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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Warning From The Past, 7 Feb. 2006
This review is from: The Closing Of The Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and the Fall of Reason (Paperback)
In the current climate, Charles Freeman is to be greatly applauded for providing what is possibly one of the most shocking and thought-provoking books around today. At a time when a later rational, progressive and tolerant civilisation is again confronted by the self-righteous, ugly, irrational and vicious face of faith it is indeed cautionary to read this account of how the open enquiring Classical mind of Greece and Rome was converted into the closed, aggressive and crass certitudes of early Christianity. It begs perhaps the most despairing question that any society can ask: is history repeating itself?
For a society like ours that has passed through the infernal, infantile and bestial beatitudes of Christianity into the tolerant openness of modern secularism, this book is indeed a warning from the past. The warning is clear: science and secularism is the way forward; faith and religion is the way to Hell.
Perhaps the saddest thing in this book is the letters from late-imperial pagan senators and philosophers writing to various emperors pleading for tolerance, equal opportunity, fair dealing and a level playing field in the face of the Christian triumphal mind-vice. They made the serious error of imagining that their Christian opponents were as decent and progressive and tolerant and open-minded as they were. That was a bad and extinction-causing mistake. Let us not now make the same mistake again.
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Initial post: 2 Feb 2013 20:11:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 2 Feb 2013 20:31:54 GMT
C. Copus says:
Is that the 'rational, progressive and tolerant civilization' that sanctions the annual slaughter of hundreds of thousands of unborn children; and is that the 'ugly, irrational and vicious face of faith' that opposes said slaughter? Is that the 'tolerant openness of modern secularism' as currently practised in North Korea, or the slightly less modern Stalinist, Maoist and French Revolutionary variants; and is that the 'open, enquiring mind' of Classical Greece and Rome that led to Jews being crucified in their thousands outside Jerusalem in 70AD, and Christians and criminals being used as human torches and animal fodder under Nero? Give me a 'Christian mind-vice' over a pagan slaughter house any day.
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