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Volcana
Sep 11th, 2003, 03:56 AM
Just suppose .... writing hasn't been invented, or at least wasn't in wide use, except among preist classes. Communication was strictly verbal. The North Africans hadn't trained Hippocrates and wouldn't for centuries.

Possibly Hunter-Gatherer culture. Maybe nomadic. The world is ravaged by plagues and drown and war.

Remember, religions are repositories of old knowledge. Often, the last remains of the core of once essential knowledge remains only in religions.

Plague are transmitted most often in humans through mucous membranes.

Now imagine over time, you came to note a few behaviours that lessened the likeliness of contracted certain diseases.

Monogamy.
Lifelong sexual partnerships.
Strict dietary laws.
Avoiding intoxicants.
Do not enjgage in homosexual behavior.
Etc etc , that sort of the thing.

Now suppose, over time, there's no plague, and people start forgetting to follow the riles. EVERYONE forgets WHY we should follow the rules. Plagues start to return.

Only it's 2000, 5000 years later. No one remembers why the rules are what they are. The people who set themselves up as arbitors of the rules are fools.

Perhaps one fourth of the citizenry say, 'Oh woe, these horrible plagues! We must put more resources into finding a cure!'

Another quarter of the citizenry say 'Just folow the rules. You're arrogant, just like at the Tower of Babel. Just shut the fuck up,and follow the rules."

"But I think ...."

"Shut up. Thinking is what got you here."

The of 50% of the citizenry just want to get high and not think about it.

The funny thing is, safer sex is a far better and more controllable solution than a bunch of rote laws people memorize and try to obey, never knowing why. But you lose the security of not having to think.

But when I really examine the anti-gay, anti-sex, marriage-as- permanent, monogamy is mandatory, intoxicants are evil culturla position, Ifiund it an excellent one. For a primitve society. It's clearly a way to avoid devastating plagues. Modern medecine and human imagination present us with rather a vaster array of choice is the plague control field. It's just that humans CREATE disease vectors, we don't get rid of them. Cars, smokestack pollution, anti-biotics in cattle feed, land mines, lawn chemicals runing off into drinking water, allthose things produce new vectors for disease. We're killing our selves in our own extravagance.

But the Religious Right IS Right, in a narrow way. If you shut up, don't think, and follow the rules the rules as they TEACH them, not as they do them, you'll genenrally avoid a lot of plagues. Not the airborn ones, but you'll be pretty safe on human-to-human contact. Same dealwith 'don't eat pork'. Turns out there are diseases and germs that infect both pigs and humans. But the 'don't eat pork' mantra has been around for a thousand years in some cultures.

They just can't give you a good reason why, beyond, 'it's bad'.

GBFH
Sep 11th, 2003, 04:00 AM
erm, okay.

disposablehero
Sep 11th, 2003, 05:23 AM
This is something I have often thought of. Most ancient religious doctrine was a direct result of practical real-world needs of that time.

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 09:43 AM
Lol, Im taking this post to show the youth group I organize :p :tape:

Colin B
Sep 11th, 2003, 09:58 AM
Phew.
When I read the thread title I was preparing to fire off a tirade against the influence of the Religious Right in modern politics, lol, but now I see what you mean.

You could also mention inbreeding. It must have been noted by early civilized cultures, that if there is a close blood tie between a couple, any resulting progeny are likely to turn out wrong, so they had the foresight to forbid such partnerships through religious law.

Volcana
Sep 11th, 2003, 11:25 AM
You could also mention inbreeding. It must have been noted by early civilized cultures, that if there is a close blood tie between a couple, any resulting progeny are likely to turn out wrong, so they had the foresight to forbid such partnerships through religious law.

Yes, a very good example. And after a while, the prohibition loses all attachment to reason, and becomes instead a taboo. Don't do it, don't talk about it, don't question it.

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 11:50 AM
Inbreeding, well that was livley and well in the English Royal family, They were Protestants. and thus Protestants were one of the last denominations to pass through the inbreeding was immoral (I don't think it has been doctrined legally though)

Josh
Sep 11th, 2003, 11:59 AM
Uhm inbreeding was lively and well in ALL royal families no matter what religien they were.

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:03 PM
Yes, and thats why all European Royal Families are related usually together not by just marrage but by also inbreeding. Though anyway I didn't want to debate that anyhoo. I was just merley stating the fact that the English Royal Family is predominatly protestant and that protestants were one of the last denominations to discriminate against inbreeding or un-lawfull condemn it.

Cassius
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:07 PM
Uhm inbreeding was lively and well in ALL royal families no matter what religien they were.
True. ALL the royal families of Europe were/are blood related.
The English, German and Russian royals were the closest related, but now the foreigner with the best claim to the English throne is the King of Norway.

Josh
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:09 PM
Oh ok, I don't know enough about protestantism to comment on that.

BTW Rothes, if you don't mind me asking, do you belong to a particular religion? I ask because I see you're from Switzerland and I've always thought most Swiss were Calvinists. Probably because I associate Calvin with Geneva. But some time ago I saw a documentary on TV about the Swiss Garde in the Vatican and they mentioned that in fact Catholics are still a majority in Switzerland, albeit a small majority. Is that true?

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:10 PM
wow Harold Halfdansson closest to the English Throne?

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:29 PM
BTW Rothes, if you don't mind me asking, do you belong to a particular religion? I ask because I see you're from Switzerland and I've always thought most Swiss were Calvinists. Probably because I associate Calvin with Geneva. But some time ago I saw a documentary on TV about the Swiss Garde in the Vatican and they mentioned that in fact Catholics are still a majority in Switzerland, albeit a small majority. Is that true?

Hi Josh

Yes I am a catholic (A practicing one aswell) (you know the Church every sunday twice a day, Organizing Youth Group) Choir of Geneva etc, have been bought up as one by my parents.

Calvinism, also known as Reformed theology, is a system of biblical interpretation that focuses on the supreme sovereignty of God, His majesty, His holiness, etc. It relates this to man's fallen, sinful nature. Because of the great chasm between God and man and because of man's fallen nature, God must predestine people into salvation...or none would be saved. Therefore, salvation is the work of God and we are the mere recipients of His gracious election.

Roman Catholicsm is the major denomination in Switzerland. You will find when you are in the Swiss Speaking Part of Switzerland ie: Geneve, Lusanne, Leman and the Major Swiss Cantons the predominant Denomination is Catholic, probably as much as 90% and only around
5-6% Protestant. In The German Cantons and speaking parts, ie Basle, Zurich, Bern, Zug etc (lets just say most of Switzerland) Protestant is the main Denomination, here where talking about 50%, Roman Catholics are the next in the low 30's, In the South (Italian Speaking) It is basicially Roman Catholic (98-99%) In the east particulary Grison, St Moritz, St Gotthard, Santis and St Gallen, Protestant is the influence there. (Then in Grison is the Romansch/Helvetics) who could be considered calvinists.

In all Switzerland is made up of about even protestant-roman catholic population, roman-catholic probably is a little larger in practice then protestantism.

Calvinists, well thats like Switzerland's little own relgion you could say, When you come to Switzerland you will notice that it's loosing existence, and your right, you will find most of the traditions and beliefs in the Geneve/Western part of Switzerland.

Cassius
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:32 PM
wow Harold Halfdansson closest to the English Throne?
The closest FOREIGNER yes.
But he's actually 60th overall.

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:34 PM
Hey wow you live in Liverpool :D
I spose you would know Gimme Gimme Gimme?

Cassius
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:35 PM
You mean the TV program, with the gay bloke and the ginger bird?

Josh
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:40 PM
Thank you for that Rothes :)

I'm not religious myself but I was brought up in a catholic country so of course I'm aware of most catholic traditions.
History is one of my main interests and religion has played an important part in European history so naturally I'm interested. Though I have to say that my interest generally lies in the geographical spreading of the main religions, I don't really know the differences between all the christian denominations apart from the main ones.

Now for some reason I've always seen Switzerland as a mainly protestant nation but I'm glad you cleared that up. :)

BTW Calvin's theories are also at the basis of the Dutch reformed Churches right?

lakeway11
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:48 PM
It's just that humans CREATE disease vectors, we don't get rid of them. Cars, smokestack pollution, anti-biotics in cattle feed, land mines, lawn chemicals runing off into drinking water, allthose things produce new vectors for disease. We're killing our selves in our own extravagance.

first, there is plenty of natural diseases that the great mind of man has cured to prolong life; second, does anything really think that without cars, pollution, city water, and all the wonders of the industrail revolution age humans would have a longer lifespan? of course many man-made things have led to unintended consequences (unless it was a secret plot by a government to infect and research)--many 'unnatural' things being cancer-causing and the like...but everything on earth was already here naturally it's just that man'd mind has been able to transform it to serve other purposes...and then there are natural distasters that kill many people all the time--and kill much more in backward nations than the more capitalistic...

the religious right is not right b/c morality is the province of choice not of commands...right and wrong need to be taught in a contexual sense but a mindless robot in not moral--only a thinking individual can be...right and wrong exists because of the Law of Causalty and the nature of reality that must be obeyed...morality is in a sense based on the concept 'life' and immorality of the concept 'death'--what gives rise to the former is moral and to the latter immoral; that is how i have come to see things

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 12:49 PM
The Dutch Reformed Church was Calvinist as are Huguenots also
Calvinist. The Dutch Reformed Church in New Amsterdam/New York was allied with the French.

Also Jan Van Riebeeck bought Calvinism with the Dutch Reformed Church to South Africa If I am not mistaken.

your right as well, The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations historically related by a similar Zwinglian or Calvinist system of doctrine but organizationally independent. Though as Catholicizm is the preferred practiced denomination it is becoming less spread. You will though (If your good at noticing different aspects of Religion you will notice Calvinism in the Protestant parts, but very little now practice it)

Josh
Sep 11th, 2003, 01:11 PM
yup, you can find the Dutch reformed church in South Africa and also in Surinam and other former Dutch colonies.

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 01:13 PM
and even in aruba :gurgle:

Hey nice speaking to ya Josh, probably one of the few intellectia's on the board, Im of to work so have a good day in sunny Holland :D

Josh
Sep 11th, 2003, 01:14 PM
and even in aruba :gurgle:

Hey nice speaking to ya Josh, probably one of the few intellectia's on the board, Im of to work so have a good day in sunny Holland :D

Nice to speak to you too.

Oh and I'm Belgian...not Dutch...but I forgive you. ;)

:wavey:

Rothes
Sep 11th, 2003, 01:25 PM
:p how offensive of me ;)

Martian Willow
Sep 11th, 2003, 01:28 PM
...I think the problem is that you're suggesting morality has its basis in a common understanding of what will help society to prosper and flourish in the long term...in fact this concept of morality has not been 'forgotten'...it is a common athiest explanation of the origin of ethics...(...in fact I remember Jouissant offering this explanation to counter my argument that morality must have an objective basis...)...it is religions, and those who believe in God, who suggest that morality is an objective truth...whose basis is outside the control of society...you appear to using an athiest argument to defend religion...which is curious...

...it's also worth noting that what is good or bad for the prosperity of societies can change over time...yet religions, by their very nature, refuse to change...for example, in an early society, it may be considered advantageous for the population to grow...therefore contraception and homosexuality are frowned upon...but what happens when the population grows too large...?...and contraception and homosexuality (and celibacy) become advantageous...?...do the moral lawmakers promote these things...?

:)

Volcana
Sep 11th, 2003, 10:24 PM
...I think the problem is that you're suggesting morality has its basis in a common understanding of what will help society to prosper and flourish in the long term...

Just the opposite. Morality has its basis in a common LACK of understanding of what will help society to prosper and flourish in the long term.

...for example, in an early society, it may be considered advantageous for the population to grow...therefore contraception and homosexuality are frowned upon...but what happens when the population grows too large...?...and contraception and homosexuality (and celibacy) become advantageous...?...do the moral lawmakers promote these things...? :)

No. They persecute them less vigorously, because there's less support for it. Religions are the last bastion in most societies. They don't lead change, they slow it down.

Martian Willow
Sep 11th, 2003, 10:43 PM
...mmmmm...I think...yes...I see what you mean... :confused:

Rollo
Sep 11th, 2003, 11:12 PM
Catholic royals intermarried just as much (or more) than Protestants.

The Spanish royals even had aunt-nephew and uncle-niece marriages.


And today cousin marraiage is alive and well in the Moslem world.


Even these situations prove Volcana's basic idea right though. The royal connections made political and economic sense.

And in Muslim nations where women often have fewer rights she has more proctection from abuse if she and her husband share relatives.

BigTennisFan
Sep 12th, 2003, 02:34 AM
first, there is plenty of natural diseases that the great mind of man has cured to prolong life; second, does anything really think that without cars, pollution, city water, and all the wonders of the industrail revolution age humans would have a longer lifespan? of course many man-made things have led to unintended consequences (unless it was a secret plot by a government to infect and research)--many 'unnatural' things being cancer-causing and the like...but everything on earth was already here naturally it's just that man'd mind has been able to transform it to serve other purposes...and then there are natural distasters that kill many people all the time--and kill much more in backward nations than the more capitalistic...

the religious right is not right b/c morality is the province of choice not of commands...right and wrong need to be taught in a contexual sense but a mindless robot in not moral--only a thinking individual can be...right and wrong exists because of the Law of Causalty and the nature of reality that must be obeyed...morality is in a sense based on the concept 'life' and immorality of the concept 'death'--what gives rise to the former is moral and to the latter immoral; that is how i have come to see things

Good point. I have always looked with some amusement at those people who love to berate our modern society and all its ills. But for some reason I never see them chucking it all to go and live out in the wilderness somewhere where they can shit in the woods and wipe their asses with leave. :(

In other words, I hear a lot of folks bitching but I don't see nobody booking.

Rothes
Sep 12th, 2003, 05:17 AM
Rothes, I wonder if Hofmann is Satan, I mean a Satanist! :devil: Seriously, plagues, etc. ALSO had their role in anthropology: whereas now we can produce enough food to avoid the dire warnings of Malthus (maldistribution being a far greater cause of starvation than supply), our ancestors didn't have that luxury. Indeed, famine-induced weakness probably made early humans more vulnerable to various diseases.

LMAO :p You know what Jolly, This can be a new series of the "JR Investigations" :p

Colin B
Sep 12th, 2003, 11:23 AM
the religious right is not right b/c morality is the province of choice not of commands.
The way I see it, religious morality had it's place in the days when people's lives were governed by the established religions *. Today, most of us live in secular societies where we live by the laws (even if we don't always agree with them) are set down by our fellow citizens. We no longer need the fear of 'the wrath of God' to lead moral lives.
*THAT SAID, history is full of atrocities (ie, immorality) carried out in the name of those religious laws. Even today, we can question the morality of Sharia(sp) Law.
right and wrong exists because of the Law of Causalty and the nature of reality that must be obeyed...morality is in a sense based on the concept 'life' and immorality of the concept 'death'--what gives rise to the former is moral and to the latter immoral; that is how i have come to see things
Since when was death immoral? Death (unless it is bought about by nefarious means) is an essential part of life, no matter who sets the moral standards. Hence it sometimes being refered to as 'God's mercy'.
And another thing: The act which brings about life, is usually associated with immorality by most established religions.