Monday, November 16, 2015

Flat Earth Revolutions

I should put in a link to this discussion with a young theology student, Ben, who wants to defend the idea that there really was a flat earth belief in the ancient world and that it wasn't just part of the same frenzy of academic malpractice kicked off by Washington Irving's hoax.  His basic method depends on interpretations of pieces of mythology that I had previously read, but had not seemed to me to be even discussing the shape of the earth, thus, I had not listed them in my collection of works discussing the flat earth.  I will thus direct someone who might follow my list of quotes to consider Ben's list, but I will not myself list them since none of his examples associate a shape to the earth, nor can we ascertain that anyone actually believed them to be discussing the shape of the earth, nor given that assumption do we know if they had other sources of opinion, thus, at best the arguments require many leaps of faith.

My main observation here is that modernists are infinitely resourceful in claiming that the Bible doesn't mean what it plainly seems to indicate by the language, while the mythological genre, being vastly less certain of meaning than the Bible, is to the contrary something for which modernists have no problem establishing certain meaning where I would not have even tried.

Our agreement is to stick to our original positions.  Ben to the belief that flat earthism was nearly universal due to primitive ignorance of science, so that the clear association of the flat earth belief by Aristotle to only three people, all of whom were scientific atheists, is totally unremarkable and irrelevant.  Me to the belief that anyone who spent significant time outside traveling before the invention of the street light would have considered the earth to be spherical, while only these three who boasted of scientific atheism were to be documented in all of history as being flat earthers.  Their belief system passed on to the hyper-gnostic, pseudo scientific Epicureans, where it became one of the most resilient belief systems of the classical world.  This "philosophy" was warmed over by David Hume in the 18th century, and - although not specifically believing in the flat earth - is today in total control of academia with its conceit of scientific enlightenment.  And one more irony, being that David Hume warmed over Epicureanism under the title of the polar opposite belief system, Skeptics which was a similar to the Academics.  Thus, today those who are gnostic Epicureans refer to themselves as agnostics, skeptics and academics.  It is all a complete mess.

The additional side to this is that Ben is quite respectful to academia.  I on the other hand view the brain of the brilliant academic as being the Devil's playground, just as Augustine had obsered.  What does puzzle me is how he plans to square worship of atheist academia above all with a theology degree, but that isn't my problem to worry about.

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