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Ludicus - Magalhães/Magallanes/Magellan
Post 1
I know you are not trying to attack me, why would you even think that?
Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
After all, this is why they almost always take place in the public sphere and never in university circles
But that's what I'm talking about.In fact, in this new age of the rise of the European far-right, the Spanish Royal Academy of History seems suffer from a misplaced sense of patriotism. To sum up, the Spanish Academy declared the fully and exclusively Spanish nature of the project.
Let's summarize,
In 2017, the Permanent Delegate of Portugal to the Unesco proposed the Magellan Route for World Heritage inscription. Part of the application argued: “Such an extraordinary journey cannot be understood without having in mind a historical moment shared by Portugal and Spain. Both were acutely dedicated to research and achieved knowledge about nautical technology, cartography and astronomy, as well as other fields related to the exploration of the oceans"...etc.
I see nothing wrong here, the Spanish and Portuguese foreign ministers agreed on a shared UNESCO proposal. Unfortunately, all their diplomacy was scuttled by the right-wing Spanish ABC, which blamed the "weak" Spanish Socialist government of that decision, and sought comment from the Spanish Royal Academy of History that... declared the first circumnavigation exclusively Spanish.

Let's hear Pigaffeta, in "Introduction and Life of Magellan",
"Though Magellan's enterprise was the greatest ever undertaken by any navigator, yet he has been deprived of his due fame by the jealousy which has always existed between the two nations inhabiting the Peninsula: the Spaniards would not brook being commanded by a Portuguese, and the Portuguese have not yet forgiven Magellan for having abandoned them to serve Castile. But Magallan really had no choice; for if the western passage which he expected to discover was to be sought for, it could only be under the auspices of Spain, within those demarcation those waters lay""
(From an historical point of view, the initial idea of the trip was to get to the Moluccas and then return by the same route-to cross the Pacific Ocean again)
In a nutshell...I'm not surprised. The Vox wants to "Make Spain Great Again", and wishes call to build border wall in Ceuta and Melilla. It also calls for the "Reconquista of Spain", to take back Spain from the "reds" (Socialist Party/left), and even invoked that Spain in Lepanto saved the Western civilization.Ortega Smith recently said that "without the battle of Navas de Tolosa, without the battle of Lepanto and without Charles V, I believe that all the women in this room would be wearing burqas"
He forgot to mention Charles Martel, who white supremacists credit "with saving Europe by defeating an invading Muslim force at the Battle of Tours in 734", a reference on the weapons used in the New Zealand massacre.

Quote Originally Posted by Abdülmecid I View Post
I do not understand how assessing the national percentages of the expedition (66% Spanis, 33% Portuguese?) contributes to the amelioration of our knowledge about the history of exploration.
Well, not the national percentage, but for some reason the great majority of captains (even after Magalhães's death), cartographers and pilots were Portuguese. Pigaffeta's diary is quite explicit. A Salazar or a Franco apologist or... anyone else should know that behind the concept of discovery lay Portugal's pioneering of the science of nautical knowledge.
In fact, other Portuguese who sailed in the service of Castile included João Dias de Solis (Rio de La Plata), Estevão Gomes who sailed the coast of North America from Newfoundland to Chesapeake, Joao Rodrigues Cabrilho ( California, San Francisco Bay), Pedro Fernandes de Queirós in the attempt to settle Solomon islands, the "discover" of the Duff group islands, New Hebrides who he named Australia del Spirito Santo, and others.
As the English (not Portuguese) Historian Russel-Wood put it,
"Today, when Columbomania is sweeping parts of Western Europe and the American Continent, and arousing an interest as consuming to some sectors of population as the recollection of "discovery" , and its legacy is distasteful to other no less substantial sectors, my purpose here will be two-fold: first, to bring perspective by placing the voyages of Columbus (*) within the broader framework not only of Portuguese discoveries, but also of the global nature of the..." etc.
(*) I guess that the same reasoning applies to Magalhães's voyage.

ep1c_fail -
Am I a fence sitter for being Agnostic?
Post 2
Contempt for sin is a core principle of most theistic worldviews. The righteous path is narrow and only the few can walk it. The deep seated resentment for life comes when the idea of a fallen world is introduced or the doctrine of ascetism is a requirement. An existence in which one rejects/hates pleasures and passions isn't really a life, it's a form of stasis that has more in common with death than life.
Christ's teachings on ascetism is more than enough to confirm this proposition. It is even more pronounced in Buddhism (of course they crave oblivion over all else, so....that's hardly surprising). Zoroastrianism too, to a lesser extent. Manicheanism is another one.

The pathway to immortality, to another world which is infinitely better, away from this mere "fallen" world. You think nothing in that detracts from this life, this world?

In Christianity for example, this world is not just riddled with "sin", it's more imbedded than that: humans, dogs, mountains, grains of sand... all come short of God's perfect design because of the fall, the eating of the forbidden fruit. It's quite difficult to imagine someone conceiving of a way to demote this world and this life further than that. In this life, we're born with original sin. Innately, by our nature, all of humanity warrants hell. To be born is a sin. So before we even get to live and do things we are already terrible and despicable. And then actually living: to follow our natures, to fornicate, to merely desire, to have mere pride, etc. all are sins, each one warranting infinite torment.

Or in Zoroastrianism this life/world is nothing more than a battlefield. In Buddhism this life is a testing ground made of suffering and the best (most preferable) future one can aspire to is oblivion. Manicheanism is worst of all. To sin is to be born, to live is to sin, to covet (or have any feelings for) your neighbours wife/stuff is to sin, to follow one's embodied nature and make sweet love and party and enjoy life is to sin, to make money is to sin ("for it is easier for a camel..."). To oppose arbitrary "sin" is to demonize this one life we get to live. To unapologetically embrace this one life fully, with all of its potential for passions, pleasures and suffering is to sin.

The way of heaven is to live a lifeless life in order to continue that lifeless life forever. There are few fates worse than death, but that's one of them for sure.
The fundamental flaw of your argument is the assumption that theism (by which I mean Christianity) necessarily treats pleasures as sinful or that sins are necessarily pleasurable.

The most obvious refutation of such a position is evident from the contents of the Decalogue - namely that murder, covetousness, theft and dishonesty are not, to the healthy mind, pleasurable activities. It may be possible for you to maintain that those who commit such acts are motivated by the pursuit of pleasure(s), but to make such an argument would be to condemn yourself as a hypocrite (if you do in fact find yourself in moral opposition to murder, theft and dishonesty).

The less obvious refutation operates on the basis that what you are presuming to be pleasures are not in fact pleasures. Rather, they arepleasures taken to damaging extremes. Gluttony, avarice and slothfulness, for instance, are states of affliction typically derived from overindulging in activities which are not otherwise condemned by scripture. Contrary to your understanding of our Creed, Christ will not condemn a man for enjoying some wine, a hearty meal, or taking enjoyment in a vacation. What is being opposed is not the pleasure itself, it is the inevitable consequences of hedonistic behaviours - alcoholism, obesity or substance dependency being but a few. To this degree, what we call sin, is often merely what your doctor would refer to as an unhealthy behaviour or lifestyle choice, only with an emphasis on spiritual rather than physiological well-being. And in the same way we do not hold a person gripped by an unhealthy behaviour with contempt, but with compassion.

This leaves us with your only understandable complaint - that of sinfulness as it relates to sexual hedonism. In the first instance, I refer to this complaint as understandable, because the nature of its sinfulness tends to be more obscure to the modern observer. Secondly, I must insist that, irrespective of said obscurity, the Christian view of sin cannot be reduced to its views on sexual immorality alone - meaning that even were I to accept your criticisms here, it would hardly constitute a broad condemnation of the nature of sin as a whole. Finally, I can still take the position that it isn't the immediate pleasure of the act(s) which is considered sinful - a fact which further renders your contention that sin is tantamount to a moral rejection of pleasure as fallacious. Indeed, were it true that the pleasure of intimacy were sinful, one would have sequentially to conclude that conjugal eros as also sinful when plainly, it is not.

So when you claim that the Christian life is "lifeless", I cannot help but think you are viewing Christianity, as did both Hitchens and Nietzsche, through the narrow lens of puritanical Victorianism. But the practices and codes of a 2000 year old faith can no more be understood through the prudish mores of the 19th century than can the Emancipation Proclamation can be understood through the lens of the 21st century social justice movement. The most important point, however, is that the avoidance of sin can be better understood as a dedication to self-sacrifice, and a dedication to self-sacrifice is the key to unlocking the highest of all human experiences.

I think it follows that when one is convinced that something ought to be considered ugly, one will view it as ugly, regardless of its actual aesthetic qualities. Then that object will be treated as though it were ugly.

Sin is not a matter of fashion: we do not claim sinfulness to be "ugly" as though it offended our taste or sensibilities. Our opposition to sin is an opposition to a substantive cause of suffering both in this world and in the next, not, as you seem to suggest, the result of arbitrarily selected aesthetic choices.

Nietzsche framed it as a slave morality vs master morality issue with the solution being a synthesis between the two, while believing that his contemporaneous society had been excessively drawn towards slave morality. I think his conclusion was accurate and even a prognostication of our current society as the SJW trend we see today exhibits all of the worst aspects of slave morality. We still haven't found the balance. The excessive obsession with an impossible utopian future world at the expense of this life/world is just as bad as being excessively obsessed with a metaphysical world.

Christ is liberty, not slavery. He is always a choice and never an obligation. Whilst I accept that there have been many Christians, both contemporary and historical, who have been guilty of dictatorial self-righteousness, this, it seems to me, is a curse of humanity rather than of theism. Certainly it is not, to my mind, justified by scripture. For this reason, the comparison to authoritarian elements of the social justice movement is a poor reflection of the faith. The contention that self-control and a dedication toward goodness and spiritual health is tantamount to bondage, cannot be, and therefore is not, true. On the contrary, a life lived purely for pleasure, absent boundaries, discipline or guidance is at much greater peril.

Sukiyama -
Health care situation in US?
Post 3
Well, that's rich lol. I thought you were the guy who knows how to interprete everything as an economical process. So if everyone would just be the hell rich… the world, no sorry, the USA would be a better place. Cheezes farkin crust, are you somehow self-aware when you produce pointless truisms like that?
They don't need to be rich. They need to be "richer" and have better financial security. A simple way to isolate people from medical emergencies would be to have a payroll tax that automatically deducted a percentage of people's paychecks into a health saving account. A very unfortunate part of the population is in the "coverage gap" where they are too "rich" to be covered by Medicaid and too poor to qualify for healthcare subsidies. That needs to be fixed, but there are many people, young individuals for example, who simply refuse to grab insurance or to budget their incomes properly.

@Suki, A lot of people literally don't have the salary to do any better. A lot of people don't have the medical health to legally drive and so have to live in a region 3 times as expensive than one they could drive from. "Stop living paycheck to paycheck" is a complicated question to answer here.
I'm aware that a lot of people have no other choice than to live from paycheck to paycheck. I sympathize with those people, but there are a ton of people who simply live that way because they either don't know any better, or refuse to. I'll point you to record car sales in America and the rising number of 60-72 month car loans. Both are indicative of people buying cars they can't really afford. That's middle-class folks living beyond their means, the same demographic that often complains about high healthcare premiums. Household debt is rising, student debt is at a record. When we talk about household budgets, these are all things we need to tackle. Part of it is the government, the other part of it is people making better choices. I think both sides of the equation need to be really looked at.

That's why I think some Republican favored legislation, like Health Savings Accounts, should really be considered. At the same time, ACA's individual mandate was another really important part of the puzzle. The government should provide better options and regulate the market, but citizens need to be forced to buy into it as well. Otherwise none of this is ever going to work.

Abdülmecid I -
Causes of the Greek Revolution
Post 4

Yesterday,it was the "official" (albeit inaccurate) anniversary of the 1821 Greek Independence War, which eventually resulted into the creation of the modern nation-state of Greece, so I think that the date of 25th March, marking (not coincidentally) the Feast of the Annunciation, can serve as a useful stimulus to often a generally not particularly famous event of the Ottoman history. Generally speaking,affairs like these receive a disproportionate amount of attention by the interested parties, but unfortunately the professionalism of their interpretations is often undermined by a specific agenda, which does not necessarily concern the interests of the noble science of historiography. Inevitably, the Greek Revolution has not been an exception to the rule, which leads to the propagation of several myths or half-truths, which may serve the national narrative of Greece or Turkey, but do not correspond to historical reality. The question of the causes and pretexts of the uprising has been particularly affected by this tendency, which leads to bizarre explanations involving emotional hyperboles ("400 years slavery"), Soros-like conspiracy theories ("meddling of nefarious, foreign powers") or complete absurdities ("Devşirme",the practice of forcefully recruiting children and teenagers to the Janissary corps, which had been abolished more than one century before the events). In any case, before investigating further the subject, we firstly need to determine the nature of the Greek Revolution.

The most common claim is that it was a massive,ethnic uprising, where an entire nation, infuriated after years of tyranny rose against the foreign despot. Of course, it is obvious that the aforementioned approach is clearly influenced, in a remarkably anachronistic manner, from the perspective of the narrative of the nation-state. It offers said nation-state legitimacy, prestige, a solid justification for its precarious existence and an acceptable excuse for its failures. Secondly, there is the doubtlessly more fringe "leftist" theory of the affair being nothing less than a popular, proletarian revolution,where desperate peasants and sailors attempted to overthrow the establishment and install a juster society, where wealth and the means to produce it would be redistributed in an equal way. Elements of both ideas hold some truth, but, at least in what concerns its initial conception, the Greek Independence War was the embodiment ofa bourgeois nationalist revolution. Wealthy merchants were responsible for the initial financing, political leadership, ideological preparation and sparking of the revolt, while other segments of the society either joined later, pressed by the current circumstances, or played a relatively secondary role. Peasants largely remained cautious, because the instability threatened their prosperity, while in Eastern Europe, the vast majority of the population continued to identify itself on religious terms. After all, Christian Albanians(usually known as Arbanites), like the inhabitants of the island of Hydra or the brigands of Souli, were instrumental for the victory of the uprising, despite generally not being capable of even speaking Greek. The notion of national identity was widespread among the commercial elites, especially those living in central Europe, and the pupils of privately funded (by the previously mentioned merchants)schools, but it never succeeded in being endorsed by anything more than a small minority before late 19th century.

Tiers état
The powerful class of Orthodox Christian merchants was firstly formed in the middle 17th century, when the constant naval warfare between the Ottoman Navy and a Catholic coalition steadily receded. Trade with Europe grew, especially thanks to the efforts of Izmir-based French merchants, while many Greek shipowners played the role of the middle-man, although their activities were not necessarily legal (the lines between state-sponsored commerce, smuggling and piracy were rather blurred). The Seven Years War and the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca also favoured the fortunes of the Greek traders, but the Napoleonic wars were of utmost importance. Due to the British blockade, the French were removed from the equation, which allowed the Greek "pirates" to take their place with enormous net profits. However, following the Congress of Vienna, harmony was restored and the Greeks lost their monopoly in central Mediterranean.As a result, 2nd-class merchants and shipowners watched their profits decline, which inevitably led to radicalisation. The increased unemployment of sailors also explains why the sailors of Hydra forced the wealthiest shipowners to join the uprising, despite being reasonably afraid of their fleet being destroyed during the hostilities. In conclusion, the urban elites, expatriated or not,aimed at establishing a modern centralised and liberal state, where international trade would prosper, unhindered by tolls, arbitrary political power and a fragile right to private ownership. That being said, despite their undeniably crucial role their contribution was not sufficient for the success of the revolt.

In the mainland, inside the Christian community, political power was exercised by the local elite (kodjabashis, basically town notables),whose wealth was based primarily on agrarian estates and a small but vigorous number of craft workshops. They usually maintained cordial relations with their Muslim colleagues and Ottoman officials, but they could not enjoy the same power as the latter, while the local industry was somewhat harmed by the damaging consequences of the Serbian insurgency. That sort of "aristocracy" was also linked to the klephts and armatoi. The former were essentially brigands, while the latter were government-organised local militias tasked to eliminate banditry. Unsurprisingly, the demarcation lines between those two forces were not particularly clear, with many armatoloi joining the klephts and the opposite. These two groups, the armed militias and the rural elite, joined the uprising, providing the necessary military capital and political control, although sometimes their loyalty was far from guaranteed. They generally aspired to usurp the political power of the beys and confiscate the estates of the Muslim magnates. This means that their vision, an independent and yet fragmented Greece, ruled by provincial warlords,was in direct contradiction with the goals of the first group. Meanwhile, klephts and armatoloi alike did not particularly admire the measures taken by the reformist sultans Selim III and Mahmoud II, whose ambition involved the establishment of a modern regular armyand police force, which would render the services of armatoloi redundant and the activities of the klephts extremely lethal.

Thirdly,we should also mention the views of the Greeks well-integrated into the administrative and ecclesiastical hierarchy of the Ottoman Empire. The majority of them were conservative and opposed any radical agitation. Especially the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople adamantly insisted on criticizing the revolutionary ideas, which sapped the Patriarch's privilege position inside the religious mosaic of the empire, while they also threatened to increase the prominence of national identity, in the education and the society, at the expense of religious affiliation and the prestige and communal power of the clergy. On the other hand, several priests,especially low-ranked ones, collaborated with the rebels, but without any significant role. Last and least, the most romantic ones dreamed of a reformed Ottoman Empire (or maybe of a restored Byzantine monarchy), where the Turkish dynasty and Islam would be replaced by a Hellenic family and the Orthodox Church. However, their views did not influence the events, presumably because of how surrealistic they were.

Causes and factors
From the above, I think it is clear that we cannot overestimate the importance of the cooperation between the merchants, the kodjabashisand the militias/bandits, despite their conflict of interests. The"bourgeoisie" composed the majority of the members of Philiki Etaireia (from the 911 members whose job we are aware of, 445 were merchants, 117 doctors, lawyers, students etc., 78 officers, 85 priests, 25 shipowners, 10 clerks, 7 craftsmen and only 8 farmers), a carbonari-like secret organisation, which planned the uprising. They also financed the military effort,determined and improved its ideological tools and established a very useful contact with the European courts and public opinion. Without the foreign loans and the military intervention of France, Great Britain and of course Russia (which even invaded the Ottoman Empire and almost reached the outskirts of the capital), the revolution would not have succeeded. Meanwhile, the merchant fleet of the shipowners harassed the Ottoman Navy and pretty much ruined the logistics of the armies ordered to suppress the insurgency. However,without the intervention of the rural elites and the armed units, the conspiring merchants, doctors, students and etc. would lack any local influence and army, while their efforts would continuously face either apathy or outright animosity. For example, the rebellion in Moldavia and Wallachia was easily crushed by the imperial army,because Υpsilantis, the Greek commander, quarreled and eventually executed Tudor Vladimirescu, his erstwhile ally and a Wallachian peasant rebel. Rather unsurprisingly, the Pandour militia previously led by Vladimirescu had no problem watching the Ottomans smashing the small insurgency of Greeks in the region.

Of course, many other factors helped the rebellion to survive enough, inorder to gather foreign assistance from the European monarchies,which considered Greece as a weaker and therefore more reliable and easily controlled ally in the Aegean Sea than the Sublime Porte. The mountainous terrain was excellent for the guerilla tactics of the Greek rebels, while the Ottoman Army and Navy were found in a remarkably terrible situation (perhaps even the worst in the entire Ottoman history), because the Janissary corps had declined into total inefficiency, while the Nizâm-ı Cedîd was not yet establishedor strong enough to participate in serious military expeditions.Meanwhile, the 1821-1823 war against Qajar Persia distracted theOttomans from the front in the Morea, but the most decisive factor proved to be Ali Pasha of Ioannina, a practically autonomous Ottoman governor. He's generally considered as the epitome of the Ayan phenomenon, local dynasts usurping political power from the feeble central authorities. He controlled Epirus and quickly clashed with the reforming policies of Mahmoud II. He was eventually defeated and executed by the imperial army, but in the meantime, he ensured thatno serious reinforcements would arrive in the Peloponnese, during the crucial first years.

Inthe end, who benefited the most from the Greek Revolution? It is generally considered that the urban elites were the true victors, as their "progressive" vision eventually prevailed, as the Eyalet of Morea gradually evolved into the modern kingdom of Greece.They succeeded in manipulating the kodjabashis and the shipowners,through the threat of violence and the misleading promise of Russian help (which only materialised in the final years of the conflict, in the beginning, every monarchy was reflexively skeptical towards any revolutionary movement, even if its leaders openly rejected the message and secularism of the French Revolution). The kodjabashis disappeared, while the merchant fleet was immensely damage by the constant warfare. However, in my opinion, the truth is a bit more complicated: In the long term, the desires of the enlightened merchants may have been realised, but in its first steps, Greece was a highly fragmented state, where local warlords, especially in Mani,near Sparta, exercised effective control, in spite of the protests of the almost nonexistent regular army. Governors were murdered,insurgencies broke out in a regular manner, obscurantist monks called for a reactionary repetition of the Vendée, and the flagship of the Hellenic fleet was burned, together with another frigate, in an act of open dispute against the authority of the government. Meanwhile,most kodjabashis managed to maintain their power or adjusted to thenew circumstances. They integrated into the new power system, by assuming the role of court officials near the Bavarian ruler Otto I,Senators, parliamentary representatives, army and navy officers or even ministers, thus guaranteeing that the political and financial power of the Greek kingdom would continue to be shared and monopolised between a small oligarchy, composed of former Ottoman officials, rural notables and urban elites that studied in European universities.

To summarise, I would argue that the image of the Hellenic Kingdom of the 1830's reflected the balance of power between the primary forces behind the uprising, who had also orchestrated the course of the rebellion and the internal structure of its successor: warlords,shipowners, middle-to-upper bourgeoisie and kodjabashis. The quality of life of the peasants and sailors probably considerably improved neither in the short nor in the long term, while the mukhtars, the Ottoman officials, the Jewish communities and the Muslim peasantry were the real losers.

Genava -
Is it Game Over on the climate front?
Post 5
Yes i m aware. It didn't go over well in France, when they tried it, Paris still burns every weekend or so, up until today.

The issue is far more complex in France that it is portrayed on the internet. The yellow-jacket movement is not against a climate policy directly. They are tired of bad governments and decreasing quality of life. It should be put in the context of the previous presidencies, aka Sarkozy and Hollande. Moreover, police violence and the refusal to create a new democratic counter-power by the government (référendum d'initiative citoyenne) have increase the radicalization of the movement.

With all the flourishing aside, i do think he has a point on this. An innovation and scientific breakthrough it is what is needed to solve this issue. And while it is true, as you pointed out, investment is needed, but it is not enough.
And incomparable to a true engineering revolution on the matter. One that is really credible, and practical.

Well, when the US government wanted to go on the Moon, they put a considerable amount of money in developing new technologies. This motivation from the State is clearly not here today for the climate. If this is not the government, the money should come from the private sector. And honestly, environmental concern is a bad motivation for private companies. This will be the case only when the effects of climate change will be very present and will have an intense effect on the economy, which is exactly what we want to avoid.

You raised good concerns about nuclear energy. But in this case I was only mentioning it as a good example of an efficient technology that cannot compete against fossil fuels that do not pay the environmental cost. Actually, countries like France have most of their electricity from nuclear. Thus in comparison with the US (which emit by capita third more time than France) they are quite good on this issue.

And nuclear technology is mostly based on the uranium fuel chain for historical and geopolitical reasons. But a development of thorium fission fuel chain could resolve several issues with the waste and the global security.

The issue arise as well about nuclear fusion energy, I have physics books from my mother printed during the 1960s and they were talking about using it for civil application. 50 years after, we are still very late on this technology for one damn reason:

PointOfViewGun - Turkey's Local Elections 2019
Post 6
Modern dictators don't have the same luxuries of their ancestors. They can cling to power through manipulation and small alterations here and there. They do not control the process. They can only try to influence it through unethical and corrupt measures.

The primary winner of this election was CHP. They managed to win over all three of the most important Turkish cities. Winning Istanbul alone is a major victory. However, their biggest victory is that they broke the perception that they always lose. For a decade, even though CHP have been increasing its share in votes, they were failing to make substantial wins. They broke that record. However, their ally, IYIP, despite being crucial in CHP's win over big cities could not generate any win over big cities itself. Though it should be noted that it was their first local elections experience.

MHP was an other winner. They supported AKP and managed to win over a dozen municipalities with their support. AKP, however, lost substantially. MHP's help was not enough in big cities like Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara. They could only cling to many of the other municipalities through the support for MHP.

HDP, on the other hand, received a number of losses in its own backyard, in the south eastern regions. They made the tactical choice not to have candidates in various western cities, and that likely contributed greatly to CHP's wins.