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Kevin Bonham
13-11-2008, 04:33 PM
Non-fiction: The Bible

A very debatable classification. :rolleyes:

I couldn't name a favourite book or a favourite author. I like too many different things and no one thing stands out as way above the rest.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 04:37 PM
A very debatable classification. :rolleyes:
Fiction: On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. :P:lol: :cool:

Desmond
13-11-2008, 04:41 PM
I thought the Bible was generally found in the Reference section.

Adamski
13-11-2008, 04:47 PM
I thought the Bible was generally found in the Reference section.At my local public library there are also copies of it (various versions) in the religion section. interestingly, KB, both sections are non-fiction!:)

TheJoker
13-11-2008, 04:57 PM
At my local public library there are also copies of it (various versions) in the religion section. interestingly, KB, both sections are non-fiction!:)

So does that make the Qu'ran, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon and all the other works filed under the religion section non-fiction in your opinion?

Adamski
13-11-2008, 05:04 PM
So does that make the Qu'ran, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon and all the other works filed under the religion section non-fiction in your opinion?No, just in Dr Dewey's - and he's no longer alive for me to ask him why!

Aaron Guthrie
13-11-2008, 05:09 PM
Non-fiction works are the works that claim to be true, not just the ones that actually are.

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 05:19 PM
Non-fiction works are the works that claim to be true, not just the ones that actually are.

The corollary here is that there is also more than a grain of truth is many works of fiction. ;)

Kevin Bonham
13-11-2008, 08:06 PM
At my local public library there are also copies of it (various versions) in the religion section. interestingly, KB, both sections are non-fiction!:)

Libraries have an interest in not being burnt to the ground by pseudo-religious extremists, which probably has some impact on their classification systems.

I suspect that there is a very tricky debate about exactly where the limits of "fiction" vs "non-fiction" lie, eg books in the latter category are often unfactual nonsense, but if they are written under the impression they are true, and not as a matter of knowingly delivering a false scenario, then they do get classed as "non-fiction".

Whether those writing the books of the Bible knew that some of their tales were a little tall to be taken seriously by an objective observer or not is rather difficult to establish. Hence my comment about the classification being "debatable", which means exactly what it says.

In my home state it is common for the detractors of the political statements of the acclaimed novelist Richard Flanagan (including me) to refer to him as a "fiction writer" when discussing his political comments and to refer to those comments themselves as fiction. The reason for this is not merely that Flanagan sometimes gets his facts wrong, but also that his style of debate appears to involve reshaping facts into a stylised version of events where the way the version "reads" appears important.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 08:34 PM
Libraries have an interest in not being burnt to the ground by pseudo-religious extremists, which probably has some impact on their classification systems.
As if this would happen with the Bible, as opposed to Danish cartoons about Islam.


You may be a fundy atheist if.... (http://www.tektonics.org/af/fundyath.html)

You believe that Christians burned down the Great Library of Alexandria. When you learn that this was impossible (http://bede.org.uk/Library2.htm), you assert that it is obvious that Christians did burn a lot of ancient books. When you are shown that this too is false, you wait a while, then make the same claim again, hoping that the person who corrected you with the facts won't notice.

Kevin Bonham
13-11-2008, 10:22 PM
You believe that Christians burned down the Great Library of Alexandria.

Actually I have no idea who did, and can't say that getting to the bottom of whether the frizzling of the Serapeum was really ordered by a Coptic Pope (or not as your link suggests) is all that high on my priorities right now.

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 10:39 PM
Actually I have no idea who did, and can't say that getting to the bottom of whether the frizzling of the Serapeum was really ordered by a Coptic Pope (or not as your link suggests) is all that high on my priorities right now.

No but according to Socrates Scholasticus (5th century Christian historian) and many others, it was christians who killed Hypatia. Waylaid her chariot, stripped her, flayed her flesh from her bones and burnt the remains.

They had pretty interesting ways of celebrating lent in those days.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 10:57 PM
No but according to Socrates Scholasticus (5th century Christian historian) and many others, it was christians who killed Hypatia. Waylaid her chariot, stripped her, flayed her flesh from her bones and burnt the remains.

They had pretty interesting ways of celebrating lent in those days.
As the article (by James Hannam, Ph.D. recently completed his Ph.D. on the History of Science at the University of Cambridge) says:



Socrates reports the murder of the philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob even though he is clear that this is something he regrets occurred so it is hard to see why he would omit the destruction of a library.

Hypatia of Alexandria, the female mathematician, has become a romantic heroine, a feminist icon and an archetypal victim of religious intolerance. Charles Kingsley (http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/285) of The Water Babies fame published his novel, Hypatia, in 1853 and it was this that started her modern cult. However the sources for her life are scanty to say the least. Socrates is embarrassed to have to report her murder, John of Nikiou revels in it and the Suda gives a few more details that need to be treated with the same caution as everything else in that Byzantine encyclopaedia. The Christian bishop Synesius of Cyrene was a pupil of hers and despite her paganism wrote her adoring letters asking for advice. Modern myths about her include that she was a Librarian of the Great Library and that she worked at the Museum. Neither have any basis in fact or the sources and there is nothing to connect her to the Royal or Serapeum libraries at all.

Here is the original from Socrates (http://cosmopolis.com/alexandria/hypatia-bio-socrates.html)(in translation of course), which was quite favorable towards her, and showing that he thought the murder was totally contrary to Christianity:


THERE WAS a woman at Alexandria named Hypatia, daughter of the philosopher Theon, who made such attainments in literature and science, as to far surpass all the philosophers of her own time. Having succeeded to the school of Plato and Plotinus, she explained the principles of philosophy to her auditors, many of whom came from a distance to receive her instructions. On account of the self-possession and ease of manner, which she had acquired in consequence of the cultivation of her mind, she not unfrequently appeared in public in presence of the magistrates. Neither did she feel abashed in going to an assembly of men. For all men on account of her extraordinary dignity and virtue admired her the more. Yet even she fell victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them, therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her with tiles.* After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them. This affair brought not the least opprobrium, not only upon Cyril, but also upon the whole Alexandrian church. And surely nothing can be farther from the spirit of Christianity than the allowance of massacres, fights, and transactions of that sort. This happened in the month of March during Lent, in the fourth year of Cyril's episcopate, under the tenth consulate of Honorius, and the sixth of Theodosius.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 11:02 PM
Actually I have no idea who did, and can't say that getting to the bottom of whether the frizzling of the Serapeum was really ordered by a Coptic Pope (or not as your link suggests) is all that high on my priorities right now.
What Coptic Pope? And it's fine for you not to care, but then don't make silly cracks about burning down libraries in the present day.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 11:04 PM
So does that make the Qu'ran, Bhagavad Gita, Book of Mormon and all the other works filed under the religion section non-fiction in your opinion?
According to Manga, since they claim to be true, then yes. Of course, unlike the Bible, their claims are false.

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 11:13 PM
I don't object to that and I think the library was probably mostly destroyed before Hypatia's time. I lean towards it happening as a consequent of Julius Caesar's conquest in the 1st century BC. Although the timing and cause are matters of conjecture rather than knowledge, although if I'm right then Christians couldn't have been involved.

While Socrates Scholasticus can be read as pro-Hypatia, later scholars like John of Niciu, writing 200 years later adopted a more apologetic point of view claiming Hypatia was in league with the devil and had beguiled many people including the prefect Orestes. Therefore the brutal killing is justified as a witch-trial. Except there was no trial.

Of course the real reason for the killing was the mob believed that Hypatia was the stumbling block of the prefect's reconciliation with the bishop and thus she was summarily "dealt with".

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 11:24 PM
I don't object to that and I think the library was probably mostly destroyed before Hypatia's time. I lean towards it happening as a consequent of Julius Caesar's conquest in the 1st century BC. Although the timing and cause are matters of conjecture rather than knowledge, although if I'm right then Christians couldn't have been involved.
Remarkably fair-minded of you ;)


While Socrates Scholasticus can be read as pro-Hypatia, later scholars like John of Niciu, writing 200 years later adopted a more apologetic point of view claiming Hypatia was in league with the devil and had beguiled many people including the prefect Orestes. Therefore the brutal killing is justified as a witch-trial. Except there was no trial.
Soc, living closer to the time, said that the mob murder was anti-Christian. Evidently progress isn't always guaranteed with the march of time.


Of course the real reason for the killing was the mob believed that Hypatia was the stumbling block of the prefect's reconciliation with the bishop and thus she was summarily "dealt with".
Most likely.

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 11:31 PM
Soc, living closer to the time, said that the mob murder was anti-Christian. Evidently progress isn't always guaranteed with the march of time.

Apparently. It is worth noting that claims of supernatural abilities on Hypatia's part became documented in only 200 years and were probably in circulation earlier than that as I don't think John made them up but rather reported on "common knowledge".

Kevin Bonham
13-11-2008, 11:35 PM
What Coptic Pope?

Theophilus of Alexandria.


And it's fine for you not to care, but then don't make silly cracks about burning down libraries in the present day.

Given that certain pseudo-Christian terrorists in the USA have been known to resort to murder I can make whatever cracks I like about what extremists are capable of. No allusion to any past alleged history of library-burning was intended.

Crossfire (Axiom)
13-11-2008, 11:36 PM
According to Manga, since they claim to be true, then yes. Of course, unlike the Bible, their claims are false.
Which, i presume, is a matter of faith . ;)

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 11:41 PM
Theophilus of Alexandria.

It is well documented that he was responsible for the destruction of all pagan temples in the city of Alexandria in his decree of 391. It is likely that some writing were lost as a result of this but it isn't clear that a substantial number of classical texts were.

However it is one of the conjectures floating around and cannot be patently discounted as a possibility.

Kevin Bonham
13-11-2008, 11:44 PM
However it is one of the conjectures floating around and cannot be patently discounted as a possibility.

Whoever has been editing Wikipedia pages on these matters lately appears to take the possibility remarkably seriously though of course that is no evidence of anything, particularly if the pages in question are affected by apathy and little edited.

Rincewind
13-11-2008, 11:52 PM
Whoever has been editing Wikipedia pages on these matters lately appears to take the possibility remarkably seriously though of course that is no evidence of anything, particularly if the pages in question are affected by apathy and little edited.

The interesting thing (I think) is that there is little solid proof on the status of the collection between the 1st century BC and the 8th century AD. Either that is because it was well known to have been destroyed by the time the Christian writers came on the scene. The other possibility is that it was in fact destroyed by the Muslims in the 7th century. However, I think that is less likely since I would have expected positive proof that is did exist in Christian writing sometime between the 3rd and 7th centuries AD.

Of course if the Christians did it in 391 perhaps there was some reporting bias at work. But as previously noted Socrates Scholasticus seemed pretty evenhanded and I doubt he would have failed to mention it.

So take your pick, but I'm going with Julius for now.

Still the murder of Hypatia (who was incidentally a major intellectual) is a heinous enough crime to be committed in the name of the Lord.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 11:58 PM
Given that certain pseudo-Christian terrorists in the USA have been known to resort to murder I can make whatever cracks I like about what extremists are capable of.
Which ones do you have in mind? And you're right about pseudo.

Capablanca-Fan
13-11-2008, 11:59 PM
Which, i presume, is a matter of faith . ;)
No, the law of non-contradiction.

Kevin Bonham
14-11-2008, 12:37 AM
Which ones do you have in mind?

The late unlamented Reverend Hill and others like him.

Capablanca-Fan
14-11-2008, 12:45 AM
The late unlamented Reverend Hill and others like him.
Reverend? Since when? And "others like him" could be counted on your fingers, despite leftist TV shows implying the contrary. He has also been denounced by pro-life groups (http://www.lifenews.com/nat97.html) and "reconstructionist" Gary North (http://www.reformed.org/social/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/social/let_2_paul_hill.html), and had previously been excommunicated by his church for talking about what he later did.

Rincewind
14-11-2008, 08:33 AM
Whoever has been editing Wikipedia pages on these matters lately appears to take the possibility remarkably seriously though of course that is no evidence of anything, particularly if the pages in question are affected by apathy and little edited.

The other thing is perhaps they have been borrowing heavily from Carl Sagan. In his 1980 companion book to the TV series Cosmos he says (page 336)

"The glory of the Alexandrian Library is a dim memory. Its last remnants were destroyed soon after Hypatia's death."

Igor_Goldenberg
14-11-2008, 10:23 AM
Socrates reports the murder of the philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob even though he is clear that this is something he regrets occurred so it is hard to see why he would omit the destruction of a library.

Which Socrates do you mean?
The one I know of lived in 5 century BC(Before Christ). How could he report anything about Christians?

Igor_Goldenberg
14-11-2008, 10:29 AM
You may be a fundy atheist if.... (http://www.tektonics.org/af/fundyath.html)

I liked this one:
"16. You're a spoiled fifteen year old boy who lives in the suburbs and you go into a chat room to declare that, "I know there is no God because no loving God would allow anyone to suffer as much as I...hold on. My cell phone's ringing." "

Capablanca-Fan
14-11-2008, 10:47 AM
Which Socrates do you mean?
The one I know of lived in 5 century BC(Before Christ). How could he report anything about Christians?
As above, this is a different Soc, Socrates Scholasticus, a 5th-century AD church historian in Constantinople, no doubt named after the famous one,

Igor_Goldenberg
14-11-2008, 11:07 AM
As above, this is a different Soc, Socrates Scholasticus, a 5th-century AD church historian in Constantinople, no doubt named after the famous one,
Thanks

MichaelBaron
16-11-2008, 05:05 PM
Whoever has been editing Wikipedia pages on these matters lately appears to take the possibility remarkably seriously .

This is a problem with Wiki in general. I have been looking at some of the Wiki pages in my area (E-Commerce and IT) and i discovered that Wiki can hardly be regarded as a reliable source of serious data.

Rincewind
16-11-2008, 05:16 PM
This is a problem with Wiki in general. I have been looking at some of the Wiki pages in my area (E-Commerce and IT) and i discovered that Wiki can hardly be regarded as a reliable source of serious data.

The maths pages seem pretty reliable but for anything serious it is much better to use primary sources or reliable textbooks. Encyclopaediae (online or otherwise) aren't really meant for detailed accuracy.