Were the Middle Ages a conspiracy?

Troll

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#1
What if the so-called 'Dark Ages' were really a prosperous utopian era, populated by the most educated and informed people? We're told to believe that they were primitives and grossly oppressed, but every book from that era is more articulate than any modern text. People were actively seeking immortality and the philosopher's stone, and there were still unknown worlds to explore. Fast forward to today, where the US congress speaks at an 8th grade level, fewer and fewer people pursue the sciences, and violence and oppression are rampant, all while a select few get rich and rule over the population. Maybe we're in the dark ages now.
 
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Troll

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#2
Add to this the fact that most of our 'modern' technology is, in fact, based on 1800s or early 1900s technology: everything from our cars, telephones, TVs, electrical systems, etc., etc. It's like most development simply stopped and people have been kept in a primitive state.
 

Darby

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#3
What if the so-called 'Dark Ages' were really a prosperous utopian era, populated by the most educated and informed people?
I agree with you somewhat about today being a dark age where people are dumbed down educationally. I saw it far too often in my professional career where I had university graduates who literally could not rub three words together to form a proper sentence - or even correctly spell all three words.

I have a hard time agreeing that (depending on the definition) the European "Dark Age" was prosperous. The Roman Empire, in the west, had completely collapsed by the 5th Century. Europe, after over 1,000 years of having a system of government was cast adrift. Life was not easy and it surely was no utopia (unless you take the literal Greek meaning of utopia, "no place"). Without the Roman army to keep the peace Europe broke up into warring and virtually lawless "kingdoms" where each king was trying to reunify Europe in their own image. Monty Python may have had it correct.

As far as modern technology being based on 19th and early 20th century ideas goes, it isn't a sign of stagnation. Each of the technologies you referenced is based on one or more of the four fundamental forces of nature - gravitation, electricity & magnetism, the strong and weak forces. That isn't going to change, ever, unless there is some other force of nature unknown to us today. Of the four forces, only E&M lends itself to easy manipulation. Gravity is used in modern technology but only in the sense that it is a constant and unidirectional. Other than introducing a large mass we have no way to actually manipulate it. That leaves the weak and strong nuclear forces. Because they are associated with nuclear fusion and fission (strong) and nucleon decay (weak) they play their parts in modern technology but not in common everyday technology that the average person might understand.
 

Troll

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#4
That's why I put this in the conspiracy forum. Of course, if you take the official history at face value, it was certainly a bad time in which to live. I simply am questioning whether the history was rewritten in order to make people think they're better off than their ancestors.

You bring up a good point regarding technology, but it still seems an inadequate level of advancement to me.
 

ruthless

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Jan 18, 2007
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#5
I agree with you somewhat about today being a dark age where people are dumbed down educationally. I saw it far too often in my professional career where I had university graduates who literally could not rub three words together to form a proper sentence - or even correctly spell all three words.

I have a hard time agreeing that (depending on the definition) the European "Dark Age" was prosperous. The Roman Empire, in the west, had completely collapsed by the 5th Century. Europe, after over 1,000 years of having a system of government was cast adrift. Life was not easy and it surely was no utopia (unless you take the literal Greek meaning of utopia, "no place"). Without the Roman army to keep the peace Europe broke up into warring and virtually lawless "kingdoms" where each king was trying to reunify Europe in their own image. Monty Python may have had it correct.

As far as modern technology being based on 19th and early 20th century ideas goes, it isn't a sign of stagnation. Each of the technologies you referenced is based on one or more of the four fundamental forces of nature - gravitation, electricity & magnetism, the strong and weak forces. That isn't going to change, ever, unless there is some other force of nature unknown to us today. Of the four forces, only E&M lends itself to easy manipulation. Gravity is used in modern technology but only in the sense that it is a constant and unidirectional. Other than introducing a large mass we have no way to actually manipulate it. That leaves the weak and strong nuclear forces. Because they are associated with nuclear fusion and fission (strong) and nucleon decay (weak) they play their parts in modern technology but not in common everyday technology that the average person might understand.

a shrubbery!
 

Darby

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#6
Good one, Ruthless.

I was actually thinking about this one:

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king.
.
Dennis: Listen, strange women lying about in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. [Y]ou can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!
 
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Skarpz

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#7
What if the so-called 'Dark Ages' were really a prosperous utopian era, populated by the most educated and informed people? We're told to believe that they were primitives and grossly oppressed, but every book from that era is more articulate than any modern text. People were actively seeking immortality and the philosopher's stone, and there were still unknown worlds to explore. Fast forward to today, where the US congress speaks at an 8th grade level, fewer and fewer people pursue the sciences, and violence and oppression are rampant, all while a select few get rich and rule over the population. Maybe we're in the dark ages now.
Yes.... And I am King Arthur just awaiting Merlin to show me that sword with the Lady Of The Lake. We are in Dark Times, but seriously?
 

Skarpz

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#10
I saw the light in all of it and I see the darkness around us. There are few in my town that have the light and most of us in light are trying to come together to fight the Darkness within the city.
 
May 16, 2015
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#11
We're definitely in the Dark Ages today. Every year seems to grow darker for us. It's scary how the world is currently facing problems that are uncontrollable and inevitable. There are cases of corruption in every country, wars here and there, earthquakes, famine, hurricanes, and so much more. There is an imbalance in the allocation of resources- the reason why the rich have so much and the poor have next to nothing. I believe everything is caused by mankind's selfishness, indifference, and lack of responsibility. What scares me most is what could happen in the future-- are we nearing the end?
 

Gpa

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#12
I wouldn't worry too much about the end coming soon.
It appears you are around 19 years young. I have already lived more than three of your lifetimes and, you know what?
There has been... corruption in politics in every country, earthquakes, famine, hurricanes, and much much more during each of those lifetimes and the lifetimes of everyone going back as far as recorded history will allow... and then, before that. People tend to think they are experiencing "dark" times during their lives... "It's never been so bad"; when actually, to most young people, history only goes back as far as their lifetime. The human condition "is what it is". It always has been.
 
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May 13, 2015
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#13
The middle ages are a European thing, they are a result of Europeans starting to emerge from the dark ages which happened after the Roman Empire collapsed. They later led to modern civilization as we know it. While Europeans where in a dark age, the Asian, Muslim and some of the American civilizations where at their hieght. A lot of the European expansion was due to the fact that the Asian and American empires started to go into decline.

Probably western civilization is going back into a decline, these things go in cycles.
 

vegito12

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#14
In history books or documentaries you always hear, that the people did not have great technology and were primitive and may not have been as we think they were. The cars, electrical items we have are based on what the inventors made and upgraded as well as in those days technology was not advanced like it is now. I reckon that those times may have been a a time of advancement and also jobs would of been hard to get by as well and ethics may have existed and rights would of been hard process to do and win a case as well.
 

rightct

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#15
How in any way were those times better? Literacy was very restrained back then, and only privileged categories of people who had access to education were able to possess it. Today, on the contrary, we have too much information available at our hands which could make us 1000x more intelligent than the brightest people in the Middle Ages, but because of this overflow of information illiteracy is more preponderent.

I won't even mention the lack of medical resources people had to endure at the time, when bubonic plague killed half of Europe. We're living better today, more than surely.
 

salandme

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#16
What if the so-called 'Dark Ages' were really a prosperous utopian era, populated by the most educated and informed people? We're told to believe that they were primitives and grossly oppressed, but every book from that era is more articulate than any modern text. People were actively seeking immortality and the philosopher's stone, and there were still unknown worlds to explore. Fast forward to today, where the US congress speaks at an 8th grade level, fewer and fewer people pursue the sciences, and violence and oppression are rampant, all while a select few get rich and rule over the population. Maybe we're in the dark ages now.
I wouldn't worry too much about the end coming soon.
It appears you are around 19 years young. I have already lived more than three of your lifetimes and, you know what?
There has been... corruption in politics in every country, earthquakes, famine, hurricanes, and much much more during each of those lifetimes and the lifetimes of everyone going back as far as recorded history will allow... and then, before that. People tend to think they are experiencing "dark" times during their lives... "It's never been so bad"; when actually, to most young people, history only goes back as far as their lifetime. The human condition "is what it is". It always has been.

The middle ages are a European thing, they are a result of Europeans starting to emerge from the dark ages which happened after the Roman Empire collapsed. They later led to modern civilization as we know it. While Europeans where in a dark age, the Asian, Muslim and some of the American civilizations where at their hieght. A lot of the European expansion was due to the fact that the Asian and American empires started to go into decline.

Probably western civilization is going back into a decline, these things go in cycles.
I agree with mr paradox and Gpa. The Dark Ages was not worldwide happening and history tends to repeat itself. It is just a matter of what you want to focus on. You can look at the world full of pessimism or optimism.

To travel back in time to this era the people were primitive by today's standards for most people, but not oppressed to the degree implied. I would be interested for anyone to step up with information about anytime in history where the majority was rich and the minority poor. Also, we still have people looking for immorality.

So, no, I do not think we are living in the Dark Ages, but some people are choosing to live in their personal darkness, and sadly some regions of the world are still living without all the benefits of modern technological resources.
 

DulceBASS

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#17
I have a couple books on philosophy from the Middle Ages. They address some pretty deep issues so to consider those philosophers primitive is absurd to me. I don't think they were a utopian era, and I still think we live in a much better era now since we're arguably more democratic.

The concept of the Dark Ages is a bad historical theme carried over from post-Renaissance thinkers. The Renaissance had a lot of people challenging the positions of the past so there's a rhetorical advantage in calling the past "the Dark Ages" when you're attempting to meld Greek ideals with new thoughts like a lot of Renaissance thinkers were doing. Contemporary society tends to be more based on values that came out of the Renaissance so the idea of the Dark Ages got carried to modern times, though academia has abandoned it because they recognize that there was a lot of interesting ideas, inventions and art coming out of those times.

I guess you could say it was somewhat of a conspiracy.
 

Travelist

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#18
This could be a theory. Dark Ages, if I recall correctly , were the period where that goes between the 5th and the 15th centuery and it was almost fully dominated by the Church. This latter concept might be the key in some kind of way. What I mean is that the Church was running pretty much actively the Inquisition that punished everyone that went against Christ, so maybe for some reason they didn't want to leave much traces for do not let people know in the future?
 
May 13, 2015
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#19
The dark ages where a place of extreme contrasts. So priests and most royalty could read and write. They had access to luxuaries and they even had access to books and libraries. By contrast the peasants lived in hovels, for their entire life rarely travelled more then 10 miles from where they where born, and all they know was toiling in the fields and going to church.

A conspiracy means something intentional. Did the priests and royalty intentionally keep the peasants ignorant to prevent uprisings ? Probably not.

By contrast in Southern USA it was illegal for blacks to be literate, and it was illegal for whites to teach blacks how to read and write. This implies a direct conspiracy.