Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

In an earlier post I had discussed quantum computing is of a different league than digital computing. Today’s computers, like a Turing machine, work by manipulating bits that exist in one of two states: a 0 or a 1. Quantum computers aren’t limited to two states; they encode information as quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in superposition. Having qubits means it has an inherent parallelism. It is this property that allows a quantum computer to work on a million computations at once, while your desktop PC works on one.

Let me quote the In Scientific American was news: Physicists have now shown how to encode three quantum bits, the kind of data that might be used in the computers of tomorrow, using just two photons. (For those who think science is not of interest may skip over to the second section)

Let me refresh about computer memory from my previous post. Atoms, ions, photons or electrons and their respective control devices are working together to act as computer memory and processor. It is vital to compress data lest it should clog up the hard drive resulting in the Internet traffic to slow down. In classical computing a series of any number of identical bits encodes essentially the same information as just one bit. For quantum objects, however, this is not the case. Because in quantum computing same measurement made on distinct, but identically prepared, qubits will yield a range values. As such, accurately recording the quantum state of just one qubit involves taking measurements of multiple identical copies and averaging the results. Now, a group of physicists in Canada has shown for the first time that it is possible to compress the kind of data that might be used in the computers of tomorrow — known as quantum bits, or qubits.

For example, if three qubits can each be in a superposition of 0 and 1, measuring them would yield eight possible outcomes: 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110 or 111. But for the averaged measurements there are just four options: 0, 1/3, 2/3 or 1. For instance, 001 yields (0+0+1)/3 = 1/3, as do 010 and 100 (the same digits, but in a different order); 110 yields (1+1+0)/3 = 2/3, just as 101 and 011 do.

Because the qubits are identical, the extra information in the ordering can be simply discarded, say the researchers. To make the point, Steinberg draws a classical-physics analogy. “Keeping all of the information,” he says, “is like storing the complete works of Shakespeare just to find out the average rates at which letters are used in the English language.” The results are due to appear in Physical Review Letters.

ii

When St. Paul writes to the Church of Corinth he writes about Moses leading the children of Israel through the wilderness. He gives the Hebraic account an altogether new twist. He explains the significance of manna and the Rock. In the books of Moses we read he as commanded of God, smote the Rock that supplied water to satisfy their thirst. Paul adds, “for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ (1Cor.10:4) Here is an example of superposition in which the coming of Jesus and his ministry was foretold. If it was divine will in the manner the children of Israel had to agree with other aspects of God’s purpose for the gentile nations. After all God promised Abraham thus,” in thee all families of the earth be blessed.” Gen.12.3

benny

Read Full Post »

Spread of Christianity
outline: waves of diaspora create hubs to facilitate spread of new religion, merchants and missionaries, St. Paul-religion mixed with gentile ideas and worship

Christianity spread through the Roman empire. Via Appia made it easier. St. Paul as a Roman citizen( he was from Tarsus in South- Central Anatolia) was free to move freely through the extent of the Empire. The Roman Empire was then comparatively at peace, The wide sovereignty of Rome gave the apostles of Christ access to different nations, many of whom had become civilized under Roman influence.
Since emperor Theodosius I (379-395 AD) the official state religion of the Roman Empire was Christianity. Subsequently, former Roman territories became Christian states which exported their religion to other parts of the world, through colonization and missionaries.
We may need to look back even before the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem in 70 AD. Under the Assyrian and Babylonian empires saw diaspora of Jews and were many hubs of Hebrew faith with local synagogues. Each group carried traditions of their fathers. Early Jewish Christians carried the new religion to these congregation of Jews. These early Christians were merchants and others who had practical reasons for traveling to northern Africa, Asia Minor, Arabia, Greece, and other places. But in the missionary zeal and sustained effort to spread the gospel of good news none would match Paul. St. Paul was converted from his Hebrew belief and had set himself to be an Apostle for Christ. His success partly owed to the groundwork laid by others before him.

Antioch was a major centre of Hellenistic Greece then part of Syria province. It was here the sect were called Christians for the first time. Bishop Irenaeus of Lyons in the second century believed that Paul and Peter had been the founders the Church of Rome. Despite of persecutions under many Caesars the Christians thrived and during the reign of Constantine the Great Christianity became the state religion. Influence of Greece was already in the cities such as Alexandria, Antioch, Rome, Caesarea, Paphos and Anatolia. These in turn would serve as hubs of proselytism and pagan ideas in course of time will mingle with the new religion*. The earliest bishops of Rome were all Greek-speaking, the most notable of them being Pope Clement I. (* sun worship: prayers are offered while looking toward sunrise in the East” because the Orient represents the birth of light that “dispels the darkness of the night” and because of the orientation of “the ancient temples. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 7, 7, 43, GCS 3, 32. or Origen (c. AD 185-254) whose view was that the East symbolizes the soul looking to the source of light. Origen,67 De oratione 32, GCS 2, 400, 23.)
One of the Church fathers of Catholicism Augustine of Hyppo ( 354-430AD) was converted from Manichaeism that had its origins in the heavily Gnostic area of the Persian Empire.
Manichaean ways of thinking had an influence on the development of some of Augustine’s Christian ideas, such as the nature of good and evil, the idea of Hell, the separation of groups into Elect, Hearers, and Sinners, the hostility to the flesh and sexual activity, and so on. Spread of religion whether along the Silk Road or via Appia followed more or less a similar pattern. Unconsciously the venerable Church father while systemizing Christian philosophy would add his own intellectual coloring to Christian belief-system.
While Church of Rome was established in the West of the empire the converts from the pagan world would bring their own practices and add to the many rites and symbols of the pagan world. This we see even in our times. In Mexico or in India Christianity would be colored by the beliefs of people. These would be a point of controversy during the Reformation period.
benny

Read Full Post »

Roman road system

Via Appia is the crowning achievement among transportation network of the ancient Mediterranean world, extending from Britain to the Tigris-Euphrates river system and from the Danube River to Spain and northern Africa. In all, the Romans built 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of hard-surfaced highway, primarily for military reasons.
The first of the great Roman roads, the Via Appia (Appian Way), begun in 312 bce, originally ran southeast from Rome 162 miles (261 km) to Tarentum (now Taranto) and was later extended to the Adriatic coast at Brundisium (now Brindisi).
Their numerous feeder roads extending far into the Roman provinces led to the proverb “All roads lead to Rome.”

Via Appia today
The Roman roads were notable for their straightness, solid foundations, cambered surfaces facilitating drainage, and use of concrete made from pozzolana (volcanic ash) and lime. Though adapting their technique to materials locally available, the Roman engineers followed basically the same principles in building abroad as they had in Italy..
The Roman road system made possible Roman conquest and administration and later provided highways for the great migrations into the empire and a means for the diffusion of Christianity. (Of this I shall come to by and by.)
In 73 BC, a slave revolt (known as the Third Servile War) under the ex-gladiator of Capua, Spartacus, began against the Romans. Slavery accounted for roughly every third person in Italy.
Spartacus defeated many Roman armies in a conflict that lasted for over two years. While trying to escape from Italy at Brundisium he unwittingly moved his forces into the historic trap in Apulia/Calabria. The Romans were well acquainted with the region. Legions were brought home from abroad and Spartacus was pinned between armies. Many men escaped into the mountains. Only a thousand Romans died. Six thousand of the fleeing slaves were captured by Pompey’s troops and crucified along the Appian Way, from Capua to Rome. Spartacus’ body was not found.
It was Rome’s brutal message to any one who thought of overstepping the limit.
The road that the Romans built like the Silk Road will lose its importance in time. But what it carried across endures long after these physical,geographical realities.
Note:
In 1919 the Spartacists took their inspiration from Spartacus. Spartacus was an idea.
The Spartacist’s had extreme left wing political views. This group split from the SPD (Independent Socialists) in frustration at the SPD’s role within Government. The leaders of the Communist party were Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht. The aims of the Spartacist’s were outlined in their Manifesto:
The Spartacist Manifesto 1918
The question today is not democracy or dictatorship… Rather, it means using all instruments of political power to achieve socialism, to expropriate the capitalist class, through and in accordance with the will of the revolutionary majority of the proletariat.
On January 1st, 1919, members of the Spartacist movement rose in an attempted revolution. Initially this move was opposed by both Liebnecht and Luxemburg, the leaders of the movement. The newly formed Weimar Government reacted promptly, and brutally. The army was deployed to bring the revolution to an end, and these were aided by the Frei Corps, a paramilitary group consisting of former servicemen. Order had been restored to the streets of Berlin by the 13th of January. Both Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebnecht were killed whilst in police custody.( http://www.schoolshistory.org.uk-spartacistuprising)
To recap:
Like real people roads also carry their significance. The Silk Road was a highway for exchange of ideas, transfusion of cultures between east and the west. In the concluding post I shall write about via Appia as a facilitator of European history.
(To be concluded)

Read Full Post »

There is yet another scandal brewing concerning the Catholic Church in the Netherlands following allegations, which were published last weekend in the NRC Handelsblad newspaper.
It not only sounds ludicrous as a medical procedure, but in moral terms it’s downright barbarous: castrating young men to “cure” them of their homosexuality. Yet this was how the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands treated gays in the 1950s, according to the Dutch newspaper, which claims at least 10 men were forced to go under the knife at the church’s behest. The Dutch parliamentarians are now called to demand an inquiry into the issue, raising questions about whether the church received political cover to take such extreme measures.
The newspaper said the castrations were regarded both as a treatment for homosexuality as well as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse. The newspaper said 20-year-old Henk Heithuis had been surgically castrated on the instructions of Catholic priests in 1956 after he told police he was being abused at the Harreveld boarding school in Gelderland. Although the monks were convicted of the abuse, Heithuis was nonetheless sent to a Catholic psychiatric hospital and then castrated. He died two years later in a car crash. How did that conveniently occur? The more we know of the Church the more unsavory and murkier it gets. The Dan Brown’s book pales into insignificance as we get to read of the thugs who are dressed in purple and given a tiara impose their own free will on others. These unctuous fools mouth moral primers for the followers while they practice altogether different.
I can see the opulence of the Cathedrals where monkeys in their cloth rising to give homilies to a congregation of dead. The skeletons receive sacraments by habit and go to their own ways no better than how they went in. This circus shall go on unless the State take concerted steps to treat it as a criminal organization breeding teachings detrimental to good sense and public decency. It is as virulent in their extreme view of treating human lives as trifle as much as Jihadists who coerce children to be suicide bombers are. The West for all its liberal traditions allow these elements to go with impunity taking terrible toll in perverting natural good sense and causing incalculable damage.

tailspin: The newspaper also adds there are strong indications that at least nine other young men were castrated around the same time, either for whistle-blowing or for supposed homosexuality.( Time.com – Mar 23, 2012)

Read Full Post »

The Aztecs believed in after life. They sacrificed the first born to the Sun in a belief that souls of the dead occupied the starry heavens. These souls according to them kept the best place for their fathers and for the siblings. Thus each Aztec warrior took pride that the perfect fruit of his loins had found his perfect bliss.Of course they had also reserved their place in heaven. On the All Soul’s Day the believers climbed to the top of a volcano in order to have a foretaste of it. They stood hand in hand around the crater to celebrate life. It was a mystery which admitted only the Aztecs.
On the twelth year after this rite was made an important event in their calendar, they climbed to their sacred spot.
On top of the mount they ate and drank according to the custom and at the wave of the High Priest’s staff they began their sacred rite.
But they were not alone.
There was a tribe of pygmies who lived nearby and whose custom was so different from theirs. Hearing some strange rumors they slipped unnoticed to enjoy the spectacle.
As the Aztec warriors danced in frenzy flames of fire seemed to descend and each warrior was transported in spirit to commune with his soul above. The pygmies missed what happened before their eyes. All they saw were their straw sandals and their belts of hemp. Pointing to their own shoes of finest vicuna hides and plumes of exotic birds they sniggered. ‘Such beggarly material!’one exclaimed and another said they were dirt farmers from the plains.
They did not see the Aztecs! They wondered where they could have run to.
One controlling his laugh said, ‘If all I had for my shoes such sorry sandals I would also jump into the deepest hole.’
The pygmies were disappointed. After returning to their own camp they narrated how the Aztecs had commited mass suicide for shame of their unfortunate circumstances.
Is it not how we speak of things we do not understand? As humans how we can measure God except in human terms?
We are least equipped to know God in his divine form. Even so we draw ridiculous assumptions according to human wisdom. It is not the Writ but what our reason can digest we pontificate. Instead of taking the simple meaning to words we weave clever philosophy. ‘The earth he has given to the children of men(Ps.115:16) is a verse that pleases some TV pastors. It is a license to add to their wardrobe the most expensive and abuse the poor circumstances of their flock so blatantly.
Before the cameras and under lights they behave like prima donnas and speak words calculated to bedazzle the congregation. All these for what? For some gold and silver! We lay so much importance to our body and its appetites. What we dismiss is the best part of our being. Our soul must speak for us here and now. God is love. Can we also love others? Can we also forgive as He has?
Our souls must also speak for hereafter.
In the Fable ‘What Price Grace’God forgave the foolishness of the pastor for his human failing. Grace covered his soul from being lost. The flesh profits nothing and what is for the earth to the earth shall go. My belief is that the Lord God shall purify my soul till is fully resored after my term on earth is ended.
But one world at a time. If I cannot prove my credentials in this world who shall entrust me with a world to come?
benny

Read Full Post »

A Fable :What Price Grace? ©
One pastor having misled his flock by heretical teaching wanted to put a stop to it. Not from any sense of guilt but he had made millions and besides was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He had made people believe white was black,- that in his case was making God pass for the Angel of Disobedience. Now in his battle with cancer all his illgotten gains went into his physician’s fees and the undertaker’s bill.
Before he died he had utmost satisfaction that he made peace with God. Only that he didn’t specify exactly who heard his confesson or pardoned his wicked life. God or Devil?
When angels came to the throne of God the Ancient of the Days said, ‘He made peace with me or I forgave his foolishness from the day he climbed the pulpit.’
Angels read out his life and his work and said the dead man’s flock was still going strong and was perverting his Word. Angel Gabriel was certain that the megachurch of the late pastor was still a Coven of Wickedness. ‘O Lord God you only have the dead carcass. The soul of the dead is still waxing eloquent.’
God called Satan and said, ‘You have your man. Do what you will.’
God who had forgiven was the god of the living so He set things in motion to clean up the Church.
benny

Read Full Post »

Agnes Dei

When God breathed into the nostrils of man something happened to him. He became a living soul. His will came into an active mode. Thoughts, action and emotions that engaged him was not something that was mechanical; but instead it could take flights of fancy. Love for instance. Looking at other creatures (that came into being as a result of an expression of divine Will) man saw they were fine in their own right but nothing was a substitute for woman. Being a living soul his love had to be narrowed down to something that spoke to his soul. It was man’s exercise of his will.
Whereas the Will of God was of another kind. His love made every creature submit to his Will, man and beasts of the field alike. Lamb of God is an imagery that God the Son has used to instruct the man. Holy Spirit in making the lamb a symbol teaches universality of divine love and a particular characteristic man associated with lamb: innocence.
Will of man has his limits but that of God all encompassing.
benny

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,010 other followers