16
   

Equal rights for Atheists?

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:35 pm
@dlowan,
72 applauses...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:36 pm
neun-und-neunzig Luftballons
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:46 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
For most of the Christain period very few people had the ability to read, all known stories were passed verbally.

Do you have evidence about your claim? I tried to research it on Google, but failed. Maybe you can direct us to the right resource(s).

here
Quote:
William Harris, the author of the first historical monograph on Greco-Roman literacy, published in 1989, has estimated (328) that even in Greece in the fourth century BCE no more than 10-15 percent of the population would have been literate. As for the Roman empire, he argues (330) that a high degree of literacy can only be assumed for the urban upper classes and that only a few artisans and traders and even fewer farmers and rural workers would have been literate. Harris suggests that in the provinces the level of women's literacy is likely to have been well under 5%. Catherine Hezser reasonably concludes from this (23) that an overall literacy rate of 10-15 percent would have applied in the Roman period as well. Although Harris's book stirred up a lively discussion (see the essays in Beard 1991), Hezser correctly notes (26) that "[h]ardly anyone has questioned his low estimation of the literacy rate in the ancient world." In her own substantial monograph, JEWISH LITERACY IN ROMAN PALESTINE, Hezser argues that in spite of the common view that literacy rates were higher among Israelites because of their use of written texts in prayer and worship, in fact their literacy rate must have been lower than elsewhere, especially because of the high percentage of the population living in rural areas in Palestine. The rate was possibly as low as 3% (496). Harry Y. Gamble has recently estimated (1995: 5, 10) that literacy levels among Christ-followers were probably similar to those in the population at large--about 10-15 percent. The general accuracy of these well argued estimates is assumed in what follows.


http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0LAL/is_1_34/ai_n6157778/pg_2

as normal Set make claims as if he were an oracle, and then when challenged does not come up with the goods. His unsupported claims by all justice should be ignored.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:56 pm
@hawkeye10,
I didn't make a claim, you did. I simply found your claim silly. To be specific, you made this claim:

Rapist Boy wrote:
For most of the Christain period very few people had the ability to read, all known stories were passed verbally. (emphasis added)


I have highlighted the portion of your silly claim which lead me to ask you if you make this **** up as you go along. Your citation does not prove that: ". . . all known stories were passed verbally." That claim is absurd, nor have you sustained it. Your remark was an attempt to respond to my point that ecclesiastic authorities did not want the text of scripture disseminated to the general public. What the commons knew of scripture came from what was read to them from the pulpit, or which formed a part of the lesson or sermon during a church service. You might look up John Wycliffe and the Wycliffe bible for a sense of just how desperate ecclesiastic authority was to keep scripture out of the hands of the commons.

Your claim that all known stories were passed verbally is without merit, and you have failed to sustain it. So don't try to peddle some **** about my having made a claim which i can't support. You made the claim, and you have failed to support it.

Not only are you appallingly ignorant of history, you don't do rhetorical exchange at all well, either.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 06:59 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye, Thanks for providing the info on literacy rates before, during, and jesus' times. Those numbers seem to support what I had suspected all along; that the majority were illiterate except for the kings, emperors, and other high officials of their time, which brings up another issue about how the stories were eventually written up by different authors that eventually were included as books of the bible. Most were myths, not the "word of god" that got some people with writing skills to create stories from those myths carried forward for centuries. One miracle lead to more, and before we know it, poof! The earth was born 7,000 years ago.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 07:23 pm
@cicerone imposter,
my point was to put down these idiot conspiracy theorists like Set who claim that the lack of Bibles for the masses (or at all for hundreds of years ) represents some evil intention of the Church leaders. Books were outrageously expensive, few could read them in any case, and the church was supposed to spend scarce resources on producing them and then carting them from parish to parish? Get real.

I am glad that you found the link helpful though.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 07:27 pm
Ima pull up a chair and mostly watch this one. (where's my popcorn, Stinky...)

hackey, you might wanna go brush up on your facts...
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 08:16 pm
@hawkeye10,
Your attempt to put down an "idiot conspiracy" theory falls flat on its face, because i'm not propounding any conspiracy theory. I just the Pope had Wycliffe's remains dug up two generations after he died, and had them burned, because of his great love of the man and his work. Wycliffe's translation of the "new testament" into English was condemned by ecclesiastic authorities in England on a claim that it contained mistranslations and erroneous commentaries, and it was banned. Whenever a copy was found, it was to be turned into the church, which would burn it. Despite that, and despite the fact that it had to be copied by hand in the traditional manner, 150 full or partial copies of the revised Wycliffe Bible survive to this day. That's a hell of a record, and would be even for printed books produced a century later. Therefore, your claim about how expensive and rare books were doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Perhaps you can provide a source for your claim.

Quote:
John Wycliffe is credited with producing the first translation of the complete Bible into English, although he was probably assisted with the translation of the Old Testament. It was produced between 1380 and 1384 and was a very literal and word for word translation of the 4th Century Latin text that was used by the church throughout Europe at that time.

Wycliffe had propounded a theory of ''Dominion by Grace".
Accordingly, each person was individually responsible to God and his Law. Therefore, everyone should be able to read God's Law in his native English. John Wycliffe urged all men, "great and small, learned and unlearned", to make themselves acquainted with God's Law by reading the Bible. He was a keen Bible student, a scholarly commentator and an intense preacher. His principles were spread throughout England by a group of traveling preachers who also increased the use of this new translation. After Wycliffe's death, a second version of his Bible was completed by John Purvey late in the 14th Century. The English in this second version was much easier to read, which greatly increased its demand.

Even though written by hand, both versions of Wycliffe's Bible were copied many times and distributed throughout England. They remained in use for a great many years and are probably the Bibles referred to by Sir Thomas More in 1528. He had seen ''Bibles fair and old written in English in laymen's and women's hands". Wycliffe's followers, known as the Lollards, 'poor preachers', took his Bible far and wide throughout England. This was the beginning of the Reformation in England.

The Pope was so enraged at the success of these heretics that he ordered Wycliffe's body disinterred, burnt and the ashes tossed into the river. It has been said, ''his ashes flowed into the seas of the world, spreading the Gospel to all the world".


Source for the above quoted article

Quote:
In spite of the zeal with which the hierarchy sought to destroy it, there still exist about 150 manuscripts, complete or partial, containing the translation in its revised form. From this one may easily infer how widely diffused it was in the fifteenth century. For this reason the Wycliffeites in England were often designated by their opponents as "Bible men." Just as Luther's version had great influence upon the German language, so Wycliffe's, by reason of its clarity, beauty, and strength, influenced English.


Source for the above quoted article

Quote:
The main objection to the use of the vernacular lay in a belief that Christian dogma was more perfectly expressed in Latin. As one critic, the Domincan Thomas Palmer wrote (in Latin), "Not only is the English language lacking in letter, but also in expressions since there are no English words and expressions corresponding to the most well-known and common expressions in Latin." (qtd in Aston 303) Palmer further argued that the pearls of the holy mysteries ought not to be cast before the swine of the common folk: “Many things are to be hidden and not shown to the people, lest being known and familiar they should be cheapened.” Defenders of vernacular theology contended, however, that the gospel was too important to be "claspud vp, ne closid in no cloyster" and should thus be made universally available. (Watson, 839). (emphasis added)


Source for the above quoted, copyrighted material

I swear to god, Bubba, you are your own worst enemy . . .
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 08:43 pm
By the way, Sparky, at no time did i refer to an evil intention of church authorities. Whether or not keeping scripture out of the hands of the commons were evil would be a personal value judgment.

Specifically . . .

I wrote:
It is no accident that copies of scripture were not available to the general population. Established religion did not want the common people to know how scripture actually reads.


Now if you want to think that's evil, you just go ahead on, and he'p you'self. But don't attribute to me things which i haven't written.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 6 Dec, 2008 11:37 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
Wycliffe's translation of the "new testament" into English was condemned by ecclesiastic authorities in England on a claim that it contained mistranslations and erroneous commentaries, and it was banned. Whenever a copy was found, it was to be turned into the church, which would burn it. Despite that, and despite the fact that it had to be copied by hand in the traditional manner, 150 full or partial copies of the revised Wycliffe Bible survive to this day. That's a hell of a record, and would be even for printed books produced a century later. Therefore, your claim about how expensive and rare books were doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Perhaps you can provide a source for your claim.

Quote:
The book had a very wide circulation. While the Anglo-Saxon versions
were confined for the most part to the few religious houses where they were
written, Wycliffe's Bible, in spite of its disadvantage of being only
manuscript, was circulated largely through the kingdom; and, though the cost a
good deal restricted its possession to the wealthier classes, those who could
not hope to possess it gained access to it too, as well through their own
efforts as through the ministrations of Wycliffe's "pore priestes." A
considerable sum was paid for even a few sheets of the manuscript, a load of
hay was given for permission to read it for a certain period one hour a day,
^1 and those who could not afford even such expenses adopted what means they
could

http://history-world.org/Bible,%20wycliffe%20translates%20into%20%20english.htm
The Wycliff Bible, late into the Christan era as it was, that is your argument that books the size of the bible could have been reproduced for the masses? Nope, that argument is false, that bible was very expensive.

The Church for a thousand years had no choice but to teach by word, and as teaching by book became possible they did vigorously resist the change. I am not however willing to condom the Church for choosing tradition of the Mass over the public reading of the Bible. I have attended far to many Masses for that. And I like hearing the Latin version, even though that is rare and I don't understand a word of it.
Diest TKO
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 12:45 am
I see the issue as less about whether or not Atheists rightfully can put the sign up (of course can can). I see this issue even less about the reactionary offense that Christians take to the sign (even if I would have chosen a different message).

I see the issue here is whether or not government should react in any fashion whatsoever to the insecurities of any person's beliefs be them Christian, Atheist, or otherwise.

I'm not concerned about what the religious reaction to the sign is, because I have serious doubts that the religious have any concern whatsoever to what they are putting out on display.

If an Atheist rejects the ideas put forth by the Christian, the Christian simply regards this as a problem on the behalf of the Atheist. If the Christian rejects the ideas put forth by the Atheist, it's the same thing I'm sure. The difference seems to be however that we treat the rejection of Atheism as somehow more exceptional.

Lieutenant Dan rejects God, we're supposed to pity him.
Lieutenant Dan accepts God, we're supposed to feel he's accomplished something.

T
K
O
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 12:49 am
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
but to teach by word


That's just a fancy expression for 'make it up' ain't it?

No. Books were not 'rare' or 'too expensive' for the common folk. Reading and writing was. It cost real money to get an education and you could only get it from the Church. And even then it was not a skill that people practised, records were frequently kept in ways that bypassed the need to write them down.

Hence the insistence on making ecclasiastical and legal documents in Latin. If the commons could actually understand the Gospels or law then they might, just might, ask some embarassing questions. Like - 'Why if Christ emphasised poverty and forgiveness, does the Church make itself so rich by selling indulgences?' or 'If chastity is so great, why does the Bishop have 4 children by his common-law wife? And why does the monastry have a wing for catamites?'.

hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 02:04 am
@Mr Stillwater,
Quote:
No. Books were not 'rare' or 'too expensive' for the common folk. Reading and writing was. It cost real money to get an education and you could only get it from the Church. And even then it was not a skill that people practised, records were frequently kept in ways that bypassed the need to write them down


Not that many people could afford the time to get educated on literacy, and it was not something that would help the common people with their lives either so the motivation was not there. Nice how you make this all into a church conspiracy.

Books not expensive? Prove it. There were a lot of man hours put into making a book, at it all needed to be done by people who were not otherwise occupied with tasks devoted to basic survival, you know, like growing food. It could not possibly be cheap or affordable to most, and it was not. For a lot of the time the only people who made books where the ones who made them for the church and state, often the monasteries, because they were the only ones who cold afford them, and could afford to develop the skilled tradesmen to produce them.

The point about the church not putting the bible into the common tongues is correct, and a case can be made that this was self serving, however the case that the church made that transmission through the clergy was necessary has merit. Teaching by the clergy through liturgy worked very well for a very long time, it was natural for the church to want to stick with a proven winner even after books became more possible. Putting the bible into mass production sure has not worked out well, the church splintered and Christianity is rapidly dieing. I think that the post Reformation history makes a convincing argument for the wisdom of the papal decrees forbidding the use of common languages, and putting a book in front of the masses.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 02:29 am

More catholicism would get us more public holidays.

"Thou shalt not steal", made me smile too.

Thomas's remarks were sensible, I thought. It's not right to cause a deliberate affront. Like flying a confederate flag in certain situations.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 05:47 pm
@hawkeye10,
Quote:
The Wycliff Bible, late into the Christan era as it was, that is your argument that books the size of the bible could have been reproduced for the masses? Nope, that argument is false, that bible was very expensive.


Once again, you indulge a straw man. I never made such an argument--i said nothing about books of any size being reproduced "for the masses."

I realize that your understanding of these matters is so feeble, and your ignorance about everything in the high middle ages so profound that resorting to an attempt to characterize me as having made an argument you are prepared to address (especially in your inimitable "i ain't go no evidence, but just take my word that i know all about it" style) is about your only hope. But i won't play--you have erected a straw man, because i never articulated such an argument.

You also betray a profound ignorance of the economic systems of Europe in the high middle ages. Specie was extremely scarce--people usually did not engage in cash transactions. Almost every transaction was a barter transaction, or an in kind payment. People paid their rents in kind, people frequently aid taxes in kind. Commoners who were bound to the land paid in labor--so many days per year. The charters which established manor houses, which described fiefs specifically outline just how much will be paid, on what schedule, and in terms of so many querns of this or that type of grain, so many head of livestock, so many fowl and of what type, so many eggs . . . people just didn't deal in cash. In Wycliffe's day, the silver penny was the most common coin in circulation--and to make change, people cut them in half to make two ha'pennies (half-pennies) and cut the halves in half to make farthings (quarter pennies)--coins were hard to come by, and people rarely used them.

For you to say that the Wycliffe book was "expensive" is an absurdity. To speak of the expense of any book is meaningless. Books were produced in abbeys, sometimes on commission, but usually as gifts to wealthy patrons for grants of lands, manors, rents or livings which had been made by those patrons. Often books were produced in a scriptorium for the greater glory of the ecclesiastic establishment of which they were a part. Books on secular subjects, rather rare compared to religious works, might be produced on commission, but as often as not, a noble would send over a text to be copied, along with a few head of livestock, or so many querns of grain, and the quality of the finished product would be a reflection of the valuation of the gift. In short, people didn't walk around with cash in their pockets, and people didn't go out to buy books.

The Wycliffe bibles, in fact, were given away. Paripatetic dissenting priests, known as Lollards, would roam the English countryside, reading from the English text to the commoners, and if they found a literate commoner whom they trusted, they simply gave him a copy of the translation to help in further disseminating the "good word."

You really know absolutely nothing about this time period, and the nature of the ecclesiastic hierarchy and its relationship to the aristocracy, the commons and the serfs. You constantly display your ignorance and just dig your hole deeper with every post. You're so incensed at me, that you are inventing argument which i have never advanced, in order to at least create an appearance of holding your own--but the debate is imaginary, as i simply haven't said the things you allege against me.

Quote:
I am not however willing to condom the Church for choosing tradition of the Mass over the public reading of the Bible.


Well, suit yourself . . . but my advice is, if you ever do f*ck the church that you'd be well advised to wear a rubber . . . you never know who those boys have been puttin' it to . . .
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 7 Dec, 2008 11:09 pm
@Setanta,
You have yet to explain a reasonable scenario where the church could have produced bibles as well as taught the majority the the populations how to read them. Absent both of these events the Church policy of teaching through Clergy was the only way to go. There was no conspiracy here, the church exercised good sense.

You do insults real good, however you have yet to do any damage to my argument.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 07:35 am
@hawkeye10,
What argument? You have only claimed that "the church" did not produce these bibles. Well, duh . . . that's the entire point, Bubba, the Lollards produced and disseminated the English translations of scripture, despite the efforts of the Church to suppress the movement. It wasn't necessary for the majority of the population to become literate, it was only necessary for a sufficient proportion of the population to be literate so as to read the English bible to audiences of those who wished to hear it as it is written.

Once again, you have no argument, and you have no response to mine, because you are arguing against positions i haven't taken. At no time have i claimed that the Church produced bibles in English or taught the population to read them.

Also, allow me to remind you, Rapist Boy, that insulting you is just a felicitous added benefit of this exchange. Time and again i've demonstrated my case, and time and again i've pointed out that you are arguing against things which i haven't said. I've made my case both with logical argument, and with evidence to support what i've said. Telling you that you are an idiot ignorant of the history of religion in Europe and the history of the high middle ages is just icing on the cake.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 07:37 am
By the way, Idiot Child, you jumped into this discussion because i said that the Church did not wish people to know or be able to read scripture. Now you're attempting to claim that i've argued that the Church produced those bibles and taught people to read. Not only did i never make such an argument, it runs counter to the argument which i have made--and which i have sustained.

You're really pathetic at this.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 06:44 pm
@Thomas,
Hi Thomas,
Quote:
Show me where your mayor's job description says it's part of his job to get the people's trash removed. Show me where the governor's job description says it's his job to build and run museums. My point is, it's for voters to decide the specifics of what is or isn't in their officials' job descriptions. Don't like mayors who allow religious displays on public property? Fine. Vote for somebody else.

Adherence to the law is not determined by votes.
Quote:
Sure they are. So, when cities allow Christians to celebrate Christmas on public property, they also have to allow atheists to celebrate Newton day, and Jews to celebrate Hanuka. Your "ban them all" approach is by no means the only one consistent with the constitution.

Yes. It is the only one consistent with the constitution.

These types of cases don't often make it to the federal courts because often times nobody is bothered enough by it to make a stir. But when someone does complain, the courts typically rule in favor of removing religious materials. I believe most of the decisions are made on the basis of "intent" of the item in question.

Bunches of fun reading: Smile
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/11/13/moore.tencommandments/
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8375948/
http://blog.mlive.com/saginawnews/2008/02/ten_commandments_courthouse_qu.html
http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/08/27/ten.commandments/
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200510/roy-moores-ten-commandments
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Dec, 2008 10:16 pm
@Setanta,
what your simple mind fails to grasp is that with out interpretation the Bible is not a religious document it is a work of literature. Hearing someone read the bible for awhile does not advance any cause but misunderstanding. I am reminded of of quote from D. T Suzuki that I will paraphrase " I have read you Bible all the way through, I did not find any religion in it" The Church was right to put down the Lollards. The Bible can only be useful to those who can read it over and over again, and with help come to understand what it means. Literacy is required. Even then it is of limited use, the Bible is a DEAD book. The church is a living organism, and humans need to be amongst the living.

You are very transparent, you hate the church even as you don't understand it, and all of your conclusions are determine to what road will kill the church the fastest. Obviously the Popes had a different agenda,thus they did not take the road that you would have advised for them.

 

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