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Re^2: A Level Playing Field

by Tanktalus (Canon)
on Nov 01, 2005 at 18:24 UTC ( #504683=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: A Level Playing Field
in thread A Level Playing Field

I would be honoured to be called "Grand Inquisitor". Truly honoured. They were beacons of civility and hope of their time. They created the underpinnings of modern judicial systems in that they were run by experts.

Up to that point, the King's court was run by lawyers who had no understanding of the religious crimes they were persecuting. The inquistion changed that by bringing in religious scholars who knew what the Catholic faith was about, and what heresy really was. That fact alone dropped conviction rates tremendously as many accused were simply not being heretical. Combine this with the Church's mission to evangelise, and you get the ability to repent and thus receive no punishment for what was, in effect, a capital offense. (It was a capital offense because it was considered treasonous: speaking against Catholocism, from where the King supposedly received his power, was also speaking against the King.)

See:

The latter one is much more informative.

Now .. can we get back to the task at hand? XPWing Perl?


Comment on Re^2: A Level Playing Field
Re^3: A Level Playing Field
by jZed (Prior) on Nov 01, 2005 at 18:31 UTC
    This is such OT BS that I don't know where to begin. Perhaps with Portugal and Spain where the Inquisition forced every single Jew into hiding, death, or emmigration and had disastrous impact on Muslims as well.

      I know I'm about to drop a level or two ... but precisely what are your sources? Did you read the links I provided? If it's OT, I submit that I'm just correcting a fallacy repeated by Dominus. If it's BS, I submit that leaving a myth uncorrected is larger BS, and that this is based on newer information, and is not really new news in historian circles (see the books Madden links to).

      Hang on to your myths if you like. But please don't continue to propogate them as if they were fact.

        My sources? How about knowing Sephardic Jews (those forced into exile from Spain and Portugal), having visited synagogues in Portugal and Spain that had been converted to churches. How about reading virtually any history book. If you want links, try the first two on google: 1, 2
Re^3: A Level Playing Field
by tilly (Archbishop) on Nov 02, 2005 at 07:33 UTC
    History is far too complex for such a facile summary of an institution that existed that long, in that many places.

    It is true that they were fairer than most other legal systems of the day. But they were still incredibly brutal by current standards.

    It is true that they helped shape many modern judicial systems. But the British justice system, and its various descendents in the English-speaking world, are not among that number.

    It is true that the Inquisition didn't burn masses of people at the stake. But they knew what would happen when they turned their victims over to secular authorities, and also had a role in convincing secular authorities to use that punishment.

    It is true that part of the reason that the Spanish Inquisition was singled out for so much criticism was due to Protestant politics. But it is also true that they earned a good part of that criticism, particularly for their actions in the New World, and for their actions until Napoleon intervened. (Read, for instance, this description.)

    It is true that the Inquisition gave many life imprisonment instead of turning them over to be burned. But life imprisonment in the way that they did it could well have been a harsher punishment.

    It is true that the Inquisition did not actually drive the Jews out of Spain. But it did push for that to happen.

    It is true that most have an exaggerated view of how horrible the Inquisition was. But it was still pretty darned horrible. Furthermore when it comes to the appropriateness of having Grand Inquisitor as a title on this site, the perception of people who are likely to be offended matters more than the reality.

Re^3: A Level Playing Field
by tirwhan (Abbot) on Nov 02, 2005 at 10:56 UTC

    Hmm, a bit of googling on the author of your second link gives the impression, that, while being a respected academic, he also seems to have made a bit of a career as an apologist for the various failings of the Christian churches over the millenia. I am not at all an expert on these matters, and of course haven't done extensive research on the guy, so I may be wrong, but personally from what I've seen in the last few minutes I'd take his words with a grain of salt.

    Anyway, neither of the two links you gave deny that the Inquisition did actively seek out and persecute people who did nothing more wrong than hold personal beliefs not in accordance with that of the church. How right or wrong the Inquisition was in relation to what else was going on in the world at the time is of little interest IMO, that argument can be used to justify almost any atrocity ever. So I'm not sure its so very wise of you to say you'd be proud of being associated with them (if that is what you were saying), given that you don't otherwise come across as a guy who's proud to be persecuting people :-).

    Oh god, this is so OT ;-). In an effort to justify my posting let me say that I heartily approve of the new XP system, and also of the phoenix-like transformation of the Grand Inquisitor to a Sage.


    Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place. Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are, by definition, not smart enough to debug it. -- Brian W. Kernighan
Re^3: A Level Playing Field
by Dominus (Parson) on Apr 13, 2007 at 19:50 UTC
    Shortly after you posted this, I read the articles you pointed to, and then I read the two books referred to in the National Review article, by Peters and by Kamen.

    My conclusion from reading those books was that you hadn't read them yourself, that you didn't know what you were talking about, and that you were completely full of shit.

      Oh, come on Dominus - tell us how you really feel. And then tell us why you bother to respond to something over a year later.
        > tell us why you bother to respond to something over a year later.

        Thanks for asking. I had meant to make a longer and more substantive response after reading the books, when the details were fresh in my mind. By then the discussion was already rather stale, and I had other things to do.

        But I thought there might be some value in pointing out, even a year later, that the books alluded to did not make the point that the OP claimed that they did.

        It might also be worth remembering the next time Tanktalus appears to back up some strange-sounding assertion with a reputable source: he might be telling the truth, or, he might be waving around some book he hasn't read, using it as a club to bludgeon other people's arguments, without having any idea what it actually says, as he did in this thread. Normally when we have discussions we assume good faith and intellectual honesty, and that didn't happen here.

        I suppose this is now off-topic, so I will abandon the thread.

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