Offline Tom Bishop

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Religious View of the Enlightenment
« on: May 18, 2020, 07:59:49 PM »
Since this project stated years ago I found myself more focused on describing the physical Flat Earth Theory, which I have documented from the general arguments from various forum discussions and put on the Wiki, rather than here. I think that we are generally satisfied with most of the often discussed issues except for the nature and layout of the South, which I believe future generations will tackle (I have never really put much effort into it, but recognize that there are many more variables to consider than commonly assumed, especially when questioning the assumptions).

Lately I have been meaning to focus my FE activities back to non-physical aspects.

For instance, did you know that father of modern physics, Issac Newton, had some pretty interesting religious views, including a belief that he was chosen by God? See the work of professor Robert Iliffe:


Robert Iliffe
Professor of the History of Science
Linacre College

"Rob Iliffe is Professor of History of Science at Oxford, Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology, and a General Editor of the Newton Project."

From a video titled Professor Rob Iliffe on Newton, Science and Religion:

    "Newton himself is a deeply devout and radical original Christian thinker. He's not a member of any Church, he's not always serving as a minister in the church, but he's somebody who spends virtually all of his life in this extraordinary quest to understand how Christianity had, in his eyes, come to be corrupted. He's somebody who certainly believes in natural theology. He believes that his own role as a natural philosopher is a religious role. He believes that doing natural philosophy is reading the book of God, but he's somebody who does a lot more than that, and he spends most of his time and he devotes his life to doing theology. He's somebody who believes he's one of the elect. He's specially chosen by God. He will reign with Christ in the Millennium. So he thinks he's a very special boy, and that that kind of self belief, that radical immense self belief, energizes the originality of his work in mathematics, physics, and theology itself."


    "Newton privately is a man who writes millions and millions of words on theology, on the apocalypse, on the Whore of Babylon, the woman in the wilderness, the two horned and ten horned beasts, but publicly he's somebody who doesn't seem to be that religious. He doesn't seem to be that devout and that view of Newton is quite clear in the 18th century. It's only in the 19th century and the 20th century that we've come to understand the deep religiosity that Newton had, this immense undertaking that he did for many hours and each day of his life of studying the Bible."


    "Newton's achievements in science were so great that he was worthy of being worshipped, that in the eyes of one of his followers, Etienne Louis Boule, that it was worth creating a gigantic Cenotaph that was dedicated to the life and works of Isaac Newton. And some people have laughed at Boule's project, certainly people in the 18th century in Anglican England would have been dismayed by it, even though Newton was of course their great hero. But what I think it shows in a sort of pre-figurative way is the way in which science can become a form of religion.

    It can in some aspects take on the character of that thing that it sets itself against, and what you see in a number of people in the late 18th century and 19th century is a developing anti-religious animus that takes on the character of the very people that they hate. People become deeply upset that people still believe in religion. They preach the truth of science, they preach the necessity of Newtonian physics and other kinds of physics. They take on the the kind of evangelizing and proselytizing characteristics of that very practice that they detest so much."

Professor Iliffe appears to go as far as to say that Newton's science movement was a religion by another name.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2020, 03:57:58 PM by Tom Bishop »
"The biggest problem in astronomy is that when we look at something in the sky, we don’t know how far away it is" — Pauline Barmby, Ph.D., Professor of Astronomy

Offline Dionysios

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2020, 09:21:22 PM »
In the long while since I’ve visited this forum I made two discoveries dealing with history which would probably be useful to this book and which I have mentioned in more detail in posts in the ‘Library Additions’ section.

One of these is a very positive factor dealing with the robust preservation of early Christian flat earthism in Russia for centuries after the west had caved in. I have posted there links to Slavonic manuscripts of the ‘Christian Topography’ and some accompanying history. I had long suspected this, but I never had much evidence of it until fairly recently.

Secondly, I discovered a couple of writers who described the apostasy of Western European flat earthism during the renaissance in greater detail and with more knowledge and evidence than I had previously known or suspected. These are two books by the late William Randles and also an article by Professor James J. Allegro.

W.G.L. Randles’s book ‘Unmaking of the Medieval Christian Cosmos’ in particular touches upon the anti-flat Earth role of the Protestant Reformation in league with renaissance humanists in smothering the old flat earthism which paved the way for the rise of heliocentrism during the “enlightenment”.

I’ll just observe that Randles personal views appear to resemble the science of medieval Catholicism a bit more than ancient stuff like Cosmas Indicopleustes - although the trends and science he attacks in this book are inimical to both.


Allegro’s article does a fine job of condensing the vast information Randles collected into a shorter clearer article jam packed with razor sharp facts that overturn the very wrong status quo approach to the renaissance and proves flat earthism was actually still alive in Western Europe in the early 1500’s.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 09:34:30 PM by Dionysios »


Offline Toddler Thork

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Re: Religious View of the Enlightenment
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2020, 10:59:02 PM »
In my own flat earth non-physical studies (which I enjoy far more than the sunsets, tides and Coriolis discussions that I no longer have any inclination to participate in), Newton always comes back to Deism and alchemy. These themes run so strongly through his work, and that links back to many other flat earth proponents ... Deism being a recurring theme in flat earth history. Deist symbols and imagery appear all over flat earth texts and art.

Many of Newton's friends were deists, and he finds himself at odds with his own beliefs and theirs, when he starts looking at gravity and motion of planets, which runs contrary to the Deist belief of a clockwork universe set in motion by God. He then can't square the circle. His gravity vs knowing there must be a creator. So he writes

Quote from: Isaac Newton
This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent Being. [...] This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called "Lord God" παντοκρατωρ [pantokratōr], or "Universal Ruler". [...] The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, [and] absolutely perfect.

Opposition to godliness is atheism in profession and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.

He flip flops back and forth on so many issues leaving one wondering does he end up an ally or an enemy of the flat earth society? Its a lot like Einstein. Some of his theories are a problem, but then Special Relativity is needed by flat earth. Galileo, the same problems.

I shall look forward to reading your findings. I'll warn of my own experience though, on this forum. Not many people want to discuss such things. They always want to bring it back to sunsets, perspective or some equally dull similar topic so they can try to spring an 'aha!' moment on you, because they think no one but them could have mentioned it before.  ::)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 11:01:52 PM by Toddler Thork »
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