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I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance. Options
Daemon
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance.

Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)
Babezy
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 12:48:36 AM

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Why on earth would ignorance be sinful? Does he mean that it's the ignorant person's sin, or that the only evil in the world is ignorance? Either way it sounds silly to me.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. --Dorothy Parker
Mrsuave04
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 2:12:17 AM
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As far as i get it, the quote means, "anything which people may presume as sin,is not sin actually, But it's mere ignorance. And religion is nothing but a toy in hands of religious fundamentalists and priests."
kitten
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 3:28:50 AM

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Daemon wrote:
I count religion but a childish toy, and hold there is no sin but ignorance. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)


I have a great interest in, Christopher Marlowe, and from what I have read even though he was born and died during the Tudor Reign better known as the Virgin Queen's reign, Marlowe at times laced his writings around religion, although he was believed to have been an atheist.

The above quote is from, The Jew of Malta, by Christopher Marlowe.

MACHIAVEL as Prologue speaker.

Scene, Malta.



THE JEW OF MALTA.
Enter MACHIAVEL.

MACHIAVEL. Albeit the world think Machiavel is dead,
Yet was his soul but flown beyond the Alps;
And, now the Guise 11 is dead, is come from France,
To view this land, and frolic with his friends.
To some perhaps my name is odious;
But such as love me, guard me from their tongues,
And let them know that I am Machiavel,
And weigh not men, and therefore not men's words.
Admir'd I am of those that hate me most:
Though some speak openly against my books,
Yet will they read me, and thereby attain
To Peter's chair; and, when they cast me off,
Are poison'd by my climbing followers.
I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance.

Birds of the air will tell of murders past!
I am asham'd to hear such fooleries.
Many will talk of title to a crown:
What right had Caesar to the empery? 12
Might first made kings, and laws were then most sure
When, like the Draco's, 13 they were writ in blood.
Hence comes it that a strong-built citadel
Commands much more than letters can import:
Which maxim had 14 Phalaris observ'd,
H'ad never bellow'd, in a brazen bull,
Of great ones' envy: o' the poor petty wights
Let me be envied and not pitied.
But whither am I bound? I come not, I,
To read a lecture here 15 in Britain,
But to present the tragedy of a Jew,
Who smiles to see how full his bags are cramm'd;
Which money was not got without my means.
I crave but this,—grace him as he deserves,
And let him not be entertain'd the worse
Because he favours me.
[Exit.]
[/i]


This is one of my favourite plays as well as, The Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare.


Please thank Poetry Anthology: Poem Anthology <<<< www.andx.co,-- which led me to the play and www.guttenberg.org for publishing the the above.

More good things to read whilst I recoup. I was getting ready to .


peace out,


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
MTC
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 8:26:15 AM
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Daemon misleadingly attributes the quotation to Marlowe himself when in actuality it is spoken by Michiavel, a character (ghost) in one of Marlowe's plays, "The Jew of Malta." The character Michiavel is based on Machiavelli who authored The Prince, a handbook on how a prince should realistically wield political power. In Machiavelli's opinion, power itself is neither moral nor immoral. For a prince armed with that awareness the only real sin is ignorance. The more one knows, the better one is able to exercise power to further self-interest. Religion is but another element or "toy" to be manipulated from this cynical standpoint. The quotation makes sense in that light.

The Buzzito
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 10:29:39 AM
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What an insensitive quote by thefreedictionary.com to use on Good Friday. More sense ought to be used when deciding what to send out in their emails. If ignorance were sin, the individual who decided on this one ought to need a great deal of prayer. God bless em.
Alias
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 11:26:11 AM

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The Buzzito wrote:
What an insensitive quote by thefreedictionary.com to use on Good Friday. More sense ought to be used when deciding what to send out in their emails. If ignorance were sin, the individual who decided on this one ought to need a great deal of prayer. God bless em.




Au Contraire Buzzito! The quote is perfectly apropos for such a day. If you read MTC's excellent explanation of Machiavellis "philosophy" it becomes clear that one should avoid the "sin" of ignorance or risk being manipulated by those who look after their own self interest.....

In fact the narrative generally attributed to the events around the crucifixion of Jesus speaks directly to the machiavellian interests of the principal players in the political hub bub of 1st Century Roman controlled territories of the Middle east at that time.


"Blessed Are the Cracked for They Let in The Light" - Spike Milligan









I think its about time chickens are able to cross the road without constantly having their motives challenged!
lsimen
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 12:03:11 PM
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While I respect your view Alias, I have to disagree.
Given that Marlowe was a known atheist, I don't think it's just as you say; I agree more with Mr. Suave's interpretation.
And also with Buzzito... I think there should be discretion in choosing quotes on holidays, simply out of respect, especially those that are largely celebrated.
You can't argue the fact that approx. 83% of the nation claims to celebrate this day.
Would they post a bible verse as the quote of the day? Probably not.
Could you imagine the number of tantrums people would be having in THAT discussion?
So why is it that we can debate a quote with the element of atheism today and yet have no chance to debate the counter? Seems a bit biased, yeah?
Just a thought...
MTC
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 2:13:37 PM
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Despite their perceived insensitivity to religious holidays, the editors of TFD have made a brilliant selection of subjects by highlighting Earth Day. Without the Earth none of the planet's religions nor men to worship in them would even exist.
jcbarros
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 3:10:01 PM

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You can be a sinner as well as an ignorant.
Geeman
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 3:29:09 PM

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It's definitely possible to view this quote as meaning "all sins arise, essentially, from ignorance" while religions are the trappings that people use to decorate that categorization.... Machiavelli would probably support that interpretation as accurate, though he'd acknowledge that putting things in terms of "sin" and or virtue is a matter of nomenclature rather than a strict sense of religiosity.

But I don't think that's exactly what Marlowe was getting at with that comment. With the note to Peter's Chair (St. Peter is often considered the first pope) and Caesar, I can't help but think this is more than a bit of a jibe directed towards Catholicism. At the time, of course, there was a certain friction between the denominations, and a Protestant audience would get a kick out of this particular characterization of the politics of the papacy by Italy's most famous political commentator.

Nonethless, it's important to note (as a few folks have) that this quote isn't in context and not really attributable to Marlowe himself but to the ghost of a character in the introduction/narrative of a play. It's to set a mood. It works admirably in that role.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Friday, April 22, 2011 10:12:19 PM
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Joined: 9/10/2009
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I think the ghost in Marlow's play is saying that religion is a childish belief. Thus the "sins" that one commits-- according to one's religion-- are not to be taken seriously.

I don't think that ignorance is a "sin" however; but many times "sin" is committed out of ignorance, or because of ignorance and ignorant beliefs.

I think this is what is meant by this quote and what it implies.

I agree with Icbarros; one can be ignorant and sinful...But one can also be ignorant and not sinful, just as one can be "wise" and sinful...

The question is: What is sin?


I also think that MTC has made a good observation about Earth Day. Let us all give respect and feel reverence for our lives and for those who sanctify this day.
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