On Shelob’s lair

Or: Kant’s trap

In the modern world, Immanuel Kant has been the poet’s greatest enemy, the enemy of clear, concise and transparent prose (my style).

Kant initiated the dark movement of classical German idealism, from which perhaps only the German nationalist pronouncements of Fichte are salvageable. While German music and literature were luminous (think of Beethoven and Goethe), German philosophy was tremendously obscurantist: and a thin tail of that cobweb even reached its way about how Mein Kampf was elaborated.

David Irving is correct that he never read Mein Kampf because, as an exact historian of the Third Reich, he didn’t want a text dipped into feather pens other than Hitler’s to contaminate his true biography (which is why Irving recommends reading daily each of the after-dinner talks of Uncle Adolf: these are uncontaminated). Mein Kamp is a PR book written for a people who, influenced by their philosophers’ style, had already betrayed the lyrical way of writing. For the same reason I don’t recommend The Gulag Archipelago, but the excellent abbreviation made by an Englishman, with the permission of the Russian author, that reads like an entertaining novel. I sincerely believe that an abridged edition of Mein Kampf should be tried, trying to keep only the passages that Hitler dictated.

But even in Hitler’s Table Talk I see a couple of disagreements with our Führer. One of them was a short sentence in which he expressed himself about the genius of Kant. As John Martínez said more than eight years ago on this site:

In another post you mentioned the fact that not a single one of the supposedly greatest philosophers ever said something about the importance of race to the establishment of a great civilisation like ours. That is to say, these guys have devoted millions of man-hours [Shelob’s trap] to discussing every single subject under the sun—except for what is perhaps the most important of them all from the point of view of our civilisation: the fact that it is a White civilisation and that these discussions are not taking place in Africa, Asia or what have you.

As Nietzsche scoffed at using an English word, Kant is ‘Cant’: his prose was empty and insincere, and he shouldn’t have hypnotised the Germans. The only proponent of the German Enlightenment worth rescuing was Hermann Samuel Reimarus, who initiated the discipline of analysing the New Testament that recently culminated in Richard Carrier’s book. The rest was hot air.

 
Matthew Stewart

In my home library I have many books from the publisher Prometheus Books, which taught me to distrust the pseudosciences of the paranormal and even early Christianity (for example, the book that collects the surviving fragments of the 4th-century book that the philosopher Porphyry wrote against Christians, was published by Prometheus). Stewart’s first book was also published by Prometheus, The Truth About Everything. He believes that we have lost sight of what philosophy was in its original conception, and wrote that iconoclastic pamphlet to poke fun at academic philosophy.

In the chapter on Kant, Stewart asserts that this German philosopher was no Copernicus. On the contrary: his ‘metaphysics’ is one of the possible manifestations of a philosophical trend. Regardless of Kant’s influence, because of the apotheosis that was applied to him after his death, his name, says Stewart, is only a point of convergence of a plethora of beliefs based on the mistakes of Descartes.

Since, like Descartes, in those times the aim of the philosophers whose parents were Christians had been the reconciliation between science and religion, Kant divided the world into two absolutely disconnected worlds. Using my language, the celebrated philosopher of the kingdom of Prussia was just another guy who didn’t know how to shake off his parental introjects. The Kantian dream of ‘perpetual peace’ reminds me of the pictures of the lion laying with the lamb of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who ring the doorbell of my house.

It said that Prometheus Books warned me against pseudosciences. In one of the Martin Gardner books that I own, this hilarious writer informs us that crank scientists love to develop new vocabularies and mystifying language (imagine the hundreds of neologisms that L. Ron Hubbard created for Scientology).

A feature of Kant’s work is its vast technical vocabulary and abominable prose. Stewart tells us that if one translates Kant’s newspeak into oldspeak (the same is possible with Hubbard’s neologisms) it is possible to begin to see behind the smokescreen and mirrors of the three Kantian ‘critiques’.

For example, a priori / a posteriori are Latin words that simply mean ‘before’ and ‘after’ in a logical rather than temporal sense. But those who are not alert to the crank sciences will believe that there is something very profound when Kant speaks to us, say, about the ‘transcendental unity of apperception’, or of the ‘transcendental ego’ (the latter reminds me of Hubbard’s ‘operative thetan’!). Even with the word ‘pure’ in his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant means ‘uncontaminated by experience’.

According to Stewart, this repertoire of concepts seems to be sophistry and illusion, adding that Kant succumbs to the medieval error of turning a tedious logic into a radical ontological falsehood (How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?). Stewart also claims that Kant confines the science of the world to projections and shadows, mere appearances, and all this to save religion. The Categorical Imperative is the Kantian machine for the Moral Law (read: the education that little Immanuel received as a child in a religiously abusive home) based on ‘reason’ (and, to boot, we must take into account the cryptic definition of ‘reason’ by Kant).

Beyond the very dense Kantian jargon, this guy surreptitiously inserts the substance into the bosom of an otherwise purely formal theory. That’s why, Stewart affirms, the Critique of Practical Reason is a betrayal, and that this is the key we need to decipher Kantian ethics: the result of the standards that Kant received as a child in the bosom of a pietistic Christian family. (Pietistic Lutheranism is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with an emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life.)

Stewart’s criticism is not original. Almost all of his arguments were defended in writing by living characters as a result of the publication of the first Kantian critique. The problem is that modern ‘philosophers’ share the apotheosis of Kant, and generally believe in the professional respectability of that crank thinker. The Eastern gurus (think of the Zen monks) hypnotise the faithful by saying things that are extremely unpleasant for commonsensical ears, but presented as profound metaphysical truths. Kant’s promise that he was able to reverse the basis of all knowledge, from ‘object’ to ‘subject’, is just this kind of psyop to dupe the unwary.

In sum, Stewart tells us, Kant’s obscurity is the critical factor in allaying the concerns of those who have brought Kant to the universities. His obtuse distinctions exude an air of professionalism and his twisted arguments give the impression of depth. The resulting inconsistencies supply grain for the controversial windmills of academic philosophy.

All that Stewart says invalidates not only bestsellers on philosophy like the bestselling story that Will Durant wrote, but what they want to teach us in the academy under the pretentious name of ‘philosophy’, supposedly love of wisdom. Stewart concludes by telling us that both the rationalists and the empiricists of the 17th century tried to take philosophy out of the monasteries, turning it into the fiefdom of the amateurs. Kant collected his ideas at the service of a return to the monastic age. After him, philosophy was to be safe from rebellious amateurs and returned to its peaceful seminaries and universities. Of course, the new theologians were no longer debating the sex of angels. They are masturbating themselves, intellectually, with ‘the facts of conscience’. Aristotle ceased to be the object of scholastic comments to be relieved by Kant.

Nietzsche wrote: ‘Kant’s success is just a theologian success: Kant, like Luther, like Leibniz, was one more drag on an already precarious German sense of integrity… Kant became an idiot. — And such a man was the contemporary of Goethe! This disaster of a spider (*) passed for the German philosopher!’

___________

(*) For Francis Bacon (1561-1626) the metaphysicians were like spiders that constructed their webs with a substance segregated from their insides, resulting in that their conclusions kept little if any connection to empirical reality. Kant has been the biggest spider of all, Tolkien’s Shelob! The number of philosopher’s apprentices who have fallen into his cobwebs trying to decipher them, in a vain search for wisdom, is legion.

Reflections of an Aryan woman, 3

Chapter III: Anthropocentrism and intolerance

I have told you, and will repeat it—for it cannot be repeated too often: Get rid of the superstition of ‘man’, or give thanks to the immortal Gods if you are by nature free; if ‘man’ as such is not of interest to you; if only Perfection interests you and if you love man only to the extent that he approaches—individually and collectively—the ideal type of the Race; insofar as, being of one day, he reflects that which is eternal.

Have you meditated enough on the history of the world to have noticed a puzzling fact, namely that few people have sinned more odiously against men than those who loved them the most, and wanted, with the most obstinacy, ‘to make them happy’ (even against their will) either in this world or in a Hereafter in which they firmly believed? Nietzsche, perhaps the only great master of thought that the West has produced on the fringes of Christianity, noticed it. ‘Christians no longer love us enough’, he said, ‘to burn us alive in public places’.[1]

Much has been said about the horrors committed by the Church of Rome in the name of defending Christian orthodoxy. What has almost always been forgotten is that the Holy Inquisition, the organ of this Church, acted out of love. It believed—like all good Catholics of the twelfth, thirteenth, or even seventeenth centuries—that outside the Church there was no salvation; that the individual who left the rigid path of dogma, and thereby ceased to be faithful, went, at his death, straight to hell.

The Church knew that men, inclined to sin since Adam’s disobedience, follow bad examples much more readily than good ones; that the heretic was therefore a public danger: a black sheep that was necessary, in case he refused the offered cure—that is to recant, the penance and the return to the bosom of the blessed flock—to cut him off at all costs from the whole population. And the most spectacular and terrible the aftermath of the heresy trial, the less likely it would be that the simple souls, who are the majority, would be tempted to rebel in their turn against the authority of the Church; the less likely they would be separated from God forever. The fear of God, which is said to be the beginning of wisdom, would be confused here with the fear of visible fire, with the fear of physical pain in the person who has, at least once, witnessed the burning of a heretic and saw and heard the man struggling in his bonds and screaming amid the flames.

Glory to Christ! the pyres shine, howling torches;
The flesh splits, sets fire to the bones of heretics,
And red streams on the hot coals
Smoke under black skies to the sound of holy hymns!
[2]

As for me, I sincerely believe that the Inquisitor Fathers were not monsters. They struggled, in the face of a formal refusal to recant, to deliver a human being ‘to the secular arm’, knowing what torment the said ‘secular arm’ had in store for him. This decision, which today seems to so many people to be so ‘contrary to Christian love’, was nevertheless inspired by Christian love as they understood it, taking into account their interpretation of passages of the Scriptures concerning the Hereafter. They loved men, i.e. human souls, so much to accept the risk of knowing that they were in danger of perdition, in contact with the ‘teachers of error’.

If there is anything against which you should revolt at the thought of the horrors of the Holy Inquisition (unless one agrees entirely with it; why not, if you subscribe such faith?) it is certainly not the ‘wickedness’ of the inquisitor fathers, but that unconditional love of all men, including heretics and unbelievers to be brought back, brought to Jesus Christ. This was a love of all men for the sole reason that they are considered the only living creatures ‘having an immortal soul created in the image of God’, a love of which the members of the Holy Office were, along with all, or almost all, Christians of their time, the first victims.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: To those unfamiliar with theology this issue may seem anachronistic but it is not. As the Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel (1900-1983) said in his autobiography, ‘I was born in the Middle Ages’: something that I could also say.

When investigating the Turin shroud and visiting the Archdiocese of Mexico, I discovered the theological essays of Antonio Brambila (see my criticism: here, in Spanish), who died a month before radiocarbon tests dated the Turin cloth as a medieval product (not as a 1st-century miraculous cloth!). This Brambila priest explained in several articles what Savitri sums up in the passage above. He claimed that only the human being is eternal and that Jesus had shown it to us with his Resurrection (a Resurrection that left its mark, by the way, on the Turin sheet). The implication of Brambila’s theology was: either you believe in Christ or you are forever damned.

When I lived in the US, I was greatly surprised that many gringos, whom I previously viewed as non-Neanderthals, believed exactly the same shit through Protestantism. So what Savitri wrote decades ago is not outdated: Catholic fundamentalists like Brambila (who published his own Latin-Spanish translation of Augustine’s Confessions) and today’s last-ditch fundamentalist Protestants are still with us.

______ 卐 ______

To those who do not particularly love men, their destiny—salvation or perdition, in a hypothetical Hereafter—is a matter of indifference. The so-called ‘tolerance’ of the people of our time is, in reality, a complete disinterest in questions of dogma in particular, and metaphysical questions in general; a deep scepticism of the Hereafter and an increasingly widespread (though less and less avowed) indifference towards men. All in all, men are no worse off. Not only are there no longer any pyres in public places in countries of Christian, Catholic or Reformed civilisation (in Christian countries subject to the Eastern Orthodox Church there never were any). But a major excommunication, launched against an individual by any Church would have, in the West, no social consequences: the excommunicated would continue to live the next day as he lived the day before. No one would notice that he was excommunicated (except perhaps devotees in his parish).

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: Exactly what happened to the priest of my family, Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga, excommunicated for having dared to criticise the Second Vatican Council.

______ 卐 ______

If, as recently as 1853—a little over a century ago—an excommunicated monk, Théophile Kaïris, could have been imprisoned by order of the Greek government, and died in prison, it is not that the Greeks were, at that time, ‘less tolerant’ than their brothers in France or Germany. It was only that Greece was not then (as it is not today) the West, and that the teaching of the Eastern Orthodox Church was there (as is still today) held to be ‘national religion’, like that of the Roman Church is in Spain, Free Ireland, or Poland, despite the Communism imposed on the people: a living contradiction, given the largely human and ‘not of this world’ character of all true Christianity.

______ 卐 ______

Editor’s Note: If I manage to reproduce the entire translation of this chapter I will divide it, of nearly 14,000 words in the original French, into several entries.

I do it just out of curiosity to know exactly what Savitri was thinking. Some passages from the previous instalments of this new series suggest that Savitri was in line with what, at the end of my eleven books, I call the religion of the four words (‘eliminate all unnecessary suffering’). If to this we add that Savitri also subscribed to what from David Lane is known as the fourteen words she would be, together with Hitler and others from the Nazi leadership, the only ones whom I resemble. (Recall that Hitler wanted to close the slaughterhouses after the war; Göring forbade vivisection, Himmler disapproved of hunting animals for sport, etcetera.)

___________

[1 ] In Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil.

[2] Leconte de Lisle, ‘The Agony of a Saint’, Poèmes Barbares.

Published in: on August 18, 2021 at 3:34 pm  Comments Off on Reflections of an Aryan woman, 3  
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Panentheism

In the article about Savitri Devi’s wise voice, Krist Krusher commented:

One problem that I have with pantheism is, that if the universe itself is god, then would that mean insects, faeces and non-whites are also part of god? I find such an idea preposterous: such a realization undermines the entirety of the idea of god. It reduces god to simply mean anything and everything. Such is not worth worshipping or venerating to me.

I was personally a little disillusioned when I read Who We Are and found that Pierce, using his Comostheistic logic, ‘deduced’ that even Negroes were in a way brothers to Whites! The particular paragraph:

It is important to understand this, because with understanding comes freedom from the superstition of ‘human brotherhood’. We are one with the Cosmos and are, in a sense, brothers to every living thing: to the amoeba, to the wolf, to the chimpanzee, and to the Negro. But this sense of brotherhood does not paralyze our will when we are faced with the necessity of taking certain actions—whether game control or pest control or disease control—relative to other species in order to ensure the continued progress of our own. And so it must be with the Negro.

The problem with this is that it ultimately creates another kind of Brotherhood, one which if coupled with the kind of thinking that slave morality produces, would result in something as asinine as Jainism-where all life has worth regardless if it is paramecium, slime mould or cockroach! It would be such an easy thing to bend to erroneous belief.

Some will argue that the end of the paragraph would guarantee that this would never be perverted, but I know many who would warp it to think non-whites can be ‘Aryan’ too.

Evolutionists say that all creatures are connected by a common ancestor. As repulsive as it is, even spiders and we have a common ancestor (except for the very last episode that ruined the series, this series explains it all).

Divinity is obviously noticeable in some aspects of Nature such as trees, the colour of the sky with the background of the mountains and some cute mammals (including the nymphs we see in the German section of this site). But side by side there are real monsters in Nature.

My solution at the end of From Jesus to Hitler is exterminationism. Either way, Nature is the greatest exterminationist in the universe. For hundreds of millions of years it has been exterminating ninety-nine per cent of her species. Getting rid of obsolete species is critical to Kalki, a subject in which Savitri Devi was utterly wrong in some passages of Impeachment of Man. Naively, she idealised all animal species. Instead, we want to exterminate most of them (you can picture our little utopia with the city of Lys in Arthur Clarke’s Against the Fall of Night).

If the Cro-Magnon exterminated the Neanderthal, all the more should we exterminate the primitive versions of Homo sapiens. This is not contradicted by panentheism. On the contrary: it is an essential part of the evolution or phenomenology of the spirit. William Pierce was right; for example, my exterminationist passion is not hampered one iota by my panentheism.* Both are the axes of the same double-helix, the religious DNA that moves me.

____________

(*) Some theologians use this term as a kind of mixture between theism and pantheism. I use it because, to my mind, there is the possibility that there could be some sort of nebulous agency before the big bang. But I hate metaphysical speculations.

On ‘horribler’ theologians

Instalment 129 of Deschner’s work, that recounts the brutalities committed by the first Christian king that ‘united’ the Franks, ends with these words: ‘As long as history is viewed in this way, as long as it remains outside of its moral valuation and the vast majority of historians continue to crawl before such hypertrophic beasts of universal history with respect, reverence and admiration… history will continue to unfold as it does’.

As we saw in instalment 129, what is most striking is how the theologians’ prose idealise such Christian beasts. There is no question about it: Christianity’s criminal history may be horrible, but the theologians can sometimes be horribler

Postscript:

Remember Arthur Kemp’s magnum opus:

Clovis’ most significant deed was his conversion to Christianity in 496 AD—without this conversion it is doubtful that Christianity would ever have taken hold on the European mainland. He initiated the practice of converting White pagans by the sword when he invaded the Visigoth Empire in 507 AD, causing them to flee south into Spain.

But Deschner wrote of most of them as ‘Arians’, i.e., non-trinitarian Christians. I’ll need to read more sources to know who’s right.

Published in: on September 29, 2020 at 11:48 am  Comments (4)  
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Shit for brains

Many years ago a friend told me that he was reading some hilarious pages from Schopenhauer and paraphrased the German philosopher with vulgar words: ‘Doctors teach us how weak man is, the lawyers how shitty mean he is—and the theologians how asshead he is!

According to the theologians, just as from the side of Adam came Eve, so the Church was born from the open side of Jesus on the cross. Here is the moment of lancing in a detail of a Calvary, the work of the Visitation Master on the altarpiece (15th century) of the Segorbe Cathedral Museum, Spain.

Published in: on September 3, 2019 at 11:05 am  Comments (1)  

The Antichrist § 17

How can anyone still defer to the naïveté of Christian theologians these days when they decree that the development of the idea of God from the ‘God of Israel’, the god of a people, to the Christian God, the epitome of all goodness, counts as progress?

But even Renan does this. As if Renan had the right to naïveté! The opposite is what strikes the eye. When the presuppositions of ascending life, when everything strong, brave, domineering, and proud is eliminated from the idea of God, when he sinks little by little into the symbol of a staff for the weary, a life-preserver for the drowning, when he turns into the God of the poor, the sinners, the sickly, when the predicates of ‘saviour’ and ‘redeemer’ are the only ones left, the only divine predicates: what does this sort of transformation tell us?, this sort of diminution in the divine?

Of course: this will increase the size of ‘the kingdom of God’. God used to have only his people, his ‘chosen’ people. But then he took up travelling, just as his people did, and after that he did not sit still until he was finally at home everywhere, the great cosmopolitan, – until he had ‘the great numbers’ and half the earth on his side.

Nonetheless, the God of the ‘great numbers’, the democrat among gods, did not become a proud, heathen god: he stayed Jewish, he was still the cranny God, the God of all dark nooks and corners, of unhealthy districts the world over! His empire is as it ever was, an empire of the underworld, a hospital, a basement-kingdom, a ghetto-kingdom… [Editor’s bold-type above]

Depressing days

El Greco’s landscape of Toledo depicts the priory in which John of the Cross was held captive. To see the Greco landscape in the original blue and green click: here.

______ 卐 ______

 
I do not have a single male friend in the metropolis where I live.

Since I have finished writing my third and last book in Spanish—I really should not write another one!—as often happens with writers, an existential void was created in my state of mind.

I visited the Café of the Gandhi Bookstore where many years ago I was meeting with a group of friends. But I did not see any familiar faces.

Back home I realised that I had forgotten to buy a book. I have been quoting the expression ‘dark night of the soul’ in this site, taken from a famous poem by John of the Cross (1542-1591). For centuries this Spaniard has had a reputation as a profound mystic, and I wanted to read his book explaining the poem on the dark night of the soul.

At home I saw the book online. It surprised me that it contained concepts such as fighting the demon of lust and the devil. That means that John of the Cross was another idiotic Christian like millions of idiotic Christians who have been there for two millennia. The only difference is that his poetry is good. His poem starts with these words (translated to English):

In an obscure night
Fevered with love’s anxiety
(O hapless, happy plight!)
I went, none seeing me
Forth from my house, where all things quiet be…

But Aztec poetry was also good despite its psychotic customs, as I have shown elsewhere. In other words, aesthetic qualities do not vindicate the poet.

When trying to invent an activity these days I caressed the idea of having a podcast again. But I dismissed it: even if I did find a technician to handle the audio, my revolutionary thinking is not legal even by First Amendment standards in the US. And if I cannot speak out as a revolutionary conspirator, it is better not to talk at all because not saying what I think depresses me.

It is truly a dark night of the soul to have to live in a world in which whites, for the first time in western history, refuse to fight. Both the image of my previous post and what a commenter said in that thread epitomise what I mean.

Published in: on April 27, 2019 at 8:02 pm  Comments (26)  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 111


 Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.

 

Everything a person needs to know is contained in the Bible

Augustine’s intellectual achievements—which are of a theological nature—have been always overrated. With the exception of certain psychological observations, he always wrote under the inspiration of others, and limited himself to ‘converting into a personal experience what he grasped when meditating on the thoughts of others’ (H. Holl). ‘Never in his life did he have the courage to think autonomously’. A historian so enlightening and worthy of being read as H. Dannenbauer is tempted to apply to Augustine the old sentence with which Goethe referred to Lavater: ‘Strict truth was not his. He lied to himself and others’.

Augustine felt genuine addiction for authority. He always had to find shelter under something, to adhere to something: to the Manicheans, to academic scepticism, to neo-Platonism and, finally, to Christianity. In this regard, he only believed in the Bible by virtue of the authority of the Church (which based its authority on the Bible). The authority of the Bible is in turn a guarantee, Augustine thinks, of the truth. What it affirms is true; it is completely infallible. ‘Moreover, Scripture sometimes appears as a criterion of profane knowledge. Of the historical narratives, we should only believe as long as it does not contradict the affirmations of Scripture’.

Already in the time of Augustine both the wealth of knowledge and the quality of education had declined. However, some classical training still counted to the point that, with it, it was possible to make a career in the Roman Empire and get access the high and even the supreme dignities.

The bishop of Hippo had no notion of Hebrew. Also, his knowledge of Greek was flimsy. He could hardly translate Greek texts. He, a rhetor and for several years a professor at several high schools, barely read the Greek Bible.

To the classics, including Plato and Plotinus to the extent that he knew them, and to the Greek Patristics, he read them in a Latin version. And it is likely that most of his quotations were second hand. Only very few come from direct sources: Livius, Florus, Eutropius, perhaps Josephus, but above all Marcus Terentius Varro, the great scholar of ancient Rome, whose Antiquitates rerum humanarum and divinarum (Antiquities of Human and Divine Things) is his only source of information regarding the pagan deities.

Augustine’s scientific and natural training was very weak. Certainly he did not think it necessary to admit the existence of pygmies, of cynocephali, or of people who protected themselves from the sun under their flat feet. He firmly believed, of course, that the diamond could only be broken with the blood of a goat and that the wind from Cappadocia impregnated the mares. He also believed firmly in purgatory. Moreover, he was the theologian who endowed this idea dogmatic entity.

He also believed firmly in hell, being himself the one who depicts it for us as real physical fire, and who teaches that the intensity of heat is governed by the gravity of sins. On the other hand, he does not believe that the Earth is spherical (nulla ratione credendum est, ‘there is no reason to believe that’) even if it had been demonstrated centuries ago.

The natural sciences, according to Augustine, are opinions. The investigation of the world is at the most investigation of a world of appearances. This applies to the theatre as well as to natural science or magic—eagerness for shows, curiosity, that’s all.

Profane knowledge and culture do not have any value for themselves. They only acquire value in the service of faith and have no other purpose than to lead to holiness, to a deeper understanding of the Bible. Philosophy, that in his old age seemed to him ‘subtle charlatanism’ (garrulae argtiae), has no other value than mere help to interpret the ‘revelation’. Everything thus becomes a resource, an instrument for the understanding of Scripture. Otherwise science—any science—is alienation from God.

The curiosity, the eagerness to know always created suspicions in Christianity. Tertullian had already fought it with crudeness and Augustine, more fiercely, attacks almost systematically curiosity and the longing to know, which leads him to anathematize science.

Painting, music and sculpture are also superfluous. Medicine, architecture and agriculture deserve the same judgment, unless they are to be practiced professionally. This bishop saw in the Church the Schola Christi (Christ’s School) and all the sciences outside it were suspect. Ultimately, everything a person needs to know is in the Bible and what is not there is harmful.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 110

(Iconic image of Tatian)

Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

Natural Science

Even geometry seemed disgraceful to Christians. Still at the beginning of the 4th century they refused to make bishop the Christian Nemesius of Emesa because he was dedicated to the study of mathematics.

Geometry and other scientific occupations were considered little less than impious activities. The historian of the Church Eusebius attacked these ‘heretics’ with these words: ‘Neglecting the Sacred Scriptures of God they were occupied with geometry; for they are earthly men, they speak earthly and do not know Him who comes from on high. They eagerly study the geometry of Euclid and admire Aristotle and Theophrastus’.

The natural sciences were the subject of particular condemnation on the part of Christian theology. The repercussions of that condemnation lasted for a long time and even led some researchers to the stake. In the usual school education on the natural sciences (and history) did not find a place until very early in the Modern Age. In the very universities they were not imposed as independent disciplines until the 17th century. Already in the last days of the ancient age, medicine experienced a strong decline—except perhaps in Mesopotamia—in favour of the predilection for the occult. The patriarch Severus of Antioch, for example, and also the Armenian Eznik of Kolb insist on the existence of demons in man and reject any attempt at naturalistic explanation by physicians.

Already the apologist Tatian, disciple of Justin, reproves medicine and makes it derive from the evil spirits: ‘Namely, the demons separate with their cunning men from the veneration of God, persuading them to put their trust in herbs and roots’.

These words exude that deep aversion, so typical of the ancient Christians, about nature, the here, and the earthly. ‘Why do people place their trust in the powers of matter and do not trust God? Why don’t you go to the most powerful of the lords and prefer to be healed by herbs?’

In this way medicine as a whole was reduced to diabolical work, the work of the evil spirits. ‘Pharmacology and everything related to it comes from the same workshop of lies’. Analogous is the opinion of Tertullian, who made fun of doctors and researchers of Nature, and that attitude continued throughout the Middle Ages and even later. It was natural for Tatian to have no esteem for science as a whole:

How to believe a person who claims that the sun is an incandescent mass and the moon, a body like the Earth? All these are no more than debatable hypotheses and not proven facts. What utility can research report on the proportions of the Earth, on the positions of the stars, on the course of the sun?

The purely scientific explanations do not count anymore. Those people who, in the 4th century, were looking for a geophysical explanation of earthquakes (instead of considering them caused solely by the wrath of God!) were inscribed in the list of ‘heretics’ by the bishop of Brescia.

Since the supreme criterion for the reception of the scientific-natural theories was that of its degree of compatibility with the Bible, science not only stagnated: the very knowledge accumulated since time immemorial was discarded. The prestige of science waned to the same extent that the Bible ascended.

The theory of the rotation of the Earth and its spherical shape goes back to the Pythagoreans of the 5th century BC. The Christian Church renounced this knowledge in favour of the Mosaic story of creation and the biblical text preaching that the Earth was a disk surrounded by the seas. European students did not know about its spherical figure until a millennium later, in the High Middle Ages, through the Arab universities of Spain!

Lactantius defames natural science by calling it pure nonsense. The Doctor of the Church Ambrose reproves it radically as an attack on the majesty of God. He is not interested in the least about the question of the position of the Earth. That is something without any relevance for the future. ‘It is enough to know that the text of Sacred Scripture contains this observation: He suspended the Earth on nothingness’. St. Ambrose’s notion of natural philosophy is illustrated by the heartfelt affirmation that ‘the gospel according to John contains all natural philosophy’.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 102

Editors’ note: To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I. In the previous chapter, not translated for this site, the author describes the high level of education in the Greco-Roman world before the Christians burned entire libraries and destroyed an amazing quantity of classical art.

 
Since the time of Jesus Christianity has taught to hate everything that is not at God’s service

The Gospel was originally an apocalyptic, eschatological message, a preaching of the imminent end of the world. The faith of Jesus and his disciples was, in this respect, firm as a rock, so that any pedagogical question lacked any relevance for them. They did not show the slightest interest in education or culture. Science and philosophy, as well as art, did not bother them at all.

We had to wait no less than three centuries to have a Christian art. The ecclesiastical dispositions, even those enacted in later times, measure artists, comedians, brothel owners and other types with the same theological standard.

Soon it was the case that the ‘fisherman’s language’ (especially, it seems, that of the Latin Bibles) provoked mockery throughout all the centuries, although the Christians defend it ostensibly. This, in despite Jerome and Augustine confess on more than one occasion how much horror is caused by the strange, clumsy and often false style of the Bible. Augustine even said it sounded like stories of old women! (In the 4th century some biblical texts were poured into Virgil hexameters, without making them any less painful.) Homines sine litteris et idiotae (illiterate and ignorant men), thus the Jewish priests describe the apostles of Jesus in the Latin version of the Bible.

As the Kingdom of God did not come upon the Earth, the Church replaced it with the Kingdom of Heaven to which the believers had to orient their entire lives. This meant according the plans of the Church; for the benefit of the Church, and in the interest of the high clergy. For whenever and wherever this clergy speaks of the Church, of Christ, of God and of eternity, it does so solely and exclusively for their own benefit. Pretending to advocate for the health of the believer’s soul, they thought only of their own health. All the virtues of which Christianity made special propaganda, that is, humility, faith, hope, charity, and more, lead to that final goal.

In the New Testament it is no longer human pedagogy what matters, which is barely addressed. What is at stake is the pedagogy of divine redemption.

In the work of Irenaeus, creator of a first theological pedagogy, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Gregory of Nazianzus and Gregory of Nyssa, the idea of a divine pedagogy is often discussed and God becomes the proper educator. Ergo all education must, in turn, be engaged in the first and last line of God and this must be his role.

That is why Origen teaches that ‘we disdain everything that is chaotic, transient and apparent and we must do everything possible to access life with God’. Hence, John Chrysostom requires parents to educate ‘champions of Christ’ and that they should demand the early and persistent reading of the Bible. Hence, Jerome, who once called a little girl a recruit and a fighter for God, wrote that ‘we do not want to divide equally between Christ and the world’.

‘All education is subject to Christianization’ (Ballauf). Nor does the Doctor of the Church Basil consider ‘an authentic good he who only provides earthly enjoyment’. What was encouraged is the ‘attainment of another life’. That is ‘the only thing that, in our opinion, we should love and pursue with all our strength. All that is not oriented to that goal we must dismiss as lacking in value’.

Such educational principles that are considered chimerical, or ‘worthless’ (everything that does not relate to a supposed life after death), find their foundation even in Jesus himself: ‘If someone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers, his sisters and even his own life, he can not be my disciple’.

How many misfortunes such words have been sowing for two thousand years…