Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fight! Fight!

Oh, for gosh sakes. Now the Christians are trying to change history over at Wikipedia, the online people’s encyclopedia. Everyone knows the Christians burned down the world’s largest library, at Alexandria, the repository of all the knowledge of the ancient world (most of which has therefore been lost to us forever). But a Christian over at Wiki (“Bede”) insists Christians aren’t guilty, Caesar is. He keeps erasing “Christians” in the article, and popping in “Caesar.”

Here’s a snippet of the FIGHT:

BEDE: “This is Bede here. Eloquence has launched into a well-poisoning exercise to push theories in a book that is fifty years old. I will be eliminating disapraging remarks about myself from the article and restating the case for Caesar.”

ELOQUENCE: “Even the 2003 Britannica does not blame Caesar anymore. In fact, the Britannica article about Hypatia flat out states that the Christians destroyed the Library…. Wikipedia is not a resource for Christian apologetics, as your site is.”

BEDE: “Well, I do hope you have higher standards than the EB [Encyclopedia Britannica]. The last paragraph, a piece of blatant anti-Christian special pleading, has been deleted."

ELOQUENCE: "There is nothing anti-Christian about the last paragraph. It reflects current scholarly opinion."

BEDE: "Rubbish. It reflects your opinion. As your website shows, you are an anti-Christian polemicist…. I have removed your bias again. I will continue to do so whenever you put it up again."

ELOQUENCE: "If you don't want to be called a Christian apologist, maybe you shouldn't publish your papers under the heading "reasonable apologetics".
By trashing the Library at Alexandria – along with looting, rioting, and starting fires everywhere -- Christians threw Europe into the Dark Ages. Personally, I think they’re trying for a repeat performance. Ready for a second Dark Ages, anyone?


Anne Johnson said...

Take it from a geezer goat judge. Any "reference" that allows readers to go in and change or amend articles is not truly a reference.

Okay. Alright. I'll put the goat judge stuff on a shelf for a minute, since this isn't my blog.

I've worked in the reference book industry since 1985 and have contributed to some of the best known library-based reference series in America, chiefly CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS.

The process by which information gets into print is completely different from the process by which information goes onto the internet. In my capacity as a writer for reference books, I have never trusted an online source unless it was a primary source, i.e., a trial transcript or a newspaper article. Even writers who keep their own web sites sometimes get the publication information wrong on their own titles!

Therefore, with a loud and sonorous voice, I vote for Encyclopedia Brittanica. No one fact-checks Wikipedia, and for that reason I never use it to source anything, ever.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to warp on over to Wikipedia and change the Kennedy assassination article. We all know that the Beatles conspired to kill Kennedy so that they could run off with Jackie. Don't believe me? Look it up!

Morgaine said...

Anne makes a good point. Wikipedia is a great source of consensus opinion - the "official story" we all agree to use as our common base. There's way too much patriarchal influence in their articles for me to find it a useful reference for my research. That's why we need our own sources in everything. The minute that patriarchal filter goes up, we become engaged in defending our positions rather than presenting our findings. We are never going to get them to agree with us, and I don't think we should bother to try.

This is an excellent example of this. There is no doubt from any educated source that the library at Alexandria was razed by anyone except Christians. Instead of being able to state a fact and move forward, energy is tied up in a "did not- did, too!" argument with a patrist tool who has accomplished his objectives - to obscure the Christian assault on learning, and distract us from addressing their history of oppression and violence.

We need our own sources, away from the disruptions of men.

Athana said...

I so totally agree with both of you. The only reason I think I care about Wiki is that thousands of people go there thinking they're getting reliable info. I just can't stand the thought that they're getting inaccurate info about the "important" things, so I try to watch over a few articles, at least. Fool's errand? Maybe so.