God Divided the Nations and Language

In the biblical account of the Tower of Babel, the people were building a tower to get to heaven so god divided the language and scattered the people. An interesting note in scripture “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” Genesis‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬—italics added

Although I do not believe in god, this is a sound principle that plagues humanity. United they were actually a threat to god (those in power?). Mere men working together could not be contained from “accomplishing anything they set out to do”.

Learning a second language, traveling a bit of the world, seeing that people are people and division comes through the churches and politics core beliefs is a starting point and a reason to fight—to unite, for together everything is possible. Divided we’re going to get the same results we’ve always gotten. Thank you Swarn and Consoled Reader for the reasonable approach to finding common ground.

Swarn Gill says:

09/11/2018 at 2:54 AM Edit

When I was young, I asked my mom, who was (and is) a devout Christian whether or not all the people in other countries who didn’t practice Christianity would go to hell. She said yes if they had heard the story of Jesus and not chosen to believe in it. It was such an odd answer to me, because I was thinking so, it’s better to not hear the story. When I reflected later in life on this answer, it frustrated me even more than the expectation of Christians is that there story is somehow far more believable and compelling than any other.
When I was in my early 20s I asked my cousin, who is of Indian origin and a Sikh (although by no means really religious) whether he believed in God and whether or not he was concerned about one story being right over any other. He said no. He saw all religions as different paths to the same end, which was God. At that time I was still toying around with the idea of their being God, but oddly this statement made me less convinced about it all. It made me think that even if there was a God, all the details of each story were likely not literally true. More importantly the rules and expected behavior for each religion were also much more meaningless. You could distill each religion down to essential parts. It didn’t matter what rituals you practiced, just that rituals might be important to our lives. It didn’t matter exactly what you had faith in, but that faith was important. It didn’t matter which God you were humble before, but that it was important to have humility. I still believe that religion has distilled important values, but the fact that people keep pushing the narrative after all this time is what gets me.
My point in all this is that we can gain a lot through the reading of stories, even as we acknowledge they are only just that. I’ve known people equally inspired by Lord of the Rings as they have been by the Bible. The difference being is that those people who read Lord of the Rings read the whole book.  It’s hard for me to fathom that through truly learning the stories that each religion tells you wouldn’t arrive at the obvious conclusion that they are all stories, and that even if there is a God, nobody’s story is more valid than the next.

consoledreader says:

09/10/2018 at 10:19 AM Edit

To jump off your comments, I also think it’s worth pointing out that the ideas aren’t always in competition. It depends on the particular religion or religious tradition. I once told Branyan (I think over at Ark’s place) that despite being a theist (a deist?) I don’t see my ideas or values or worldview as being significantly different from my wife who is an atheist. We want the same things out of life. We value many of the same things. We also enjoy many of the same things.
Similarly, I’ve read many comments from atheists claiming they don’t respect the views or beliefs of religion or the Abrahamic religions, but I’m fairly confident if I provided a list of my beliefs/views/values (which I consider to be my cultural/religious values) almosy every single atheist would say they agree with most, if not all, of those values or beliefs.
I think it’s always important for people to keep in mind whether they’re really talking about different things or valuing the same thing in different ways.

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Author: jim-

One minute info blogs breaking the faith trap.

91 thoughts on “God Divided the Nations and Language”

  1. After reading Jonathan’s excellent contribution I re-read LOY’s comments and for a moment I just sat here and seethed at the incredible arrogance and blatant ignorance of this person.

    When taken in context ( and if we throw into the mix the unadulterated shit that Mel churns out) and accept that on some level this truly is representative of Christian Values and the Christian Worldview one is left with the overwhelming conviction that the sooner humans are done with this crap – all religion, in fact – the better for everyone on the planet.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agreed Ark. That was truth. However, like the rest of apologetics I don’t believe Loy is ignorant of these things, that the deception and line twisting is intentional. If he were to agree with anything that is said here it would be this. No excuses. “You win Jonathan. I was wrong in my approach. My belief system is a fraud of half truth and misery on humankind”. That answer would defy what he WANTS to believe. But, it will be a non-reply or another set of excuses. The unregulated Christian outcome is death and misery. I think it time for a change.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Of all the atheist delusions, among the most ludicrous has to be the notion that primitive humankind, in its benighted, blissfully ignorant atheistic state, was comprised of saintly peace-loving flower children.

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        1. So you say Jonathon is full of shit? I actually read 1491 as a believer, and it was still true then as it is now. Your head is on backwards Loy. Christianity is not the stabilizing savior you want it to be. If left unchecked it has dealt misery everywhere it has placed its roots.

          Liked by 3 people

  2. One of Stephen Covey’s 7 habits is “seek first to understand.” So many are completely deaf to where others are coming from, because they are so intent on pushing their own story, be it religious, political, racist or whatever.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No es perfecto pero suficientemente bueno. Interesting learning Spanish was eye opening to the different literalisms of similar words. It adds a whole new perspective to the way we view things.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. My port has a massive ship in it that got beached, and I don’t have enough cash to pay someone to come and set it free. So, anyway, the bottom line is, I can’t use my port now cause there’s a big-ass ship stuck in it. Sucks.

          Liked by 6 people

  3. I like rain. I may enjoy your rain dance and might even get down with the music. If it rains, I could try to see a connection between your dancing, the music, and the rain. In a drought, I may ask you to dance.
    None of that means that I have “a feeling of deep admiration” (def. of respect) for your religion. None of that means I think that your god made it rain because you danced.
    What a wonderful world it would be, if we all simply liked rain more.
    And didn’t god get pissed about the tower (metaphor or not) and cause all the dang confusion? Or did we do that on our own?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Who knows. But those in power typically use any advantage they can. Linguistics is far more complicated than a story in the Bible and it never happened that way, but good politicians and religions have a nice way of problemizing then solutionizing for control sake.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Consoled Reader’s response to Swarn sound very reasonable doesn’t it?
    And as long as he keeps his religious beliefs to himself, that’s all fine and dandy.
    I seem to recall that he is Jewish.
    I’d be very interested to hear his view on infant circumcision for religious reasons.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. He has a Jewish heritage if I remember right, but is a deist in his beliefs. I do understand the difficulty we have, like this past week Loy and others refusing to take responsibility for the history of failures, which acknowledgement is the beginning to the corrective process to get this right. CR has been reasonable in his approach throughout and I appreciate that. My problem with Christianity as of late is the denial which is frustrating when that would be the beginnings of a long term fix.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There are many forms of admitting supposed religious wrongs and then these are justified – context etc .
        One only has to read for five minutes at Mel’s place and you end up gagging.
        NT Wright is also a very reasonable and personable chap, but their core values are rooted in in the foundational tenets of their faith.

        As an example: The idea of having infant circumcision for religious/cultural reasons declared child abuse and banned was raised at the Hague a few years back and the motion didn’t get past first base, if memory serves, and it was the Germans (among a few others) who vetoed!

        But there are arms raised in abject horror at the thought of female circumcision, oh yes indeedy! This is cruel and barbaric, but male circumcision for ”cultural” reasons is okay.

        Ask any uncircumcised adult male if he would willingly subject himself to circumcision.

        The hypocrisy is revealed in many ways, and this is why I treat people like CS with a healthy dose of circumspection.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. The H in jesus H Christ is for hypocrisy. No doubt. I have a lot of fight left in me, but today I thought I’d take a break and see if the likes of Loy and Mel are willing to agree with anything at all. The go rounds and deflections are getting nauseating.

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          1. if the likes of Loy and Mel are willing to agree with anything at all.

            Once they make such an open-ended concession they are leaving themselves wide open. What remains after that if they are then not going to flagrantly lie? Well, deconversion, naturally.

            Liked by 4 people

  5. Thank you for making my thoughts part of this piece.

    As a social species we’ve also developed tribalism. Because together we can accomplish anything. This is an evolutionary leftover from a time when we were in scattered groups and the tribes that we grew up with were pretty much the only people we knew. Of course we would simply care about them more. Like many facets of our evolution we have to move past this tribalism. We know now that we are all human and that the genetic differences between myself and someone from Africa are about as many as I might have with someone of my own race. We have to see ourselves as one big tribe. It’s a tall order to fill but I see that as the only way to really hijack our evolutionarily wired brains into creating a better world. And the fact that we can feel, what Socrates referred to as agape, a love of mankind, and that we can feel compassion for people we don’t know shows me we have the ability to extend our care beyond the boundaries of the tribe that surrounds us. I believe we’ve been making strides in this direction, and is a large part of the reason that, as Steven Pinker points out in his last two books, things have gotten better on average and that we have made moral progress.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Swarn. Reasonable input may lead to reasonable outcomes. We do have a disparity between unity and tribalism to overcome. However well intended our thoughts may be, it is extending a hand of love, actual efforts that will make the needed change. With the amount of propaganda floating around it is hard to see that we are actually improving. Turning off the “news” and meeting people face to face, we find we’re not that different and things aren’t as bad as we’re told they are.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Sorry to butt in. I have a different take on the “love” part of the human problem with humans. It’s to much to expect that anyone should love the to preverbal other as yourself. A more reasonable expectation is for people to care for the well being of others. It’s on display each time you see the small acts of intended kindness people act on when assisting someone to cross the street or give up a seat for another. Just give a damn and make a small gestures of accommodation to our shared humanity. Love they neighbors as yourself is just too creepy. You shouldn’t need to like even them to be able to relate to their immediate stress.

        Aim a little lower where life is actually played out and better outcomes may follow. Or not.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Agreed. Even if we assume no spin on the news, a laundry list of horrible incidents around a 7.5 billion person world everyday will make all of us batty. Unplugging from the constant stream of information for awhile and sitting down with our fellow human to break bread is both healthy for us and a necessary part of building empathy.

        Liked by 2 people

            1. And not a second later. Then There’s living dead, uh, I mean religious people. Live on in singing choir music for a quadrillion years of glory

              Liked by 2 people

      1. I disagree that this is the only reason. In fact I would argue that teaming up automatically cedes power to someone else. Cooperation makes you capable of more than you could in smaller groups or as an individual. In fact studies demonstrate that people with more empathy tend to rise to power… Only once you get there power erodes empathy

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Sure, but what I meant is tribes will always be formed, independent of race.
          The rise to power correlation to empathy is slightly harder for me to believe or understand. Most of the people I’ve seen on a path to substantial success have a certain brutality to them.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I’ll go back and see if I can find the article, but it’s not that hard to understand that genuinely caring about people can make you more popular with people, but as soon as you get to a position of power that ability starts to disappear. https://hbr.org/2015/04/becoming-powerful-makes-you-less-empathetic

            And while it may be true that we will always form tribes it’s clear that we are capable of showing empathy to people that are not part of our tribe and so we can find more peaceable ways to get along with each other. I think it’s possible to recognize differences, without sacrificing the belief that we all share a common humanity and are deserving of certain rights.

            Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Sound Eagle. Would you happen to have links to such criticisms. I’d be interesting to see if Steven Pinker responded to those criticisms as he often does, since I personally have found him to be a careful researcher and usually does take the time to respond to serious criticisms of his work. Thank you.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Hi Swarn,

          As much as I have admired and respected Pinker and his considerable contributions, I am afraid that many, if not all, of his oversights and biases are indefensible, and worse still, can be misleading and/or untenable. Pinker could have written in a far more balanced approach. Instead, he sanguinely defends the Enlightenment project to the detriment of being adequately impartial, unbiased, longitudinal, consilient and multidisciplinary. Compared to his earlier books, the recent ones, including Enlightenment Now, have fallen (far) short, especially to experts and readers who are more punctilious, holistic, multidisciplinary and consilient than he has ever been.

          It would be far more prudent to cast your net further and wider to look for not just specific links to criticisms of his works and claims, but also other miscellaneous sources dealing with contrary claims and data, as well as many analyses and projections showing that all is not (nearly or remotely) as well as Pinker claims, plus a plethora of information, statistics and analyses that are absent from his books.

          Pinker’s privileged upbringing aside, has fame and fortune got the better of the esteemed writer and researcher recently? I gave a strong clue in my very long and detailed post entitled “The Quotation Fallacy”, especially in the section of the post entitled “Authority Bias and Author Bias: Expert Influence, Creator Persuasion” at http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/#Authority_Author_Bias

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Do you have recommendations then of books to read that negate his empirical findings? Again I’m not disbelieving your critique, but I think it’s fair that if you are going to make the claim that some evidence be presented or cited to demonstrate that he’s actually incorrect in his assertions. I by no means think that he is as comprehensive as he could be… But more often than not I find that people often commit strawman fallacies and oppose arguments that the author isn’t necessarily making. This is the reaction I’ve seen to Jared a Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Hi Swarn,

              Thank you for your reply. I am quite aware of the strawman fallacy, which I have mentioned in http://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2017/10/18/the-quotation-fallacy/#Definition_Ramifications

              Pinker seems to have beaten off far more than he can comfortably chew. Indeed, he should have given himself far more time to write his recent books, and/or employed or deployed some decent research team(s), research assistant(s) and/or think tank(s).

              You are free to agree or disagree with me on any points for any reason, and yet I still shall not pre-empt your own findings or lead you down any particular direction(s) through mentioning specific problems and issues in Pinker’s books and also specific objections from his critics, which, as I have mentioned, should not be your only or predominant guides or starting points in taking a far more critical and multidisciplinary look on Pinker’s books.

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            2. I never suggested you weren’t familiar with the strawman fallacy. Fallacies are often committed by those aware of what they are. Part of the reason why it’s a common fallacy has more to do without how easy it is to make rather than lacking a definition of what it is. My point in mentioning it, is that I have seen many well educated people presenting critiques to assertions not made based on their own personal interests or expertise.

              Pinker’s aren’t the only ones that I’ve read by the way, it’s not like I don’t read a wide variety of literature.

              I figured since your certitude and language used in your critique of Pinker would be followed by some defense of that assertions, or a point in the direction of sources that would refute the types of claims he makes. The fact that you have avoided my request twice now makes me less certain of your claims than I was before. As a person who expertise in climate change, I am always ready to provide references to information that refutes claims people make about climate when I feel they are erroneous. Again, given the weight of your criticism it seemed like there would at least be a few obvious sources that one could read to cast doubt on his claims in either of his last two books. I personally find his research to be rather immense compared to most authors, and certainly would not deign to accuse him of shoddy research, bias, or letting fame get the better of him, without being able to back that up to the person I was making such a claim to. Such is your choice to do so, but in my experience this makes you appear at least as intellectually dishonest in how you make such assertions as you claim Pinker to be.

              In having perused your blog in the past, I have no doubt that you are intelligent, and perhaps it’s just a difference in style, but I simply would not make the assertions you have had without defending such things about books that a clearly intelligent person who has spent years researching his topic and providing large volumes of empirical data. Now do I think Pinker’s books are the whole story? Absolutely not. It’s a huge project he’s taking on and the scale he tackles is large, I wouldn’t expect him or anybody to get it perfectly.

              Liked by 4 people

            3. Nowadays, I have neither the time nor the inclination to engage with and inform people of what they have not been able to fathom or find answers for themselves, not to mention often having to deal with their behavioural problems and attitudes when I chose to engage in such matters in the past. Having said that, I would sooner risk being summarily deemed as “intellectually dishonest” or anything worse than remaining completely silent and not giving them just a little nudge when someone has not bothered to do their own due diligence to reach far better discernments of what they have read, even in “magnum opuses” such as those by Pinker, never mind that there are and have been far more imposing and bigger research undertakings. It would make little or no difference to my readings of the books whether or not such books have been penned by a well-known giant like Pinker or a relatively or completely unknown person. Furthermore, that you are so ready or eager to judge or come to some conclusions about my intentions or reasons for not leading you down in any directions is somewhat revealing. Indeed, you seem to be willing to conflate someone’s reticence to ease you into what you have yet to show veritable interests or motivations in unearthing yourself, with what you seem to deem or dismiss as a matter of “cough up or shut up”. Somehow, I doubt that our difference is just a matter of style.

              Still, I wish you all the best in finding out sooner or later that even the likes of Pinker can err significantly and multitudinously, should you genuinely wish to pursue any further. And perhaps then you would be surprised and bowed over by the enormity of the tasks ahead, and by the depths and intricacies of some of Pinker’s inadequacies. In any case, you don’t even have to start with Pinker. Perhaps you can start with one of the many well-known figures such as Jordan Peterson.

              Then again, perhaps you may find yourself better off in not pursuing any further, for SoundEagle may indeed be “intellectually dishonest”, “fake”, “disingenuous”, “hypocritical” or something similar or worse, however you or anybody might wish to conclude. Thank you.

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            4. Indeed, you seem to be willing to conflate someone’s reticence to ease you into what you have yet to show veritable interests or motivations in unearthing yourself,

              What indication have I given that I am not willing to look at information that you provide about your claims? I’ve already indicated to you that I know of several criticism of Pinker’s work and have also read Pinker’s response to them. I have also said that I’ve also read some criticisms which I felt missed the argument that Pinker was making. Yet you seem to make stronger claims that Pinker was simply wrong about several things and I asked for you to provide at least some source for why you believe Pinker has committed poor scholarship in his book. Does this seem like unwillingness to engage in information you provide, or that I don’t also attempt to look at other sides of issues?

              The fact that you are willing to type of this lengthy response and apparently not have the time to write down the name of a book, an author, provide a link…is also very revealing. I asked for information about what led you to your conclusion about Pinker’s work. I did so in good faith and with all the intentions of taking what you deem as more serious scholarship than what you claim Pinker has demonstrated. We are all in our own bubbles to a certain extent and I asked for some help to apparently get out of mine because you claimed I was in one, even though I consider myself fairly well read and have the ability to evaluate what I consider good from bad scholarship. But I do not claim to be perfect and know there is always more to learn. Your assumptions about me are also revealing.

              So that’s fine, I will continue to read and learn on my own or through conversations with others who actually defend their claims. I always help provide resources to people who ask them of me especially when I feel that they will read them. If I don’t have time to do so, I certainly wouldn’t spend a lot of time typing out a long explanation about why I don’t want to give someone any sources. To each their own I guess.

              Liked by 3 people

            5. Likewise, I can use some similar logic here on you, such as that you have spent a great deal of time making certain assumptions about me, not the least using words such as “intellectually dishonest” and now even more clarifications, when you still have yet to show me or anybody that you are or will be indeed starting to make good progress on seeing the other sides (plural, not singular), not to mention that you have no inkling about my life and how occupied I have been, to the point of barely having any time to publish a new post for almost a year, and also few posts before that, even though I have enough of my own materials for dozens of posts, plus a few in collaboration with my best friend. Moreover, had you indeed been vigilant, adequately sceptical and truly multidisciplinary, you would have done your due diligence much sooner as you first read Pinker’s writings, or indeed anybody’s writings for that matter, regardless of whether I or anybody else is willing to “actually defend their claims”, to use your own words. Furthermore, you would have also instantly recognized or identified the chinks, flaws, oversights, oversimplifications and omissions, should you already possess prior experiences and previous studies accrued professionally or otherwise. In addition, I can and could often anticipate what would happen if I were to provide links, sources, recommendations and/or advices, whether they are solicited or not, and the results and responses are not always desirable or positive, behavioural problems and attitudes notwithstanding. Furthermore, even if I were to supply you with ten or more links, that is still barely scratching the surface, and there is still no guarantee that you will definitely fare considerably better in cases pertaining to Pinker as well as others (including external validities), as the outcomes often depend on many other factors, including your upbringing as well as intellectual and cognitive constitutions.

              In any case, we won’t be having any of these discussions had I indeed been perfunctory, condescending, misguided, vexatious, idiosyncratic, insistent or whatever else you or anybody would like to conclude, believe or imagine. Whether or not good words have fallen on deaf ears remains to be seen.

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            6. Is it possible this reply was meant for someone else? If there is anyone I know of eagerly engaged in seeking reliable conclusions it is Swarn. I believe you have misinterpreted his response as it was very clear to me his intent. We all try to squeeze in what we can outside of our regular work, and a good tip of a reliable source is always welcome. Here, as well as all my dealings with Swarn. You may need to reevaluate your outlook here as it is quite contrary to what I’ve come to trust in your posts and comments.

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            7. Thank you, Jim. Some, if not all, of my answers to your comment here can be readily found or gleaned in all my comments left on this post here as well as on my many other comments left on my websites and on other people’s blogs, plus my own posts and pages over the years.

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            8. Well like you said, life is busy and we do what we can do. My posts are shorter, less comprehensive, but generate enough dialog to keep us engaged a little. The time drains of this US lifestyle don’t leave a lot of extra for extensive research unless your independently wealthy. Then again, I don’t see those people spending time at the libraries. I think you have an expectation of scholarship in people you are unable to maintain in yourself. As you said, no posts in a year. I think we’re doing what we can. I don’t know why you’re so busy, but, all the best to you sorting things out.

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            9. Having many responsibilities and errands notwithstanding, it frustrates me to no end that I am unable to clone myself (as depicted in the movie “Multiplicity”), to instantly acquire some knowledge or skill (as depicted in the upload-and-go technology in the movie “Matrix”, and to dispense with sleeping and eating altogether to make more time, not to mention the high prerequisites and costs of multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity.

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            10. Well we can’t get anywhere resting on priors now can we. I would think a short post now and then is better than nothing. Your standard posts are quite lengthy, and hardly anyone has time for the whole cow. A little milk goes further than none.

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            11. Yes, I can definitely see your point there, Jim. Still, for some reason(s), some, if not all, of my posts have been getting some tractions. For example, the most recent post has about 138 comments and 347 likes. Perhaps you can enlighten me further on the amount of tractions or lack thereof.

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            12. Well, that pretty good for the amount of links you post back to your site, but in that same time time frame with smaller, interactive posting I have 3145 likes and 7789 comments. And that is just the 2018 stats, not going back as far as your last post. I would think that making your site easier to navigate, with the amount of insight you have to offer you could do much better. But, that’s just me. I do what I have time for, and that seems to be what many others have the time for too. Look forward to your next post.

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            13. I tend to agree that shorter posts are far better than longer ones. For me personally, I stop reading after the first few paragraphs because in many (most?) cases, the meat of the topic is covered at the very beginning. And also, not everyone is that interested in a topic to sit and read a post that includes extensive scrolling.

              Having said that, I will add … there are always exceptions. 🙂

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            14. I agree with you, too. Now, please sit back, because I’ve got a 45 paragraph response coming about how the bible proves dinosaurs and humans lived side by side. Ok, here we go……Naw. I’m just effing with ya.

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            15. Really I find the comments from the variety of experiences gives a great insight to nearly every topic. Every link shared and discussion point leads us to who knows where, and that is where tend to learn the most.

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  6. Yeah. Due to the belief in god, all the religions are created which have divided people. And even, the reasons of the 9/11 attack in NY as given by Osama Bin Ladin were USA’s:
    support for the “attacks against Muslims” in Somalia

    support of Philippines against Muslims in the Moro conflict

    support for Israeli “aggression” against Muslims in Lebanon

    support of Russian “atrocities against Muslims” in Chechnya
    pro-American governments in the Middle East (who “act as your agents”) being against Muslim interests

    support of Indian “oppression against Muslims” in Kashmir

    All these reasons are due to religion.

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    1. Great comment. The purported cure is the cause, whether intended or not, its roots are pretty obvious and divide. But, here’s to hoping we can turn off the propaganda and visit with our neighbors. It’s not as bad as it’s made out to be when you ignore the machine.

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        1. I stated this fact to Mel (?) once and asked him to ponder on a world without any religion. He responded along the lines of : Why not a world with one religion? ( Christianity, obviously)

          And if this ever transpired how long do we really think it would be before we had modern day religious aggression based on doctrine?

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        2. What was the world like before monotheism? For relatively fresh evidence we need look no farther than the Western Hemisphere, since monotheism arrived here quite recently. According to anthropologists, life before European contact was one long bloody trail of “human misery and brutality to equal any Gettysburg or Hiroshima,” from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego: Nearly constant and universal, “vicious, unrelenting, desperate warfare” over status and dominance; trade and resources; territory; ethnic rivalry, hatred and mistrust; vengeance and retaliation, to name a few salient causes. (A non-cause: theological disputes.)

          And of course, to the victors belonged the trophies: body parts “processed, curated, and used in rituals.” Scalps were “danced with, then discarded”, while “finger-bone necklaces or preserved heads were carefully processed, worn and used in ceremonies, and handed down as heirlooms.” These were used to scare off enemies, or to cure sickness or bring good fortune in hunting or fighting. Putting your victim’s head on a stake was a great way to intimidate your enemies while preventing your victim from coming back to kill you. Yes, life was a peach before religion.

          http://www.pitt.edu/~arkush/Elizabeth_Arkush/Publications_files/warfare_review_fd.pdf

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          1. @ Loy
            Since the introduction of monotheism (primarily Christianity and Islam) Europe was plagued with internecine war for centuries. Consider the extermination of the Cathars. There are still a few extant documents if you care to search.
            What the Romans failed to achieve with a sword and a plethora of gods the Roman Catholics eventually did with a sword and one god, and all dissent was brutally swept aside.

            It was the culmination of such widespread persecution mainly Christian against Christian that many Christians fled Europe in droves.
            How ironic that, with the arrival of Christians in the New World – the US in particular – similar persecutions were perpetuated on the poor ”heathens” many of these zealous Christians encountered, eventually resulting in continental land theft and genocide.
            A scene typically reenacted to a greater or lessor degree wherever Christians made landfall on foreign shores.
            Africa and Australasia to name two.

            Where Christians came short, Muslims often filled the gap.

            And you expect us to ponder on the wonders of Christianity on the say-so of someone as willfully ignorant , disingenuous, and shallow as you?

            The term: ”Have sex and travel” comes to mind.

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            1. @Ark: The question (which of course you dodged) is what the world was like before monotheistic religion. Even if for the sake of discussion we accept your sophomoric views about history since then, you cannot deny that in a state of nature and throughout atheistic prehistory, pagan ancient history, and pagan pre-Columbian history in the Americas, human life was dirt cheap—nasty, brutish and short.

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            2. I didn’t ignore it all all. It was brutal in many respects. But with regard violence against one and other it certainly wasn’t any better.
              And while Christians were often just as happy to take Indian scalps.
              You should look into a movie archive and see if you can find the film Soldier Blue.

              We’ve had two global wars – fought between nations who were and still are primarily Christian.
              And it was Christians who dropped not one but two Atomic bombs.

              In what way was Aztec ritualistic sacrifice to Quetzalcoatl more brutal than what was carried out by the Inquisition?
              Have you ever seen images of what the pear did to a woman’s vagina or anus for example? Simply because she was declared a heretic!
              How about the strappado?
              And of course being burned alive couldn’t have been much fun.

              Or how about the decrees and recommendations regarding the Jews as issued by Luther?

              Life was considered just as worthless after the Christians got a foothold. Ask the Native Americans or the Jews or the Negroes.
              Australian Aborigines were not even considered human by some Christians and were hunted for sport.

              But please, LOY, don’t be shy. I am sure we are all enlightened by your truly objective view of the history of your wonderful religion.
              So feel free to offer some more evidence why the world is so much better off because of the current crop of monotheistic religions, and in your case, Christianity.

              Liked by 4 people

            3. And it was Christians who dropped not one but two Atomic bombs.

              Not according to bible scholar and all-around good christian — Mel. It was those materialist, god-forsaking, scientific-minded individuals who did this dastardly deed.

              Liked by 4 people

            4. Ark, I may have slightly misquoted. 😦 I think he actually said atheists were the ones who developed the atomic bomb. You know … those nasty, god-rejecting scientists. As to who was behind dropping them … not sure.

              BTW, was just doing a search on “atomic bomb” and saw an Amazon ad that says they have them for sale! 😮

              Liked by 3 people

            5. I understand, Nan. Whatever they were it is clear they were not followers of Jesus, as he… sorry … He who would never drop an atomic bomb on anyone – of fly a plane into a building.

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          2. European settlers to “the New World” had a major, and mostly negative effect on the indigenous populations across North and South America. Whatever the motivations, those who settled North America left in their wake a legacy of poverty, domestic, drug and alcohol abuse, and an impenetrable sense of hopelessness among Native American communities. European settlement resulted in the displacement of native tribes, the wholesale destruction of cultures and the implementation of genocidal policies that decimated Native American tribes. The deliberate contamination of Native communities with diseases alien to North America like Small Pox wiped out large numbers of Native Americans, affecting subsequent generations. The usurpation of the most productive grazing lands and the expulsion of Native tribes from their historic territories and onto inhospitable reservations scarred those communities for eternity.

            Even if for the sake of discussion we accept your sophomoric views about history since then, you cannot deny that in a state of nature and throughout atheistic prehistory, pagan ancient history, and pagan pre-Columbian history in the Americas, human life was dirt cheap—nasty, brutish and short.

            Sure then came the Europeans who directly and indirectly lead to the mass deaths of the natives

            The reason that human life expectancy is now longer is as a result of scientific progress

            The Europeans caused far more damage to the native americans than they themselves did

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          3. According to anthropologists, life before European contact was one long bloody trail of “human misery and brutality to equal any Gettysburg or Hiroshima,” from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego: Nearly constant and universal, “vicious, unrelenting, desperate warfare” over status and dominance; trade and resources; territory; ethnic rivalry, hatred and mistrust; vengeance and retaliation, to name a few salient causes. (A non-cause: theological disputes.)

            Loy, so the crusades, inquisition, ISIS & Al-Qaeda and the europeans reduction of the native american population pales in comparison to the native american tribal war

            I can remember that in the article you linked to one of Jim’s previous about top 10 most violent war, I did not find the native american tribal wars listed. So how does the tribal wars of the native american population equal the effect of the atomic bomb of Hiroshima

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            1. “vicious, unrelenting, desperate warfare” over status and dominance; trade and resources; territory; ethnic rivalry, hatred and mistrust; vengeance and retaliation

              Like the religious wars that plague Europe and what we see in present times do not involve most of these
              Like the crusades and the catholic-protestant conflict did not contain territory; ethnic rivalry, hatred and mistrust; vengeance and retaliation; status and dominance; trade and resources and theological disputes

              Putting your victim’s head on a stake was a great way to intimidate your enemies while preventing your victim from coming back to kill you. Yes, life was a peach before religion.

              Like we did not see the guillotine in Europe. Like the Mughal Empire didn’t invent new ways of torture, Like christians did not burn “heretics” and “witches” at the stake. Christians burning “heretics” and “witches” at the stake was a great way to intimidate your enemies while preventing your victim from coming back to kill you. Everything you said here equally applies to christianity

              you cannot deny that in a state of nature and throughout atheistic prehistory, pagan ancient history, and pagan pre-Columbian history in the Americas human life was dirt cheap—nasty, brutish and short.

              What the hell was the atheistic prehistory of the Americas.
              Colonization killed about 90% of the native population and then the natives were forcefully converted to christianity, losing their traditional values and religious faiths. The actions of the europeans were far more brutish than that of the native americans
              Entire tribes nearly went extinct after being exposed to European diseases. Some other tribes’ languages have gone extinct, in no small part because children were forcibly removed from their parents’ homes to boarding schools where “beating the Indian out of them” was common, then returned to the reservations unable to communicate with their parents. Would you call this better

              What is with human life was short. At the time of historic contact European and Native American populations had roughly the same life expectancy. While Europe had “doctors” their skill set was just about comparable to that of a Native American shaman. There was no awareness of “germs” for instance, and Europeans in general tended to be strangers to the very concepts of cleanliness and personal hygiene. In fact, the odds are the typical Native American was usually somewhat cleaner personally
              In most or all of medical practices the best Native American practice was at least as good as, and often better than, medical practice in the European Middle Ages.
              For example, in the Americas public health measures were decidedly superior to European. Sewage treatment in Tenochtitilan, for example, was almost certainly, technologically and effectively, better that that of any European city of the time. Also, daily bathing was widely practiced in the Americas, but not in most of Europe. European medicine in the middle ages had lost the advances of the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians which themselves were arguably no better than those of MesoAmerica and Peru. It would be a close call, but if I had to choose whether to live with the medical practices of Europe such as bleeding, cupping and Leeches and the Roman Catholic Church’s belief that disease was God’s punishment for sin, on the one hand, and the typical American holistic treatments with many highly effective herbs (some of which are still in use)
              The use of superstitious rituals to cure diseases were more of a european thing than an american thing at this point in history

              You can look at Stephen Power book Tribes of California, Charles Mann’s book “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus”

              Almost all Native American tribes tell traditional stories of mankind’s close relations with the animal world. Almost universally the stories tell of mutual respect and kinship among all living creatures. The Native American hunter had a true appreciation of where his food came from and developed a ritual relationship to animal life. (See for example Howard Harrod’s The Animals Came Dancing: Native American Sacred Ecology and Animal Kinship.). The most dangerous beasts of all were the violent Europeans, who came to invade, conquer, enslave, and destroy.

              The book Astronomy in the Maya Codices by Harvey Bricker and Victoria Bricker contains detailed astronomical knowledge of one MesoAmerican tribe, the Maya, based only on actual Maya documents as recorded in the four extant codices. (Hundreds more books and codices were ritually burned by the Spanish priests.) These four precious codices, now held in libraries in Dresden, Paris, Madrid and New York City, record knowledge of the movements of the planets Venus, Mercury and Mars, stars, the sun and the moon, eclipses, extensive calendrical and seasonal cycles and additional knowledge of climate, geology, hydrology, agriculture and zoology. Astronomical knowledge of this depth and cultivation suggests a rich and sustaining cultural encounter with both celestial and terrestrial environments.

              Liked by 3 people

            2. Well Jonathan, you just don’t understand history, and those weren’t our Christians. The barons of the Middle Ages filled volumes full of love and charity toward the peasants. Ha!! Decency of any kind is strangely omitted from those great Christian fore bearers.

              Liked by 2 people

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