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#41
You only need to have seen 1 episode of The Big Questions to understand how difficult the English find it to debate without getting angry.
#42
Quote by willT08
You only need to have seen 1 episode of The Big Questions to understand how difficult the English find it to debate without getting angry.


Is that the show that had the woman talking about demons and the evils of being gay whilst Dawkins and the head of the homosexual rights movement in the UK was on?
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#43
Quote by Todd Hart
Is that the show that had the woman talking about demons and the evils of being gay whilst Dawkins and the head of the homosexual rights movement in the UK was on?

Bang on
#44
Quote by Todd Hart
Is that the show that had the woman talking about demons and the evils of being gay whilst Dawkins and the head of the homosexual rights movement in the UK was on?


Heh, there's always one isn't there.
#45
Quote by willT08
Bang on


She's my idol. Well, her and the governor of Texas who said 'If English was good enough for Jesus it's good enough for me'. icrievrytym.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#46
It's been said that a debate, at least the form usually presented, is more of a sporting event than an attempt to further knowledge. There's a strong tendency to judge the "winner" not so much by the intellectual argument or the quality of the evidence, but on the manner of presentation and the personality of the debater.
In debates that Richard Dawkins has participated in, he is frequently criticized for being condescending or snobbish... Rather than attempting to criticize the validity of the argument or the evidence presented.
Sometimes, really knowledgeable individuals are simply not very good at performing in public, and someone used to the "stage" will make them look silly.

Years ago, when William Buckley was hosting his talk show, he used a technique that I found very annoying. He had an amazing vocabulary. He used it as a weapon... Spinning out strings of five-bit words that most of his "opponents" could hardly understand, much less reply to.
This is no way to conduct an exchange of information.
The late Isaac Asimov, who I admired greatly, was much of the opinion that clarity of speech or writing was essential, and attempting to use clever verbiage was counterproductive.

Back in the 1800s, a politician, speaking to a rural crowd, accused his rival of "matriculating" at a major university. The crowd was shocked....Most not having a clue what the word meant and feeling it was some sort of moral crime.
#47
Quote by Todd Hart
'If English was good enough for Jesus it's good enough for me'.


Priceless.

Seriously, how come so many people who claim to follow Jesus seem to know so little about him? I mean, it's right there in the Bible, he was apparently born in Bethlehem to a pair of Jews called Mary and Joseph. Apart from the fact that English as we know it now didn't even exist 2000 years ago, that should be enough for anyone to surmise that he probably didn't speak English.
#48
I've always liked Buckley even though he rarely makes an argument I agree with. He's like my guilty pleasure.
#49
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Priceless.

Seriously, how come so many people who claim to follow Jesus seem to know so little about him? I mean, it's right there in the Bible, he was apparently born in Bethlehem to a pair of Jews called Mary and Joseph. Apart from the fact that English as we know it now didn't even exist 2000 years ago, that should be enough for anyone to surmise that he probably didn't speak English.


You'd hope. I once had an argument with someone who insisted that the disciples were Christians, and that Jesus wasn't a Jew. I seem to remember he also claimed that the good Samaritan was a Christian too, a claim that is utterly refuted by the fact that his tale is told by Jesus, and thus can't have happened after Jesus's death... sigh.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.
#50
Quote by Todd Hart
You'd hope. I once had an argument with someone who insisted that the disciples were Christians, and that Jesus wasn't a Jew. I seem to remember he also claimed that the good Samaritan was a Christian too, a claim that is utterly refuted by the fact that his tale is told by Jesus, and thus can't have happened after Jesus's death... sigh.


Hmmm, depends upon how they are defining 'Christian' really.

'Christian' merely mean follower of 'Christ' or 'the Messiah', if people were considering Jesus as the 'Messiah' ('Christos' in Greek) while he was alive and followed him, then I suppose they effectively were Christians, but we know that Christianity didn't spread to 'non-Jews' ('gentiles') until after Jesus' death, (as a result of Paul the Apostle preaching to the gentiles) so any Christians that were alive during Jesus' life would naturaly have been 'Christians' more in the sense of it being a denomination or even a 'cult' of Judaism rather than in the sense of it being a religion in it's own right.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 3, 2013,
#51
I don't know how many of you have seen Collision, the thing with Hitchens and Douglas Wilson, but I always thought it showed people who debated properly. They did it seriously and with fervour, but you seem them talking about PG Wodehouse and they're clearly still great friends despite tearing into each other's beliefs.
Last edited by willT08 at Feb 3, 2013,
#52
i saw that a couple of years ago
Quote by korinaflyingv
On the come up we were listening to Grateful Dead and the music started passing through my bowel and out my arsehole as this violet stream of light. I shat music. It was beautiful.
#53
Quote by willT08
You only need to have seen 1 episode of The Big Questions to understand how difficult the English find it to debate without getting angry.

I had it on for a short while this morning and found it too awkward to watch. It's horrible. It has especially annoyed me in the past how biased the host is.

The problem is, I think, people discuss at too advanced a level in the debate. They don't stop and discuss the basics or context so they know what they each mean or understand what they're actually arguing, they just run straight in. People don't like to take each point in turn and understand what's actually being said or why, they just try to plug it into the big picture and if they don't like that big picture throw the thought away.
#54
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Hmmm, depends upon how they are defining 'Christian' really.

'Christian' merely mean follower of 'Christ' or 'the Messiah', if people were considering Jesus as the 'Messiah' ('Christos' in Greek) while he was alive and followed him, then I suppose they effectively were Christians, but we know that Christianity didn't spread to 'non-Jews' ('gentiles') until after Jesus' death, (as a result of Paul the Apostle preaching to the gentiles) so any Christians that were alive during Jesus' life would naturaly have been 'Christians' more in the sense of it being a denomination or even a 'cult' of Judaism rather than in the sense of it being a religion in it's own right.

Apparently similar stories relating to the symbology of Jesus' life have come up in different mythologies separated by thousands of years and on different continents, but all telling a similar narrative, and some would say Christianity came out of Egypt
#55
Monotheism certainly originated in Egypt. I'll let Slacker go in on the other stuff you said if he likes, he'd do it much better than I could try to.
#56
Quote by willT08
Quote by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT
Apparently similar stories relating to the symbology of Jesus' life have come up in different mythologies separated by thousands of years and on different continents, but all telling a similar narrative, and some would say Christianity came out of Egypt
Monotheism certainly originated in Egypt. I'll let Slacker go in on the other stuff you said if he likes, he'd do it much better than I could try to.

I'll give my best shot.

Christianity started with Judaic Messiah worship. The notion of the Messiah seems to have started during the Babylonian Captivity of around 600BC-500BC during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon. They came up with the notion of the Messiah as a great king who would rescue them, a 'saviour' figure. This actualy came true, in the form of the Persian king 'Cyrus the Great' who conquered the Babylonians and freed the Jews and Cyrus became the first person to be considered as the Messiah. But that, or something similar, was always going to happen anyway. Babylon was always at war with one of their neighbours or another, so it was only a matter of time before they were finaly beaten by someone, and whoever rescued them would be worshipped as a king by the Jews anyway, so, prophecy or just an educated guess by someone?

Of course, we must remember that Judaism itself developed from other influences, which included Mesopotamian, Canaanite and Egyptian influences. Under careful study, it kinda looks like Judaism was the result of a mish-mash of different cultures coming together over time and amalgamating into one religion.

Firstly, we get a lot of the Abrahamic notion of God from the area of Canaan (which eventualy became the Kingdom of Israel) who's population worshipped a pantheon of polytheistic gods and who's head god was called 'El'. 'El' eventualy became a generic term for 'God' as we can see in the word 'Isra-el' (meaning "Strive with God") and in the names of the archangels such as 'Gabri-el', ("Might of God.") 'Rapha-el' ("God's healing") and Uri-el ("Fire of God") for example.
El was certainly polytheistic in origin though and was considered by the Canaanites to have a queen or consort in the shape of a mother goddess (kinda like a nature goddess) called 'Asherah' and we know that the notion of the Hebrew god 'Yahweh' was at least in part based upon El because, firstly, in the Book of Exodus we find evidence that 'Yahweh' used to be known as 'El' in a passage where God says to Moses...
"I revealed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El Shaddai, (El Almighty) but was not known to them by my name, Yahweh" (Exodus 6:2–3)
... and secondly because of the archeological discovery of an 8th century BC piece of pottery with the inscription "I have blessed you by Yahweh of Samaria and His Asherah" and also the discovery of similar inscriptions, also dated to the 8th century BC, found on walls at two sites, Khirbet el-Kom and Kuntillet Ajrud, both in Israel, which obviously seem to show that El became known as Yahweh because they were both considered as 'almighty' gods (when there can really only be one 'almighty' god) and were both associated with the same goddess consort. The name 'Yahweh' is thought by many scholars to have originated in 'Edom', the region just south of Canaan/Israel, and probably started out as the name of a desert-based 'storm' god. Interestingly, if the Hebrews really did escape from slavery in Egypt and eventualy made it to Canaan where they eventualy took over, as the Book of Exodus claims, they would have to pass through Edom, so this could possibly be a clue as to how Yahweh worship made it's way from Edom to Canaan and eventualy replaced 'El' worship.


Many notions in Judaism originated in Mesopotamia too. For example, the Sumerian story about a god called Enki warning a hero (a king called Atra-Hasis) about the other gods who are planning to send a great flood to wipe out mankind and instructs him to build a boat to save himself, his family and his livestock was later changed slightly by the Babylonians into the story of a commoner called Utnapishtim who was warned about the flood and instructed to build a boat by the same polytheistic god eventualy became the story of Noah who was warned by the monotheistic 'Yahweh' about his own plans to flood the world and wipe out mankind and instructed to build the Ark. Both stories even have the same routine with the sending out of birds to find dry land.

Ever wondered why people would suddenly choose to build a golden calf in the middle of the wilderness and worship it together as the Book of Exodus claims? Because obviously some form of bovine god is already in their culture, and it is likely that the particular bovine god that the golden calf represents is 'Enkidu', otherwise known as the 'Bull of Heaven'.
That name 'Enkidu' is interesting as it is refers again to 'Enki' (Enkidu literaly translates as "Enki's creation") who was a god of wisdom that had a wide influence outside of Mesopotamia, often being equated with El in Canaan, (in the same way that the Greek god Zeus is equalled with the Roman god Jupiter) he is also found in Hurrian and Hittite mythology as a god of contracts, and is considered as particularly favourable to humankind.

The story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden was set somewhere in the area of Mesopotamia too, because the Bible states that the Garden was watered by the Euphrates river, which was located in Mesopotamia, and, as it happens, Mesopotamia is the place where agriculture and irrigation first flourished, where 'gardens' and orchards (bearing 'fruit', which the story of Adam and Eve revolves around) were first built, a whole cultural revolution took place that resulted in 'civilisation' which soon spread to other areas of the Middle East (and eventualy the rest of the world) probably taking religious or mythological stories along with it.

Interestingly, the whole Abrahamic concept of angels originated in Mesopotamian polytheistic mythology too, with mythical creatures known as 'Shedu' which was basicaly a bull with a man's head and giant wings. They were closely related in mythology to the Egyptian and Greek sphinxes and their purpose or role was said to be that of a guardian.
The term 'cherubim' (which is where we get the word 'cherub' from) is cognate with the Assyrian term 'karabu', Akkadian term 'kuribu,' and Babylonian term 'karabu' The Assyrian term means 'great, mighty', but the Akkadian and Babylonian cognates mean 'propitious, blessed'. In some regions the Assyro-Babylonian term came to refer in particular to spirits which served the gods, in particular to the 'Shedu'.
The 'Cherubim' were considered as a type of angel, a big monstrous type designed to scare the crap outta people. The Book of Ezekiel describes them thus: "Each of them had four faces and four wings, with straight feet with a sole like the sole of a calf's foot, and "hands of a man" under their wings. Each had four faces: The face of a man, the face of a lion on the right side, the face of an ox on the left side, and the face of an eagle." (Ezekiel 1:6-10)

What is interesting is the similar roles that the Shedu and the Cherubim play, they are both guardians of sacred places and are often depicted as guarding doorways. The griffin, a similar four legged, winged creature to a Shedu but with an eagle's head rather than that of a man, arose in early Israelite culture as a result of Hittite depictions of griffins, which were also guarding sacred places. Early Israelite tradition conceived of the cherubim as guardians of the Garden of Eden, while many other angels are said to be guardians of Heaven.

The 'creation' myth in the Bible is also very similar to the earlier Mesopotamian version too. In the Mesopotamian creation myth, the whole of creation is brought into play via a god's spoken command, humans are created from earth or clay which is then followed by a period of divine rest, just like in the Book of Genesis in the Bible.

continued next post...
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 4, 2013,
#57
continued...

Then there's the Egyptian influence which maybe isn't quite as obvious as the other two. Monotheism seems to have historicaly first happened around 1300 BC when the Egyptian Pharaoh 'Amenhotep IV' (who later changed his name to 'Akhenaten' meaning "living spirit of Aten") stopped his subjects from following polytheistic gods and instead forced them to worship just the sun god known as 'The Aten', which effectively wrestled power and wealth away from the politicaly powerful priests of the god 'Amun' and gave them directly to the Pharaoh himself, after his death, the priests regained their political power, causing his son and heir 'Tutankhaten' (meaning "Living Image of Aten") to change his name to Tutankhamun to appease them.
If we read Psalm 104 in the Bible, we notice a great similarity to the 'Great Hymn to the Aten', written by Akhenaten himself. Now, whether that means that Akhenaten's monotheism influenced Judaic monotheism or whether it just means that they had a very similar style of writing poetry about gods is up for debate, but there certainly seems to be some sort of influence going from Egyptian to Abrahamic religion regardless.

The 10 Commandments were probably derived from more ancient writings found in the Egyptian 'Book of the Dead', which was kind of an instructional text that every Egyptian learned for how to successfully make it to the afterlife after one has died. In chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead, these early versions of the Commandments take the form of 'negative confessions' that the dead person has to recite to various gods when he descends to the hall of the 'Two Truths'.
For example;
"Hail, Neha-hau who comes from Re-stau, I have not killed man or woman." (You shall not murder)
"Hail, serpent Amenti who comes from the house of slaughter, I have not defiled the wife of a man." (You shall not commit adultery.)
"Hail, Shade-Eater who comes from the caverns which produce the Nile, I have not committed theft." (You shall not steal.)
"Hail, Aati who comes from Heliopolis, I have not foolishly set my mouth in motion against another man." (You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.)

There were basicaly 42 Egyptian commandments, (split up into 3 classifications of sins. Transgressions against Mankind, sins against gods and personal transgressions) each of which the person wishing to enter the afterlife had to announce to 42 different gods or 'judges' that they were not guilty of. If they failed to tell the truth, which was decided by the god Anubis weighing the heart of the person against a feather, their soul was eaten by a creature called 'Ammut' who was part crocodile, part lion, and part hippopotamus, basicaly a demon. Interestingly, Ammut was also sometimes said to stand by a 'lake of fire', an image that Christianity later adopted in it's depiction of Hell.
Remember, the originator of the Commandments was said to be Moses, who was raised as an Egyptian royal, so I think that's probably a strong clue to the cultural origins of the Commandments in the Bible.

So, with all these different cultural influences going into the development of early Judaism, it's really no wonder that we find correlations between Judaic stories of a 'saviour' figure and saviour figures from other cultures, of which there were a great abundance including the Greek god 'Heracles', the Egyptian god 'Horus' and the Persian god 'Mithra' who we know was already considered to have been born to a virgin 200 years before Jesus was born. There is a Mithraic temple at Kangavar in western Iran, which has an inscription on it that states that it is dedicated to "Anahita, the Immaculate Virgin Mother of the Lord Mithra." which is dated at around 200 BC.
Remember, 'Cyrus the Great', who rescued the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity and was considered and worshipped as the very first 'Messiah', was a Persian king, so it's hardly surprising if Persian influences eventualy made their way into the notion of the Messiah.

Y'see, even though Christianity is monotheistic, it has polytheistic roots in the way that Judaism developed and also in the Roman influence on it from the time of Constantine the Great onwards. (Roman Emperor who adopted Christianity as the official Roman religion). Pretty much all pantheons of polytheistic religions follow a similar pattern. There's the head god and his consort, then there's their offspring, usualy patron gods of several different places and things, and then there's stories about heroes and saviours who are 'related' to the gods, usualy 'demi-gods' (the result of the mating of a god and a mortal).
Christianity still has some of that kind of polytheistic tradition within it, take the patron saints for example, in polytheistic thought, each place, profession or passtime had a 'patron' god, a particular deity that one would pray to, depending upon the situation, in the hope that they would influence the positive outcome of one's endeavours. Once Christian monotheism became widespread, these patron gods were replaced by patron saints, who were prayed to in the exact same respect but who in turn were believed to appeal to the monotheistic God on their behalf rather than acting themselves. The standard demi-god 'hero' or 'saviour' role is also surely reprisented in Christianity when we consider that Jesus effectively had a God for a father and a mortal woman for a mother, just like Heracles in Greek mythology.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 4, 2013,
#58
Oh wow. This thread is still going? I forgot about it after my last post.
For how can I give the King his place of worth above all else
when I spend my time striving to place the crown upon myself?
#59
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Most definately. It's really hard to get a valid point across to someone who instantly freaks out whenever they hear it rather than actualy thinking rationaly about it.


Well, one way of looking at offence is as a litmus test for substance.

If you aren't offending someone chances are you aren't really saying anything.
#60
Quote by TooktheAtrain
Well, one way of looking at offence is as a litmus test for substance.

If you aren't offending someone chances are you aren't really saying anything.


Heh, that's certainly true in a lot of cases. That's kinda what I like about Jehovah's Witnesses, they never seem to get offended by other people's point of view and lose it, they just seem to quietly stand on my doorstep, politely taking it all in, then introduce their own point of view. At about the point where many strong Catholics and evangelists would be screaming 'SINNER!' in my face, the Jehovah's Witnesses simply say, "Well that's your point of view and your entitled to it, but this is what we think..."
#61
Saying that, in a few weeks it's likely we will see the return of the 'bible bashers' in town who stand around in a group at night shouting at people out on the town on the weekend. They tend to disappear over the winter months.
#62
Quote by JackalUK
Saying that, in a few weeks it's likely we will see the return of the 'bible bashers' in town who stand around in a group at night shouting at people out on the town on the weekend. They tend to disappear over the winter months.


Ahhh, Evangelists... my favourite prey.
I've had a few 'very public' debates with those guys.
#63
Quote by Rawshik
Anyone who's spent decades of their life studying philosophy and theology is most certainly full of knowledge and would be considered intelligent.

Anybody who's spent decades of their life studying faeries and unicorns, their literature and essays, is most certainly full of knowledge and would be considered intelligent.

See how that reasoning falls apart? Yeah, it hits right home with theology because it's comfortable for you to side with something you sincerely want to believe in. Don't brush off faeries and unicorns as nonsense and a waste of time. The same awkwardness that's elicited from hearing about the seriousness of faeries and unicorns is identical to the same feelings secular folks feel towards theology. You can read and study it till you're blue in the face, but just because you've done it a long time doesn't mean it's worthwhile or even factual.
#64
Quote by Bikewer
Years ago, when William Buckley was hosting his talk show, he used a technique that I found very annoying. He had an amazing vocabulary. He used it as a weapon... Spinning out strings of five-bit words that most of his "opponents" could hardly understand, much less reply to.
This is no way to conduct an exchange of information.

Ugh, and then he'd mug at the camera like he'd made some great point. Buckley was full of shit, watch Noam Chomsky's appearance on Firing Line to see it made painfully obvious.

Although I'll give him a bit of credit for coming out against the drug war.
Quote by EpiExplorer
I swear this guy in particular writes for the telegraph or some shit.

Quote by Fat Lard
My name can actually be traced back to as early as the 1990s, it means "fuck off data miner"
#65
I always enjoy watching Buckley even though really he's a fairly weak debater, he's a wonder to behold in my opinion.
#66
Quote by ErikLensherr
Buckley was full of shit, watch Noam Chomsky's appearance on Firing Line to see it made painfully obvious.

Yep. Bullshit with the aid of reading a thesaurus. The debate between Buckley and Chomsky is extremely amusing to watch.
#67
Quote by Zaphikh
Anybody who's spent decades of their life studying faeries and unicorns, their literature and essays, is most certainly full of knowledge and would be considered intelligent.

See how that reasoning falls apart? Yeah, it hits right home with theology because it's comfortable for you to side with something you sincerely want to believe in. Don't brush off faeries and unicorns as nonsense and a waste of time. The same awkwardness that's elicited from hearing about the seriousness of faeries and unicorns is identical to the same feelings secular folks feel towards theology. You can read and study it till you're blue in the face, but just because you've done it a long time doesn't mean it's worthwhile or even factual.

To be completely fair, what you're talking about is basically studying mythology, right? I'd think it pretty cool to know a lot about the mythology of a bunch of different cultures and time periods, know their historical relevance and what their mythology says about the culture.

I also just realised that's analogous to religious studies, not theology. Carry on.
Last edited by CoreysMonster at Feb 4, 2013,
#68
Quote by CoreysMonster
To be completely fair, what you're talking about is basically studying mythology, right? I'd think it pretty cool to know a lot about the mythology of a bunch of different cultures and time periods, know their historical relevance and what their mythology says about the culture.

I also just realised that analogous to religious studies, not theology. Carry on.

It's certainly shaped cultures, psyches, and a handful of other things - there's no denying that. In that thought though, so has the idea that the Earth was flat. I'd definitely agree that just because something may not carry any truth-value does not imply that it isn't influential.
#69
I have no idea what's going on ITT but i dont like participating in debates because i get overly emotional in them and feel like crying
cat
#71
Quote by SlackerBabbath
*most fascinating*

Yeah I read somewhere that the Judaic religion was a mashup of all religions around at that time, I find it super interesting that 'modern' Christianity is almost 'Religion.4', in a way.

A lot of this stuff is supposed to have something to do with astrology and that Jesus and Moses never actually existed in person, but were the representatives of the starsigns Pisces(?) and Taurus respectively (Moses was said to have horns)

"At the end of the Taurean Age, when Moses came down from the mountain to speak with the people and to greet them with the new commandments from God, he became angry when he found his people had became weak and restless in his absence, and so had created a golden calf to worship; a sign that they had reverted back to the old ways of the Taurean age of worship because they thought Moses had deserted them. Moses then forbade them the old ways of worshipping the golden calf and made them learn the ways of the new commandments. "

the bull is meant to represent Moses or sumert, in that Moses is Taurus
and the 'symbol' for early Christianity was a fish cos it's Pisces int it

Also, I read somewhere that El was the Canaanite deity Saturn, who represented chaos and destruction and shit

which is why loads of words go like "ELder" "ELite" "ELected "ELaborate" (maybe not that last one)

the temples of Saturnalia were meant to be something big in Babylon, which is why they may have been leeched for early Judaic foundations


It's interesting as **** though cos it means that religions to this day are still based on astrology
Last edited by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT at Feb 4, 2013,
#74
Quote by Zaphikh
Anybody who's spent decades of their life studying faeries and unicorns, their literature and essays, is most certainly full of knowledge and would be considered intelligent.

See how that reasoning falls apart?

Nope.

Regardless of whether you believe in any religious notion or not, regardless of whether you believe in fairies and unicorns or not, the various beliefs in them are still interesting subjects to study, and studying anything, even if it is mythological, involves academic means of gathering knowledge. It's not what you study that denotes intelligence, but rather the way you study it and how much information gather and comit to memory on that subject.
There are many different people who are experts on various religions, mythologies and folklores who are all considered as 'intelligent'.
Infact, I know a woman who's considered as an expert in 'folklore', which involves the legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales, stories, tall tales and customs that are the traditions of certain cultures. Her studies often involves tales of fairies and unicorns and all other manner of exotic but mythical beings. She knows full well that these things don't exist, but studying such things gives us a window into the way that people used to (and sometimes still do) think. These folklore beliefs, just like religion, are part of the beliefs that helped to shape our cultures and societies, so really, one can consider the study of such things as a specialist subject within the anthropological study of human history.

You don't have to believe in any religion to study theology you know.

Quote by Zaphikh
It's certainly shaped cultures, psyches, and a handful of other things - there's no denying that. In that thought though, so has the idea that the Earth was flat.

So you're suggesting that the study of anything that doesn't involve hard scientific reality serves no purpose? That we should burn any books we have on the subjects of religion, mythology and folklore and allow any human knowledge we may have on such subjects to just disappear?

Quote by Zaphikh
I'd definitely agree that just because something may not carry any truth-value does not imply that it isn't influential.

So if you can admit that, how come you don't value the study of something that was so influential? Do you honestly think that it's a worthless study or is it just that it's something that doesn't personaly interest you?
Quote by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT

A lot of this stuff is supposed to have something to do with astrology and that Jesus and Moses never actually existed in person, but were the representatives of the starsigns Pisces(?) and Taurus respectively (Moses was said to have horns)

No no no, that's a common misconception. Moses' face was described as "cornuta" ("horned") in the Latin Vulgate translation of the passage from Exodus in which Moses returns to the people after receiving the commandments for the second time. This even influenced artists such as Michelangelo to depict Moses with horns.

But we now know that people like Michelangelo misinterpreted the term and that the original meaning of the term meant "shining", in a similar way to how polished horn (a common decorative material in ancient times) shines.

Quote by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT
Also, I read somewhere that El was the Canaanite deity Saturn, who represented chaos and destruction and shit


Saturn was a Roman god (the god of agriculture infact) and the father of Jupiter, the head or 'king' of the Roman pantheon of gods. We can consider him as the same god as the Greek Titan Cronus who was the father of Zeus. Y'see, in Greek and Roman mythology, the gods were not the first things to exist. Both mythologies start with animistic forces of chaos or nature, who give birth to offspring (the Titans in Greek mythology) who in turn give birth to the heads of the current pantheons, (who in turn gave birth to the lesser gods of the pantheons. There's certainly a similarity to the Canaanite 'El', who was also considered as the father of the gods and, like Saturn, who was married to the Roman fertility deity and earth/mother-goddess called 'Ops', El was also married to a fertility deity and earth/mother-goddess called Asherah. The Greek equvalent Cronos was married to another mother goddess called Rhea, who is often considered as the same goddess as the Roman Ops.

This isn't really surprising, many pantheons of the ancient world had equivalent gods who were considered to be the same gods of different cultures but with different names. It possibly points to an earlier mythology that several different cultural mythologies split from.

The whole mother goddess thing is actualy more interesting to study y'know because the figure of a mother goddess is the earliest known deity to be worshipped, and it appears that she was worshipped in one form or another for a phenominaly long time.

Allow me to demonstrate.
Take a look at this.

It's known to archeology as a 'Venus figurine' and is made from mammoth ivory. It was found near Schelklingen, Germany and is known as the 'Venus of Hohle Fels' (after the cave it was found in) and is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, placing it in the 'upper paleolithic'. This is so long ago that Neanderthals still existed.

Compare that to this slightly younger figurine.

The famous 'Venus of Willendorf', carved from a type of limestone, found in Lower Austria near the city of Krems and dated to around 25,000 years ago.
We can see an obvious similarity. Almost all the early Venus figures have large or drooping breasts, such as a woman who has already had children would have.
They are generaly small, but never seem to be made to stand up and they are quite often very smooth to the touch in places, as if someone has worn it smooth with constant handling. This suggests that it was something that was considered to have been of enough importance that it would be carried around with people, who up until around 12,000 years ago were all nomadic.
The main reason that we associate Venus figurines with the Mother Goddess is that the figures continued to be made for thousands of years, gradualy changing in style, right up until historicaly fairly recently, when we know for definate who they represent.
The first ones, as we can see, were very crude, but over tens of thousands of years have become more and more stylised.

About 8000 years ago the Venus figurines gradualy became seated figures, like this one from Samarra, Iraq.

Eventualy we see a similar huge woman, again seated, but more stylised and flanked by two lions, like this one from Catalhoyuk, Turkey.

Now compare that with this known figure of 'Cybele', the Phrygian (Turkish) version of the Earth Mother. Notice what she's flanked by?

And compare that with this depiction of the Greek version Rhea.

Also, look at what guards the entrance to the Temple of the Egyptian mother goddess Isis at Philae.


So, looking at the way that mother goddess depictions look to have have developed over the countless millenia, it would appear that all of these different mother goddesses from different cultures share a common cultural origin dating back at least 35,000 years ago. This actualy makes a hell of a lot of sense when we consider that humanity started out as a single culture in Africa then seperated and spread out around the world.

If we consider the Canaanite mother goddess Asherah as yet another developmental version of this figure, we can actualy link Abrahamic religion (via El and Yahweh) to extremely ancient prehistoric religious notions.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 5, 2013,
#75
Quote by SlackerBabbath
No no no, that's a common misconception.

ah I see I see. It just seemed to make sense to me that as opposed to physical people, the stories of such prophets were based on the development of archetypes which shared a common ancestor within astrology. Would you say Jesus physically existed then? The notion of the crucifixion and rising on the 3rd day, and the concept of 'christ' as a whole, is a concept way older than 2000 years old

Quote by SlackerBabbath
This isn't really surprising, many pantheons of the ancient world had equivalent gods who were considered to be the same gods of different cultures but with different names. It possibly points to an earlier mythology that several different cultural mythologies split from.

aye again I had always assumed that this had connotations with astrology, in that primative cultures may have considered constelations as literal Gods, ascribed mythology to them and gradually developed a picture of what they represented, which 10Ks of years later became the Greek/Roman Gods

Quote by SlackerBabbath
The whole mother goddess thing is actualy more interesting to study y'know because the figure of a mother goddess is the earliest known deity to be worshipped, and it appears that she was worshipped in one form or another for a phenominaly long time.

Is there not a dual nature to this, is there not also a masculine equivalent that was worshipped around the same time? I'd assumed the archetype of the mother God was the same thing as Gaia and that the father God was the 'sky' (can't remember the name atm) and that the fornicaton of the two gave rise to life on Earth (in conjunction with creation myths involving the universe. Can we talk about the Kabbalah for a bit?)

Quote by SlackerBabbath
we can actualy link Abrahamic religion (via El and Yahweh) to extremely ancient prehistoric religious notions.

yeah this is what I meant by saying modern religion is just neo-astrology, assuming that astrology was the root of early religious myth.
#76
slacker m8 have you considered being a consultant for a documentary or something? No offense intended, but it seems like if your only outlet is this forum your (considerable) knowledge seems a little wasted. The amount and quality of the stuff you post could probs fill an encyclopaedia.
#77
^that, and

Quote by SlackerBabbath
Many notions in Judaism originated in Mesopotamia too. For example, the Sumerian story about a god called Enki warning a hero (a king called Atra-Hasis) about the other gods who are planning to send a great flood to wipe out mankind and instructs him to build a boat to save himself, his family and his livestock was later changed slightly by the Babylonians into the story of a commoner called Utnapishtim who was warned about the flood and instructed to build a boat by the same polytheistic god eventualy became the story of Noah who was warned by the monotheistic 'Yahweh' about his own plans to flood the world and wipe out mankind and instructed to build the Ark. Both stories even have the same routine with the sending out of birds to find dry land.

this, would you not say that the correlations between mythologies such as the war between the god and devil/tiamat and the notion of the flood possibly indicate a more tangible conceptual meaning than (obviously) a literal acount of events or mere myth? A buttload of the stories of the Flood came up on cultres that really had no way of interacting with each other, meaning the only link they would have had would have been a common link. It made sense to me that all these stories were steeped in heavy symbolic meaning and ad origins in fact, and were all actually based around the human psyche (as above so below)

The symbology of water also has heavy symbology in the occult and also most religions, I'd put this down to water being a good primative synonym for the wave nature of 'reality'. I won't go into what water is meant to represent cos I'm sure you're already well aware, but what would you say this meant in regards to the flood/aquarius? Could the two not be the same thing, and if its all man's way of interpreting the psyche, then other than the whole purifaction via 'pure consciousness' thing, what do you personally think it might represent? Dyou think it has any basis in some form of truth whatsoever?

Feel free to apply that last bit to all religion/mythology as a whole, in terms of the psyche as well as 'historical fact' (shit that happened irl that gave birth to these stories)

Same thing on the symbology of fire, as well. This is what I were getting at in that bullshitty thread I made when I were really baked that one time, You seem abundantly intelligent enough to understand what I mean when I say the polarity doesn't exist so I won't go into it, but how would you say this relates to mythology? They all have this thing of the main male god getting giggy with the main female god, but if the polarity is an illusion and that the only truth is Void, how would you say that this came to be? Could the concept of Void/monotheistic God not be a forerunner of every mythology?
Last edited by KiLLSWiTCH-KnoT at Feb 5, 2013,
#78
Try the football thread. Great arguments there.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#79
The great flood is based on a real event in Mesopotamia which was embellished by being passed down over generations.

As for fire, it's not hard to see why people would consider fire a symbol of danger and destruction.
...Stapling helium to penguins since 1949.