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Why the West Rules ~ For Now (Read 17064 times)
polite_gandalf
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #45 - Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:31am
 
freediver wrote on Feb 10th, 2015 at 12:35pm:
That is an aweful lot of interpreting you are doing there.


Don't misquote me. I never said Morris attributed the rise to the caliphate. I merely noted his observation of when the west started to recover, and the fact that it coincided with the peak of the caliphate (from the 10th century). Mostly it was to point out the absurdity of attributing Italy's relative weakness to muslim raids - since the weakness of Italy was due to centuries of Germanic/Roman invasions/plundering/counter-invasions - that all happened before any muslims got in on the action. And in fact by the time the muslims were attacking Italy, the Italian economy was experiencing a recovery at the same time. A causal relationship? Not necessarily at all, but it certainly refutes your rubbish about muslim raids causing the demise of Italy.

Quote:
I have seen a lot of explanations for the rise of western europe. Not one of them put the foundations in the caliphate.


Congratulations. Your knowledge of western European history is surpassed only by your ability for extreme selective research.

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freediver
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #46 - Feb 11th, 2015 at 2:58pm
 
Are you disowning your "foundations" claim?
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polite_gandalf
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #47 - Feb 11th, 2015 at 4:49pm
 
Of course not. What a stupid question.
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #48 - Feb 11th, 2015 at 7:56pm
 
Who Saved Civilization? The Irish, That's Who!
HOW THE IRISH SAVED CIVILIZATION
The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe
By Thomas Cahill


The Ireland of the early fifth century was a brooding, dank island whose inhabitants, while carefree and warlike on the outside, lived in "quaking fear" within, their terror of shape-changing monsters, of sudden death and the insubstantiality of their world so acute that they drank themselves into an insensate stupor in order to sleep.

Patrick, however, provided "a living alternative." He was a serene man who slept well without drink, a man "in whom the sharp fear of death has been smoothed away." The Christianity he proposed to the Irish succeeded because it took away the dread from the magical world that was Ireland. And once they were Christianized, the Irish founded the monastic movement, copying the books being destroyed elsewhere by Germanic invaders, eventually bringing them back to the places from which the books had come.

"And that," Mr. Cahill concludes with typically wry unabashedness, "is how the Irish saved civilization."

The founder of the Cahill & Company Catalogue and the director of religious publishing at Doubleday, Mr. Cahill is a man of learning himself, and his writing is in the great Irish tradition he describes: lyrical, playful, penetrating and serious, but never too serious. And even when his conclusions are not entirely persuasive -- they do in places hang on rather slender reeds of evidence -- they are always plausible and certainly interesting.

"How the Irish Saved Civilization" begins with a mission: to correct the standard history of European civilization, which, Mr. Cahill says, has unfairly portrayed the Irish as wild, not civilized. Along his often picaresque route, Mr. Cahill provides a personal and selective appreciation of the great events and the dramatis personae of the period when the Roman Empire ended and the Dark Ages began, beginning with an account of the reasons for the fall of Rome itself. While far from Gibbonesque in scope or tone, Mr. Cahill's book strikes some Gibbonesque themes, especially that of spiritual decay, the gradual loss of vigor, the onset of a static, effete, imitative and self-satisfied Roman world.

Mr. Cahill's technique in this is to focus on some figure who marks the era. The poet and professor Ausonius, who lived in Bordeaux in the fourth century, is his representative of Rome's slide into emptiness and decay. Contrasting with him is Augustine of Hippo, the St. Augustine of history, whose remarkable codification of the early Christian orthodoxy made him "almost the last great classical man -- and very nearly the first medieval man."

Mr. Cahill uses Augustine as a lens for viewing the great question he poses early on: "What was lost when the Roman Empire fell?" Augustine was a man whose blood boiled, who felt life in a way utterly foreign to the calculating Ausonius. But in the end, he settled on a rigid doctrine. "Augustine, father of many firsts, is also father of the Inquisition," Mr. Cahill writes. With his triumph in the Roman world, the spirit of classical civilization was defeated, and would have been defeated forever, Mr. Cahill argues, had it not been for those wild men in a faraway land that had never fallen under Roman rule and had never heard of Augustine: Ireland.

There are other characters in Mr. Cahill's history, the most important of them clearly being Patrick, one of his heroes, a man of less intellectual refinement than Augustine but of greater humanity. Mr. Cahill credits him with being "the first human being in the history of the world to speak out unequivocally against slavery." There are several swashbuckling men and women of pre-Christian Ireland, like the sexually frank Queen Medb and her rival, the warrior Cuchulainn, both representatives of Irish "barbaric splendor." And there are the monkish scribes and the founders of monasteries, like the sixth-century Columcille, responsible, in Mr. Cahill's theory, for making possible a European world of books.

Is Mr. Cahill's theory correct? One senses a touch of hyperbole when he says that the Irish "singlehandedly refounded European civilization throughout the continent." There is a good deal of speculation in much of this. How, for example, do we really know if Patrick slept well or badly, especially since, as Mr. Cahill notes, we know very little about Patrick at all? There is also a certain vagueness about the central assertion Mr. Cahill makes about the extent of the Irish contribution.

Mr. Cahill does in the end allow, for example, that Greek literature might have been preserved elsewhere even without the Irish, which makes their achievement seem less single-handed than Mr. Cahill elsewhere claimed it to be. The Hebrew and Greek Bibles survived independently of them. "Latin literature," he concludes, "would almost surely have been lost without the Irish," and he further asserts, but without much argument, that the national literatures of Europe might not have emerged had the Irish not forged the first great vernacular literature of Europe.
http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/03/09/bsp/irish.html

I also recommend Cahill's The Gift of the Jews.
Reviewed in First Things: http://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/11/002-cahills-gift an in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/03/15/daily/jews-book-review.html
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polite_gandalf
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #49 - Feb 12th, 2015 at 9:46am
 
there you go FD - civilization was destroyed by muslim raiders, and then saved by the Irish.
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #50 - Feb 12th, 2015 at 7:45pm
 
polite_gandalf wrote on Feb 11th, 2015 at 11:31am:
freediver wrote on Feb 10th, 2015 at 12:35pm:
That is an aweful lot of interpreting you are doing there.


Don't misquote me. I never said Morris attributed the rise to the caliphate. I merely noted his observation of when the west started to recover, and the fact that it coincided with the peak of the caliphate (from the 10th century). Mostly it was to point out the absurdity of attributing Italy's relative weakness to muslim raids - since the weakness of Italy was due to centuries of Germanic/Roman invasions/plundering/counter-invasions - that all happened before any muslims got in on the action. And in fact by the time the muslims were attacking Italy, the Italian economy was experiencing a recovery at the same time. A causal relationship? Not necessarily at all, but it certainly refutes your rubbish about muslim raids causing the demise of Italy.

Quote:
I have seen a lot of explanations for the rise of western europe. Not one of them put the foundations in the caliphate.


Congratulations. Your knowledge of western European history is surpassed only by your ability for extreme selective research.



I did not misquote you. I quoted exactly what you said. Furthermore you did not merely note a coincidence without attributing it to anything. Again, this is what you said:

Quote:
Morris himself provides evidence that the foundations for the rise of Western Europe were firmly laid during the height of the caliphate - from around circa 900-1000.


Again I ask, is the Caliphate as a conduit for the knowledge of other civilisations the extent of this "foundation"? What exactly are these foundations?

Quote:
And in fact by the time the muslims were attacking Italy


So when you cite the Caliphate not capturing Italy's wealth as the reason why it could not do what ancient Rome did, what you really meant is that the Caliphate destroyed that wealth?
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polite_gandalf
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #51 - Feb 13th, 2015 at 11:12am
 
freediver wrote on Feb 12th, 2015 at 7:45pm:
I did not misquote you.


You falsely attributed my argument to Morris claiming an Islamic contribution to the rise of Europe. I merely pointed out the simple fact that the "rise" of Europe - in terms of the indicators that Morris identified - also occurred during the height of the Caliphate - at a time when the Caliphate "threatened" Europe the most, and occupied the most European territory - including Italy. Or in other words, destroying your silly nonsense about Europe being kept in the dark ages because of Islam.

freediver wrote on Feb 12th, 2015 at 7:45pm:
Again I ask, is the Caliphate as a conduit for the knowledge of other civilisations the extent of this "foundation"? What exactly are these foundations?


I see you misunderstand again. By "Foundations" I merely refer to the economic and social indicators Morris identified that experienced a noticeable revival from the 10th century onwards - which paved the way for the rise of Medieval Europe, and later the Rennaissance etc. Indicators such as rise in literacy, energy output, trade etc.
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A resident Islam critic who claims to represent western values said:
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #52 - Feb 13th, 2015 at 7:21pm
 
Quote:
Or in other words, destroying your silly nonsense about Europe being kept in the dark ages because of Islam.


Where did I say this?
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polite_gandalf
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #53 - Feb 13th, 2015 at 7:48pm
 
freediver wrote on Feb 13th, 2015 at 7:21pm:
Where did I say this?


Quote:
It was an unprecedented rise going into to the Roman Empire, and unprecedented collapse afterwards. This should have been followed by an unprecedented recovery and then unprecedented growth. It was in fact, but not until the shackles of the Caliphate were lifted from the west.
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SweetLambo
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #54 - Feb 13th, 2015 at 8:07pm
 
polite_gandalf wrote on Feb 13th, 2015 at 7:48pm:
freediver wrote on Feb 13th, 2015 at 7:21pm:
Where did I say this?


Quote:
It was an unprecedented rise going into to the Roman Empire, and unprecedented collapse afterwards. This should have been followed by an unprecedented recovery and then unprecedented growth. It was in fact, but not until the shackles of the Caliphate were lifted from the west.


That says nothing about "dark ages because of Islam".
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The quran was not written by allah unless allah has no knowledge of science and historical facts. No quran or prophet mohammed existed until 60 years after mohammed's death.
 
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Re: Why the West Rules ~ For Now
Reply #55 - Feb 13th, 2015 at 9:14pm
 
The caliphate invaded Spain and were on their way into France. The foundations for the recent rise of the west would not have been there if the Caliphate had succeeded. Western Europe would today be just another middle eastern or North African Islamic backwater. By this I mean the actual foundations, not a slight economic recovery to where society was at two millenia earlier.

The Caliphate did shackle most of the original western cores into a post-apocalyptic social backwater. You can still see those shackles today.
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