Saturday, March 17, 2012

Ancient Words Still Ring True

Fables should be taught as fables, myths as myths, and miracles as poetic fancies. To teach superstitions as truths is a most terrible thing. The child mind accepts and believes them, and only through great pain and perhaps tragedy can he be in after years relieved of them. In fact, men will fight for a superstition quite as quickly as for a living truth — often more so, since a superstition is so intangible you cannot get at it to refute it, but truth is a point of view, and so is changeable.
Hypatia of Alexandria


  1. Can you prove this woman existed:
    A quote from a woman in history website:

    When the library of Alexandria was burned by the Arab conquerors, used as fuel for baths, the works of Hypatia were destroyed. We know her writings today through the works of others who quoted her -- even if unfavorably -- and a few letters written to her by contemporaries.

    Oddly, she was pagan and I am checking to see if the claim that she was a demonic follower is sound.
    But I doubt anything exists on this fictional character.

    Yes...Its sarcasm.

  2. @Tom,
    People wrote about her work and her words are inspirational, therefore, I believe she existed!
    What more proof could you possibly ask for!!!

  3. @ Bruce
    Alright, I am still doing research at a Catholic Theology Library at a Seminary on Hypatia, as well as other topics. I will also be going to another religious library in my area as well to see what they have. I am also surprised on what my public library had on the shelf too.

    So topic 1:
    You stated back in a Feb. Post why does the Pope have to have all of those extraordinary "riches" and the like, I am paraphrasing of course.

    I also agree with you on the surface.

    Don't want to lecture too much on Church History but, in the early church there were multiple attacks on St. Peters Basilica from barbarians to the Roman proconsul diminishing Christians. It got so bad that for 70 years the Popes left it and grazing cows took over the land. They eventually came back and started to rebuild.
    For 120 years Popes also lived in hiding and very simply due to the politics in Rome.
    From what I am drawing a conclusion on is also, the Vatican has been built over the course of 600 years. Some people have built libraries, some have built churches.

    I am going to continue to try to prove my theory wrong but it seems like everytime the early Christians would unite and fully live like Jesus, someone comes along and tries to kill them all.
    Around 1200 was the low point for Christianity, so I have to see how the Pope and other Christians lived at that time. And who was building what.

    Oh, and for those who don't believe that Jesus existed, I have a few Roman documents that prove otherwise, Suetonius for starters.

    A few questions though,
    -If Jesus did not exist, what drove the Christian movement away from Jewish Faith?
    -Who created and when was He created?
    -Why don't other Jewish and Roman authorities from that timeframe simply say that Jesus did not exist?

  4. So about Hypatia...

    First off, she was a Pagan. Although the word Pagan is tricky to agree on, pun intended.
    These words, too me, would be more powerful had she been an atheist.
    Is she talking about Christianity or Hellinistic Paganism here? We can assume but did she say these words to save her life?
    These words were said during a time where Christianity was slowly getting the upper hand in Alexandria and sounds more like a Hail Mary attempt to stopping the spread of Christianity.

    About her death, although she died by unofficial Christians, it was horrible. Oddly, I have found three different versions on how she died, all from the Pagan/ non-Christian POV.
    I can't find any reliable sources, except from religious, but they believed she was possessed which is why she was dragged through town. I know some Pagan rituals run close with some demonic rituals so perhaps the "Christians" witnessed this. Who knows. Still unacceptable Christian behavior.

    I am surprised that you did not post a quote from a Devout follower turned atheist.

  5. You betcha, I'm gonna email this guy.

  6. @Tom
    I've read and reread your statement "I am going to continue to try to prove my theory wrong but it seems like everytime the early Christians would unite and fully live like Jesus, someone comes along and tries to kill them all."
    Are you saying that the Catholic Church built itself into small empire as a way to protect itself? Kind of makes sense. But, what's the point of having an all powerful god to watch over you if you have to do everything yourself ?
    Still doesn't explain the outward opulence, "rules of worship" and bloated hierarchy of the church. The fact that any true Christian has a home, car/pope mobile, church, or many fancy hats is a rejection of your saviors orders.

    As far as wether or not Jesus actually existed, it's impossible to know for sure since there is no actual evidence. I personally like to think that a jewish man, disgusted with the corruption of his people and their religion rallied like minded people to create a simpler 'dogma free' faith.
    It's easy to see that a trouble maker like this would feel the wrath of the powerful status quo and get himself executed. The supernatural mythology is later tacked on to his actual actions and he is elevated to demi-god status. We see this play out with people like Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul, two revered people who, after their deaths have had 'miracles' connected to them.

  7. I find that Hypatia's words ring true for me wether she was a Pagan, Atheist or Mormon. Depending on what kind of Pagan she was, she may have been a hypocrite. But, in the long run what is important to remember is that she was the librarian for the largest collection of knowledge that existed at that time. Knowledge that was willfully destroyed by those that felt it was a threat to their way of life. Sadly, this ignorant behavior still happens regularly by those that feel that burning a book and destroying a different viewpoint will help preserve their way of life.
    As to why I didn't quote an Atheist, I don't really read Atheist literature (although I have a ton of their books). I 'm not a 'joiner' and I don't like to follow the popular trends. Don't care much for the "New Atheist" movement. My interest is more in science and evidence then religion.

  8. And if you're an Atheist, all you have to say is "I don't believe in gods. If you do, prove it to me."
    Most of our study is in religion!!! How's that for irony?

  9. Hypatia was a neoplatonist which meant she was a pagan by later Christian standards (though she would not have called herself that, 'pagan' meant someone living out in the countryside, a rustic). In addition much of neoplatonist philosophy was adopted by Christianity.

    I have my doubts about the quote first because no source is listed that I could find and second because many of the words are dicey to translate (probably Greek if Hypatia wrote it) into English (possibly via a third language such as Latin or Arabic [or even Arabic and Latin]).

    A description of some primary sources about Hypatia.