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So much for that 9th commandment

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So much for that 9th commandment
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

he_who_is_nobody wrote:
MatthewLee wrote:The Gish Gallop (also known as proof by verbosity[1]) is the fallacious debate tactic of drowning your opponent in a flood of individually-weak arguments in order to prevent rebuttal of the whole argument collection without great effort. The Gish Gallop is a belt-fed version of the on the spot fallacy, as it's unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop. The Gish Gallop is named after creationist Duane Gish, who often abused i

Wiki/Gish Gallop


Someone correct me if I am wrong, but is not the Gish Gallop only a fallacy for live debates? In a written forum, in which people can take days to research and respond, it seems impossible to Gish Gallop. Even the above quote says, "The Gish Gallop is a belt-fed version of the on the spot fallacy, as it's unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop." As I said, what is stopping anyone from actually researching the claim made, than coming back with a proper rebuttal?

This is not to say that I still think focusing on one topic (three tops) is a far better use of everyone's time here.

I don't think Gish Gallop is as much as a fallacy but rather a dishonest tactic, but that might just be semantics.

I have no problem saying that GG is possible also in written forum. After all you can yell "but he didn't address points C, K and R from my list of points from A to Z so I'm right" in writing as well as in speech, though it is a lot more obvious in writing. Though I also have to point out (this is as a person that hasn't read this thread closely through yet), that it is not GG to respond to one idea with four, one sentense with five, or to a paragrahp with six. It's not GG to be long winded in your words, and it is not GG to use numerous counter arguments to counter a point. It is quite usual that showing the flaws in an argument takes much more space than the argument itself and online arguments can and do often blow up like bread dough. The mistake comes if you claim or suggest that your opponents position is wrong just because they didn't respond to one or more of your N points, or if you make numerous claims just so he can say that the opposition didn't address every one.

And yeah, if you want to discuss some spesific thing with the members, MatthewLee, I suggest that you open a thread on it. We at least try to keep threads on subject, with differing results. And welcome.
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:03 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Visaki:
I think it is has been stated here well and is correct that that GG can’t be applied to a written debate. It implies one is putting someone on the spot in a verbal debate by it’s own language stating that “it's unreasonable for anyone to have a well-composed answer immediately available to every argument present in the Gallop.” That would imply that if you’re debating in a written form with an unlimited or unspecified time period this can’t be the case because you have time to compose arguments. I think I was just frustrated because I didn’t have time to comprehensively respond to the very large range of topics we had already begun to engage on. I was incorrect to apply this term to our discussion.

Aron Ra (or anyone else who would like to discuss this topic):

I know that you won’t be around for a bit so I will start posting evidence for the basic point I would like to start with if that is agreeable. I will start a new thread for this if it is more appropriate so please let me know and I will do so as needed.

I will limit it to one meta-point at a time, with accompanying sub argumentation. I think this will help until we have really had a chance to read and respond to each other’s points for sake of clarity and courtesy. Whenever you have time I will be glad to see your response. I will begin with the above-mentioned point.

I believe the first time I heard this point was in your video “Evolution of Genesis” (Timestamp 20:20) and I made note of it as interesting. Given the depth of your presented evidence there I do not presume to state things you don’t know but rather I am just laying out what my evidence led me to believe. Your video actually made me want to read Gilgamesh and start to get an idea of the layout of the text and it’s historical links to other Near East Traditions. I say again with a deeper shade of meaning that, in fact, my debates with you and with other atheists have really taught me a lot. There are few things I find more enjoyable or more rewarding than reading ancient mythology and Scriptures for content.
Of course, the more I researched the more I heard the recurrent theme in scholarship of disagreement. Some scholars believe there is a connection between the two stories and others fervently disagree. It is reasonable to make the assertion that there is a connection, but I hold with the scholars who disagree. I’d like to lay out a bit of supplementary info as to where this fits into the Epic of Gilgamesh tablets and also make a comparison of the characters. It is my tentative assertion that under scrutiny of the text the differences begin to make the similarity between the stories less probable and therefore suggest that Genesis may not be referencing these characters and icons. Your quote from the former discussion was:

“The character of the serpent was adapted from the story of Lilith and Huluppu tree, as you probably already knew. She lived in a tree in the sacred garden of Inanna with ‘the Serpent who could not be tamed’. Gilgamesh came walking through the sacred garden just as Yahweh did in Genesis 3:8, carrying a flaming sword like the one mentioned in Genesis 3:24. This is where part of that legend came from, at least the part with the snake.”


So I read your proposal that the similar elements indicating a relation the two stories would be the tree, the garden, the snake, the walking anthropomorphized deity, and the flaming sword.

The best versions I have read all say that the poem entitled sometimes “In the first days, the very first days”, “In those days, in those far-off days“, “Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree” and others by the greater narrative of the tablet “Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the nether world”. The poem is supposed to fit in around the twelfth tablet. I don’t think it was an original part of the epic but was supplemental. It is important to note that we are citing translations of broken and battered tablets full of lacunae in a language that is still being discovered. They add to their interpretations all the time. I believe that Sumerian, Akkadian and the derivative forms of the diverse languages expressed in their scripts have not been really understood in any significant way for much longer than since the middle of the 19th century. To me this seems to mean that it is difficult to make any clear and lasting parallels because the translations all are so wildly different based on the opinions of the translators.
Here is a link to the texts I started with

A: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr1814.htm
B: http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/ANE ... 2.html#FN1

The first link is The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (“The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to make accessible, via the World Wide Web, over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC.”

The second is an incorporated translation by “Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer (1983)Samuel Noah Kramer (1938)”
In the dramatis personae/plantae of the text we have Gilgamesh, Inanna, Lillith (also rendered lillitu), the serpent, the Anzu Bird (with several different names), and the Huluppu tree.

Point 1: Gilgamesh is a bit of a confusing character to me. He is listed on the Sumerian Kings List and is considered a divine ruler but not a full-fledged deity on his own. I believe the kings list has him ruling for over a hundred years. He is best described as a demigod by the accounts I have read of him and the epic seems to describe him that way. I cannot see a parallel between Gilgamesh and Yahweh because Yahweh is a full fledged alpha and Omega type God (even if we take into the account the idea that he might have been a Canaanite war God) and Gilgamesh is only some portion deity. He seems to represent the Near Eastern Tradition of Kings saying… “I’m God and you’ll worship me that way” and then making art that reflects this. I believe the nature of the character would discourage me from interpreting him as like Yahweh walking through the garden. Although, I can see how the elements could be seen to be overlaid in the simple narrative context. His presence seems ancillary and his actions more human. He doesn’t use godly power… he uses an axe. I don’t think Yahweh used an ax. Although that would have been really cool.

Also, and this is trivial, I don’t recall reading that he was walking through the garden. Is there a citation that supports this assertion?

Point 2:
The Goddess: “Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war. She later became identified by the Akkadians and Assyrians as the goddess Ishtar, and further with the Hittite Sauska, the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, among many others.”

Ancient History Encyclopedia


This casts some doubt, in my mind, on the connection between her and the first human woman in the Genesis account. The idea of it being a holy garden is a point in common, though, but it seems only a glancing blow. The tree didn’t start out in this garden, either. It was actually uprooted and taken there and planted so as to let it grow and fatten to make more wood for the bed and the throne…

“70-78"At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub tree, a single tree (?), growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the Euphrates. The force of the south wind uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the Euphrates picked it up and carried it away. I, a woman, respectful of An's words, was walking along; I, a woman, respectful of Enlil's words, was walking along, and took the tree and brought it into Unug, into holy Inana's luxuriant garden.”

Point 3:

From A: The serpent is where we have to start looking at the interpretations of the text carefully…
“At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled its young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana (1 ms. has instead: I, holy Inana,) cried!”
From B: ““Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the tree,
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree,
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.
“I wept.
How I wept!
(Yet they would not leave my tree.)”


I don’t recall the snake being female but I have no good reference for the Akkadian word and cannot conclusively say the gender of the noun used. Also, the text seems to suggest that the snake was not anthropomorphized in this poem. It wasn’t evil or good and it did not speak. It seems to have just been a snake which troubled the Goddess. The addition of the other elements also seems to discourage overlaying the stories as far as the serpent goes. It seems after a few readings that in this story we are talking about symbolism which might have been rich and meaningful to the people it was written for with metaphors lost to time and in translation. This means that the serpent perhaps had other qualities not indicated by the text or that the readers may have known as cultural memes long lost. I haven’t found any analogues to it in the epic but I am a still looking. The differences in the interpretations seem to indicate this as well because in the A translation we see a snake who was immune to incantations (which means Inanna could not have simply used her powers to dislodge it from the tree) and in the B one we see a snake immune to charms. I would have to know something about Inanna’s perceived powers and duties to really know if there was a connection there to the snake in genesis. There is a complete lack of the serpent trying to convince her of anything or any kind of fall. He only seems to want to delay her from making a bed and a throne from the tree. She seems quite bothered by this. There is an interesting parallel here to Jeremiah 8:17
17"For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you," declares the LORD.”


Obviously snake charming has a greater linguistic significance which may mean a grand metaphor where the prophet is speaking of a nation or problem that will not be solved or expelled by any Earthly means without divine assistance. The snake may not have been a snake at all but an idiom.
So, if it was a literal snake the two stories cannot be derivative. and if it was a metaphorical snake then ostensibly it would seem we were talking about an idiom that doesn’t match up. The serpent in the garden may have been derived from an earlier tradition but if so a cursory investigation of the text of this poetry seems to disagree with it being that source.

Here is the complete passage from the two translations I used:
From A:
“"The woman planted the tree with her feet, but not with her hands. Inana watered it using her feet but not her hands. She said: "When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?" She said: "When will this be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?" Five years, ten years had gone by, the tree had grown massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled its young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana (1 ms. has instead: I, holy Inana,) cried!" In the matter which his sister had told him about, her brother, the warrior Gilgamec, stood by her.
136-150He strapped (1 ms. has instead: ......) his ...... belt of 50 minas weight to his waist -- 50 minas were to him as 30 shekels. He took his bronze axe used for expeditions, which weighs seven talents and seven minas, in his hand. He killed the snake immune to incantations living at its roots. The Anzud bird living in its branches took up its young and went into the mountains. The phantom maid living in its trunk left (?) her dwelling and sought refuge in the wilderness. As for the tree, he uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the sons of his city, who went with him, cut up its branches and bundled them (1 ms. has instead: piled them up). He gave it to his sister holy Inana for her chair. He gave it to her for her bed. As for himself, from its roots, he manufactured his ellag and, from its branches, he manufactured his ekidma (the correct pronunciation of this word is unknown) .


Point 4: It is interesting that you quoted a flaming sword. Can you point to a citation? Did I miss that quote? I don’t think I read about one if it was in the text. There is an ax which is translated as “ax of the road” or “bronze axe used for expeditions”. You quoted this correctly in your speech about the evolution of Genesis (TS 20:20 or so?) but here I believe you may have mistakenly (with respect) called it a flaming sword. The ax weighed seven talents in every translation I have read (and some change in minas) which is anywhere from approximately 700 pounds to 500 pounds roughly as far as I have been able to estimate. That is a big axe and I don’t recall fire being mentioned but again, I would be willing to acknowledge any info I have missed.

Conclusion:
The translation from the Oxford source seems to consider the latest scholarship and the latest incorporated translations although I admit I have only begun to peruse it. The tree is either just a tree or is not a tree but a metaphor for something which I have not been able to divine yet. Many of the translations specify that the tree is an elm or willow which lends credence to the idea that it is just a tree. The tree is inhabited by three entities which are not at all simple to understand. “Anzu(d) Bird” references a demon or evil spirit of some sort which is often considered a bird form with other animal characteristics which is referenced in other literature of the time and would have had some meaning. The demon sometimes rendered “lillitu” or other transliterations, is a very, very complex character which I have heard interpreted “ghost maiden”. “Dark maiden”, or many other things but always a demon or ghost or spirit of some kind. I would be very interested to discuss her later uses in Jewish tradition. The serpent is also either just a serpent or a metaphor for some other kind of evil being. Perhaps a nation or people who attack and cannot be quelled by any means other than violence. These elements do not seem to correlate to the content literally or figuratively (in metaphor) to the account in Genesis.

When we compare the narratives side by side I feel that the incorporation of them in their proper context would suggest there is only trivial similarity.
Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:36 pm
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 565Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Sorry to keep you waiting. I got back from Europe already behind schedule. I'll be happy to jump into this soon, but I just can't spare the time right now, not 'til the end of this month.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:48 am
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

No worries at all. I look forward to continuing the discussion whenever you have time. Thank you for remembering to come back!
Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:34 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Also, I would love to go into some detail when you have time about our contention on the point of "unbelief" being a sin and if it is the unforgivable sin. I think we have already laid out plenty in this discussion alone!
Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:50 pm
AronRaContributorUser avatarPosts: 565Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:47 pm

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

I do apologize for being gone so long. Been crazy busy.

MatthewLee wrote:Aron Ra (or anyone else who would like to discuss this topic):I know that you won’t be around for a bit so I will start posting evidence for the basic point I would like to start with if that is agreeable. I will start a new thread for this if it is more appropriate so please let me know and I will do so as needed.

I will limit it to one meta-point at a time, with accompanying sub argumentation. I think this will help until we have really had a chance to read and respond to each other’s points for sake of clarity and courtesy. Whenever you have time I will be glad to see your response. I will begin with the above-mentioned point.

I believe the first time I heard this point was in your video “Evolution of Genesis” (Timestamp 20:20) and I made note of it as interesting. Given the depth of your presented evidence there I do not presume to state things you don’t know but rather I am just laying out what my evidence led me to believe. Your video actually made me want to read Gilgamesh and start to get an idea of the layout of the text and it’s historical links to other Near East Traditions. I say again with a deeper shade of meaning that, in fact, my debates with you and with other atheists have really taught me a lot. There are few things I find more enjoyable or more rewarding than reading ancient mythology and Scriptures for content.
Of course, the more I researched the more I heard the recurrent theme in scholarship of disagreement. Some scholars believe there is a connection between the two stories and others fervently disagree. It is reasonable to make the assertion that there is a connection, but I hold with the scholars who disagree. I’d like to lay out a bit of supplementary info as to where this fits into the Epic of Gilgamesh tablets and also make a comparison of the characters. It is my tentative assertion that under scrutiny of the text the differences begin to make the similarity between the stories less probable and therefore suggest that Genesis may not be referencing these characters and icons. Your quote from the former discussion was:

“The character of the serpent was adapted from the story of Lilith and Huluppu tree, as you probably already knew. She lived in a tree in the sacred garden of Inanna with ‘the Serpent who could not be tamed’. Gilgamesh came walking through the sacred garden just as Yahweh did in Genesis 3:8, carrying a flaming sword like the one mentioned in Genesis 3:24. This is where part of that legend came from, at least the part with the snake.”


So I read your proposal that the similar elements indicating a relation the two stories would be the tree, the garden, the snake, the walking anthropomorphized deity, and the flaming sword.

The best versions I have read all say that the poem entitled sometimes “In the first days, the very first days”, “In those days, in those far-off days“, “Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree” and others by the greater narrative of the tablet “Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the nether world”. The poem is supposed to fit in around the twelfth tablet. I don’t think it was an original part of the epic but was supplemental. It is important to note that we are citing translations of broken and battered tablets full of lacunae in a language that is still being discovered. They add to their interpretations all the time. I believe that Sumerian, Akkadian and the derivative forms of the diverse languages expressed in their scripts have not been really understood in any significant way for much longer than since the middle of the 19th century. To me this seems to mean that it is difficult to make any clear and lasting parallels because the translations all are so wildly different based on the opinions of the translators.
Here is a link to the texts I started with

A: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr1814.htm
B: http://jewishchristianlit.com/Texts/ANE ... 2.html#FN1

The first link is The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (“The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to make accessible, via the World Wide Web, over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC.”

The second is an incorporated translation by “Diane Wolkstein & Samuel Noah Kramer (1983)Samuel Noah Kramer (1938)”
In the dramatis personae/plantae of the text we have Gilgamesh, Inanna, Lillith (also rendered lillitu), the serpent, the Anzu Bird (with several different names), and the Huluppu tree.

Point 1: Gilgamesh is a bit of a confusing character to me. He is listed on the Sumerian Kings List and is considered a divine ruler but not a full-fledged deity on his own. I believe the kings list has him ruling for over a hundred years.
The problem there is with the sexegesimal numeric system. It appears to be a sliding scale such that one can get an accurate age by dividing by twelve or sometimes by ten, or sometimes not even then. I asked an expert about this and he said it was too complicated to explain in email. Instead he said I should read his book, Noah's Ark and the Ziusudra Epic: Sumerian Origins of the Flood Myth. I started to, but I haven't come to that part yet. I mention this a bit after after ten minutes into in my video on How Archaeology Disproves Noah's Flood. If you're interested, that video is part of a series, "How AronRa Disproves Noah's Flood".

Funny story about that playlist. Someone shared one of these videos on a Christian forum a few days ago, and the flood of stupid has since breached the levy. I'm getting comments that read like a class full of special-education kindergartners who've just been told that there's no Santa.

He is best described as a demigod by the accounts I have read of him and the epic seems to describe him that way. I cannot see a parallel between Gilgamesh and Yahweh because Yahweh is a full fledged alpha and Omega type God (even if we take into the account the idea that he might have been a Canaanite war God) and Gilgamesh is only some portion deity. He seems to represent the Near Eastern Tradition of Kings saying… “I’m God and you’ll worship me that way” and then making art that reflects this.
That seems a fair assessment. Lots of kings claimed divinity despite the fact that the Sumerian King List even says that the kingship descended from Heaven so many reigns ago. All these kings would have worshiped El, including GIlgamesh.

I don't remember Gilgamesh ever describing himself as a god. Remember that the whole point of that story was Gilgamesh trying to beat his own mortality after witnessing the death of his boyfriend, Enkidu.

It's worth noting by the way that he succeeded. Gilgamesh is the earliest biography there is. We still know of his life and loves nearly 5,000 years later. Not bad for a guy seeking immortality. :-)

I believe the nature of the character would discourage me from interpreting him as like Yahweh walking through the garden. Although, I can see how the elements could be seen to be overlaid in the simple narrative context. His presence seems ancillary and his actions more human. He doesn’t use godly power… he uses an axe. I don’t think Yahweh used an ax. Although that would have been really cool.
We start with GIlgamesh carrying a sax (I'm told that's a sword, not an axe) and then a thousand years or so later, the story has changed such that the lord of the garden has given the flaming sword to his minions, the cherubim.

Also, and this is trivial, I don’t recall reading that he was walking through the garden. Is there a citation that supports this assertion?
"Tablet XII" is not part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, but is a later Assyrian Akkadian translation of the latter part of the Sumerian poem of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld. It does not say that Gilgamesh is walking through the garden. Instead, that part of the tale begins with Gilgamesh already there and carrying his "axe of the road".

Point 2:
The Goddess: “Inanna is the ancient Sumerian goddess of love, sensuality, fertility, procreation, and also of war. She later became identified by the Akkadians and Assyrians as the goddess Ishtar, and further with the Hittite Sauska, the Phoenician Astarte and the Greek Aphrodite, among many others.”

Ancient History Encyclopedia


This casts some doubt, in my mind, on the connection between her and the first human woman in the Genesis account. The idea of it being a holy garden is a point in common, though, but it seems only a glancing blow. The tree didn’t start out in this garden, either. It was actually uprooted and taken there and planted so as to let it grow and fatten to make more wood for the bed and the throne…

“70-78"At that time, there was a single tree, a single halub tree, a single tree (?), growing on the bank of the pure Euphrates, being watered by the Euphrates. The force of the south wind uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the Euphrates picked it up and carried it away. I, a woman, respectful of An's words, was walking along; I, a woman, respectful of Enlil's words, was walking along, and took the tree and brought it into Unug, into holy Inana's luxuriant garden.”
I guess I'm missing the "point" of your second point. If it is that the Bible is not an identical copy of any of these myths, then maybe you missed the point, because it wouldn't be. The argument is that all of these superfluous but previously thought to be unique details are already there, but not the core importance of them which was obviously written in later. That's what happens when all the old stories are adapted to a new religion.

Point 3:

From A: The serpent is where we have to start looking at the interpretations of the text carefully…
“At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled its young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana (1 ms. has instead: I, holy Inana,) cried!”
From B: ““Then a serpent who could not be charmed
Made its nest in the roots of the tree,
The Anzu-bird set his young in the branches of the tree,
And the dark maid Lilith built her home in the trunk.
“I wept.
How I wept!
(Yet they would not leave my tree.)”


I don’t recall the snake being female but I have no good reference for the Akkadian word and cannot conclusively say the gender of the noun used.
The idea of the snake being female didn't come from this fable but rather from a Talmudic legend, which itself was adapted from this story, and then adapted again by the Jews, before being accommodated by Medieval Christians. In that story, the serpent wasn't just a companion of Lilith's but an incarnation of hers: returning to seek vengeance against the younger woman, Eve. This is why virtually every rendering by all the Christian artists of the Renaissance depict the serpent in the garden as a woman.

Also, the text seems to suggest that the snake was not anthropomorphized in this poem. It wasn’t evil or good and it did not speak. It seems to have just been a snake which troubled the Goddess.
That's because this is the earliest version of the story, before the serpent was recast as Lilith and then later recast again as Satan.

The addition of the other elements also seems to discourage overlaying the stories as far as the serpent goes. It seems after a few readings that in this story we are talking about symbolism which might have been rich and meaningful to the people it was written for with metaphors lost to time and in translation.
Ironically the same is true about the 3rd version of this story, the one in Genesis. It too was obviously entirely metaphorical and never meant to be taken as literal.

This means that the serpent perhaps had other qualities not indicated by the text or that the readers may have known as cultural memes long lost. I haven’t found any analogues to it in the epic but I am a still looking. The differences in the interpretations seem to indicate this as well because in the A translation we see a snake who was immune to incantations (which means Inanna could not have simply used her powers to dislodge it from the tree) and in the B one we see a snake immune to charms. I would have to know something about Inanna’s perceived powers and duties to really know if there was a connection there to the snake in genesis. There is a complete lack of the serpent trying to convince her of anything or any kind of fall.
That trope didn't come until the serpent was re-cast as one of Lilith's disguises.

He only seems to want to delay her from making a bed and a throne from the tree. She seems quite bothered by this. There is an interesting parallel here to Jeremiah 8:17
17"For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you," declares the LORD.”


Obviously snake charming has a greater linguistic significance which may mean a grand metaphor where the prophet is speaking of a nation or problem that will not be solved or expelled by any Earthly means without divine assistance. The snake may not have been a snake at all but an idiom.
So, if it was a literal snake the two stories cannot be derivative. and if it was a metaphorical snake then ostensibly it would seem we were talking about an idiom that doesn’t match up. The serpent in the garden may have been derived from an earlier tradition but if so a cursory investigation of the text of this poetry seems to disagree with it being that source.

Here is the complete passage from the two translations I used:
From A:
“"The woman planted the tree with her feet, but not with her hands. Inana watered it using her feet but not her hands. She said: "When will this be a luxuriant chair on which I can take a seat?" She said: "When will this be a luxuriant bed on which I can lie down?" Five years, ten years had gone by, the tree had grown massive; its bark, however, did not split. At its roots, a snake immune to incantations made itself a nest. In its branches, the Anzud bird settled its young. In its trunk, the phantom maid built herself a dwelling, the maid who laughs with a joyful heart. But holy Inana (1 ms. has instead: I, holy Inana,) cried!" In the matter which his sister had told him about, her brother, the warrior Gilgamec, stood by her.
136-150He strapped (1 ms. has instead: ......) his ...... belt of 50 minas weight to his waist -- 50 minas were to him as 30 shekels. He took his bronze axe used for expeditions, which weighs seven talents and seven minas, in his hand. He killed the snake immune to incantations living at its roots. The Anzud bird living in its branches took up its young and went into the mountains. The phantom maid living in its trunk left (?) her dwelling and sought refuge in the wilderness. As for the tree, he uprooted it and stripped its branches, and the sons of his city, who went with him, cut up its branches and bundled them (1 ms. has instead: piled them up). He gave it to his sister holy Inana for her chair. He gave it to her for her bed. As for himself, from its roots, he manufactured his ellag and, from its branches, he manufactured his ekidma (the correct pronunciation of this word is unknown) .
The serpent was apparently originally symbolic, as it has always been in every version since.

Point 4: It is interesting that you quoted a flaming sword. Can you point to a citation? Did I miss that quote? I don’t think I read about one if it was in the text. There is an ax which is translated as “ax of the road” or “bronze axe used for expeditions”. You quoted this correctly in your speech about the evolution of Genesis (TS 20:20 or so?) but here I believe you may have mistakenly (with respect) called it a flaming sword. The ax weighed seven talents in every translation I have read (and some change in minas) which is anywhere from approximately 700 pounds to 500 pounds roughly as far as I have been able to estimate. That is a big axe and I don’t recall fire being mentioned but again, I would be willing to acknowledge any info I have missed.
No, you're right.

According to Archibald Henry Sayce, Gilgamesh was originally supposed to have been a fire god and a solar hero and a precursor to Hercules. That doesn't seem to be the case though because (1) he is in the Sumerian King List, and (2) archaeologists believe they've found his tomb. So we're talking about a real person exaggerated into mythology. That does not seem to be the case with Biblical characters, who are either adapted from elder mythology or apparently imagined out of nothing.

Conclusion:
The translation from the Oxford source seems to consider the latest scholarship and the latest incorporated translations although I admit I have only begun to peruse it. The tree is either just a tree or is not a tree but a metaphor for something which I have not been able to divine yet.
Again, in every version of this story, the tree appears to have been symbolic though the meaning has evidently changed. The fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the fruit of the tree of eternal life were obviously never meant to be envisioned as real fruit one could make a pie of nor taken from trees that could be cut down for timber.

Many of the translations specify that the tree is an elm or willow which lends credence to the idea that it is just a tree. The tree is inhabited by three entities which are not at all simple to understand. “Anzu(d) Bird” references a demon or evil spirit of some sort which is often considered a bird form with other animal characteristics which is referenced in other literature of the time and would have had some meaning. The demon sometimes rendered “lillitu” or other transliterations, is a very, very complex character which I have heard interpreted “ghost maiden”. “Dark maiden”, or many other things but always a demon or ghost or spirit of some kind. I would be very interested to discuss her later uses in Jewish tradition. The serpent is also either just a serpent or a metaphor for some other kind of evil being. Perhaps a nation or people who attack and cannot be quelled by any means other than violence. These elements do not seem to correlate to the content literally or figuratively (in metaphor) to the account in Genesis.
Obviously I have to disagree as elements of various Genesis fables can be found throughout Semitic mythology long before any interpretation of anything Biblical.

When we compare the narratives side by side I feel that the incorporation of them in their proper context would suggest there is only trivial similarity.
Even if that were true, which it obviously isn't, we have perilously similar concepts occurring in the oldest myths known to man, which were written by the very grandfathers of the Biblical authors, whose familiar version doesn't appear in the Bible until more than a thousand years later. If the Bible did not not borrow these concepts from all the old myths of Semitic ancestry, then where do you imagine they came from? That's a serious question deserving an answer.
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." - Friedrich Nietzsche.
"Faith is believing what you know ain't so." - Mark Twain
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:46 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Greetings,

Just a note about the sax, and the "flaming sword".

This does not necessarily refer to an actual flaming sword - ie, a sword with flames.

Remember the "burning bush" - this is thought to be a mistaken reference to Sinai, which is said to be "a mountain described by the Bible as being on fire" - it was, after all, a volcano.

Being made of bronze, if highly polished, it would reflect the sun to such an extent that it would appear to be a "flaming sword". [This idea was used in the film, Solomon and Sheba, where Solomon has his army use their bronze shields to reflect the sun into the oncoming Egyptians' chariots as they gallop towards his army - blinding them so that they can't see the chasm before them.]

The sax is also known from the Celts, who used a knife called a scramasax. Their swords featured a shape that resembled a flame or leaf-pattern, as fire was important to them.

Image

One could well imagine that such a sword made of bronze, reflecting the sun, would appear to be aflame.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:51 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

AronRa wrote:I do apologize for being gone so long. Been crazy busy.


Hey, thanks for chatting. I appreciate the exchange, it's always challenging, and I understand how busy life can be.

AronRa wrote:
MattheLee wrote:When we compare the narratives side by side I feel that the incorporation of them in their proper context would suggest there is only trivial similarity.


Even if that were true, which it obviously isn't, we have perilously similar concepts occurring in the oldest myths known to man, which were written by the very grandfathers of the Biblical authors, whose familiar version doesn't appear in the Bible until more than a thousand years later. If the Bible did not not borrow these concepts from all the old myths of Semitic ancestry, then where do you imagine they came from? That's a serious question deserving an answer.


I have thought on this question for most of the day because it seems to cut right to the heart of the issue. Very insightful and incisive. What differentiates these ideas from the Bible narrative? The ideas could have been plagiarized or they could have been used because they were universal and easily understood symbols which opened deep and meaningful metaphors. How do we know which it was? in other words... does the fact that "Free Willy" has a whale in it mean that it was plagiarized from "Moby Dick?"

Genesis' creation narrative isn't written for geniuses, that's for sure. It's written for bronze age sheep herders who didn't exactly speak French. Much of it was a completely metaphorical narrative meant to explain things far more complex than the mind of man even today can fully grasp and so it had to contain things that would have had meaning to them when read aloud. The modern tendency to believe it literally robs it of all the power it has because if it's literal there's no metaphor and it's ridiculous. The metaphors are meant to carry a powerful lot of information in a small space.

The Creation parts aside, the fall of man is a deep and significant explanation of the human condition and of free will. Free will is what differentiates us from the animals... can an animal actually do evil? Can an animal be held morally culpable for breaking a rule? Even smart ones are still just called "wild" animals unable to be charged with a crime... they are animals. We have 99% similar DNA to a chimpanzee but we will never try one in a court of law for murder... even the one that ripped that poor woman's face off.

Humans on the other hand are morally culpable so what is different? That's where the tree of knowledge of good and evil comes in. We were just like everything else... walking about naked and multiplying with abandon and not really thinking about the right and the wrong until we were given a rule. Once we were given a rule we were given the choice to break it we were given the ability to learn what free will was. We made a choice and that choice had consequences... but this is the story of not just a literal man and woman it's the story of the first self-aware humans. It's a definition of free will and what makes it free... you have two choices: one is seductive and pleasurable but leads to death and the other is following the rules and living. We had God's will already and we knew the Good. We had to be tempted by an equally attractive choice to be able to actually make a meaningful choice between good and evil. Enter temptation via a serpent and a tasty fruit. Why did we need free will? Why does any father want children? Could you just buy a bunch of robots and consider them your kids or do you want a self aware being... one more... in your own image?

When you google temptation the first image hit... at least when I did it... is this image...
"https://fthmb.tqn.com/AK43szzbE7CVi32oWbgWjEU-0EA=/2041x1470/filters:fill(auto,1)/Temptation-56a1475c5f9b58b7d0bdc16c.jpg"

The metaphor holds even today for the sign of temptation and that is because the symbols are universal. Trees bear fruit. The tree of life bore fruit that grants life and to be in the garden and enjoy the benefits of this tree, you had to follow the rules and not break them. Breaking them even once resulted in death because that's sin. If you never eat the fruit of the tree you only know good. If you break the rule and eat the fruit you know both good and evil and realize that you can do either if you choose... you become morally culpable because you understand right from wrong. God says 'they have become one like us' which means there are self-aware and non-self aware beings and we had just joined the host.

Inanna's tree conveyed none of that message to me. There was no temptation in her garden. Inannas garden was just a garden. Inannas tree bore no fruit. It was just a tree which harbored some unsavory characters, one of which was a serpent who was immune to spells. The fruit was immaterial because the tree was just going to become furniture anyway, lol. The story in the poem with Gilgamesh was more of an entertaining narrative to me which perhaps would have spoken more to me if I had spoken the language and lived in the time. It was telling a story whose shades of meaning have been grayed by history. It left no metaphor or meaning with me speaking of greater truth.

External to that: The meaning of a tree is universal, it bears fruit. Jesus even talks about the fruit a tree bears... judge a tree by it's fruit for example.
Serpents are naturally shifty symbols of things we fear that mean to poison us. The serpent is not to be trusted no matter what age you live in... they mean you harm and it's in their nature. If one talks to you, you probably shouldn't trust him. And you should get medication because even in the wizarding world, hearing voices isn't good.


AronRa wrote:The idea of the snake being female didn't come from this fable but rather from a Talmudic legend, which itself was adapted from this story, and then adapted again by the Jews, before being accommodated by Medieval Christians. In that story, the serpent wasn't just a companion of Lilith's but an incarnation of hers: returning to seek vengeance against the younger woman, Eve. This is why virtually every rendering by all the Christian artists of the Renaissance depict the serpent in the garden as a woman.


You are correct about the Talmudic legend, but Talmud is not really Scripture. It doesn't alter or supersede Torah, I don't think... I was always told that if you want to understand why the Talmud was written then ask a Jew how they atone for sin now that their temple has been destroyed and they can no longer make animal sacrifices. They will start to perserverate on the Torah and how it doesn't really say what it says and then go through mental gymnastics which eventually result in a Talmud. No messiah, no temple: no atonement and no salvation. It's an inescapable truth of their own Scripture. To my knowledge, temporally, the Talmud was also composed at the very least 800 years after even the most pessimistic scholar might date the final compilation of the Torah.

There is nothing in Scripture which called the serpent Satan and nothing that calls it Lilith either, as far I have ever read. The paintings absolutely indicate what you say with female serpents. I can't say why this is, but it isn't Biblical. It is also isn't Biblical to worship and idolize Mary or to be able to buy forgiveness of sins from the pope in scroll form but boy the Catholics sure did a lot of that. I don't always understand why people interpret things the way they do.

I watched the Noah's Ark video you linked by the way. Very interesting. Your conclusions were not in error and well supported given the premise you started with. I think the attempt to date the flood by the scholar was entirely in error.

I find it interesting, however, how many flood myths there are. This is another case of plagiarism vs something everyone would understand... The flood myths were in cultures all over the world that had little or no contact. Perhaps there was a flood. Perhaps we need to read more carefully. That's what I hear in a lot of your work... the implication that I need to put my nose in the Book and see for myself rather than believing the interpretation of people who believe dinosaurs walked with men. For that, all Christians should thank you.
Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:00 am
CollecemallPosts: 393Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

MatthewLee wrote:The Creation parts aside, the fall of man is a deep and significant explanation of the human condition and of free will. Free will is what differentiates us from the animals... can an animal actually do evil? Can an animal be held morally culpable for breaking a rule? Even smart ones are still just called "wild" animals unable to be charged with a crime... they are animals. We have 99% similar DNA to a chimpanzee but we will never try one in a court of law for murder... even the one that ripped that poor woman's face off.

Humans on the other hand are morally culpable so what is different? That's where the tree of knowledge of good and evil comes in. We were just like everything else... walking about naked and multiplying with abandon and not really thinking about the right and the wrong until we were given a rule. Once we were given a rule we were given the choice to break it we were given the ability to learn what free will was. We made a choice and that choice had consequences... but this is the story of not just a literal man and woman it's the story of the first self-aware humans. It's a definition of free will and what makes it free... you have two choices: one is seductive and pleasurable but leads to death and the other is following the rules and living. We had God's will already and we knew the Good. We had to be tempted by an equally attractive choice to be able to actually make a meaningful choice between good and evil. Enter temptation via a serpent and a tasty fruit. Why did we need free will? Why does any father want children? Could you just buy a bunch of robots and consider them your kids or do you want a self aware being... one more... in your own image?



The answer to your question "Can an animal be held morally culpable for breaking a rule is answered in a single word. Yes. I recommend Frans de Waal's The Bonobo and the atheist. There's clearly a basis for morality in social animals. His TED talk is informative as well as entertaining. Obviously we are are more advanced but the foundations are there.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:18 am
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Collecemall wrote:The answer to your question "Can an animal be held morally culpable for breaking a rule is answered in a single word. Yes. I recommend Frans de Waal's The Bonobo and the atheist. There's clearly a basis for morality in social animals. His TED talk is informative as well as entertaining. Obviously we are are more advanced but the foundations are there.


I watched the video and it was quite interesting. I especially liked the one Bonobo who threw the cucumber at the scientist in favor of grapes. The problem with the idea that morality is an evolved trait comes from our lack of a developed definition. There were two pillars the author mentioned reciprocity and empathy. This is a bit of a reach in the attempt to define morality and it skips over even the simplest concepts of moral reasoning.

If I understand the process correctly... science can say an eye evolved because there is a pretty standard eye we are starting with. It's an organ that perceives a very specific sub spectrum of the electromagnetic spectrum. You look in the fossil record for the precursors, or in some other fashion try and establish links between transitional forms of the structure and it's current form. There has to be a target for the arrows of transitional forms to be aiming at for you to say that a previous structure is a precursor.

There is no formal definition of morality, no target to hit. If morality evolved from a common ancestor, then how can the morality which we see in New York and the morality which we see in Phuket, Pyongyang, Riyadh, and Amsterdam have all evolved from the same transitional structures? Ghengis Khan and Stalin came from the same evolutionary process that gave us Confucius and Socrates? Islam and Atheism came from the same moral evolution?

Such terms as reciprocity and empathy are about as exact as saying that the temperature is 'something between 0 and 212'. Morality has no specific definition therefore you can't point to earlier transition behavioral forms and try and link them to a target that does not exist.

If animals can be held morally culpable for breaking a rule... do you feel we should extend human rights to them and try them when they break our laws? If animals cannot be held accountable to our laws why not and what is the difference between us? Why is it illegal to a kill a man but not to kill a chimpanzee for research? Why can we experiment on animals but not humans? Why is sex with an animal absolutely unacceptable if they are just our ancestors? If animals can be moral agents, then, why don't we treat them as such?
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:50 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Well, that's bullshit.

Morality is the behavioural contract that allows social species to function as social species.

Seems clear enough.

http://www.hackenslash.co.uk/2016/06/mo ... otomy.html
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:10 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Hello, hackenslash and Good afternoon!

I read your blog post. Your writing is clear and excellent. I enjoyed the overall idea. Very interesting but I find some questions arise in your logic. For example, I take issue with your stance on the matter of intersubjectivity.

If a matter is inter-subjective it is "involving or occurring between separate conscious minds." This means by definition it still qualifies as subjective.
https://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ... subjective

If something is subjective it is "existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought (opposed to objective )."
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/subjective

That means that inter-subjectivity is still subjective and therefore not objective, IE
"of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers : having reality independent of the mind objective reality"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective

If this is true then whether or not moral values are subjective, or inter-subjective, they still cannot be objective and therefore the logical disproof of subjective moral reasoning still applies. It doesn't demonstrate deity, it just doesn't provide us with objective moral values. If you cannot absolutely define right and wrong on the basis of a higher, objective source of knowledge then you cannot ever say anything is actually truly right or wrong. Just that you like or dislike certain things and think everyone should.

You say it is wrong to kill people. Were we wrong to kill the Germans in WWI? How about the Nazi's in WWII? Were they wrong to kill the Jews? Was one of us more wrong? Which one and why? Upon what objective basis do you establish this idea other than your own opinion? Should police kill a man trying to kill them if killing is wrong? Then killing in self-defense is wrong... or is it? Why isn't it? If killing is wrong sometimes, but not others, then it is not objectively wrong.

I think that your reasoning is assumptive in some places.

for example:

Morality is the behavioural contract that allows social species to function as social species.


When did contracts evolve?

A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties that creates an obligation to do or not do particular things. The term "party" can mean an individual person, company, or other legal entity. No matter who the parties are, contracts almost always contain the following essential elements:

1. Parties who are competent to enter into a contract. For example, a mentally disabled person could not enter into a contract. Minors can enter into contracts, but can void them in most cases before they reach majority age.
2. Mutual agreement by all the parties. In other words, all parties have a meeting of the minds on a specific subject. Each party either promises to perform an act that the party is not legally required to perform, or promises to abstain from performing an act that it is legally entitled to perform."
http://www.businessdictionary.com/defin ... tract.html


Contracts are a cognitive process requiring informed consent. Instincts evolve, cognitive processes do not. A contract could not be the end result of an evolved process because it is not instinctual. If empathy is present and reciprocity are present because they are evolved instincts, the formalization of them into a contract is a uniquely human invention requiring cognition, language, and informed consent. Animals cannot communicate or achieve cognition on this level. Morality as humans practice it requires a cognitive understanding of right and wrong and those terms have no objective meaning in nature. In fact those terms have no objective meaning in our world without a higher, objective source. God or not.

Further, when you said

hackenslash wrote:We all know that we feel shame or guilt when we knowingly do harm to somebody. Often, we'll feel shame and guilt when we discover later that an innocent- or benign-seeming act put others in harm's way - even one that, at the time, you couldn't know had moral implications. Evolution has given us a marvellous set of tools to help us in our interactions with the world as a social animal. Lots of lovely chemicals to infuse the brain with emotional states. We know how we'd feel if we were subject to such harm, because we're experienced with our brain chemistry, and have even found ways to trigger it artificially for recreation.


You are implying that the conscience is not only an evolved trait but that it has a specific and instinctively triggered set of responses to specific acts. DNA would then have an ethical program built into it. That would suggest that morality should be relatively similar in all human cultures. It's not.. it's as diverse as language which is a cognitive process and a cultural one. Also that would mean that instinct would have to be able to tell us when we have harmed. The definition of harm would also be written into our DNA. It doesn't seem to be thus far because everyone has a wildly definition of harm. I think it is harm to sin. Some think it is harm to not let them sin in anyway they choose because of my archaic views since morality has changed over time. Some are able to rationalize harming others to reduce harm to some. Further, empathy is not and cannot be the basis of morality because empathy doesn't develop in all people and empathy and the reaction to emotional events is largely guided by processes of cognition.

Our point of view and culture re contextualize and reshape our emotional reactions to things such that harm is a decidedly inexact term. We killed in the civil war, many would say to stop slavery. Was it our empathy for the slaves that made us turn off the empathy for the southerners we killed and dispossessed? We created one kind of harm to stop another. Why was killing Ok as long as it was in the service of what some would call a higher ideal? Well the Southern Americans felt it was moral enough to die for it. On one continent we had a difference of morals so profoundly opposite that it resulted in over 600,000 deaths in four years. The social contract was not sufficient in this case to hold social animals together. Some were forced to agree and that is by definition not a contract. That's coercion.

hackenslash wrote:No dog owner can come upon the dog when it's had it away with your sausages and tell me that the look on its face is not guilt and shame. If you don't have a dog, watch an episode of Meerkat Manor. There's one who's always being naughty, and you can see the guilt in his behaviour even hours later when his behaviour is discovered. He's just like a human child.


Animals may evidence things which seem like guilt. It seems to me like that is reasoning from analogy. They are similar expressions but their cause is just as likely a simple expression of submission from a reprimanded party who feels no guilt at all. There is no way to tell if the emotional state of the animal is, in fact, guilt as we know it. When your dog takes food they respond in typically avoidant and submissive behaviors designed to communicate that they do not wish punishment or harm to come to them because they know you are angry. I am unconvinced a dog has a great deal of awareness of their actions and the consequences. My dog still doesn't realize the leash ends and chokes himself regularly because basic connectivity is beyond his comprehension. I doubt his cognitive abilities extend to such notions as private property or theft. If an animal has food it claims taken then it defends it and in dominance hierarchies the way you avoid getting killed for touching the alpha's meat is to back up and cower... exactly what dogs do when they are supposedly acting "guilty."

Subjective morality is not morality because it means that Islam is just as valid a moral system as Satanism because they are both agreed upon by their practitioners and are both for the cause of increasing happiness as both parties understand it and reducing harm. Happiness and harm are not objectively defined.. there are as many definitions of those as there are people so here is the question...

Why is it objectively wrong to kill other humans? External to violating a contract which I don't accept as the reason and is by definition in our minds so by definition subjective... External to empathy which is subjective... Guilt is in the mind, subjective. Without referring to any other cause which comes from the human mind why should we simply not kill other humans from an objective standpoint?
Wed Feb 07, 2018 10:28 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Fucking dictionaries? Really?

As for the rest, it's all answered in the post. It's intersubjective because it's neither entirely subjective nor entirely objective. There is an objective notion at the foundation, that of harm. Also, the notion that morality need be objective is entirely the problem with your thinking. Morality is not, not can it be, objective.

If you missed that, you really need to read again, because you've entirely missed the point. Not much point saying more until you have a better grasp of what I said.
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:14 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Does harm exist solely in the human mind as a concept?
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:04 am
thenexttodiePosts: 901Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2015 7:59 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

hackenslash wrote:Morality is not, nor can it be, objective.



If you never existed would it still be wrong to rape a child?
“..the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.” Tolstoy
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:53 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

MatthewLee wrote:Does harm exist solely in the human mind as a concept?


No.
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:01 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

thenexttodie wrote:
hackenslash wrote:Morality is not, nor can it be, objective.



If you never existed would it still be wrong to rape a child?


Stupid question, and it tells me you didn't bother reading the linked article. You can do better than that.

Wrong? Useless term.
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:02 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3209Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Greetings,

Matthew, you might find Against Moral Responsibility an interesting read.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:57 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

Matthew, you might find Against Moral Responsibility an interesting read.

Kindest regards,

James


Wow. Just reading the description was unsettling lol. But, I am fascinated to find out what is meant by the terms outlaid and will look for this or something like it at the local college library. The idea of dismantling moral accountability flies in the face of everything I have ever been taught or believed but I am terribly interested in the arguments for it. Thank you for making me aware such a genre of work or argument even existed.
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:07 pm
MatthewLeePosts: 111Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 6:04 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: So much for that 9th commandment

AronRa wrote:Even if that were true, which it obviously isn't, we have perilously similar concepts occurring in the oldest myths known to man, which were written by the very grandfathers of the Biblical authors, whose familiar version doesn't appear in the Bible until more than a thousand years later. If the Bible did not not borrow these concepts from all the old myths of Semitic ancestry, then where do you imagine they came from? That's a serious question deserving an answer.


This discussion we are having on moral culpability and free will underscores the original point... Even if you think they are mythology, the symbols and concepts used in Genesis, like the tree and the snake, lead to a discussion about the nature of things like sin, evil, death and temptation. The symbols in “Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree” do not represent these ideas and are not used to represent them. The tree and its fruit, the serpent and the Garden all seem specifically juxtaposed to present the idea of free will and the explanation of the Judeo-Christian position on the matter. It does this in an undeniably succinct and compact narrative which needed less then three paragraphs to explain the problem of evil and how we caused it. You can disagree with this point but the interpretation is hard to argue with. It is written to make it clear to people who speak any language by using symbols that cross all national borders and cultures. We all know snakes, and fruits on trees that aren't ours. Peter Rabbit is not derivative of the Mesopotamian tradition of literature but we still understand it.

“Inanna, Gilgamesh and the Huluppu Tree” does no such thing and does not inspire such a discussion nor is it meant to answer such questions. The symbols it used, and Genesis used were universal as the sun is when it is used by cultures around the world to represent life. All cultures recognize that without the sun there is no food hence no life. The people who wrote Gilgamesh borrowed their symbols from the world around them in the same way the authors of Genesis did. They just arranged them differently.
Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:17 pm
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