Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Brights and Their Superior Knowledge of History... *snicker*

Here's an amusing tidbit I found, left by a commenter in John C. Wright's recent blog entry regarding his latest debate against an "Evil Christianity is Anti-Science!!!" guy (you know the type):

I had my brain melted by a particular instance of this; in a comment thread I read where various Anglicans got stuck into one another over the Church of England’s current difficulties regarding the introduction of women bishops, one person out of nowhere launched into a screed about how Galileo was prosecuted by the Church for his theory that the earth was round. This was proven by the Bible, and that’s why the Pope forbid anyone to read the Bible. But it wasn’t all the Pope’s fault, because the kings and lords forced him to do this, because if their serfs and peasants knew that the world wasn’t flat (and hence that they wouldn’t fall off the edge of it if they went too far), then they would simply pack up and leave, and the kings and lords couldn’t oppress them any more.
Galileo. Earth round. As economic theory of feudalism. In the seventeenth century.
Against that kind of notion, the stars themselves fight in vain.
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Maybe Mark Shea is right: find a person who worships the Intellect (e.g. the Brights) and you'll find someone who doesn't use it all that much, at least when it comes to attacking their favorite enemy that is the Church. Sure, intellect doesn't necessarily equate to detailed knowledge of European history, but it does equate to recognizing that you cannot attack an argument you do not even understand. If you don't know what Galileo was put on trial for, or what the actual level of knowledge Galileo's contemporaries had, how do you expect to use the story of Galileo to attack the Church?
Oh, silly me, I know how: by inventing laughable fantasies and strawmen.

Except it's not so laughable when people start to believe them.