HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

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HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 26 Oct 2010, 22:39

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=1 ... 7736874747
A pagan, and probably an atheist, Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced the science of astronomy in her time. Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity.

If pagans and atheists had saints she would be foremost among them and it is for this reason that it is only right that she is celebrated. As only the month of her death is known, the date for this occasion has been placed at the mid point of the Ides of March (the 15th).

According to one story she was flayed alive by monks using scallop shells, so to mark this day I am suggesting the wearing of a shell as jewellery. In doing so we remember the tragedy of the Christian destruction of classical learning, from which it can be argued the West did not recover for 1000 years. It is a sobering reminder to always be prepared to look again at history before assuming that things could not have gone another way.

In her own words:

"All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final."

"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Dendrias » 27 Oct 2010, 18:00

Ides of March - what a date to celebrate!

Interestingly, I thought that the given quotations didn't sound ancient in any way. So I searched the web, looked into the Suda (or into Suidas' work), into Socrates Scholastikos' work ... no quotation. Finally:
Although quotations have been attributed to Hypatia on the Internet, she did not say "Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond" (p.269) or "All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final" (p.273) or "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all" (p.273).
source

The remarks "A pagan and probably and atheist" and "in her own words" to me suggests more a manipulation of some kind than deep thinking.

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 27 Oct 2010, 23:00

Dendrias wrote:Ides of March - what a date to celebrate!

Interestingly, I thought that the given quotations didn't sound ancient in any way. So I searched the web, looked into the Suda (or into Suidas' work), into Socrates Scholastikos' work ... no quotation. Finally:
Although quotations have been attributed to Hypatia on the Internet, she did not say "Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond" (p.269) or "All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final" (p.273) or "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all" (p.273).
source

The remarks "A pagan and probably and atheist" and "in her own words" to me suggests more a manipulation of some kind than deep thinking.
A manipulation of what exactly?
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 27 Oct 2010, 23:47

Having been challenged I will give a source for those quotes that is not from the Internet:

Mathematical apocrypha: stories and anecdotes of mathematicians and the mathematical
By Steven George Krantz 2002
ISBN: 0883855399
Page 170

This is a page on primary sources for Hypatia: http://www.polyamory.org/~howard/Hypati ... urces.html
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Dendrias » 28 Oct 2010, 19:50

I don't want to distract anybody from the intention of this thread. But, challanged, I doubt that a book, released (?) in 2002 can be a source for quotations from the the times before 415. It would be interesting to know, which source Krantz got the quotations from.
As You have cited, there are certain sources on the life of Hypatia, none of which has these quotations. But the website You referred to can be of help, of course. When you go one step up to the main-page on Hypatia, different resources are linked. The article of the so-called Suda can be read, the ones by Socrates Scholasticus or John.
And ... Elbert Hubbard's account on her! That's, imho, where problems start. Because you can find the quotations there. Hubbard seems to have written something like a novel. I don't know, because I haven't and don't have the time to check. But if You compare Hubbard's text and the only surviving, very thin, sources ... well, Hubbard's might have channelled some information, but the rest cannot be but pure fiction.
And there we read:
Hubbard wrote:"All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final," said Theon to Hypatia. "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."
Two quotations found beneath each other. Both said by Hypatia's father. Check it here, but mind, it's not the book You check, it's a website with what looks like an extract.

I guess You wanted to know "manipulation of what exactly" more than You wanted to read about the problem with sources and alleged quotations. But asking where quotations came from can be rewarding in getting to know the truth.
A woman from around 400 C.E., murdered by "the christians" is portrayed as 1. enemy of dogmatic religion 2. free thinker 3. "probably an atheist". The bias seems to go towards 1. making a pagan, "probably atheistic" "saint" and martyr 2. outlining intellect-hating christianity 3. attributing resentments against "dogmatic religions" to someone who could be a saint or martyr.

Nothing against Hypatia, atheism or resentment against any religion (as long as they're no substitution of arguments). But until I learn about real sources, I think it's a shady business. Unworthy to someone who seeks the truth.

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 29 Oct 2010, 01:26

To quote your own quote from a website:
Dendrias wrote:
Although quotations have been attributed to Hypatia on the Internet, she did not say "Life is an unfoldment, and the further we travel the more truth we can comprehend. To understand the things that are at our door is the best preparation for understanding those that lie beyond" (p.269) or "All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final" (p.273) or "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all" (p.273).
source

The remarks "A pagan and probably and atheist" and "in her own words" to me suggests more a manipulation of some kind than deep thinking.
I have ammended the event entry on Facebook to read that these quotes are "attributed" to her. In other sources they are said to her by her father Theon (after all, how could a woman think of such things?). But in any case, the internet quote that you cited, which suggested that this was purely an internet derived myth, is demonstrated to be false.

I have described her as a pagan (definitely true), and on the basis of one of the attributed quotes I feel able to say that she was effectively an atheist in the context of her times.
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Dendrias » 29 Oct 2010, 18:05

Well, You're free to do and think so. Whether it is right to derive knowledge from attributed sayings or not is another question. But that's a mere fight over words.
Have a nice Samhain.

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 29 Oct 2010, 20:29

Dendrias wrote:Well, You're free to do and think so. Whether it is right to derive knowledge from attributed sayings or not is another question. But that's a mere fight over words.
Would that we had better sources, but 'twas ever thus :???:
Have a nice Samhain.
And you :)
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Arth Frown » 10 Nov 2010, 23:02

Dendrias wrote:IA woman from around 400 C.E., murdered by "the christians" is portrayed as 1. enemy of dogmatic religion 2. free thinker 3. "probably an atheist". The bias seems to go towards 1. making a pagan, "probably atheistic" "saint" and martyr 2. outlining intellect-hating christianity 3. attributing resentments against "dogmatic religions" to someone who could be a saint or martyr.
.
Indeed! I was thinking this is some sort of atheist or pagan propaganda. Painting ourselves whiter than white while making the "opposition" darker than dark.
lets not forget that pagans have let Christians be eaten by lions or some of mutilated remains of bodies in the archaeological record.
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 11 Nov 2010, 22:42

Arth Frown wrote:
Dendrias wrote:IA woman from around 400 C.E., murdered by "the christians" is portrayed as 1. enemy of dogmatic religion 2. free thinker 3. "probably an atheist". The bias seems to go towards 1. making a pagan, "probably atheistic" "saint" and martyr 2. outlining intellect-hating christianity 3. attributing resentments against "dogmatic religions" to someone who could be a saint or martyr.
.
Indeed! I was thinking this is some sort of atheist or pagan propaganda. Painting ourselves whiter than white while making the "opposition" darker than dark.
lets not forget that pagans have let Christians be eaten by lions or some of mutilated remains of bodies in the archaeological record.
So it is not a good idea to celebrate a pagan rationalist because pagans also did bad things?

Sorry I'm not quite seeing that. So many Christian heros are celebrated, why not celebrate a pagan one? Who was killed because she advanced science in opposition to the early Christians destruction of classical knowledge.
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Arth Frown » 11 Nov 2010, 23:55

Arth Frown wrote:Indeed! I was thinking this is some sort of atheist or pagan propaganda. Painting ourselves whiter than white while making the "opposition" darker than dark.
lets not forget that pagans have let Christians be eaten by lions or some of mutilated remains of bodies in the archaeological record.
So it is not a good idea to celebrate a pagan rationalist because pagans also did bad things?
yes, it is a good idea, but you're idea is centred around what the Christians have done
Sorry I'm not quite seeing that. So many Christian heros are celebrated, why not celebrate a pagan one? Who was killed because she advanced science in opposition to the early Christians destruction of classical knowledge.
In your opening statement there is only one sentence to her attributes.
A pagan, and probably an atheist, Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced the science of astronomy in her time.
And a lot more Christian negativity
Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity.
and also
According to one story she was flayed alive by monks using scallop shells, so to mark this day I am suggesting the wearing of a shell as jewellery.
In doing so we remember the tragedy of the Christian destruction of classical learning, from which it can be argued the West did not recover for 1000 years.
It is a sobering reminder to always be prepared to look again at history before assuming that things could not have gone another way.
All this from someone who is heavily critical of Christianity

Why not celebrate Boudicca or Caratacus who fought against oppression?
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 11:31

Arth Frown wrote:
Arth Frown wrote:Indeed! I was thinking this is some sort of atheist or pagan propaganda. Painting ourselves whiter than white while making the "opposition" darker than dark.
lets not forget that pagans have let Christians be eaten by lions or some of mutilated remains of bodies in the archaeological record.
So it is not a good idea to celebrate a pagan rationalist because pagans also did bad things?
yes, it is a good idea, but you're idea is centred around what the Christians have done
That is generally the idea in any act of remembrance: to remember the way they met their end and the reasons why it happened.
Sorry I'm not quite seeing that. So many Christian heros are celebrated, why not celebrate a pagan one? Who was killed because she advanced science in opposition to the early Christians destruction of classical knowledge.
In your opening statement there is only one sentence to her attributes.
A pagan, and probably an atheist, Hypatia of Alexandria was a woman of remarkable intellect who advanced the science of astronomy in her time.
And a lot more Christian negativity
Her death at the hands of a christian mob in March 415ce has been described as marking the end of classical antiquity.
and also
According to one story she was flayed alive by monks using scallop shells, so to mark this day I am suggesting the wearing of a shell as jewellery.
In doing so we remember the tragedy of the Christian destruction of classical learning, from which it can be argued the West did not recover for 1000 years.
It is a sobering reminder to always be prepared to look again at history before assuming that things could not have gone another way.
All this from someone who is heavily critical of Christianity
You seem to be relying upon my criticism of Christianity as a criticism of the idea rather than addressing the reasons behind that criticism. This is an appeal to motive verging on ad hominem.
Why not celebrate Boudicca or Caratacus who fought against oppression?
What makes you think I would not celebrate those people? Feel free to set up the commemoration and I will gladly join, but that is not what is under discussion here. I do not just look to one small area of pre-christian paganism for inspiration.
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 12:04

Dendrias wrote:I don't want to distract anybody from the intention of this thread. But, challanged, I doubt that a book, released (?) in 2002 can be a source for quotations from the the times before 415. It would be interesting to know, which source Krantz got the quotations from.
As You have cited, there are certain sources on the life of Hypatia, none of which has these quotations. But the website You referred to can be of help, of course. When you go one step up to the main-page on Hypatia, different resources are linked. The article of the so-called Suda can be read, the ones by Socrates Scholasticus or John.
And ... Elbert Hubbard's account on her! That's, imho, where problems start. Because you can find the quotations there. Hubbard seems to have written something like a novel. I don't know, because I haven't and don't have the time to check. But if You compare Hubbard's text and the only surviving, very thin, sources ... well, Hubbard's might have channelled some information, but the rest cannot be but pure fiction.
And there we read:
Hubbard wrote:"All formal dogmatic religions are fallacious and must never be accepted by self-respecting persons as final," said Theon to Hypatia. "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."
Two quotations found beneath each other. Both said by Hypatia's father. Check it here, but mind, it's not the book You check, it's a website with what looks like an extract.

I guess You wanted to know "manipulation of what exactly" more than You wanted to read about the problem with sources and alleged quotations. But asking where quotations came from can be rewarding in getting to know the truth.
A woman from around 400 C.E., murdered by "the christians" is portrayed as 1. enemy of dogmatic religion 2. free thinker 3. "probably an atheist". The bias seems to go towards 1. making a pagan, "probably atheistic" "saint" and martyr 2. outlining intellect-hating christianity 3. attributing resentments against "dogmatic religions" to someone who could be a saint or martyr.

Nothing against Hypatia, atheism or resentment against any religion (as long as they're no substitution of arguments). But until I learn about real sources, I think it's a shady business. Unworthy to someone who seeks the truth.
As you say it is always interesting to know how quotations are come by, and the evidence trail to their source. In particular the references to Hypatia's father having said things attibuted to her needs to be considered alongside the tendency to re-attribute quotes to men at certain points in history.

So as to your seeking the truth, with history all we have are the sources available. Beyond that all is intelligent guesswork, but hardly deserving of the word "shady".
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Arth Frown » 12 Nov 2010, 16:10

cursuswalker wrote: You seem to be relying upon my criticism of Christianity as a criticism of the idea rather than addressing the reasons behind that criticism. This is an appeal to motive verging on ad hominem.

Yes, I am suspicious to your motive.

I'll let other read this thread and judge for themselves. :tiphat:
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 16:38

Arth Frown wrote:
cursuswalker wrote: You seem to be relying upon my criticism of Christianity as a criticism of the idea rather than addressing the reasons behind that criticism. This is an appeal to motive verging on ad hominem.

Yes, I am suspicious to your motive.
And what do you suspect my motive to be?
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Dendrias » 12 Nov 2010, 18:30

cursuswalker wrote:As you say it is always interesting to know how quotations are come by, and the evidence trail to their source. In particular the references to Hypatia's father having said things attibuted to her needs to be considered alongside the tendency to re-attribute quotes to men at certain points in history.
So as to your seeking the truth, with history all we have are the sources available. Beyond that all is intelligent guesswork, but hardly deserving of the word "shady".
Sorry, You can't get me as a judge on motives.
I guess, Cursuswalker, there has been this tendency, although no instance (of course, you might say) is known to me. But that was not my point in the "shady business section".
All we have are the sources available. But we have to tell the real from the false sources. For a woman in antiquity, which kind of sources would be right ones? I guess, mediaeval sources if we haven't got antique sources, don't You think. (Left aside the problem of accuracy.)
A false source would be a modern novel, wouldn't it? It's no source about the actual life of a woman in antiquity. Robert Harris for instance is a very nice and interesting author, when he writes about Cicero. But to quote from Harris to say something true about any of Cicero's quotation - that'd be foolish.
Would You, Cursuswalker, please read (again) what I suspect Your quotation to be from. You quoted me, so it would be easy to find. My point was never on whether or not we have got sources on Hypatia, but on the only available not-solely-internet source I could find about the alleged quotations. Then, I hope, will be clear, why no guesswork, intelligent or not, is needed, to say that a novel, published in 1928 (the given edition), cannot possibly be a source for Hypatia's life.
To use that as such is more than shady, and I can't see anything intelligent in it.

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 21:24

Just to be clear where did that novel source the quotations from. Quotes attributed to her father?

In any case the commemoration hardly rests on the provenance of those quotations. If they are correct all the better. If they are not, then the values they espouse are still in the spirit of the event.
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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by Dendrias » 12 Nov 2010, 21:44

Where did the novel quote from? Why should a novel quote? It's fiction.
The Hypatia-day doesn't rest on the quotations in questions, but the picture these people have of Hypatia rests on these quotations. I question the values of "probably an atheist" and "against dogmatic religion" in total, as far as Hypatia is concerned.

That's really all I wanted to be understood.

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 21:58

So to clarify, you cannot find any earlier source for those quotes than the novel in which they appear?

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Re: HYPATIA DAY MARCH 15TH

Post by cursuswalker » 12 Nov 2010, 22:31

An interesting discussion on the probable provenance of the quotes in the comments here: http://benatlas.com/2009/07/hypatia-of- ... of-reason/
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