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Author Topic: Is Religion Really Needed in the World?  (Read 1731 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 23, 2012, 07:59:08 PM »

Another one of my controversial mood-swings that I have on here every couple months where I say something spiritually detrimental and then go back to normal a couple days later.

Is religion really needed in the world? The purpose of most all religions in the world--in a very broad sense--is to better mankind by offering some type of moral guidance along with mystical and/or Sacramental grace and some special path that will lead to eternal bliss or something. They all claim to be the solution to fix mankind of its problems. But this is also their biggest flaw. If certain people do not entirely adhere to their solution, then that religion condemns them and only promotes more hatred and problems in the world. In a sense, all religions are in a capitalistic rivalry with each other to hold a monopoly on the market--in this case, the market is peoples' souls, and to put their competition (other religions) out of business through promoting petty nationalistic patriotism among their adherents so that their adherents will shun and hate the other religion, thus just promoting rivalry and hatred in society. Instead of really fixing any problems, it only makes things worse.

Maybe the Marxists were right that religion is the opium of the people because it prevents any societal progress from ever being made and promotes people to submit to the bourgeois--which in this case, is the leaders of the particular religion, who in turn pollute the people by telling them to just accept the way things are in the world and focus on this theoretical next world that may or may not exist. Go ahead, let the world burn, screw it! Let the children starve and the poor suffer, stay being sheep taken advantage of by the rich! Because if you listen to me and follow the rules I give you, then someday you will have paradise at this big place in the sky where you will see all your dead family and friends!

Why do we focus so much on this next transcendant world that may or may not exist when we cannot even handle our own world that we are in now? Why don't we just try to fix this world instead of worrying about the next and if another world does exist after death, then we can handle it then instead of further screwing our present world to worry about this next world? I'm starting to find Marxism as being more of a practical philosophy of the world because it seeks to make real, applicable change that can be made into a reality right now. We can create the perfect utopia right here on Earth right now if we really tried. Isn't this nobler than the goal of religions which only focus on the next world at the expense of our present world?

Really, religions seem to only poison modern society. Take Evangelical missionaries for example. They go into these really backwards parts of the world, and instead of teaching them how to meet their basic needs and form a stable society, they only give them even more problems to face. Now not only do these native people have to suffer with poverty, disease, warfare and other natural disasters, but now they have to worry about what some magic guy in the sky thinks of them and they have to jump through hoops to please him even though He has never done anything for them yet this narcissist still demands eternal praise from everyone in the entire universe just to satisfy His godly ego because apparently an all-powerful God who is perfect still needs the eternal praise from something as petty as humans to satisfy His narcissistic ego. Talk about insecurity! God seems like the popular but insecure teenage girl in High-School who needs to constantly be told that she is pretty by the nerdy guys who are infatuated with her that she would never even date or give the time of day to.

Guess what guys! Even though you are miserable in this world, if you do not start worshipping this invisible guy in the sky, then you will also face eternal misery when you die at a level so great that it would make your earthly pain right now seem like a walk in the park! Great! So you want to worship Him and get with the plan? Perfect! We'll tell you what you have to do! You now have to accept our western censorship and ideals that will butcher your heathen, subhuman non-European culture because we have it all figured out and carry the White man's burden of civilizing you brown/black skinned monkeys! So let us now tell you how you have all been living in sin for hundreds of years. All of your women are whores because they expose their chests and wear little clothing opposed to our Victorian standards even though there was no sexual intent in it at all, you have to obey our rules about how you have sex and how many people you can marry, and now you have to start hating homosexuals and letting us exploit your land of its natural resources and enslave you!

I do not know who I despise more. Evangelicals or the Roman Catholic Church. I hate seeing another Mexican who is a Roman Catholic. It is just a sign of weakness accepting colonialism. I'd rather them be Marxists and focus on making a real difference in the world, or even return back to Aztec neo-paganism than adhere to the religion that was forced upon them. I imagine that Lenin felt the same way about seeing fellow Russians who were Orthodox. I sympathize for him.

So tell me again how religion helps anyone? It just introduces new problems on people who are already suffering, impedes upon any progress ever being made in society and as we will now discuss, only promotes more hatred, distance and intolerance among the world. I hate how religion can honestly condemn a perfectly good person to the fires of Hell just for not adhering to that particular religion even though they could have been one of the greatest persons in the world. Ask an Evangelical what they think of John Lennon, Gandhi, Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) or some other great, peace-loving person who wanted to make a difference in the world and most assuredly I tell you that the Evangelical will say that these people are still evil and are in Hell right now because they did not formally 'believe' in this God guy. I do not think it is a coincidence that some of the most spiritually enlightened, peace-loving people were irreligious.

Religion seems like an inferior stage in a person's moral development. Among the people who only judge goodness by whether someone 'believed' in God or not and accepted the way things are in our world. However, to be fair, this is mostly just among western Christianity, although I see it to an extent in Orthodoxy. While on the other hand, eventually more enlightened people rise above this childish disposition and pursue peace and righteousness for what it truly is denying the silly hindrance that religion places on them.

I want peace. I want utopia. I want an end to suffering. And there are many people who also wanted the same thing and advocated a message about this. How is it that these religions can be so undeveloped that they would actually condemn these people of such noble ideals just because they did not formally belong to their religion or 'believe' in a particular diety? If their God is a god who hates peace loving people who are so morally great just because they do not believe in Him, then that is a pretty lousy god. Bob Marley, Tupac and John Lennon would make better gods than a God like that. At least they had proper ideals. Religion only promotes hatred because it gives people pride over other types of people, further separates us as humans by causing differences and quarrels among us, and on top of that, impedes any earthly progress in society and condemns people who love peace just because they did not formally belong to that religion.

I acknowledge that radical atheism has also led to evil and impedes upon progress in society. So I am not in anyway advocated that. Radical atheism reduces humans to naturalistic animals with no morality, thus making the idea of progress or utopia meaningless, and the notion of evolutionary natural selection and Ayn Rand's objectivism only acts as an idea to justify the bourgeois exploiting the poor without feeling shame. It is another threat to earthly utopia.

I think that nontheism is better than atheism because it rejects the silly differences and problems that religion raises, but also reject the deprivation that atheism brings. It promotes people to still strive for goodness but to do it without the hindrance that comes from religion. Is Marxism perhaps a better worldview because it seeks to create a utopia now instead of just being lazy sheeping and waiting for the next world?

Thoughts?
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« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2012, 08:17:19 PM »

I have
I say
I give
I do not
I despise more.
I hate 
I sympathize
I hate
I tell you
I do not
I see it
I want
I want
I want
I acknowledge
I think
.
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« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2012, 08:25:44 PM »

My 2 cents... St. James defines "true religion" in a way that involves helping others and transformation of ourselves. It's not about just being moral, but being transformed. If Jesus is who the Church says He is--if God is who the Church says He is--then whatever you call it, the Christian faith is much, much more than man's attempt to be good or do X, Y, and Z. For one thing, it's God helping us do the doing. God. Think about that. God. And if there's a God like the Christian religion says there is, we'd best pay attention to what he says if we have any type of taste for truth and righteousness. Now, if there is no God then I agree with you that religion is, at best, good for only social interaction and moral guidance, and can easily be corrupted. But who says God doesn't exist?
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2012, 08:26:12 PM »

Do you see a pattern?
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2012, 08:38:40 PM »


Just jumped out at me.
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2012, 08:46:17 PM »


Orthodoxy is not a religion.

It is a way of life.

No Orthodoxy = death
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2012, 09:13:18 PM »


Orthodoxy is not a religion.

It is a way of life.

This is painfully too similar to the overly-used phrase, "it's not a religion, it's a relationship!"
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2012, 09:17:55 PM »

I dont know how to respond to all that.  I guess I would say that, yes, I think true religion is needed in the world. That response seems almost too simple considering how much you wrote.

You post so many interesting topics each day that i cant help but wonder what it would be like to go to your school and be in your class.  You certainly dont seem like all the other 16 year olds running around. (and I dont mean that to be a bad thing.) Do you get into discussions like this with your teachers??

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« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2012, 09:56:56 PM »

There were instances where Orthodoxy, mainly through its lower clergy, was, indeed a factor of progress and fueled class hatred and class struggle of the weak against the strong. Such was the case oftentimes -since I come from there-in Transylvania where orthodoxy was the religion of the lowest class of the society and, insofar as it fueled animus and resistance against the oppressors it can be said to have been a progressive force. One can find many other examples. Religion is quite a neutral weapon: if the upper classes often use it to keep their slaves in line, it also happens that sometimes the slaves use it to get rid of their masters.
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2012, 10:02:48 PM »

Another one of my controversial mood-swings that I have on here every couple months where I say something spiritually detrimental and then go back to normal a couple days later[...]

Has the prophecy come true?! Or are you just expressing yourself?

"It’s truly hilarious in a macabre sort of way to see atheists casting themselves in the role of freedom fighters for humanity and world saviours. These are people who say that existence is meaningless; that human consciousness and sense of self as well as free will are all illusions. That the Principle of Causality is false and that people have resulted from random accidents and are nothing more than jiggling bags of mindless chemicals with absolutely no OBJECTIVE morality to guide them.. And yet atheists see themselves as champions of morality on behalf of humanity! All this would be funny if it weren’t so tragic."

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If you replace the word "Atheist" with "non-theist", the same still applies.
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« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2012, 10:24:16 PM »

Orthodoxy is not a religion.

 Huh Why are people so fond of saying this? It's not only a religion -- it's the right religion. I hope it isn't becoming popular to be like that Youtube video guy with his "I hate religion, but love Jesus" schtick. I thought that was ridiculous coming from that guy (who I'm going to assume is some kind of unaffiliated, "me and my buddy Jesus"-type Protestant, because after all, he hates religion); I think it's doubly ridiculous coming from Orthodox people (my bishop doesn't seem to like that sentiment, either). I became Orthodox because I really believe in this religion. Did I mess up or what?

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It is a way of life.

Sure, but does this mean it isn't a religion? Our religion is a way of life in keeping with our faith.
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« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2012, 10:33:13 PM »


Yes....but, it is so much more than a religion.

The guy down the street can go online and get his "minister's" license, file some papers and voila! ....there's a new religion.

Orthodoxy is so much more than that.

That's what I meant.
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2012, 10:34:34 PM »

Did I not call this? Only a matter of time folks.
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2012, 10:56:08 PM »

I hate seeing another Mexican who is a Roman Catholic.

James, hominids and even pre-hominids have been forcing practices of all sorts on each other for millions of years. Religion isn't unique here, that's how we function.

I mean, you're doing it right now.
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2012, 11:22:52 PM »

I hate seeing another Mexican who is a Roman Catholic. It is just a sign of weakness accepting colonialism. I'd rather them be Marxists and focus on making a real difference in the world, or even return back to Aztec neo-paganism than adhere to the religion that was forced upon them.

Not all Mexicans are descended from Aztecs. Also, I don't think any of the ancient Aztecs were "neo-pagans."
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« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2012, 11:25:29 PM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.
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« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2012, 11:26:20 PM »

Did I not call this? Only a matter of time folks.

Sorry, you said to ignore what you wrote in that thread, so I don't know what you're talking about right now. Or not talking about. Or... well whatever  police
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« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2012, 11:32:25 PM »

Is there some way we can make a "Post in 10 years" button that would work like the "Preview" button? You could click on it and it would show you what your post would look like to you in 10 years time so that you could make the necessary changes to avoid being too embarrassed by youthful or otherwise uninformed zeal.

(I know, I know...but it doesn't hurt to imagine such a world. And whoever perfects such technology will never have to work again!)
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« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2012, 11:38:28 PM »

James, spend more time reading the Bible and less time reading the Communist Manifesto.


Maybe try reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.
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« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2012, 11:41:30 PM »

What would happen if the governments of the world all banded together into one and decided to make this "utopia" you speak of? What if the new leaders of the world decided that religion was harmful to the people of the world and outlawed its practice? Isnt that the same thing that you are saying religion encourages, that is, a small group of people thinking for the majority?
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« Reply #20 on: August 23, 2012, 11:59:39 PM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 12:01:26 AM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 12:04:32 AM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley

Interesting. Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2012, 12:04:47 AM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley



Yes because that is really any worse than the millions of people who have died from European nationalism. All cultures kill people. But why is it that the barbaric practices from Asia, Africa and the Americas are always exaggerated and demonized but the barbaric practices from Europe are always overlooked?
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2012, 12:05:30 AM »

Not to mention the word "Aztec" not exactly conjuring up visions of peaceful coexistence, civil sharing of ideas, etc.

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley


Yes because that is really any worse than the millions of people who have died from European nationalism. All cultures kill people. But why is it that the barbaric practices from Asia, Africa and the Americas are always exaggerated and demonized but the barbaric practices from Europe are always overlooked?

Eurocentrism.
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2012, 12:12:38 AM »

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley
Similarly, Spartans had a similar education system for all people in Sparta.

Similarly, it's just, you know, the Helots weren't people...
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« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2012, 12:23:15 AM »

James, spend more time reading the Bible and less time reading the Communist Manifesto.


Maybe try reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Oh, please. Orwell was critiquing stalinism from leftist/socialist/marxist positions not right wing/conservative etc. Read some other writings of his too. Like his account of the Spanish civil war where he fought alongside the republicans.
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« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2012, 12:24:08 AM »

Indigenous Mexicans are forcibly converted to Catholicism during the Spanish colonial era and this somehow proves that religion is bad, not that Catholicism is bad, or at least screwed up in its past? How does that work? About as well as Marxism, I suppose... Roll Eyes

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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2012, 12:27:54 AM »

They were one of the first societies to have universal education opposed to just for the wealthy like most of the world at the time Smiley
Similarly, Spartans had a similar education system for all people in Sparta.

Similarly, it's just, you know, the Helots weren't people...

Off subject... but Nicholas, im honored that Augustins hilarious response to my question made it in your signature. Smiley

Continue the discussion as normal..
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« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2012, 12:51:20 AM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





Let be careful here, Christianity is also filled with imagery which would easily be misunderstood when taken out of context..



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2012, 12:57:55 AM »

James, spend more time reading the Bible and less time reading the Communist Manifesto.


Maybe try reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Oh, please. Orwell was critiquing stalinism from leftist/socialist/marxist positions not right wing/conservative etc. Read some other writings of his too. Like his account of the Spanish civil war where he fought alongside the republicans.

I wasn't telling him to read the book because it criticizes stalinism. I was telling him to read the book to get him to understand what can happen when governments start trying to make "utopias".
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« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2012, 01:02:42 AM »

James, spend more time reading the Bible and less time reading the Communist Manifesto.


Maybe try reading Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Oh, please. Orwell was critiquing stalinism from leftist/socialist/marxist positions not right wing/conservative etc. Read some other writings of his too. Like his account of the Spanish civil war where he fought alongside the republicans.

I wasn't telling him to read the book because it criticizes stalinism. I was telling him to read the book to get him to understand what can happen when governments start trying to make "utopias".
My point exactly. Orwell was a leftist criticizing what he saw to be a huge deviation from marxism or whatever.m
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« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2012, 02:52:09 AM »

Quote
I want peace. I want utopia. I want an end to suffering.
Oh James, you have no idea how much I sympathize with you.
Peace is such a special word. It can be used in so many different ways. But what kind of peace should we be striving for?
You said that you think that marxism might be a better alternative to religion. I can understand why you think this. However, this issue is very complicated. If humans should create a perfect society, great patience would be needed to do it. Unfotunately, patience isn't exactly one of the easiest virtues to achieve. A society is the work of human hands and like any other thing made by humans, it is never more perfect than it's maker. This, I think, is also the reason for why so many attempts to make a perfect society have ended in such failures. It is like constructing a building with broken tools.

I have a hard time answering the question about whether religion is needed in the World. I believe that God is needed in he World,I believe that the Church is needed. We must remember that Christ came down to us, we didn't came up to Christ. I don't think humanity will find themselves in a Utopia before being united with God. Our emotions and lust for confrontation hinder us.

I must say that I really admire you James, and if I may give you a humble advice, I think you should hold on to your faith in God and  the wish of a perfect World. You migh fulfill the words of saint Seraphim of Sarov.

"Acquire a peaceful spirit and then thousands of others around you will be saved".  
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« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2012, 03:32:10 AM »

"Religion" as an abstract thing is not needed. What humanity needs is to be in communion with its creator, to overcome our fallenness through cooperation with his uncreated divine grace, to become according to grace what his is according to nature, to fulfill the true purpose of our creation.
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« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2012, 03:38:17 AM »

All cultures kill people. But why is it that the barbaric practices from Asia, Africa and the Americas are always exaggerated and demonized but the barbaric practices from Europe are always overlooked?

I had to really dig just to find out that there were Crusades and a holocaust.  All the while, events such as the Yangzhou and Boda League Massacres have become deeply ingrained in Western Culture and its lexicon.

So much whining, so many observations. Don't try to figure everything out right now.  It's not working.
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« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2012, 03:39:46 AM »


Let be careful here, Christianity is also filled with imagery which would easily be misunderstood when taken out of context..


Habte, my man.  While your point is valid, you become a caricature of yourself sometimes.
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« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2012, 03:46:58 AM »

All cultures kill people. But why is it that the barbaric practices from Asia, Africa and the Americas are always exaggerated and demonized but the barbaric practices from Europe are always overlooked?

I had to really dig just to find out that there were Crusades and a holocaust.  All the while, events such as the Yangzhou and Boda League Massacres have become deeply ingrained in Western Culture and its lexicon.

Exactly, Cognomen. If I don't stop hearing about the Farhud and the forced conversion of the Nuristani of Afghanistan by Abdur Rahman Khan's forces in the 1890s, I'm going to puke.

Now what's all this I keep hearing about some kind of transatlantic slave trade...? Apparently it was kind of a big deal, but I've never heard about it because of racism.
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« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2012, 03:52:09 AM »

The poor you will always have with you. Nothing you can do will change that. We live in an imperfect world  and how hard we struggle, at the end of the day the world will still be imperfect. To speak in the words of Leibniz, we live in le meilleur des mondes possibles.  Just deal with it  police

Utopias, and especially socialist utopias, can only be brought about by means of violence, and how can something perfect be brought about in an imperfect manner? Have you ever wondered why all marxist countries failed? It's because marxism doesn't work.

If you want to read real philosophy read Plato. Start with the 'Republic' and then follow through with the 'Symposium'. Partly it was Plato that brought me back from lukewarmness and socialism to Christianity.
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« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2012, 04:00:14 AM »

All cultures kill people. But why is it that the barbaric practices from Asia, Africa and the Americas are always exaggerated and demonized but the barbaric practices from Europe are always overlooked?

I had to really dig just to find out that there were Crusades and a holocaust.  All the while, events such as the Yangzhou and Boda League Massacres have become deeply ingrained in Western Culture and its lexicon.

Exactly, Cognomen. If I don't stop hearing about the Farhud and the forced conversion of the Nuristani of Afghanistan by Abdur Rahman Khan's forces in the 1890s, I'm going to puke.

Now what's all this I keep hearing about some kind of transatlantic slave trade...? Apparently it was kind of a big deal, but I've never heard about it because of racism.

 Cheesy Class!

P.S. I googled this transatlantic slave trade you mentioned, but nothing came up.  Just a bunch of indignation (bordering on obsession, if you ask me) about slavery in Mauritania.
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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2012, 05:39:48 AM »

Did I not call this? Only a matter of time folks.

Nope.
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« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2012, 06:40:05 AM »

Another one of my controversial mood-swings that I have on here every couple months where I say something spiritually detrimental and then go back to normal a couple days later[...]

Has the prophecy come true?! Or are you just expressing yourself?

"It’s truly hilarious in a macabre sort of way to see atheists casting themselves in the role of freedom fighters for humanity and world saviours. These are people who say that existence is meaningless; that human consciousness and sense of self as well as free will are all illusions. That the Principle of Causality is false and that people have resulted from random accidents and are nothing more than jiggling bags of mindless chemicals with absolutely no OBJECTIVE morality to guide them.. And yet atheists see themselves as champions of morality on behalf of humanity! All this would be funny if it weren’t so tragic."

-Anonymous

If you replace the word "Atheist" with "non-theist", the same still applies.

That's a beautiful quote. I feel sad for people who hold those depressing opinions.
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« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2012, 12:06:13 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





Let be careful here, Christianity is also filled with imagery which would easily be misunderstood when taken out of context..



stay blessed,
habte selassie

Ok, lets take a look at these just as art.  In the bottom picture I see a man hanging from a cross, His side pierced and bleeding, as well has His hands and feet.  Historically I know that crucifixion was a punnishment used by the Romans for various offenses, though it would be hard to date this image as the soldier is clearly wearing Byzantine equipment which would be after the time period for most recorded crucifixions.  As for figuring the context I can see a woman so inconsolable that she is throwing herself in the arms of another on looker.  Likewise I can see the pained faces of the other women around her and the man over on the right.  Even the soldier, who I would normally assume to have been involved in the execution, seems to have a pained expression.

As for the upper picture, I see the act of the killing taking place.  You have someone who is visibly in pain having is heart ripped out and lifted up to a squinting sun.  There are also four other men other than the executioner and the executee who are holding him down with indifferent looks on their faces.

My guess is that in the second picture someone has been executed and the onlookers are grieving over it.  In the first one the subjects of the painting are actually the ones carrying it out.

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« Reply #42 on: August 24, 2012, 12:06:48 PM »

For the OP.  I don't know if the world needs religion.  I know I do.
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« Reply #43 on: August 24, 2012, 12:15:41 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





Let be careful here, Christianity is also filled with imagery which would easily be misunderstood when taken out of context..



stay blessed,
habte selassie
I know you may not be able to answer this, habte, but the bottom image was created by Christians for Christians. Who painted the upper picture? Was it the Aztecs (?) themselves, or the Conquistadores? If the latter, then it is not properly heathen imagery, but an interpretation of a heathen ritual.

(Your point about imagery being misunderstood is quite correct on its own, of course.)
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« Reply #44 on: August 24, 2012, 12:20:26 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





Let be careful here, Christianity is also filled with imagery which would easily be misunderstood when taken out of context..



stay blessed,
habte selassie

While I agree with your point about imagery possibly being misunderstood, I don't see how the first one can be mistaken at all. Most people know that the Aztecs performed human sacrifices...
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« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2012, 12:51:47 PM »

The poor you will always have with you. Nothing you can do will change that. We live in an imperfect world  and how hard we struggle, at the end of the day the world will still be imperfect. To speak in the words of Leibniz, we live in le meilleur des mondes possibles.  Just deal with it  police
Context is everything.

You do the words of Christ disservice to use them this way.
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« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2012, 01:20:22 PM »

While Aztecs did perform human sacrifice, the quantity of how often they did it and for what purposes they did it for are still up for debate. Most of the sources come from Spaniards who purposely tried to demonize them so that they could gain permissioon and support from Europe to exploit them or something along those lines. Of course, we also have little Aztec sources to draw knowledge from because the Spaniards burned all of their written texts.

EDIT: Also fair to mention....genocides where millions died and suffered were committed because of Christianity opposed to a questionable number of human sacrifices committed because of Aztec neo-paganism. Go figure.
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« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2012, 01:23:06 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

While Aztecs did perform human sacrifice, the quantity of how often they did it and for what purposes they did it for are still up for debate. Most of the sources come from Spaniards who purposely tried to demonize them so that they could gain permissioon and support from Europe to exploit them or something along those lines. Of course, we also have little Aztec sources to draw knowledge from because the Spaniards burned all of their written texts.

Thank you for brilliantly stumbling onto my point Wink

Some scholars and indigenous folks would even argue there NEVER was any human sacrifice.  After all, if hundreds of years in the future Christianity was to have fallen into decline and disappear, and archaeologists unearthed a Church, and read some of our texts and looked at some Passion icons or of the Martyrs, they might get the wrong idea about what our Church was about in their imaginative constructions.  We might even be blatantly accused of CANNIBALISM!! With Meso-American history before the Spanish, we are essentially doing the same things.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2012, 01:27:34 PM »

The poor you will always have with you. Nothing you can do will change that. We live in an imperfect world  and how hard we struggle, at the end of the day the world will still be imperfect. To speak in the words of Leibniz, we live in le meilleur des mondes possibles.  Just deal with it  police
Context is everything.

You do the words of Christ disservice to use them this way.

Yes, those words are almost always used in the most despicable manner.

And of course we have another quote taken completely out of context. Cyrillic, you actually read Leibniz? His entire Theodicy, Discourse on Metaphysics and Monadology at a minimum?

If not, please don't use his words.

And if you did by unlikely chance actually read those works, if you are going to get it wrong, at least do us the favor and do it in a properly entertaining fashion as Voltaire did or thought provoking fashion as Schopenhauer did.
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« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2012, 01:33:22 PM »

The poor you will always have with you.

Nothing you can do will change that. We live in an imperfect world  and how hard we struggle, at the end of the day the world will still be imperfect.

I agree that we WILL always have the poor with us, however, I disagree with the rest.

It is our duty to take care of those poorer than ourselves.  It is our goal and our hope to alleviate their misery....not to toss up our hands and give up, because we will never be able to make this world a better place.

We are called to do just that.  To make this world a better place....one person, one deed, one word, one smile, one cup of water, bowl of food, shirt or dollar at a time.



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« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2012, 01:39:20 PM »

I just had a thought. Is it possible that helping the poor and improving our present world is a part of being religious, only, it is not the end goal in itself? The end goal is the eternal goal of becoming like God (Theosis) and if we all pursued this goal then our physical world would be a better place/utopia.
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« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2012, 01:41:49 PM »


Absolutely!

We are instructed to care for our neighbors.  It IS part of Orthodoxy. 

You cannot be Orthodox and NOT care for others.  It's not possible.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,... Matthew 25:35
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« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2012, 01:47:40 PM »

Okay I may be having an epiphany here then. Is it even further possible to say that perhaps trying to achieve a utopia in our present world is impossible--or at least very difficult, and that adhering to the guidance and help we receive from God in Orthodoxy that refines our character is the only thing that would even make an earthly utopia possible? Since we are incapable of doing it on our own?
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« Reply #53 on: August 24, 2012, 01:49:32 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

While Aztecs did perform human sacrifice, the quantity of how often they did it and for what purposes they did it for are still up for debate. Most of the sources come from Spaniards who purposely tried to demonize them so that they could gain permissioon and support from Europe to exploit them or something along those lines. Of course, we also have little Aztec sources to draw knowledge from because the Spaniards burned all of their written texts.

Thank you for brilliantly stumbling onto my point Wink

Some scholars and indigenous folks would even argue there NEVER was any human sacrifice.  After all, if hundreds of years in the future Christianity was to have fallen into decline and disappear, and archaeologists unearthed a Church, and read some of our texts and looked at some Passion icons or of the Martyrs, they might get the wrong idea about what our Church was about in their imaginative constructions.  We might even be blatantly accused of CANNIBALISM!! With Meso-American history before the Spanish, we are essentially doing the same things.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I'm sorry, but no, you people have it backwards. While the actual presence of human sacrifice is debated/debatable, what you've just described, Habte, regarding Mesoamerican history is actually opposite how it went, at least as far as concerns linguists (the people who can actually read the old inscriptions). It used to be, in the days of people like Eric Thompson and his followers (1930s to about the early 1970s) that people had all kinds of fanciful explanations of what the ancient Maya were like and what their monuments and inscriptions must be recording (some said they were histories of regents and monarchs, others constellation-tracking devices, etc.), all of which turned out to be WRONG once the next generation of Mayanists (Dr. Linda Schele, Dr. David Stuart, etc.) actually set about deciphering the hieroglyphs. What emerged was not a picture of peaceful star gazers at all, as a lot of the texts are very, very violent and brutal. Granted, that doesn't make them terribly different than any other people, ancient or modern, but the idea that "we" are accusing them of all kinds of violence without cause is ridiculous. "We" used to believe that they were peaceful and harmless back when we couldn't read what they had written, so we didn't know any better. That is now not the case. While not substantiating obviously self-interested accounts of Roman Catholic conquerors, the idea that Western scholarship has somehow made monsters out of a peaceful people is equally hogwash as the idea that the Mayans were animals who killed children for sport or whatever. These were Mayan histories the Mayanists have been reading for the past 20-30 years, written in their own (pre-Spanish contact) language.

For an actual education on these matters, I'd suggest the NOVA documentary "Cracking the Maya Code", which is all about the process by which ancient Mayan script came to be deciphered. It's a very fascinating story, as are the stories and histories of the Mayans themselves.

(p.s.- I lived next door to three little old Mayan sisters for about 7 years back in California. They never tried to kill or eat me, but they did bring me flan by way of condolence after my mother passed away. That was nice of them.)
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« Reply #54 on: August 24, 2012, 01:56:08 PM »

Playing Devil's advocate, one could also look at our Old Testament and say that we were a brutal type of people. The only way it could really be understood for what it is is through the lens of the Church--rendering an outside attempt to understand and interpret it all as being futile and misguided. One could argue that certain Meso-American texts could be in a similar predicament. Also, fair to mention, the situation with the Aztecs in particular opposed to the Mayans is a bit different simply because there are little to no pre-Colombian documents as far as we know right now to draw knowledge from. Everything we know about them is either from unreliable Spanish sources, archeological finding and/or oral teachings.
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« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2012, 02:01:09 PM »

Playing Devil's advocate, one could also look at our Old Testament and say that we were a brutal type of people. The only way it could really be understood for what it is is through the lens of the Church--rendering an outside attempt to understand and interpret it all as being futile and misguided. One could argue that certain Meso-American texts could be in a similar predicament. Also, fair to mention, the situation with the Aztecs in particular opposed to the Mayans is a bit different simply because there are little to no pre-Colombian documents as far as we know right now to draw knowledge from. Everything we know about them is either from unreliable Spanish sources, archeological finding and/or oral teachings.

It's not really playing the devils advocate when it's the usual revisionist boiler plate.  Then it's just playing the devil.
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« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2012, 02:15:02 PM »

Fair enough, James, but Habte wrote "Mesoamerican", which would include both peoples, and hence the introduction of the Mayans is relevant, since Habte seems to think that evil Western scholars are being unfair, when that isn't the case for the people we have the most pre-Columbian records for, so I don't know why the Aztecs would be especially demonized and others treated fairly (as in the case of modern scholarship on the ancient Maya). Most people studying Mesoamerican languages, anyway, will dip their fingers in both Uto-Aztecan and Mayan languages, as they're right next to each other. I studied both O'odham (Uto-Aztecan) and Mam (Mayan) as an undergraduate, for instance. Both included studies of the cultural background of the people from academic sources, none of which perpetuated this idea that they were cannibals or whatever.

If you're going to trash academia, do it for the right reasons, not based on outdated stereotypes of intellectual conquistadors. It's not the age of "scientific" racism anymore. My adviser at the University of Oregon worked extensively (20+ years) in South America, actually among the Carib-speaking Panare people of Venezuela and others of Suriname ("Carib", or rather its Spanish equivalent, "Caribe", is where we get our English word "Cannibal"). I am happy to report from his first hand accounts that there are no cannibals in those areas, either. It's almost like researchers are there to research, not create fanciful stories of cannibalism and evil just because the people are brown.
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« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2012, 02:19:48 PM »

I just had a thought. Is it possible that helping the poor and improving our present world is a part of being religious, only, it is not the end goal in itself? The end goal is the eternal goal of becoming like God (Theosis) and if we all pursued this goal then our physical world would be a better place/utopia.
James, you really should read the epistle by your namesake. It is fairly short (five chapters) and addresses these issues directly.
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« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2012, 02:58:19 PM »

There is just something about religion and worshipping God..
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« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2012, 09:22:11 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


For an actual education on these matters, I'd suggest the NOVA documentary "Cracking the Maya Code", which is all about the process by which ancient Mayan script came to be deciphered. It's a very fascinating story, as are the stories and histories of the Mayans themselves.

(

Bro, that NOVA was a joke! It actually in my opinion demonstrated all the more how LITTLE we ACTUALLY know about the period, and how much of a guessing game especially Meso-American linguistics is Wink

 The studies of Meso-American languages have no Rosetta stone, indeed, the guys in the 1960s and again in the 1980s were just about as making it up as were the guys before them.  The guys today are a bit more sophisticated in their assumptions,  however again, there conclusions could hardly be considered fact like say in Egyptology.  What happened in the Americas before the Spanish is in many ways as much a mystery today as it was ever.  We have a of archaeological things we've found, but the Spanish burned all the texts, and the glyphs, carvings, and murals which survive are fragmentary and debatable at best.  There is a smug assumption amongst Western academia that they've answered all their questions, and indeed a lot of Mexican universities get caught up in these same fanciful assumptions.  However, I respectfully disagree with a lot of their conclusions, and there are lot of Indians and scholars today who feel the same.  Again, its not that I claim to know what happened in Meso-America, quite the opposite, all I am arguing is that we need to admit just how truly vague our substantive knowledge actually is.

Anyone who pretend to know everything about what happened in Pre-Columbian Meso-America to any certainty is honestly either naive or just wishful thinking.  There are a lot of books, a lot of studies, a lot of conclusions, but the evidence is stretched very thin and from an academic stand point, I truly question the integrity of the methodology. 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2012, 10:05:57 PM »

Bro, that NOVA was a joke! It actually in my opinion demonstrated all the more how LITTLE we ACTUALLY know about the period, and how much of a guessing game especially Meso-American linguistics is Wink

I guess you know much better than David Stewart, who was rewarded the McArthur Genius Grant at something like 17 years old for his understanding and advancement of the deciphering of the hieroglyphs, and subsequently taught at Harvard. How silly of me to recommend a brief overview to the layman when you are clearly such a genius! I should have instead insisted that you read book after book on Mayan linguistics, so that you could be certain that you know all there is to know, inside and out. Please, Habte, tell me then how YOU decipher ancient Mayan writings. I'm dying to know what you do that is so much more sound than the people who are already doing so.

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The studies of Meso-American languages have no Rosetta stone, indeed, the guys in the 1960s and again in the 1980s were just about as making it up as were the guys before them.  The guys today are a bit more sophisticated in their assumptions,  however again, there conclusions could hardly be considered fact like say in Egyptology.
 

"Making it up as they go along", huh? I pity the students you teach, with that kind of attitude. You don't get a Ph.D. by making it up as you go along, or if you do, then I'm clearly doing this whole thing all wrong...

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What happened in the Americas before the Spanish is in many ways as much a mystery today as it was ever.  We have a of archaeological things we've found, but the Spanish burned all the texts

Except for the ones they missed.

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There is a smug assumption amongst Western academia that they've answered all their questions, and indeed a lot of Mexican universities get caught up in these same fanciful assumptions.  However, I respectfully disagree with a lot of their conclusions,


What definition of "respectfully" are you using when you accuse "Western academia" (who is that? I've never studied under "Western academia", just actual linguists, doing actual fieldwork) of smug assumptions? Nobody worth their salt working in ANY language is going to say that they've answered all the questions about anything. Please revisit the scientific method sometime.

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Again, its not that I claim to know what happened in Meso-America, quite the opposite, all I am arguing is that we need to admit just how truly vague our substantive knowledge actually is.


That may be what you meant, but what you actually wrote was "We might even be blatantly accused of CANNIBALISM!! With Meso-American history before the Spanish, we are essentially doing the same things." That is wrong. To say that knowledge is incomplete is one thing. I don't think anyone would say otherwise. To accuse entire (vague) fields of science of inherent bias, especially when the record of how the field developed is exactly the opposite of how you're framing it (i.e., it was more biased/less evidence-based before, when people were claiming that the Mayans were all peaceful people) is something else entirely.

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Anyone who pretend to know everything about what happened in Pre-Columbian Meso-America to any certainty is honestly either naive or just wishful thinking.  There are a lot of books, a lot of studies, a lot of conclusions, but the evidence is stretched very thin and from an academic stand point, I truly question the integrity of the methodology.
 

First of all, nobody pretends to know everything about what happened in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Again, revisit the scientific method sometime. When you get to the part about knowing everything there is to know about a topic under investigation, please let me know and I will adjust my own approach to research accordingly (probably by not doing it anymore, because what's the point if these other guys know EVERYTHING?). Until then, don't act like you're being even-handed, or are even the slightest bit interested in methodological integrity.
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« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2012, 10:17:05 PM »

Okay I may be having an epiphany here then. Is it even further possible to say that perhaps trying to achieve a utopia in our present world is impossible--or at least very difficult, and that adhering to the guidance and help we receive from God in Orthodoxy that refines our character is the only thing that would even make an earthly utopia possible? Since we are incapable of doing it on our own?
Utopia would be impossible in our state, Unfortantley.
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« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2012, 10:21:42 PM »

dzheremi, I'm glad someone on this board knows more about pre-Columbian Meso-America than I do. I only had one lone (although extremely insightful) class on the subject, and so even while I realize that the white-washing of the peoples (into peace-loving and misunderstood hippies lol) is laughable at best I cannot do the subject justice.
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« Reply #63 on: August 24, 2012, 10:22:48 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...


Brother, I don't understand why you are taking this all so personally, do you happen to be a Meso-American linguistic? If so, I apologize if my comments have offended you.  Again, I have every right to criticize this academic subject, isn't that the point in the first place? I never claimed to be able to read Mayan, neither do I pretend to fill in the gaps.  What I proposed it that I am VERY skeptical of the current conclusions, and yes, I question the integrity of the assumptions behind the linguistics.  I have that right, those guys are not gods, they are people like you and me, and errors occur.  Remember, there is no Rosetta stone for Mayan.  We have nothing as conclusive to back up.  When even watching that NOVA, let alone reading some anthropology monographs on the subject, you fiind a shocking amount of personal bias inflected in the research.  People say that symbols means something simply because it is their opinion, sometimes on no other grounds than statements like "I think it looks like.." and then this somehow becomes conclusive entirely on the backing of the expertise of the person making the claim? I am sure that these folks are well-educated and work very hard, and I do not mean to disrespect them, but I do firmly disagree with many of their assertions, claims, and assumptions.  Further, I have every right to disagree with them without you having to act like I denied the holocaust or something and then scoff at my integrity as a teacher, as if you've ever sat in one of my lectures in your life.  I see you've taken the same licence to make the same broad and sometimes baseless assumptions that many scholars of Meso-American studies have made since the 1960s..  

However this is not a discussion about Meso-America, and if you'd like to continue this in a more detailed manner, I would love to continue in PMs please, but we are diverting from the OP..

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #64 on: August 24, 2012, 10:53:34 PM »

Bro, that NOVA was a joke! It actually in my opinion demonstrated all the more how LITTLE we ACTUALLY know about the period, and how much of a guessing game especially Meso-American linguistics is Wink

I guess you know much better than David Stewart, who was rewarded the McArthur Genius Grant at something like 17 years old for his understanding and advancement of the deciphering of the hieroglyphs, and subsequently taught at Harvard. How silly of me to recommend a brief overview to the layman when you are clearly such a genius! I should have instead insisted that you read book after book on Mayan linguistics, so that you could be certain that you know all there is to know, inside and out. Please, Habte, tell me then how YOU decipher ancient Mayan writings. I'm dying to know what you do that is so much more sound than the people who are already doing so.

Quote
The studies of Meso-American languages have no Rosetta stone, indeed, the guys in the 1960s and again in the 1980s were just about as making it up as were the guys before them.  The guys today are a bit more sophisticated in their assumptions,  however again, there conclusions could hardly be considered fact like say in Egyptology.
 

"Making it up as they go along", huh? I pity the students you teach, with that kind of attitude. You don't get a Ph.D. by making it up as you go along, or if you do, then I'm clearly doing this whole thing all wrong...

Quote
What happened in the Americas before the Spanish is in many ways as much a mystery today as it was ever.  We have a of archaeological things we've found, but the Spanish burned all the texts

Except for the ones they missed.

Quote
There is a smug assumption amongst Western academia that they've answered all their questions, and indeed a lot of Mexican universities get caught up in these same fanciful assumptions.  However, I respectfully disagree with a lot of their conclusions,


What definition of "respectfully" are you using when you accuse "Western academia" (who is that? I've never studied under "Western academia", just actual linguists, doing actual fieldwork) of smug assumptions? Nobody worth their salt working in ANY language is going to say that they've answered all the questions about anything. Please revisit the scientific method sometime.

Quote
Again, its not that I claim to know what happened in Meso-America, quite the opposite, all I am arguing is that we need to admit just how truly vague our substantive knowledge actually is.


That may be what you meant, but what you actually wrote was "We might even be blatantly accused of CANNIBALISM!! With Meso-American history before the Spanish, we are essentially doing the same things." That is wrong. To say that knowledge is incomplete is one thing. I don't think anyone would say otherwise. To accuse entire (vague) fields of science of inherent bias, especially when the record of how the field developed is exactly the opposite of how you're framing it (i.e., it was more biased/less evidence-based before, when people were claiming that the Mayans were all peaceful people) is something else entirely.

Quote
Anyone who pretend to know everything about what happened in Pre-Columbian Meso-America to any certainty is honestly either naive or just wishful thinking.  There are a lot of books, a lot of studies, a lot of conclusions, but the evidence is stretched very thin and from an academic stand point, I truly question the integrity of the methodology.
 

First of all, nobody pretends to know everything about what happened in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. Again, revisit the scientific method sometime. When you get to the part about knowing everything there is to know about a topic under investigation, please let me know and I will adjust my own approach to research accordingly (probably by not doing it anymore, because what's the point if these other guys know EVERYTHING?). Until then, don't act like you're being even-handed, or are even the slightest bit interested in methodological integrity.

I have not laughed this hard in quite awhile! excellent post in defense of genuine scholarship and scientific integrity! what else can I say, but that I do share the sentiment about pitying the unsuspecting victims of teacher with said sentiments be it in school or Sunday-school. LOL! Hogwash, poppycock, claptrap, gobbledygook etc... are words that remain alive because of such arguments. Grin
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« Reply #65 on: August 24, 2012, 11:11:28 PM »

Brother, I don't understand why you are taking this all so personally, do you happen to be a Meso-American linguistic? If so, I apologize if my comments have offended you.

Mesoamerican, no. Linguist, yes.  

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Again, I have every right to criticize this academic subject, isn't that the point in the first place?


You have the right to do or say whatever you want. I kind of doubt that that's "the point" (there is a distinction to be made between academic writing and writing for the layperson, after all), but I'm not here to take away your rights. But if you write something that is demonstrably false, it is likewise my right (or anyone else's right) to tell you that, no, that's not how it is.  

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What I proposed it that I am VERY skeptical of the current conclusions, and yes, I question the integrity of the assumptions behind the linguistics.  I have that right, those guys are not gods, they are people like you and me, and errors occur.
 

Of course they do. That's why people refine their hypotheses, and why one view (like Thompson's view) comes to be discredited over time in favor of another.

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Remember, there is no Rosetta stone for Mayan.
 

And?

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We have nothing as conclusive to back up.
 

Um...if we had complete records of the type that you apparently require before you'll actually listen to scientists who work in this field, why would we need to reconstruct the ancient Mayan writing system in the first place? Huh Com'on, Habte, hop on the logic train with me! Cheesy

It's precisely because we don't have "conclusive" records that any of these people outside of the archivists have jobs.

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When even watching that NOVA, let alone reading some anthropology monographs on the subject, you fiind a shocking amount of personal bias inflected in the research.  People say that symbols means something simply because it is their opinion, sometimes on no other grounds than statements like "I think it looks like.." and then this somehow becomes conclusive entirely on the backing of the expertise of the person making the claim?


Nope, that was near the beginning of the story, when the documentary was talking about early/pre-scientific attempts to attach meaning to the glyphs by some French artist (not linguist). The whole point at which we began to understand the glyphs to any degree was when someone (Koronosov, if I remember correctly) began to attach phonetic meaning to the symbols. The look of the gylphs is essentially irrelevant but that they can be attached to the sounds of spoken Mayan via what is already known about the language.

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I am sure that these folks are well-educated and work very hard, and I do not mean to disrespect them, but I do firmly disagree with many of their assertions, claims, and assumptions.  Further, I have every right to disagree with them without you having to act like I denied the holocaust or something and then scoff at my integrity as a teacher, as if you've ever sat in one of my lectures in your life.
 

Well your attitude toward scientific inquiry ("making it up as they go along") is not exactly enlightened, so, yes, the idea of your educating young people is disturbing to me. I am glad that you do not teach in a scientific field. It has nothing to do with your teaching method, but your attitude toward academic scholarship, which is clearly unduly influenced by your personal politics.

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I see you've taken the same licence to make the same broad and sometimes baseless assumptions that many scholars of Meso-American studies have made since the 1960s..  

Case in point. ^

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However this is not a discussion about Meso-America, and if you'd like to continue this in a more detailed manner, I would love to continue in PMs please, but we are diverting from the OP..

Politicized anti-academic ranting is not welcome in my PM box, so no thank you. I do agree that this conversation is over, though. Apologies to the OP and the mods for this diversion.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 11:15:05 PM by dzheremi » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: August 24, 2012, 11:55:08 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Brother, I don't understand why you are taking this all so personally, do you happen to be a Meso-American linguistic? If so, I apologize if my comments have offended you.

Mesoamerican, no. Linguist, yes.  


Then honestly what business have you assuming you know the particulars of Meso-Americans more than me to be so mean-spirited against my criticism? I have every right to disagree with the current scholarly conclusions as you have the right to agree with them.  I didn't insult you personally for believing in them, but you've continued to be rude to me for expressing my honest opinions, and in what seems to be in a particular subject to which you are no more or less an expert than myself.

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\But if you write something that is demonstrably false, it is likewise my right (or anyone else's right) to tell you that, no, that's not how it is.  

That my friend is merely your opinion, and as you've previously admitted, your a bit out of your expertise to be suddenly pontificating against my own.  Smiley

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Of course they do. That's why people refine their hypotheses, and why one view (like Thompson's view) comes to be discredited over time in favor of another.
Thank you, my brother that is entirely my point.  Hypotheses, not necessarily conclusive facts, hence debatable.  We can further debate without using insults.  "Western" academia was not meant to be an insulting term, rather to denote that these folks are not always the Mayans themselves.      


Quote

Well your attitude toward scientific inquiry ("making it up as they go along") is not exactly enlightened, so, yes, the idea of your educating young people is disturbing to me. I am glad that you do not teach in a scientific field. It has nothing to do with your teaching method, but your attitude toward academic scholarship, which is clearly unduly influenced by your personal politics.

I make no intentions to demean scientific inquiry in general, in fact I rather enjoy the boring details of good archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics.  However, MY ENTIRE POINT is that I personally criticize the shallowness of the current studies and conclusions within Meso-American studies, particularly in regards to linguistics Wink

Quote
Politicized anti-academic ranting is not welcome in my PM box, so no thank you. I do agree that this conversation is over, though. Apologies to the OP and the mods for this diversion.

Again, that is your assertion that I am anti-academic.  Hardly!! I love academic studies. Tongue  However, I am highly critical again of the current studies within the field of Meso-America.

Now that is enough of my own two-cents off-topic, I just felt it important to clarify, because you (and others here also may have) really misunderstand me and my point of contention.  

Please, no hard feelings, but by the way, you again didn't have to be so mean-spirited and even scathing in your responses to me, that was completely unnecessary.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 11:58:20 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2012, 01:02:25 AM »

Then honestly what business have you assuming you know the particulars of Meso-Americans more than me to be so mean-spirited against my criticism?

Because I know how my field works?  Huh It's not like linguists working on Mesoamerican languages operate by different rules than the rest of us (besides, I have worked with both Uto-Aztecan and Mayan languages in the past).

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I have every right to disagree with the current scholarly conclusions as you have the right to agree with them.
 

I have not disagreed with this, and I'll continue to not disagree with it. You can think and do whatever you want.

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I didn't insult you personally for believing in them, but you've continued to be rude to me for expressing my honest opinions, and in what seems to be in a particular subject to which you are no more or less an expert than myself.

Once again, I know how my field works. There's no special section of linguistics wherein Mayan scholars are trained so as to make their work inscrutable to someone who works primarily with Afroasiatic languages, like me. The same principles that guided the translation of Mayan earlier guided the translation of the Rosetta Stone that you keep mentioning, namely, the connection of previously "mystical"/assumed to be non-linguistic signs to the actual sounds of a spoken language. So while I am not a Mayan scholar, I can tell the difference between someone who knows what they're talking about and someone who doesn't.

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That my friend is merely your opinion, and as you've previously admitted, your a bit out of your expertise to be suddenly pontificating against my own.  Smiley

Please read the previous paragraph to understand why your impression is wrong. We are in very different fields, you and I. I don't tell you how history or civics or whatever it is you teach works. I'd appreciate it if you'd extend me the same courtesy.

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Thank you, my brother that is entirely my point.  Hypotheses, not necessarily conclusive facts, hence debatable.  We can further debate without using insults.  "Western" academia was not meant to be an insulting term, rather to denote that these folks are not always the Mayans themselves.

Many things are debatable. That doesn't mean that every debate is of equal merit. A debate between a cardiologist and a rodeo clown on the merits of advanced surgical techniques can hardly be characterized as a debate between two people whose opinions are of equal weight, can they? If you're not involved in the field, how could you possibly have counterarguments to the theories presented? By all means stick with your opinion, but it's pretty hilarious that you say I'm out of my league when you're not even in the ballpark, my friend.

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I make no intentions to demean scientific inquiry in general, in fact I rather enjoy the boring details of good archaeology, anthropology, and linguistics.  However, MY ENTIRE POINT is that I personally criticize the shallowness of the current studies and conclusions within Meso-American studies, particularly in regards to linguistics Wink

And my point is that you don't seem to (even try to) understand what you're criticizing before stating your grossly uninformed opinion. Sorry to be so blunt, but I'm tiring of this and I thought we were done with this conversation anyway. Come back after you've done a few hundred reconstructions of your own (or at least taken a historical linguistics and a field methods course), then we can talk. Trying to convince you that people aren't "just making it up as they go along" is useless when you are committed to that particular piece of ignorance all in the name of expressing an opinion that I've never even slightly suggested that you can't have in the first place.

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Again, that is your assertion that I am anti-academic.  Hardly!! I love academic studies. Tongue  However, I am highly critical again of the current studies within the field of Meso-America.

Okay.

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Now that is enough of my own two-cents off-topic, I just felt it important to clarify, because you (and others here also may have) really misunderstand me and my point of contention.  

Please, no hard feelings, but by the way, you again didn't have to be so mean-spirited and even scathing in your responses to me, that was completely unnecessary.

Again, my interest is in defending the scientific method, particularly as it applies to my field, and the (improvable, but usually earnestly commendable) hard work of scholars who, let's not lose sight of this, are contributing to the knowledge of all humanity, including the Mesoamerican people who would like to know this information for the purposes of reclaiming their own histories from the "Western academics" you have accused of being smug know-it-alls. Funny how that works.
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« Reply #68 on: August 25, 2012, 04:20:47 AM »

The poor you will always have with you. Nothing you can do will change that. We live in an imperfect world  and how hard we struggle, at the end of the day the world will still be imperfect. To speak in the words of Leibniz, we live in le meilleur des mondes possibles.  Just deal with it  police
Context is everything.

You do the words of Christ disservice to use them this way.

Yes, those words are almost always used in the most despicable manner.

And of course we have another quote taken completely out of context. Cyrillic, you actually read Leibniz? His entire Theodicy, Discourse on Metaphysics and Monadology at a minimum?

If not, please don't use his words.

And if you did by unlikely chance actually read those works, if you are going to get it wrong, at least do us the favor and do it in a properly entertaining fashion as Voltaire did or thought provoking fashion as Schopenhauer did.

I read it and thought that it made some sense, but was weird at other parts. At the very least it didn't deserve the ridicule of a Candide. I just liked the quote, not  being at utopianist myself.
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