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  1. #21
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    The idea that there was a "Dark Ages" in human history was invented by a historical revisionist who revered the golden age of ancient Rome. In fact, the "Dark Ages" were a time of freedom from Roman barbarianism. Perhaps it's the time of ancient Rome that should be properly called the Dark Ages of mankind.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_20615...ark-ages.html/
    I've read your article and I'd dare to say it's religious (pro Christian) propaganda.

    Yes, there really was a "Dark Age" in Europe after the demise of the Western Roman Empire. But your article is purposefully confusing what we call the late Medieval era (11th century and after, when civilization reappeared), and before. And it is ignoring (purposefully again) many facts.

    This decline didn't deal only with economy and science, but with demographics. In just a few centuries, the total population of Italy, France, or Britain was divided by two or three. Thus, pretending that the German tribes did bring "freedom and peace" is a very dubious claim. War was everywhere, everytime, it was a lawless era of confusion with no centralized governments -or very weak ones-. The introduction of Christianism, the intolerance and bigotry of early Christian sects almost totally destroyed the ancient world. But after a few centuries, Western Europe eventually recovered, and yes, the late medieval era was probably more free than Roman times, and saw astounding progresses in economy, engineering, agriculture, and demography despite large pandemics (the black death being the worst).
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    And the common myth that there wasn't any "Golden age" during that period of time in the Muslim lands is also a myth. Telling that the scholars of that era never invented anything and merely translated the existing knowledges of India, Persia and Eastern Mediterranea is a myth, a racist and bigoted lie I should add, if you refer to the people who are usually interested into spreading it.

    And the fact that you consider all the various branches of ancient Islam like a kind of unified system tells also a lot about your own confusion and ignorance. In some areas for instance (Andalucia), the Jizya tax was abolished, then re instituted, then abolished once again (Shia/Zahiri takeover during the Almohads). The Islamic world was then much more complex (intellectually speaking) than what you seem to think it was.
    Way to go to conclude shit from my post which I didn't actually suggest. Idiot. Did you even stop to try and consider my thought process I had utilised when posting? Now I will try and answer your points in a concise manner which again accurately reflects my thought process. I am aware of the various complexities and my inability to express this brings me no joy. Will you understand this? I doubt I will waste any more of my time by discussing with you so you better. If you do have any further questions PM me at some point.

    a) My statement that it was a myth suggested one idea - it suggested that the era in question was not the romanticised age of Muslim enlightenment history paints it as. It was a time of many complex mechanisms which came together and an era of invention and prosperity did exist but one that didn't belong to Islam per se. For example, study the Middle East (Eastern Roman Empire), Sassanid Persia, Arabia and India circa the 400s through to the beginning of the 600s. They were all powerhouses in terms of culture and intellectual output but they weren't in a position to exchange ideas as much. Islam merely joined the dots so to speak but had it not then the continuous Sassanid Persia and Roman East wars would have. Study the Umayyad system - they took over gradually but weren't that interested in converting the populations as Jizya gave more income. It's like someone taking over a company but leaving its structure and employee constitution mostly intact and then saying "production is high because I run it" when it was the same from before the takeover. There was little to anything in the Muslims cultures which stimulated growth on their own - any growth was in spite of it.

    b) I KNOW Muslims invented things. Go back to where I said "(outside of heretical outsiders)" - it's there. What did I mean by this? I meant lone wolves, independent thinkers etc. who operated but drew a degree of scrutiny upon themselves in the eyes of the masses. If I were to quote two from the top of my head I would say Omar Khayyam and if I were to take liberties Al-Ghazali. If either of those two do not fit the category I have suggested then just say and I'll re-edit the original post accordingly.

    c) You take risks bringing up the Shia and Sunni conflict. Don't think that just because I did not mention it that I wasn't aware of it. I didn't mention it because I concluded that it just didn't fucking matter to the argument I was making. In fact it would have been better had I mentioned it because the ever-present ideological schisms undermine the concept of an Islamic Golden Age even further.

    d) Go back to where I said "with the exceptions of tiny little divergent nuggets in the system which allowed Sharia to become workable." This was supposed to cover the point you made about Muslim Spain. Basically adding little things here and there and removing them to make an unworkable political system workable. Do you know why the Moors removed the Jizya tax? I doubt it was out of pure altruism. Lowering taxes is good for stimulating growth and keeping a population happy.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I've read your article and I'd dare to say it's religious (pro Christian) propaganda.

    Yes, there really was a "Dark Age" in Europe after the demise of the Western Roman Empire. But your article is purposefully confusing what we call the late Medieval era (11th century and after, when civilization reappeared), and before. And it is ignoring (purposefully again) many facts.

    This decline didn't deal only with economy and science, but with demographics. In just a few centuries, the total population of Italy, France, or Britain was divided by two or three. Thus, pretending that the German tribes did bring "freedom and peace" is a very dubious claim. War was everywhere, everytime, it was a lawless era of confusion with no centralized governments -or very weak ones-. The introduction of Christianism, the intolerance and bigotry of early Christian sects almost totally destroyed the ancient world. But after a few centuries, Western Europe eventually recovered, and yes, the late medieval era was probably more free than Roman times, and saw astounding progresses in economy, engineering, agriculture, and demography despite large pandemics (the black death being the worst).
    Have you studied the late Western Roman Empire? It was not the same place of Pax Romana and of Caesar. It was old, people were being taxed more and more and Barbarian wars and usurpers were a drain the earlier centuries never had to face. Bear in mind that many of the Christian sects had their way before 476. In other words (I don't want to spend any more time with you) the empire was on its way out. The dream had become a nightmare in a sense. Even if the barbarians had not of invaded then the West is unlikely to have been better off. It's silver mines had peaked and most long distance trade had dried up. The population reduction would have happened anyway.

    Also I would suggest you look into the early history of post-Roman Europe (before Islam). Whilst the Gothic Wars messed Italy up there was still a degree of prosperity. I read somewhere (from a source that escapes me) that the Muslim conquest of North Africa and the Middle East in the 7th century is what starved the remaining trade to Europe and was possibly the key catalyst to demographic declined that you mentioned.

  4. #24
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Omar Khayyam was a very minor Persian poet (even if he's well-known in the Western World thanks to FitzGerald's translations), and Al-Ghazali was a fanatical zealot who constantly fought rational thoughts, reason, philosophy and science and wished that religion and mysticism could eradicate them all.

    No wonder you love them both (but I'm wondering of you really read them, that is another good hypothesis). So many confusions...
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standuble View Post
    It's like someone taking over a company but leaving its structure and employee constitution mostly intact and then saying "production is high because I run it" when it was the same from before the takeover. There was little to anything in the Muslims cultures which stimulated growth on their own - any growth was in spite of it.
    As I wrote to you via PM, if you think that Cordoba could become the largest metropolis in the world during its time, with the most advanced technology, harbouring the largest number of books and libraries of its time just thanks to the pre-existing Roman knowledge and infrastructures in southern Spain, then there is really nothing I can do for you.

    You're obviously in denial. The question should be: why?

    What is your agenda?

    c) You take risks bringing up the Shia and Sunni conflict. Don't think that just because I did not mention it that I wasn't aware of it. I didn't mention it because I concluded that it just didn't fucking matter to the argument I was making. In fact it would have been better had I mentioned it because the ever-present ideological schisms undermine the concept of an Islamic Golden Age even further.
    No.

    The intellectual competition between the various schools of Islamic thoughts explain most of the big political events of that period of time. Once again, either you're in denial, either you haven't read enough (and probably both).

    The paradox is there: when finally one school (proto-Sunna) won over the others, it closed the gate of Itjihad and this decision eventually led to the intellectual decline of the majority of the Islamic world.

    Lowering taxes is good for stimulating growth and keeping a population happy.
    I'd really wish it would be that simple everywhere, and that History could be explained everytime through such simplistic reasonings.

    What stimulates demographic growth is first and foremost agriculture technology and crop yields, the abundance of food and the capacity to distribute it evenly. Taxes can have an effect of course, but they're obviously not the main reason behind it.
    "A man who only drinks water has a secret to hide from his fellow-men" -Baudelaire

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    As I wrote to you via PM, if you think that Cordoba could become the largest metropolis in the world during its time, with the most advanced technology, harbouring the largest number of books and libraries of its time just thanks to the pre-existing Roman knowledge and infrastructures in southern Spain, then there is really nothing I can do for you.

    You're obviously in denial. The question should be: why?

    What is your agenda?



    No.

    The intellectual competition between various schools of Islamic thoughts explain most of the big political events of that period. Once, again, either you're in denial, either you haven't read enough (and probably both).

    The paradox is there: when finally one school (proto-Sunna) won over the others, it closed the gate of Itjihad and this decision eventually led to the intellectual decline of the Islamic world.



    I'd really wish it would be that simple everywhere, and that History could be explained everytime through such simplistic reasonings.

    What stimulates demographic growth is first and foremost agriculture technology and crop yields, the abundance of food and the capacity to distribute it evenly.
    I won't argue with you both here and on PM. Pick one or the other and stick with it.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    No, it means you're open-minded enough to view the evidence rather than merely hand-wave it away as "modernism" without taking a look.
    Well if that works for you in framing of the discussion that's fine by me. Its not an accurate framing but dont let that interfer with your trying to score some sort of intellectual points.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Well if that works for you in framing of the discussion that's fine by me. Its not an accurate framing but dont let that interfer with your trying to score some sort of intellectual points.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal+ View Post
    Clearly been wasting my time. I'll remember this should you choose to post something again.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Last word!
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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