Were The Crusades Justified? - Page 15 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Were The Crusades Justified?

1. Yes, The Crusades Were Justified.
14
38%
2. No, The Crusades Were Not Justified.
13
35%
3. Neither, Both Sides Were Equally Justified or Not-Justified.
5
14%
4. Other.
5
14%
#14952728
@Victoribus Spolia

Sivad's remark mirrors arguments I've seen where the debater, out of an inability to defend his own position, brings down both sides and portrays it as "common sense" when it isn't. To put it in an example relatable to you, it's like centrists who aren't really centrists saying "Look, both the Republicans and Democrats are bad!" without clarifying. In polarizing situations such as these, there is an nebulous objective "bad" and "good" side there is no "center".

It's a tactic, in any instance, I think we can both find annoying.

@SolarCross

Say what you like about western philosophy at least our prophets don't go around tricking people into drinking camel piss. :lol:


That wasn't an insult to western philosophy. Furthermore, I doubt you can even point to me which hadith talks about camel piss let alone prove it's validity.
#14952767
Let's just say that modern Western philosophy is derived from Islamic philosophy.


Just :lol: :lol: :lol:
#14952790
Why is @Oxymandias proposition so outrageous?

Much of what we think of as Western did originate in the Middle East. The Greeks did acquire much of their cultural ideas from Bronze Age ME civilisation. Consider the Phoenician orgin of the Greek alphabet. That classic culture developed and brought back to the ME ideas on medicine, astronomy, philosophy. Many current stars have Arabic names. The modern number system is Arabic.

It could be said that the ME and Europe are actually two halves of the one greater civilisation. A Mediterranean based Judeo/Christian/Islamic world, which started with the Sumerians. Certainly there is a very real split between east and west in the last 1500 years. But there has still been an exchange of ideas.

One must wonder about the effects of monotheism. It united disparent cultures but also created these fundamental divisions. Although the ME and Europe share civilizational roots, the differences today seem intractable. While the West and the Jews continue to develop the civilization, the Islamic section remains mired in social and technological regression. We can’t blame Western Imperialism for this. After all, the Ottomans towered over European nations at the start of the renaissance. Why did they fall behind?

Could it possibly be the case that Islam is too strict and conservative?
#14952831
foxdemon wrote:Why is @Oxymandias proposition so outrageous?

Much of what we think of as Western did originate in the Middle East. The Greeks did acquire much of their cultural ideas from Bronze Age ME civilisation. Consider the Phoenician orgin of the Greek alphabet. That classic culture developed and brought back to the ME ideas on medicine, astronomy, philosophy. Many current stars have Arabic names. The modern number system is Arabic.

It could be said that the ME and Europe are actually two halves of the one greater civilisation. A Mediterranean based Judeo/Christian/Islamic world, which started with the Sumerians. Certainly there is a very real split between east and west in the last 1500 years. But there has still been an exchange of ideas.

One must wonder about the effects of monotheism. It united disparent cultures but also created these fundamental divisions. Although the ME and Europe share civilizational roots, the differences today seem intractable. While the West and the Jews continue to develop the civilization, the Islamic section remains mired in social and technological regression. We can’t blame Western Imperialism for this. After all, the Ottomans towered over European nations at the start of the renaissance. Why did they fall behind?

Could it possibly be the case that Islam is too strict and conservative?


:eh: Islam didn't even exist before ~600. I have yet to read a work of modern Western philosophy that cites Islamic work while references to Greek or Roman work are all over the place.
#14952833
@Rugoz has it right. @Oxymandius is deceptively conflating "middle-eastern" with Islamic. Civilisation for the western world began in Sumer many thousands of years ago and more recently the Middle east (or more specifically the Levant) gave birth to the West's most popular and influential religion: Christianity, however Islam is something else much more specific and the west has drawn nothing from it.
#14952844
The first attempts at science were done by Muslims, if I recall correctly.

And they probably helped preserve a lot of Greco-Roman works during the Dark Ages.
#14952847
They invented the scientific method which is about the only big innovation. Of course “science” as we think of it predates that by some time. I don’t think “preserving” books is too much of an achievement though obviously important.

Truth is the Islamic world conquered the jewel of geography that was the Middle East. That mass of wealth and knowledge was preserved at first and and perhaps even developed. However, it was then squandered by religious conservatives, war mongers and slavers.
#14952852
Pants-of-dog wrote:The first attempts at science were done by Muslims, if I recall correctly.

And they probably helped preserve a lot of Greco-Roman works during the Dark Ages.

You are forgetting the pagans of ancient Greece. You need to distuiguish between scholars living under the rule of an Islamic theocracy and "Islamic philosophy" which is what @Oxymandias wants to conflate with the former. Islamic philosophy comes from Mohammad and his derivatives and it involves camel piss as a cure for indigestion, magical imaginary flying donkeys, the sun setting in a muddy pool and child molestation. Would you call Isaac Newton a Christian scientist because he was born into majority Chirstian nation?
#14952860
SolarCross wrote:You are forgetting the pagans of ancient Greece.


No. I even mentioned them.

You need to distuiguish between scholars living under the rule of an Islamic theocracy and "Islamic philosophy" which is what @Oxymandias wants to conflate with the former. Islamic philosophy comes from Mohammad and his derivatives and it involves camel piss as a cure for indigestion, magical imaginary flying donkeys, the sun setting in a muddy pool and child molestation. Would you call Isaac Newton a Christian scientist because he was born into majority Chirstian nation?


Yes, Newton was a Christian scientist. Many of his projects, such as his dabbling in alchemy, had a specifically religious purpose. Unless you think all Christian scinetists and philosophers think bats are birds, believe in YEC, and all the other dumb things in the Bible.

Moreover, theologians like Ian Barbour make good arguments as to why the Abrahamic religions were able to develop science while other cultures did not, and this was because of the underlying philosophal ideas embedded in the religion.
#14952897
@Rugoz @SolarCross @Drlee

I wrote an entire essay here detailing both Islamic influences in modern Western philosophy and Islamic philosophical ideas found in Western philosophy in my discussion with VS. I'm not going to repost it. DrLee and SolarCross were present throughout the debate so they're just either willfully ignorant or haven't read the debate at all. Rugoz, if you really want proof, Aquinas, Leibniz, Machiavelli, and Kant all drew inspiration from Islamic sources. All translated Greek texts that came to Europe were Islamic commentaries. This isn't the only proof but it's the most simple ones.

I addressed the exact issues SolarCross is talking about when I debated with VS and based on the lack of his response, I have won such a debate. Address then the points I have made which others failed failed to argue against instead of repeating the same tired arguments over and over again.

@foxdemon

Well the Mongols had something to do with it and then the West screwed them over pretty badly.

@SolarCross

You are forgetting the pagans of ancient Greece. You need to distuiguish between scholars living under the rule of an Islamic theocracy and "Islamic philosophy" which is what @Oxymandias wants to conflate with the former. Islamic philosophy comes from Mohammad and his derivatives and it involves camel piss as a cure for indigestion, magical imaginary flying donkeys, the sun setting in a muddy pool and child molestation. Would you call Isaac Newton a Christian scientist because he was born into majority Chirstian nation?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_philosophy

Nope. Education cures ignorance.
#14952908
Here's a transcript of my arguments with @Victoribus Spolia for those who are curious so you can make your own judgements:

Victoribus Spolia wrote:Except St. Basil and St. Augustine basically dealt with these issues, stemming from Platonic thought, centuries before Islam even existed.


Oxymandias wrote:The difference is that St. Basil and St. Augustine sought to make it compatible with Orthodox Eastern Christianity while Ibn Sina and Ibn Rushd sought to make it compatible with Islam. That alone makes it unique.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:First of all, the Christian west had probably the most robust platonic tradition in the world thanks to St. Augustine's heritage, and once again, that Arab learning came to the west and spurned great intellectual growth IS NOT the point of contention, I am personally a fan of Al-Ghalzali's occasionalism, but that is not the debate.


Oxymandias wrote:That's like me saying that the Islamic world has the most robust platonic tradition in the world due to Aviennca's heritage. Furthermore, platonism has more of a presence in Islamic theology than Christian theology down to it's origins. The written works of Zaid, one of the prophet's companions, and his wife Theodora, a Coptic scholar who became a Muslim, heavily incorporated platonic concepts into early Islam and Mohammed himself was a Nestorian merchant prior to forming Islam who was reported to have read books of philosophy in his spare time and, mostly likely, created Islam out of having a theological dispute with Christianity. There are high chances of these books of philosophy being Greek given that Sassanid Persia was nearly unheard of by the Arabs in the East and the due to how popular the Byzantines were with early Muslims. Christianity on the other hand, banned Hellenistic thought and killed all the pagans who were influenced by it. While Christians did end up utilizing platonic works, you'll be hard pressed to find any philosophers out right stating publicly to have drawn inspiration from them as that would've been heresy.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:The debate is whether or not Christian intellectualism owes something to the Islamic world, and like I said, that would be like saying I am indebted to the thief who returned the goods which he stole from me in the first place.


Oxymandias wrote:It is a common myth that Muslims merely preserved Greek documents and only used them without expanding on them at all. I wish to dash this myth. What the West received were not mere translations of platonic works nor were such translations even that popular amongst the thinkers during the renaissance. What the West recieved were interpretations of Plato and Aristotle and expansions of those interpretations. It was the original works of Averroes, Aviennca, Omar Khayyam, Al-Farabi, Al-Kindi, Ibn Arabi, Sabin, Khaldun, and Suhrawardi by which Christian intellectualism had it's foundations. Leibniz, Aquinas, Hegel, and Kant all draw their foundations upon the original contributions of these Islamic philosophers and it is through them that they were capable of writing their works. Furthermore, the birthplace of intellectualism in the West or the college was taken from the idea of the madrasa. It was from that concept by which universities were founded on.

Now you may state that interpretations and expansions upon those interpretations aren't original thought. But you forget that Platonism and all Greek thought are influenced by and interpretations of Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian thought. I don't think you would call Plato or Aristotle thieves for taking an idea and thinking about it in a new way. This is because ideas can't be owned by anyone.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:ALL of the theological debates starting since the Fall of Rome in the west are indebted to the Greco-Roman heritage so saying that the west "did nothing with it," is ridiculous, and further, as I have argued already once before, the West's "rediscovery" of Aristotle through Islamic sources was eventually undermined by strongly anti-Aristotelian nominalist thought which led to both the enlightenment and the reformation which then in turn led to an absolute and unqualified western supremacy unto the present day.


Oxymandias wrote:To be frank, this anti-Aristotlism was partially due to Islamic sources and commentaries on Aristotle almost always criticizing him. If you've read any Arabic commentary on Aristotle or Plato, you would see countless criticism of their ideas and this anti-Aristotlism also lead to an Enlightenment in the Islamic world otherwise known as the Islamic Golden Age. Also history isn't one big line. In no way did the enlightenment or reformation lead to Western dominance because Western dominance relied heavily on other factors which are remarkably luck based. I mean the Middle East had an enlightenment and Islam theologically is very similar to what kind of Christianity Luther advocates but then the Mongols took that away. (Note: Islam is still theologically similar to Protestantism, I was referring to how the Mongols took away the Middle East's enlightenment)


Victoribus Spolia wrote:Lets not "overplay" what "benefits" we got from the muslims returning western thought back to the west, for like I said, in the end, the proof is the pudding and history has already made its verdict regarding Western v. Islamic supremacy.


Oxymandias wrote:I think the benefits aren't overplayed enough. Not enough people are aware of what Muslims have given to the West. Like, I am not even scratching the surface here. Furthermore, I don't think you have a good grasp on history given that you think the Reformation lead to Western dominance. A lot of people overplay the Reformation as this big liberating force that swept Europe when in actuality it was just a really big civil war that destabilized most of Europe.

I also contest the notion that if the Caliphate didn't arise, the West would've been more intellectually advanced. The Byzantines could not have possibly done it given their mentality that anyone outside of the Byzantine Empire was a barbarian and wasn't worth the time to trade with (with the exception of the Sassanids who historically were seen as on par with Rome). Furthermore, the platonic and philosophical texts that the Byzantine Empire had was safeguarded and only accessible by Byzantine scholars and not to the general public so even smuggling is out of the question. Combined with the fact that the Byzantine Empire was extremely authoritarian for it's time and it's overwhelming bureaucracy and this makes distribution of documents outside of the Constantinople nigh impossible. In other words, I curious to see how you think Greek documents can somehow reach the rest of Europe.


INTERIM - Here's some interesting insight from @ingliz:

Philosophy is the special province of the unbelievers: we have it all from them.

Roger Bacon, Operis maioris pars septima - Moralis philosophia in the Opus Majus


I learnt from my masters, the Arabs, to follow the light of reason, while you are led by the bridle of authority.

Adelard of Bath (1080 – c. 1152 AD)


Peter the Venerable commissioned Robert of Ketton (Roberto Ketenensi de Anglia, qui nunc Pampilonensis ecclesiae archidiaconus est) to translate the Quran into Latin. With its publication in 1143, serious students of Islam no longer had to rely on Scripture or myth; they could read the competing sacred text firsthand.


Let's resume the debate shall we?

Victoribus Spolia wrote:90% of your post addresses almost nothing in regards to my point which was that the Islamic tradition appropriated scholarly resources that were held in Christian hands prior to the age of Islamic expansion.


Oxymandias wrote:tbh I didn't have an issue with your claim per-say, I just had issues with how you argued such a claim.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:Once again, and I say this for the final time on this thread; I am manifestly NOT denying Islamic influence on the western intellectual tradition. I have not made this claim and have denied it several times. Most of your post attempts to argue that "Muslims were scholars too!" and then you proceed to discuss how Islamic scholars expanded on Platonism, etc.


Oxymandias wrote:I had no such intention. I was just addressing some things I had issues with in your argument. My point was that your point could be argued better than it is now.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:Have you even read the early church apologists? This claim is outright erroneous, indeed one could critique the early apologists for being too philosophical. Origin comes to mind specifically; who explicitly adopted reincarnation ideas from Neo-Platonism and several other odd notions; Justin Martyr and other apologists even referenced Plato specifically, some even arguing for the authority of Christianity on the alleged pre-dating of Moses to Plato; furthermore, this attitude continued among others, including the reformer Ulrich Zwingli who argued that Plato's approximation of Christian theism was "saving," and other examples could be multiplied. Hell, even the formulation of the Trinitarian doctrine and the debates between the Latin and Greek traditions on the filioque rest largely on a disagreement on terms stemming from their Aristotlean and platonic training; for example is God one essentia and three substantia? or is He one substantia and three personae? These are metaphysical questions stemming in a large part from the philosophers and this was not a "hidden" matter, everyone knew what the fathers were talking about in using those terms.


Oxymandias wrote:That doesn't address my point. My point wasn't that the fathers didn't take inspiration from Platonic sources nor that they weren't aware of this but that this wasn't shown to the public. No scholar would publicly state to Byzantine society that he took influence from Platonic sources or the bureaucracy and Byzantine state would shut him up immediately. Greek philosophy, to wider Byzantine society, was taboo and the developments and reforms of these scholars had no effect on how Christianity was practiced in the daily lives of East Romans. Greek philosophy was not accepted by the general population nor were they aware of it and the Byzantine Empire intended to keep it that way. Greek philosophical tradition was too exclusive to produce any meaningful effect on Byzantine society.

My point, in a nutshell, is that to the general public the developments of Byzantine scholars would've been seen as heresy not that the scholars themselves saw it as heresy.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:This attitude regarding what constitutes "Heresy" in the Christian church by you is quite odd, indeed, Averroes was regarded as a heretic in Islam for his views regarding the eternality of the world (an error which was corrected in Aquina's Summa Theologica), and yet, most Christian theologians who embraced platonic notions were not wholesale rejected as heretics. This claim is utterly false; likewise, many in the Islamic world opposed the use of extra-textual philosophical justifications for ideas regarding God and I once again make reference to Al-Ghazali and his work The Incoherence of The Philosophers.


Oxymandias wrote:Being a heretic in Islam doesn't carry the same weight as it does in Christianity. Averroes was considered a heretic by some but many also agreed with him but none demanded that he be punished for his thoughts as differences in opinion were tolerated in the Islamic intellectual sphere. Furthermore, Christian theologians weren't rejected as heretics by their fellow scholars but such cannot be said about the Byzantine general public.

You cannot use the work of one author and claim that most of the Islamic world opposed the incorporation of philosophy into theology. If that was the case, I could cite the Incoherence of the Incoherence by Ibn Rushd and make the argument that the majority of the Islamic world supported the marriage of philosophical and theological thought in Islam. It should be noted however, that there are more copies of the Incoherence of the Incoherence that date to the 11th-12th centuries than the Incoherence of Philosophers which goes to show which of their ideas were the most popular amongst the general public.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:I see a veiled reference to the murder of Hypatia in there (which was the result of a mutual pagan-Christian riot I might add), but further that Hellenistic thought was suppressed is an ambiguously broad claim and is pretty rich when we consider Islam's approach to Buddhism during the conquests of the Indian subcontinent (an intellectual tradition that was virtually annihilated by what some consider to be one of the greatest genocides in human history). If we want to go down the road of comparing Christianity and Islam regarding tolerance of other faiths and intellectual traditions, that is not going to be fun review for anyone running defense for the "religion of peace."


Oxymandias wrote:I would like to know where you're getting the idea that Islam somehow destroyed Buddhism despite it being one of the largest religions in Northern India throughout out most of it's history. Yeah destroying Buddhist temples, idols, and scholars did hamper the population the religion but that was out of a misunderstanding of Buddhism as polytheistic (similar to how Zoroastrians were seen) and treatment of Buddhists became better after Muslim rulers of India later began to fully understand it. Buddhist thought was even integrated into Indian Islamic philosophy during the Mughal period. Furthermore, what is this genocide you're even referring to? There hasn't been a historical Caliphate which had the intention to genocide a population.

Furthermore, if we are to see who is more tolerant, Christianity or Islam, we can simply compare the religious diversity of the Islamic world and compare it with the West. The difference between Islam and Christianity is simply, Islam was concerned with being the most prominent religion, Christianity is concerned with being the only religion.

Also I am the last person to say that Islam is a religion of peace. Remember that.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:This is also a bad argument for anyone who knows a lick about Nestorianism and the Antiochian traditions of Scriptural interpretation; for the Nestorians were part of the Antiochian school which was arguably the most anti-philosophical traditions regarding theology and interpretation of all the Sees in Christendom and had served as a couterbalance to the overly philosophical Alexandrian school. Indeed, Nestorius's denial of Theotokos which led to his condemnation at the Council of Ephesus was largely grounded in an antipathy to philosophical discourse, contra St. Athanasius.

So it is really odd that you would cite Nestorian influence as evidence of philosophical acumen, not to mention, that all of this only supports that much of the original philosophical influence on early Islamic thought came from Christian regions originally. :eh:


Oxymandias wrote:I cite it as an argument for philosophical tradition in Islam because Islam can be interpreted as a criticism of Nestorianism. In fact, the entire reason why Mohammed made Islam in the first place was because of his disagreements with Nestorianism and such disagreements may have been caused because of his readings on platonic philosophy. Furthermore, it also backs up my claim that the books of philosophy that Mohammed read are more likely to be that of Byzantine philosophy and not of Persia or India.

Oh I agree with that. Much of Islam is derived from Christianity.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:The issue isn't whether Islamic and Christianity influenced each other, the issue is whether western thought should be regarded as indebted to Islamic preservation, transmission, and commentary on classical source materials. I say NO.


Oxymandias wrote:I think you have forgotten this part of my post:


It is a common myth that Muslims merely preserved Greek documents and only used them without expanding on them at all. I wish to dash this myth. What the West received were not mere translations of platonic works nor were such translations even that popular amongst the thinkers during the renaissance. What the West recieved were interpretations of Plato and Aristotle and expansions of those interpretations. It was the original works of Averroes, Aviennca, Omar Khayyam, Al-Farabi, Al-Kindi, Ibn Arabi, Sabin, Khaldun, and Suhrawardi by which Christian intellectualism had it's foundations. Leibniz, Aquinas, Hegel, and Kant all draw their foundations upon the original contributions of these Islamic philosophers and it is through them that they were capable of writing their works. Furthermore, the birthplace of intellectualism in the West or the college was taken from the idea of the madrasa. It was from that concept by which universities were founded on.

Now you may state that interpretations and expansions upon those interpretations aren't original thought. But you forget that Platonism and all Greek thought are influenced by and interpretations of Egyptian, Persian, and Babylonian thought. I don't think you would call Plato or Aristotle thieves for taking an idea and thinking about it in a new way. This is because ideas can't be owned by anyone.



The West is indebted to the Middle East because it is based on Islamic interpretations and ideas that Western intellectualism as we know it is founded on. It is the Islamic way of thinking which the West has as it's philosophical foundations, not Plato or Aristotle. You seem to think that possession of Greek philosophy in Christian hands means that, by default, Christianity took all of it's thought from those documents. This is false because the Byzantines had a different way of looking at Plato and Aristotle than Muslims did but it is the works of Muslims which the foundation of modern Western thought rests on. I go as far as to say that, if you want to understand Western philosophy, you're better off reading Ibn Arabi than unadulterated Plato because Western philosophy is more connected to Islamic thought than Greek thought.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:and I say NO because Christians had them in their possession prior to Muslims disrupting Christian intellectual circles in their blood-lust expansion and conquest of Christian regions.


Oxymandias wrote:Although I already address this in my previous point (look at what I said regarding Christian possession) I am curious to know exactly why you consider blood-lust expansion and conquest bad when you yourself advocate for blood-lust expansion and conquest for the sake of it. I mean, the Caliphate didn't expand because it just wanted to, Arabia had a quickly growing population and high population density. It was only inevitable that it would pop. The Caliphate only facilitated that need for migration; there was no blood-lust surrounding it. Your ideology however states that conquest in it of itself is good and that expansionism is needed to subdue the aggressiveness found in humans. I don't expect you to like Islamic expansionism but I don't understand how you can see it as barbaric given that Muslims are humans and, in your ideology, also require a need for conquest.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:Following the fall of Rome in the late 5th century, societal recovery in the west, which would have been greatly benefited from intra-Christian trade in the Mediterranean, was utterly disrupted by the rapid and destructive Islamic conquest which is why I have argued that a Christian renaissance could have happened earlier.


Oxymandias wrote:The Byzantine Empire was already confined solely to Constantinople by the 7th century and grew even more isolationist as time went on. The Levant was practically autonomous with the Byzantine Empire having no administrative control over them. All Greek colonies in North Africa had been abandoned and only local Berber chieftains and tribes ruled. Mediterranean trade was practically non-existent, it died a long time ago. The Caliphate only dealt the finishing blow.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:Christianity held the classical world and maintained and advanced classical philosophical sources


Oxymandias wrote:Christianity held together a dying world and locked their advancements behind a steel door, preventing outsiders from wandering in.


Victoribus Spolia wrote:however, much of these sources, especially Greek sources were heavily concentrated in Alexandria (which had the most Greek learning with the exception of Byzantium itself). Islam took this from Christianity (and remember, like I stated above, the See of Alexandria was the undisputed seat of Christian philosophy).


Oxymandias wrote:Alexandria began to decline by the 5th century when half the city was abandoned. The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century, and the central monuments, the Soma and Museum, fell into ruin. On the mainland, life seemed to have centered in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and were left intact.

The final blow upon it's significance was when Khosrau II conquered the city. The city received no aid from Constantinople during siege. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it a few years later, the city was a shell of it's former self.


VS wrote:The fall of North Africa, including the See of Alexandria (the most philosophical) and the formerly Carthaginian christian domains (from which the likes of St. Augustine and Tertullian originated) were all taken by Islam.


Oxy wrote:All of the domains you mentioned had no significance by the time of the Arab conquests. Their status as intellectual centers were gone by this period of time.


VS wrote:Indeed, one can even add that a prevailing era of ignorance regarding Hebrew also occurred during this time as the Holy land, which has also been held by Christendom, was also taken by the Islamic hordes. Praise be to God that St. Jerome had trained in Hebrew in Jerusalem and created the Latin Vulgate from those primary texts before much of the access to Hebrew materials was cut-off thanks to Saracen barbarians in the Levant.


Oxy wrote:I don't see how a lack of knowledge regarding Hebrew was due to Muslims given that Muslims didn't give a shit about who they traded with and were perfectly fine with sharing the knowledge. Furthermore, the Caliphate had a semi-professional army so they weren't hordes. European armies at the time, were more akin to hordes that the Muslims.


VS wrote:Then of course, Spain was wiped out by the hordes of Islam and the Mediterranean was made inhospitable for much of Christian movement (note: I am not saying trade ceased etc., only that it became far more infringed after Islamic expansion than it was under intra-Christian control of the region).


Oxy wrote:Yeah that's true despite migration to Andalus being common at the time due to it's abundance of opportunities.


VS wrote:To act like this did not seriously set back western growth after the Empire collapsed just 150 years earlier is outrageous and ahistorical.


Oxy wrote:I don't disagree with this either.


VS wrote:So when these Saracens took out the most philosophical wing of Christendom and then took those sources, translated them, commented on them, and only then gave them back to the West, to then act like this makes the West indebted to Islamic thought is INSANE.


Oxy wrote:Oh no, I'm not saying that the West is indebted to Islam for that. What Islam gave to the West was their particular outlook on Greek thought (of which evolved to become uniquely Middle Eastern) and it is that outlook which the early modern West took most of it's philosophical tradition from. The West is indebted to Islam for that.


VS wrote:The west only had a "dark age" because in just over 100 years after the fall of Rome, most of its recipricoal trading partners and centers of learning were wiped out by an enemy (Islam) that it would have to fight in a zero-sum game for the next 1000 years, which was only then exacerbated by the Viking expansions from the north, the black death, the little ice age, a foolish ban on charging interest by the papacy, and the Mongol expansions into eastern europe.


Oxy wrote:The Dark Ages are thought to have started after the Roman Empire which would put the Byzantine Empire in the dark ages. I agree with notion. Also those factors are not as bad as you think they are.


VS wrote:Are you claiming that nominalism was an idea that came from Islam? That claim requires substantial proof and I have never heard anyone make it before. If you have evidence that the nominalist criticism of universalia ante rem (plato) and universalia in res (Aristotle) originated in Islamic thought, please give me the source. I would love to see it.


Oxy wrote:In what follows I will be citing from selections of Averroes’ treatise The Incoherence of the Incoherence, in which he extensively cites the work he is refuting, Al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of the Philosophers.:”(These selections may be found in Richard N. Bosley and Martin Tweedale, eds., Basic Issues in Medieval Philosophy: Selected Readings Presenting the Interactive Discourses Among the Major Figures [Broadview Press, 2006], pp. 22-36.)”: Al-Ghazali, being concerned with God’s freedom against the determinism he saw in Aristotelian philosophy, is cited by Averroes as follows:


According to us the connexion between what is usually believed to be a cause and what is believed to be an effect is not a necessary connexion; each of two things has its own individuality and is not the other, and neither the affirmation nor the negation, neither the existence nor the non-existence of the one is implied in the affirmation, negation, existence, or non-existence of the other, e.g. the satisfaction of thirst does not imply drinking, nor satiety eating, nor burning contact with fire, nor light sunrise, nor decapitation death, nor recovery the drinking of medicine, nor evacuation the taking of a purgative, and so on for all the empirical connexions existing in medicine, astronomy, the sciences, and the crafts. For the connexion of these things is based on a prior power of God to create them in a successive order, though not because this connexion is necessary in itself and cannot be disjoined – on the contrary, it is in God’s power to create satiety without eating, and death without decapitation, and to let life persist notwithstanding the decapitation, and so on with respect to all connexions. The philosophers, however, deny this possibility and claim that it is impossible.:”(Ibid., pg. 26.)”:


Oxy wrote:Al-Ghazali here sounds a lot like Hume, who, some 600 years later would mount a withering attack on the concept of causality as part of his larger attack on religion. It is interesting, then, that Al-Ghazali sounds this note against causality in the service of religion! Indeed, Al-Ghazali goes on to say that even in the case of fire burning a piece of cotton, the agent of the burning is not the fire, but God, “through His creating the black in the cotton and the disconnexion of its parts.” For it is God “who made the cotton burn and made it ashes either through the intermediation of angels or without intermediation.” Repeated human observations of fire burning cotton “proves only a simultaneity, not a causation, and in reality, there is no other cause but God.”:”(Ibid., pg. 27.)"

In another passage, Al-Ghazali reveals his fundamental concern for the freedom of God by discussing the issue of miracles. For him, Aristotelian determinism destroys the possibility of God performing miracles. For, since for the philosophers “[all] events proceed from [natural] principles not by deliberation and will, but by necessity and nature,” it becomes impossible to imagine that of two pieces of cotton brought into contact with fire God could cause one of them not to burn. Likewise, apparently citing a story from the Koran, Al-Ghazali says that given their principles the philosophers must


deny that Abraham could fall into the fire and not be burned notwithstanding the fact that the fire remained fire, and they affirm that this could only be possible through abstracting the warmth from the fire (through which it would, however, cease to be fire) or through changing the essence of Abraham and making him a stone or something on which fire has no influence, and neither the one nor the other is possible.:”(Ibid., pg. 29.)”


Oxy wrote:Returning to his earlier example of there being no necessary causal connection between fire and the burning of a piece of cotton brought into contact with the fire, Al-Ghazali gets to the root of his voluntaristic understanding of God: “If it is established that the Agent creates the burning through His will when the piece of cotton is brought in contact with the fire, He can equally well omit to create it when the contact takes place.”:”(Richard N. Bosley and Martin Tweedale, eds., Basic Issues in Medieval Philosophy: Selected Readings Presenting the Interactive Discourses Among the Major Figures [Broadview Press, 2006], pg. 30.)”: He is aware of the “reprehensible impossibilities” which some will charge his view. His examples range from humorous to weird to absurd, and I will quote them at length:


For if you deny the necessary dependence of effects or their causes and relate them to the will of their Creator, and do not allow even in the will a particular definite pattern, but regard it as possible that it may vary and change in type, then it may happen to any of us there should be in his presence beasts of prey and flaming fires and immovable mountains and enemies equipped with arms, without his seeing them, because God had not created in him the faculty of seeing them. And a man who had left a book at home might find it on his return changed into a youth, handsome, intelligent, and efficient, or into an animal; or if he left a youth at home, he might find him turned into a dog; or he might leave ashes and find them changed into musk; or a stone changed into gold, and gold changed into stone. And if he were asked about any of these things, he would answer: “I do not know what there is at present in my house; I only know that I left a book in my house, but perhaps by now it is a horse which has soiled the library with its urine and excrement, and I left in my house a piece of bread which has perhaps changed into an apple-tree.”….For God can do any possible thing, and this is possible, and one cannot avoid being perplexed by it; and to this kind of fancy one may yield ad infinitum, but these examples will do.:”(Ibid., pp. 30-31.)”


Oxy wrote:In some ways, Al-Ghazali sounds not just like Hume, but like Ockham. Al-Ghazali, as a “voluntarist,” would stand in the same broad tradition as later Medieval Christian covenant theologians. But, alas, further elaboration of this point is beyond my capacity at this point. I will add on more examples when I have the time but I think this is satisfactory as of now.


VS wrote:Also, please do expound on what aspects of Lutheran thought you believe to be the same as Islam. I will concede textualism, but I think even this comparison is ultimately superficial.


Oxy wrote:While I was referring to Luther's reforms of Christianity and the Church in case you didn't know.

Lutherans affirm that the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but every word of it is, because of plenary, verbal inspiration, the direct, immediate word of God. A mistranslation is not God's word, and no human authority can invest it with divine authority. Muslims believe the exact same things only replacing the Bible with the Quran.

Historically, Lutherans understand the Bible to present all doctrines and commands of the Christian faith clearly. While this notion is contested amongst Islamic sects, most Muslims in the world agree with this idea.

Lutherans are confident that the Bible contains everything that one needs to know in order to obtain salvation and to live a Christian life. It's the same way with Muslims replacing the Bible with the Quran and Christian life with Islamic life.

Textualism. as you mention, is also a shared idea abit with differing ideas in some respects.


VS wrote:I actually don't disagree with this regarding the Byzantines (and I would add Justinian's shutting down of the Academy as an additional example, with some reservations); however, real trade between the Latin world and Byzantines didn't become a major issue until the Great Schism in the 11th century and none of this negates the fact that the most important sources for academic materials for the Latin church was always Alexandria (philosophical/classical) and Jerusalem (textual/historical). Indeed, other than half-heartedly protecting the Byzantines, the two primary targets of the Crusades (as explicit foci) were the Holy Land and Northern Egypt! This is not a coincidence.


Oxy wrote:An intellectual renaissance wouldn't have happened because a renaissance requires general public to have access to philosophical texts as it is only then that innovation can occur. When the Caliphate distributed Greek philosophical texts to the general population and let anyone access them they had their golden age. When the printing press was created and philosophical texts were printed access to philosophy by the general public became even higher which lead to the Renaissance and then the Enlightenment. Philosophical texts during that time in Europe were confined only to exclusionary scholarly circles with no "commoners" allowed in. The Church and the Byzantines were too authoritarian and isolationist to create a renaissance, it was through the Caliphate which had no hierarchies that philosophical texts were allowed to flourish. Trade between the West and the Byzantines was almost always supervised by the Church and so access to philosophical texts in vernacular by the general public was impossible.

Actually it was completely coincidental. The Holy Land was conquered because Jerusalem was significant in Christian theology and the Crusaders wanted to take Egypt because they realized that Jerusalem was completely worthless and that Egypt was where the money was. They didn't even want Alexandria, they wanted Cairo.


VS wrote:Further, I maintain that if the intellectual, scientific, etc., traditions of Islam were indeed superior to that of the west, in the final analysis, that historical and political dominance would have been defined by the Arab east rather than the Anglo-Saxon west. That this is not what history bears out is ultimately indicative of how vacuous the original claim is, for even if it were conceded that the west was intellectually indebted to the Islamic world, in the end we were able to do with Islamic thought what the Muslims themselves were not able to do......which was to create an advanced Global civilization.


Oxy wrote:I have said this before. The West was merely lucky. It was not the Islamic world which brought itself down but external factors it had no control over. Islamic thought indeed has many qualities that aren't present in the West that hold great significance in our current modern era; that could be deemed as superior but it wasn't that such Islamic thought was inferior and that this caused the Middle East's current situation, it was other factors out of it's control. Furthermore, in the end, Islamic thought did win since it is the foundation of modern Western thought. Also, the entire world isn't just Europe and America. Middle Eastern thought and culture has spread to more lands than European thought ever has.
#14952929
To go viral

Hong Wu wrote:There were way too many crusades for way too many reasons for this question to make sense.

...

As far as I do understand there were major crusades from 11th century to the 14th.
These were directed against the Muslim world.
There were also crusades against pagan areas in north-east Europe, which I would temporarily not include.
As well a lot of claimed, but minor, crusades in the wake of the major ones.

But you are right to doubt sense in the headlines question.
Because it is hard to find it, and indeed, there is little interest for it.
And that a the way forums about politics tend to take.
A sound topic is simply used as a hanger to place dirty shirts on it.

The trouble here is: such action can go viral.
And indeed: This happened when Urban II performed a powerful speech after Christian Alexios of Byzanz asked him for help.
The pope did not anticipate what force he was going to unleash.
Because it went viral. It spread uncontrolled like a fire.

And Alexios was now in serious trouble to pass an unexpected avalanche outside his territory without being toppled himself and seeing his lands harmed.
The peril never ended and at last killed Byzanz and ended as a bloody folly.
Nothing was achieved in regards of crusade strategy.

What remains, at least, is a hanger for dirty shirts and things that can go viral.
As such the crusades give us an early impression of present madness and its power to spread.

Maybe interesting in that context are works of:
Steven Runciman,
Barbara Tuchman,
Jonathan Riley-Smith.

and the music for Disneys Sorcerer's Apprentice.
#14952951
Oxymandias wrote:Rugoz, if you really want proof, Aquinas, Leibniz, Machiavelli, and Kant all drew inspiration from Islamic sources.


I haven't read those. I have a read a handful of works of modern Western philosophy (17th onwards), mostly politcal philosophy. There are often tons of references in them going back to antiquity, but I don't remember any references to Islamic work (or better Middle Eastern work during the time of Islam). From that alone I conclude that your claim that "modern Western philosophy is derived from Islamic philosophy" is nonsense.

As for your "proof", I can look up the wiki page about Leibniz for example. Under "influences" I find no Islamic scholars. Either way, "draw inspiration from" is quite different from "is derived from".

I think the motivation of you or other people who make such claims is to demonstrate than Islam is compatible with scientific progress or Western concepts such as democracy and human rights (even though tons of Western thought rejects them). I think that's rather misguided. First of all, the scientific output today trumps historical output by orders of magnitutde. Historical texts are mostly of interest to historians or laymen who want to read the "big names" (big because they came first). Second, only in the recent past (a few centuries at best) has scientific progress (or better technology) fundamentally transformed society. Christianity had (and still has) a hard time dealing with that and so has Islam.
#14952967
@Rugoz

1. I’m talking about his ideas. Furthermore, just because Wikipedia doesn’t state any Islamic influences doesn’t mean that there weren’t. For starters, many Islamic philosophical books were popular during the time and most of the authors names were latinized which makes it hard to superficially determine whether or not the book you’re reading was written by a Muslim. The most easiest way to determine whether a philosopher has Islamic ideas is to compare an Islamic philosopher’s text with an early modern western one. Here’s an analysis comparing Lebienz and his ideas with Islamic philosopher’s:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/networkolo ... ition/amp/

2. Its a very thin line between derivation and inspiration. Many early modern western philosophers can be seen to sometimes have literally the same exact arguments as Islamic philosophers down to using the same metaphor.

3. That wasn’t my intention at all. My point was to debunk the meme that “hur dur Mooslems wer alwas bad an only kno how to bluw up” that you see in this thread. Like, the reason I made that statement in this thread was a response to Sivad calling Muslims at the time “primitive” when they were literally leagues above Europeans.

The reason why I mentioned Muslim’s contributions to philosophy in my debate with VS (which I posted above) was because he asserted that the West owes nothing to Islamic thought and that all of its work is original and that Islam hinder “Christendom’s” progress. That’s why I brought it up.

It has nothing to do with proving that Islam is compatible with progress. Islam has nothing to do with progress.
#14952995
Rugoz wrote:I haven't read those. I have a read a handful of works of modern Western philosophy (17th onwards)


Islamic philosophy had an enormous influence on European philosophy.

Influence of Arabic and Islamic Philosophy on the Latin West
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arab ... influence/
#14953080
Oxymandias wrote:
3. That wasn’t my intention at all. My point was to debunk the meme that “hur dur Mooslems wer alwas bad an only kno how to bluw up” that you see in this thread. Like, the reason I made that statement in this thread was a response to Sivad calling Muslims at the time “primitive”


:knife: It might not have been comparatively primitive for the time but it was an extremely primitive culture by the standards of objective rationality. It was an ignorant, backward, barbaric jackhole of a civilization.

they were literally leagues above Europeans


Yeah, that's not setting the bar very high. It's one thing to learn from history but cultural pride is fucking stupid. There's very little to be proud of in the history of civilization.
#14953136
@SolarCross

Yes because Islamic philosophy discussing Islamic concepts and utilizing them to reach real philosophical developments isn't "Islamic". The people who wrote Islamic philosophy were Muslims, the people who discovered the scientific method were Muslims, the people who create clockwork inventions and created the batter were Muslims, and the people who created that big corpus of literature were predominantly Muslim. They were motivated by religious reasons as well. Of course the philosophy is Islamic. Hell if you read any Islamic philosophy you would know how Islam is connected to that.

@Sivad

:knife: It might not have been comparatively primitive for the time but it was an extremely primitive culture by the standards of objective rationality. It was an ignorant, backward, barbaric jackhole of a civilization.


I assume you aren't going to define "objective rationality". Furthermore, many of it's values are actually really good and the Middle East would benefit from adopting those similar values. However the chauvinistic stuff we could do away with.

Of course that depends on your political stances. If you're a communist you would hate it given that capitalism originated in the Middle East (ironically, as of now the Middle East is pretty ok with socialism) and if you're a Christian conservative like SolarCross you'll just outright deny any Islamic contributions to the Islamic world since pretty much all of the Islamic Golden Age's values are compatible with their views.

For example, individualism and I mean early British Enlightenment individualism was very prominent in the Golden Age, private property rights were especially strong but they saw the value in common or public use land, taxes were considered haram, there was a distrust in the government (which fucked the Abbasids in the ass later on), an emphasis on the acquisition of knowledge, tolerance of different forms of thought (which is why there are so many forms of Islam out there it's ridiculous), xenophobia and chauvinism towards foreigners (especially white Europeans), etc.

All of these conservatives love (except the tolerance of different forms of thought and religious tolerance) but they're Muslims so they pretend that they don't like these things.

Yeah, that's not setting the bar very high. It's one thing to learn from history but cultural pride is fucking stupid. There's very little to be proud of in the history of civilization.


Yeah you're right.
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