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Freedom Of Thought Or Right To Decide?


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#35 DrKrettin

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:30 AM

 

It's a good thing that he didn't tell her "I ought to smack you on the fanny for that!" (The doctor will get this)

 

 

 

This gives me a chance to relate an anecdote from my student days, when I made friends with two American Rhodes scholars. We three happened on an impromptu party with tea and cakes. The host realised things needed more organising, and said "Hang on, this won't do  - I'll have the lay the table". One American looked at the other and whispered "did you hear that?" and the other replied "yer - he said he was going to **** the table"

 

That editing spoiled the punchline rather.


Edited by DrKrettin, 28 September 2017 - 10:31 AM.


#36 hazelm

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:30 AM

That's a weird anecdote, because there is nothing wrong with "napkin" and the waitress should learn her own language. Still - London, what can you expect?

"British English From A to Zed" by Norman W Schur 1987; revised by Eugene Erlich 2001:  "Nappy, a diminutive of napkin, and the everyday word for diaper, which is also heard in Britain."



#37 exchemist

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 02:52 PM

"British English From A to Zed" by Norman W Schur 1987; revised by Eugene Erlich 2001:  "Nappy, a diminutive of napkin, and the everyday word for diaper, which is also heard in Britain."

Reminds me of the looks I got in Houston when mentioning the automatic toll road system called EZpay, which I of course pronounced E Zed pay. 



#38 Farming guy

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 03:46 PM

No, he didn't mention that.  He'd have had to say something good.   A whole other chapter?  Or a whole other book without the parochialism.   It took us a long time to start telling the history of China, Mongolia, Tibet, as well as India before their invasion.  And we haven't even gotten to Africa south of the desert yet.  In fact, we have not done a very good job with South America.  There have been some great discoveries found there by archaeologists.  I'd like to hear more of that.  Something else as long as I am wishing:  I'd like history books that told both sides of any story.  A friend in England once told me that, if I were to read the story of our American Revolution as written in England, I would not recognize it as the same war.

As far as South America goes, it is difficult because we can't understand much of anything they "wrote".  Could they have been using emoji?  

 

 

 

Have you ever noticed how these histories always start with Greece.  Wonder where the rest of the world fits in.  Actually, there is a history series that attempts to do just that.   I'll have to find author and title.  I only read her first book and it was for that very reason - to fit in the earlier peoples that we hear less about. 

I saw a few good documentaries about Confucius and Buddha , and there is a fascinating history there.  I also saw a documentary about how Marco Polo was probably not actually one individual, but an amalgamation of several people.  I recall that they were unable to find any reference to him in China, and the Chinese were very good a documenting things.  Western civilization certainly lags behind much of the rest of the world. 

 

Almost all of my formal education in history was centered on Europe. I had to go looking for the rest of my education on my own.



#39 hazelm

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 04:05 PM

As far as South America goes, it is difficult because we can't understand much of anything they "wrote".  Could they have been using emoji?  

 

I saw a few good documentaries about Confucius and Buddha , and there is a fascinating history there.  I also saw a documentary about how Marco Polo was probably not actually one individual, but an amalgamation of several people.  I recall that they were unable to find any reference to him in China, and the Chinese were very good a documenting things.  Western civilization certainly lags behind much of the rest of the world. 

 

Almost all of my formal education in history was centered on Europe. I had to go looking for the rest of my education on my own.

As did most of us - have to go looking for the rest of the world.  Your comment about their writing rings a bell.  I don't know where I saw it but there was recently a good story about some discoveries they have made in deciphering the -- shall I call it "code symbols in ( was it Peru?  Maybe the latest Archaeology.  I'll take a look.

 

P S.  Here it is.  Discover Magazine, October 2017, page 40.  The Inca Empire ruled millions without a written language.  Keeping records was a knotty situation.  Khipu knots.


Edited by hazelm, 28 September 2017 - 04:53 PM.


#40 Farming guy

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 05:14 PM

I have just finished Chapter III and read a most interesting question.  After talking about how the laws and punishments used in the Old Testament influenced the laws and punishments used by the Christian church leaders, Bury wonders if things might have been different had the Christian leaders omitted the Old Testament from their sacred books and based their religion solely on the teachings in the New Testament.

 

I wonder also.  The New Testament teachings are much more spiritual, requiring deeper thinking than most  people are given to.  It also requires more compassion and less vengefulness than the Old Testament requires.  I can't think of the words I want to distinguish between the two life styles but I think the NT asks a lot more of the individual than does the OT which lays down the law very specifically.

 

Does anyone have a better idea?  Would things have been different had the church fathers omitted the Old Testament from their Bible?  There is a lot of speculation involved in the answers.  But, basically, what is mankind as a whole able to handle?

Don't you need the Old Testament to be known to highlight the changes the Christ brought forth?  I saw a program about religion on television once, and I remember someone saying that if you really want to understand the New Testament you need to speak to a Rabbi .Christ was Jewish, after all.

 

I see some parallels between Socrates and Christ.  Both riled the leaders of their times, both paid for it with their lives, and all the records we have of them were written by someone else after their passing.

 

The most profound changes in society are not brought about by force, but by dedication and sacrifice.



#41 hazelm

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Posted 28 September 2017 - 10:44 PM

Don't you need the Old Testament to be known to highlight the changes the Christ brought forth?  I saw a program about religion on television once, and I remember someone saying that if you really want to understand the New Testament you need to speak to a Rabbi .Christ was Jewish, after all.

 

I see some parallels between Socrates and Christ.  Both riled the leaders of their times, both paid for it with their lives, and all the records we have of them were written by someone else after their passing.

 

The most profound changes in society are not brought about by force, but by dedication and sacrifice.

I understand what you are asking.  My thought is that knowing the OT gives you the historical background - including the old laws.  But I'm not sure that's what the author was aiming at.  I think he'd gone totally philosophical and was asking if we could have had a new religion based soley on the NT and Christ's teachings.  It is a good question.  My personal feeling is that human nature isn't geared that way.  Or maybe it's that the old laws and, more so, the laws we have had over the centuries were - and are - still ingrained in us.  I am being terribly clumsy with this.  Someone else can doubtless say it better.  Let's put it as a question:   Can you ask a group of people (say, the first Christians) to forget all they have been taught, all they have been living to suddenly drop it, forget it, and start over with a total reversal of all the rules of life the have known?  I don't think so.

 

And you know what?  It just occurs to me.  Look around you and notice how, as each new generation comes along, the older generations react in a disturbed way at what they see happening to the culture.  It is extremely hard to give up what you've known for so long.  An example:  My uncle, in his 80s and 90s became very sad and kept saying "I don't belong in this world any more."  People just do not - can not - change attitudes that easily.

 

Gracious!  We need a psychologist here to say it better than I.  Hope I make some sense.



#42 exchemist

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:27 AM

As did most of us - have to go looking for the rest of the world.  Your comment about their writing rings a bell.  I don't know where I saw it but there was recently a good story about some discoveries they have made in deciphering the -- shall I call it "code symbols in ( was it Peru?  Maybe the latest Archaeology.  I'll take a look.

 

P S.  Here it is.  Discover Magazine, October 2017, page 40.  The Inca Empire ruled millions without a written language.  Keeping records was a knotty situation.  Khipu knots.

Oh I thought he was referring to the Maya "pebble" writing. That seems to have been quite sophisticated (as was their calendar).



#43 exchemist

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 01:34 AM

I understand what you are asking.  My thought is that knowing the OT gives you the historical background - including the old laws.  But I'm not sure that's what the author was aiming at.  I think he'd gone totally philosophical and was asking if we could have had a new religion based soley on the NT and Christ's teachings.  It is a good question.  My personal feeling is that human nature isn't geared that way.  Or maybe it's that the old laws and, more so, the laws we have had over the centuries were - and are - still ingrained in us.  I am being terribly clumsy with this.  Someone else can doubtless say it better.  Let's put it as a question:   Can you ask a group of people (say, the first Christians) to forget all they have been taught, all they have been living to suddenly drop it, forget it, and start over with a total reversal of all the rules of life the have known?  I don't think so.

 

And you know what?  It just occurs to me.  Look around you and notice how, as each new generation comes along, the older generations react in a disturbed way at what they see happening to the culture.  It is extremely hard to give up what you've known for so long.  An example:  My uncle, in his 80s and 90s became very sad and kept saying "I don't belong in this world any more."  People just do not - can not - change attitudes that easily.

 

Gracious!  We need a psychologist here to say it better than I.  Hope I make some sense.

 

Don't you need the Old Testament to be known to highlight the changes the Christ brought forth?  I saw a program about religion on television once, and I remember someone saying that if you really want to understand the New Testament you need to speak to a Rabbi .Christ was Jewish, after all.

 

I see some parallels between Socrates and Christ.  Both riled the leaders of their times, both paid for it with their lives, and all the records we have of them were written by someone else after their passing.

 

The most profound changes in society are not brought about by force, but by dedication and sacrifice.

I think that is right. Christianity is thought to be a synthesis of Judaism with Greek philosophy (Jesus + St. Paul).

 

Though I did read somewhere, not long ago, that there is new theory that there may be Buddhist influence too, brought from India. (Buddhism antedates Christianity by 400-500 yrs). 



#44 DrKrettin

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 03:19 AM

I see some parallels between Socrates and Christ.  Both riled the leaders of their times, both paid for it with their lives, and all the records we have of them were written by someone else after their passing.

 

 

I think we need a whole forum to discuss this, because the differences were more profound than the parallels. Christ had a specific belief and (thought he)  knew exactly how people should behave and a conviction in an afterlife. Socrates was a moral reformer in the sense that he could demolish anybody's claim to know what is good and what is bad. He was a pain in the neck for anybody who was prepared to listen to him, and these were of course the rich and influential who had the time to argue with him. He had no particular religious conviction, and claimed he knew nothing. I could go on....



#45 Farming guy

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Posted 29 September 2017 - 04:06 AM

I think we need a whole forum to discuss this, because the differences were more profound than the parallels. Christ had a specific belief and (thought he)  knew exactly how people should behave and a conviction in an afterlife. Socrates was a moral reformer in the sense that he could demolish anybody's claim to know what is good and what is bad. He was a pain in the neck for anybody who was prepared to listen to him, and these were of course the rich and influential who had the time to argue with him. He had no particular religious conviction, and claimed he knew nothing. I could go on....

Agreed.  The most significant parallel regarding this thread, is in how the powerful people of their day reacted to them.  Challenging the status quo is always risky.

 

I think that is right. Christianity is thought to be a synthesis of Judaism with Greek philosophy (Jesus + St. Paul).

 

Though I did read somewhere, not long ago, that there is new theory that there may be Buddhist influence too, brought from India. (Buddhism antedates Christianity by 400-500 yrs). 

It seems more likely than not that there would have been a Buddhist influence.  

 

Oh I thought he was referring to the Maya "pebble" writing. That seems to have been quite sophisticated (as was their calendar).

Yes, I think I was referring to the Maya.  I once saw a documentary about the Maya. The trouble with learning from documentaries is I sometimes fall asleep, and sometimes the different documentaries get merged in my mind.

 

 


Edited by Farming guy, 29 September 2017 - 04:53 AM.


#46 hazelm

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Posted 30 September 2017 - 12:13 PM

Exchemist,  I think you will like chapter V.  He finally gets some action in it.  Or, maybe I should say, he gets more variety of talk in his topic.  He brings in philosophers and state governments.  I especially enjoyed his part about the philosophers.  The chapter is a tad long.  I finally had to break it up.  Shall go back and finish later.  Just wanted to say I think you'll enjoy it more.



#47 hazelm

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 06:02 AM

Exchemist,  have you gotten any further with Bury's book?  Or did you, like I, get distracted into another direction?  I have finally finished chapter seven which really impressed me.  He says a lot about how science brought down religion, how more freedom to think for ourselves put religion off into its own little corner for those who still want to believe, how philosophers, poets, and many others encouraged the allowance of freedom of thought, speech and beliefs.  Always he is stressing the history of how we moved from religion to science and freedom to have our own thoughts and beliefs.

 

This left me with a question.  I suppose we need to find a professional philosopher to get an answer.  My question:  For those studying philosophy toward a career in that field - do they take a course in religion as a philosophy?  Not from a faith foundation but from a historical foundation  -  religion's place in mankind's history?  Mr. Bury mentions how the Old Testament books served a purpose in their own time.  There are some surprising facts about how the Hebrews viewed the stories therein.  Also some surprising ones about the  New Testament.

 

Anyway, do philosophy students get a basic course in religion as Mr. Bury develops it?  I tried searching Google.  All I got was link after link shouting that religion should not be taught in public colleges.  As a faith, perhaps not.  But as a history?  We actually studied the Bible as a literary work.  It looks quite different from that angle.

 

All right.  Enough from me.  I was just wondering if you got to read more and what you might be thinking of it.