Tide pods fear me, because I never back down from a challenge. But, it’s a long post so I won’t be addressing it all in one go.
Dear Aeoli Pera, I request that you play devil’s advocate to become more intimate with the ‘facts’ of your faith for but also against things. You facilely discredit the Enlightenment as antithetical to Christianity in your post “Enlightenment anti-pattern recognition rhetoric,” dated 11 August 2018. What arguments could you make against Christianity and for the Enlightenment if you tried?
Genetic Blindness of the Intellectual Christian
The strongest argument in favor of the Enlightenment is that the Copernican revolution gave the Catholic church a well-deserved spanking and Cartesian skepticism produced a quantum leap in natural philosophy. The strongest argument against Christianity is that it is profoundly counterintuitive and is often biologically maladaptive (at least on the individual level), and must account for itself in a way that paganism, civil religion, and philosophy don’t.
Christianity was not actually defined until Emperor Constantine forced a unification among Christologists, with a statement of creed that included the seminal Trinity, which is not found in the Bible unless by forgery of the end of Mark.
I’ve explained previously that Christianity is well-defined by the gospel, which was fully understood from the resurrection onward. You’re referring to Christian theology and dogma, which are not necessary elements, as can exemplified by any 70-IQ Christian who has never heard of the Council of Trent and just plain doesn’t “get” the Trinity (for the record, neither do I).
This is like saying the Alt-Right didn’t exist until Vox Day wrote the 16 points. In fact, he was merely summarizing a set of beliefs already crystallized in the minds of its thought leaders after several years of evolution based on the simple premise “It’s okay to be white”.
At the beginning it was a movement within Judaism to expand Judaism to all people of the world with the Jewish priests and Jerusalem on top.
That’s neopagan propaganda and foolish in a number of ways. The most absurd being, it requires us to believe that Judaism’s revealed preference is for Christianity to spread among the goyim. I challenge you to find a single example of a (religious) Jew saying “it is preferable that more people in this region be Christians” to counterbalance the overwhelming weight of evidence suggesting they would prefer to eradicate it.
Maybe you could start with a survey of Hollywood? I hear they’re big on cultural subversion, so if your theory is correct they’ll be big fans of Christian values.
As reformulated since then, Christianity justifies utter losing in this life as utter winning based on credit in the next life. Roman authorities would permit no lesser commitment as the U.S. authorities do today.
The latter clause is absurd, considering that Christians in the US can be and often are persecuted for insufficient advocacy of homosexuality, which is one area in which (for reasons I don’t understand) even Churchians are relatively robust. Not even an Israel flag-waving Evangelical would describe modern America as a Christian nation, much less an oppressive, Cromwellian theocracy. I think you would not blog so freely if you truly expected the Spanish Inquisition might kick in your door any moment to disincentivize your criticism of the trinity by inventing a highly personalized recreation of Pascale’s wager.
Some disentanglement is necessary for the former statement. First, I’ll summarize the implied history:
1. Phariseeism, an orally transmitted proto-Judaism which would be codified centuries later in the Talmud, intended to take over the Roman empire and then the world. Support for this belief can be seen in the New Testament narrative.
2. The Pharisees either hatched a plan or reacted in a spontaneous conspiracy to current events to religiously subvert Gentile cultures by exploiting a natural human tendency to what Nietzsche called “slave morality”, which is more or less identical with what I’ve described as pathological identity signalling. They would then have encouraged the spread of Christianity to produce a Lukacsian “false consciousness” in Gentiles.
As I pointed out before, this would predict a strong correlation between Christian values and Hollywood values.
3. The Roman authorities, tricked into believing this false consciousness would serve their own ends by ennervating their subjects, pushed Christianity onto their subjects as a civil religion. Or, in reaction to its growing popularity in the lower class, some Roman authorities cynically appealed to this value system to exploit its demagogic power.
The former position is anti-historical, as the Roman emperors and upper class before Constantine’s conversion were profoundly cruel toward Christians and their modus operandi was to publicly torture to death any who could be found. Public torture and execution of cultural subversives is, as I’ve previously argued, good statecraft. It is not, however, the ringing endorsement that Dan Brown would have us believe exemplified the scheming anarchotyrannical Judaism of the early church fathers.
The latter position is cynical but at least not historically absurd, and consistent with the observation that Christianity typically (but not always) appeals to the low and is repulsive to the high. However, to propose that Christianity catalyzed Jewish influence you would have to disavow all of Kevin MacDonald’s work:
Pakter (1992, 716) points out that immediately prior to the rise of Christianity as the state religion, it was Christianity, not Judaism, that was viewed as a threat to classical Roman culture (thus provoking the persecutions of Diocletian), because of the aggressive proselytism of the former compared to the very limited proselytism of the latter. Judaism was viewed as a threat to the state only after the Empire became Christianized—a finding that is consistent with the present interpretation that anti-Semitism was fundamental to Christianity as it emerged in the late Empire.
Separation and its Discontents
Chapter 3, pg. 93
That’s enough for one day, I think.