What are the indisputable facts of Christianity

Again and again - even today - the Catholic Church is said to have done a lot for the science and culture of the "Occident". The author Roland Fakler took a closer look at whether these assumptions are correct. He comes to a devastating result.

The beginnings

The observation of nature, which began in the 3rd millennium before our time in ancient Sumer and in Babylon with astronomy, gave the people of the Neolithic a useful foundation of knowledge. This means that through observation and calculation, e.g. solar eclipses and planetary movements could be forecast, calendars and seasons could be calculated. Experience was gained in curing illnesses, especially in Egypt, China and India, and these experiences were passed on, mostly orally, to a select group of people, who thereby also assumed an outstanding position - priests, shamans, seers.

Much of what was believed to be known, however, was superstition and unscientific guesswork. The Egyptians believed, for example, that illness came from a demonic spirit who had taken possession of the sick. The Jews and Christians adopted this idea in their holy texts, with which they spread this wrong view to this day and are still busy with driving out evil spirits.

Natural events such as lightning and thunder were explained by early humans as well as the creation of the world: If something happens, there has to be "someone" behind it who "causes" it. The forces of nature have been personalized. It doesn’t "simply" flash and it does not "simply" thunder. There has to be "someone" there to make it flash and thunder. But since this would exceed the capabilities of a person, it is not surprising that they - like the Teutons and Greeks - came to the conclusion: It must be Donar or Zeus who makes it thunder and hurls the lightning. But who created this "someone"? Aristotle assumed that there must have been a first mover who was then called "God". When he's angry, we need to appease him with the most precious things we can give him: flawless animals, humans, even our own children. It so happens that human sacrifice was widespread in many cultures - including early Judaism.

Ancient achievements from - 600 to around 380

Western science began in ancient Greece. Philosophers, who were also called natural philosophers for this reason, dealt with the question of how one can gain knowledge about nature and what "holds the world together at its core." For Thales, one of the first natural philosophers, -625 1until around -546, this was the water. He could already calculate a solar eclipse.

Wrong ideas that were difficult to verify also shaped the thinking of ancient philosophers. The idea that body and soul could be separated from each other already appeared in the Indian Upanishads, -800, and played an important role in Western philosophy, e.g. in Plato, and in later Christianity.

Leukip, Democritus and Epicurus developed the atomic model, Aristotle divided the sciences into branches. Eratosthenes recognized the spherical shape of the earth. Aristarchus of Samos speculated that the earth orbits the sun. on the other hand, Aristotle and Ptolemy taught that the earth is the center of the "world". The knowledge of Hippocrates and Galenus shaped medicine for centuries. Philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle also thought about state theory.

In the 3rd century BC the idea of ​​human rights and the equality of all people appear in the philosophy of the Stoa. The first democracy lived in Athens in the 5th century, even if women and slaves were not involved. The freedom of thought and the exchange of opinions in this democracy led to an unprecedented cultural bloom. Man and this world with its beauty and tragedy were the focus of this high culture. The pursuit of individual happiness was recognized as a goal in life and wisdom was to find the best way to get there. People thought about the good life, right action and the just state.

Herodotus and Thucydides wanted to base the science of history on true facts. It should neither mystically transfigure nor, as so often in later times, serve to glorify totalitarian world views and justify their crimes.

There was also criticism of religion, and even then it was punished with abuse, expulsion and death on the part of the rulers. (Socrates, Aristotle ...)

Scientific thinking developed parallel to philosophy and systematic observation of nature. Logic and mathematics were the basis and tools of the natural sciences.

Education was at the heart of human endeavor. Philosophers were the most respected citizens. According to Plato, they should guide the states. Schools and public libraries existed in all major cities in Greece and Rome."Most children were recorded without compulsory schooling."2

The Romans were not very creative philosophically, but especially as builders and engineers they left something lasting behind. "Between the Acropolis in Athens and the Capitol of Rome lie Europe's roots and not in the desert dust of Palestine." 3

God and the gods

With the advent of dogmatic book religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the scriptures were given more faith than observation because their "revelations" were accorded divine and inviolable status. So it came about that people believed that everything we need to know is in one of these holy books, the Vedas, the Bible or the Koran. Only gradually did they notice that this knowledge was neither suitable for coping with everyday life and even less for mastering nature. Everything was just clinging to unchecked texts, traditions, legends, myths, fairy tales.

The rain could not come and the diseases could not be prayed away. Even so, there was no doubt about this method of influencing the world. The ability to learn has been zeroed by immovable faith and unchangeable traditions under the guidance of the priesthood.

Wrong worldview

Of course, there were also wrong views in Greco-Roman antiquity. However, wrong ideas about the world only become a permanent problem if they are held to be divine and irrefutable truths, if the belief in authority prevents one's own testing, research, thinking and improvement.

Symptomatic of the anti-scientific attitude of the Judeo-Christian religion is that it has punished the pursuit of knowledge with the expulsion from paradise.4 The creation story in the Bible is astonishingly good compared to other world formation myths, but it is wrong on many points. It lets the sun stand still, puts the earth in the center of the world, makes two great lights: the sun and the moon and lets God create the world in 6 days. Evolution is not reported. The writers of the Bible knew as much as the people of their day could and did not know anymore. Why did God and the Holy Spirit not reveal anything about the spherical shape of the earth, its position in the universe, about electricity, quantum physics, atomic energy, evolution, genetics ...? They didn't know anything about it!

Was Jesus ignorant?

We also did not learn anything from Jesus that his time did not know. He lives in the same spirit and devil world as his fellow men. How did Master solve the problem of evil spirits? Jesus drove them from two possessed into a herd of 2000 pigs and then let them jump over the blade, i.e. over the cliff into the sea, where they drowned miserably.5 It was undoubtedly an elegant and resourceful method. Animal rights activists might object: "These poor pigs!" But the end justifies the means. Of course, a lot of pork was sunk on the seabed, but even more wickedness was rendered harmless. Unfortunately, the skills of today's exorcists are nowhere near enough to repeat such a spectacle, which raises the suspicion that the whole thing is just a made up story. At least that's not how the world works.

He also curses fig trees because they are not bearing fruit at the moment, curses entire cities because a few people did not want to hear his message. He thinks that faith is enough to move mountains.

According to the confusing and contradicting testimonies about him, Jesus himself believed nothing of this worldly culture. He didn't care how the world really worked. He didn't care about science, art, state theory or literature. He expected the world to end soon. He was an end-time preacher, not a researcher. His supposed miracles, which mock the laws of this world and which also existed long before him, must be believed. Nobody should seriously think about it because"Blessed are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven belongs to them." The evangelists were concerned with conversion by all means, not with historical truth.

End-time expectations play an important role in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They prevent people from settling in here and exploring nature for the benefit of people. All longing and hope was directed to a dubious hereafter. It is no longer about happiness in this world, but about saving the soul for the world beyond.

The spiritual guides into darkness 380 to 1200

With the elevation of Catholicism to the only state church by Theodosius I. 380 became with the religious edict "Cunctos populos" intolerance against those of different faiths is part of the program of the Christian state. The last philosophy school was closed in Athens by Emperor Justinian in 529. Under him there were extensive book burnings in 565. Libraries were destroyed, the flourishing school system of antiquity ceased, philosophers (Hypathia) and scholars of "paganism" expelled and murdered.

After that, of course, there could be no more scientists for centuries. People who cannot read, cannot write, cannot do arithmetic, cannot practice science and the few who could still do it were of the opinion that everything worth knowing and necessary for the salvation of the soul is in the Bible. The people should not read it, however. Otherwise the contradictions, the confusion, the inhumanity of these texts would probably have become known. Only those who knew Latin, Greek or Hebrew got a faint idea of ​​what was in these books. They were monks in cadre schools, surrounded by Christian propaganda material called libraries. The intellectual foundations for scientific research were lacking. Only what one could need to strengthen one's own faith was preserved, e.g. Plato's doctrine of the soul.

The civilized state becomes a totalitarian state of God, which sees itself in opposition to antiquity and which has the power to destroy it. Pagan literature was viewed as diabolical literature that no decent Christian was allowed to read.

Happiness in this world was frowned upon - except for those in power - and was sacrificed in the pursuit of the salvation of the soul in the beyond. Sex was considered sinful, dirty, reprehensible.

Paul, the Evangelists, Fathers of the Church, Doctors of the Church and the Popes laid the spiritual foundations for this change.

"Paulus, Tertullian, Laktanz, Origines, Eusebius, Clemens, Hieronymus, Cyprian, they all teach the same message: Education is useless, just discourages religious contemplation and should only be used, if at all, to interpret the true Christian message . " 6

"I want to destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I want to reject the understanding of the understanding."7 So wrote Paul in a letter to the Corinthians.

Doctor of the Church Tertullian comes to the conclusion:credo quia absurdum = I think because it's unreasonable.

Ambrosius, Bishop of Milan, declared in a funeral speech on the occasion of the death of Emperor Theodosius in 395 that the whole philosophy was "delusional".

Augustine says: "Faith precedes knowledge."

The comforting view of death as the end of all suffering, in Epicurus and Seneca, Augustine contrasts death with fear and terror.

So-called "authorities", who knew nothing but were completely convinced of their "truths of faith" in their arrogance, who had the power to dictate and persecute, replaced knowledge with belief.

The Church Fathers tried to give answers and explain the world, but their explanations were wrong and childish because they were ignorant and they were ignorant because they did not do science and ignored pre-existing scientific facts.

There were libraries in the monasteries, but with books that mainly contained Christian edifying literature. Ancient knowledge, which was also guarded in the libraries, was considered by the ruling clergy, who could still read in the 5th century, to be unimportant, because the only thing that mattered was the salvation of the soul for the afterlife.

Belief in spirits and miracles, dream interpretation, superstition, astrology, judgments of God, prophecies, prayers for health, persecution of witches and heretics took their place. Frauds about relics, miracles and legends kept the people in ignorance, threats with hell and the devil made them docile and helped the clergy to maintain their rule. Why should one invest in the education of subjects when the uneducated are much easier to control?

So the brightly lit antiquity followed, the dark Middle Ages.

"Experiment and inductive research were banned, the empirical sciences were stifled by the Bible and dogma, natural scientists were driven into prisons and at the stake. In 1163 Pope Alexander III ... forbids all clergy to study physics a decree by Pope John XXII. "8

All reflection and scientific research, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, history lost its value. Philosophy became the handmaid of theology. Natural disasters were seen as God's punishments. All calamities, e.g. illness, were attributed to sins and unbelief. You just have to have the right faith and pray long enough for everything to be okay. The true believers, who believe in Jesus and submit to the absolute rule of the Church, go to heaven, the others to eternal hell.

Since there are innumerable possibilities of belief, the unity of belief can only be enforced with coercion and with persecution of those who think differently. A belief dictated by the emperor and the pope, which had little to do with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, replaced education. Fundamentalism triumphed over freedom of thought.

Nobody was allowed to be anything other than Catholic in the Middle Ages. Never before had a worldview exercised such total power over the brain as the Catholic Church between the fourth and sixteenth centuries in Europe.

From the 13th century to the Renaissance

Translation schools in Baghdad had translated the most important texts of antiquity into Arabic in the 8th and 9th centuries.9 The ancient culture was better preserved there, giving Islam, which took up everything that was useful in its conquered territories, a cultural flowering, and from there Hippocrates, Galen, Plato, and above all Aristotle, found the Islamic via Byzantium Andalusia / Toledo and Sicily back to the Christian West, e.g. to Friedrich II. And Albertus Magnus.

After Byzantium had been conquered by the Turks in 1483, scholars and their books came to Italy, where the rediscovery = renaissance of antiquity in the 16th century led to a new cultural bloom. The rediscovery of antiquity and observation of the world was followed by a rise in science and an end to the Christian scholastic way of thinking. In 1620 Francis Bacon came to the conclusion that truth did not come from authorities, but had to be obtained through observation of nature.10

The view that the plague and cholera are not God's punishment for sins and misconduct, but rather stem from the unsanitary conditions in the cities, met with fierce opposition from church people. When Halley's Comet appeared in the sky in 1456, by order of the Pope all bells were rung and prayer was called everywhere, because it was believed that it would bring God's vengeance, disease, plague, war. The fact that he did pass was attributed to these prayers.

The Catholic Church resisted the heliocentric worldview of Copernicus, against lightning rods, modern medicine (illness comes from sin, autopsies were forbidden), sick people first had to see a confessor before they consulted a doctor. Priests supposedly could heal better than doctors. The problem was the evil spirits and sinful flesh that had to be fought.

Restriction of free thinking and research

inquisition

Ever since Christianity became the state religion in the 4th century, thinking deviating from this official, state form of faith, Catholicism, has been viewed as disobedience to the state.In response to the first heretical communities, the Church, with the support of the state, set up an agency for the persecution and extermination of heretics, the Inquisition (Latin inquisitio: judicial investigation).

Science in today's sense did not exist in the Middle Ages. That is why the first heretics were mainly people who came into conflict with the church for religious reasons.

It was Giordano Bruno who opposed the Church not only with religious doubts, but with his whole view of the world. He explained the stars by saying that they are like our sun, that the universe is infinite, that there is an infinite number of worlds and that these are populated with an infinite number of intelligent living beings. All nature is animated and organizes itself (pantheism). A creator god was no longer necessary. As is well known, he ended up at the stake in 1600.

Modern science began with the triumphant advance of the mathematically oriented physics of Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton.

Copernicus died in 1543 without daring to publish his teaching that the sun and not the earth at the center of the solar system were to be published.

In 1616 she was condemned by the Catholic Church. Galileo Galilei, who professed this doctrine, was sentenced to permanent house arrest and had to renounce. After all, the church rehabilitated him in 1992.

Also Johannes Kepler who represented the heliocentric system as a scientific fact"Not only met with bitter resistance from the Catholic Church, but also from Kepler's Protestant superiors. For on both sides the teachings of Aristotle and Ptolemy were considered inviolable."11

Kepler's mother was charged as a witch.

Prohibited Books Index

From 1559 Pope Paul IV"Index librorum prohibitorum" published. This is a list published by the Roman Catholic Church of about 6,000 forbidden books that were considered to be a threat to belief and morals. Catholics face the penalty of excommunication if they owned, read, sold, or passed on any of the books listed in the index without first obtaining Church approval. It was valid until 1966.

On the index were above all the heretics but also the German translation of the Bible, the Enlightenment and the founders of the modern theory of the state: Montesquieu; Curl; Montaigne; Holbach, Hobbes; Marx; Rousseau; Diderot; Sartre; Voltaire; Machiavelli, Galileo Galilei; Giordano Bruno; Nicolaus Copernicus; Martin Luther; Immanuel Kant; Heinrich Heine; Spinoza; Descartes; Friedrich II of Prussia; etc. Hitler and the book "Mein Kampf" are not on the index.

Syllabus Errorum

In 1864 Pius IX condemned in theSyllabus Errorum = Book of errors, some progressive ideas that are taken for granted for us today: e.g. democracy, human rights, the free choice of religion. Rationalism, liberalism; Socialism, communism, modernism had long been the enemy of the popes and remained so until the 2nd Vatican Council, 1962-1965, under John XXIII. and Paul VI. Until then, the Roman Catholic Church believed itself to be the only true Church, and until then the apostate Jews were prayed for.

In 1824 Pope Leo XII banned the vaccination against smallpox.

Until 1869, the Catholic Church adhered to the Aristotelian teaching or teaching of Thomas Aquinas of the gradual animation, whereby the male fetus was animated after 40 days, the female after 80 days.

The church has long resisted Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, which it only recognized in 1996.

Anti-modernist oath

From 1910 to 1968, the Catholic Church required its students and pastors to swear an oath that they would not deviate from the teachings of the Church in their statements of faith. This includes: That God can be proven as the origin of all being with reason. That such evidence includes revelation, miracles, and prophecies, which are beyond dispute. That the Catholic Church represents the correct faith of the historical Jesus and is in the footsteps of Peter.

The ideas of the Enlightenment, democracy, human rights, freedom of belief, etc. could only be enforced against the stubborn resistance of the churches.

Many free thinkers in Christian Europe were not allowed to make it known that they were interested in the existence of God, which God? had their doubts and that they considered the dogmas of the Church to be human machinations.

Philosophers critical of religion such as David Hume, Christian Wolff, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Auguste Comte, Ludwig Feuerbach, David Friedrich Strauss, 1808-1874, had little opportunity to teach at a university in their time.

Reformation and Enlightenment

As a result of the Reformation, the Catholic Church lost its absolute power and the ability to limit thinking and research outside of its sphere of control. With the Enlightenment and the Reformation there was a certain liberation of thought, especially in the field of critical biblical exegesis.

Education regained its prestige and value. Compulsory schooling was introduced and universities were founded where more or less research could be carried out freely. What research should a university come up with if the Pope decides what is to come out? The Enlightenment was supposed to create a separation between church and state, which unfortunately was only carried out half-heartedly in Germany. With that, free science began to flourish in Europe.

But again there are dictatorships that they want to gag. In Turkey the theory of evolution is no longer allowed to be taught, the American president ignores the scientifically recognized warming of the earth's atmosphere by humans.

Science will not be able to replace religion because people have a strong need for community, comfort, and great feelings that science cannot provide. Science should be there to explore the world and help people improve their lives on earth.

Even science cannot answer many questions and so there is room for philosophical speculation. Why are we there? What are we supposed to do here? Where do we go after death? Why is the world the way it is and not different and better? Why do they and us exist at all? Is it all just coincidence or is there any meaning behind it? Are we free in what we do or is it all predetermined? Who determines our fate: chance and necessity or "God" - and what is that?

What does the Catholic Church teach today?

Not much has changed in the teaching of the Catholic Church in 2000 years. She teaches that a God who is threefold created the world in 6 days. The first humans, Adam and Eve, became guilty because they sought knowledge. That is why they were driven out of paradise. Their "guilt" has been passed on to everyone and Jesus had to redeem us from it through his death on the cross. Everyone is born with this hereditary debt, which can only be lifted through Christian baptism. Only the baptized can go to heaven, only people who believe in Jesus. God will judge us one day. The true believers, that is of course the Catholics, go to heaven, the wicked, that is above all the false believers, go to hell, before that there is purgatory, the duration of which can be shortened by prayers of the relatives. Above all, it is important to have the correct Catholic faith, then all crimes will be forgiven. They just have to be confessed in time. She believes that body and soul can be separated and that the soul is immortal.

She teaches that there is the devil who can be driven away with consecrated water, prayers, and the signs of the cross. She teaches that there are angels and miracles, teaches that man in Paradise was made out of dust and clay by an unrecognizable God and that woman came from Adam's rib.

It teaches that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was impregnated by the Holy Spirit and that Jesus was conceived virgin. That he is the Son of God, that he was crucified, died, rose from the dead on the third day and finally ascended to heaven. That he is actually present with his blood and body when the wine and bread are changed during mass.

She believes that holy water can be used to protect vehicles from accidents, that the bones of the saints have a beneficial effect. She still lets busy exorcists cast out evil spirits….

Sex can only be used to create new life. Under no circumstances should he just be joking, that would be a sin.

Summary

Between 380 and 1300 the Catholic Church resolutely fought against science. Nevertheless, many ancient discoveries about the neighboring Muslim empires and about Byzantium, where this heritage was valued more highly, penetrated the Christian West. There were also ancient texts in monastery libraries. But they were considered worthless for the salvation of the soul. With the fall of Constantinople in 1483, this knowledge increasingly came to Italy and triggered a cultural bloom there, the Renaissance. Scientific thinking in Europe begins with Francis Bacon. Not the authorities should be believed, but your own research! Knowledge is power.

For centuries, a few courageous researchers had to push through scientific knowledge against the churches: Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Darwin ...

In the Protestant countries this was easier because there was no omnipotent authority there to prevent it, in the Netherlands, England, the USA.

After all, the Church has jumped on the bandwagon, today claims to be a science practitioner and that it has always been in favor of science.

In fact, Catholicism has always allied itself with all those whose aim was to keep the people under the age of majority, with kings by the grace of God, with the nobility, with fascists, and most recently with Islam. It wants to rule and not enlighten. For this she does not need mature, but ignorant and underage believers. She is the opponent of all enlightenment and will prevent it as long as she can.

As soon as a progressive idea, against which it had fought for centuries, was established, it claimed to have been a source of ideas and a trailblazer ... and thus, despite its fateful role in history, it has preserved its image as a force for good to this day.

  1. -Minus sign in front of a number = before our time = BC. ↩︎
  2. Rolf Bergmeier: Shadows over Europe ↩︎
  3. ibid ↩︎
  4. Genesis 3: 22-24 ↩︎
  5. Mark 5:13 ↩︎
  6. Rolf Bergmeier: Shadows over Europe ↩︎
  7. 1Cor1: 18 / Isaiah 29,14 ↩︎
  8. Karlheinz Deschner: Criminal history of Christianity ↩︎
  9. Rolf Bergmeier: Shadows over Europe ↩︎
  10. Encarta 2009 ↩︎
  11. Wikipedia ↩︎