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Posts posted by FalagarV2

  1. 20 minutes ago, DMC said:

    Well, all the more reason!

    One of the first things that crossed my mind was - so they want to find a neutral ground where everybody's security is ensured and everybody feels safe, and they choose..Jerusalem?!?

    Shouldn't discount the symbolism (for both parties) inherent in making peace in Jerusalem though. Might make any treaty negotiated there a bit more difficult to break. And the name itself supposedly means 'abode of peace', after all.

  2. In the history of ideas, at least, the notion that humans souls are genderless and can be incarnated in differently gendered bodies is common for those religions/cultures that operate with reincarnation - gender is, after all, closely tied to sexuality, not normally an attribute of the soul. Although it should be mentioned that it has often been paired with the notion that being incarnated as a woman is a punishment or "step down" from incarnation as a man.

  3. On 9/29/2021 at 1:23 AM, sologdin said:

    that's your argument, sure. i don't think there's anything wrong with this description of a certain subset of speculative fiction. i also agree that much of that work would not end up on any syllabus of mine--as you noted, too long for a course. it's nevertheless part of the collective experience of reading these serial fantasies, though--so i wouldn't want to belittle it.  the notion that the literary characters take on some sort of 'hauntological' quasi-existence in the affections of their readers is one of the key components of literary production; it can apply to the hunger games but also to the iliad, gravity's rainbow, emma, or doctor faustus.


    It's interesting, in this regard, that a central exercise in later Greco-Roman education involved writing imaginative pieces (ethopoeiai) about characters from the Iliad, Odyssey or other narratives of the classical tradition's 'expanded universe', explaining their reasoning or mindset at specific events. Or that Augustine censored himself for loving Latin literature, which caused him 'to remember the wanderings of some Aeneas, while forgetting of my own wanderings, and to bewail Dido’s death because she committed suicide, while in the midst of these trifles I, wretched as could be, allowed myself to die away from you with dry eyes.' (Confessions 1.13). The ancients certainly did not think their canon void of emotional attachment or opportunities for escapism.

  4. 10 hours ago, Alarich II said:

    Yes, although the capacity to organise themselves beyond small clans is not a biological function, but a learned, cultural function. And the idea is that religion in this sense is part of the cultural evolution that allowed for bigger groups of humans to organize themselves. Which may have actually lessened violent encounters between many small groups.

    Yeah, I'd agree with that, to some extent. Although I don't think it's as much about less violence (likely, to my mind, but hard to quantify) as it is about harnessing and controlling violence (i.e. the thesis of the neo-institutionalists North, Weingast and Wallis in Violence and Social Order).

    3 minutes ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

    Well, I dont have Armstrong's book at hand (or seem to have lost it), so I cant tell you what sources she used for her claim. But on the flip side, I would find it difficult to believe we dont know anything about the role of women in pagan Bedouin societies. Even if they didnt have oral or written traditions, unlike remote tribes etc. they did interact with numerous cultures and societies and surely second hand accounts exist. .

    I think the primary pieces of evidence are the Qu'ran and/or later Muslim traditions themselves. The argument is (understandably) often made by Muslim feminists, but apart from the inherently biased Muslim accounts we don't really have much evidence. For contemporary accounts of pre-Islamic Arabs, we're mostly dependent on incidental remarks by Roman/Byzantine authors such as Ammianus Marcellinus and Zosimus. They treat social relations very cursory, although they also depict female Arab rulers such as Zenobia and Mavia.

    A relatively nuanced take is found in Leila Ahmed's Women and Gender in Islam; she mentions e.g. the Muslim ban on female infanticide on the plus side, but a decline in political activity and the likely disappearance of matrilineal marriage customs as negatives.

  5. Interesting discussion, as always!

    10 hours ago, Alarich II said:

    Well, my argument would be that religion is just the philosophy that explains and justifies the social order (i.e. the state), i.e. I wouldn't necessarily define religion as a belief about the supernatural but rather a belief about the way humans and their world is ordered, a belief about what the "natural" order actually is if you will. As such, any state can only exist if those humans that make up this particular social order, believe in it and accept its underlying premises as true. If enough people no longer believe that the King is ruler because God wills it, he may get his head chopped off.

    This would be a sort of Durkheimian definition of religion, no? It would also expand it to embrace basically any ideology, whether liberalism, communism, or nationalism. Also, by that definition, it would seem that the human capacity to organise themselves in general is the root of violence (?).

    3 hours ago, Rippounet said:

    I believe such a theory is mainly based on the ruins of Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey, isn't it?

    The idea is older than the finds at Göbekli, I think. If I'm not much mistaken (although I haven't been able to confirm it by a quick search), it was originally based on the central role of the temples in organising life (both economy and politics) in early Mesopotamian and Egyptian cities. More recent finds indicate that forager societies often established semi-sedentary settlements (e.g. fishing settlements) before they became farmers, and of course there existed sedentary farming settlements before the temple cities. On the other hand, there are also indications that humans would continue to return to specific places for 'cultic purposes', perhaps easing us into permanent settlements. The theory then received more support from Göbekli Tepe. Here, their waste suggests they were primarily foragers, but I think the assumption is that they were semi-sedentary groups of the type previously mentioned living in villages in the surrounding area. Shared cult may well have been a central factor in what brought these disparate groups together at the specific site, perhaps indicating the processes that (combined with irrigation needs) facilitated the foundation of the Sumerian city states and the role of the temples there.

    19 hours ago, TheLastWolf said:

    Nihilism is best. Nietzsche wasn't arguing about these, he simply didn't give a fuck. In our negligible existence span, let's live life with no regrets, and I'm always near regretting arguing religion though I love it 


    Love the argument I mean :D

    Nietzsche wasn't a nihilist, though, and was in fact very fond of arguing about (or, more commonly, polemicising against) religion in his quest for the values of a godless society.

    6 hours ago, IheartIheartTesla said:

    You dont have to go to pre-recorded history with hunter gatherers. The usual template with organized religions (particularly the Abrahamic ones) is that they were usually better than what existed before. This is well documented in the case of Islam where for instance, the role of women was far superior in the beginning compared to what the Bedouin's had. All this is laid out very nicely in Karen Armstrong's book A History of God.

    The problem is when these religions become calcified and get in the hands of a few men who create a rigid hierarchical organization that upend the (relatively) good teachings created during its infancy. You can see this not only with Islam but also the numerous strains of Christianity (RCC and others).

    As far as I can tell, this claim is quite speculative. At any rate, I don't think there are grounds to say that the situation post-Islam was far superior to that which prevailed earlier, as we hardly know anything about women's role in pre-Islamic Arabian society with certainty (restricting ourselves to 'pagan' bedouins of the Arabian peninsula - other important groups had earlier adopted Christianity, Judaism, and perhaps, for a brief time, Manichaeism).

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