Options

An Incomplete [History] of History Threads

1568101115

Posts

  • Options
    SolarSolar Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Can highly recommend Robert Gerwarth's The Vanquished If anyone is interested in learning about the political repercussions and ramifications in Eastern and Central Europe immediately post WWI. It very much pierces the myth that peace had come to Europe; quite the opposite was true as bloody civil conflicts, invasions, wars and so on continued for some time from Germany, the Baltics, the old Austro-Hungarian empire, the Russian Empire and the Balkans. The transition between centuries old European Land Empires and modern nation states with some element of democratic representation was probably a more groundbreaking change in the political structure of Europe than the fall of the Roman Empire.

    Solar on
  • Options
    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Remember folks, spay and neuter your gods

  • Options
    HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    And Jesus said "Make a golden idol of me and just spizz jewels and huge pearls and fuckin lapis lazuli n shit all over it like overdo it like WAY overdo it like lay that shit on there so hard you cant even tell what you're looking at, make it look borderline sarcastic, amen"

    Broke as fuck and the bills past due, all amounts assist and are kindly received.

    https://www.paypal.me/hobnailtaylor
  • Options
    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Not gonna lie when I see bejeweled crosses, especially the super expensive gemstone kind in jewelry stores, I feel a kind of revulsion even though I'm unsure of my status on religion.

  • Options
    JedocJedoc In the scuppers with the staggers and jagsRegistered User regular
    "Looks like some motherfuckers didn't hear me the first time"

    1kmnolfg5u3p.png

    GDdCWMm.jpg
  • Options
    DedwrekkaDedwrekka Metal Hell adjacentRegistered User regular
    ChicoBlue wrote: »
    I was listening to a course on ancient religions a while back and there were some interesting bits on Greek religion.

    What with population centers being more distinct and separated, it makes sense that there would be distinct thinking and traditions associated with the worship of the gods for different localities. But what if thinking was even MORE local? Like, for each house? What if each house had its own Zeus? What if it was even MORE local and each house had a couple of Zeuses?
    Each house had, in fact, at least two Zeuses: a Zeus Ktesios (“Zeus the Acquisitive” or “Zeus the Property Owner”), who protected the household’s property, stores, and treasure; and a Zeus Herkeios (“Zeus of the Fenced-In Area”), who was the Zeus of the entire area occupied by the house.

    Were these petty Zeuses the same Zeus described by Homer or Hesiod? Would the Zeus of the Iliad—the mighty tyrant of Olympus—have cared about some petty family’s yard? Some scholars argue that these Zeuses should not be conflated with Olympian Zeus. They argue that some petty household god has usurped the Olympian’s name.

    In ancient Greek religion, one turned to different and specific deities for varying purposes. Epithets served to distinguish one Zeus from another. Olympian Zeus would not be confused with Zeus Ktesios. And one individual’s Zeus Ktesios was not the same Zeus Ktesios that looked over the neighbor’s treasure. They dwelled in different houses. Yet they were both Zeus Ktesios.

    Where these regarded as many different facets of the same Zeus? Maybe.

    Also, there were family specific gods with family specific traditions and worship passed down paternally. A lot of gods hanging around.

    If you ever watch videos by Overly Sarcastic they touch on the epithets. Like Aphrodite Aria, or "Aphrodite the Warlike" who was worshipped in Sparta with full armor and a spear.

    Also a bit on how worship of each God evolved over time as populations moved or cross-polinated around the Mediterranean.

    One thing it's hard to get around is that there was no canon for Greek or Roman religions. Sometimes it was different aspects of different gods, but sometimes you go to the next citystate over and each God is very different. The stories changed from place to place, and even the attempts to collect them all ended up with many variations and retellings.

  • Options
    GundiGundi Serious Bismuth Registered User regular
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

  • Options
    DedwrekkaDedwrekka Metal Hell adjacentRegistered User regular
    Gundi wrote: »
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

    If it was just that incident I'd say it was up for question on whether it was supposed to be anti-money changers or just anti-establishment. But there's frankly a lot of evidence from the stories that he did not much care for rich people in general.

  • Options
    JedocJedoc In the scuppers with the staggers and jagsRegistered User regular
    Eat: this is the body of Jeff Bezos, which is broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
  • Options
    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Socialist Jesus would annihilate Supply Side Jesus. Supply Side Jesus would be armed with only his hatred of moral clarity and an artisanal robe that he will be buried in.

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Gundi wrote: »
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

    If it was just that incident I'd say it was up for question on whether it was supposed to be anti-money changers or just anti-establishment. But there's frankly a lot of evidence from the stories that he did not much care for rich people in general.

    In the stories that survive to us. Tertullian, Eusebieus, etc... cite long passages of well circulated texts pre-Nicea that have way different takes that date back to roughly concurrent with at least the gospel of John if not all the way back to Mark or Paul's epistles.

    Texts from the Ebionites, Marcionites and other heterodoxies throw some fun wrinkles at things, from the God of the Old Testament and God of Jesus being 2 different dieties, the Marcionites having no major issues with secular wealth (Marcion was the son of shipping magnate in Bithynia-Pontus in the early 2nd century and ran afoul of the Roman Christians for being too fulsom with his charity), etc al...

    And even taking just the post-Nicean Canon at face value, the religion as a whole wasn't assured of survival until it reached a critical mass with the rich and connected. Actually starting with the wives of prominent members of the patrician class (in the early church women were able to hold full liturgical office and it was a way for them to flex political muscle they weren't allowed to in the civic forum), and eventually winding up with Constantine and his mom Helena making it more or less unassailable save the 2 year pagan reign of Julian the Apostate.

    BlackDragon480 on
    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Gundi wrote: »
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

    If it was just that incident I'd say it was up for question on whether it was supposed to be anti-money changers or just anti-establishment. But there's frankly a lot of evidence from the stories that he did not much care for rich people in general.

    In the stories that survive to us. Tertullian, Eusebieus, etc... cite long passages of well circulated texts pre-Nicea that have way different takes that date back to roughly concurrent with at least the gospel of John if not all the way back to Mark or Paul's epistles.

    Texts from the Ebionites, Marcionites and other heterodoxies throw some fun wrinkles at things, from the God of the Old Testament and God of Jesus being 2 different dieties, the Marcionites having no major issues with secular wealth (Marcion was the son of shipping magnate in Bithynia-Pontus in the early 2nd century and ran afoul of the Roman Christians for being too fulsom with his charity), etc al...

    And even taking just the post-Nicean Canon at face value, the religion as a whole wasn't assured of survival until it reached a critical mass with the rich and connected. Actually starting with the wives of prominent members of the patrician class (in the early church women were able to hold full liturgical office and it was a way for them to flex political muscle they weren't allowed to in the civic forum), and eventually winding up with Constantine and his mom Helena making it more or less unassailable save the 2 year pagan reign of Julian the Apostate.

    helena is, no joke, one of the most important people with regards to the various christian denominations global dominance

    theres a pretty solid chance she's the reason constantine called for the first council of nicea

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    PiptheFair wrote: »
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Gundi wrote: »
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

    If it was just that incident I'd say it was up for question on whether it was supposed to be anti-money changers or just anti-establishment. But there's frankly a lot of evidence from the stories that he did not much care for rich people in general.

    In the stories that survive to us. Tertullian, Eusebieus, etc... cite long passages of well circulated texts pre-Nicea that have way different takes that date back to roughly concurrent with at least the gospel of John if not all the way back to Mark or Paul's epistles.

    Texts from the Ebionites, Marcionites and other heterodoxies throw some fun wrinkles at things, from the God of the Old Testament and God of Jesus being 2 different dieties, the Marcionites having no major issues with secular wealth (Marcion was the son of shipping magnate in Bithynia-Pontus in the early 2nd century and ran afoul of the Roman Christians for being too fulsom with his charity), etc al...

    And even taking just the post-Nicean Canon at face value, the religion as a whole wasn't assured of survival until it reached a critical mass with the rich and connected. Actually starting with the wives of prominent members of the patrician class (in the early church women were able to hold full liturgical office and it was a way for them to flex political muscle they weren't allowed to in the civic forum), and eventually winding up with Constantine and his mom Helena making it more or less unassailable save the 2 year pagan reign of Julian the Apostate.

    helena is, no joke, one of the most important people with regards to the various christian denominations global dominance

    theres a pretty solid chance she's the reason constantine called for the first council of nicea

    And a decent chance of being the impetus behind In Hoc Signo Vincis in the first place.

    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    KanaKana Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    Kana on
    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    That was one of the primary thrusts of Judaism in the time of Jesus, it wasn't completely monotheistic as we define it now, but rather henotheistic (i.e. more than one god exists, but only one should be worshiped) and a vestige still exists in the text of the first commandment in Exodus: "I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

    BlackDragon480 on
    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    JedocJedoc In the scuppers with the staggers and jagsRegistered User regular
    All I know is that whatever deity is in charge must have nothing but contempt for Joel Olsteen. Maybe a little pity, if they're especially forgiving. Either way, he's got an assful of hot coals or an eagle after his liver the minute he goes flatline, so he better keep up with the cardio, the greedy son of a bitch.

    GDdCWMm.jpg
  • Options
    HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    And thus my position of Khan of Khans who has swept all before him having trampled every priest and king from China to Khwarazmia must surely enjoy the mandate of a supreme being indeed it is logically inescapable that I am the Scourge of God

    Broke as fuck and the bills past due, all amounts assist and are kindly received.

    https://www.paypal.me/hobnailtaylor
  • Options
    KanaKana Registered User regular
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    And thus my position of Khan of Khans who has swept all before him having trampled every priest and king from China to Khwarazmia must surely enjoy the mandate of a supreme being indeed it is logically inescapable that I am the Scourge of God

    well I'm sure not gonna disagree with the scourge of god

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • Options
    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Jedoc wrote: »
    "Looks like some motherfuckers didn't hear me the first time"

    1kmnolfg5u3p.png

    Why is Keanu Reeves attacking a dove with a rope whip? Or has John Wick just gone in a really strange direction?

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    And thus my position of Khan of Khans who has swept all before him having trampled every priest and king from China to Khwarazmia must surely enjoy the mandate of a supreme being indeed it is logically inescapable that I am the Scourge of God

    well I'm sure not gonna disagree with the scourge of god

    I enjoy the fact the first guy given that epithet went out like a chump with a nose bleed.

    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    And thus my position of Khan of Khans who has swept all before him having trampled every priest and king from China to Khwarazmia must surely enjoy the mandate of a supreme being indeed it is logically inescapable that I am the Scourge of God

    well I'm sure not gonna disagree with the scourge of god

    I enjoy the fact the first guy given that epithet went out like a chump with a nose bleed.

    yeah but he was drunk as hell after banging his like 7th wife


    if you're gonna go

  • Options
    JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    One of the books that's now considered a classic of swedish literature includes a bunch of vikings coming back home after converting to Christianity and going 'listen I swore fealty to this Jesus guy and got rich as shit you should try it'.

    Steam | SW-0844-0908-6004 and my Switch code
  • Options
    MadicanMadican No face Registered User regular
    Kana wrote: »
    Hobnail wrote: »
    Kana wrote: »
    I really like this series of essays: https://acoup.blog/category/collections/practical-polytheism/
    The most important thing to understand about most polytheistic belief systems is that they are fundamentally practical. They are not about moral belief, but about practical knowledge. Let’s start with an analogy:

    Let’s say you are the leader of a small country, surrounded by a bunch – let’s say five – large neighbor countries, which never, ever change. Each of these big neighbors has their own culture and customs. Do you decide which one is morally best and side with that one? That might be nice for your new ally, but it will be bad for you – isolated and opposed by your other larger neighbors. Picking a side might work if you were a big country, but you’re not; getting in the middle is likely to get you crushed.

    No. You will need to maintain the friendship of all of the countries at once (the somewhat amusing term for this in actual foreign policy is ‘Finlandization‘ – the art of bowing to the east without mooning the west, in Kari Suomalainen’s words). And that means mastering their customs. When you go to County B, you will speak their language, you wear their customary dress, and if they expect visiting dignitaries to bow five times and then do a dance, well then you bow five times and do a dance. And if Country C expects you to give a speech instead, then you arrive with the speech, drafted and printed. You do these things because these countries are powerful and will destroy you if you do not humor whatever their strange customs happen to be.

    Ah, but how will you know what kind of speech to write or what dance to do? Well, your country will learn by experience. You’ll have folks in your state department who were around the last time you visited County B, who can tell you what worked, and what didn’t. And if something works reliably, you should recreate that approach, exactly and without changing anything at all. Sure, there might be another method that works – maybe you dance a jig, but the small country on the other side of them dances the salsa, but why take the risk, why rock the boat? Stick with the proven method.

    But whatever it is that these countries want, you need to do it. No matter how strange, how uncomfortable, how inconvenient, because they have the ability to absolutely ruin everything for you. So these displays of friendship or obedience – these rituals – must take place and they must be taken seriously and you must do them for all of these neighbors, without neglecting any (yes even that one you don’t like).

    This is how these religions work. Not based on moral belief, but on practical knowledge

    If the world is full of gods who possess great power, then it is necessary to be on their good side – quite regardless of it they are morally good, have appropriate life philosophies, or anything else. After all, such powerful beings can do you or your community great good or great harm, so it is necessary to be in their good graces or at the very least to not anger them.
    [...]
    So if these polytheistic religions are about knowledge, then what do you need to know? There are two big things: first you need to know what gods exist who pertain to you, and second you need to know what those gods want.

    [...] you may be saying – you keep ramming home the idea that you have to cultivate all of the gods – what is this ‘pertaining to you’ business? What I mean by this is that while the polytheist typically accepts the existence of vast numbers of gods (often vast beyond counting), typically only a subset of those gods might be immediately relevant. Some gods are tied to specific places, or specific families, or jobs, or problems – if you don’t live in that place, belong to that family, hold that job, etc., then you don’t need to develop a relationship with that god.

    Now, normally when you ask what the ancients knew of the gods and how they knew it, the immediate thought – quite intuitively – is to go read Greek and Roman philosophers discussing on the nature of man, the gods, the soul and so on. This is a mistake. Many of our religions work that way: they begin with a doctrine, a theory of how the divine works, and then construct ritual and practice with that doctrine as a foundation.

    This is exactly backwards for how the ancients, practicing their practical knowledge, learn about the gods. The myths, philosophical discussions and well-written treatises are not the foundation of the religion’s understanding of the gods, but rather the foaming crest at the top of the wave. In practice, the ruminations of those philosophers often had little to do the religion of the populace at large; famously Socrates’ own philosophical take on the gods rather upset quite a lot of Athenians.

    Instead of beginning with a theory of the divine and working forwards from that, the ancients begin with proven methods and work backwards from that. For most people, there’s no need to know why things work, only that they work. Essentially, this knowledge is generated by trial and error.

    Let’s give an example of how that kind of knowledge forms. Let’s say we are a farming community. It is very important that our crops grow, but the methods and variations in how well they grow are deep and mysterious and we do not fully understand them; clearly that growth is governed by some unseen forces we might seek the aid of. So we put together a ritual – perhaps an offering of a bit of last year’s harvest – to try to get that favor. And then the harvest is great – excellent, we have found a formula that works. So we do it next year, and the year after that.

    Sometimes the harvest is good (well performed ritual there) and sometimes it is bad (someone must have made an error), but our community survives. And that very survival becomes the proof of the effectiveness of our ritual. We know it works because we are still here. And I mean survival over generations; our great-great-grandchildren, for whom we are nameless ancestors and to whom our ritual has always been practiced in our village can take solace in the fact that so long as this ritual was performed, the community has never perished. They know it works because they themselves can see the evidence.

    We see a lot of this with like the spread of Christianity into Pagan Europe, too. The Pagans generally weren't convinced by the Christians that their gods weren't real... Just that the Christian god was better and stronger, and you should join the winning team. And it was an argument that was quite successful!

    And thus my position of Khan of Khans who has swept all before him having trampled every priest and king from China to Khwarazmia must surely enjoy the mandate of a supreme being indeed it is logically inescapable that I am the Scourge of God

    well I'm sure not gonna disagree with the scourge of god

    I enjoy the fact the first guy given that epithet went out like a chump with a nose bleed.

    I mean take a look at how Alexander the Somewhat Notable went out, probably killed by malaria, with potential for being poisoned but it's probably the malaria thing. 32 years old. Conquerors or not, they're just humans and sometimes those dice come up snake eyes.

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    JayKaos wrote: »
    One of the books that's now considered a classic of swedish literature includes a bunch of vikings coming back home after converting to Christianity and going 'listen I swore fealty to this Jesus guy and got rich as shit you should try it'.

    It's a fine tradition among those proselytizing to Germanic and Scandinavian audiences. There's a condensed version of the New Testament in Old Saxon called The Heliand that casts Jesus as a tribal chieftain and his disciples as Thanes/Housecarls complete with Peter flipping his shit and entering a berserker rage during the betrayal in the garden of Gethsemane. It was quite effective at getting the Saxons on board after Charlemagne kicked their asses for 20 years.

    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    DedwrekkaDedwrekka Metal Hell adjacentRegistered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    Gundi wrote: »
    You know, looking at the historical conditions at the time when Jesus supposedly disrupted the money exchangers I have been quite swayed by the idea that it might have been more of a political protest against rome's governor, Pontius Pilate, basically taking control of Judea's religious and judicial body, the Great Sanhedrin, by forcing to convene in the public space of the money exchangers court on the exterior of the temple as opposed to the much more private area of the temple interior.

    This allowed Pilate to both sit in and monitor meetings of the Great Sanhedrin, and effectively allowed him to dictate its decisions since, now they were in a public space that was not-barred to non Jews, he could always have Roman soldiers/officials present to monitor proceedings and punish/dispose of any members of the body that proposed any action or decision that was seen as inconvenient to Rome or just him personally. The move seems to have taken effect anywhere between a few months to several years before Jesus made his trek to Jerusalem, so it might have been the primary motivation for why he did exactly what he did, and where. He was thumbing his nose, with the idea that he would definitely be identified and at minimum be banished if not executed, at the Jewish body in an attempt to gall them or the people of Jerusalem into pushing back against the ever increasing subversion of traditional religious and legal authority by a foreign occupying power.

    If it was just that incident I'd say it was up for question on whether it was supposed to be anti-money changers or just anti-establishment. But there's frankly a lot of evidence from the stories that he did not much care for rich people in general.

    In the stories that survive to us. Tertullian, Eusebieus, etc... cite long passages of well circulated texts pre-Nicea that have way different takes that date back to roughly concurrent with at least the gospel of John if not all the way back to Mark or Paul's epistles.

    Texts from the Ebionites, Marcionites and other heterodoxies throw some fun wrinkles at things, from the God of the Old Testament and God of Jesus being 2 different dieties, the Marcionites having no major issues with secular wealth (Marcion was the son of shipping magnate in Bithynia-Pontus in the early 2nd century and ran afoul of the Roman Christians for being too fulsom with his charity), etc al...

    And even taking just the post-Nicean Canon at face value, the religion as a whole wasn't assured of survival until it reached a critical mass with the rich and connected. Actually starting with the wives of prominent members of the patrician class (in the early church women were able to hold full liturgical office and it was a way for them to flex political muscle they weren't allowed to in the civic forum), and eventually winding up with Constantine and his mom Helena making it more or less unassailable save the 2 year pagan reign of Julian the Apostate.

    I really don't see the patricians as important to the survival of the religion. It gives something of the wrong impression of things. We're talking about people who got onboard with a religion that was around 300 yrs old by that point. Saying that the patrician latecomers were the linchpin in making sure it survived is pretty ridiculous.

    I'd alike clarify something. Nicaea didn't decide the canon as we commonly use it. Frankly no one's really sure when exactly the canon settled because there were different lists of books included over time, and arguably the protestant reformation was ideologically about a disagreement with canon.

    No, Nicaea was specifically about settling lingering disputes from previous meetings and expelling the Arians. When they talk about the Nicaean "canon" they don't mean it in how it's more commonly used today. "Canon" isn't the codification of religious literature, but the word for religious laws. The 20 Nicaea Canon aren't 20 books, but 20 laws regarding the clergy. Specifically things like not allowing self-castration of clergy.

    The council itself wasn't the first of it's kind, just the first of it's kind after the legalization of Christianity. The first synod of Jewish Christians going back to (maybe) 15yrs after the crucifixion, around 50AD. They continued that entire time, forming synods whenever a particular religious question arose.

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Very true, the Catholic list wasn't set at the 27 we got and the appellation of the deuterocanonical Hebrew books till the 394 Synod of Rome and the earliest attribution of at the 4 "canonical" gospels is Ireneaus of Lyon in the mid-late 2nd century. But the 325 at Nicea is where the beginnings of the overall hierarchical structure of church offices and the first widely agreed upon summation of the tenants of faith were put forward and the first effective multi-regional crackdowns on heresies/heterodoxies began, since Constantine backed stuff up with force when it came to denouncing Arius, Marcion, et alia

    As for my focusing on the patrician conversions, the timeframes on that are from at least Trajan (see Letters to Pliny the Younger as proconsul of Bithynia) to Diocletian and were a focal point from the early 2nd century on. Though they were more of a continuation of earlier conversions among educated/philosophically astute denizens of the empire from early Aristotilian adherents on into the likes of students of Plotinus, through to Augustine himself.

    I'm not trying to demean or overlook the importance of conversions among the lower classes in keeping momentum going and building the initial base in the earlier years, with James overseeing the Jerusalem congregation (though if Flavius Josephus is right, that crashed and burned hard once the revolt of 66CE got going) and what Peter and Paul were able to do in their ministries, but it didn't get to where it ended up through nothing but tent revivals in BFE.

    BlackDragon480 on
    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    I really don't see the patricians as important to the survival of the religion. It gives something of the wrong impression of things. We're talking about people who got onboard with a religion that was around 300 yrs old by that point. Saying that the patrician latecomers were the linchpin in making sure it survived is pretty ridiculous.

    Indeed, the religion was probably better off before the rich and powerful took it over and bent it into yet another tool of power and oppression. Christianity was growing organically and naturally and wasn't doing massacres and pogroms, far more peaceful before it was in the hands of the warmongers.

  • Options
    BlackDragon480BlackDragon480 Bluster Kerfuffle Master of Windy ImportRegistered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Dedwrekka wrote: »
    I really don't see the patricians as important to the survival of the religion. It gives something of the wrong impression of things. We're talking about people who got onboard with a religion that was around 300 yrs old by that point. Saying that the patrician latecomers were the linchpin in making sure it survived is pretty ridiculous.

    Indeed, the religion was probably better off before the rich and powerful took it over and bent it into yet another tool of power and oppression. Christianity was growing organically and naturally and wasn't doing massacres and pogroms, far more peaceful before it was in the hands of the warmongers.

    Uh...Ireneaus of Lyon whom I just mentioned dedicates a decent part of his Against Heresies to Jewish-Christian relations and much like the writings of Justin Martyr on the same subject, it's not good.

    Now, neither one of them had access to legions or the capability to effect more than a single geographical region at a time, but both men and the people that followed them had dust ups with the congregations of synagogues and both of their writings have been used since the 2nd century to justify anti-Semitic violence.

    BlackDragon480 on
    No matter where you go...there you are.
    ~ Buckaroo Banzai
  • Options
    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    also, declaring arianism a heresy and addressing the meletian schism were extremely important in flexing power over the formation of official church canon

    it's also why various orthodoxies exist, they broke off after certain ecumenical councils because the canon that got established didn't sit right with them

  • Options
    RMS OceanicRMS Oceanic Registered User regular
    It's interesting how during/after the Crisis of the Third Century Rome got it into their head that the empire needed uniform piety to survive, and that mindset basically carried over when Constantine started converting the empire.

  • Options
    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    It's interesting how during/after the Crisis of the Third Century Rome got it into their head that the empire needed uniform piety to survive, and that mindset basically carried over when Constantine started converting the empire.

    "Y'all motherfuckers need Jesus" -Helena c. 325AD probably

  • Options
    BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    I know it was the Rome VTR book that caused me to look up roman history from the the era it takes place in
    But the setting of the Christians then hiding out in the hill side tomb complexes of Rome is something I do want to look up but there is not a lot to go on other than they did stories

  • Options
    HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    Broke as fuck and the bills past due, all amounts assist and are kindly received.

    https://www.paypal.me/hobnailtaylor
  • Options
    KanaKana Registered User regular
    Dude's just like wow I am so done with today

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • Options
    PiptheFairPiptheFair Frequently not in boats. Registered User regular
    "Not this shit again"

  • Options
    ChicoBlueChicoBlue Registered User regular
    prometheus clowned

  • Options
    JuggernutJuggernut Registered User regular
  • Options
    ShadowhopeShadowhope Baa. Registered User regular
    edited March 2022
    From The Globe newspaper, November 25, 1854, second page:

    1wyat6cidtcb.jpeg

    (Sorry for the low quality, that’s how it is in the scanned archive)

    The more things change. . .

    Shadowhope on
    Civics is not a consumer product that you can ignore because you don’t like the options presented.
  • Options
    HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    FOSMnjk-XMAYDO9-R.jpg
    FOSMkmd-WYAAZb0o.jpg
    A 16th century German 'oath skull' (a human skull on which defendants swore their oath in Vehmic courts) - engraved with the 'magical' Roman 'Sator square', mysterious palindromic word-squares found across the Roman world, comprising the words SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, ROTAS.

    Nice skull

    Broke as fuck and the bills past due, all amounts assist and are kindly received.

    https://www.paypal.me/hobnailtaylor
  • Options
    JayKaosJayKaos Registered User regular
    Dude was terrible at wordle, reused the same letters like three times.

    Steam | SW-0844-0908-6004 and my Switch code
Sign In or Register to comment.