Sunday, January 3, 2016

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Aquinas, Aristotle and Mad Muhammad

Medieval minds could see far more clearly than our own.

by Ferdinand III

Thomas Aquinas is an apogee of Western philosophy and theology. He basically Christianizes Artistotle during the 13th century, in the middle of periwigged Voltaire's apocryphal 'dark ages'. Protestants and their offspring during the poorly named 'Enlightenment', pilloried Aquinas and the 'Scholastics' for their supposed devotion to Aristotle. This is rich hypocrisy. They burn candles at both ends. If the Medieval era had ignored Aristotle, we would [and indeed do] hear about the glories of Moslem 'thinking' which either ate it whole and did not develop it; or rejected it as anti-Koranic. On the other hand if Aquinas accepts part of Aristotleian theology and incorporates pieces into Christian thinking that is, according to the big-brain critics, just another example of the Christian Scholastics lack of originality. From men who could hardly make their own bed.

Aristotleian theory had been known since the time of Rome in Christian Europe. Byzantium and Arab sources had also offered Aristotleian Naturalism during the 11th century, eagerly translated by Western Europeans from Greek, into Latin and then the vernacular. Aristotle and his naturalism to give one specific example, was hardly imbibed and swallowed. It was accepted, rejected, or incorporated into the greater body of Christian thought, depending on the region, time and University which influenced the general culture.

Some Medieval Christian groups and philosophers accepted Greek naturalism. Many did not. Others picked and chose what made sense and ignored the rest. Much of Aristotle is certainly wrong, some of it apposite, much of it hand-waving, some ideas relevant; others unscientific. He is neither a true scientist, nor just a philosopher. More of an educator is how Aristotle should be described.

The Medieval mind knew this, contrary to Protestant and Atheist propaganda. These men were not stupid or slavish. The same cannot be said of much of the Enlightenment which brought the world endless religious wars, state autocracy, millions of dead, Atheism, the French Revolution which inspired the Russian, Witch burnings, abiogenesis, the cult of 'science', Napoleon, and the lost artifacts of art, architecture and libraries of books eradicated by men and women in the 16th -18th centuries devoted to the Protestant chant of sola-scriptura, and no free-will. A sordid list. Flat earth societies only arose during the age of science as well, no one since Alexander the Great had any misconceptions about the Earth's sphericity. The list of liabilities of the Enlightenment balance sheet is never brought up by historians and ignored by post-modern history. Apparently propaganda trumps reality. Not all was bad; but there was certainly plenty of evil the wrongly named age of science.

In this vein Acquinas is thus criticized for being both too fond of, and not fond enough of, Aristotle. How wonderful it must be to a post-modern. So clever, so bright, so very right.

On Islam Acquinas gives a sane summary of what the Meccan moon cult meant to an intelligent 13th century Christian. Thomas Aquinas, in Summa Contra Gentiles Book 1, Chapter 16:

"Mohammed said that he was sent in the power of his arms - which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants. What is more, no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.....Those who believed in him were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Mohammed forced others to become his follower's by the violence of his arms. Nor do divine pronouncements on part of preceding prophets offer him any witness. On the contrary, he perverts almost all the testimony of the Old and the New Testaments by making them into a fabrication of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law. It was, therefore, a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity. It is thus clear that those who place faith in his words believe foolishly." -

Mad Muhammad corrupted and distorted the entire Bible. He was no divinely inspired prophet, no miracles, healings, improvement or ethics ever came from him. His world was simple: Moslems are supreme and should treat each other well; Infidels must be converted or killed. He was a violent Jihadist, engaging in war, sex slavery, concubinage, mendacity, and autocracy. He was no more a prophet of peace than Lenin who ended the First World War for Russia. Muhammad was a 7th century illiterate Arab adventurer who desired empire. That is how the Medievals saw him. That is how we need to see him and his cult.