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Old June 15 2014, 08:41 PM   #1353
Ancient Mariner
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

gturner wrote: View Post
Of course NGT didn't have to directly point out that it was a Christian mob, because by episode 13 anyone following the series would already know the theme, starting with the execution of Bruno in episode 1.
Yes, that theme would be anti-intellectualism, via the suppression of free thought and speech:

"This was a time when there was no freedom of thought ... "(17:52)

"Bruno lived at a time when there was no such thing as the separation of church and state, when the notion of freedom of speech is the sacred right of every individual. Expressing an idea that didn't conform to traditional belief could land you in deep trouble ... The Roman Catholic Church maintained a system of courts known as the Inquisition whose sole purpose was to investigate and torment anyone who dared voice views that differed from theirs. It wasn't long before Bruno fell into the clutches of the thought police." (23:05)

So while the episode explicitly acknowledges the role the church played in Bruno's death (in stark contrast to how it portrayed Hypatia's death, by the way), the episode further contextualizes the events as part of "the thought police" acting out of fear for those who were "expressing ideas that didn't conform to traditional belief."

So, yet again, the series is focusing on the fanatical, anti-intellectualism, rather than on religion in general, or Christianity, specifically. After all, NDT pointed out that Copernicus was a priest and that Bruno was a monk, and that Bruno, in particular, was acting from a place of deeply religious faith.

Christopher wrote: View Post
You're letting the opposition define the terms and thereby trap you into a dishonest argument, and you're unable to see it.
Wrong. I'm pointing out what the show explicitly stated ... and why it did so. The fact remains, Christopher, regardless of whether or not you think it was appropriate, the show (in either incarnation) did not say "Christian mob." It deliberately avoided using that label for the murderous mob (and in the case of the newer version, avoided mention of religion altogether). That someone would attempt to claim that the show, in fact, said so, is the point of contention. And I'm merely pointing out that such an assertion was wrong, while also relaying the reason why. There's no equivocation in anything I have stated, so I'm not sure why you keep ignoring this distinction, and if you really are trying to "help" why you're attempting to shoot the messenger.

Christopher wrote: View Post
I'm trying to help you recognize how you're hurting your own position -- and my position -- by letting the other side manipulate you.
I'm afraid that the only attempt at manipulation here is from your posts - which are attempting to force your specific interpretation of "Christianity" onto everyone else. Fact is, without the explicit contextualization, not everyone watching the episode would make the implicit distinction you are making and more than a fair few of them would jump to the wrong (generalized) conclusion. When the word "Christian" is used to describe something, there are as many connotations for that descriptor as there are viewers in the audience. Therefore, the show, responsibly, makes the distinction for the audience because the whole point is that these people were fanatics, not that they were Christian.

Again, what's being discussed is what the show actually stated (and avoided stating): It never used the phrase "Christian mob" - for reasons that really ought to be self-evident.

By the way, I'm not entirely sure why you think I'm defensive of Christianity, specifically. I've been agnostic since grade school and have no inherent need to defend any specific religion - except that, in this case, while the mob was Christian, that description is far less relevant than the fact that they were fanatic. It'd be like, years later, referring to Elliot Rodger as a Male Murderer. Why, yes, he was male ... and it informed his particular brand of mania, but it would be more accurate to say he was a Misogynist Murderer, since "male" doesn't tell you anything about him beyond the most general of descriptions.
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