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  1. #11
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Only partially. I'd say Greek and Roman traditions played a bigger part. If anything, I'd say the Greco-Roman tradition influenced the way we interpret Christianity more than the other way around.

    Western society wasn't primarily built on Christian values, Christian values were added into the mix as an afterthought during the evolution of Western society into it's modern form.
    Yeah and what force helped preserved the Classical heritage, passed it onto new cultures; and also perfected its intellectual heritage via thinkers like St. Thomas Aquinas?

    The notion of Greece and Rome being the foundation of Western civilization is itself a Christian concept derived from the early Medieval period; particularly the Holy Roman Empire.

    So dance around it as much as you like.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    It is the same concept as Star Wars fanatics dressing up as Darth Vader at a conference about the movie. There they pretend that he is real. But Jesus existed as a real person, did he not, we know this for a fact! Darth Vader may have been inspired by a real life phenomenon, but Jesus, as depicted in scripture was a real person, right? Wrong, we have very few historical accurate historical accounts about who he truly was. At best we have hearsay and fables. Wait a minute, isn't Darth Vader a completely fictitious character? No, the script-writer obviously did not pull him out of thin air, he relied on his experiences with people to create such a personality. Novelists and playwrights are known for using people they were acquainted as models for characters created in their work. The only significant difference between the two cases is that there was no misunderstanding about whether the existence of one character is fact or fiction, yet there was such a misunderstanding with regard to the existence of the other.

    Its not the case that these people are like Elvis fanatics mourning their deceased hero, they are under the illusion that the big brother of their dreams existed and is with them 'in spirit'.
    I always find it interesting hearing about how in India there are records of an Isha Nath who would seem to correspond with Jesus: white guy, came from middle east, "the missing years".

  3. #13
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    Didn't the Christians (Catholic, Greek Orthodox) destroy much of the literature from antiquity?

  4. #14
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yeah and what force helped preserved the Classical heritage, passed it onto new cultures; and also perfected its intellectual heritage via thinkers like St. Thomas Aquinas?

    The notion of Greece and Rome being the foundation of Western civilization is itself a Christian concept derived from the early Medieval period; particularly the Holy Roman Empire.

    So dance around it as much as you like.
    What are you talking about? St. Thomas Aquinas tried to show that it is possible to prove God's existence by the use of reason. However, this is very different from proving that the Christian God exists. He did inspire many religious thinkers to pursue philosophy and thus intellectualized his current culture. However, his work pays an equal tribute to Judaism, Christianity, Islam and even a variety of Deist theologies.

    This had nothing at all to do with the traditional Christian values of his day. He had nothing at all to do with evangelism or placing a high premium on a religious authority, such as the pope.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  5. #15
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    Didn't the Christians destroy much of the literature from antiquity?
    Yes and no technically. Much of what we know from Antiquity is because of Medieval scribes helped preserved the manuscripts. Interestingly this even included the ant-Christian polemics of Julian the Apostate.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    What are you talking about?
    I could literally say the same to you, since you're trying to claim that St. Thomas Aquinas was anything but a Christian philosopher - Catholic to be more specific.

  7. #17
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I could literally say the same to you, since you're trying to claim that St. Thomas Aquinas was anything but a Christian philosopher - Catholic to be more specific.
    It is a fact of his biography that he was a philosopher and that he was a Catholic. This does nothing to support your claim that his work paid tribute to the Christian values endorsed by his culture. Part of his work was an endeavor to prove that God exists, but none of it was an attempt to prove that the Christian God does.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  8. #18
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    It is a fact of his biography that he was a philosopher and that he was a Catholic. This does nothing to support your claim that his work paid tribute to the Christian values endorsed by his culture.
    How well read are you in Medieval studies? St. Thomas Aquinas was among the leading figures of the Scholastics, which pioneered the Renaisance of the 12th-13th centuries.

  9. #19
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    How well read are you in Medieval studies? St. Thomas Aquinas was among the leading figures of the Scholastics, which pioneered the Renaisance of the 12th-13th centuries.
    This does not mean that they are trying to prove that the Christian God exists, even less doing it successfully. There are physicists today who have religious beliefs, that does not mean that their work is concerned with showing the verity of their beliefs.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  10. #20
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    This does not mean that they are trying to prove that the Christian God exists, even less doing it successfully.
    Me thinks you need to read up on the character of Medieval philosophy a little more.

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