From the early Seventeenth century to the early Eighteenth, artists abandoned the moderation of Renaissance classicism for a luxurious, embellished style that better expressed the extremes of their times. During this period, ongoing brutal doctrinal wars that began with the Reformation diminished the prestige and authority of Christendom. The appalling Thirty Years war (1618-1648) that devastated central Europe and reduced Germany’s population by a third, was but one of the conflicts initiated between Roman Catholics and Protestants.Continue reading Nothing Exceeds like Excess
In the collected Essays, that masterpiece of self-analysis, the 16th century French essays Michel Eyquem de Montaigne began as a stoic and ended as a skeptic. The more carefully he pursued knowledge, the less he knew.Continue reading Montaigne
We Know Nothing
The hallmark of the Hellenistic era was chaos due to the deteriorating political influence of the city states and countless ruinous wars among autocratic rulers. That Tyche, the mercurial goddess of chance, was highly venerated everywhere, clearly indicates the instability of the time. Hellenistic people were deeply cognizant of the omnipresence of contingency in their lives.
Shortcomings of “New Atheism”
There’s an ugly aspect to these “new atheists” I’ve encountered over the years, whether online (Internet Infidels) or in person: speculation is anathema to them.
Like many in academia or in the sciences, they accumulate huge amounts of data and information from studies and statistics, but they’re too cowardly to venture to speculate on the larger ramifications of this information or try to connect it all into a theory. Why? Continue reading Shortcomings of “New Atheism”
Nietzsche & atheism
Nietzsche is often taken as a poster-boy for atheism due to his infamous phrase, “God is dead!” However, that is not a clear endorsement of atheism but rather, theothanatology. In his writings, Nietzsche did refer to atheism and oftentimes in jest. His hermeneutic-psychoanalysis of Christianity led him to be exceedingly critical of atheists, as well as scientists and skeptics. Continue reading Nietzsche & atheism