#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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. ‘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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

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