#055 DFQ

In the last few lessons we looked at PTV – the Plato Truth Virus. We saw how the ‘thinking’ hackers of ancient Athens – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle – fooled around with ‘thinking’ software and how they developed and packaged the concept of ‘absolute truth’.

These next few lessons we’ll explore how PTV was picked up and spread  throughout the Western world, infecting millions of minds and killing  millions of human beings and still flourishing 2500 years later.

In tracking the spread of a virus, we can try to find our way back to the identification of its Patient Zero. Who was the first patient who really got the virus going? Who was the one to spread it around enough to let it take hold?

Well, when it came to the spreading of Aristotle’s Logic Software (already infected with PTV) no-one was more successful than a young Italian nobleman called Thomas Aquinas.

Doctor Truth and ‘The Truth’
Born, in 1225, into powerful nobility near Naples, Aquinas outraged his family when he decided to become a Dominican friar. When it comes to truth freaks, Thomas was one of the greatest ever. He was Doctor Truth himself!

Thomas discovered a new translation of Aristotle from the Greek and so he set out to synthesise Aristotelian ideas in such a way that it was useful for defending The Truth.

Of course, as far as The Truth was concerned, there was never any doubt for our Fra Thomas. No need to look around. No need to search. He already knew exactly where and exactly what The Truth was. There was no further search required for The Truth as far as Aquinas was concerned. Just a matter of defending it and preserving it from any attempt to change it.

The Truth, proclaimed Thomas, was the teachings of the Church. And whose  church might that be, Thomas? The Muslims? The Buddhists? The Jews? Picture Thomas opening the envelope, “And the winner is … The Catholic Church”.

That’s it! Nothing else. Stop looking. Here it is. The lucky winner!. Well, now, the winning True Church also happens to be YOUR church, Thomas old chap. What a coincidence! What a stroke of luck!

As it happened, Thomas’ Church was an information monopoly. All European universities were run by the Church with head office in Rome. Rome literally owned all of knowledge and was busily exporting its corporate education system. The powerful but flawed thinking software, logic, was the cognitive operating system they used, courtesy of Aristotle via Aquinas.

This educational enterprise amounted to programming brains with what the church taught – verbatim – and repeating it back again. Scholarship was reduced to mere defence of Vatican teachings, which were known collectively as – The Truth.

Only Microsoft’s export of Bill Gates’ DOS has ever rivalled the Vatican’s export of Thomas Aquinas’ PTV.

By 2010, there will be around 1.3 billion personal computer users in the world and when they switch on their desktop or laptop computer the first thing many of them see is “Windows”. This is an amazing accomplishment for Bill Gates and Microsoft in less than 30 years.

This is only beaten by the fact that all 1.3 billion PC users are also necktop  brainusers.

And, most of the 1.3 billion are using a Vatican-exported logic operating system to work their necktops computers so they can work their PCs!

In the original Thomist Aristotle neuroware the logic operating system worked like this:

TRUTH: Vatican teaching is The Truth.
ITEM: using Aristotle’s logic to match things up, we are meant to ask:
Does ITEM match TRUTH?
If NO, then it is WRONG and it is HERESY.

Even people with the most superficial knowledge of history know what  happened to heretics.

Truth Machines
I was recently in Amsterdam and paid a visit to the notorious Inquisition’s Torture Museum. This popular tourist spot features a collection of the ‘truth machines’, the extraordinary array of macabre machines, racks, bastinados, tongs, and spikes.

These and other implements of torture were used by the Inquisitors to ‘purify’ the heretics. One could only marvel uneasily at the cold-blooded ingenuity that went into the design of these instruments of truth.

The Inquisitors, invariably, were Fra Thomas’ fellow Dominicans. They were quite willing to inflict  unspeakable horrors on thousands upon thousands of fellow human beings just for disagreeing over minor academic issues about the nature of life and the universe and all in the name of Truth and virtue.

Thomist Aristotle doctrine could show up any contradictions.

It could show that their point-of-view did not exactly match The Truth and so they were heretics. Cut out their tongues! Crank up the rack! Get me the branding iron! Off to the stake! It still sends  shivers up my spine.

‘Angelic Doctor’ Truth
In the fourteenth century, the ‘Angelic Doctor’ was canonised for his great contribution to the defence of truth and Saint Thomas Aquinas became a kind of god in the church. Here is the famous painting by Zurbaran called The Apotheosis of St Thomas Aquinas which shows Thomas, resplendent on a cloud in heaven in those frightening Dominican Inquisitorial robes, with sundry popes and scholars at his feet. And below on earth, more popes and cardinals look up and pray to him in ecstatic admiration.

John XXII said that to deny Aquinas was tantamount to heresy. Later, in 1879, Pope Leo XIII proclaimed that Thomist Aristotelian doctrine should be accepted as ‘the official doctrine of the church’.

Exporting the Virus
Since Aquinas imbedded Aristotle’s logic into the Vatican’s education system it has become the main thinking software of Western civilisation, wherever it has been exported.

Since then, ‘The Truth’ has been carried to all parts of the world with missionary zeal. In fact, Western education may be medieval Europe’s most successful export.

Australia is a good example. Although Australia is geographically in South East Asia, it has culturally been in Europe for the past 200 years. At that time, along with rabbits, the Western education system was imported into Australia.

Since World War II, however, Australia has become less Eurocentric and more Euro-Asian. Australia is now one of the world’s most successful multi-cultural societies. Accordingly, ‘unique rightness’ has become a less useful cognitive asset to Australians than ‘tolerance and plurality’.

Today, Aussie kids are less interested in defending a medieval European truth and are more interested in designing new Aussie truths that are useful and relevant to life in the Third Millennium.

DFQ #055:

What is the most important insight for you from this lesson?

Why is this important to you?

398 thoughts on “#055 DFQ

  1. I was in a quandary: Lesson 25 was giving me a truth but how could I assess this truth without resorting to the kind of software designed by Plato et al? I’m sure the SOT doesn’t want me to just accept what is being said uncritically.

    Then I thought: perhaps I don’t have to accept it as T or F and I can assess it as useful or not. Useful in getting me to think about ways of thinking.

    This insight is important to me because I feel I am becoming more aware of how I’m thinking about things. And being aware is closer to being in control.

  2. I shouldn’t be astounded, because history is constantly throwing up these examples, but its amazing the frenzy that can be created by one. I, as a Catholic, have been part of the flock and witnessed the lack of independant thinking. “Catholic guilt” has become a joke phrase and the reality is we have been brainwashed or perhaps there’s a bit of Stockholm syndrome going on because its been part of our lives for so long.
    Its important for me to break away from this thinking to allow myself to make errors and move on and teach my kids the same.

  3. How people can just accept concepts without thinking or questioning. How people can be so easily led. After all these years why we still haven’t learnt from past mistakes . It is very frustrating!

  4. Australia is now one of the world’s most successful multi-cultural societies. Accordingly, ‘unique rightness’ has become a less useful cognitive asset to Australians than ‘tolerance and plurality’.

    Today, Aussie kids are less interested in defending a medieval European truth and are more interested in designing new Aussie truths that are useful and relevant to life in the Third Millennium.

    Important thing for me is to move towards a freer society in thought and spirit … a change in values ​​… stop being so greedy for the material things and the power without to respect anyone or anything.

  5. Canonization of beliefs and idea is a sign of poor minds. Whatever is right today may be wrong tomorrow. Whatever is right with a particular person may be wrong with another person. We should be able to put a question tag (?) in front of any belief and check its validity. On the other hand, pluralism is a fact of today global society. It is not possible to convince every body by reasoning, thus we should discover our truth and let others to do so.

  6. I guess the the most important insight is the rule by fear mentality that seen as far as I can see across all so called religions and that has crept in to all our lives to some extent
    This is important to me as I see it manifested in governments schools management sport and almost every area of our lives its easy to spot when you start looking

  7. For me tolerance & plurality are the most precious assets of useful and productive human cognitive process. It is important to think in this direction, rather than cherishing the absolute rightness/truth and this way people’s life in terms of wellbeing, politics, economics, etc. is worth living.

  8. For me, this lesson is about the human desire for Order. We seem to have this inherant need to establish rules for people to follow to create order from chaos.
    Technological advances typically occur because engineers agree on a standard and then publish it. Designers and manufacturers then adopt the rules to create and produce affordable products.
    Religion works the same way – create a truth, publish it, and then promote and educate people to follow it.
    There is big difference though. In the marketplace, a vendor can offer a non-standard product. If consumers don’t buy, the vendor is “punished” with no sales revenue. In the industry of religion (and it is an industry), there also are many vendors peddling their own standard product. However, instead of the vendor being punished, it is they who inflict pain and suffering on consumers if they don’t buy or follow the vendor rules.

  9. The insight I got is the about the truly horrific extent to which humanity is willing to go to protect their version of the truth. The PTV-virus infected religious brains seem to crave a truth-monopoly just like Microsoft seems to crave a OS-monopoly.

  10. This lesson is a reminder to me of what a person who is infected by the PTV virus will do to perpetuate their version of “truth”. It is important for me since I have to be careful when I am relating with a person infected with the PTV not to “rile them up” or offend them unintentionally.

  11. A friend shared with me today about the following Sufi teaching. The story is a good example of how PTV infected villagers actions are based on their logical conclusions based on their PTV about the water melon. The conclusion from this story is that:

    “The truth alone does not make people free. Facts do not change attitudes.”

    The lesson in the story is that “to help a PTV infected person/group of persons” get rid of their PTV we cannot “throw facts at them”. We need to win the confidence/trust of the person/group and slowly help them accept the facts so that they can accept them and so eject the PTV from their brain.

    +++++++++ The Sufi Teaching ++++++++++++

    A Sufi teaching tells of a traveler who was crossing a strange land known as the Land of Fools. While walking down a rural road he observed farmers fleeing in terror. “There’s a monster in that field,” said a man as he ran past.

    The traveler looked out into the field and saw a watermelon. So he called the farmers together and offered to kill the monster for them. He then walked into the field, took out a knife and cut the melon in half and started to eat it. The farmers were horrified and feared the traveler more than they had the watermelon. They drove him out of their world with pitchforks, screaming “He’ll kill us next if we don’t get rid of him.”

    The following season another traveler found himself journeying thought the same world, and the same thing happened to him. But instead of offering to kill the monster, he agreed with them that it was dangerous, and by tiptoeing away from it with them he gained their confidence. He spent time in their homes until he could teach them, a little at a time, the facts that would allow them to rise above their fear of watermelons and cultivate the melons themselves.

  12. What is the most important insight for me from this lesson?
    The good news about positive progress of people in Australia.
    Why is this important to me?
    We are all one. The progress there in Australia also translates into a progress dynamics here in the USA.
    BTW: Success of DOS is tiny compared to the success of Windows. But again, the might oak start as a seedling also…

  13. It seems that whatever the majority believes in, whether truth/not, compassionate/not, seems to be what is deemed correct.

    This is the most important thing to me, because that gives me hope when I tend to feel semi-alone in my believes and ways of thinking and looking at situations in the world.

  14. I didn’t have any insight, but I’m glad to hear that Australia praises “tolerance and plurality” and is focused on finding/designing new truths.

  15. The TRUTH – and defending it – is the most dangerous and destructive concept man ever invented …

  16. the relevance to how the earliest part of history was all tied up together as what is happening right now.

    I didn’t think the Vatican started it…

  17. The incredible power of faith. Regardless of what I say, do or think, it’s the things accepted by my mind as truth which locks me into a closed mindset
    It makes me aware that when I know I’m absolutely and completely right it’s more likely better that I shut up and reflect on the CVS2BVS proses.
    For whatever I view as real, is nothing more than a CVS and that view may be holding me back from finding a vastly better one that all closed minds will miss.

  18. Since World War II, however, Australia has become less Eurocentric and more Euro-Asian. Australia is now one of the world’s most successful multi-cultural societies. Accordingly, ‘unique rightness’ has become a less useful cognitive asset to Australians than ‘tolerance and plurality’.

    This is important to me because one of my parents was born in Europe and was brought up strict Catholic. While my mother was 6th generation Australian she was also Catholic. We went to Catholic Schools and attended mass weekly. It was only when I started to meet people who weren’t Catholic, who had divorced parents that I started to question my faith and my religion. I am now an almost atheist (read Richard Dawkins “The God Delusion” and you’ll understand why) but I would still like my kids to go to a Catholic School to have the same upbringing that I did (although their mother would never let them go to a religious school!). Maybe that is the PTV talking in me … I don’t know!

  19. The insight that the way that I (and others) have a tendency to think (in terms of right/ wrong, good/bad) has a long history and originates from the Catholic church in medieval times.

  20. It is frightening to think of the people tortured for holding different beliefs centuries ago. It is hard to believe it still happens around the world today. I am glad I live in Australia with my family in more tolerant society.

  21. The truth machine to protect a version of truth – ‘our version is the only truth’ is shocking.

    Even today a lot of money goes to protect some groups version of the truth and makes both the parties (one with the popular view and the other with the contradictory view) unhappy.

  22. “Truth” is something, what we learned very early to expect from certain people. First parents, then teachers, church (sometimes teachers as well)

    So everyone has almost the same sequence of truth sources (in the early stages of life).
    So – it will take quite a long time to change this. Even under perfect circumstances – 100% of next parent generation drops PTV – it will take many generations.

    “Truth” is also an extreme power source. Power for parents, then for teachers who generate this power for the mighty ones.

    Important for me: foces more on young kids, learn how to better teach young kids

  23. There are so many different religions all offering their versions of the truth; with frightening passion.

  24. “vengeance is mine saith the lord, I will repay”.
    vengeance on earth by man.
    How do these two get pigeon holed together?
    Followers are told to spread the word not carry out punishment on earth.
    I live in the “bible belt” of America, I ponder on the teachings of PTV but I have yet to discuss this with anyone. I have noticed that I ask god for help when I feel things are out of my control. I have an uneasy feeling when I work at seeing life with no god, or no life hereafter as the church describes. I will continue to study the PTV lessons and make them my own.

  25. I wasn’t aware that all European universities had been run by the Catholic Church. I wonder if this obsession with right and wrong has impacted our grading systems where assignments, tests etc are often graded against how “right” they are.

    Of course being “right”is very important in some areas of life – like engineers building planes or bridges. But I see the overflow into other areas of life – particularly politics – as damaging because in our two part system we often end up with “I’m right, you’re wrong” from both sides. A better approach would be “that’s a good idea, but we think this is a better idea because…”.

  26. Living with uncertainty is uncomfortable – but it is better than living with the TRUTH. As John Maynard Keynes (the famous Economist) said –
    “It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong”.

  27. The picture of a woman burning at stake.

    Thinking about the status quo is…good. In my opinion, It is also the safest.

    “Cut out their tongues! Crank up the rack! Get me the branding iron! Off to the stake!”

    Hmm…wonder how many people would actually verbalize their thoughts if their safeties are jeopardized?

  28. Truth is one of the core value that people neglet becouse of salfish reason.they are many people in this would with different truth.with the way the understand the truth.

  29. ‘The Truth’ or truth is not an absolute. Unfortunately, as stated in this lesson, the church or religious institutions in general proclaim to know the truth but rarely live by it.

    The truth about anything in life is mostly momentary. That is, if you live long enough or even study history you’ll find the truth about many issues are no longer the truth.

    Lastly, the truth is often equated with the word FACT. But when facts change…the truth should change, but often doesn’t. If Galileo were alive he could attest to that.

    Remember, the earth used to be FLAT! That was the truth in the 17th century.

  30. What is the most important insight for you from this lesson?

    Organized groups, not only religious ones, would find any conceivable proof not only to defend but also to justify their truths. They do not want to think, to explore, to learn, and to establish thesis.

    Why is this important to you?

    Because you have to think for yourself, otherwise others will do it for you. Also, at least for myself, it is important to analyze what kind of interest these groups are representing, and the conflict of interest involved around them.

  31. The most important insight that I percieve from this lesson is the fact that the ” Truth has been carried to all parts of the world with missionary zeal. In fact, Western education may be medieval Europe’s most successful export.” This is important to me because it gives me the green light to question everything without hesitation.

  32. What is the most important insight for you from this lesson?

    That the product does not need to be perfect–as long as you keep things simple enough to let users know right and wrong and then punish wrong.

    Why is this important to you?
    Explains how most things work for mass consumption–laws, software, banking, religion, groups…

  33. The most important insight i have received from this lesson is that EVERY TRUTH SHOULD BE GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXIST AND SURVIVE FOR ITSELF.

    This is important to me because i would prefer to know that any truths I embrace and hold have survived for their relevance and functionality for humans and the world we live in – for life in general rather than “TRUTHS” declared to be so by people of groups who seek to protect and preserve their interests.

  34. That as per the Australian example, increasingly through the younger generations ability to freely access a myriad of available and random information sources from the internet and social media, their ability to use their brain software to laterally search for different view points and alternative solutions is increasing. This in turn leaves the PTV virus or Meme struggling to find new hosts to propagate itself through, which in turn is speeding up changes to the ways society’s and cultures change and develop.

    This is important because it gives me confidence that the future state of the World will be a better place for all of us to co-exist and thrive – BVS

  35. Education is in the lamentable state. It produces “brainless” performers… Everyone has got children,so they are worried about their future…Parents don’t want their children to be mere performers…but “creators” …They should be saved from the present school dogmas which often crush children’s souls from the early age…Being parents we should do our best to teach children to perceive information adequately, to filter it somehow. We should not let the present day school/ university system play the decisive role in the lives of our offspring.

  36. My father was right. No catholic church telling him the TRUTH (as his family had accepted). He kept our family free to learn of truth by always seeing better and different solutions.

    Why is this important to me? It taught me to be open minded/willing to learn more and different ways to approach life. His legacy prepared me for teaching in primary, middle schools, at university, and be an administrator understanding innate ability and creativity in EVERY one and to be ready to accept School of Thinking when it was presented to me.

  37. How rediculious that men of the church would torture others to preserve or instill the truth, how is that living by the word of the bible?
    It’s also very interesting what the numbers represent comparing PC users, neck top users, to Vatican disciples.

  38. When the concept of the Absolute Truth is exclusive — that is to say excludes other truths and other means of realizing the Absolute Truth — it becomes very destructive. This is important to me because it will differentiate this concept of the Absolute Truth from one that is inclusive rather than exclusive.

  39. What is the truth?
    Reality is everything that exist or have exsited but we have “scientific” knowledge. It is very sad that most people believe wha tis not true

  40. How indoctrinated we are with a such a predetermined mindset. Here I was thinking that I was a good lateral thinker but I’m just a product of the PTV.

  41. Today, Ausie kids are less interested in defending medieval European truth and more interested in designing new Ausie truths that are useful and relevant to life in the third millennium.

    Because we are living in a dynamic and complex world, what was a right way to things yesterday may not be so tomorrow and constant improvement is what is necessary in the new world.

  42. People can be rewarded for atrocities to others. This gang mentality is so very short sighted and can turn free thinking confident people into mindless hate machines.

    This is important to everyone, as every thing we have and believe in can be taken away from us in an instant by extremist groups such as religion or government.

  43. Tracing back to perhaps a single document various translations of a truth passed on by word of mouth or manually written over time I am pretty sure some of the original message gets lost, leading to various groups or religions believe their version is the correct truth. Sharing all these as the truth and nothing but the truth with no scope for thinking or challenging them has led a PTV world we live in today. Oh dear.

  44. It may sound odd but this all seems like a big game of Chinese whispers. The story began at one person who believed they were right and everybody else was wrong. Then others came along added some extra beliefs mixed it all around and said that this is exactly the Thomist Aristotelian doctrine.
    I guess not really much of an insight but interesting to think about.

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