Friday, October 22, 2010

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Rodney Stark, 'For the Glory of God'

How Monotheism led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts, and the end of Slavery.

by Ferdinand III


The writing and research colossus named Stark. A brilliant sociologist and historian who is also a Catholic American and proud of his country and the Western tradition. To the great minds of the world, Stark must be an anathema, a degenerate; a man who simply can't appreciate that every culture except the Western, is to be exalted, elevated and worshipped. Undoubtedly Mr. Stark is roundly hated by most of is colleagues and the media.

His crime is to write the truth, which he has done in over 30 publications. In 'For the Glory of God' the themes are clear, factual and supported by evidence. For instance the rise of the modern world occurred only in Christian Europe:

...that the flowering of science that took place in the sixteenth century was the normal, gradual, and direct outgrowth of Scholasticism and the medieval universities. Indeed, theological assumptions unique to Christianity explain why science was born only in Christian Europe....the commitment of Christian theologians to reason, which sustained the rise of science..”

The eradication of slavery was achieved for the first time in human history, in Christian areas, including of course a horrendous civil war in America which took 500.000 non-Black lives and thankfully destroyed the abomination of Southern slave society. Without Christianity this never would have happened. It certainly never did anywhere else in human history:

In fact, slavery was abolished in much of the non-Western world only because of Western pressure and interference—and slavery continues in some non-Christian areas....Christians reached this profoundly important conclusion and Muslims did not.”

Oh Mr. Stark you Islamophobe. Islam still engages in slave-trading today, and even in Europe and North America young Muslim girls are sold as sex chattel to older Muslim men. A signal fact that the mainstream or lamestream media will never tell its audiences.

Even the more sordid acts of Western history including witch-hunts, slaving, and the Inquisition happened after the medieval period and the wrongly-named 'Dark Ages', a myth forwarded by arrogants such as Voltaire and Gibbon who did no primary research into the medieval period and believed like simpletons, that the 'Enlightenment' just happened with no prior antecedents.

“..It was during the latter half of the sixteenth century that the witch-hunts reached their height, and it was in 1510 that King Ferdinand initiated the Atlantic slave trade when he authorized the importation of African slaves to mine gold in the Spanish New World.”

The supposed 'age of reason' thus bequeathed the era of slave trading and witch-burning. In fact the burning of women and men [one-third of murdered witches were male]; reached its apogee in the 17th century and in particular during the religious wars from 1681-1648, which were fought of course over matters political and economic as well as religious.

The modern attitude about the 'medieval period' is that this long epoch in Western development must have been one imbued and emphasized by deep piety, sack cloth clothing; poverty, ignorance and superstition. In reality almost the opposite is true. Medieval men and women were probably no more pious than we are today. The list of inventions which created the modern world during the period 500-1500 AD is extraordinarily impressive and unique. The European was richer, better educated, with a far richer diet and of heavier and tougher physical stature than any other group or tribe in the word. As Stark says:

Three especially important examples of these incorrect claims are:

1. The medieval period was an Age of Faith during which the average person was deeply religious. 2. That the great medieval sect movements were expressions of lower-class suffering and antagonism.

3. That the Roman Catholic Church, especially at the parish level, tended to be dominated by religious fanatics who tried to impose repressive and unnatural morality on the laity.”

Far from limiting science and inquiry the Christian faith was the only ideological construct in history to actively promote it. It is a calumny that the Church was against economic development, education, or science. The opposite is true. The 'agricultural revolution' which occurred gradually between 600 and 1100 AD was the direct result of the Church investing money in production, technology, and new methods of crop usage, fertilization and proper land management, including the creation of elaborate and sophisticated systems of drainage, irrigation, along with wind and water mill technology.

...the story that after the 'fall' of Rome a long dark night of ignorance and superstition settled over Europe is as fictional as the Columbus story [the lie that the Church opposed his expedition]. In fact, this was an era of profound and rapid technological progress by the end of which Europe had surpassed the rest of the world. Moreover, the so-called Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth century was the normal result of developments begun by Scholastic scholars starting in the eleventh century.”

The Western church was the only organization in the history of man to actively promote real science. But what is science? Is the Islamic acceptance of Aristotelian theory science? Plato, Aristotle and the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers were not scientists. There was little in the way of actual experimentation and almost no empiricism was used to support various 'claims' made by these most revered of men. Aristotle's bizarre idea that only 4 elements made up all matter was never proven – it was just a whimsical theory advertised as 'fact'. As Stark mentions, science is a lot more rigorous than just accepting what someone says [a fact lost on the Globaloney Warming cultists in our world for example, or those who scream that a moon cult from Mecca is a religion]: consists of two components: theory and research. Theorizing is the explanatory part of science. Scientific theories are abstract statements about why and how some portion of nature...fits together...research...consists of making those observations that are relevent to empirical predictions and prohibitions. Clearly, then, science is limited to statements about natural and material reality—about things that are at least in principle observable. Hence there are entire realms of discourse that science is unable to address, including such matters as the existence of God.”

All are good points. Science cannot explain the metaphysical, nor can it offer much in the way of ideas about such matters as the beginning of the universe, the perfect positioning of earth in a remote solar system; and the lucky or chance combination of carbon, hydrogen and other molecules to form life, to name some obvious areas where science is weak. In any event, the Christian ideal of truth, perfection and knowledge certainly created the mental and cultural climate which formed rational science and investigation. From these attitudes and methods the modern world was created.

The above is only a small part of Stark's great book which is over 400 pages long and full of information which runs counter to the disinformation of the mainstream culture. It is a valuable resource, extremely well-researched, wonderfully written and precise. Stark is a one man history department detailing the history and sociology of the real world.