Why the West Really has a Greco-Roman/Judeo-Christian Heritage and why the West Really has No Islamic-Muslim Heritage at All
The Greco-Roman Heritage
Without the slightest doubt it is the Greek philosopers Plato(424-348),the disciple of Socrates(469-399),inventor of the Socratic Method, and Plato’s greatest pupil and later rival Aristotle (384-322),who studied under Plato,it is said,for 20 years,and who later taught Alexander the Great when the prince was 13 till he was 16,who are the basis of Western philosophy.
The Greeks invented democracy,the Muslims did not.
The legal system of the West is based on Roman law,specially the Justinian Code.Later Napoleon created the Napoleonic Code,which has influenced the Latin nations,and has Roman law as its basis,no Muslim heritage anywhere.
Classical Greek ideas plus the innovations of the Romans.
The great works of the Greeks and Romans,called the “classics”.
Western science has Greek science as its base.
The Greeks and Romans were monogamous.In addition the Germanic tribes were also monogamous,so you can even add a Germanic heritage.But Islam preaches polygamy.
Painting and Sculpture
It is inspired by non-Muslim,Western sources.In Islam is it traditional to forbid painting and sculpture,they are graven images,so no Islamic influence there.
Various Greek and Roman philosophers,like Seneca, expounded the Golden Rule or the Ethic of Reciprocity,which is the basis of human rights.It is something that is found in most cultures.Paul himself in Romans makes it clear you do not need a supernatural revelation to discover the Golden Rule,which he calls “the Law”.
The Judeo-Christian Heritage
Here one can almost just say Jewish heritage since the 2 central figures of Christianity,Jesus and Paul,were Jews.In addition since the OT,the Jewish Bible, is accepted as the Word of God,and it makes up 77% of the Christian Bible,then the Jewish influence is strong.
Because of Jesus and Paul the West adopted the idea of one God,it was not due to Islam.
The specificity is that in the NT the Golden Rule is explicitely given the highest level possible in Judaism,that of “Law”, and even given the following
1.Law of God
2.Law of Christ
4.Law of Liberty
Read the specific citations here:
The Jews were the First to Proclaim the Golden Rule
The Golden Rule first appeared in history among the Jews(for those who believe the Torah was written by Moses),in Leviticus 19:18 and 19:34, and that was in 1200 BC.Even if you think Leviticus is from 600 BC it is still the earliest expression of the Golden Rule.
The Golden Rule is also found in the Hindu book the Mahabharata but it is from 500 BC and Confucius was the first in China to state it but he lived from 551-479 BC.
In addition the Golden Rule is found in:
1.Tobit,a Jewish book,part of the Apocrypha
2.And was stated by Hillel (1st century BC),the greatest Jewish Pharisee teacher and the greatest Jewish sage of the Second Temple period.He is famous for saying:
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
If I am not for others, what am I?
And if not now,then when?”
3.And by Philo of Alexandria(20 BC-50 AD),the greatest Jewish philosopher of Antiquity.
4.And by Akiba,the greatest Jewish teacher (and a martyr to the Jewish faith,killed by the Romans) of the 2nd century.
Polygamy is accepted in Mosaic Law but in the 1st century BC there were Jews who proclaimed polygamy.One group was the Essenes,we know it from their writings in Qmran.The Pharisees,the most popular Jewish group,were divided into 2 schools,that of Shammai and that Hillel.Hillel was against polygamy.
In addition Jesus and Paul were for monogamy.To know where it says Jesus was against polygamy read:
You can translate with Google Translate:
The Argument for the Islamic Heritage of Western Civilization
It is not convincing because of the following:
Muslims often say the West has an Islamic philosophical heritage because Averroes(1126-1198) influenced Western thought.But who was the essential,overwhelming influence on Averroes?It was,as all know,Aristotle,in fact Averroes wrote an enormous amount of commentaries on Aristotle.And was Aristotle a Muslim?No he was a pagan.
Was Averroes really a Muslim?
The answer is no if you know the Koran.Averroes tried to reconcile Islam with the philosophy of Aristotle,his intellectual hero and idol, and he wrote commentaries on the works of Aristotle. There he said:
1. There is only one eternal truth expressed both by theology and philosophy.
2.The universe is eternal.
3. The soul is divided into two parts, one individual and one divine; the individual soul is not eternal; all humans at the basic level share one and the same divine soul.
4.There is a resurrection of the dead.
The European followers of Averroes interpretation of Aristotle
They were called the Averrorists and it was they,on the evidence,who later created the Two-Truth Theory which says that on occasion a position may be theologically true and philosophically (that is to say scientifically) untrue and vice versa.Averroes’ commentaries on Aristotle found their way to the University of Paris where they were promulgated by the group of scholars known as the Averroists lead by Siger of Brabant.
The Muslim claim Averroes influenced the Greatest European Thinker and Theologian of the Middle Ages Thomas Aquinas(1225-1274)
The Italian thinker,whose masterpiece is the Summa Theologica (and who was unfortunately in favor of killing apostates and heretics,and in favor of slavery) did indeed read Averroes and the Averroists and he was against their ideas.If by influencing you mean Aquinas became a disciple and copied Averroes then it is a mistake.Aquinas was against his ideas and wrote the book “Against the Averroists”.
Muslims say there is an Islamic heritage because Muslim scientists influenced the West.
Science has No Religion
Science is just science,it is not “Christian” or “Greek Polytheistic” or “Jewish” or “Muslim-Islamic”.So since science has no religion you can’t say there is an “Islamic scientific heritage in the West”.
“The Myth of the Existence of a Muslim-Islamic Science”:
The Claim Muslims invented the Scientific Method
It is that they were the first and that without them,the Muslims,Western technology and progress would have been impossible.It is false they were the first,it was a Christian who invented it,probably a Greek,in other words a Westerner and so that shows nobody is indispensable.
The Case of Greek Fire
It is a substance that when thrown at people spreads astonishingly fast and can not be extinguished by water,it spreads even faster on water,it burns even under water.It is said to have been invented by Callimachus,a Syrian or Greek,around 672.Others says it was invented by others,we are not certain who created it.We do not know how it was manufactured even though people have tried over and over again to discover the formula.Something is known.Read about its fascinating history and details here:
Using the Scientific Method to Recreate Greek Fire
How do scientists today try to recreate it?Using the scientific method.The question arises:”How did its creator create it in the first place?”To ask it is to answer it.The only way possible was he used the scientific method.He could not have invented such a complicated substance any other way.But the method was not appreciated,knowledge of its importance was lost.
The Rediscovery of Greek Fire
In 1756 a Frenchman named Dupré rediscovered the formula for Greek fire and showed its usage to the king of France Louis XV.The king was so horrified by its horrible effects that he decided that for humane reasons such a terrible weapon should never be used.He gave Dupre a life pension on condition he never divulge the secret.Dupre never told the secret and died soon later,some say killed by the king.
How did Dupre come to accidentally rediscover Greek fire?By using the scientific method,no other way.People has several times,using the scientific method,tried to rediscover the formula,but no success yet.
Read this article
To know more,plus if it is true that without the Muslims the Greek works would have been lost forever?That is not true,and in addition the Muslims did nothing to preserve the Latin works and heritage,read:
Islamic countries are based on Sharia-Islamic law,based on the Koran and hadiths(sayings of Muhammad) which is not the case in Western civilization.
The Golden Rule
It is in the Koran but it is not the Ethical Heart of Islam for the following reasons: