Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Comments on The Belmont Club,
"Thought experiments"


Charles @ 28,
The big Christian heresy of the modern era has been Arianism–that holds that Jesus is fully man but not really God. ... Gnosticism was around when St Paul was writing. According to this heresy Jesus was Fully God but not really a man. According to this heresy all flesh is evil.

Very interesting points you make here. There is at least an intellectual ressonance between Arianism and Islam, the former holding that Jesus had a divine nature separate from the human and the later simply dispensing with his divinity. Mohammed was influenced by the widespread presence of Nestorian Christians in the Arabian peninsula. Nestorianism is a distinct heretical movement concerning the nature of the Christ that was more influential in the East, as Arianism was in the West.

Gnosticism can be seen as leading to the Albegensian Cathars and to other mystical rejections of orthodox Jewish or Christian doctrines. Eventually this can lead to Neopaganism and Gaia worship or even Satanism. Gnostic movements, such as Manichaeism were explicitly opposed to Jewish theology and practice and by stressing a division between God and the material world they set the stage for Islam's abstract and arbitrary deity.

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markb (who explained that US nuke plants are not vulnerable to hackers),
Long ago and far away a bubblehead told me that Hyman Rickover made sure that all the controls on the nuclear plants he supervised were analog and in fact outside of the reactor itself the interfaces in one of his submarines remained right out of the 1940s. The reason was that people are good at responding to changes in an information flow they are interacting with but lousy at observing and reacting to a rare event in a digital display. No Homer Simpsons were wanted in the nuclear Navy.

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