Sunday, January 29, 2012

The $100 Challenge - Part II

So, we've gone through Question 1, now let's take a little look at Question 2:

The Renaissance Culture was made of Catholic Heresies, persecuted by the Catholic Inquisition, starting from the Freedom of Conscience to have a personal opinion, in Philosophy, Cosmology, Science, Arts. I want to know, how did the Catholic Heresies turned up to be Catholic Legacy? How did the Catholic Heresies turned up to be intellectual legacy of the most Catholic civilization in the world? Starting from the Democratic Values. Starting from the Freedom of Conscience to have a personal opinion, in philosophy, Cosmology, Science, Arts ...

I'm sorry, but I am going to need a little clarification as to how this is a different question from question 1, just worded slightly differently. The only difference is that there is more emphasis on the freedom to have a personal opinion.

Once again, I feel the most important distinction here is that there there is an unfair equation between Italian culture and official Catholic doctrine. The fact that Italian culture is progressively inching away from the church every year is a wonderful thing, the two cultures need not be related. Italy existed before the existence of the Church and hopefully it will exists after Catholicism has fallen, there is no reason to tie together two things that are consistently moving apart.

When it comes to the Vatican, free will has always been a core value of the Christian faith. You have the personal choice to accept Jesus as your savior and to worship God or not. It is simply the consequences of that choice and personal opinion that have changed throughout time. Once upon a time it meant exile. After that you got torture and possibly execution. Now, all you get is excommunication and Hell after you die, but in life you are always "free" to do whatever you want. These rules change with the times and they always have, depending on how bloodthirsty or nutty the guy in charge happens to be. I still fail to understand how any of this is inexplicable, let alone a surprise. I might have failed to understand the question, in which case I sincerely hope that they will be better explained to me so that I may be able to give a more adequate response.

And now, for question 3:

The Renaissance Culture was a Revolt, a Rebellion against the Catholic tradition, against the practice of Corruption and Simony, against the practice of the Indulgences, and especially against the Saints Above the Law, in the name of the "Cultural Primacy". (Like The Indignados do Today) So I conclude, just answer this question, and I'm paying you $ 100. Tell me how did the Catholic Heresies turned up to be Catholic Legacy? Starting from the Democratic values. Starting from the Freedom of Conscience to have a personal opinion, in Philosophy, Cosmology, Sciences, Arts... 

Now this question is undoubtedly the exact same as question 2. The only additional thing that I could say is that I do not fully agree that the Renaissance was a full-out "revolt". The fact that it was a time of such enlightenment after so many years of darkness may make it seem like that in retrospect, but I do not think that the majority of the people that contributed to the Renaissance set out to defy the Church. A select few of them, particularly the philosophers surely had more contempt for the institution, but most of them were not factoring the Church into their artistic process. That in itself was revolutionary at the time, to not consider what they were creating or discovering in terms of what it meant to Catholic doctrine, but that is a far cry from joining arms and actively rebelling against the Holy See. Most of them were too busy discovering science, inventing flying machines and creating art to be bothered telling the Church to go fuck itself.

Once again I concede that I may have misunderstood these questions, especially since to me they seem to be very very similar. This is my first attempt, and while I admit it is fairly basic but it answers the questions insofar as I have understood them. If there is more to this debate than what meets the eye I will be happy to revisit it. However, for now, this is where I stand:

1. Italian culture is not interchangeable with the Catholic faith
2. It is perfectly logical to consider the Renaissance culture as a fascinating and inspiring part of Italian history since these people were in fact Italian
3. Catholicism, along with other major religious institutions, absorbs foreign things into their doctrine and morph their morality all the time. It is what makes them successful and prevents them from dying out. The fact that the Vatican does this with the men that they once persecuted is nothing new nor is it at all surprising.

If there were aspects of these questions that I did not address, feel free to point them out as I have obviously not understood them.

If not, I'll be taking my $100 now thanks!

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