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  1. #21
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Just compare Gothic architecture with Islamic architecture, and you will see it.
    Is technical complexity a mark of superiority?

    However, having been to many cathedrals in in Europe and several Mosques, purely as a tourist, the comparison is a wrong: complexity for it's own sake seems absurd when simplicity will do the job.

    You're being a snob, Blackmail! - how French.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Almost 90% of the so-called "Islamic inventions" described in your article were in fact invented by the Romans, the Greeks or the Chinese and Indian civilizations. And even then, Greek scientists were far more skilled in astronomy, mathematics and sciences in general. In chemistry, yes, Muslim scholars made genuine discoveries. But that's all, or almost all.
    You have a very confused view of science if you think that there are parallel systems of Islamic science/Christian science/Greek, etc. That Averroes’ tutors may have been Christian is largely irrelevant, but illustrates precisely the point you argue against.

    The fact that Averroes was influenced by Aristotle does not make him any more Greek that Voltaire. An idea has no nationality.

    But you're correct with respect to the general thrust of your contentions. The rejection of ration and science in favour of a largely faith-based system was played out over 800 years ago.

    Averroes rejected the rejection by Al-Ghazali but largely seems to have been rejected himself.

    If anything, the point to be made is that religions that relegate science in favour of dogma are not to be trusted in public office.

    A lesson for all of us!

    +++

    To answer the question... in thirteen-hundred and something, I fancy myself as an African, waiting impatiently for Europeans to colonise my land and bring with them magnificent Gothic cathedrals.

  2. #22
    Gotta catch you all! Blackmail!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Is technical complexity a mark of superiority?

    However, having been to many cathedrals in in Europe and several Mosques, purely as a tourist, the comparison is a wrong: complexity for it's own sake seems absurd when simplicity will do the job.

    You're being a snob, Blackmail! - how French.
    Well, it's not a "mark a superiority", but it's rather a proof of technical knowledge. Remember I teach Architecture, so it's normal I use Architectural examples, since I'm more familiar with them.

    Actually, Chinese, Indian or Islamic architectures are anything but simple. They are very complex too, filled with cultural references. But they didn't use technical knowledge of stone and metal building to its paroxysm, just like the medieval European architecture did. Their goals were different.

    When for instance you analyze a Chinese temple of the XIVth century, you will immediately notice there's almost no difference with those built during the Tang era, almost a millenia before.
    That's perplexing.

    So the way a civilization builds and organizes space teaches a lot about its values, for better and for worst. It shows us that technical superiority and progress was already a value of its own in XIVth century Europe. But does technical superiority necessarily equates with beauty and "superior Art"? It would be extremely arrogant to think so.



    You have a very confused view of science if you think that there are parallel systems of Islamic science/Christian science/Greek, etc. That Averroes’ tutors may have been Christian is largely irrelevant, but illustrates precisely the point you argue against.

    The fact that Averroes was influenced by Aristotle does not make him any more Greek that Voltaire. An idea has no nationality.
    We're saying exactly the same thing. When I said there is no such a thing as "Islamic science", I could have also said there is no such a thing as "Christian science", or "Jewish science". An idea is an idea.
    But the way this idea is created is interesting.

    Hence, the wikipedia article quoted by YLJ is a prozelytising crap made by frustrated revisionnists who fancy about a so-called "Golden Age" which never really existed. Or at least, not the way they describe that era or exploit that idea.
    For instance, the myth of this so-called "Golden age" is a cornerstone of the Muslim brothers faith, and fundamentalism in Islam. But it's a romantic lie for reactionary minds: they should rather think about the present than lure their "brothers" into a illusionary past where faith and everything was supposed to be "perfect".

    But you're correct with respect to the general thrust of your contentions. The rejection of ration and science in favour of a largely faith-based system was played out over 800 years ago.

    Averroes rejected the rejection by Al-Ghazali but largely seems to have been rejected himself.
    Once again, we agree.
    It's almost irritating because there is no debate, and we have the same references.

    If anything, the point to be made is that religions that relegate science in favour of dogma are not to be trusted in public office.

    A lesson for all of us!
    Ibid.


    To answer the question... in thirteen-hundred and something, I fancy myself as an African, waiting impatiently for Europeans to colonise my land and bring with them magnificent Gothic cathedrals.


    Actually, in Europe, the years between 1250 and 1480 were freer and more tolerant than what most people expect (unless, of course, you were a Cathar). And there were continuous progress during them. Tremendous scientific, cultural and technical progress.

    Renaissance was a surprising event. Like a two-bladed sword, it was both a liberation and an awful regression. The medieval democracies and decentralized powers were crushed and exterminated; Spanish Inquisition was invented, slavery was reintroduced and colonization began.

    For instance, Massacio and Brunelleschi invented perspective drawings. You can say it's a wonderful invention, but in the same time, it was used by the local Renaissance Princes to express their power in the city, when they decided to trace large avenues (and raze dozens of buildings), to build monuments to their glory. With perspective, you have a new social order (that would further lead to absolute monarchy), and panopticon: Control thanks to vision.

    You see what I mean?

    I'm sure Victor could wrote us a good article about Renaissance. I guess it would be better than his endless ramblings about Islam, the Noosphere and the Age of Enlightenment?
    Last edited by Blackmail!; 03-01-2010 at 10:00 PM.
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  3. #23
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Of course you are French and an architect. But beware of Déformation professionnelle

    You're correct. I don't think there's much between us. I was only trying to wind you up (you French fall for it every time )

    I'm afraid that some religions are just too advanced for some of their adherants...

    All the best.

  4. #24
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    I'm sure Victor could wrote us a good article about Renaissance. I guess it would be better than his endless ramblings about Islam, the Noosphere and the Age of Enlightenment?
    As a little boy I would leave the edge of the road and ramble off into the fields and hills. I would ramble alone with my dog, Blackie and my horse Tricksie for company. And the world revealed itself to me.

    Today I ramble in the parks of Canberra, a landscape designed by an architect, Walter Burley Griffin, quite like our own landscape architect, Blackmail.

    And whereas as little boy I had Blackie for company, now I have Blackmail for company who designs the landscape like a Parisian God.

    Blackie would sniff out each plant and tree and occasionally startle a rabbit or fox in the undergrowth, or even a slow, sleepy wombat. But today Blackmail sniffs out each plant and tree for us and puts it in its proper place.

    As a boy I would leave the road and ramble in the Bush, and today I ramble in the noosphere with you for company.

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