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What If? (#2)

Religion Wicca What If?

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#101 Jid

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 06:36 PM

Elara, on Aug 21 2005, 04:52 PM, said:

Jid, on Aug 21 2005, 04:27 PM, said:

Whatever figure you're recalling, I'm sorry to say, is likely to be highly inflated, unless you mean to use the end of the inquisition as a terminus, with an undefined time period prior which would allow for the number to reach that high.
~snip~
Of course, to make such extrapolations is a highly dangerous practice, and people who perpetuate such myths tend to do so because they're either too busy picking at their preferred bone, or simply have unfortunately not found the voluminous historical documentation which seriously refutes any claims of a murderous rampage on the scale of millions.

(In fact, most historians of any reputable level would peg the witch burnings at between 40-60000.)

~.~ I agree with Waterpanther that your amount is most likely at the low end of reality.
And it is possible that people on both sides of that 'myth' could fit your description.

I don't discount the possibility.  I do, however, choose to side with the most concrete evidence available, which puts any estimates above 100,000 into serious doubt.

Which is not to discount the deaths of 100,000, but rather to correct the notion that millions of people could die and there still be no evidence to support that massive of an extermination, other than specious estimates based on extrapolation.

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And an examination of the rather careful records kept by the church (some things never change ;) ) the *punishments* meted out reached 350000 (for all crimes, predominantly heresy, rather than witchcraft), while actual deaths in those two countries totalled between five and seven thousand.

~.~ See, now here is where the problem lies and I don't mean this to be just with Christianity, but with everything. You speak of 'careful records kept', which says you accept what they say simply because of what you believe to be an unfallible truth.
No, I speak of careful records, which I accept, because they are *careful records*, rather than a source of infallible truth.  Despite the implication otherwise, I remain a healthy skeptic, rather than a mindless sheep, thanks ever so kindly.

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Yet, if you were of another belief, a belief that has been attacked by those who kept such 'careful records', you may not be so quick to trust and may actually wonder just what those 'careful records' could be hiding.
Actually, the founder of the brand of religion I was born into was branded a heretic by the Catholic Church and threatened with death.  You might have even heard of him.  His last name was Luther.  The simple fact of the matter, is I refuse to discount historical evidence based on my emotions.  (And, as a point of interest, at least to me, the destabilization of the "civilized world" caused by the Reformation in all likelihood fed the societal conditions that allowed for such a widespread attack on "witches" - the demographic variation in countries making them roughly 75% women overall.)

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We Neopagans now face a crisis. As new data appeared, historians altered their theories to account for it. We have not. Therefore an enormous gap has opened between the academic and the "average" Pagan view of witchcraft. We continue to use of
~snip~
We owe it to ourselves to study the Great Hunt more honestly, in more detail, and using the best data available. Dualistic fairy tales of noble witches and evil witch hunters have great emotional appeal, but they blind us to what happened. And what could happen, today. Few Pagans commented on the haunting similarities between the Great Hunt and America's panic over Satanic cults. Scholars noticed it; we didn't. We say "Never again the Burning!" But if we don't know what happened the first time, how are we ever going to prevent it from happening again

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~.~ I would be willing to read what this person has to say, but unfortunately, this quote makes me wonder why it sounds almost as if she is blaming those that were killed, instead of those that did the killing? It makes me think she is suggesting that Pagans should go back into hiding. I am basing my opinions on this quote and may be incorrect, but this is the feeling that it brought.

I never take anything at face value, if you don't believe me, ask my Sunday school teachers. ;)

~argh!~ quote tags! I checked, twice, still missed one!

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While I admit I cannot honestly see how this can be interpreted as "It's those women's own fault they were accuse of witchcraft and burned.".  The way I interpret her remarks is the bemoaning of a lack of scholarship that has lead to the gap she describes between historical reality as scholars can decipher it, and the lack of similarly updating the historical views of a seemingly large majority of practitioners (hence her mention - though snipped from your quotation above - of the perpetual availabilty of outdated (and inaccurate) historical resources, and the lack of availability of those which make use of the most recent discoveries and most reliable material.

Edited by Jid, 21 August 2005 - 06:48 PM.

cervisiam tene rem specta

#102 tennyson

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 09:09 PM

~.~ There are murderers who know that killing is wrong. Isn't it possible that those who had people put to death knew what they were doing was wrong, but did it anyway?[QUOTE]

I think that the various higher royalty including the king of France knew that there was no massive Jewish-Leper conspiracy to poison Chrisendom and by doing so take the land for the Muslims.
As for the application of religous social control I look at it on a case by case basis. Most trials of supposed witches didn't end with anything more than a few injuctions for prayers if that. For example, the two women from the Fruili who were brought to Nicolas of Cusa's attention in 1457 after being accused of worshipping a folk goddess called by a name that translates as "bringer of good things" were declared as simply sick rather than a threat to anyone and were let be. There was a debate going on among the elites at the this time and later about the reality of occult or hidden forces and the subset of them known as demonic magic. Some such as Giovanni Pico saw supposed malificarum who claimed to fly at night and such as needing medical care rather than the stake while others saw malificarum and by extension any magical act as a grave threat to the corporate body of humanity. This grouping belived that they were doing the only necessary and right thing when faced with such a to them massive and insidious threat. They most closely remsemble the popular stereotype of the crusading preacher, looking for witches behind every tree.
and then there would definitely be some who were accused of malificarum for political reasons, from nobility to bishops and even popes, who were accused of dark magic as a way to undermine thier power or to bring forth a grudge or to take thier gold like the Templars. But I don't think anyone can know how many did people did which thing for what reason for every case.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#103 waterpanther

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Posted 21 August 2005 - 09:56 PM

tennyson, you're citing atypical cases there.  Italy, like Spain, was outside the area of the major witch hunts, and 1427 was a century before the worst outbreaks.  The Reformation never got a real foothold in Italy, either, so that "witches" didn't get caught between equal-opportunityCatholic and Protestant persecutors as they did in Germany, and, ultimately, in England under the Tudors.

Some rulers undoubtedly knew that they were inventing trumped up charges against political enemies.  Whether Philippe IV, who broke the Templar Order, did is open to question, since he was intensely narcissitic and absolutely convinced of his own righteousness.  James VI/I, on the other hand, was a True Believer, and actually wrote a rather bad book on the subject of witchcraft.
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#104 tennyson

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 12:43 AM

I'm citing the cases I know. After two years of writting what turned into the great American research paper on how approved practice was defined in early modern Italy I can cite you examples from Italy from 1360-1800 but aside from Early Modern European Witchcraft:Centres and Peripheries(Published by Claredon Press, Oxford 1990, and the single largest pan-European withcraft trial surey I've ever seen) the rest of Europe wasn't germaine to what I was doing and therefore less well covered in my research and though with the Malleus being written by a German I had to hit on that somewhat. That being said I can take you from the intial formation of the demonic sterotype at the time of the counsel of Basel and then through its dissfusion across the Alps into Italy and beyond.

I'm aware of what happened with the Templars as well as what happened with the Cathars(which I take to be both a land grab and a pious cause unlike the Jewish-Leper incidents which were pure theft and murder that turned into mass hysteria) and I've read James book which at least has the virtue of being better written than the Malleus.  
Also, the incident I first mentioned was in 1457 while Pico published his Strix in 1523 during the height of Italian witchhunting. (see "Witchcraft and Magic in Renaissance Italy: Gianfrancesco Pico and his Strix" by Peter Burke in The Damned Art edited by Sydney Angelo)
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#105 Nonny

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Posted 22 August 2005 - 10:38 AM

Nonny, on Aug 21 2005, 04:42 AM, said:

tennyson, on Aug 20 2005, 08:52 PM, said:

The Salem witch trials were in the 1600s and burning was a last resort punishment for herasy in Europe, not simply witchcraft, i.e. malificarum. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for beliefs that owe very little to the folk beliefs of the people of early modern Italy. That being said extensive research into inquisitional records conducted over the last fifty years has shown burning at the stake or even long prison terms were uncommon.

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One death as punishment for "heresy" is one too many.  Any manner of death as punishment for "heresy" is murder unjustified.  Any death for any "heresy," whether it be practicing a religion other than that of the civil and religious rulers, scientific speculation that shakes the foundations of heaven, or a shocking algebraic curve, is a death too many.

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tennyson, on Aug 21 2005, 07:59 AM, said:

One death as punishment for "heresy" is one too many. Any manner of death as punishment for "heresy" is murder unjustified. Any death for any "heresy," whether it be practicing a religion other than that of the civil and religious rulers, scientific speculation that shakes the foundations of heaven, or a shocking algebraic curve, is a death too many.
We are not in disagreement here. I am simply reporting the historical record as I know it after years of studying it. This in no way implies consent with what is presented any more than my relating of cultures where pederasty is a common practice implies my consent with that.

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Good to know.  As for the historical record itself, until very recently it was controlled completely by those with the power to dictate what it should say.  A visionary, for example, might be invited by a pope or bishop to share his or her memoirs and enjoy the services of a cleric assigned to write them down, or might be murdered for "heresy."  Just because someone had something to say doesn't mean s/he had the means to set it down for posterity, or the permission to do so.  The oral tradition did nicely for all others, but the oral tradition is not respected by the keepers of the historical record.  

Nonny

stupid quote tags  :p

Edited by Nonny, 22 August 2005 - 10:40 AM.

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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#106 Heropa

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 04:56 PM

QueenTiye, on Aug 9 2005, 01:24 PM, said:

Why?

I'm going to challenge this assumption, because I don't know of any religion that does not have some sense of leaning on a power greater than man - be it nature, Supreme Deity or deities - and as such, tends to have some reticence toward science and medicine, at least.  I'd like to think that a greater reverence toward nature would ensue - but then... people have to live somewhere.... and the greater reverence toward nature could actually mean being less competitive militaristically.

Just stirring the pot a bit... ;)

QT

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I know a large congregate of Wicca and they believe in a rather liquid form of defense with everyone over ten being part of it. Just as the long term stopping factor for invasion of America and Russia was that scattered citizens had the know-how to defend their area and plan a counter attack, so to for a Wiccan nation. It's people would learn hand to hand, camouflage and archery as a matter of culture. Many of the best sharpshooters were young archers. Homes and military installations would blend with the area, making them hard to find.
(FYI- I know a pasifist falily that could make you clean your own clock.)

Ooh, and Skippy could wear woad and still be in uniform! :wideeyed:
http://www.skippyslist.com/index.html
Your Heropa.
Here for something- there you go.

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#107 Corwin

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 05:23 PM

Just because I'm Wiccan doesn't mean I'm not going to use the best available technology.  In fact, just the opposite.  Bows and arrows work great, but they won't stop a modern invasion.  I want pulse cannons, rail guns, nano-tech camouflage, saboted DU and frangible ammunition, and the best medicine and facilities I can get.  I want the most quiet, most advanced vehicles that can be made.  Yes, I respect nature and I'll work with it, but I'm not going to be a slave to it either.  The very best technology should have less environmental pollution than the next to best.  Hi-tech does not equal high pollution.


Corwin
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#108 Nonny

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 05:51 PM

Heropa, on Aug 28 2005, 01:56 PM, said:

Ooh, and Skippy could wear woad and still be in uniform! :wideeyed:
http://www.skippyslist.com/index.html

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

:lol:  :lol:  :lol:
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#109 Elara

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 06:23 PM

Corwin, on Aug 28 2005, 05:23 PM, said:

Just because I'm Wiccan doesn't mean I'm not going to use the best available technology.  In fact, just the opposite.  Bows and arrows work great, but they won't stop a modern invasion.  I want pulse cannons, rail guns, nano-tech camouflage, saboted DU and frangible ammunition, and the best medicine and facilities I can get.  I want the most quiet, most advanced vehicles that can be made.  Yes, I respect nature and I'll work with it, but I'm not going to be a slave to it either.  The very best technology should have less environmental pollution than the next to best.  Hi-tech does not equal high pollution.


Corwin

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~.~ Exactly.
In fact, high tech means we know how and are perfectly capable of keeping the air, land and water clean. Yet, for some reason it is not done.
El
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