Tower of Bable
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21-06-2011, 07:24 AM
RE: Tower of Bable
(16-06-2011 12:39 PM)Cube Wrote:  I think it is a pretty common story in the Abrahamic religions. Men tried to build a tower to God. He was [scared?] displeased with their efforts to reach Divinity through engineering and ingenuity, so he smote them with the various languages. They could no longer understand each other [We now have Rosetta Stone. SUCK IT GOD!].

The fable is considerably older than Abraham's brood. Like much of the Old Testament, it's a story handed down through generations of nomads, who wandered the region and picked up bits of established civilizations' mythology.
We also have Google's universal dictionary. But translation is not communication: seeing things written in a different language doesn't stop up hurling explosives at one another.

Quote:But the core point of this is that God did not wish for man to trespass into his realm...


The story is one of hubris: a warning not to bite off more than you can chew. (This tendency of mankind has been recognized by the wisest among us for as long as we can remember - and the wise were never heeded, of course.) A warning of the dangers of empire: bringing people together who don't belong, and don't want to be together, and can't communicate effectively becomes an administrative nightmare and eventually fails. (This has been true, so far, in every empire.)
The 'top dog' part was likely added by the Hebrews: their god was still pretty young at the time, insecure and defensive.

Quote:Now of course we have skyscrapers. We fly out of our planet's atmosphere. We have sent probes much much further into the 'heavens' than any primative tower would have.
It wasn't primitive by the standards of the time; it was just a little beyond available technology. Many, many projects undertaken since, and currently in process, have resulted and will result in disaster, causing the deaths of people and environments and species and climate... The warning still holds true, and is still unheeded.

Quote:Alongside that we are on the verge of creating life synthetically. Some biologists believe it will not be long. Whether or not we will do it any time soon, we can already edit and alter life.
Read Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake before you decide whether this is a good thing.

Quote:So where would God's fear be in all of this? Has he given up? Did he change his mind on what feats man could aspire to? Was changing our languages a one shot trick?
Well no, there was that flood, and more recently a couple of tsunamis, draughts, snowstorms, sandstorms, 37 tornadoes in one afternoon... As the hubris grows in scale, so does the comeuppance. Not God's retribution, just the natural results of screwing things up.

It's not the mean god I have trouble with - it's the people who worship a mean god.
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