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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:41 AM   #21

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Nothing to do with the OP, but I met a group of Anthroposophists a few years back who believed that individuals choose their lives before they are born, with awareness of how that life will pan out; choosing particular lives in order to teach their souls valuable lessons. According to them all those people who died in the 2004 tsunami had decided to be at that place at that time so that they could die in that way and enable their souls, and all those affected by the event, a lesson. I found that idea unnerving, and didn't get to the bottom of what that 'lesson' might have been.
That theory sounds ridiculous and almost justifies lacking empathy towards people who suffer.

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Even the smallest tribe had its chief. What some might euphemistically call a "king." Which the first European settlers often made the mistake of calling any native chieftain. However, chiefs are usually elected or chosen. Whereas "kings" are usually hereditary. Moreover, any sized group or community can have a "king."
I have seen these so-called "ruins" and they appear to be very small and extremely primitive communities of stone stacked structures. Nothing remotely sophisticated, What one would expect from the usual small stone age human communities. And yes, they could have been considered "significant" by the standards of the times. A population of a few hundred is certainly more significant than 50. Just as New York once only had a few hundred residents and was one of the largest European settlements on the eastern coast of North America. But I would hardly considered this particular New York as in any way "significant." Especially, when there were many Native American villages in the same region of far larger significance. And most of these same Native American communities were larger than either Sodom or Gommorah.
But there is no accounting how human imagination can take a community of a few hundred to become vast pleasure cities comparable to the magnificence of a Babylon, Athens or Persepolis.
Plus, as stories are passed down they get fabricated even more along the way. So the story could have started off as the actua events, but then 'glamourized' almost by the time it was written down.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:05 AM   #22

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I took one look at that link and lol'd.

Nothing credible has EVER come from those sorts...
Einstein once said "that imagination is always better than information." It is entirely unfair to label anyone who wishes to express any belief as a "sort." Sounds like blatent bigotry on your part. Moreover, tremendous amounts of very credible information have come from freely imaginative thinking. Einstein himself was once considered and accused of being the same "sort" you just applied to someone whom you really do not truly know.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 03:49 AM   #23

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But I would hardly considered this particular New York as in any way "significant." Especially, when there were many Native American villages in the same region of far larger significance. And most of these same Native American communities were larger than either Sodom or Gommorah.
I don't see how this is relevant unless you have evidence that there were much larger communities (Native American or not ) near the site. Troy was said to be too small to hold the city described in Illiad. But new evidence made those rather arbitrary proclaimers look silly. I am not saying this site is indeed Sodom, or that this site was indeed as large as the Bible described. But there is no conclusive evidence at all the community lived there was only a few hundred, or that it was insignificant because there were larger Native American communities in America when New York was founded. Too much leap of faith that really lost me.

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But there is no accounting how human imagination can take a community of a few hundred to become vast pleasure cities comparable to the magnificence of a Babylon, Athens or Persepolis.
I have yet to see anyone say Sodom is comparable to Babylon, Athens, or Perspolis. Maybe in being spiritually decadent, but definitely not in terms of scale.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 07:04 AM   #24

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Originally Posted by Zarin View Post
Even the smallest tribe had its chief. What some might euphemistically call a "king." Which the first European settlers often made the mistake of calling any native chieftain. However, chiefs are usually elected or chosen. Whereas "kings" are usually hereditary. Moreover, any sized group or community can have a "king."
I have seen these so-called "ruins" and they appear to be very small and extremely primitive communities of stone stacked structures. Nothing remotely sophisticated, What one would expect from the usual small stone age human communities. And yes, they could have been considered "significant" by the standards of the times. A population of a few hundred is certainly more significant than 50. Just as New York once only had a few hundred residents and was one of the largest European settlements on the eastern coast of North America. But I would hardly considered this particular New York as in any way "significant." Especially, when there were many Native American villages in the same region of far larger significance. And most of these same Native American communities were larger than either Sodom or Gommorah.
But there is no accounting how human imagination can take a community of a few hundred to become vast pleasure cities comparable to the magnificence of a Babylon, Athens or Persepolis.
It was the sin of the people, not the size of the city, that is the focus of the Biblical story. They were prosperous settlements that refused to listen to God's warnings. That is how they have been compared to Babylon, Jerusalem and Rome. I've not seen them compared to Athens or Persepolis.

And it is not European settlers who are calling the leaders of these cities 'kings', but the writer(s) of Genesis, who would have been familiar with the concept of kingship from the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Edom, Babylon, Egypt or other wealthy states (depending on when you believe Genesis was written). Whilst the concept of what is a 'king' or a 'chief' is fluid across cultures (some kings are elected [eg ancient Rome or mediaeval Poland] and some chiefs are hereditary [eg Scottish clans]) a distinction is made between chiefs and kings in talking about leaders in Genesis, chiefs generally meaning smaller family and/or nomadic groups, whereas kings represent greater power and establishment.

Last edited by Moros; November 18th, 2012 at 07:22 AM.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 11:05 AM   #25

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It was the sin of the people, not the size of the city, that is the focus of the Biblical story. They were prosperous settlements that refused to listen to God's warnings. That is how they have been compared to Babylon, Jerusalem and Rome. I've not seen them compared to Athens or Persepolis.

And it is not European settlers who are calling the leaders of these cities 'kings', but the writer(s) of Genesis, who would have been familiar with the concept of kingship from the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, Edom, Babylon, Egypt or other wealthy states (depending on when you believe Genesis was written). Whilst the concept of what is a 'king' or a 'chief' is fluid across cultures (some kings are elected [eg ancient Rome or mediaeval Poland] and some chiefs are hereditary [eg Scottish clans]) a distinction is made between chiefs and kings in talking about leaders in Genesis, chiefs generally meaning smaller family and/or nomadic groups, whereas kings represent greater power and establishment.
Well, then it comes down to whether the writers of Genesis, created a morality story after the fact. One to explain the sudden catastrophe that occurred to five obscure and very primitive communities that cannot remotely be compared to Babylon, Jerusalem, Rome or Athens and Persepolis. Whether this morality invention was really the act of some all powerful deity with very fickle judgement. Especially in light of the many far more wicked communities on this planet that certainly deserved a "smiting," yet survived to grow even larger and far more wicked. Strange judgement from an all powerful omnipresent deity. No?
What is the saddest part of all of this is how millions of individuals have had to be subjected to the whimsical morality applications of a few sheepherders living in an obscure desert region. Ones, who invented a causality for the elimination of 5 really very insignificant stone stacked villages. Communities that should have completely slipped into forgetfullness, while other far more important civilizations, such as Gobekli Tepe were completely forgotten until accidentally discovered. And Gobekli Tepe is a colossus compared to all of the "five cities of the plain" put together. Yet there are individuals on this planet who believe it is moral and just to kill, harn or discriminate against certain individuals because of the assumptions and inventions that arose out of this truly obscure event.
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Old November 18th, 2012, 01:29 PM   #26

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I ask again....
are there any geologists about?
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Old November 19th, 2012, 09:04 AM   #27

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I ask again....
are there any geologists about?
Well I've got an 'O' level in geology, I have also been to the dead sea and am fairly good at looking at things on the internet.
Try this.....

The Dead Sea --
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Old November 19th, 2012, 09:36 AM   #28

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Well I've got an 'O' level in geology, I have also been to the dead sea and am fairly good at looking at things on the internet.
Try this.....

The Dead Sea --
Thanks Davidius. That will do for now.

And what do I find under the 'Way Cool Facts' section (shouldn't every academic text have one of those...) Only this -

Some geologists believe that according to the account given in the Old Testament, the sin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were located on or near the Al-Lisan peninsula in the Dead Sea, and rather than God's wrath for their sinful ways, they were more likely ruined by saturated soil and highly flammable bitumen. And what about Lot's wife turning into a pillar of salt? Geologists put forth the idea that if she did turn into a pillar of salt it is because of the briny nature of the Dead Sea, however, it is more likely a result of salt floes resembling a female figure being thrown up by surging water.

What I also think is that the receding sea level, and I'm sure the wind as well, created the shapes that resemble man-made ruins.

Here's a random picture of the Grand Canyon. Is there not a resemblance to pyramids and high walls? But we know it was created naturally, so no-one ever thinks it was a city built by giants.
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Old November 19th, 2012, 10:38 AM   #29

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I ask again....
are there any geologists about?
Most of your competent archeologists are well versed in geology as this is a requirement in finding or locating any unusual non-geologic structures. It can, however, be very difficult to tell the difference. However sedimentation and the types of materials of which any structure consists can be most revealing. Not to mention physical dating as well. Often professional geologists are included in archeological teams. There is a somewhat indistinct line between what is man-made and what is nature. However, competent geologists can tell the difference while mere archeologists might get a bit confused or overly enthusiastic.
Most natural surfaces are created by heating, cooling, crystallization, compression, fracturing, sedimentation, organic interference or weathering. All of which a competent geologist can determine up to a certain point. It is when these natural causalities appear to be abnormal or unlikely that the hand of man may be considered more likely. Nature does not tend to line up stone bricks of similar sizes in straight lines. Nor does it stack them in symmetrical patterns. It definitely does not arrange them in pre-arranged selective designs such as the Incas used. Fracturing can sometimes appear manmade, but there are ways to determine if this is caused by natural processes. Carving is much easier to determine as nature has certain ways of doing this that are distinctly different from what human hands are capable of. Weathering is the most obvious cause of nature creating certain effigies that do appear to be man-made. But with further investigation actually are not. Moreover, the more complete, structured and accurate an effigy is, the more likely it is to be manmade. Nature doesn't normally create metallic or crystalline effigies, but it can. However, the possibility is extremely unlikely. It is in the field of technology that human interface is most likely to be evident. Presence of controlled fire and symmetrically arranged materials of an organic or non-organic nature is much more conclusive to suggest the presence of intelligent activity. The presence of any technological indications outside the capability of natural processes is a clear indication of either human or some other form of intelligent purpose. And humans are not the only species capable of this. There are several others as well.
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