#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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

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