• Vera Mont
    313
    Alexa, read me a story.
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    I keep asking her, and she reads, beautiful, interesting, insightful, complex stories, with wonderfully loveable characters, but she reads silently, just to herself. No fun.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I keep asking her, and she reads, beautiful, interesting, insightful, complex stories, with wonderfully loveable characters, but she reads silently, just to herself. No fun.god must be atheist

    Divorce her!
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k


    That's the worst part! She's married to my best friend, not to me. And she's better in bed than my thesaurus or my Oxford Dictionary.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Oh, dear, you do seem to lead a star-crossed life! I'm afraid the only way to cope is write it all down, thinly disguised as fiction. Do, please, change the names! (You can keep the initials. Dibs on Vanessa Millfeather.)
    PS Trust me, Webster is even worse - can't spell worth Boston baked beans.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Benj96Hats off to you for yer brief but well-considered post mon ami!Agent Smith

    Thank you Agent Smith.

    I found out that the creator of the world in native cultures was not the forbidding giant of a monstrous knower, judge and goodness.god must be atheist

    That's fascinating. I had never heard about these stories either as said.

    I can only imagine how many kernels of wisdom are out there in the far reaches. Some perhaps still alive but many surely lost to time as well.

    There's a certain De ja vu to reading of the various cultural, religious and philosophical views - both archaic and modern. A familiarity beneath them all, despite their individual idiosyncrasies
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Thank you Agent Smith.Benj96

    You're welcome. We still have a long way to go!
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    You're welcome. We still have a long way to go!Agent Smith

    We do indeed. The journey is a process, but a good one, who doesn't love a challenge.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Nice point of view! :up:
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I can only imagine how many kernels of wisdom are out there in the far reaches. Some perhaps still alive but many surely lost to time as well.Benj96

    Fortunately, many endangered and even lost cultures have their advocates in academia. Campbell may have had his detractors, but he did an excellent job of collecting myths and making them available to modern readers. So have several other, more recent scholars.
    There's a certain De ja vu to reading of the various cultural, religious and philosophical views - both archaic and modern. A familiarity beneath them all, despite their individual idiosyncrasiesBenj96
    I was particularly struck by the similarities between Native North American and African creation myths. Like the god of Genesis, they are all relatably small gods, making worlds with a place just for their own little group of humans... and the humans manage to screw it up by doing the one thing the god warned them against. None of the other gods I know of sentenced anyone to death or banished them or hurt them; the humans just lost some connection with the natural world, or a magical power.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Like the god of Genesis, they are all relatably small gods, making worlds with a place just for their own little group of humans... and the humans manage to screw it up by doing the one thing the god warned them againstVera Mont

    The forbidden fruit strikes again. "Curiosity killed the cat" it seems, in these instances. Guys I told you not to that one thing and that's exactly what you did! Perhaps to think oneself as closest to God, or a god in themselves, and disregard everyone else's choices and perspective as merely inferior.

    None of the other gods I know of sentenced anyone to death or banished them or hurt them; the humans just lost some connection with the natural world, or a magicalVera Mont

    Seems more forgiving than the other interpretations, it's more of a case of here I am feel free to interpret me as you wish, and thus it slowly devolved into fierce abject denial of eachothers views and all hell breaks loose as they lose that connection/understanding of their passive and permanent god head, unchanging as it were, only approachable unanimously with patience and empathy for one anothers opinions, through respectable discourse.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Seems more forgiving than the other interpretations,Benj96

    I don't think it's about rightness and wrongness in most primitive creation stories. It's more about loss - something we had: a connection with nature, that we traded away for something we wanted: civilization. Once man builds a fire (this is an African story), the other animals are frightened away and hide from him. In another one, man invents language and thereby loses the ability to communicate with other animals. Simple creation stories are just about origins. Here's the Ojibway one: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/pukaskwa/culture/autochtone-indigenous/recit-story - eerily familiar, even though there isn't much chance the Anishinaabe ever met any Mesopotamians - not about sin, which hadn't been invented and wouldn't get here until the missionaries brought it.
    Many stories are about destruction, repair and reconciliation. Here's another one that gets around and around the world: http://www.uwosh.edu/coehs/cmagproject/ethnomath/legend/legend9.htm
    Of course, these were oral traditions; stories were embellished, adjusted and adapted by each new teller. The North American and African ones were told as instructive tales, not written down and codified for the purposes of an organized religion. I always assumed that the Mesopotamian ones were also much more human before the priestly caste got ahold of them, but that happened something like 4000 years ago, and a lot of rigid, mean-spirited dogma has been layered on top ever since.
    (I may have messed up the links)
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    but that happened something like 4000 years ago, and a lot of rigid, mean-spirited dogma has been layered on top ever since.Vera Mont

    A shame really :(
    oral traditions; stories were embellished, adjusted and adapted by each new teller.Vera Mont

    I do think that the knowledge/teachings of a parent to their children are still very much oral traditions. They don't spell it out for their offspring, they verbalise it. Schools on the other hand deal in the written word.
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    Thanks to Campbell, here's one of the many versions of the North American Native deluge story:

    The Earth has seen an endless rainfall. The water level rose above the land surface. Manido was hanging on to a tree branch, when he saw a beaver swimming in the water. Several days later the rain stopped, and Manido asked the beaver to go the bottom of the waters and bring him some sand. The beaver ducked, and was gone for an hour, and came up out of breath, saying he could not reach the bottom. Manido asked him to duck again. This time the beaver ducked for three hours and came up really near death by drowning, saying he saw no bottom. Manido asked him to go down once again, this time even deeper. The beaver went down, and was gone for one hour, three hours, ten hours, and never came back.

    Next day the carcass of the beaver floated up. Manido paddled with his hands as he was haning on to the tree branch, over to the floating, bloated beaver. He pried the beaver's mouth open, and found three grains of sand. He threw the three grains in three directions, and they formed a smallish mound of land on the sea. He took a handful of sand, off this island, and cast it far. The island gained in size, and hew Manido walked around it. He took four handfuls of sand, and he threw it in four different directions. He started to walk around it, but nightfall came. Next morning he asked an elk, or reindeer, to run around the edge of the water, until the elk came back to him from the other direction on the shore.

    The Manido waited a month, a year, a hundred years, but the elk still hadn't returned; the land the Manido made in the water was so big.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Somebody makes a great effort, a great sacrifice, and nobody gets cursed. I like that part - not that poor Beaver died... but in some stories, the one dies trying is translated to heaven as a star or something.
    Every human population that ever settled next to a river - where else? the river is transportation, hygiene, cooking water and a source of food - has a big flood in it's memorable past, after which they had to start over from scratch.
  • Agent Smith
    8.2k
    Did I mention fruitarianism? What's up with wood anyway?
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    I read a lot of Hungarian fairy tales, in my childhood, and one Gypsy fairy tale in my readings in my late teens. Hungarian fairy tales have a hero, male or female, and a villain, and sundry. Outcome of the story line is obvious.

    Gypsy fairy tales are random as far as lessons go in moral examples. No heroes, but agents. No reward and punishment go necessarily to the deserving character. It is more life than what humans wish life were like. Magical characters abound, and are vicious, selfish, helpful and protective in their actions, randomly distributed. Moral mayhem, but better preparation for life.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I read a lot of Hungarian fairy tales, in my childhood,god must be atheist

    So did I, only to find out much later that they were not really Hungarian, most of them. They were Grimm and Anderson and translated from German - sort of pan-European fairy tales. The illustrator dressed Hansel and Gretel in a different national costume, but the witch a leftover from medieval Christian boogie-lore. They all bear the imprint of Imperial civilization: monarchy, the importance of power, wealth and glitz, with an overlay of the bootstap mythos.
    Non-urban, non-rigidly structured societies tend to be far more realistic in their depiction of human nature and the supernatural. Their duplicitous, unreliable spirits are more in line with our real experience than Big Omni, the Virgin Mary and Saint Nicholas.

    Still off-topic, innit? Unless I mention the roast pigeon and boar's head coming at the hero in the wish-fulfillment stories. Never a nice big portobello burger or plate of baklava....
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    There are a lot of tales in Hungarian fairy tales that have roots in German- and even Greek fables, based on Aesop, The Grimm brothers, and the likes of them, like you said, Vera Mont. But there are elements of style that are typically Hungarian. Aside from that, there is quite a bit of very modern mythology surrounding the character of just king Mathias.

    While, like you said, the organization pushed the generation of fairy tales that induced the basic moral acceptance of monarchy plus the lure of jumping rigid demarkation lines of levels of command and of benefits in feudal differences, the morals did serve the survival of the status quo. And while the status quo provided a horribly skewed distribution of goods and benefits, all members of society fared better IN the society than OUTSIDE of it. So the lessons, that promoted accepting common societal ethics, were less palatable to us now than Gypsy tales, but they promoted better a type of social survival systems.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    Aside from that, there is quite a bit of very modern mythology surrounding the character of just king Mathias.god must be atheist

    Still about a king, though. Even the sainted Stephen was a monarch first and foremost. The whole post-Roman Christian pyramid social structure with lots of peasants at the bottom, gazing worshipfully at the one who 'a'n't got no shit on 'im.

    the morals did serve the survival of the status quo.god must be atheist

    That's the main point of it. Know your place and maybe, if you're very good, brave and lucky, someone will lift you up.

    And while the status quo provided a horribly skewed distribution of goods and benefits, all members of society fared better IN the society than OUTSIDE of it.god must be atheist

    And that's the secondary point. To promote the idea that there can only be inside or outside of the status quo - no alteration or adjustment to it, no option #3. (Gee, doesn't that sound a lot like the myth-structure of capitalism? "Oh, sure it's unfair, but the other thing is so much worse.")

    So the lessons, that promoted accepting common societal ethics, were less palatable to us now than Gypsy tales, but they promoted better a type of social survival systems.god must be atheist

    Better for the aristocracy, obviously. But the subversive, the rebellious, the seditious, the anarchistic other is never far from the popular imagination. In songs, in poems, in folk-sayings, in daydream, a child of the Austro-Hungarian empire (also Great Britain and Russia; I don't know about the Dutch and Portuguese) wanted to run away with the gypsies, the same way an American child of the same period dreamed of running away with the circus. By the 20th century, the industrial age had ground all of that freedom-hungry youth into a homogeneous labour-pool.
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    King Mathias was a maverick king. In the eyes of the folklore. I am sure he enjoyed breaking into the wheels (a Hungarian Special in the long line of middle-ages torture devices) any person, just as much as the next king. The proposition was that the folklore was non-Hungarian tales imported from Germany. Yes. But there were home-spun tales.

    Regarding the IN or OUT of the social structure. NO, there were no alternatives. Line up and stay put, or else perish. I wished you would have served up an example of a realistic alternative to the status quo, which you very conveniently did not. Not fair.

    The rebels had no ideas but to become the ruling class. Fairy tales supported that. There was no OUTSIDE other than perish. The rebels' idea (Robin Hood, Rozsa Sandor, Spartacus) was not to create a different system, but to take revenge by becoming top and putting the current bosses on the bottom.

    This is why all peasant revolutions in the middle ages failed. They had the power, they had the numbers, but they had not the idea.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    The proposition was that the folklore was non-Hungarian tales imported from Germany.god must be atheist

    There was no "proposition".
    So did I [read Hungarian fairy tales] only to find out much later that they were not really Hungarian, most of them. They were Grimm and Anderson and translated from German - sort of pan-European fairy tales.Vera Mont
    You found an exception to translations, and that's lovely; I'm sure there is a similar one in Wales and Ireland and Euskal Herria - in fact, in every small country that's been annexed by a big one. Its morals, if any, are in the Arthur/Clovis/Eric the Victorious etc genre : semi-legendary patriarchal figures around which the group identity solidifies. They don't need to be derived. They arise spontaneously all around the world; these heroic long-ago leaders become the repository national pride and hope. They carry a very particular kind of message. Human make stories for all kinds of reasons.

    I wished you would have served up an example of a realistic alternative to the status quo, which you very conveniently did not.god must be atheist
    I don't recall assuming an obligation to serve you up anything.
    The very problematic word there is "realistic". I don't know exactly what you mean by that, and there is obviously no opting out of a totalitarian system, so all rebellion that doesn't aim at and succeed in overthrowing the ruling elite is unrealistic - which fact I may already have mentioned as a reason to eschew self-immolation for the cause.
    However, here you go: https://www.ic.org/
    intentional communities offer more sustainable and just ways of living together
    In the Middle ages - source of material for the majority, but not 100% of pan_European moral tales - any community that declared an alternative belief was promptly eradicated as heretical.
    https://www.worldhistory.org/article/1414/six-great-heresies-of-the-middle-ages/
    The Hutterites and Romani fared no better under the foot of monarchies (The model for Monty Python's is presumably the emperor in new clothes) . So, not a whole lot of surviving examples to serve up. Much the same happened to the alternative lifestyles of American, African and Oceanic cultures in the era of Christo-European conquest. Some folklore remains, and some nations are trying to rebuild their own way of life, where they are allowed to.

    This is why all peasant revolutions in the middle ages failed. They had the power, they had the numbers, but they had not the idea.god must be atheist

    Or any weapons, supplies, fortifications, armour, horses, trained leaders or soldiers. I don't think an idea would have got them past the moat.
  • god must be atheist
    4.8k
    What's eating you? You suck the life force out of the debate. I can't do this. Sorry. I don't have the inclination or the energy to argue against unimaginative and downright wrong propositions ad infinitum.

    Go play with Bartricks. He's always game.
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I'll go away then.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    I don't have the inclination or the energy to argue against unimaginative and downright wrong propositions ad infinitum.god must be atheist

    Hey. Is this a nice/kind or formal way to address another contributor? Disagree yes. Defame/shame someone on that basis, No. I think that's quite intimidating towards . She is entitled to her opinion.

    If you believe she is "downright/absolutely wrong" are you suggesting you're totally/infinitely correct?
    Tell us then "god", what ought we do? Because apparently you're fully aware/omniscient.

    I think I smell arrogance.
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    457


    It doesn't feel right to me to cause animals to suffer and die just because we like the way they taste etc.

    I think we should be nice to animals.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    It doesn't feel right to me to cause animals to suffer and die just because we like the way they taste etc.

    I think we should be nice to animals.
    Down The Rabbit Hole

    I do too. Nicer than we are currently at least. I think we should have a more balanced approach to our predatory nature and our ability to sympathise with other species simultaneously.

    Just as other life feeds on us - parasites, bacteria, viruses (questionably alive I know), fungi when we are living, just most of them do when we are dead/decaying.

    It seems inevitable that we must also do the same: we must eat something, predate something (use them as an opportunity for our own survival). We must be proud and humbled by this equally.

    Its the cycle of nature we are apart of. We can try to go fully vegan - and give up organic fertiliser (bone meal), medical transplants (porcine heart valves etc), animal testing for pharmaceutical drugs to help sick people, leather in place of plastic/fossil fuels for textiles, and meat, cheese and dairy and baby formulas based on cows milk (even when our requirnents for protein may exceed what we can fill up on plant material (during puberty, when we are sick, have muscle diseases, intolerances/allergies to soy/peanut/whey protein etc), and let all domesticated (helpless animals like chickens etc) die because we don't breed them and let them roam free in the wild again.

    Or perhaps we can continue to predate animals for our own benefit, to maintain other checks and balances in nature, but harmoniously, not eating meat and dairy for the sake of it, and diversifying our diet as much as possible so as to not harm any population of life too severely.

    In essence, a truly omnivorous diet as we evolved to do.
    Fruit and veggies in correct proportion with meat, fish, nuts eggs etc, catered as appropriately as possible to individual needs.

    I think the vegan extreme and carnivore extreme both throw the balance/symbiosis off and lead to their own unique problems. Carnivore-ism because it completely objectifies/commodifies our animal brethren (making us bottomless pits of greed and posession, parasites - a source of guilt, shame and constant angst as we oppose our own ethical nature. ) and veganism because it denies our recognition of who we really are, part destroyer (predator), not just creator (gardener/house keeper of the earth and her systems of balance).

    Harmony, equilibrium, as nature would have it, is likely the most prudent course forward.

    That's my personal take. Everyone has their own opinions on the matter. :)
  • Vera Mont
    313
    I think that's quite intimidating towards ↪Vera Mont
    . She is entitled to her opinion.
    Benj96

    Thank you for that. I didn't intend to be a vampire; it must have happened in my sleep.
  • Benj96
    1.3k
    Thank you for that. I didn't intend to be a vampire; it must have happened in my sleep.Vera Mont

    I don't follow Vera sorry. Can you elaborate for me it's a little ambiguous. I might be being a bit thick.

    Edit: Nevermind I re-read and I get it now haha. :p clever clever
  • Down The Rabbit Hole
    457


    It depends what definition of veganism you are using; philosophical of dietary. The Vegan Society says: "Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment".

    Bearing in mind "as far as is possible and practicable", you can be a vegan that purchases and consumes animal products. However, unless you are in a situation such as living in a remote part of the world where you cannot grow crops, or you need medication derived from animals, etc, your purchase of animal products is causing suffering and death unnecessarily.

    You suggest people should have a diet with meat, fish, etc, but this would mean to keep paying for animals to suffer and die when it is not necessary? “It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases", “These diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, adolescence, older adulthood, and for athletes".
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