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Western Civilisation

Until the advent of materialism and 19th c. dogma, Western Civilisation was  superior to anything Islam had developed.  Islam has not aided in the development of the modern world; in fact civilisation has only been created in spite of Islam.  Proof of this resides in the 'modern' world and the unending political-economic and spiritual poverty of Muslim states and regions.  Squatting on richer civilisations is not 'progress'.  Islam is pagan, totalitarian, and irrational.   

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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Averroes and the poverty of Moslem non-civilization

Equating a handful with hundreds is rather banal

by Ferdinand III

The great conflation. Averroes equals 200 Western men of letters, philosophy, theology and science. But so it goes with the post-modern cult. Ask anyone who the great Moslem 'thinkers' were and you will get 3 names – al Kindi [an Arab], Avicenna [a Persian] and Averroes. A poor harvest indeed.

Out of obedience to cultural diktats I read my Averroes, a Moslem mathematician and philosopher from Cordoba who lived from 1126 – 1198 AD. Now what? He is famous – supposedly -- for his reintroduction of Aristotle into Western discourse. The problem with this theory is that Aristotle's logic was thoroughly understood and analyzed by 300 AD within the West. It was further elaborated upon, accepted, rejected and reformed by many minds from the 'fall' [or gentle decline into another civilisation] of Rome, until the 14th century. Aristotle was well known in other words, to the Europeans and much debated for 700 years before Averroes poked out his nose from the cult of moderation and tolerance and told the world – especially the Jews who took up Averroism – that Aristotle was completely right. This is hardly a 'breakthrough' in philosophy or grandeur in 'thinking'.

While Maimonides [the great Jewish physician and Torah reformer of the 12th century], with all his admiration for Aristotle, dared to contradict his theories, or at least sought to attenuate them when they were in direct opposition to religion, Averroes indorsed them to their utmost extent, and seemed even to take pleasure in emphasizing them. "God," says Averroes, "has declared a truth for all men that requires for understanding no intellectual superiority; in a language that can be interpreted by every human soul according to its capability and temper. The expositors of religious metaphysics are therefore the enemies of true religion, because they made it a matter of syllogism" (J. Müller, "Philosophie und Theologie," including the Arabic text, pp. 104 et seq.)”

Averroes simply accepts everything that Aristotle posits. This is rational science ? In his own words Christianity is simply a metaphysical syllogism, or in lay terms, a set of words of cant which offend the true God. Islam by extension must be as bad as Christianity, though Averroes gets around this by accepting the figurative essence of the Koran. In any event the statement above is a main reason that Averroes was exiled by his Moslem masters from the multi-cultural intellectual 'ferment' of Cordoba to Morocco. So much for Islamic learning.

Averroes also denied free-will or at least restricted it unlike Maimonides. "Our soul," says Averroes, "can have preferences indeed, but its acts are limited by the fatality of exterior circumstances; for if its deeds were the production of its will alone, they would be a creation independent of the first cause, or God." This is fatalism. Your own will is limited because it is something independent of what a God would allow, since that God controls all externalities. Ergo no true free-will. This is a problem. Without free-will there is no freedom and no need for the separation of church and state. So tell me again what his contribution to Western civilisation was ? Let us not forget that Averroes was also a devout Moslem who supported Jihad, though modern minds would call that a 'moderate' position since he advocated Jihad only when the Infidel would suffer certain defeat.

In G.R. Evans' excellent book, 'Fifty Key Medieval Thinkers', he outlines the Christian reaction against Averroism – today of course the censors would term such refutations hate speech. Back in the non-existent 'Dark Ages' this was termed debate and discourse. Albert Magnus completed the 'Unicity of the intellect against Averroes' in 1256; Aquinas the 'Summa against Gentiles [or Unbelievers]' a short while thereafter; and others until 1277 joined in condemning Averroes and his Aristotelian disposition that a God would be entirely removed from earthly existence, and that in all matters of importance, philosophy and theology were incompatible, itself a nonsense given the great stream of Neo-Platonist thought one finds in Christian liturgy. One can read Augustine in the 5th century to witness the Platonic influence on both Pauline and early Church theology.

So apparently 3 'Moslems' – Avicenna [11th century], Averroes [12th century], and al-Kindi [9th century] – are the equivalent to about 200 learned men I can list who existed in Western society between 600 and 1500 AD. Not to mention a score of artists and literary geniuses. I can't name one single Moslem artist nor literary inventor during this same period, though some Persian poets do float to mind. But we are assured that the 'big 3' of Islam, are the equivalent of hundreds of Western thinkers.

Nay sorry. They are better. Without them, the cultural Marxist myth goes, there would be no learning in the Western world. The 'Dark Age' in which Europeans were running around unclothed, unclean, hairy and stupid would never have ended....The massive inventions of the mind, the spirit, and of reason which set the stage for the 'Reformation', and 'Enlightenment' [itself a period of witch burning, the French Revolutionary terror etc], would never have taken place. The Western world was already in the ascendant by 1000 AD, long before Averroes regurgitated his Aristotle and denounced Christianity. There is nothing unique in Averroes and certainly little new commentary that one would deem 'brilliant'. He simply reiterates what Aristotle said in his works on Logic. How banal.

So I read my Averroes, now what ?

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