Thursday 24th of October 2019

letting god down the toilet...


"De concordia liberi arbitrii cum gratiae donis, divina praescientia, providentia, praedestinatione, et reprobatione ad nonnullos primae partis divi Thomae articulos..." I know. You feel better already. You are free to pee in the swimming pool.


So, someone called Erdozain tells us: ...

The Enlightenment, as David Bebbington has shown, was a seminal influence on the rise of evangelicalism and its experiential, sensed-based spirituality. Pierre Bayle ― that prophet of conscience ― was not only the darling of the philosophes in the eighteenth century: he played a vital role in the emergence of Continental Pietism. Voltaire, meanwhile, added to his scattering of liberal advocates a number of orthodox admirers. He would have enjoyed the phrase with which a nineteenth-century priest appraised his radioactive ministry: “Dieu, par une ruse diabolique, envoya Voltaire combattre son Église pour la régénérer.”

And Spinoza ― “the most impious, the most infamous, and at the same time the most subtle Atheist that Hell has vomited on the earth” ― made good on his enduring claim that love is criticism, and criticism is love. Among his posthumous admirers was the Russian philosopher, Vladimir Soloviev, who credited Spinoza with his return to the Christian faith he lost as a teenager. A towering and ecumenical intellect, and perhaps the single greatest influence on the Russian religious renaissance of the twentieth century, Soloviev gracefully eludes the set-piece humour of secularisation. Ideas that savoured of blasphemy to a dualistic, Western mind were here taken as intended.

Such examples may be multiplied. Together they confirm my view that modernity is a war of religious ideas, not a war on them. The secular other, it turns out, is a not-so-distant relative ― possibly a friend.

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Nice twist to explain undue appropriation of (steal) ideas. Erdozain's leaky dissertation bucket does not hold water. Sure, there were some dudes of the enlightenment who were god believers — but they started to do it with an elastic band in regard to religious values. And plenty more gave god the finger. By the mid 1800s, the idea of god was just that — an idea that had been concocted by humans in order to solve their uncertainty on this planet — which soon was explained through evolution by Charles Darwin.

Dominic Erdozain is thus naive here and missed the boat by giving obscure example of people who were sitting on two stools at once. I don’t mean that Spinoza was obscure, but Pierre Bayle has long gone in desuetude. He is best forgotten as a footnote who “possibly” sowed the seed of the Enlightenment without knowing he was doing it.

Erdozain’s quote: “Dieu, par une ruse diabolique, envoya Voltaire combattre son Église pour lerégénérer.” is no validation of his simplistic naive view. His source is a book that one has to buy, but by all account, Jules (Letambour), my friend who is a stickler for French vernacular, would say that it was either misquoted or fabricated, or that the ABC religious editors have no idea — which could be a possibility due to the indecent ABC budget cuts by the Momo (Morrissonof themissions/Abbott/Turnbull) government… It should read: "Dieu, par une ruse diabolique, envoya Voltaire combattre son Église pour la régénérer.” (God, with a devilish trick, sent Voltaire to fight his Church to rejuvenate it.) Thus Voltaire was not really enamoured with the Catholics.

As a Research Fellow at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Erdozain has thus sunk deep into the traps of “what changed” and tries to con us with a lot of rounded sophisms with name droppings like those of pigeons in a loft. The Enlightenment was not an overnight affair. It is still fought out as a battle between the believers and the non-believers: on one hand the god botherers who believe in crap and on the other side the people who accept and study reality — the scientists.

Actually, there were many non-believers BEFORE the Enlightenment, but history was never kind to them because their views did not suit the narrative of the power of kings and other despots — who used the idea of god to conquer lands. 

The Soul of Doubt: The Religious Roots of Unbelief from Luther to Marx seems to be a work of fiction in order to claim that unbelief is rooted in Christianity. It’s not. Even if it was, it would be a a complete rejection of Christianity. 

The Romans and the Greeks had their own beliefs that were not as simplistic as those of Christianity which, when analysed properly, make as much sense as worshipping a long dead banana, floating in a sewer. Since the anointment of Christianity as the official religion of Constantine, Many people saw this was a crock, and knew god was a fiction character, but they could not claim this aloud without losing their life. Martyrdom had been turned around against non-believers. Lucky, we, non believers, had manage to get our freedom from the god slavery...

hissing like the devil...


freedoms alla voltaire...

Voltaire rebels against Pascal and against the "original sin" in which he hardly believes. But as the beyond remains so inaccessible, he invites his readers to find an organization that makes them happy on earth, and not to trust Providence. In fact, he fights against wars that ruin the hopes of civilization, and hopes to eliminate religion inside governments so that reason can govern.

Voltaire preaches several freedoms:

- freedom of persons (against slavery and serfdom)

- individual liberty

- free disposition of his property and work

- freedom to speak and write

- freedom of conscience

He also develops the idea that luxury is a "superfluous very necessary" because it stimulates energies.

For Voltaire, the culmination of civilization is art, as well as the development of thought. He relies on enlightened elites to guide people towards knowledge.


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