Bringing Galileo to his knees

A few weeks ago, an idiot named Jonah Goldberg said this:

Must we revisit Galileo again? It was the scientists as much as anyone who really screwed him. I'm not saying the Church was blameless, but Galileo's scientific colleagues were back-stabbers while the Church bent over backwards to cut the guy some slack.

and this:

The trial is very complicated but the result was that Galileo got house arrest, which is where he did all of his research anyway.

And in 1990, the current Pope, who was a Cardinal at the time, said this:

At the time of Galileo the Church remained much more faithful to reason than Galileo himself. The process against Galileo was reasonable and just.

Does any of that sound strange to you? Let's visit a short historical timeline. From wikipedia:

(June 21), by order of the Pope, he was given an examination of intention, a formal process that involved showing the accused the instruments of torture. At this proceeding, he said, "I am here to obey, and have not held this [Copernican] opinion after the determination made, as I said."

On June 22, 1633, the Inquisition held the final hearing on Galileo, who was then 69 years old and pleaded for mercy, pointing to his "regrettable state of physical unwellness". Galileo was forced at this time to "abjure, curse and detest" his work and to promise to denounce others who held his prior viewpoint. Galileo did everything the church requested him to do, following (insofar as there is any evidence) the plea bargain of two months earlier; nonetheless, he was convicted of "grave suspicion of heresy" and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

So, the CHURCH CUT THE GUY SOME SLACK afterall. They wanted to cut some slack to Giordano Bruno too, but the man was just too offensive. He didn't just advocate heliocentrism. He called the trinity into question. That's going too far.

And, they DID cut slack to Bruno. Think of what else they could have done to him?

We are being taken for a ride down a long dark tunnel. Galileo's (and Bruno's) persecution is a simple and essential illustration of the malignant, noxious zeal of anti-science demogogues. Science is an investigation, and the investigation is very dangerous for anyone whose authority rests on dogma and falsehood. And anyone whose psyche rests on dogma and falsehood.

Some very sick people have even harped on the fact that Galileo's tides argument was wrong. Of course, every single thing that church doctrine had to say about the issue was totally wrong. Absolutely wrong. And their suppression of science earns them another level of infamy, since they weren't merely passive ignoramuses and naysayers: they were quite bloodthirsty and murderous during the age of the inquisition. And it seems like only by some stroke of luck are those abominations mostly behind us. Harassment and defamation, and verbal damnings to hell, have taken the place of torture and execution.

And yet today you may witness theocrats and their timid supporters portraying scientists as the aggressors and the zealots with their straw men.

Even a child, given the proper implements, can see that practically every specific claim (in other words: not including all the metaphorical crypto-mumbojumbo that isn't falsifiable) made by mainstream church doctrine over the centuries is dead wrong: cause of disease, structure of the cosmos, interrelations and origins of life on earth, and so on.

Somehow it reminds of me of Jack Johnson beating The Champ like a ragdoll. They had it going on FILM, and what did they do? They stopping filming it. But hey, word really gets around. WHOOPS.

Bruno wasn't on film though, so they didn't have to turn the camera off. They just burned him alive.

Bruno didn't relent in the face of the inquisition. Galileo did. Bruno had to die. When they sentenced him, Bruno even said that they pronounced his sentence with more fear than that with which he received it. After that, they gagged him. They did that because his remark left their psyches standing fearful and naked.

Bunch of sickened, stupid dogs.

Miscellaneous idiots have even said "science was working different then", and "I am not saying the catholic church behaved right then. They just acted out of the spirit of their time."

The church clamped down on the pursuit of truth because it threatened their authority. Many sensible people in modern free societies deplore that kind of social control. But there's still the hold-outs. Are you a hold-out?

And what's the point really? They acted out of the spirit of the time? There's a long list of thugs and killers who acted out of the spirit of the time. I sure as shit ain't sitting here finding them reprehensible because they DIDN'T act out of the spirit of the time. The whole goddam spirit of the time is the problem.

And these timid little cowards keep apologizing for it.

2 Rebuttals:

At 1/03/2006 4:33 AM, Anonymous the farmer said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9/30/2006 10:58 PM, Anonymous the farmer said...

what happened here IAD? (removed by administrator) I didn't post anything to this thread previously... or did I leave my comment about the Eco piece here by mistake?

As I understand: The Church had originally given the ok to Galileo to publish Dialogue as long as it was presented as theory and not fact (sound familiar?) so he published the book as a conversation between 3 characters discussing Copernican theory. One of those characters was named Simplicio who made the Church's argument. The Jesuits didn't like the way he presented their side through his characters and decided he had violated the Inquisition's decree that he only present his ideas as hypothesis and not fact. So they tried him for that violation and banned Dialogue.

while the Church bent over backwards to cut the guy some slack.

Jonah Goldberg is a moron. Pope Urban VIII didn't intervene with the trial (which Galileo thought he might) but he did intervene afterward and have Galileo placed under house arrest after the trial was over - instead of having to remain in the Inquisition's prison after the trial. He didn't "get house arrest" at his trail as Goldberg suggests.

One condition of his sentence was to repeat the 7 penitential pslams every day for 3 years. Galileo's daughter was a devout nun, she moved into the house with him where he was detained under house arrest and took his sentence upon herself so he could continue his research and to teach and write which he was allowed to do.



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