Re: theos-l digest: December 13, 1999 -Kym
Dec 14, 1999 05:59 AM
In a message dated 12/14/99 12:11:49 AM Central Standard Time,
> or that animals were nothing more than machines (remember
First a few complicating details before moving on to main point.
Did everyone think animals were machines before Descartes?
No, some tribes do not distinguish between animals and people.
Aristotle did not regard an animal as machine. Neither did Hinduism
Buddhism, or Taoism. And J Bentham thought animals had moral
standing because the criteria was not the ability to morally reason
about means, ends, and consequences, but the ability to feel pain.
Now main point: I think general statements of humans being better or worse are
nonsense. Basically, I find of interest how Christian native peoples
interpret the Biblical stories of the Fall from Eden and the Tower
of Babel as about one and the same event. The fall from Eden WAS
the building of Tower of Babel, cities, Ziggurats. This was time,
as noted former friend Mircea Eliade noted, that religion became a
ambivalent thing between serving its original function and its social use
and/or abuse to legitimize the state apparatus.The historical problem
we are still dealing with is the development of the capacity for a
hierarchical society due to the agricultural revolution. The Lakota
Sioux say they watched the rise of Toltec and Aztec culture from
agricultural surpluses, saw the evil, and opted out of it. There was
a transition from relatively small egalitarian family groups/tribes to
a hierarchical social pyramid with a slave bottom and exploitive
top. Aside: I always amused that everyone who claims to have
a past life regression claims to have been Egyptian priest or member
of some other social elite when statistically the odds are that they
were slaves. Why nobody remember being slave? We still have
unsolved the social structure of agricultural revolution compounded
by a technological overlay.
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