Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: June 5, 2020, 11:04 am

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
[Serious] Giordano Bruno
#1
Giordano Bruno
Some people dislike the falsehoods of religion so much that they will spread different falsehoods to oppose them. 

Giordano Bruno's life and work -- and especially his death -- are frequently cited in these false stories meant to oppose religion. People repeat that he was a martyr for science, though he was not a scientist and was not executed for doing science. 

This is from Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, by Frances Yates, p452:

Quote: 

Ever since Domenico Berti2 revived him as the hero who died rather than
renounce his scientific conviction of the truth of the Copernican theory, the
martyr for modern science, the philosopher who broke with medieval
Aristotelianism and ushered in the modern world, Bruno has been in a false
position. The popular view of Bruno is still roughly as just stated. If I have not
finally proved its falsity, I have written this book in vain.

For what is the truth? Bruno was an out-and-out magician, an “Egyptian” and
Hermetist of the deepest dye, for whom the Copernican heliocentricity heralded
the return of magical religion, who in his dispute with the Oxford doctors
associated Copernicanism with the magic of Ficino's De vita coelitus
comparanda, for whom the Copernican diagram was a hieroglyph of the divine,
who defended earth-movement with Hermetic arguments concerning the magical
life in all nature, whose aim was to achieve Hermetic gnosis, to reflect the world
in the mens by magical means, including the stamping of magic images of the
stars on memory, and so to become a great Magus and miracle-working religious
leader. Sweeping away the theological superstructure which the Christian
Hermetists had evolved, using Cabala only as subsidiary to Magia, Bruno is a
pure naturalist whose religion is the natural religion of the pseudo-Egyptian
Hermetic Asclepius. Bruno's world view shows what could be evolved out of an
extension and intensification of the Hermetic impulse towards the world.

Through a Hermetic interpretation of Copernicus and Lucretius, Bruno arrives at
his astonishing vision of an infinite extension of the divine as reflected in nature.
The earth moves because it is alive around a sun of Egyptian magic; the planets
as living stars perform their courses with her; innumerable other worlds, moving
and alive like great animals, people an infinite universe.

The most recent person to repeat the falsehood points us to this brief video:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=944519919268029

Please note that the narrator says Bruno was not a scientist. 

The speaker in the video, Ingrid Rowland, is a real scholar. Her book will be useful to anyone who wants a complete picture. In the video, Rowland agrees that reading Copernicus "set the stage" for Bruno's own ideas. The point, though, is to see what Bruno's own ideas consisted of. They were a mishmash of superstition and occultism based on fake Egyptian tablets. If he had limited himself to Copernicus's views, he would not have been in trouble. But he returned to Italy from a long and successful speaking tour in the rest of Europe with the expressed purpose of overthrowing the church and replacing it with his own equally unbelievable system. 

He was not executed for believing Copernicus. 

I don't expect the people who repeat falsehoods about him to accept this. 

https://historyforatheists.com/2017/03/t...r-science/

https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/...uno-wrong/

https://thonyc.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/...cientific/

It seems odd that I have to say this, but it is good to tell the truth. It is bad to lie.
Reply
#2
RE: Giordano Bruno
Most religious people lie about believing in God. It is bad to lie.
Reply
#3
RE: Giordano Bruno
I agree that there is a common misconception that Bruno was executed for his scientific views.  But let's not lose sight of the fact that he was executed for the heinous crime of thinking and speaking in a non-approved manner.  

What's worse - to promulgate an erroneous notion about history, or to burn someone alive for being partially correct about the universe?

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
Reply
#4
RE: Giordano Bruno
(February 18, 2020 at 7:33 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I agree that there is a common misconception that Bruno was executed for his scientific views.  But let's not lose sight of the fact that he was executed for the heinous crime of thinking and speaking in a non-approved manner.  

What's worse - to promulgate an erroneous notion about history, or to burn someone alive for being partially correct about the universe?

Boru

Should they have burned him?

No.

Should we lie about it? 

No.
Reply
#5
RE: Giordano Bruno
(February 18, 2020 at 7:34 am)Belacqua Wrote:
(February 18, 2020 at 7:33 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I agree that there is a common misconception that Bruno was executed for his scientific views.  But let's not lose sight of the fact that he was executed for the heinous crime of thinking and speaking in a non-approved manner.  

What's worse - to promulgate an erroneous notion about history, or to burn someone alive for being partially correct about the universe?

Boru

Should they have burned him?

No.

Should we lie about it? 

No.

I don't think it's a lie so much as an error (not all untrue statements qualify as lies).  It isn't as if there's some vast, nefarious conspiracy to paint Bruno as something other than what he was. People are simply lazy in general, and regarding historical accuracy in particular.  It's never a bad idea to set the record straight (tip o' the hat to you for doing it), but this is really a tempest in a tea pot, like George Washington's wooden teeth or Dick Whittington's cat.

Bruno may not have been a martyr to science, but he was certainly a martyr to freethought.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
Reply
#6
RE: Giordano Bruno
(February 18, 2020 at 7:46 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote:
(February 18, 2020 at 7:34 am)Belacqua Wrote: Should they have burned him?

No.

Should we lie about it? 

No.

I don't think it's a lie so much as an error (not all untrue statements qualify as lies).  It isn't as if there's some vast, nefarious conspiracy to paint Bruno as something other than what he was. People are simply lazy in general, and regarding historical accuracy in particular.  It's never a bad idea to set the record straight (tip o' the hat to you for doing it), but this is really a tempest in a tea pot, like George Washington's wooden teeth or Dick Whittington's cat.

Bruno may not have been a martyr to science, but he was certainly a martyr to freethought.

Boru

Quote:he was certainly a martyr to freethought.

Was he? 

If he had stayed in any part of Europe other than Italy, he'd have been fine. He was under no threat at Oxford, for example, though they were annoyed with him for plagiarizing people. 

If he'd expressed all his ideas in such a way that didn't call for the overthrow of the existing church, he'd have been fine. 

If he'd expressed ideas about a non-geocentric infinite universe with people on other planets without calling for the overthrow of the church, he'd have been fine. Nicholas of Cusa did all of these things a century before Bruno, and was made a Cardinal. 

Free thought is a lot more likely to be tolerated if you don't go to the center of power and poke your thumb in their eye. Was it the thought that got him in trouble, or was it the deliberate challenge to power?

Again, in my personal opinion burning is not appropriate for expressing a desire to overthrow the institutions of power. But autres temps, autres moeurs.
Reply
#7
RE: Giordano Bruno
There's so much to unpack in the rat's nest above it hardly seems worth the effort.

Yes, if he'd minded the line to the christian con he'd have been less likely to have been killed by that same christian authority. This has been true for countless other people in the span of christian hegemony. Somehow, this forms the basis of a comment about "our" lies, in your estimation.

Get thee to a priest, Bel.



Reply
#8
RE: Giordano Bruno
(February 18, 2020 at 8:17 am)Belacqua Wrote:
(February 18, 2020 at 7:46 am)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I don't think it's a lie so much as an error (not all untrue statements qualify as lies).  It isn't as if there's some vast, nefarious conspiracy to paint Bruno as something other than what he was. People are simply lazy in general, and regarding historical accuracy in particular.  It's never a bad idea to set the record straight (tip o' the hat to you for doing it), but this is really a tempest in a tea pot, like George Washington's wooden teeth or Dick Whittington's cat.

Bruno may not have been a martyr to science, but he was certainly a martyr to freethought.

Boru

Quote:he was certainly a martyr to freethought.

Was he? 

If he had stayed in any part of Europe other than Italy, he'd have been fine. He was under no threat at Oxford, for example, though they were annoyed with him for plagiarizing people. 

If he'd expressed all his ideas in such a way that didn't call for the overthrow of the existing church, he'd have been fine. 

If he'd expressed ideas about a non-geocentric infinite universe with people on other planets without calling for the overthrow of the church, he'd have been fine. Nicholas of Cusa did all of these things a century before Bruno, and was made a Cardinal. 

Free thought is a lot more likely to be tolerated if you don't go to the center of power and poke your thumb in their eye. Was it the thought that got him in trouble, or was it the deliberate challenge to power?

Again, in my personal opinion burning is not appropriate for expressing a desire to overthrow the institutions of power. But autres temps, autres moeurs.

So, you're excusing the Church for burning Bruno.  Got it.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever seen an animal burned alive?

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
Reply
#9
RE: Giordano Bruno
History for atheists is run by a historically illiterate hack
“The sun from far gives life. But get close to it and it burns anything down to ashes”
Reply
#10
RE: Giordano Bruno
Good point Bel, he was not executed for science, he was executed for thinking and speaking (rather unscientific for the most part) ideas the church disapproved of. He was more a martyr for free speech.
I'm not anti-Christian. I'm anti-stupid.
Reply





Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)