The Notre Dame Fire

  • The Notre Dame fire today is a huge event that has many political implications that are not appropriate for this forum. But it clearly is Epicurean to observe that the gods of the religionists do not intervene to protect their temples.


    I clearly seem to recall that there are passages in some of the ancient texts about how "the gods'" fail to protect their temples, and that their thunderbolts even burn down their own altars, but at the moment I can't recall a cite.


    If any of you remember good texts that would be appropriate for graphics in the coming weeks and months, please post those here too. Because the images of the burning Notre Dame are going to become 9/11 style iconic images showing that the gods do not intervene in the world of human affairs. And that far transcends the politics of 2019.

  • **Gods Do Not Protect Their Temples** - I think this time line has been posted before, but today is probably a good day to repost it. Epicurean philosophy has pointed out for 2000 years the lesson of this timeline, that neither the ancient gods, nor the modern ones, protect their temples. And that is because of the observation made in PD1:


    "1. A blessed and indestructible being has no trouble himself and brings no trouble upon any other being; so he is free from anger and partiality, for all such things imply weakness."


    And in the letter to Menoeceus:


    "For there are gods, and the knowledge of them is manifest; but they are not such as the multitude believe, seeing that men do not steadfastly maintain the notions they form respecting them. Not the man who denies the gods worshipped by the multitude, but he who affirms of the gods what the multitude believes about them is truly impious. For the utterances of the multitude about the gods are not true preconceptions but false assumptions; hence it is that the greatest evils happen to the wicked and the greatest blessings happen to the good from the hand of the gods, seeing that they are always favorable to their own good qualities and take pleasure in men like themselves, but reject as alien whatever is not of their kind."


    http://churchandstate.org.uk/2…ies-of-pagan-persecution/

  • No doubt it is a shocking experience for a lot of people - it is to me too. But sometimes shocking experiences can have beneficial consequences if they help us come to better grip with reality.

  • The gods notwithstanding, it's a terrible shame to lose an architectural and artistic treasure of such magnitude. I compare it to a loss on a lesser magnitude of the Glasgow School of Art a few years ago.


    A truly pleasurable memory of mine is wandering into Notre Dame as the organist began playing Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. The light, the music reverberating: spectacular and sublime. An incredible achievement of mankind.


    Not to defend religion, but many cultural artifacts of the world would not exist without religious fervor of various types. I try to appreciate the artifacts while being cognizant of the pros and cons of the processes of their creation.

  • A good read is Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. Historical fiction about the building of a cathedral and the intrigue and effort involved.

  • I have heard of that Follett book but not read it. Yes indeed it is a great tragedy to lose it. I suppose that's a reason to keep it in context, that the world also has lost many more, and more beautiful buildings, from the ancient world, so that this isn't unique. It's still shocking and disconcerting, regardless.

  • At the Acropoli's temple of Athena when its marbles had been destroyed and the rest have been stolen for the purpose to be exhibited in the London's museum.... no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    The statue of Nike of Samothraki that has been stolen for the purpose to be exhibited in the museum of Louvre in Paris... no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    The statue of Aphrodite of Melos when it has been stolen for the purpose to exhibit in the museum of Louvre in Paris...no one cared in EU or elsewhere.

    And nobody care for these treasures that belong to Hellas till now... Frankly, I do not care of what belongs to France !

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • It was time ago. Now the world has a better sensibility to this.
    I hope what was stolen can came go back to Hellas.

  • If you think that the world of our days has another attitude for greek philosophy and greek treasures... you do not know, my friend, what is going on, and what keeps well inside EU. No, I do not bye anymore whatever comes from that as they call it United Europe that is a world which is falling apart/collapses like a tree with its trunk, its branches, and its roots in front of our eyes. Because EU's values system is based on the monetary banking system! And of course the bread for the hungry people is the fantastic world of ideas by Plato that is liked so much by the priesthood, who earn more than 12.000.000 euros /per year as an income of Notre Dame... and there are people in EU that still are unemployed and have no their natural and necessary ...in EU of our days. But who has such open eyes for seeing the virus that is inside our countries ?? Do you understand that people are manipulating in an extreme scientific way for losing our social coherence just for the purpose to separate us and for leading us to wars ??

    Dear Italian friend Michelle, there would be the same causes in the phenomena, when History will be repeated like a bad-tasted joke !<X

    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • On The Outskirts Of Antioch - Poem by Constantine P. Cavafy


    We in Antioch were astonished when we heard

    what Julian was up to now.


    Apollo had made things clear to him at Daphni:

    he didn't want to give an oracle (as though we cared!),

    he didn't intend to speak prophetically, unless

    his temple at Daphni was purified first.

    The nearby dead, he declared, got on his nerves.


    There are many tombs at Daphni.

    One of those buried there

    was the triumphant and holy martyr Vavylas,

    wonder and glory of our church.


    It was him the false god hinted at, him he feared.

    As long as he felt him near he didn't dare

    pronounce his oracle: not a murmur.

    (The false gods are terrified of our martyrs.)


    Unholy Julian got worked up,

    lost his temper and shouted: "Raise him, carry him out,

    take him away immediately, this Vavylas.

    You there, do you hear? He gets on Apollo's nerves.

    Grab him, raise him at once,

    dig him out, take him away, throw him out,

    take him wherever you want. This isn't a joke.

    Apollo said the temple has to be purified."


    We took it, the holy relic, and carried it elsewhere.

    We took it, we carried it away in love and in honor.


    And hasn't the temple done brilliantly since!

    In no time at all a colossal fire

    broke out, a terrible fire,

    and both the temple and Apollo burned to nothing.8o


    Ashes the idol: dirt to be swept away.


    Julian exploded, and he spread it around—

    what else could he do?—that we, the Christians,

    had set the fire. Let him say so.

    It hasn't been proved. Let him say so.

    The essential thing is—he exploded.



    Beauty and virtue and such are worthy of honor, if they bring pleasure; but if not then bid them farewell!

  • Michele I hope not, but Vatican City may be next!


    It's my understanding that the Vatican was largely constructed with stone from the original Roman Forum buildings, is that correct?


    If so, lots of conflicting emotions and histories are involved.

  • I'm sorry if this sounds awful but Vatican City is teeming with sexual predators and their protectors (like "reverend" Bernard Law of Boston, who has his own cathedral and an assistant) who went there desperately trying to evade the law in their home countries. It should not have the privilege of sovereignty (which makes it nearly impossible to extradite criminals, a process which by which politicians risk the anger of the Catholic mobs and the loss of diplomatic ties with "the Catholic World")


    If Vatican City burns down, that'll be a day of salvation for abused children all over the world.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • I agree with much of what you wrote there, Hiram. The buildings and the artwork are beautiful, but they are built on the ruins of something that was *more* beautiful before, and what was there became ruins in my view largely because of the views and people who built Vatican City,


    And I especially thing you are correct about the sexual and other types of perversion that permeate the Roman Catholic church.


    The main reservation I have is that what could follow the Vatican would be something even worse, if present trends continue - a sister Abrahamic religion built on essentially the same falsehoods.

  • Nietzsche also shares our fears of what will replace Christianity, and Michel Onfray I think is doing a great job proposing an Epicurean and/or neo-Epicurean alternative. Alain de Botton's "Atheism 2.0" lecture and the "Sunday Assembly" give ideas about what a post-Christian world should look like. I think it's in our self-interest to support Enlightenment and humanist alternatives for creating community and meaning in the West.

    "Please always remember my doctrines!" - Epicurus' last words

  • I think it's in our self-interest to support Enlightenment and humanist alternatives for creating community and meaning in the West.

    See, that's where I would say Epicurean alternatives because I don't know that "enlightenment" and "humanist" are the same thing -- in fact I think that a case could be made that those words helped get us to where we are today. The real serum is what Epicurus promoted, and when people (not you, of course) use other words to describe their meaning, then they are hedging on something, probably something very important.

  • Dear Italian friend Michelle, there would be the same causes in the phenomena, when History will be repeated like a bad-tasted joke !<X

    Dear Elli,
    Have you ever eared about the Fono's Lisippo? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorious_Youth)
    Fano is a city in Italy about 25km from my home. They discovered this ancient statue of an athlete made by Lisippo.
    The statue arrived, we do not know exactly how, at Getty Museum.
    Now there is a legal battle, and the city of Fano is going to win it.

    It is what I mean when I say that there is a better sensibility about that. And, unfortunately, not everything is going well.