didn’t believe in their gods, any kind of God, had no ‘organised religion’ and so on and who were in reality good empiricists and sceptics.

    This is really not how Renaissance free thinkers and Humanists saw Pagans of Classical world, but much later and modern view of them. Renaissance men were quite poetic and idealistic, they often saw that Pagan gods were ideals that reflected the innermost human attributes. Or in some rare cases like Plethon and his disciples, really believed in them, as manifestations of the highest God. I dont know much about Platonic academy of Florence, but maybe they had similar beliefs.

    but by some new knock-off version of Marxist thinking in the guise of progressive identity politics.

    Such development is thanks to the elites and their dreams and not because of organic or natural progress of history. Its not the will of the people.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  398. AaronB says:

    This whole tedious debate about whether Christianity was necessary to progress and science was settled long ago –

    1) Christianity contributed the notion of the universe as an “artifact”, derived from the idea of a “creator” God. Universe as artifact means how it works can be figured out and duplicated – machine civilization is based on this idea. Modern atheism is automation – machine running on its own without a creator (an artifact creator constantly watching you was eventually felt yo be unbearable)

    Eastern religions see the world as organic and not an artifact. It wasn’t created according to rules but grows like an organism. Atheism makes no sense in a non Christian context. There is no artifact creator to deny.

    2) Christianity contributed the notion of progress – history is the movement towards perfection. Most cultures were cyclical and believed in progress being followed by regression.

    3) Christianity was radically dualistic- good will triumph over evil. Eastern faiths are yin/yang – good and bad are inseparable and it makes no sense to “work” towards the ultimate triumph of good.

    4) The idea of Truth – the idea that knowledge is what will save us (a kind of gnosticism still existing today). The pursuit of Truth ended up destroying the foundations of Western culture as it eventually led to the discovery we can never know truth, according to Nietzsche. Christianity ended up overcoming itself- as everything good does.

    5) Modern science and Enlightenment ideology are versions of Christianity- hence the apparent battle between Christianity and modernity is between tradition abd heresy. Modern progressives have beliefs that make no sense outside of a Christian context.

    While it has been one hell of a show, full of fireworks, the cultural beliefs outlined here ended up being disastrous and unhealthy, leading to their own demise and the demise of cultures which adopt them.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  399. AaronB says:
    @Mikel

    However, if we want to be intellectually honest, we should at least try to understand what is a legitimate mystery and what is just wishful thinking. That our understanding of reality has limits imposed on us by biology does not mean that anything is possible, especially if that anything conveniently includes the mythical beliefs we received from our family and our cultural tradition.

    I think Kierkegaard based his ultimate philosophy on the notion of this “leap of faith” – responding to the European cultural crisis precipitated by the discovery that we cannot know ultimate reality, he suggested one must become a “Knight of Faith”, after having gone through various other attitudes to the world, the penultimate stage being aestheticism, one “leaps” into faith blindly.

    Bruce Charlton similarly responds to the crisis of modernity by deciding – as an act of will – to simply assume that our minds reflect reality, based on the fact that Godel showed that to have any firm knowledge at all , we must have unproven assumptions. So why not have assumptions you like?

    Of course, these are all failures of nerve, attempts to salvage the wreckage of the old belief in Truth. Buddhism and Taoism took this perception to its ultimate conclusion and did not not flinch or lose nerve – the best way to live is to embrace Mystery. To not build or need foundations.

    Why need foundations? What are we so afraid of? Why build secure houses? Why wrap ourselves in the cocoon of knowledge and certainty?

    There is a famous passage where the Buddha says, he will no longer build a house, no longer build foundations.

    It may be life is best lived as skating on ice, not needing security, not needing foundations – not building knowledge castles – not needing certainty – but as a kind of improvisation, a kind of skating.

    Why this need for certainty? isn’t it just cowardice in the end?

    Perhaps Western culture should finally transition to its ultimate destination – a life lived without secure foundations, without need for “meaning”, without need for security, a Westen version of Mahayana Buddhism – a life released from gloom and seriousness.

  400. AaronB says:

    ) The idea of Truth – the idea that knowledge is what will save us (a kind of gnosticism still existing today). The pursuit of Truth ended up destroying the foundations of Western culture as it eventually led to the discovery we can never know truth, according to Nietzsche. Christianity ended up overcoming itself- as everything good does.

    Perhaps those canny old gnostic were onto something, and the uttery relentless pursuit of Truth, without flinching, wherever it leads, is what will save us in the end?

    By finally revealing to us we cannot know Truth – and allow us finally to live without secure foundations, without gloom and seriousness, released into joy. To finally become Greek Skeptics and Buddhists.

    What would a science based on the idea that we cannot know truth or have certainty look like? It will be considerably freer and more open than today’s science. It would be based on “what works” and not on erecting monuments to certainty. It would be more fertile of discoveries than the sclerosis of modern science- might modern science have died from the quest for certainty? Can science be revived again by unmooring it from certainty?

    For instance, instead of creating a perfect system of certainty that explains everything, one will have a wayward and inconsistent system – one will learn to tolerate inconsistency and stay with yhe facts just as they are – and be utterly honest about what works, and not strive to impose an artificial completeness.

    Let’s apply this to HBD. Insteas of trying to make it a perfect system of explanation, one would admit its a wayward collection of facts that aren’t always consistent. IQ tracks wealth, but not at the upper levels (West richer than Asia), IQ fails at predicting elite intellectual performance, races change character all the time in short time spans, motivation is a confounding factor.

    Such an “open” system, utterly honest without the attempt to impose a perfect “grid” on wayward reality, would yield further fascinating discoveries and be responsive to the changing nature of our world. (Certainty kills thought and closes off avenues)

    What led to the break with scholasticism and the birth of modern science was courage – the ability to dwell in uncertainty and inconsistency. Keats called this “negative capability”.

    What is killing science today is merely – loss of nerve. The new scholasticism emerging is merely loss of nerve to dwell in uncertainty and inconsistency- loss of humility. (Loss of the ability to be comfortable with admitting we simply don’t know 0) Likewise, the new authoritarianism emerging is based on – cowardic.

  401. @AltanBakshi

    Those trees do not look very happy if you ask me. Last year there was a photo where some guy in Virginia had displayed his handiwork and marksmanship to his neighbors by hanging ten coyote carcasses he had shot from the branches of a big oak tree near the road going by his ranch. That tree was a sadder specimen but similar.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  402. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikel

    You’re right that Christianity in the guise of the Roman Catholic Church was quite hostile to the earliest achievements of great men that were the pioneers of the scientific method. Later however, closely tied to the industrial revolution in the northern countries, men who mostly reflected a newer approach to rational inquiry and were adherents to the newer protestant interpretations of Christianity, fueled the scientific spirit of the modern European world to the heights that we’re still experiencing to this day.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Mikel
  403. @Morton's toes

    Virginia, hahaha! Funny joke! To me its a miracle that the those trees look so good. Barguzinsky Datsan, or that temple is located in the Northern Buryatia, where average temperature in January is -40C, and temperatures of -50C are not common during the winter. There are probably few tree species in whole world which can survive in such low temperatures. In Northern Scandinavia such temperatures are extremely rare, and still only two leaf tree species can survive there. One is the Dwarf Birch or Betula Nana and second is Betula tortuosa.

    [MORE]

    If you mean the big Indian trees, they are Bodhi trees, and they are just fine, maybe its just the dry season.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  404. AaronB says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The Church may have been hostile to the first scientists, but those scientists were acting on a world view that could not have existed without Christianity. Its not an either or – Christianity may have both helped and hindered science.

    At the time, it was harder to see this, because the West did not have extensive knowledge of other cultures, so it was hard to see what was distinctive about the Western world view. Even the ancients were distorted and reinterpreted.

    People just assumed everyone believed in history as a story of progress and that the world was an artifact designed by an artificer, and could be tinkered with.

  405. @AltanBakshi

    Correction:
    temperatures of -50C are common during the winter

  406. AaronB says:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/11/magazine/biden-economy.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

    Is the Left, merely the intelligent Right? That is, the Right if it was intelligent enough to disguise its intentions?

    Machiavelli long ago said that the ruler must appear benevolent but act with utter ruthlessness.

    The problem with right wingers is that they are openly evil. They are too stupid to create a benevolent face.

    The “Left” achieved more in terms of squeezing poor people and helping the rich than the fondest dreams of the Rght – all the while successfully presenting itself as the champion of the downtrodden!

    Trump was too openly nasty and aggressive to genuinely advance the agenda of nastiness and aggression – Trump was of necessity a one off, a blowing off of steam. Someone so openly aggressive could not successfully pull off aggressive policies – aggression can only be carried out using the “cloak of morality”. That is a big function of religion and ideology- to justify aggression.

    Now Biden will continue many of Trumps policies, particularly with respect to Chiba, but with a proper and intelligent use of moral justification – i.e, hypocrisy and moral cant.

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  407. @AltanBakshi

    This is really not how Renaissance free thinkers and Humanists saw Pagans of Classical world, but much later and modern view of them.

    I generally agree with AP on the importance of Christianity and the scientific way of thinking, but you make an excellent point – most of the individuals I mentioned were not the “usual” Catholics of the day and were consistently followers of the Hermetic school. This also made them very closely associated with Neoplatonic ideas and just a general variety of concepts which ultimately all fell under “hidden knowledge.”

    In 1964, Frances A. Yates advanced the thesis that Renaissance Hermeticism, or what she called “the Hermetic tradition”, had been a crucial factor in the development of modern science. While Yates’s thesis has since been largely rejected,[8] the important role played by the ‘Hermetic’ science of alchemy in the thought of such figures as Jan Baptist van Helmont (1580–1644), Robert Boyle (1627–1691) or Isaac Newton (1642–1727) has been amply demonstrated

    I’ve found this interesting in that the Greeks themselves, of course, had fairly excellent theory and made meaningful advances, but by and large, the Greeks did not translate their science into technology. The Romans who would follow them would have excellent technology, but did not advance the basic science much. While some excellent ideas were found in ancient paganism, it did not seem that the folk employment of it really delved into its deeper concepts. I think the Greeks were for the most part, not Platonic, although certain mystery cults like Pythagoreanism were but more arguably hedonistic schools like Epicureanism also had significant sway.

    One thing which I want to speculate on is the importance of monasteries and other like organizations in developing such ideas and ultimately creating technology; the primitive shaman or court astrologer and wizard may have a more distinctive life from society, but ultimately is part and parcel of it. With its emphasis on chastity, the celibate clergyman may be unmoored from society and completely isolated, allowing him to focus entirely on concepts or ideas that normally wouldn’t get a lot of traction(and from a Neoplatonic perspective, allowed them to meditate to a World of perfected Forms).

    We certainly see no lack of clergy who were early scientists:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catholic_clergy_scientists#

    And many early scientists who weren’t clergy, like Newton, were nonetheless as I noted, people we would gently call autistic now.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  408. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Could you be more specific and clarify what you mean by “long before the 20th century?” There was some divergence in the 17th, but West really achieved scientific superiority in the latter half of the 18th, and true dominance or hegemony in science in the 19th century

    Basically correct. Western/Northern Christendom achieved parity in the 16th century (though ahead in certain key technologies, often of a military nature)*, pulled slightly ahead in the 17th, was clearly ahead by the mid-18th (with some exceptions in particular areas), and was completely dominant in the 19th century.

    Actually the upward trajectory began much earlier, in the 12th century, as reflected in manuscript production:

    So the process began in Christian times by devout Christians explicitly inspired by their faith, and continued to the point of global dominance prior to de-Christianization.

    *of course, Byzantium which hadn’t been overrun by barbarians didn’t really fall behind

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  409. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    “The story of my poisonings has shown how much the incumbent Kremlin regime is afraid of these personal sanctions, that this is their Achilles heel, because the entire modus operandi of the Putin regime comes down to embezzling funds in Russia only to stash or spend the stolen riches abroad, in the West,” he said.

    What’s not to believe?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Mikhail
  410. Mikel says:
    @Coconuts

    there doesn’t seem to be the same desire to preserve intellectual independence and freedom from this ideology among natural scientists, instead many are inclined to become its bitch

    Quite true.

    Scientists are very ordinary human beings, I know this from first hand experience. Just because science is superior to mythical thinking we shouldn’t expect scientists to be better people than any other group. In some cases the contrary is true.

    Many scientists now embrace the woke ideology in the same way that those examples that AP uses in his chest-thumping defense of the superiority of his religion over others also embraced the ideology of their day. This is to be expected. Did they have any other choice anyway? Our current cancel culture is nothing compared to the obscurantism of those days, when people faced burning at the stake for saying the wrong things. And should we expect them to have the psychological courage of abandoning their faith, when many of them had actually devoted their lives to religion before engaging in scientific research?

    By the same token, most Soviet scientists were communists, I guess they had to be in order to hold high positions in Academia.

    But the fact is that eventually, and after fierce opposition, it was Christianity that had to recant and retreat, not the other way around: the origin of man, evolution, the age, shape and history of the Universe,…

    Under these circumstances, it was inevitable that people in advanced countries would start to abandon religion. They saw that many of the beliefs that their Christian ancestors had held for centuries were just based on childish and sometimes even contradictory myths.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @AP
    , @Coconuts
  411. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    I assume you refer to Russian Empire, rather than slavic nationalities living in central Europe that had earlier demographic transition. Population grew for more years in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union after leaving the Malthusian trap, across the second half of the 19th century and first half of 20th century, compared to Western Europe, because demographic transition was comparatively slower. Demographic transition in Russian Empire is beginning in the 1880s-1890s, due to relatively later industrialization and urbanization. In UK, Germany and France (but not Southern Europe), for example, it was many decades earlier.

    China experienced an even more delayed demographic transition, due low economic development and slow industrialization until the later 20th century, and in India delay of demographic transition continues into the beginning of the 21st century.

    As a result, China/India have more than 3 times the population of Europe. The final continent to enter demographic transition will be Africa.

    This is what the process stereotypically looks like on the graph:

    Here is the process between China and India. India will bypass China’s population around end of this decade, as there is a later demographic transition.

  412. Mikel says:
    @AaronB

    Atheism makes no sense in a non Christian context.

    Watch out. Altan may strongly object to this.

    I think that a coherent atheist cannot apply his reasoning only to Christianity. If one views the Christian God as a mythical invention to placate existential fears it follows that any other gods or mythical beliefs that serve the same purpose are equally false. That is what East-Asian Communists concluded, apparently.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  413. Mikel says:
    @Mr. Hack

    The Catholic Church was very hostile to anyone who dared to challenge Dogma but Protestants were not too benevolent either. Giordano Bruno was burned alive by the Calvinists.

    And I think that nowadays some Protestants are more hostile to science than Catholics. Creationism for example in no longer a thing in Catholicism. It was until until mid-20th century but now it’s more of a Protestant position.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @AP
  414. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    I always think and to some extent admire that AP has ability to reject the viewpoint of the mainstream history books, and passionately post an alternative history on this topic, which reminds me of American culture in particular.

    It would be interesting if he would post all his views, on a history forum (where there are actual history nerds that read books), and tell us what the response is there of the history nerds.

    American peoples’ stereotypical cultural tendency to recreate “alternative” histories and to appear to believe them, seems to part of a secret recipe in its prodigious creativity, although I imagine it also contributes to the country’s internal discord – as too many communities are living in their own alternative realities, where there is less common basis to create consensus.

    Mormons have built what is described as one the best cities in America (Salt Lake City), while teaching even in universities that they come from a planet called “Kolob”. Meanwhile, there are professors of African history at Hunter College, claiming that Cleopatra was a black woman.

    At the same time, you cannot deny the success of American culture’s creativity. Disneyland Paris is the most successful tourist attraction in France. That is, Walt Disney’s envisaging of a European castle is today more beloved in Europe, than visiting real castles.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @songbird
  415. @Mr. Hack

    What’s not to believe?

    Depends on intelligence. A clinical moron would believe that Putin hides his moneys in the West. People with moderate and higher intelligence would not.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  416. @Mikel

    They saw that many of the beliefs that their Christian ancestors had held for centuries were just based on childish and sometimes even contradictory myths.

    Einstein aptly called religion “childish superstition”.

  417. @Bashibuzuk

    Wonder what they’ll write about Russian hamlets?

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  418. @Dmitry

    Although it would be interesting if he would post all his views, on a history forum (where there are actual history nerds that read books), and tell us what the response is there of the genuine history nerds.

    His ideas are not particularly esoteric. A huge number of early scientists were clergymen and it’s relatively well documented(as he did) that many late medieval and Renaissance scientists held a religious reason for their research.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  419. @AaronB

    Read the accelerationists.

    There is no alternative is a clever way of saying we are all fascists now and for the foreseeable future. They love to quote F. Jameson

    it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism

    The # 2 guy (after Nick Land) Mark Fisher committed suicide he was so despondent about the future. Jameson probably stole that somewhere else. I have also seen it attributed to Zizek.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  420. Something that doesn’t make sense to me about the “white genocide” claim is why aren’t the Jews/NWO/Illuminati also targeting East Asian countries?

    Surely Chinese, Koreans and Japanese, etc, all pose a much bigger threat to Jewish/globalist hegemony than white people in terms of both IQ, industriousness and sheer numbers? It makes zero sense to me why they would want to wipe out the white race yet not East Asians.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Daniel Chieh
  421. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Creationism for example in no longer a thing in Catholicism. It was until mid-20th century but now it’s more of a Protestant position

    Another fairytale you believe.

    The creationism of modern Protestants, in opposition to the process of natural selection, was never the thing in Catholicism. The Church took no official position (there was considerable back and forth) and has stated that believers were free to believe or not to believe in evolutionary theory. In fact the Catholic monk Mendel was the father of genetics science and the Danish scientist Steno who converted to Roman Catholicism and became a Bishop in the Church was the fathers of modern geology.

    From wiki:

    “For nearly a century, the papacy offered no authoritative pronouncement on Darwin’s theories. In the 1950 encyclical Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that Christians believe that God created all things and that the individual soul is a direct creation by God and not the product of purely material forces.”

    • Replies: @Mr. XYZ
    , @Mikel
  422. @Europe Europa

    It makes zero sense to me why they would want to wipe out the white race yet not East Asians.

    Two things are necessary for the crime to be committed: motive and opportunity. You described their motive, but they don’t have the opportunity in East Asia. In contrast, they have an opportunity in the Empire and its vassals.

  423. Dmitry says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    That is not the AP theory though – rather you are repeating what I wrote, if you read the posts above. Church’s institutional activity has preserved knowledge of the Ancient World, and even trained people in Aristotle, trained people to access the languages of the Ancient World, and resulted in Latin as a common European language for scholars, and scholarship as a protected lifestyle with its own institutions.

    But the inspiration for Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers, are the Ancients that the church preserved, rather than produced; and its impossible not to experience this when you read the Renaissance or Early Modern texts; they were saturated in inspiration of Greece and Rome far more than any writers today.

    Church activity prepares the ground for re-emergence of civilization, but it’s not the originator of European civilization as AP seems to have written.

    Monks are carefully recopying the texts of Ancient Greece and Rome, while also making excellent contributions to the art of wine and beer making. But the wine itself has a far older history in Europe, from the classical world and beyond. And the level of those classical writers could be more advanced and sophisticated in certain ways, than we have reached even by the 19th and 20th century.

    • Agree: Mr. Hack, songbird
    • Replies: @AP
    , @Daniel Chieh
  424. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Many scientists now embrace the woke ideology in the same way that those examples that AP uses in his chest-thumping defense of the superiority of his religion over others also embraced the ideology of their day

    When major discoveries are made that were inspired by woke ideology, you can begin to make an honest comparison.

    after fierce opposition, it was Christianity that had to recant and retreat, not the other way around

    From whom? Itself? The people making advances in how the natural world was understood were themselves Churchmen, whose work was driven by their Christian faith. I have provided their own words. That the relationship between the Christian faith and scientific progress was essentially a hostile one is a myth from some Enlightenment fanatics that you believe in your gullibility.

  425. Mr. Hack says:
    @AnonFromTN

    Having problems again with your reading comprehension skills, Professor? I never stated that Putin himself is hiding funds outside of Russia, only agreeing with Mr. Kara-Murza’s truthful statement that many of Putin’s closest allies and friends do so with his knowledge and blessing. This viewpoint is shared quite abundantly by readers of this blogsite, if not by Karlin himself. Apparently you missed the damaging spectacle that ensued after the exposures made by the Panama papers just a few years back? You probably remember the part regarding Poroshenko’s involvement, but perhaps ducked your head in the sand when Putin’s family and cronies were exposed too?

    the entire modus operandi of the Putin regime comes down to embezzling funds in Russia only to stash or spend the stolen riches abroad, in the West,” he said.

  426. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    But the inspiration for Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers, are the Ancients that the church preserved, rather than produced

    There was a brief during the Renaissance that the Ancients were doing work pleasing to God so that studying them was not antithetical to practicing the Christian faith. I’ll repeat some quotes, there are many more:

    Isaac Newton: “He who thinks half-heartedly will not believe in God; but he who really thinks has to believe in God.” “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.” “God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.”

    Linnaeus, father of modern taxonomy:

    “The Earth’s creation is the glory of God, as seen from the works of Nature by Man alone. The study of nature would reveal the Divine Order of God’s creation, and it was the naturalist’s task to construct a ‘natural classification’ that would reveal this Order in the universe.”

    Louis Pasteur, father of modern medical microbiology, discoverer of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization [yes, he was more modern, but he shows the traditional attitude]:

    “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” “Posterity will one day laugh at the sublime foolishness of the modern materialistic philosophy. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.”

  427. AaronB says:

    @Mikel

    Lol.

    Yes, I was a bit too extreme- atheism makes sense in any theistic context, and not all are in the West. Hinduism I suppose, and paganisn, can produce atheists.

    It is only in Buddhist and Taoist countries that atheism doesn’t make sense – and even here, there are some versions of Buddhism which are theistic. Pure Land Buddhism for instance.

    Also, some of the mainstream mythical beliefs of popular Buddhism, in powers, higher beings, Boddhisattvas, etc, of the kind probably entertained by Altan, can be denied by atheism.

    The best kind of religion does not contest the same space as science – does not make truth claims. And the most sophisticated Christians have always interpreted their religion allegorically and not literally.

    But to each his own – some people derive comfort from beliefs. The ancient Greek Pyrhhonian Sceptics made the surprising discovery that suspending belief led to relief and joy. Some people derive comfort from suspending belief 🙂

  428. AaronB says:
    @Morton's toes

    The world is always going to hell and it is always the end of the world.

    You think we are a vicious and immoral generation – read the Prophets, read Buddha.

  429. @Europe Europa

    Its more of a neurosis than a plan, so precise logic does not apply. And as Unz has noted, Jewish posters and pundits have rapidly turned against China though for all practical purposes, East Asians are efficiently eliminating themselves with plummeting TFR so not much help is necessary there.

  430. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Interesting.

    Anyway, EXTREMELY off-topic, but I have a question for you: What are your thoughts on the partition of India? For the record, I would think that you would have supported it (albeit ideally with MUCH less bloodshed) due to it reducing India’s Muslim percentage right now from 30+% to around 15%.

  431. Dmitry says:
    @Coconuts

    Promoting scientific atheism among the population seems to result in no gain

    In the 20th century, developed countries have had some level of religious freedom. Promotion of “scientific atheism” has only been in at the time less developed countries. E.g. in the USSR and perhaps China.

    In the Soviet Union, a “religion of science” might have correlated, if not supported, the above expected investment in R&D relative to income. Soviet Union employed over 1 million scientists and researchers, which as proportion of the population is many times higher than average in the world today.

    Soviet Union had a very good technical education in science and maths, and the decline of educational standards after the collapse of the USSR, might also support the intuitive idea that the elevating science to a state religion was not the worst situation for science itself.

    But in the end, the most important thing for science today is simply to be a developed country with adequate institutions, investment and incomes for researchers – not to have a “scientific ideology”. It does not seem surprising that the highest scientific output per capita today is in the countries with the highest development in everything else: i.e. Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, et al.

  432. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    Under Christ, Slavs became the most numerous and were on track to become the most powerful of the European peoples (and thus all the world’s peoples), until the sin of defending the regicide, and choosing to (as a nation) allow themselves to be taken by godless Bolshevism brought them down.

    There are MUCH more (mostly non-Christian) East Asians and South Asian Hindus than there are Slavs, and this would have still been true even if Russia and the rest of the East Slavic space would have avoided the extreme demographic devastation of the 20th century.

    By the way, why exactly do you think that educated people such as Benjamin Franklin and William Howard Taft expressed doubts about Jesus Christ’s Divinity?

  433. @Dmitry

    But the inspiration for Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers, are the Ancients that the church preserved, rather than produced; and its impossible not to experience this when you read the Renaissance or Early Modern texts; they were saturated in inspiration of Greece and Rome far more than any writers today.

    Reading them, its impossible not to see the syncretic nature of Christian thought along with their genuine admiration for the Ancients: one has to realize that almost all of them were passionate Christians and often in great fear for the damnation of their souls, and it is reflected in their explorations, where they took great travails to justify any distance from dogma.

    A good example would be something like Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is full of admiration of ancient philosophers but nonetheless places them in a realm of the virtuous nonbeliever. The entire work is uniquely Renaissance: inspired by medieval passion plays but uniquely builds on them, with a certain sense of ancient pathos, and yet deeply obsessed with the theological introspection that really is uniquely Christian from its origins in St. Augustine.

  434. Mr. XYZ says:
    @AP

    For that matter, in spite of them mostly rejecting Christ, Ashkenazi Jews were able to acquire a higher average IQ than gentile whites–including Slavs–were. True, they never actually possessed the same population numbers as gentile whites did, but still, in terms of achievement, Ashkenazi Jews are the kings and queens of the game! Just look at the data for them in Charles Murray’s book Human Accomplishment.

    Just how exactly is this supposed to fit into the theory that following Christ brings one rewards? If you’re going to talk about the Holocaust, I would like to point out that Jewish followers of Christ (as in, Christians of Jewish descent) such as Edith Stein and Irene Nemirovsky were likewise sometimes murdered in the Holocaust. Plus, even post-Holocaust Ashkenazi Jewry has been incredibly accomplished, especially relative to its total population numbers.

  435. Dmitry says:
    @Coconuts

    For me, Descartes is very readable, but I am just saying he is not very like reading a modern paper. He rejected scholasticism, but his style of thinking still reminds us of the great authors.

    By the time of Hume, however – there are many paragraphs which sound like they could copy-pastes from a 21st century scientific or legal writer.

    Descartes and Hume are two of history’s most powerful skeptics, but for 21st century people Hume’s writing seems very familiar, whereas with Descartes there is a sense he is having conversation with a mental world that we no longer can be part of.

    With Hume, for example, in claims that the Bible is a work of mythology, in Section X of “Essays Concerning Human Nature” (1689), there is such kind of paragraphs as below:

    (The part which seems antiquated to us is the use of the noun “A wise man”. Otherwise, this text of 1689, would not seem unusual written 330 years later.)

    A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence. In such conclusions as are founded on an infallible experience, he expects the event with the last degree of assurance, and regards his past experience as a full proof of the future existence of that event. In other cases, he proceeds with more caution: he weighs the opposite experiments: he considers which side is supported by the greater number of experiments: to that side he inclines, with doubt and hesitation; and when at last he fixes his judgement, the evidence exceeds not what we properly call probability. All probability, then, supposes an opposition of experiments and observations, where the one side is found to overbalance the other, and to produce a degree of evidence, proportioned to the superiority.

    A hundred instances or experiments on one side, and fifty on another, afford a doubtful expectation of any event; though a hundred uniform experiments, with only one that is contradictory, reasonably beget a pretty strong degree of assurance. In all cases, we must balance the opposite experiments, where they are opposite, and deduct the smaller number from the greater, in order to know the exact force of the superior evidence.

    https://oll.libertyfund.org/title/bigge-enquiries-concerning-the-human-understanding-and-concerning-the-principles-of-morals#lf0222_label_047

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  436. @AP

    Some people here mistakenly believe that Medieval Christians had a Hegelian or progressive view of history and development, nothing can be further from the truth. People both in the Orthodox East and Catholic west believed that the world was old and they were born during the autumn of history, when everything was slowly crumbling, that they lived during the end times, and Christs second coming was nigh.

    AP everything depends on where we look and how we look.

    East Asia was generally more successful and stable than west, more technologically advanced and refined for over millenia. After establishing of Sui Dynasty in the China during the 6th century, till the beginning of the 19th century, East Asian societies were more stable and harmonious. I dont claim that there were no wars, cataclysms or famines, but compared to Christendom there were less warring and infighting. Even in science they were superior to west for a very long time. How long now West has been superior? For a few centuries, but Europe was backwards shithole outside Northern Italy before Early Modern Era, in comparison with Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan and Early Ming dynasties, so Chinese of the 16th century could claim much longer winning, development and civilizational streak than modern westerners. Even in 18th century China was vastly superior in regards of organisation and meritocracy. If one studies English history, from the coming of Anglo-Saxons till the Tudor rule, it was almost constant fighting and struggle there, a horrible place to live, even Japanese had never such long periods of semi-permanent state of war. France was better, but not much, both societies got relatively stable only in the 16th century, and even then they had their religious crises.

    Also I believe that they produced more books per capita in Tibet, Ming China, Joseon Korea than in Europe during middle Ages, and maybe even in the 16th century. Though Im too tired now to find sources for my claim, so maybe Im wrong. Japanese were also quite avid readers and book publishers.

  437. @Daniel Chieh

    Of course they were clergymen, clerical education was often only way for non nobles to get proper education. When religion has a totalitarian role in the society, and its only way for common people to advance their position in life, then its no wonder that most gifted people are clergymen. Before Italian Renaissance, such thing as secular education was exceedingly rare, even those few medieval universities were mostly run by clergymen, and had their focus in theology.

    Next we can ask such questions like, why almost every scientist in Soviet Union was a communist?

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  438. @Mikel

    Please Mikel, I humbly ask that you would not write on my behalf. If you want ask questions from me, you can always ask directly.

    From a Christian or Theistic viewpoint Buddhists are Atheists, from a Hellenic Pagan viewpoint we are not, from the viewpoint of Vedantin Hindus we are, from our viewpoint its odd to base ones worldview on negation of a false view.

    “And I think that nowadays some Protestants are more hostile to science than Catholics. Creationism for example in no longer a thing in Catholicism. It was until until mid-20th century but now it’s more of a Protestant position.”

    Vast majority of European protestants has always been Lutherans or Lutheran inspired Anglicans. Even Reformed in Europe were rarely as negative towards science as Evangelicals of America. Netherlands was for a long time most advanced society of Europe. So among European protestants hostility towards science has never been such issue like in the Great Satan, also known by the name of USA.

    • Replies: @Mikel
  439. songbird says:
    @AP

    And its just bad luck that the Iroquois and countless other peoples never got around to making beautiful art, discoveries, etc. Or that the Aztecs just had crude pyramids

    Amerinds would have likely come up with a more refined civilization if they had had horses, pigs, and cattle, and if plant domestication had had the same starting point, or if they had been given the same seed at the same time.

    It’s a complete coincidence that for thousands of years those peoples were living like primitives but within a couple of centuries of converting they were creating wonderful architecture

    Northern peoples had special climatic problems that it took time to adjust to, as can be seen in the New World, where tropical and sub-tropical societies were the most advanced.

    Ancient Germans sowed snatch crops like the Algonquins. They were more advanced because they had cattle, horses, and metallurgy, but they couldn’t support anywhere close to the same population density as Southern Europe until many later technological develops made it possible.

    Or that the Chinese and Hindus never conquered almost the entire world.

    The Age of Discovery was a first mover advantage in technology in an experiment that could only be run once. It is impressive and inspiring, but should only be used for motivational purposes, as it is not a good argument for global superiority. The Mongols had the #2 empire by land area, the Qing #4.

    BTW, Michael E. Jones has provided us with the reductio ad absurdum to your argument: what separates Europe from Africa is a thousand years of the Catholic Church.

  440. @AltanBakshi

    Next we can ask such questions like, why almost every scientist in Soviet Union was a communist?

    That was true in Stalin’s times: you had to be a party member for any advancement. Exactly like you had to pretend to be a Christian of prevalent sect in your country to advance in Medieval Europe and for several centuries after that. Key word is “pretend”: you did not need to believe, but you could not express your unbelief without repercussions. Same in Stalin’s USSR. It became untrue in Brezhnev’s times, when you were not expected to repeat official mantras. You still could be punished for openly calling them what they are, BS, exactly like in “Christian” Europe. I know this from personal experience: I was a scientist for some years in the USSR, but I was never a member of their party. I am still not a member of any political party, and I am proud of it.

    • Replies: @AP
  441. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    and passionately post an alternative history on this topic, which reminds me of American culture in particular.

    America is probably the geographic center of world-revisionism.

    I think it comes from two things: large subsidies to many universities and the fact that there have been and there are many competing ethnic interests. So you get many grandiose competing ethnic narratives: “The Irish saved Western Civilization”, “The Scottish invented the world.” Columbus was built up to great heights because of Italians (I think he was impressive), but the Portuguese did the same thing by accident, just a few years later. And that was before we became woke – it is much worse now.

    Partly, it is intentional provocation to sell books. In a way, in an American sense, as Michael E. Jones has said, Catholicism used to be an ethnicity, so there being a Church-driven narrative is unsurprising.

    And then, the saddest case is of black nationalists. Personally, I am convinced that blacks are driven insane by living in a modern world created by people alien to them and not having many true accomplishments for themselves.

    That is, Walt Disney’s envisaging of a European castle is today more beloved in Europe, than visiting real castles.

    I remember being quite young (not quite five) and seeing the castle at Disney World in Florida and being disappointed in how fake it looked on the inside. And I had never seen a real castle before. Though in the abstract, I can appreciate Walt’s vision of wanting to recreate the aesthetic of a traditional European village, and his love of folklore – though he often bastardized it.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  442. Is there any numbers on Russian excess mortality in January?

    • Replies: @Passer by
  443. songbird says:

    It is interesting how Apple makes such a hubbub about privacy.

    In a Snowden sense – that is, on the level of government – it is clearly all theater. But I guess there is still a brand prestige to be won by not being tracked by corporations with lower status than Apple.

    But, in the sense of intelligence gathering, you would probably want to give more scrutiny to people with iPhones, as they are probably wealthier and more influential.

  444. AP says:
    @AnonFromTN

    That was true in Stalin’s times: you had to be a party member for any advancement. Exactly like you had to pretend to be a Christian of prevalent sect in your country to advance in Medieval Europe and for several centuries after that. Key word is “pretend”:

    That’s the key word you do not understand. As is very clear from the writings of those scientists, they were not pretending but were very sincere in their faith; indeed, they saw their scientific work as an expression of their faith. Even the ones like Bruno who were punished for their heresy were sincere, believing heretics, whose work was the product of their heretical religious beliefs – not atheists. So there was no parallel to some Soviet scientists pretending to be communists.

    That you, a scientist yourself, are ignorant of this rather basic fact would be shocking if not for the fact that you were probably fed lies by your Communist teachers.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Coconuts
  445. Passer by says:
    @Shortsword

    No idea about that, but there is data on russian baby boom starting from December. A Covid related baby boom, contrary to all the other countries i’m aware of.

  446. @AP

    So there was no parallel to some Soviet scientists pretending to be communists.

    The parallel is crystal clear for anyone with an open mind. Soviet communism was a typical religion: faith-based BS. That’s exactly why it ruthlessly suppressed a competing religion, Orthodox Christianity. If it weren’t a religion itself, it wouldn’t have cared about other religions one bit.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  447. Coconuts says:
    @Mikel

    But the fact is that eventually, and after fierce opposition, it was Christianity that had to recant and retreat, not the other way around: the origin of man, evolution, the age, shape and history of the Universe,…

    Under these circumstances, it was inevitable that people in advanced countries would start to abandon religion. They saw that many of the beliefs that their Christian ancestors had held for centuries were just based on childish and sometimes even contradictory myths.

    The weirdest thing about this would be that people had come to base all of their religious beliefs on the accuracy of the small amounts of empirically verifiable data contained within the Bible about things like the shape of the universe or its age, or to believe that facts about these topics were the main basis of religion.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  448. @Coconuts

    The weirdest thing about this would be that people had come to base all of their religious beliefs on the accuracy of the small amounts of empirically verifiable data contained within the Bible about things like the shape of the universe or its age, or to believe that facts about these topics were the main basis of religion.

    True dyed in the wool Christian is supposed to believe that every word in the Bible is the word of God, i.e., true. That’s why they call it Holy Bible. Just like true dyed in the wool Muslim is supposed to believe that every word in Quran is true. Religions do not allow you to sort things, saying this is true, and this is not. You are expected to swallow it whole. Bon appetite!

  449. Mikel says:
    @AP

    In the 1950 encyclical Humani generis, Pope Pius XII confirmed that there is no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of evolution, provided that…

    Exactly what I said.

    Until mid 20th century you could find Catholics who rejected evolution. In fact, you could find them quite later than that too. I did. It takes more than a Papal encyclical to abandon long-held positions.

    It is obvious that my knowledge about these matters is much better than yours. Not only did I receive a Catholic education, I also had quite a few members of my family who were very religious, including a very intelligent and well-educated aunt who was a nun. She used to travel around Spain, France and Italy. I know very well what subjects they used to discuss about, what views they held and how they had changed over time. They told me.

    • Replies: @AP
  450. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Please Mikel, I humbly ask that you would not write on my behalf.

    I humbly apologize, Altan.

    You have often described how atheist Communists persecuted Buddhists so I was just wondering if Aaron’s remark would trigger one of your outbursts.

    from our viewpoint its odd to base ones worldview on negation of a false view.

    I don’t know about other atheists and I am not sure I care much. But I definitely don’t base my worldview on the negation of other people’s worldview. It’s much more simple than that. For me rejecting supernatural explanations of reality is the null hypothesis. The default position of any rational person.

    If I had any evidence of the existence of any of those supernatural phenomena (gods, Karma, reincarnation,…), I would be glad to adopt them into my worldview but sadly I have none.

    Besides, I know why most people choose to believe in religion and I find those reasons unsatisfactory from an intellectual point of view.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  451. songbird says:

    Has China finally bucked Hollywood? Or is the decrease in the take of foreign movies really just a symptom of covid?

  452. New look of Anne Boleyn for the lulz 🙂

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-9250329/Jodie-Turner-Smith-transforms-Anne-Boleyn-look-new-Channel-5-drama.html

    For the sake of true equality, can’t wait for MLK, Mandela or Muhammad Ali biopics with main white actors for the roles, lol 🙂

    tbf, sometimes such “artistic liberties” can be justified sans any wokeism, as the choice of black guy as Judas in a musical movie Jesus Christ Superstar, cause he had a spectacular distinct voice and superb singing ability and remains the golden standard performer (arguably still unmatched) of this particular role which all others are being compared against, but somehow suspect this will be not the case with Boleyn role.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @songbird
  453. @AnonFromTN

    True dyed in the wool Christian is supposed to believe that every word in the Bible is the word of God, i.e., true.

    Do not know where you get this but it is not true. Most of history most of people were illiterate. 95% of Christians up to 1600 or so could not read the Bible and could recite to you only a small fraction of what they thought it contained. In the library at your local Roman Catholic university there are shelves full of theological experts debating exactly where and why tradition trumps literal scripture.

    There is a sub-sect of modern American Christians who promote Biblical inerrancy and such. They are a minority. They are a tiny minority compared to the historical-cumulative total population of Christians.

    In my own traditional sect Revelation is considered dodgy and nobody spends any time on the epistle of James. Not because it is considered dodgy but because James does not come across as convinced of his own case as I understand it. Or he has absolutely nothing essential to add. Different people have different explanations on this and nobody I have known really wants to spend a lot of time arguing why this part of the Bible is filler. But definitely no Revelation, ever.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  454. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    of “Essays Concerning Human Nature” (1689)

    Oops the date should be 1748. The worst thing about this forum is the lack of ability to edit our posts – lack of being able to edit our posts contributes to everyone looking more illiterate and stupid than we actually are. I guess Karlin is the only one which could edit old posts maybe if we ask him?

    text of 1689, would not seem unusual written 330 years later.)

    “text of 1748, would not seem unusual written 270 years later. ”

  455. songbird says:
    @sudden death

    tbf, sometimes such “artistic liberties” can be justified sans any wokeism

    Meanwhile, I take the position that Othello should be played in blackface.

    Unless, it is black Shakespeare filmed in Nigeria – financed and produced by blacks and only available for viewing with African ISPs. Then I don’t have a problem with it.

  456. Mikel says:

    There is a reason why the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were called…. the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

    What moribund body was the Renaissance (rebirth) an attempt to separate humans from? And what obscurantism was the Enlightenment fighting against?

    • Replies: @AP
  457. songbird says:

    It’s my impression that people in Eastern Europe were wearing hats (in the sense of formal dress) longer than in Western. I wonder if it is a true observation.

    Would be interesting if there were any stats on tattoos. I get the sense that Russian criminals are famous for their tattoos (perhaps the same as Japan), but that the average person – especially the average woman – would be less likely to have a tattoo.

  458. AP says:
    @Mikel

    Until mid 20th century you could find Catholics who rejected evolution.

    You probably still can. But rejection of evolution was never the official Catholic position.

    It is obvious that my knowledge about these matters is much better than yours. Not only did I receive a Catholic education, I also had quite a few members of my family who were very religious

    When you claim there was some sort of conflict between science and Christianity or that scientific progress represented some sort of “retreat” by Christianity you demonstrate your ignorance (and that is the most charitable interpretation). Scientific theories made by devout Christians, who made clear their scientific work was a religious endeavor, whose work was funded by the Church.

    including a very intelligent and well-educated aunt who was a nun

    Wonderful, hopefully she hasn’t been too troubled by her smugly ignorant nephew.

    And in my family there was a physicist of the old type, co-discoverer of the X-Ray, from a Galician village, who was diverted from the priesthood by his desire to know God’s world more deeply and who saw his scientific work as an essentially religious quest. When he wasn’t conducting scientific research he taught himself Hebrew and classic Greek and translated the New Testament into the Ukrainian language. Had six children also, as one of that type does. Yes, Europe’s scientific progress alongside the rest of its triumphs of the last 1500 years were inextricably tied to its Christian faith, and the breaking of that tie is linked to its decline.

  459. @AltanBakshi

    That’s absolutely awesome.

    Thanks!

    🙂

  460. Will Londongrad move to Amsterdam? In January Amsterdam traded more shares than London and it will get worse in 16 months time when EU financial passporting ends. Will the Russian exiles in London follow the money and decamp to Amsterdam? Schipol has seen better days but it flies a fabulous set of routes. Direct train to Moscow. Schools are good. English is near universal amongst service staff.

  461. AP says:
    @Mikel

    There is a reason why the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were called…. the Renaissance and the Enlightenment.

    What moribund body was the Renaissance (rebirth) an attempt to separate humans from? And what obscurantism was the Enlightenment fighting against?

    Yes, we know you believe grade school fairytales about what the Renaissance was.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renaissance#Overview

    In the revival of neoplatonism Renaissance humanists did not reject Christianity; quite the contrary, many of the greatest works of the Renaissance were devoted to it, and the Church patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life.[23] In addition, many Greek Christian works, including the Greek New Testament, were brought back from Byzantium to Western Europe and engaged Western scholars for the first time since late antiquity. This new engagement with Greek Christian works, and particularly the return to the original Greek of the New Testament promoted by humanists Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus, would help pave the way for the Protestant Reformation.

    You can believe the fairytales told by modern anti-Christian propagandists, or the direct words of the great scientists themselves:

    Here are the words of the great Renaissance era scientist Johannes Kepler:

    “I wanted to become a theologian. For a long time I was restless. Now, however, behold how through my effort God is being celebrated in astronomy.”

    “The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics.”

    “Those laws [of nature] are within the grasp of the human mind; God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts.”

    “Geometry existed before the Creation, is co-eternal with the mind of God, is God himself (what exists in God that is not God himself?); geometry provided God with a model for the Creation and was implanted into man, together with God’s own likeness—and not merely conveyed to his mind through the eyes.”

    “Geometry is unique and eternal, a reflection of the mind of God. That men are able to participate in it is one of the reasons why man is an image of God”

    “Thus God himself was too kind to remain idle, and began to play the game of signatures, signing his likeness into the world; therefore I chance to think that all nature and the graceful sky are symbolized in the art of geometry.

    “Nothing holds me … I will indulge in my sacred fury; I will triumph over mankind by the honest confession that I have stolen the golden vases of the Egyptians to build up a tabernacle for my God, far away from the confines of Egypt. If you forgive me, I rejoice ; if you are angry, I can bear it. The die is cast; the book is written, to be read either now or by posterity, I care not which. It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer”

    • Replies: @Mikel
  462. Coconuts says:
    @AP

    There is an interesting book by the French historian Lucien Febvre called ‘Le probleme de l’incroyance au 16e siecle: La Religion de Rabelais’ where he examines late 19th/early 20th century claims about the agnosticism and atheism of Rabelais in the light of what intellectual resources were available in the 16th century to support or even articulate those views. Febvre comes to the conclusion that there were meagre at best and that holding that kind of view in that period would have been irrational and extremely unlikely for any educated person. Something similar can be seen in inquisition records of the religious views of villagers during the time of the Cathar heresy in Languedoc, where there are one or two village atheists (who claim that nothing exists that is not made of wood and things like that), but they are known sociopaths or very marginal figures.

    Stronger arguments for atheism and agnosticism only arrived later, after the religious wars around the time of the Reformation and the revival of scepticism, then the 2nd Scientific Revolution in the 17th century. Dmitry has mentioned Hume a few times, he is one of the key philosophers demonstrating this shift.

    • Agree: AP
  463. @Europe Europa

    Probably something similar to what they would write about the rest of Europen countryside. When you compare what the Chinese have built in the last 30 years with has happened in Russia and the West, the Sinotriumph is self evident. Although Russians built a lot in Moscow and Piter in the last 20 years. Still it’s not even near what Chinese have accomplished. They were the Middle Kingdom for thousands years, they’re back at it again and Good Ole England isn’t able to drug them with opium anymore.

    That tower has been built in Saint Petersburg (Piter). Yet it cannot be compared with what is happening in the Pearl River delta.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Passer by
  464. Dmitry says:
    @songbird

    Yes the castle is some cheap plastic inside, and yet they are the world’s most popular “castles”.

    Walt Disney is an example of a type of innovative genius perhaps only American culture is crazy enough to produce regularly.

    I was thinking about Disneyland Paris, as I know a Spanish colleague whose girlfriend (also Spanish people) forces them to visit Disneyland Paris almost every year.

    They sometimes bypass Paris – and go to only Disneyland. And his girlfriend is might be around 26 years old, and she still buys the ultra overpriced Disney products in the Disneyland shop, like a child.

    In Disneyland Paris, is like a forward base of the ensemble power of American imaginative genius: you go on “Indiana Jones temple of peril” and “Star Wars hyperspace mountain”. You feel thirsty – drink coke; you feel hungry, go to Disneyland McDonald’s. You want sneakers? There is the Nike factory store nearby. If you want to rest the night more cheaply than in Disneyland hotel – perhaps go to a Hilton, Radisson, or Marriot.

    And such a crazy product of American creative imagination, can be more beloved with certain Europeans (even adult women), than Paris itself.

    black nationalists. Personally, I am convinced that blacks are driven insane by living in a modern world created by people alien to them and not having many true accomplishments

    But African Americans have more cultural achievements than many nationalities, by international standards. For example, aside from inventing jazz as a new form of music, some of the musicians would be enough to become national heroes for many nationalities.

    Imagine if Miles Davis was Uzbek. Or if John Coltrane was Albanian. There would be statues and banknotes. Even in Russia, Igor Butman is famous, and I’m not he has any original contribution to jazz.

    Meanwhile Nigerians or Ethiopians don’t seem to claim that Cleopatra is black, or that they built the pyramids, while university professors of African American history can publish books on this in America.

    There is something that seems culturally American about having lower limits or checks on the process of re-imagining history according to your tastes and dreams. There’s even a less strict orientation to history.

    • Replies: @AP
    , @songbird
  465. Even in Russia, Igor Butman is famous

    Widly known in narrow circles…

  466. @Morton's toes

    In my own traditional sect Revelation is considered dodgy and nobody spends any time on the epistle of James.

    Well, your sect appears to be too rational for religious people. Then again, a lot more things in the Bible than just Revelation are dodgy. From my perspective, Douglas Adams gave the best explanation for the Revelation: it’s what you’d say waiting for a Greek ferry that never arrives on schedule. You start relatively mildly (hoping that it’s just a little late), and then get more and more hysterical.

    95% of Christians up to 1600 or so could not read the Bible

    Absolutely. That’s when the Bible was safe. When too many people became literate, numerous Christian sects prohibited lay people to read the Bible, with the explanation that they would interpret it wrong (i.e., would spot obvious contradictions and inanities in it).

    I read the Bible twice: in Russian (Church Slavonic, to be exact) and in English (King James version). Interesting reading. Except for some overlong boring parts, like the one where it lists who begat who at what age and how long they lived, which credulous people are supposed to use to calculate the age of the world. It begins with a creation myth, similar to many creation myths all over the world. I can’t imagine seeing the rest as anything other than a compendium of fictional stories, some written by intelligent and imaginative talented people, some by talentless morons. Same with the four canonical gospels: some were written by intelligent fairly benign authors, others by ideologically obsessed blinkered monsters (actually, reminded me of Lenin’s writings that we were forced to read in the USSR).

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Jazman
  467. AP says:
    @Dmitry

    I was thinking about Disneyland Paris, as I know a Spanish colleague whose girlfriend (also Spanish people) forces them to visit Disneyland Paris almost every year.

    Disneyland is not bad for families with young children. I enjoyed a trip to Disney and Epcot a few years ago. Epcot has numerous themes devoted towards various countries, with imported staff from those countries (I think, university students). Food was mediocre but not bad, but cocktails at “France” were wonderful (one can drink a lot there, kids don’t realize this). Hotels have lots of swimming pools with waterslides and so on. So one can spend half a day exploring imitations of every major country on every continent, then spend the other half lounging in the pool and enjoying cocktails while the kids play. Rides are very impressive. Fireworks every night. Epcot does not look as cheap and fake as Disney. They have a lot of infrastructure for families (i.e., childcare) so parents can go out in the evening.

    Epcot Italy:

    I preferred taking the kids to the national parks out West, there is nothing like climbing the sand dunes in Utah’s Pink Sand Dunes State Park, or hiking in Banff and then relaxing in the hot springs – but there is something to be said for the very easy-going family-friendly recreation at the Disney parks.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Dmitry
  468. Passer by says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    The chinese have the biggest economy of scale. That is, whatever they build and produce, it will be cheaper compared to their competitors due to that. Building 100 skyscrapers or one million 5G stations gives them a unique advantage of making everything cheaper.

    Another advantage is their big drive to digitize their economy.

    Their huge internal market is also much more tempting for foreign investment compared to the Russian one.

    Moreover, China is not under similar sanctions compared to Russia.

    Still, they did better than Russia, there is no doubt about that.

    Russia will have to step up its game seriously if it would like to be a major power, with its own cluster/super region, and not a declining power. I see corruption and demographics as the biggest hurdles.

    Btw i would caution when talking about Sinotriumph because China will be a declining power in the second half of the 21st century, due to its poor demographics. On the other hand it will still remain the most powerful country by the end of the century, because the US will be a declining power too. That is, they will both be declining, with China keeping its relative advantage.

    So things will get really interesting and multipolar in the second part of the 21st century. The declining powers will be the US, Europe, Latin America, Russia and China, while those who will be rising will be India, the Muslim World and Africa.

    Overall it will be an Asian century, with Asia accounting for more than half the global economy even by the end of the century.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • LOL: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @128
  469. @AnonFromTN

    They may require you to affirm that “every word is true,” but they all interpret their scriptures in order to “produce” the religion that is presented to the masses, and in the act of doing so they inevitably emphasize certain passages and deemphasize (or completely ignore) others.

    (I was initially going to express surprise and confusion at the simplistic notion of religion demonstrated by this post, and thinking that it was written by AP (hence my confusion), and then I realized it was by AnonTN. Well, the pig ignorance makes perfect sense now.)

  470. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    What’s not to believe?

    That the Russian government directly or indirectly poisoned Kara-Murza.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
  471. Mikel says:
    @AP

    I didn’t provide any answers whatsoever, I just asked two simple questions:

    What moribund body was the Renaissance (rebirth) an attempt to separate humans from? And what obscurantism was the Enlightenment fighting against?

    But by answering them, even in the form of denial, you have made my point for me. Thanks!

    In fact, you have elaborated my point even further with your quote by Johannes Kepler:

    It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer

    One of the greatest minds of his times but still Kepler was being kept in ignorance by the Church and forced to believe in the deranged fables of the Book of Genesis about the age of the universe.

    Everybody likely to read this comment knows perfectly well what the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were about but let’s use your tactic of selectively quoting Wikipedia:

    The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism and was also preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, among others.

    The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church

    In France, the central doctrines of the Enlightenment philosophers were individual liberty and religious tolerance, in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of the Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on the scientific method and reductionism, along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy—an attitude captured by Immanuel Kant’s essay Answering the Question: What is Enlightenment, where the phrase Sapere aude (Dare to know) can be found.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

    Luckily, Christianity was forced to retreat, against its will, to the space of personal beliefs and nowadays is reduced to a rather benign faith that gives spiritual comfort to some people (for example my mother) and teaches generally good moral principles. But this was not at all the case for many centuries.

    People like you can try to distort this reality beyond recognition anonymously on a blog but that is all you can do. The rest of us don’t need to fear you or even pay any attention any longer. We don’t care.

    • Replies: @AP
  472. AP says:
    @Mikel

    What moribund body was the Renaissance (rebirth) an attempt to separate humans from? And what obscurantism was the Enlightenment fighting against?

    But by answering them, even in the form of denial, you have made my point for me. Thanks!

    The actual words of the leading figures of the Renaissance confirm that your implication that the Renaissance was a move away from Christianity was false.

    It may well wait a century for a reader, as God has waited six thousand years for an observer

    One of the greatest minds of his times but still Kepler was being kept in ignorance by the Church and forced to believe in the deranged fables of the Book of Genesis about the age of the universe.

    “Forced?” Geology had not yet progressed to know the true age of the Earth. Though the farther of modern geology, Nicolas Steno, was a convert to Catholicism. He has been beatified by the Church.

    Everybody likely to read this comment knows perfectly well what the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were about

    Rather than address your false claim you defer to the “authority” of your fairytale being widespread. Everyone “knows” that everyone in the Middle Age thought the Earth was flat, another myth invented in the 19th century. Most young people today “know” that “systemic racism” is the main social problem in America. Etc. You provide no evidence for your assertions about the Renaissance.

    The reality is that the Renaissance was a time of deep Christian faith and its figures were devout people who viewed their scientific work in Christian terms, as demonstrated by the numerous quotations I have provided in my discussion.

    The Enlightenment emerged out of a European intellectual and scholarly movement known as Renaissance humanism and was also preceded by the Scientific Revolution and the work of Francis Bacon, among others.

    The ideas of the Enlightenment undermined the authority of the monarchy and the Catholic Church

    Francis Bacon: “”Knowledge is the rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate,” “A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

    Yes, the Enlightenment is when secularism began. However, in case you believe the fairytale that secularism was triumphant during this stage, recall that many figures during this time were also devout Christians, whose work was inspired by their Christian faith and supported by their Church. So it was not yet an age of secularism.

    Lord Kelvin, who formulated the laws of thermodynamics:

    “The more thoroughly I conduct scientific research, the more I believe that science excludes atheism.”

    “Louis Pasteur, father of modern medical microbiology, discoverer of vaccination, microbial fermentation, and pasteurization:

    “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. Science brings men nearer to God.” “Posterity will one day laugh at the sublime foolishness of the modern materialistic philosophy. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.”

    So yes, Christianity continued to inspire scientific progress even in the Age of Enlightenment.

    People like you can try to distort this reality beyond recognition anonymously

    The only one distorting reality is you, as we have demonstrated. In order to maintain your fiction about the historical Church or faith holding science back rather than promoting it, you retreat to fantasy about the Renaissance being some sort of post-Christian time.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @Mikel
    , @Coconuts
  473. @AnonFromTN

    Whatever where the faults of the Orthodoxy, it was not anywhere as totalitarian as Communism. For some reason Church had no need to destroy every Buddhist temple in Buryatia and Kalmykia, and kill every Lama, like the Communists did.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk, AP
  474. @AnonfromTN

    From time immemorial Tibetans have believed that the monkey is their ancestor. For a long time ago, before the time of men, there was a famine among monkeys, and monkeys were dying from hunger, but one of them, known by the name ‘Changchub Sempa,’ was very compassionate and intelligent, he solved the famine by encouraging other monkeys to use tools and do farming, and little by little they changed, and one day they were not monkeys anymore, but humans! Till this day Tibetans call that monkey by honorific ‘Father Old Monkey.’ For he is the father and progenitor of the Tibetan nation.

    Quite wussies those Tibetans. To have a monkey as an ancestor? Ancestor of the Mongols is the Great Blue Wolf, now thats a manly and martial animal to have as ones ancestor!

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
  475. Mr. Hack says:
    @Mikhail

    Who else could it have been? You don’t think that he poisoned himself in order that Putler should look evil once again? Poor, poor Putler, so many of Russia’s dissidents either poisoned or murdered in some other fashion. It’s got to be a plot to help damage his pristine image, right?…

    • LOL: Mikhail
    • Replies: @Mikhail
  476. Mr. Hack says:
    @AltanBakshi

    There once was a movement afoot within the US that tried to promote that Americans too were descended from monkeys. They looked like wussies too. 🙂

  477. @AltanBakshi

    Perceptive, not perceptible, silly me.

  478. @AP

    The reality is that the Renaissance was a time of deep Christian faith and its figures were devout people who viewed their scientific work in Christian terms

    These people were in many ways the instigators of the Renaissance. All three of them were heretics (platonicists and hermeticists) and none of them was a devout Christian. They paid lip service to Christianity to avoid being burned. Then they read the Ancients and dreamed about restoring Europe to its Roman-Hellenic roots, up to restoring classical Hellenic paganism under a modernized form. In many ways these three were also the precursors of the European occultism and secret societies that appeared in later centuries and in due time lead to Enlightenment, French revolution and eventually Communism.

    After centuries of falling out of favor, Hermeticism was reintroduced to the West when, in 1460, a man named Leonardo de Candia Pistoia[25] brought the Corpus Hermeticum to Pistoia. He was one of many agents sent out by Pistoia’s ruler, Cosimo de’ Medici, to scour European monasteries for lost ancient writings.[26]

    The most famous use of the term in this broader sense is in the concept of Renaissance Hermeticism, which refers to the wide array of early modern philosophies inspired by, on the one hand, Marsilio Ficino’s (1433–1499) and Lodovico Lazzarelli’s (1447–1500) translation of the Corpus Hermeticum, and on the other, by Paracelsus’ (1494–1541) introduction of a new medical philosophy drawing upon the ‘technical’ Hermetica (i.e., astrological, alchemical, and magical Hermetica, such as the Emerald Tablet).[6] In 1964, Frances A. Yates advanced the thesis that Renaissance Hermeticism, or what she called “the Hermetic tradition”, had been a crucial factor in the development of modern science.[7] While Yates’s thesis has since been largely rejected,[8] the important role played by the ‘Hermetic’ science of alchemy in the thought of such figures as Jan Baptist van Helmont (1580–1644), Robert Boyle (1627–1691) or Isaac Newton (1642–1727) has been amply demonstrated.[9]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeticism

    Writing that the Renaissance was the work of devout Christians is like writing that Perestroika was the work of the Old Bolsheviks.

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    , @AP
  479. @Bashibuzuk

    As someone with close association and identification with the most honorable seekers of the path of the noble Hermes Trismegistus, I would note that many if not most Hermetics genuinely believe in a modified form of Christianity but that its more secret and occult form was not for the masses; e.g. John Dee and his evocation of angels.

    In that same year Dee was arrested and charged with the crime of “calculating”, because he had cast horoscopes of Queen Mary and Princess Elizabeth. The charges were raised to treason against Mary. Dee appeared in the Star Chamber and exonerated himself, but was turned over to the Catholic Bishop Bonner for religious examination. His strong, lifelong penchant for secrecy may have worsened matters. The episode was the most dramatic in a series of attacks and slanders that dogged Dee throughout his life. Clearing his name yet again, he soon became a close associate of Bonner.

    I think that we are mostly more heretics than specifically rejecting of Christianity.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Bashibuzuk
  480. @AP

    I have never seen Disneyland, and I never will, Im happy to die knowing that I have never seen it, as Im happy that I have never stepped on a cursed American soil.

    But if one day, by the will of Providence (Karmic fruition), America is utterly defeated and humiliated, then in such shining and blessed era I can visit those lands, freed from their Satanic overlords.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
    , @AP
    , @songbird
  481. @Daniel Chieh

    If you believe that you can gain salvation without Christ, then you are not a Christian, its very simple.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  482. @Daniel Chieh

    I think that we are mostly more heretics than specifically rejecting of Christianity.

    Tolstoy thought of himself as a reviver of the core Christian teaching. He saw the Sermon of the Mount as the heart of the message of Jesus Christ. That’s where he derived his pacifist and egalitarian ethos from.

    And yet, in his younger years he was strongly interested in Freemasonry, in his older years he decried the “harsh treatment ” visited by Stolypin upon the Social-Revolutionary terrorists and at his death, the Count Tolstoy was hailed by the Bolshevik as “the mirror of the Russian revolution “.

    That’s “spirituel dialectics” at play here.

    In the Foucault’s Pendulum, Umberto Eco described a plot involving a fictionalized “ideological lineage” going from the Knight Templars and Ismaili Assassins to the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons, and up to some twentieth century “Occultists”, who would have become more technicist than spiritualist. Although a philosophical fable, Umberto Eco’s book is nevertheless quite thought provoking and revealing.. Especially for someone who would have also read the Morning of the Magicians (another playful “philosophical fable “).

    I would argue that the thrust towards knowledge, power over nature, progress and humanism that AP has described as Christian in its spirit, was actually proceeding from a completely different source. Unless like Al Hallaj one comes to belive that Satan always does God’s work. Which belief any true Monotheist should in fine arrive to…

    And yeah, John Dee did nothing wrong.

    None of them did…

    🙂

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Daniel Chieh
  483. @AltanBakshi

    Just a little example from some 25 years ago.

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1996-10-18-fi-55024-story.html

    I have repeatedly refused going there, although I never explained my aversion to my wife and kids.

  484. @Bashibuzuk

    Devils are devils as long as they act like devils, only by good deeds they can redeem themselves.

    Just like our mother Hariti, who was once an evil demon, but now protector of children and pregnant women.

    Neoplatonism, Kabbala, monism, Advainta etc just lead to madness, you are forced to rationalise every shitty thing in the world as a crude, harsh or maybe even as a mystical manifestation of Gods power. .

    At least Apostolic Christianity has no such deranged problem, God made men in his image, breath in them his spirit, and gave them free will, but men with their freedom rejected God’s will and the world fell and became corrupted, and now we suffer from the consequences. Evil is born from our sinful nature in traditional Christianity. Not because evil is Gods way to test us, like some deranged maniac, like in old Judaism or in Islam, or that evil is just hidden or disguised manifestation of some specific aspect of God like in Kabbala or Sufism.

    Say what you people want, but to me Christianity is Grand Synthesis of Mystery religions of East and finest Hellenic Philosophy.

    • Agree: AP
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  485. AP says:
    @AltanBakshi

    I didn’t either until my trip there. The Disney company is evil nowadays, of course.

  486. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    From wiki:

    Michelangelo was a devout Catholic whose faith deepened at the end of his life.[67] His poetry includes the following closing lines from what is known as poem 285 (written in 1554); “Neither painting nor sculpture will be able any longer to calm my soul, now turned toward that divine love that opened his arms on the cross to take us in“

    Marsilio Ficino (Italian: [marˈsiːljo fiˈtʃiːno]; Latin name: Marsilius Ficinus; 19 October 1433 – 1 October 1499) was an Italian scholar and Catholic priest who was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance. He was an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism in touch with the major academics of his day and the first translator of Plato’s complete extant works into Latin.[1]

    ::::::::::::;:

    As Daniel has noted, there were heretics among them, who tried to integrate aspects of paganism or Neoplatonism with their sincerely held Christian beliefs. Some of them may have been as you wrote “Perestroika Communists” versus “Orthodox” ones, but they were sincere. And, at any rate, much of their work was sponsored by the Church.

    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  487. @AltanBakshi

    Christianity is Grand Synthesis of Mystery religions of East

    Christianity is indeed a Hellenistic Syncretic Middle Eastern Mystery Religion. No one would deny this. Regarding Montheism, any true Monotheist believes that the World is created and entirely despondent upon a One True Almighty God. Therefore any Monotheist places the fullest responsibility about the imperfections of the Creation squarely onto the shoulders of its Creator. Most Monotheists are not honest enough to admit it, but to think otherwise would actually make someone a non-Monotheist by limiting the power of the One True (but not Almighty) God.

    A God who is not Almighty has his power limited by something or someone. We can’t have that in True Monotheism.

    Of course, crude forest pagans with their sacred groves and decorated poles had no such problems, their world was pluralistic, flexible and complex. They never tried to make it into a half-crumbling “monolithic” system in which it is hard to tell who is the true boss here on earth, Shaitanah or YHWH.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @silviosilver
  488. @AP

    They were absolutely sincere about what they were doing. Satanists are also sincere about what they do. Regarding the Church they belonged to, we must agree that it was the same Church that utterly destroyed the Bogumil and the Cathares just because they denied that our Heavenly Father could ever possibly be the source of any Evil. And strange coincidence, the medieval progress in Western Europe you wrote about started accelerating around the times the Bogumil and the Cathare have been put down.

    • Replies: @AP
  489. songbird says:
    @AltanBakshi

    Can a place with nukes be defeated?

    One of the things that hurt the USSR was the international doctrine of rights. I do not see that coming to the aid of those who want regime change here. They will just use it to import more Africans.

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
  490. Mikhail says: • Website
    @Mr. Hack

    Who else could it have been? You don’t think that he poisoned himself in order that Putler should look evil once again? Poor, poor Putler, so many of Russia’s dissidents either poisoned or murdered in some other fashion. It’s got to be a plot to help damage his pristine image, right?…

    Like Yushchenko? Kara-Murza reportedly fell ill after having yogurt. People the world over get poisoned for varying reasons, not having to do with a paranoid self importance.

    All in all not so many of Russia’s “dissidents” have been poisoned, with many of them openly expressing themselves in Russia. The reported poisoning cases (Navalny, Litvinenko and Skripals) include possible scenarios, not having to do with the Russian government.

    • LOL: Mr. Hack
  491. @songbird

    Can a place with nukes be defeated?

    With a true willpower and spirit of self sacrifice anything is possible…

  492. @AltanBakshi

    Quite wussies those Tibetans. To have a monkey as an ancestor? Ancestor of the Mongols is the Great Blue Wolf, now thats a manly and martial animal to have as ones ancestor!

    [MORE]

    • Agree: AltanBakshi
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  493. Mikhail says: • Website

    A sugar coated way of trying to legitimize the overly bloated US defense budget:

    https://nationalinterest.org/feature/right-way-streamline-us-defense-budget-178064

    Brings to mind Eisenhower’s warning of the military industrial complex. No mention of comparative research reporting over the last few years on how the US defense budget outspends the next ten countries combined.

    https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2020/05/the-united-states-spends-more-on-defense-than-the-next-10-countries-combined

    Keep that in mind when US politicians say there isn’t enough money for domestic concerns.

  494. Mikhail says: • Website

    From a Zelensky ally on Crimea’s post-reunification development:

    https://www.rt.com/russia/506892-lawmaker-crimea-good-changes/

  495. songbird says:
    @Dmitry

    I saw a Chinese movie a while back that was very derivative of Indiana Jones. Kung Fu Yoga. 2017. It was Jackie Chan’s highest grossing movie in China.

    It is a bad movie, but I thought it was more enjoyable than the fourth Jones film. What makes it interesting is the villain is Indian and some of it takes place in the border regions.

    The Indian women (read: Indian T&A) are on Jackie Chan’s side. It was originally supposed to be an Indian coproduction, but the Indian company backed out.

    What I thought was weird about it is how the Indian scenes fail to capture the grimy feeling of India. Of course, they were not filmed there.

    There is a reference to how India abandoned Buddhism. The Indian villain is depicted as avaricious for gold. At the end, there is a Bollywood-style dance, but it is all Chinese people dancing. Despite using a foreign setting, it wasn’t pozzed like Wolf Warrior 2.

    I enjoyed it, though the CGI was very terrible. I wish Chinese films would use more Indian villains. They could be non state actors, like in this film.

  496. AP says:
    @Bashibuzuk

    They were absolutely sincere about what they were doing. Satanists are also sincere about what they do

    Well, Satanists oppose Christ but these guys were devout Christians who spent considerable efforts integrating what they read with Christian doctrine. Many of the were churchmen. It’s rather odd to claim that Christianity stood in the way of scientific and cultural progress when those responsible for such progress were devout Christians.

    Anyways, I am going skiing his weekend so will be making, at most, brief responses for the next few days.

    I would argue that the thrust towards knowledge, power over nature, progress and humanism that AP has described as Christian in its spirit, was actually proceeding from a completely different source.

    Nonsense, it is integral to Christianity. Even in the Dark Ages, Christian Monks were working on perpetual motion machines.

    Christ Himself urged His followers not to be passive or idle, but to work and produce, to use their gifts:

    [MORE]

    14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15 to one he gave five talents,f to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

  497. @Mikel

    If I had any evidence of the existence of any of those supernatural phenomena (gods, Karma, reincarnation,…), I would be glad to adopt them into my worldview but sadly I have none.

    Havent we gone through this topic already, some time ago?

    Maybe I should clarify some matters to you. In Buddhism gods, spirits etc are not the most important thing, and we have quite much freedom to choose how we view them, some Buddhists believe in them in a polytheistic sense, some believe in more psychological sense, that they represent some particular states of mind, and thats perfectly okay, some just think that they are just ‘a positive vibe,’ thats present in some holy grove or place and so on. How I should explain this? We dont have such existence-non-existence dualism in regards of gods, spirits and other such ‘supernatural’ stuff, like its common in the West.

    Then why I have so much spoken about gods in a Buddhist context? Because I like to provoke stuck up atheists, thats why! Most of my western friends are atheists, and I have never had any heated debates with them about religion, unlike with the atheists found on internet(about politics all the time). Anyway I dont have such dichotomy in regards of gods and Buddhas like some guys here, its perfectly clear to me that for you Buddhas dont exist, why they should exist for you? Peoples minds and interpretations of reality are different, some concept that is real for me, is not real to you, our minds are products of different kinds of causal relations or they have gone through different chain of conditioning. They are not results of similar circumstances. Without any preceding causes, or input, Buddhas cant manifest in ones mindstream.

    Also strange if you dont believe in Karma, what else it is than the Law of Action and Reaction? Law of Karma is quite compatible with the worldview of those atheists who believe in ethics.

    (BTW Bruno was not burned by Calvinists, but by the Roman inquisition)

    • Replies: @Mikel
    , @AltanBakshi
  498. @Bashibuzuk

    My transhumanist tendencies must come under an interesting evaluation in that light.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  499. Mikel says:
    @AltanBakshi

    (BTW Bruno was not burned by Calvinists, but by the Roman inquisition)

    Yes, you are right, Giordano Bruno was burned alive in Rome, hanging upside down at the stake, by the science-loving Catholic Church because he had dared to commit “heresy in matters of dogmatic theology”, among them “claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity”.

    It was Miguel Servet who was burned alive by the equally open minded Calvinists.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @silviosilver
  500. @Bashibuzuk

    I agree with you, and in regards of majority of Abrahamic religions you are right, but Apostolic Christianitys explanation for evil is quite intricate. God originally created a perfect world, and unlike Islamic or Jewish God, he gave humans his qualities, thus men could really imitate him, which is shirk or haraam in Islam, so God gave men a perfect world, but the men with their free will rejected it, which lead to our present state, in Christian understanding our world is the same as the perfect world created by God, but twisted by mans rejection of the God, its literally in a fallen state. So the root reason for the evil in Christianity is the God’s gift, the free will, which is not used properly.

    • Replies: @silviosilver
  501. @AltanBakshi

    Till this day Tibetans call that monkey by honorific ‘Father Old Monkey.’ For he is the father and progenitor of the Tibetan nation.

    I don’t know much about Tibetans’ beliefs. If I take your word at face value, then Tibetans are a lot more reasonable than some people we all know. BTW, Hindus also consider monkeys sacred (their explanation is that it’s because of what Hanuman did to save Rama’s woman).

    There was a joke in the US in 2000-2008 that Bush Jr has a good reason not to believe in evolution: he did not evolve yet. Another joke was that Bush Jr is the best argument against intelligent design: nobody intelligent would ever design him.

    • LOL: Jazman
    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  502. @AltanBakshi

    Here is a good explanation of Vajrayana deities by Lama Thubten Yeshe:

    “Tantric meditational deities should not be confused with what different mythologies and religions might mean when they speak of gods and goddesses. Here, the deity we choose to identify with represents the essential qualities of the fully awakened experience latent within us. To use the language of psychology, such a deity is an archetype of our own deepest nature, our most profound level of consciousness. In tantra we focus our attention on such an archetypal image and identify with it in order to arouse the deepest, most profound aspects of our being and bring them into our present reality.”

    Introduction to Tantra: A Vision of Totality, 1987, p. 42

    Many high Lamas believe in this way, but some believe in more polytheistic sense, both are acceptable ways.

    For us there is nothing fixed in the mind or in the perception.

  503. @AnonFromTN

    For an ex coke-head, he acted rather decent. And dumb he ain’t either – I think Steve Sailer once wrote about his IQ being somehow near 130.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  504. @Daniel Chieh

    Been there done that. And the more I think about it, the more all this “Promethean / Faustian” approach seems somewhat fishy. A man spends a lifetime running after knowledge, power, wealth and all kinds of gratification only to face death and the unknown. Better go into it with a peaceful mind. A peaceful mind is worth much more than anything else. Mind comes before anything else and is the end of it all. Our consciousness is our true home and we can’t have another. When we see a beautiful forest it is our beautiful mind that we experience, not the forest itself. If we experience heaven or hell it is through and inside our minds that we experience them. If we are lost or saved it is also in our minds that we experience that. This is of course self-evident, but people seldomly think about this and often waste their lives chasing after “external phenomena”.

    We have this Mind as our dwelling place from the very beginning and we will have it until the end of times.

    What else do we really need?

    🙂

    • Replies: @AltanBakshi
    , @Daniel Chieh
  505. @ImmortalRationalist

    Simply put, economic growth is population growth times productivity increase. Since China is now an aging country, future economic growth will be based solely on productivity increases. I think there is enough “room” for productivity increase in China’s economy that they have another 10-15 years of growth built in it until they enter a Japan-like stagnation (perhaps around 2035).

    • Replies: @Passer by
  506. @songbird

    The Buran was superior to the Shuttle. However, both are a flawed design. There was a technical debate at NASA in the early 70’s whether to make the first stage reusable or not. All of the engineers who were any good favored making a reusable first stage. They were overruled by new management for no reason other than to make their managerial “footprints” on the design process (this says something about the nature of bureaucracy and large scale organizations in general).

    SpaceX is actually doing it right. Use conventional rocketry and focus on making the first stage reusable. Work out all of the design bugs until the first stage can be reused, say, like an airliner. Then focus on making the second stage reusable. Launch costs will drop to around $50-100 per Kg once these are perfected (Musk claims he can get to $10/Kg but I think that is hype). This is not as cheap as, say, flying from LA to Sydney. But is certainly cheap enough to enable large scale space development.

  507. @Bashibuzuk

    Just what a Cittamatrin would say.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk
  508. @Dieter Kief

    And dumb he ain’t either – I think Steve Sailer once wrote about his IQ being somehow near 130.

    First, the relationship between measured IQ and intelligence is an open question. Second, if he isn’t really dumb, he played the part of a dumbbell remarkably well, at a minimum deserves an Oscar for that.

    • LOL: Dieter Kief
  509. Passer by says:
    @Abelard Lindsey

    No. Japan like stagnation for China is to start after 2050. By 2035 they will be going by around 3 % growth, vs 1,5 for the US and probably 1.2 for the Eurozone, according to the median of estimates i have seen. By 2035 their demographics will also be better than today’s Japan. And they have an economy of scale and BRI, something Japan never had. Moreover, they are to benefit from additional Flynn effects as they get hundreds of millions out of poverty. Healthier and better fed people = more productive people.

    • Replies: @Abelard Lindsey
  510. Dmitry says:

    Anime fans became too mainstream when psychos nowadays become weebs instead of nationalists, without altering the end result.

    There is a story in Russia, that in two incidents, young Central Asian women, was attacked by a psycho with a knife.

    It might be guessed the attacker would have nationalist motive to stab two young women of non-slavic appearance, but rather the opposite – he is a translator of Japanese anime, and appears to selected his victims “from love instead of hate”.

    https://www.facebook.com/e1news/posts/4028998137112823
    Video on the first attack when the psycho weeb seems checks the victim looks oriental.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  511. @Bashibuzuk

    We have this Mind as our dwelling place from the very beginning and we will have it until the end of times.

    What else do we really need?

    I mean, being able to take care of your children and yourself might be a good start.

    But more specifically to myself, I find an immense and piercing beauty in complexity and order, in the beauty of simple machines like screws, in the ability to create adhesion and torsion, to translate what was once fantastical ideas such as water transfer into practicality, or the beauty of precise understanding of electrons, the blackbody radiation of heat, the emission of light, and ultimately the everyday magic of technology. From a Hermetic perspective, this was once the realm of imagination and yet we have manifested it through knowledge and principle into reality. Such a thing is beauty, and ultimately, in knowing the mind of God through the discovery of His principles, so we become closer to God.

    And yes, to become more akin to God therefore is also to possess the means to both grant boon and deliver punishment, and so we also find it in the strength of civilizations with greater technology. Because, really, in the end, its not much of a choice anyway.

    If we view history as an evolutionary competition between societies and ideas, it seems obvious that primitivism would be the most self-defeating – and consequently, self-refuting – ideology on the planet. While transhumanism is accelerationism maxed, the most competitive and adaptive ideology.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/virgin-primitivist-vs-chad-transhumanist/?highlight=chad+transhuman

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Bashibuzuk
  512. @Dmitry

    Some take music more literally than others.

  513. Dmitry says:
    @AP

    I’m not sure Disneyland is that recommendable for children, as you have to queue for hours. It’s almost more designed for teenagers, and older (e.g. 26 year old women).

    But in general American cultural exports usually seem like they were designed by a 7 year old innovative child genius, which is not to insult to these masterpieces of 20th century civilization.

    Coca Cola – instead of tea, let’s drink brown caffeinated sugar water.

    McDonald’s – instead of food, let’s eat something more like a lego construction kit.

    Pop music – instead music, let’s listen to electronic machine noises.

    Disneyland – instead of Ludwig II’s kitsch fake castle in Bavaria, build a pink plastic version with people wearing mouse costumes walking around it, and then claim it is “for children” as an excuse.

    Yeezy – sneakers designed Kanye West (i.e. bipolar autistic genius, rather than child one) – but basically looks like a 7 year with a crayon again.

    Cadillac cars – 7 year old drawing wings on back of cars.

  514. But in general American cultural exports usually seem like they were designed by a 7 year old innovative child genius,

    Christians of olden days were right, demons cant create, only twist and corrupt, such is the nature of American cultural ‘inventions.’

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    , @Dmitry
  515. Mikel says:
    @AP

    If you disagree with the Wikipedia entry that I linked about the Enlightenment, take it up with them, not with me, and try to have it edited to your liking. Good luck.

    In order to maintain your fiction about the historical Church or faith holding science back rather than promoting it, you retreat to fantasy about the Renaissance being some sort of post-Christian time.

    Yes sure, that is what Renaissance man Galileo must have thought when he was threatened with torture and sentenced to life imprisonment. That it was all a fantasy.

    In February 1616, an Inquisitorial commission declared heliocentrism to be “foolish and absurd in philosophy, and formally heretical since it explicitly contradicts in many places the sense of Holy Scripture”.

    …/…

    On 26 February, Galileo was called to Bellarmine’s residence and ordered “to abandon completely … the opinion that the sun stands still at the center of the world and the Earth moves, and henceforth not to hold, teach, or defend it in any way whatever, either orally or in writing.”[127] The decree of the Congregation of the Index banned Copernicus’s De Revolutionibus and other heliocentric works until correction.[

    …/…

    Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy” (though he was never formally charged with heresy, relieving him of facing corporal punishment),[138] namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.[139][140][141][142]
    He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition.[143] On the following day, this was commuted to house arrest, under which he remained for the rest of his life.[144]
    His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei#Controversy_over_heliocentrism

    Let’s see how AP tries to square these verifiable facts (a pdf with the actual sentence of the Inquisition can be found online) with his fantasy of a Church that “promoted science” 🙂

    And let’s also have a look at some scientists and philosophers whose books were forbidden by the Catholic Church until 1966:

    Hobbes, Pascal, Descartes, Bacon, Montaigne, Spinoza, Locke, Voltaire, Diderot, Hume, Rouseeau, Kant, Bentham, Stuart Mill, Bergson…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_authors_and_works_on_the_Index_Librorum_Prohibitorum

    We all want to hear AP’s arguments defending the existence of this Index by an institution that he declares was the cause of scientific progress.

    Finally, let’s find out what AP thinks about this passage form the 1870 Vatican Council I:

    9. Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the Church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth. … 10. Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for on the one hand right reason established the foundations of the faith and, illuminated by its light, develops the science of divine things; on the other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with knowledge of many kinds.

    or this teaching of Pope Pius XII in 1950:

    All men have descended from an individual, Adam, who has transmitted original sin to all mankind. Catholics may not, therefore, believe in “polygenism”, the scientific hypothesis that mankind descended from a group of original humans (that there were many Adams and Eves).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_and_the_Catholic_Church

    • Replies: @Coconuts
    , @utu
    , @AP
  516. @AltanBakshi

    demons cant create, only twist and corrupt, such is the nature of American cultural ‘inventions.’

    I don’t think you should paint everything American black. Yes, the US “culture” is pathetic and retarded. That’s why it is popular among retards all over the world. Yes, the policies of the US government can be described by one word, banditry.

    But at least half of the US population are decent, honest, and hard-working people. Thanks to the “education” system designed by the elites they are woefully ignorant and uninformed. Many sincerely believe that America is a free market, democracy, and the best overall. Even though none of these beliefs is true, they are basically good people deceived by the propaganda. Personally, I feel sorry for them, because when the Empire crashes and burns, they are going to be the ones holding the bag.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  517. @Passer by

    My citing of 2035 was meant to be the earliest estimate of such stagnation. I think you’re right that it will be more around 2050.

    In any case, they are teaching their children advanced calculus whereas we (in the U.S.) seem bent on teaching them critical race theory. Given that, its a no-brainier that the future will go to China.

    • Agree: Bashibuzuk