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Response to Califa (Reply #37)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 12:39 PM

39. Actually according to the Catholic church

The church actually supported Galileo! The church now says:

Galileo's conflict with the Church — which resulted in confrontations with the Vatican on two separate occasions — would never have taken place if it were not for his unyielding insistence on trying to prove that the helio-centric theory proposed by Copernicus was a true physical system. Underlying this conflict was a philosophical one between a Pythagorean view that finds truth in idealized mathematics, and a Christian-Incarnational view which affirms the unity of mind and matter, form and substance.

But the conflict was not between a progressive scientist and a backward clergy, or between a blameless individual and an authoritarian Church. In fact, as we shall argue, Galileo's attempt to validate an essentially Pythagorean description of the universe owes more of its driving force to his own vanity and personal ambitions, than to the impersonal forces that motivate a disinterested scientist. The Church, on the other hand, did not initiate an aggressive attack against Galileo as much as it was forced into a position of having to defend its own integrity.


So, basically, the Church condemned Galileo because he was a pain in the ass. Continuing to rewrite history, the church complains about Galileo's "caustic tongue":


Galileo's caustic tongue and acid pen made him many a life-long enemy and even converted supportive colleagues into vindictive foes. The devastating sarcasm with which he frequently ridiculed the arguments and the character of his opponents created more bitterness than they shed light. Concerning his arch-rival, Colombe, Galileo remarked that Aristotle made many blunders, "Though neither so many nor so silly as does this author every time he opens his mouth on the subject."57 Referring to the "Pigeon-League," he once stated that he had "an idea for an emblem those pedants could put on their shingle: A fireplace with a stuffed flue, and the smoke curling back to fill the house in which are assembled people to whom dark comes before evening."58 De Santillana avers that Galileo's marginal jottings on his copy of a work by Fr. Grassi were so violent that, "The expletives alone would make a vocabulary of good Tuscan abuse."59

The Galileo affair is essentially a human drama played out by a cast of flawed and finite characters. It has the plausible pretext of being a loftier dispute involving science, philosophy, theology, and society. But in the main, it is a clash of souls, some less noble than others. There is a subtle irony to the fact that Galileo and Shakespeare were born in the same year. The world's pre-eminent playwright would have found the Galileo dispute much to his liking, and had he given it a script would doubtlessly have assigned the impersonal ideals a place of secondary significance.


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HarveyDarkey Mar 2014 OP
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AverageJoe90 Mar 2014 #6
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nadinbrzezinski Mar 2014 #34
2banon Mar 2014 #33
Califa Mar 2014 #37
LineLineLineLineReply Actually according to the Catholic church
NastyRiffraff Mar 2014 #39
Fortinbras Armstrong Mar 2014 #59
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