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Christianity and the fall of the Roman empire

#1anavriNPosted 8/9/2011 8:09:55 AM
Still working through Mitchel Heisman's Suicide Note, nearing the end of the chapter with the tittling title The Seditious Genius of the Spiritual Penis of Jesus.


Here, Heisman lays down what he considers to be the prelude of the end of biological evolution, stating that, like Judaism inverted the Egyptian hierarchical structure (based on the struggle of genetics) through the Judaic God-memes, Jesus 'spiritually raped' the Roman empire by inverting pagan virtues of conquest into the meek Slave-morality of turning the other cheek. Jesus' attack on the family (him stating that we ought to abandon our kin in order to follow God) was like a memetic HIV: is deteriorated the Roman military virtue and made them vulnerable to attacks from outside.

Here's an interesting passage from page 439-440:

“Edward Gibbon, well known for his negative appraisal of the empire crumbling effects of Christianity in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote that the early Christians:

refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defense of the empire…it was impossible that the Christians, without renouncing a more sacred duty, could assume the character of soldiers, of magistrates, or of princes. This indolent, or even criminal disregard to he public welfare, exposed them to the contempt and reproaches of the Pagans, who very frequently asked, what must be the fate of the empire, attacked on every side by the barbarians, if all mankind should adopt the pusillanimous sentiments of the new sect?

Good news! Jesus has come to free you from the boundaries between Romans and barbarian that were a foundation for the struggle for imperial existence. what the Christian world inherited from Jesus was an ancient postmodernism that deconstructed the Roman Empire from within. At every point, the Kingdom of God offered the victims of Rome a binary ethical opposite against the Kingdom of Caesar. In the Christian discovery of the universal individual soul of infinite, God-given value, a thread was found, that when pulled, was able to unravel the entire Caesar-centered world.”


http://www.suicidenote.info/

Now, I'm not much of a history scholar, so I cannot see whether his view, borrowed from Gibbon, is entirely correct. Was christianity really a significant factor in the fall of the West-Roman empire?


tl;dr: Jesus committed a moral coup d'etat on the Romans, contributing to their collapse in the 5th century. Confirm/Deny?
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§ 157. Der Gedanke an den Selbstmord ist ein starkes Trostmittel: mit ihm kommt man gut über manche böse Nacht hinweg.
#2actarusPosted 8/9/2011 11:27:41 AM
http://www.roman-empire.net/articles/article-003.html
http://www.roman-empire.net/diverse/faq.html

Unlike Augustine with his "City of God" was Rome in reality the City "Babylon" in Revelation 18
Reasons for divine punishment:
Mixing pagan rites with Christianity; persecution of non-Catholic Christians and Judaism
Luxe as god
Imperial cult and Cybele cult (Mother God)
Corruption and lawlessness.
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Even the smallest star twinkles in the dark
#3RetrotasticPosted 8/9/2011 11:38:26 AM
The Roman empire was having problems long before it converted to Christianity.
#4anavriN(Topic Creator)Posted 8/9/2011 12:05:19 PM
The Roman empire was having problems long before it converted to Christianity.

The 'HIV hypothesis' doesn't deny this, I'm concerned with the question whether or not christianity is considered a significant factor in the collapse of the West-Roman Empire.
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§ 157. Der Gedanke an den Selbstmord ist ein starkes Trostmittel: mit ihm kommt man gut über manche böse Nacht hinweg.
#5AtomicItalianPosted 8/9/2011 1:15:05 PM
anavriN posted...
The Roman empire was having problems long before it converted to Christianity.

The 'HIV hypothesis' doesn't deny this, I'm concerned with the question whether or not christianity is considered a significant factor in the collapse of the West-Roman Empire.


No. By the time the Roman Empire fell, a lot of Christianity was similar to what we see today in American Christianity. Watered down, cultural Christianity that doesn't stick to it's roots. There were a lot of hold fasts that refused military service and refused to to take part in civic duties, but once Rome converted, pretty much everyone claimed Christianity, and there were plenty enough to take part in the conflict.

There's far too many factors involved in the Roman Empire to really consider any more or less important than any other one. Though I will say I think this article is a little misleading in the way it's portraying post Constantine Rome.
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This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 1 John 3:16
#6NoTitleRequiredPosted 8/9/2011 3:50:41 PM
Why would Christianity have caused the western empire to fall but not the eastern empire?
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#7shockwavepulsarjimPosted 8/9/2011 5:42:29 PM
Part of gibbon's argument was that the eastern empire which remained after the fall of the west was affected by a deep cultural malaise caused by xtianity. That is, it killed off philosophical discourse (closing the schools in athens), replaced with pedantic arguments on theology (the nature of the trinity), and eroded education by having only the clergy educated, but never engaging with anything other than theology. So classical greek and silver latin died out, and the milieu which nurtured tacitus and aristotle was replaced with the bible, and only the bible. Culturally, the argument goes, xtianity killed off the roman empire, leaving a byzantine dark age riddled with heretic hunts and a literary output which has never really been appreciated. Its a snobbish argument, for it demands that you view homer and virgil as intrinsically better than everything else, as gibbon did.
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Proletarier aller Lander vereinigt Euch!
#8NoTitleRequiredPosted 8/9/2011 6:34:54 PM
I mean, I understand that you're not necessarily siding entirely with him, but...

Part of gibbon's argument was that the eastern empire which remained after the fall of the west was affected by a deep cultural malaise caused by xtianity. That is, it killed off philosophical discourse (closing the schools in athens), replaced with pedantic arguments on theology (the nature of the trinity), and eroded education by having only the clergy educated, but never engaging with anything other than theology.

But that's completely wrong. Completely wrong. Clerical academic elitism was a Western phenomenon, not an Eastern one, and the Eastern Roman Empire continued to produce plenty of lay scholars on a regular basis, and not just in theology. Seeing as though Constantinople arguable housed the first university in the world, which included schools of medicine, philosophy, law and economics

So classical greek and silver latin died out, and the milieu which nurtured tacitus and aristotle was replaced with the bible, and only the bible.

The Bible and only the Bible? Do people who follow Gibbons' opinion think that the Byzantine Empire was a medieval version of the southern United States or something?

Culturally, the argument goes, xtianity killed off the roman empire, leaving a byzantine dark age riddled with heretic hunts and a literary output which has never really been appreciated. Its a snobbish argument, for it demands that you view homer and virgil as intrinsically better than everything else, as gibbon did.

Does he mean "Byzantine" in the sense of "overly complicated" and referring to the so-called Dark Ages that the West went through, or in the sense of the actual "Byzantine Empire"? If the latter is what is being spoken of, I don't understand how that is possible, seeing as though the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire never experienced a "Dark Age".
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