How the Greeks' abandonment of religion led to science and technology

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
I would encourage you to read the Feser article I linked to above if you want a more precise definition of it.

There could disagreement on whether these sort of beliefs are true or heretical, but based on the details above I don't think the charge that it's simply an ill-defined boogeyman to point at in fear is true. There's very clear definitions being given here.

You'll notice that Feser himself does not consider them as such. He rightly calls them considered at a high level of abstraction that leaves out the many differences between the various specific Gnosticizing movements that have arisen over the centuries.

Even if, for the sake of argument, I conceded you that this list of characteristics might serve as some sort of "definition" of Gnosticism, I would still have every right to demand of you a PROOF that The Gnostic heresy is one that has recurred many times in the long history of the Church, under various guises – Marcionism, Manicheanism, Paulicianism, Albigensianism, Catharism, and so on.

There are several problems with this claim (as admitted by Feser himself when he says that "many differences are left out") ; as with many questionable claims, I have no objection to it per se as long as it's presented as a mere hypothesis and a possible explanation, but I am absolutely opposed to the usually dogmatic and all-embracing way it is presented by its proponents.
 

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
if anything the Templars were exactly a vector for what we describe as "modernity", since they run a system of international banking. How in the world is international banking not the worst aspect and the main driver of the evil side of modernity?!?

I'm surprised an EMJ fan like you should speak like that. Didn't you learn from EMJ that banking (international or not) is not evil by itself, only certain practices such as usury ?

Their initiation ceremony involved homosexual acts, not unlike those you might find with other masonic sects like the Skull and Bones, and they worshiped baphomet:

Here I am surprised again and find you very one-sided. Aren't you aware that when it happened, the Templars' accusators were hardly disinterested witnesses but stood to gain a lot if the Templars were condemned ? Aren't you aware that the way their case was handled did not exactly meet the standards of fair justice (what a euphemism) ?

You're simply taking the Templars' enemies' side while offering no serious justification of that stand.
Eliphas' Levi's opinion, which is from several centuries after the events, is even more worthless.
Finally, the later movements who claim continuity from the Templars cannot prove this claim, AFAIK (see also NickK's comment above).
 

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Why did the masons who conspired to destroy the French monarchy tell king Louis XVI just before he was going to be beheaded that Jacques de Molay (leader of the Templars who was arrested and executed by the French monarch Philippe le Bel) was finally avenged?

Those revolutionaries also accused the Catholic Church & French Monarchy, among other things, of horribly enslaving South American Indians (it was of course far easier to accuse the Church & Monarchy of crimes comitted far away or a long time ago). Does that mean that mean the revolutionaries were some sort of crypto- Indians or "allies" to those Indians ?
 

J.E.

Robin
I would only caution that the idea that traditional Christianity understood time as linear is a modern distortion - coming from its enemies, no less. In the first few verses of Genesis it's already clear, if we discard our modern erroneous lens, that time is necessarily related to cycle.
I didn't imply that. The linear view of history is a modernist idea. Unfortunately, Christians in general and even the clergy in particular believes in linear time and scoffs at you for implying otherwise.
 

NickK

Woodpecker
Orthodox
You might be refering to the later Templars, that took the name and secret structure of the destroyed early Templars and later joined with the Zionists.
I mean, were the Templars luciferians from the very beginning? Or was that only a later development?
Were they corrupted before their burning at the stake?
Maybe they were, I'm open minded to all explanations regarding this topic.
From what I understand, they were issuing bills of exchange for pilgrims early on with interest, and Vatican turned a blind eye to their usury for whatever reason. It didn't condemn them, instead it placed upper limits to interest, essentially acting as a central bank itself.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
Even if, for the sake of argument, I conceded you that this list of characteristics might serve as some sort of "definition" of Gnosticism, I would still have every right to demand of you a PROOF that The Gnostic heresy is one that has recurred many times in the long history of the Church, under various guises – Marcionism, Manicheanism, Paulicianism, Albigensianism, Catharism, and so on.
Marcionism claimed that the god of the Old Testament is the Demiurge found in Gnostic thought and that Christ was the figure bearing knowledge that would free people the Demiurge's rule. The Demiurge is a central figure in the Gnostic system.


As for Manicheanism,

Third, the Gnostic mindset sees reality in starkly Manichean terms, as a twilight struggle between the sinister forces that rule this evil world and those who have been “purified” of it and armed with gnosis. Once again, you might think this differs little from Christian teaching, but once again you’d be wrong.

Catharism posits that the flesh and material is evil and that our goal is to free ourselves from the this fleshy prison so we can ascend into the pure spiritual plane which is Gnostic thought. I believe Albigensiasm was similar in that view as well.

The forum resident gnostic guy even said that Cathars tried to merge their Gnostic beliefs into Christianity.



Most Christians will never accept Gnostic beliefs, in fact there were times in the past when for example the Cathars tried to introduce and merge their Gnostic beliefs into Christianity and they were persecuted and exterminated for it.

The other heresies I don't know about so no comment there.

And as for "many differences being left out", that's just the nature of coming up with a definition of something; you look at what are the essential similarities and leave out the secondary traits that aren't core to the definition. Communism, socialism, and anarchism all have significant differences but they are still grouped under leftism since they share many of the key, core characteristics. That's what Feser was doing there by providing the key characteristics of the gnostic world view and leaving out the differences - the purpose is to define what is the essence of gnosticism.
 

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Marcionism claimed that the god of the Old Testament is the Demiurge found in Gnostic thought and that Christ was the figure bearing knowledge that would free people the Demiurge's rule. The Demiurge is a central figure in the Gnostic system.


As for Manicheanism, Catharism posits that the flesh and material is evil and that our goal is to free ourselves from the this fleshy prison so we can ascend into the pure spiritual plane which is Gnostic thought. I believe Albigensiasm was similar in that view as well.

the purpose is to define what is the essence of gnosticism.



So you've chosen a very inclusive strategy here - you have your checklist and once you've found one item in it, you're done, you've just found another example of gnosticism.

The problem with such a strategy is of course the "Grasp all, lose all" problem : it makes it hard to see what's not gnostic (and especially Christianity itself ; notice how for nearly each item in the gnostic checklist, Feser must make a lengthy explanation about how it does not apply to Christianity despite appearances to the contrary). Which brings us back to what I already remarked a few posts ago, that it's just like racism, about anything can be construed as "gnostic".
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
It's kind of funny seeing the fear of certain words in people who recognize that same absurdity in other people for other words (like racism or nationalism). Here it's 'secret' or 'esoteric' or 'initiation'. Comparatively, these words are of much higher importance than preoccupations about race or politics.

But in both cases, it can only be attributed to ignorance (voluntary or not).

The word sacrament comes from mystery, which originally means 'a secret rite', not to mention that the early Church had a perfectly natural initiatic character, not just from its position in the world at the time due to persecution, but especially because of what it is they were dealing with. What is more mysterious and 'weird', at least to those not initiated, than eating the body and drinking the blood of the Christ? Even seeing Christ, the living God, dead on the Cross must have been quite a shock that you had to be, well, initiated into. Now, of course, it might unfortunately seem trivial, and it obviously is to most. But that is part of the tragedy, as is the misunderstanding about the centrality of mystery itself.
 

Wutang

Hummingbird
Gold Member
So you've chosen a very inclusive strategy here - you have your checklist and once you've found one item in it, you're done, you've just found another example of gnosticism.

The problem with such a strategy is of course the "Grasp all, lose all" problem : it makes it hard to see what's not gnostic (and especially Christianity itself ; notice how for nearly each item in the gnostic checklist, Feser must make a lengthy explanation about how it does not apply to Christianity despite appearances to the contrary). Which brings us back to what I already remarked a few posts ago, that it's just like racism, about anything can be construed as "gnostic".
The reason why Feser writes a lengthy explanation to differ a Gnostic belief from why it's different from a similar Christian belief is to ensure that the label of Gnosticism isn't just using being applied to anything. When a writer add in additional details and explanations it is because he wants make sure his definition is more specific - not less.

To use your example of how wokesters think everything is racist - their tactic is to make the definition of racism so broad that anything can be construed as racist. To them, racism boils down to anything that portrays a non-white person in anything but a flattering light to be racist. Any one that attempts to limit the scope of what can be defined as racist (aka non-insane people that aren't infected by woke ideology) end up getting attacked as upholding racism. One side is attempting to precisely define racism while the other wants it to be anything you want. The person giving more details is not the person trying to make the word meaningless and applicable to just about anything.

Making the claim any sort of system that has hidden knowledge as part of it is Gnosticism would indeed be giving a vague definition that could be applied to anything. You are right - that would be just using one list on an item to find whatever it is you want to find. Now if in addition to saying that you also add in the demonization of the material world, the presence of a Demiurge devil figure, a dualistic good spiritual vs evil materialist worldview, an evil "dream-world" that is illusionary and must be transcended, etc. then that places a lot more limits to what Gnosticism can be defined as.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
I'm surprised an EMJ fan like you should speak like that. Didn't you learn from EMJ that banking (international or not) is not evil by itself, only certain practices such as usury ?

Here I am surprised again and find you very one-sided. Aren't you aware that when it happened, the Templars' accusators were hardly disinterested witnesses but stood to gain a lot if the Templars were condemned ? Aren't you aware that the way their case was handled did not exactly meet the standards of fair justice (what a euphemism) ?

You're simply taking the Templars' enemies' side while offering no serious justification of that stand.
Eliphas' Levi's opinion, which is from several centuries after the events, is even more worthless.
Finally, the later movements who claim continuity from the Templars cannot prove this claim, AFAIK (see also NickK's comment above).

The Templars had overgrown their usefulness, they were created a transnational religious order that was set up to bolster the crusade campaigns. Decades after the last crusade, it morphed into an international banking fraternity/order. They wielded enormous power through the huge debt they controlled, the taxes they levied, and they were exempt from any national oversight, answering only to the Pope.

Throughout history, one of the key roles of the sovereign is to abolish usury and pardon debt through jubilees, king Philip IV took on that function, and restored the French economy by abolishing the Templar order and its debt, as well as Jewish debt usury which he completely cleared from France right before he took on the Templars. Under his reign, France expanded and thrived economically and culturally as a nation.

I mean, were the Templars luciferians from the very beginning? Or was that only a later development?
Were they corrupted before their burning at the stake?
Maybe they were, I'm open minded to all explanations regarding this topic.
From what I understand, they were issuing bills of exchange for pilgrims early on with interest, and Vatican turned a blind eye to their usury for whatever reason. It didn't condemn them, instead it placed upper limits to interest, essentially acting as a central bank itself.

There is some evidence that the Templars absorbed some of the mystical religions of the Levant in the very long period where they were stationed there, with ties for instance with the secret order of the Assassins, and in broader terms, their esoteric beliefs were well out of bounds, including aspects that are outright satanic and kabalistic.

There is as well strong evidence of institutionalized homosexuality within the order. We know this because the testimonies of the accused had remarkable similarities from city to city or country to country, and wrt their initiation ceremony.



 
Last edited:

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Even seeing Christ, the living God, dead on the Cross must have been quite a shock that you had to be, well, initiated into. Now, of course, it might unfortunately seem trivial, and it obviously is to most. But that is part of the tragedy, as is the misunderstanding about the centrality of mystery itself.

Absolutely. Mgr Fulton Sheen had strong words about this, he said that Communists who call God their enemy are at least firmly aware of His existence, unlike today's lukewarm Christians who barely care one way or the other.

The whole point of the radtrad Catholic position is tracing this "loss of the sense of sacredness" (or equivalently indifference to it) to indifference to the Church's Laws and Liturgy (and more especially to the Vatican II revolution).
I am aware of how unbelievable this sounds to today's non-radtrads (including all those conservatives who rightly denounce this loss of connection with the sacred, but are nevertheless completely clueless about how it came about), they find it far-fetched, to them it seems like paranoia and obsession over minuscule details. Yet it has never affected my certainty about it in the least.
 

Handsome Creepy Eel

Owl
Gold Member
Saying "we would have never had science if it weren't for Greeks" is as absurd as saying "we would have never had fire if it weren't for Neanderthals". Both take something extremely general and apply massive hubris to projecting its course thousands of years into the past with absolute certainty.
 

ilostabet

Pelican
Orthodox Inquirer
Saying "we would have never had science if it weren't for Greeks" is as absurd as saying "we would have never had fire if it weren't for Neanderthals". Both take something extremely general and apply massive hubris to projecting its course thousands of years into the past with absolute certainty.

It's funny you bring those two things together, because the real story is that Prometheus (a fallen angel) brought fire to humanity (before the Flood). It ties nicely to the beginning of this thread. Poetic, I think.
 
The Templars had overgrown their usefulness, they were created a transnational religious order that was set up to bolster the crusade campaigns. Decades after the last crusade, it morphed into an international banking fraternity/order. They wielded enormous power through the huge debt they controlled, the taxes they levied, and they were exempt from any national oversight, answering only to the Pope.

Throughout history, one of the key roles of the sovereign is to abolish usury and pardon debt through jubilees, king Philip IV took on that function, and restored the French economy by abolishing the Templar order and its debt, as well as Jewish debt usury which he completely cleared from France right before he took on the Templars. Under his reign, France expanded and thrived economically and culturally as a nation.



There is some evidence that the Templars absorbed some of the mystical religions of the Levant in the very long period where they were stationed there, with ties for instance with the secret order of the Assassins, and in broader terms, their esoteric beliefs were well out of bounds, including aspects that are outright satanic and kabalistic.

There is as well strong evidence of institutionalized homosexuality within the order. We know this because the testimonies of the accused had remarkable similarities from city to city or country to country, and wrt their initiation ceremony.



A lot of the testimonies are given under torture. And since torture is to ensure that the person tortured tells what the torturer wanted to hear it cannot be truly be considered evidence the same way fingerprints, footprints and other such would be considered evidence.
 
Modern day interrogations can be done and had been done without need for torture.

Particular ways of questioning, finding physical clues are how modern day detectives manage to get to the truth which were far superior to the medieval ways in that regard.

I do think torture is a real black mark in history even among those Nations who proport to be Christian. Sadism isn't Christlike.
 

Sitting Bull

Woodpecker
Modern day interrogations can be done and had been done without need for torture.

Not sure what you mean "had been done" ? Torture is still very much in usage today unfortunately.

modern day detectives (...) were far superior to the medieval ways in that regard.
That's doubtful and looks much more like a piece of modern propaganda than a serious historical assessment. By the way, torture is a very popular theme in modern-day cinematography, like violence and horror.
Do bombing or otherwise extreme mistreatment of noncombatant civilians in war qualify as torture in your view ?

I do think torture is a real black mark in history even among those Nations who proport to be Christian. Sadism isn't Christlike.

Torture isn't necessarily a product of sadism - it can be simply a very extreme expedient, an extreme means allegedly justified by the end.
 
Last edited:
Not sure what you mean "had been done" ? Torture is still very much in usage today unfortunately.

Alright. Aside from the more recent returns to torture like in the USA and Europe.

That's doubtful and looks much more like a piece of modern propaganda than a serious historical assessment. By the way, torture is a very popular theme in modern-day cinematography, like violence and horror.
Do bombing or otherwise extreme mistreatment of noncombatant civilians in war qualify as torture in your view ?

I disagree. Torture in interrogations isn't necessary when the Detective team is skilled enough because they have ways of finding out that doesn't involve making the other person say what they want to hear through physical pain and mutilation. Torture means that they have already failed.

And with bombing if its unavoidable then its unavoidable when aiming for military targets. As for extreme mistreatment sure that is also a form of torture.

Torture isn't necessarily a product of sadism - it can be simply a very extreme expedient, an extreme means allegedly justified by the end.

It begins as an expedient and always ends up being sadism the more experienced the practitioners become in it. I am sure that the Ancients also started it up as an expedient. Then they escalated into Torture Racks, pulling out fingernails and so forth. As cruelty becomes more and more encouraged.

It has lead to dark places and drenches the practitioners in sin. You think burning at the stake, breaking at the wheel and Iron Maidens came out of nowhere?

Likewise other Sadism like these:
Medieval torture devices were varied. "They hanged them by the thumbs, or by the head, and hung fires on their feet; they put knotted strings about their heads, and writhed them so that it went to the brain ... Some they put in a chest that was short, and narrow, and shallow, and put sharp stones therein, and pressed the man therein, so that they broke all his limbs ... I neither can nor may tell all the wounds or all the tortures which they inflicted on wretched men in this land." [22] Being hung upside down, burning, crushing, breaking of limbs, and drowning were all popular medieval tortures. Specific devices were also created and used during this time, including the rack, the Pear (also mentioned in Grose's Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811) as "Choak [sic.] Pears," and described as being "formerly used in Holland."), thumbscrews, animals like rats, the iron chair, and the cat o nine tails

The creative ways to injure,mutilate and cause pain speaks of the deep darkness of the human heart that no doubt all began as expedients that escalated and was encouraged to become more extreme.
 
Last edited:
Top