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Thread: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality

  1. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by Calipah View Post
    Vavi dear, why isnt my scholarship a cited source for you?
    May I have a copy?
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  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun_Wu View Post
    May I have a copy?
    Dito.
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  3. #103
    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
    Dito.
    There are two t's in ditto because it is a genericised use of ditto (machine). Which gets its name from ditto marks which comes from the Tuscan word ditto (basically means same as above).
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  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drachenfire View Post
    With the Romans your talking about over 1k years of history prior its fall. Within that time, there was alot of varience in acceptance. However, I think it safe to say that the Romans were very nearly like the Greeks in terms of their encouragement of homosexuality. Almost, I say, because as you noted the Greeks considered homosexuality the norm and there are several city-states in Hellenistic Greece that had to pass laws stipulating that in order to vote you had to have a male successor. Homosexuality was such the norm that in order for some city states to continue they had to legislate that citizens marry and reproduce!

    An interesting note, researchers have determined that when a population reaches a certain size within a given environment, the incidence of homosexual behaivor tends to rise. I wonder if the rise in the population of Helenistic Greece, with limited resources and challenging geography, might have influenced those societies into accepting homosexuality early.

    Also interesting, prehaps because of the influence the Greek tradition and even Roman tradition had on early Christians, there was a wide degree of tollerance of homosexuality by the eary Church.
    I don't know about that. I mean, Western European societies had concepts of primogeniture very early on, even back when Germanic tribes were noted for their sexual bigotry by the Romans. When it comes to an understanding of Greek society, it's important to get that our entire written record of classical Greece is tainted by the predominance of literate Athens over every where else. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Greek society in general retained a conservative, traditionalist outlook on homosexuality (above and beyond the pederast outlook of high society Athens) while the most literate, wealthiest parts of Greek society looked the other way and even very quietly encouraged some level of homosexual behavior. It's worth remembering what a outright animalistic outlook Greeks had on their women -- that I can even say 'their women' says everything you need to know about Greek attitudes towards heterosexuality. The enshrined pederasty of Greek society may have been less about homosexuality and more about the same kind of political-social dominance that, say, the Roman patron class enjoyed as a matter of course.
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  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plushie View Post
    I don't know about that. I mean, Western European societies had concepts of primogeniture very early on, even back when Germanic tribes were noted for their sexual bigotry by the Romans. When it comes to an understanding of Greek society, it's important to get that our entire written record of classical Greece is tainted by the predominance of literate Athens over every where else. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Greek society in general retained a conservative, traditionalist outlook on homosexuality (above and beyond the pederast outlook of high society Athens) while the most literate, wealthiest parts of Greek society looked the other way and even very quietly encouraged some level of homosexual behavior. It's worth remembering what a outright animalistic outlook Greeks had on their women -- that I can even say 'their women' says everything you need to know about Greek attitudes towards heterosexuality. The enshrined pederasty of Greek society may have been less about homosexuality and more about the same kind of political-social dominance that, say, the Roman patron class enjoyed as a matter of course.
    That's not what primogeniture means. I agree on Greence though.
    The ancient greeks where FUCKED UP when it came to women. Seriously, from the record I think it's the most misogynistic culture I've come across.
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plushie View Post
    I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that Greek society in general retained a conservative, traditionalist outlook on homosexuality (above and beyond the pederast outlook of high society Athens) while the most literate, wealthiest parts of Greek society looked the other way and even very quietly encouraged some level of homosexual behavior.
    Some wit earlier in the thread said that sans sources, we are nothing as historians. That wit may have been Arilou. Well, you're just speculating based entirely on modern prejudices right now which align with your political outlook in other areas.

    Fortunately, we actually have sources! Decent amounts of them! Before, during, and long after the rise of Athens!

    Isn't that amazing?

    And you know what they all show? It was widespread - in the sources, at least. Without which we are nothing, if you remember.

    Even when they invented the scintillating genre that is the Touching Heterosexual Romance Novels Wherein Protagonists Get Captured By Pirates At Least Once A Chapter and Sacred Love Triumphs, the homos still survived in the narrative! Amazing! Not only that but the sources when taken as a whole they contain a variety of examples where males are in romantic entanglements with males, and about half of those examples cannot qualify under the "pederast outlook" or need serious handwaving to pretend they conform. Pedagogic pederasty wasn't the sum of the homosexual experience back then - just like the respective formulations of shudo and the cup-bearer were not the end-all in Japanese or Islamic literary cultures, because popular literature contradicts the formulations all the damn time. Neither was patron-client relationships. Both things clearly existed but other things existed besides, just like all sorts of relationships exist now.

    So your veiled "decadent nobles, contra naturam" (by the way, not a new idea and argued already in the period sources anyway) dismissal is easily countered by actually reading works written then and dealing with the subject.

    It's worth remembering what a outright animalistic outlook Greeks had on their women -- that I can even say 'their women' says everything you need to know about Greek attitudes towards heterosexuality. The enshrined pederasty of Greek society may have been less about homosexuality and more about the same kind of political-social dominance that, say, the Roman patron class enjoyed as a matter of course.
    Funny that the ancient Greeks themselves did not think so! When their conservatives decided to bemoan tempora and mores, they blamed the unnatural vice of the wide-arsed on the legacy of the Cretans and Asiatics, you know, the kind of soft unmanly society where women are allowed to go outside and do athletics and such. Or on local wide-arsed feminists (Aristophanes had real a real problem with Euripides. And Agathon. And women. And the wide-arsed. Sounds familiar, I suppose, and sort of what you argued - yet it was not a Misogynist Pederast but a Misogynist homophobe that we're discussing.)

    There was no uniform understanding back then, and especially not in the line of argument you're currently taking. But there certainly were people talking about it; in the Lyric, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras. You might sort of get it if you read Plato and nothing else, but further reading easily sets it aright.

    I'd be as wary of accepting both the premises and the conclusions of both Drachefyre's and your posts
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  7. #107
    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    Some wit earlier in the thread said that sans sources, we are nothing as historians. That wit may have been Arilou. Well, you're just speculating based entirely on modern prejudices right now which align with your political outlook in other areas.

    Fortunately, we actually have sources! Decent amounts of them! Before, during, and long after the rise of Athens!

    Isn't that amazing?

    And you know what they all show? It was widespread - in the sources, at least. Without which we are nothing, if you remember.

    Even when they invented the scintillating genre that is the Touching Heterosexual Romance Novels Wherein Protagonists Get Captured By Pirates At Least Once A Chapter and Sacred Love Triumphs, the homos still survived in the narrative! Amazing! Not only that but the sources when taken as a whole they contain a variety of examples where males are in romantic entanglements with males, and about half of those examples cannot qualify under the "pederast outlook" or need serious handwaving to pretend they conform. Pedagogic pederasty wasn't the sum of the homosexual experience back then - just like the respective formulations of shudo and the cup-bearer were not the end-all in Japanese or Islamic literary cultures, because popular literature contradicts the formulations all the damn time. Neither was patron-client relationships. Both things clearly existed but other things existed besides, just like all sorts of relationships exist now.

    So your veiled "decadent nobles, contra naturam" (by the way, not a new idea and argued already in the period sources anyway) dismissal is easily countered by actually reading works written then and dealing with the subject.



    Funny that the ancient Greeks themselves did not think so! When their conservatives decided to bemoan tempora and mores, they blamed the unnatural vice on the legacy of the Cretans and Asiatics, you know, the kind of soft unmanly society where women are allowed to go outside and do athletics and such.

    There was no uniform understanding back then, and especially not in the line of argument you're currently taking. But there certainly were people talking about it; in the Lyric, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman eras. You might sort of get it if you read Plato and nothing else, but further reading easily sets it aright.
    without the deranged Judeo-Christian ethics you frequently have stuff like infanticide and homosexual sex being acceptable, the former because they (infants) don't have intrinsic dignity if they aren't endowed and the latter because there isn't anything wrong with pleasure divorce from procreation. Naturally as society becomes less Christian in morality the latter is fine because the heterosexuals are too busy being hedonists to care that the homosexuals are being hedonists too, the former wont come back because now we don't have to wait until the baby is born to determine sex and it is easy to test for deformities and abort.
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  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun_Wu View Post
    without the deranged Judeo-Christian ethics you frequently have stuff like infanticide and homosexual sex being acceptable, the former because they (infants) don't have intrinsic dignity if they aren't endowed and the latter because there isn't anything wrong with pleasure divorce from procreation. Naturally as society becomes less Christian in morality the latter is fine because the heterosexuals are too busy being hedonists to care that the homosexuals are being hedonists too, the former wont come back because now we don't have to wait until the baby is born to determine sex and it is easy to test for deformities and abort.
    What does this have to do with anything discussed in the last few posts, other than you shoving your Judeo-Christian business in things that pre-dated Christianity and certainly pre-dated the mincing "Judeo-X" PC-talk?

    Do you have any arguments based in the actual period? I can tell you right now that all of your arguments were already present long before Mary first beheld the Holy Spirit looking all impregnatory. It has jack-all to do with any Canaanite beliefs in the context. Nice try linking child exposure and homosexuality too, by the way. Typical.

    I'm not sure why Boswell is getting the flak for inventing the past when the conservatives on this thread are inventing both the past and the present.
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  9. #109
    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    What does this have to do with anything, other than you shoving your Judeo-Christian business in things that pre-dated Christianity and certainly pre-dated the "Judeo-X" PC talk?

    Do you have any arguments based in the actual period? I can tell you right now that all of your arguments were already present long before Mary first beheld the Holy Spirit looking all impregnatory. It has jack-all to do with any Canaanite beliefs in the context. Nice try linking child exposure and homosexuality too, by the way. Typical.

    I'm not sure why Boswell is getting the flak for inventing the past when the conservatives on this thread are inventing both the past and the present.
    Wait, I called it deranged, how is that supporting it? Judeo-Christian ethics are really weird in comparison to other things and when it is no longer influencing society, society will go back to how it was without it. Infanticide is fairly common in societies that don't have this belief that people have inherent worth as children of God. In societies that aren't prudish like Christian ones homosexuality has often been open. Christianity is just this obnoxious thing that forces itself on cultures and tries to force its ethics system on them, said ethics system allows neither infanticide nor sterile sex (a lot of Christians forget that a woman giving a man a blowjob is about as bad as a man giving a man a blowjob morally speaking). Infanticide does not cause gay sex and gay sex doesn't cause infanticide, they are common in non-Christian society and when Christianity comes it tries to stop both.

    Greek culture is fascinating in that in a number of places sex with women for the purpose of pleasure is looked down upon, those people are seen as giving in to animal instincts whereas sex with men is seen as pursuit of the beautiful as stuff like that. (Okay I probably got that partially wrong, but I am Asian not Caucasian, it's not my continent so please forgive me)
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun_Wu View Post
    Wait, I called it deranged, how is that supporting it? Judeo-Christian ethics are really weird in comparison to other things and when it is no longer influencing society, society will go back to how it was without it. Infanticide is fairly common in societies that don't have this belief that people have inherent worth as children of God. In societies that aren't prudish like Christian ones homosexuality has often been open. Christianity is just this obnoxious thing that forces itself on cultures and tries to force its ethics system on them, said ethics system allows neither infanticide nor sterile sex (a lot of Christians forget that a woman giving a man a blowjob is about as bad as a man giving a man a blowjob morally speaking). Infanticide does not cause gay sex and gay sex doesn't cause infanticide, they are common in non-Christian society and when Christianity comes it tries to stop both.
    Hah.

    I forgot how your academic English is so different from the level of your conversational English.

    "Deranged" came across totally sarcastic, especially given the prior flow of conversation. Sorry for misunderstanding and apologies for my tone.

    I wouldn't necessarily agree that you need a precise combination of values that the Jews had to both oppose infanticide and homosexuality - lots of cultures opposed only the latter, some only the former, some both, without being Canaanite in the slightest - but at least I get what you're trying to say now.

    Greek culture is fascinating in that in a number of places sex with women for the purpose of pleasure is looked down upon, those people are seen as giving in to animal instincts whereas sex with men is seen as pursuit of the beautiful as stuff like that. (Okay I probably got that partially wrong, but I am Asian not Caucasian, it's not my continent so please forgive me)
    See, it's stuff like this that gives me pause. There was certainly an ideal stated somewhere by someone...and recorded. True. But we also get completely opposing viewpoints. Xenophon was let's say skeptical about the purity of the love between the soldiers, but love between men being purer is a constant theme. Naturally, Plato gets all intellectual about it and later decides to distance from the physical aspect of it - but a certain erly Imperial novel has a side character claim his homosexual love is purer not because it is more intellectual but because it is simple and without artifice.

    They disagreed with each other all the time, especially over the span of the centuries we must consider due to how spread out our sources are.
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  11. #111
    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    Hah.

    I forgot how your academic English is so different from the level of your conversational English.

    "Deranged" came across totally sarcastic, especially given the prior flow of conversation. Sorry for misunderstanding and apologies for my tone.

    I wouldn't necessarily agree that you need a precise combination of values that the Jews had to both oppose infanticide and homosexuality - lots of cultures opposed only the latter, some only the former, some both, without being Canaanite in the slightest - but at least I get what you're trying to say now.



    See, it's stuff like this that gives me pause. There was certainly an ideal stated somewhere by someone...and recorded. True. But we also get completely opposing viewpoints. Xenophon was let's say skeptical about the purity of the love between the soldiers, but love between men being purer is a constant theme. Naturally, Plato gets all intellectual about it and later decides to distance from the physical aspect of it - but a certain erly Imperial novel has a side character claim his homosexual love is purer not because it is more intellectual but because it is simple and without artifice.

    They disagreed with each other all the time, especially over the span of the centuries we must consider due to how spread out our sources are.
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    Judeo-Christian ethics are illogical, if a baby is born deformed there is no net benefit for parents to expend resources to raise it. In agricultural times males were valuable for their ability to work and support the parents, but females were little value for people to have and thus some killed them because they were burdens. It being logically sound doesn't make it right though.



    I tried to attach caveat with "in a number of places" I meant in some cases. In some cases homosexual relations were viewed as purer, but in other such as "situational homosexuality" where men copulate with men for pleasure it isn't viewed as pure.


    Source tracking is fun, for example in the US people are preoccupied with the Bible and the word malakoi is frequently translated as effeminate or masturbation, but Ptolemy wrote a book on basically psychology (name is escaping me) and he used the word to mean catamite (can't think of English word), since the context is similar, the language the same and the era close they probably mean the same thing. Oh, there was also the fact that Greece wasn't homogenous so values didn't necessarily match and could indeed be diametrically opposed to one another. Of course Xenophon and Plato are very close in geography and time so what Greek culture means to them should be closer.
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  12. #112
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    Judeo-Christian ethics are illogica
    No, they aren't, given the premises. (even christian homophobia ala. the RCC is logically consistent, it's stupid, but it's not illogical)

    Banning infanticide is perfectly logical if you assume everyone is born with a soul and that harming other souls is bad.

    Decent amounts of them!
    I'm not a classicist, so I don't share their reverence of the subject, but no: We DON'T have a decent amount of sources on antuiquity. That's the problem. They're ALL very, very biased (not in the sense of deliberate distortion, but in the sense of being written by and for a particular social group, at a very particular locality)

    EDIT: And of course, a late-imperial novel has as much to do with classical attitudes as our modern world has to do with the 15th century. Even granting that change was slower, that's still an awful lot of time.

    Or on local wide-arsed feminists (Aristophanes had real a real problem with Euripides. And Agathon. And women. And the wide-arsed. Sounds familiar, I suppose, and sort of what you argued - yet it was not a Misogynist Pederast but a Misogynist homophobe that we're discussing.)
    I've always found it interesting how Aristophanes in the Symposium is the man who presents the view of the subject that is the most like ours (he even mentions lesbians!)
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  13. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
    No, they aren't, given the premises. (even christian homophobia ala. the RCC is logically consistent, it's stupid, but it's not illogical)

    Banning infanticide is perfectly logical if you assume everyone is born with a soul and that harming other souls is bad.



    I'm not a classicist, so I don't share their reverence of the subject, but no: We DON'T have a decent amount of sources on antuiquity. That's the problem. They're ALL very, very biased (not in the sense of deliberate distortion, but in the sense of being written by and for a particular social group, at a very particular locality)

    EDIT: And of course, a late-imperial novel has as much to do with classical attitudes as our modern world has to do with the 15th century. Even granting that change was slower, that's still an awful lot of time.



    I've always found it interesting how Aristophanes in the Symposium is the man who presents the view of the subject that is the most like ours (he even mentions lesbians!)
    I am aware that the CC (there are like two dozen as one) is entirely logical without exceptions (hence why people complain they are too strict) given their premises. Indeed giving their premises burning heretics is completely logically justifiable. I am however using illogical to refer to their presence of a creator who endowed everyone with souls and thus equal dignity.
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  14. #114
    Arilou, what is homophobia? Phobias are irrational fears, wouldn't they have to be afraid of gays for it to be homophobia
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  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sun_Wu View Post
    Arilou, what is homophobia? Phobias are irrational fears, wouldn't they have to be afraid of gays for it to be homophobia
    Semantic drift; but it generally means irrational dislike rather than an uncontrollable fear. And it's all pretty irrational.

    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou
    I'm not a classicist, so I don't share their reverence of the subject, but no: We DON'T have a decent amount of sources on antuiquity. That's the problem. They're ALL very, very biased (not in the sense of deliberate distortion, but in the sense of being written by and for a particular social group, at a very particular locality)

    EDIT: And of course, a late-imperial novel has as much to do with classical attitudes as our modern world has to do with the 15th century. Even granting that change was slower, that's still an awful lot of time.
    Given the length of time that's passed, and comparing to the middle ages (where this entire conversation started), yeah, I'd say pretty decent. Is it enough to do anything more with than conclude that opinions differed? Not to me, no.

    You know, it's an interesting point about Imperial-era novels (not written for aristocrats alone by any means, nor is Athens any more important than Alexandria unless you really mean a very strict Classical period) - they are usually cited as the point where Romantic Heterosexuality gets defined and enshrined (as opposed to the Pederastic Past) by most constructionists. Except really they're all over the place on both subjects.

    I dislike overly-systematising statements; I dislike construction of past mentalities because the method pretends to understand something we cannot really understand, based entirely on some mono-thesis cobbled together from contradictory sources if not completely invented, for the perverse reason of being afraid to project anything modern (but generally accepted as factual) backwards.
    Last edited by RGB; 20-06-2012 at 09:00.
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  16. #116
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    You know, it's an interesting point about Imperial-era novels (not written for aristocrats alone by any means, nor is Athens any more important than Alexandria unless you really mean a very strict Classical period) - they are usually cited as the point where Romantic Heterosexuality gets defined and enshrined (as opposed to the Pederastic Past) by most constructionists. Except really they're all over the place on both subjects.
    Eh? Romantic Heterosexuality as constructed tends to be dated later, arab poetry, if not chivalric romances.

    I dislike overly-systematising statements; I dislike construction of past mentalities because the method pretends to understand something we cannot really understand, based entirely on some mono-thesis cobbled together from contradictory sources if not completely invented, for the perverse reason of being afraid to project anything modern (but generally accepted as factual) backwards.
    Then why do you keep doing it if you dislike it so much?
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  17. #117
    Quote Originally Posted by RGB View Post
    Semantic drift; but it generally means irrational dislike rather than an uncontrollable fear. And it's all pretty irrational.



    Given the length of time that's passed, and comparing to the middle ages (where this entire conversation started), yeah, I'd say pretty decent. Is it enough to do anything more with than conclude that opinions differed? Not to me, no.

    You know, it's an interesting point about Imperial-era novels (not written for aristocrats alone by any means, nor is Athens any more important than Alexandria unless you really mean a very strict Classical period) - they are usually cited as the point where Romantic Heterosexuality gets defined and enshrined (as opposed to the Pederastic Past) by most constructionists. Except really they're all over the place on both subjects.

    I dislike overly-systematising statements; I dislike construction of past mentalities because the method pretends to understand something we cannot really understand, based entirely on some mono-thesis cobbled together from contradictory sources if not completely invented, for the perverse reason of being afraid to project anything modern (but generally accepted as factual) backwards.
    How queer. You'll have to define "irrational" and "dislike" in this situation, I dislike mustard because of the texture and I dislike Japan because it is atrocious , but they are two very different levels of dislike. I can assure you that despite how... distasteful we may find the Church's teachings they are completely logically consistent.


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  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arilou View Post
    Eh? Romantic Heterosexuality as constructed tends to be dated later, arab poetry, if not chivalric romances.
    Depends on the context of the argument. In any case, the Imperial Novel is a direct precursor to the later Islamic one and a few were well-known in Medieval Europe anyway.

    Then why do you keep doing it if you dislike it so much?
    Lies! Lies and filthy lies!

    The awesomeness of my position is that I have no mono-thesis! I'm simply seeing disagreements every which way. I don't pretend to systematise expression of desire in literature. I'm no Foucault or Alan Bray, I'm just trollin the internets.

    Nonetheless, saying "things back then were totally not how they are now, and this is how I think they were" seems a bit more of an extraordinary claim than "things back then were probably similar to things we see now and we don't have enough agreement in the sources to build a contrary picture".

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  19. #119
    I don't really see what's extraordinary about not assuming that modern ideas and views are laws of the universe which can be projected backwards to the beginning of time.

    e: If the sources don't give us a coherent and unified whole, my conclusion would be "people are complicated" rather than "the past is the same as today."

  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calanctus View Post
    I don't really see what's extraordinary about not assuming that modern ideas and views are laws of the universe which can be projected backwards to the beginning of time.
    Because unless you're going to assume a strictly agnostic position on everything thus killing all debate and inquiry, you're going to be substituting modern ideas and views with mental exercises based on spotty examples and generous dollops of unfounded assumptions, that's why. Claiming that is a better method really is pretty extraordinary.
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