Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Malleus Maleficarum And The Malaysian 777

So on the one hand I finally found a copy in the original Latin of the Malleus Maleficarum, a 2 volume set edited by Christopher S Mackay, Copyright 2006, paperback edition with corrections Copyright 2011. Iss a Ding. See link below. Translations into English are a dime a dozen, but I think this may actually be the first edition in the original Latin since 1669. So I'm reading Mackay's introduction to this splendid edition, about how people were tried and tortured and burned in the Middle Ages for being heretics, and how witches, a sub-set of the set of heretics, were thought to have been ensnared by demons who lived in the air above the Earth who guided them in the ways of evil -- which was defined as everything which was not considered pious Christianity -- and had sex with them, and how women were thought to be particularly susceptible to being seduced by demons and becoming witches and how "heresy" is Greek for "choice" (Yikes!) and a person might well be condemned as a heretic for choosing to interpret a Bible verse in ways unpleasing to his friendly local Inquisitor, and how a sect, another term from the Greek, before Christianity was simply a philosophical school and nobody got killed for belonging to them, but in 1480's when the Malleus Maleficarum was published, about a century into what is now called the "witchcraft delusion," which would continue for another 2 centuries, during which tens or hundreds of thousands of people would be tortured, condemned and burnt as witches, most of them women -- in the 1480's the leader of a sect was generally considered to be Satan himself. Less than 60 years after the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum, Copernicus would published his book demonstrating that the Earth was not the center of the universe, his book which his friends persuaded him not to publish until near the end of his life, because they were afraid that he would be accused of working with Satan, and tortured and burned to death. And then about 85 years after that came the little unpleasantness between Galileo and the Inquisition, which apologetics are strenuously attempting to make it seem as if it has been misunderstood and overblown, and in between was Giordano Bruno...

And on the other hand I run into someone talking about how science supposedly "blinds" us to "deeper wisdoms" to found in place like, Oh, yes, the Bible.

And then on the 3rd hand I see headlines about how people are closing in on the crash site of that Malaysian 777 which recently vanished. How are they closing in? By praying about it? Yeah, that must be it. Science would be no help to the people searching. It would only blind them, surely. How can modern man be so arrogant as to think that he knows better than God how to search for traces of the victims of a catastrophe?

And why o why won't people see that the very idea of this supposed conflict between religion and science doesn't go back any earlier than the time when people in Christendom were first allowed to make the ridiculous assertion that the conflict existed, without risking imprisonment, torture and death by fire? What IS it with these people?!

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