French    German    Spain    Italian    Arabic    Chinese Simplified    Russian

Western Civilisation

Join Gab (@StFerdinandIII) Western Civilisation was and is superior to anything Islam has developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Raising the alarm about the fascism called Submission since 2000.  

Back     Printer Friendly Version  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bookmark and Share

Aristotle and the Church – a complex relationship.

The Enlightenment- wrong again.

by Ferdinand III


The 'Enlightenment' detested Aristotle, mostly because Aristotelian theory supported much of Church liturgy and science. To debunk the Church and the entire corpus of Christian Scholasticism which gave rise to both the modern world and science [long before Galileo there was light]; the post-Baroque eras had to dispense with Aristotle. Much of what the Greek sage wrote was of course wrong, and there was precious little experimentation in his work. But his insistence that natural processes and observable facts were a vital part in understanding reality is undeniable. So too was his belief that reason whatever that word may mean and in whatever various forms it may take, could not by itself explain everything in the world around us, especially the miracle of life. It was this latter advancement which so offended the self-proclaimed geniuses of the Enlightenment.


Aristotle maintained that there could only be one world and one planet with life which contained a conscious being, namely ourselves. Most of the ancient Greek philosophers, excluding Epicurus [only material processes exist] and Democritus [everything is chaotic atoms], knew that the complexity of life could not arise by chance, and that the complexity of variables which form life, reality and even our own consciousness would not arise randomly. The modern belief that atoms crashing around in some material-naturalist process turning mud into the medical professional is hardly new. It is a pagan concept as old as philosophy.


The Church and the 'West' knew all about Aristotle long in advance of the modern era, as the 4th century writings of St. Augustine, and the 5th century essays by Boethius make clear. Byzantium, the great Christian center of learning with the world's most advanced corpus of learning and science, was in constant cultural, military and trade contact with the West dating from the time of Justinian [early 6th century]. Transmission of Greek and Roman texts was a long, tedious and painful process, from Byzantium westwards but it occurred long before the Saracen invasions and destruction.


Within the Church between the time of St. Augustine [circa 400 AD] and St. Thomas Aquinas [circa 1240 AD], we find that there were 3 basic reactions to Aristotle's ideas. St. Augustine and his followers adamantly rejected all of Aristotelian naturalism as anathema to the Christian idea of an immanent and all-powerful God. St. Thomas and his disciples cautiously embraced Aristotelian theory and Christianized it. A third group with Siger of Brabant at its head, enthusiastically received Aristotelian ideas and propounded them as superior to much of Church doctrine. The Enlightenment idea that the Church uniformly and without reservation accepted Aristotle’s various theories about naturalism, is of course quite false.


There is plenty within Aristotelian theology which is wrong and undeniably absurd including concepts such as a stationary Earth, a 3 layered cosmos, evolution, fixed geo-centricity, incorrect ideas about atmospheric chemical composition etc. However, one should not apply modern knowledge and even techniques to a man and his academy which existed 2300 years ago. In this vein the reaction of the Church to Aristotle's ideas strikes the observer as both normal, and commendable. After thought, experimentation, and inquiry some within the Church accepted part of Aristotle’s very large corpus of work. Others rejected some aspects of it. A few either imbibed all of it, or dispensed with the entire lot of it.


I see nothing irrational in any of this. It demonstrates a healthy regard for both debate and rational investigation. This of course destroys the Enlightenment myth that the Church in-toto, slavering, spitting, dumb and unclean, accepted Aristotle. It certainly did not, especially the musings that were entirely materialistic and naturalistic including evolution. And it was the Church and its scientists who uncovered the basic laws of science, including long before Galileo, mean speed theorems, gravity, rotational speed of the Earth [see the writings of Pope Sylvester II in 999]; and heliocentricity. Aristotelian ideas were part of the investigation of nature, matter, reality and the immaterial. They were neither preeminent within Church doctrine, nor were they rejected. They were analyzed, dissected, some Aristotelian ideas were accepted, some discarded. This appears to be entirely rational.  


Article Comments:

Related Articles:

Medieval Christianity


11/20/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk. Science and sphericity.

11/14/2020:  Medieval Medicine and science. No, Moslems did not invent medicine. Christians did.

11/11/2020:  The Light Ages: A Medieval Journey of Discovery, by Seb Falk

10/11/2020:  Michael Wood's 'In Search of The Dark Ages'. Plenty of light, the basis of civilisation

8/15/2020:  Belloc and the eternal threat of the Muhammandan death cult

6/1/2016:  Constantine, Clovis and Christianity

5/3/2016:  Middle Ages: Wonders in art, architecture, technology and yes science and math

5/3/2016:  From steel manufacturing to stained glass, the ages of the Middle Ages were full of energy.

4/28/2016:  History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution - James MacCaffrey

4/20/2016:  Morris Bishop and Medieval Europe; remove Islam and society begins to flourish

3/8/2016:  'The Reformation' is more accurately called 'The Deformation'

2/13/2016:  The Incorrupted bodies of Saints - a long list of miracles that 'science' cannot explain

1/7/2016:  The modern cult of science versus reason and faith

1/3/2016:  Aquinas, Aristotle and Mad Muhammad

12/25/2015:  The birth of Christ is NOT based on the pagan festival of the Invincible Sun

12/3/2015:  Faith and science are handmaidens not opponents

11/6/2015:  Medieval Lives by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones

11/6/2015:  “Medieval Lives” by Alan Ereira, Terry Jones and the 'other side' of the Monkish orders

10/31/2015:  In praise of the Monks, the creators of modern Europe

10/24/2015:  From Augustine to Anselm, logic and faith working together

10/17/2015:  Medieval Ontology, logic and Anselm

9/26/2015:  Medieval Faith married to reason created the modern world.

9/19/2015:  Machiavelli, another product of the insane, the illiterate, the savage

9/19/2015:  The Greatest Queen in European history - Queen Isabella.

8/30/2015:  Feudalism, pilloried and slandered without context

8/22/2015:  Frederick II, the Atheist monster of the 13th century

7/29/2015:  Parthia and the destruction of Byzantium

6/29/2015:  Pierre Duhem, the Galileo myth, and historical revisionism.

6/25/2015:  Pope Sylvester II, another Great Pope, unlike the current version.

6/23/2015:  Pope Gregory the Great and saving civilisation

6/22/2015:  Pope Gregory the Great - an inspiration to civilization.

6/17/2015:  The Unenlightened Enlightenment: an age of Unreason

5/22/2015:  Godefroid and Medieval astronomy. Quite modern indeed.

5/11/2015:  Saving Civilization - the 'Faith'.

5/6/2015:  Belloc and the civilizational influence of the Catholic Church

4/10/2015:  Another Moslem-Enlightenment lie; 'Christians never bathed'.....

4/6/2015:  Pierre Duham and the importance of Middle Age Science.

4/2/2015:  Modern science arose only in Christian Europe.

3/9/2015:  Philoponus, the Astrolabe and Galileo

2/6/2015:  Only in Christian Europe were schools and the university system created.

2/4/2015:  Christian genius in Mathematics. Moslems invented precious little, Christianity a treasure trove.

2/2/2015:  Christians discovered and confirmed Heliocentricity. No other culture came close to that.

1/31/2015:  The myth and nonsense of the 'Enlightenment'. Pure Atheist and Marxist propaganda.

1/24/2015:  Pointed Arches, Ribbed Vaults, Flying Buttresses and Christian Genius

11/23/2014:  Aristotle and the Church – a complex relationship.

11/21/2014:  From Epicurus to Galileo, atomism and materialism.

11/20/2014:  "The Catholic Church and Science" by Benjamin Wiker

11/16/2014:  St. Thomas Aquinas, reason, faith and Aristotle.

8/26/2014:  Brunelleschi's amazing Dome of the early 15th century

8/24/2014:  Byzantium: A Christian and cultural Colossus

8/21/2014:  Byzantium and its legacy of legal processes

8/21/2014:  Byzantium: The forgotten influence on Western Civilization

8/19/2014:  Anglo Saxon art the lie of a 'dark age'

8/18/2014:  The Lindisfarne Gospels and civilized art

7/29/2014:  Anselm of Canterbury and the Scholastic method

7/21/2014:  Lies about Medieval Medicine

7/15/2014:  Post modern ignorance of the Medieval World 900-1300

7/9/2014:  Only a complex and wealthy society can build a Trebuchet

7/8/2014:  Medieval bathing - a legacy from Rome - and quite common

7/7/2014:  Medieval literature puts a lie to myth of a dark age

6/29/2014:  Flat earthers are more likely to be Evolutionists and Cult of Warm devotees than Christian...

6/27/2014:  Atheists are so desperate, that quacks such as Bruno are now 'scientists'

6/26/2014:  The myth of Bruno, the 'scientist' fighting against superstition and darkness.....

6/12/2014:  Medieval Christianity and the genesis of plurality and debate

6/9/2014:  Melisende and the importance of Queen's and women in Medieval history

6/5/2014:  A supposed Dark Age gave us the Magna Carta and the Provisions of Oxford

6/3/2014:  Medieval Chess reflects much about Medieval society

6/2/2014:  Skis and skates - another Medieval Christian creation

5/31/2014:  Could you create an illuminated manuscript ?

5/30/2014:  Overview of Medieval Manuscripts - where are the Moslem manuscripts and works of art ?

5/30/2014:  The labour and brilliance of Medieval Manuscripts

5/28/2014:  Book printing and binding - another Medieval innovation of the first order

5/23/2014:  Moerbeeke, translations and the medieval genius to adapt and learn

5/21/2014:  Guns, canons, explosives - another Medieval Christian invention

5/14/2014:  The most important Medieval invention – modern capitalism

5/13/2014:  51 out of the 52 most important 16th and 17th century scientists were Christian

5/13/2014:  A list of scientists in the 16th and 17th centuries

5/11/2014:  The bicycle, the engineering and science of the Middle Ages developed this mode of transport

5/9/2014:  Carracks, another Medieval European-only invention

5/3/2014:  Accounting, another Medieval Invention, generated by Capitalism

5/3/2014:  Buttons and Medieval Capitalism

5/1/2014:  How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity by Rodney Stark

5/1/2014:  Blast Furnaces were developed independently in Medieval Europe

4/26/2014:  Chiara Frugoni and Medieval Inventions

4/25/2014:  Partial list of Medieval inventions

4/23/2014:  The Victory of Reason: How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, + Western Success - Rodney Stark

4/21/2014:  Medieval inventions around modern grooming and shaving

4/21/2014:  Medieval invention: Artesian wells and understanding water hydrology

4/19/2014:  Technological genius; the Medieval invention of the Wind Mill

4/16/2014:  Eye-Glasses, another Medieval invention based on math and science

4/16/2014:  The chimney - another important Medieval European invention

4/14/2014:  Horses and Iron industrialization

4/12/2014:  The mighty Wheelbarrow - another Medieval invention

4/12/2014:  The modern clock - another Medieval Invention

4/8/2014:  The High Middles and the beginnings of modern science

4/7/2014:  The Middle Ages and Public Schools, funded by the Church

4/4/2014:  A very brief summary of Medieval Christian genius 1100 – 1300

3/31/2014:  John Freely: 'Before Galileo', Kuhn and the real history of real science.

3/29/2014:  The real flat earthers - modern Atheists and Secularists

3/27/2014:  The Galileo myth and the Humanist invention of conflict

3/19/2014:  Why does the earth rotate ? Science has made precious little progress since 1350

3/19/2014:  A brief list of some Medieval inventions

3/12/2014:  Christian scientists and thinkers in the Middle Ages

3/10/2014:  God's Philosophers by James Hannam - the true record of Medieval Science

3/6/2014:  St. Thomas Aquinas on the Meccan Moon Cult

2/25/2014:  The Inquisition and its myths

2/14/2014:  The magnificence of the Middle Ages - nothing like it in Islamic history

2/3/2014:  Without Christianity there is no modern world

10/20/2012:  Medieval innovations in transport and war - some examples.

10/21/2011:  'Religion and the Rise of Western Culture' – Christopher Dawson [Kindle Edition]

10/22/2010:  Rodney Stark, 'For the Glory of God'

9/23/2010:  Anti-Semiticism is a Muslim import.

7/10/2010:  Medieval Civilization: Venetian rise and decline.

6/10/2010:  Imperial Spain – lessons in despotism, poverty and ignorance.

6/5/2010:  Review, 'Medieval Civilization 400-1500' by Jacques Le Goff.

5/27/2010:  Book Review, 'The Civilization of the Middle Ages', by Norman Cantor, 1993.

5/18/2010:  Slandering Medieval Christianity while applauding Muslim Paganism.

4/28/2010:  Book Review; Thomas Cahill, 'Mysteries of the Middle Ages', 317 pages.

4/26/2010:  Slandering Christian Europe: 'The Dark Ages'

3/23/2010:  Creating the modern world. The blessings of medieval Europe.

3/15/2010:  The myth of the 'Dark Ages'