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 Religions - The Benefits

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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 23 Aug 2016, 15:44

I've found the full text of the Brontë essay, and wanted to add a few more lines to the quotation given above. Compare this view of the natural world with the brain-washing about Nature's benignity which was the Wordsworthian inheritance. "Nature," wrote Wordsworth, "never did betray/The heart that loved her..." Brontë's vision stands more on a base of sturdy empiricism which surely you  -and Darwin - must applaud.

As mentioned above, seventeen years before the publication of The Origin of the Species, young Emily was commenting:

Look there, these flies playing above the brook, swallows and fish diminishing their number every minute; those becoming, in their turn, the prey of some tyrant of air or water: and man, for his amusement or for his needs, will kill their murderers. Nature is an inexplicable problem, it exists on a principle of destruction; it is necessary to be the tireless instrument of death to others, or cease to live itself; and yet, we celebrate the day of our birth and we praise God for having entered such a world...why was (this maggot) created and why was man created? He tortures, he kills, he devours; he suffers, dies, is devoured - there you have his whole history...
... at this moment the universe seemed to me a vast machine constructed solely to produce evil.


These are not the musings of a "religious type", certainly not a Victorian, female "religious type".
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 11:11

Priscilla, not a "myth-take" (that did make me laugh!) at all.  Please raise the point here, or on the Myth thread. The understanding of biblical allusions is an enormous benefit if one is studying Literature, for example. Kids without classical and scriptural knowledge find themselves at a huge disadvantage - such stuff still gets studied - and discussed - in fee-paying schools, of course, but rarely now in State schools. And that is a mythtake.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 15:14

Well folks, you see, er um, I e-mailed Temps to remark that it would be a mythtake to mention here that whereas nordmann says in the Myths thread  that life with out ref to classical myths would be difficult yet he has such strong feelings about the importance of what he calls the Jesus myth. Now I am not looking for trouble but Temps has a knack of goading me into it.... again.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 15:18

Sorry.

Good Goad -  not another apology from me! Let's have more apologetics here!





Last edited by Temperance on Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:13; edited 2 times in total
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 15:25

The mythology surrounding the Jesus character is still in its formative stage (myth forms right up to its demise), though in latter years we have seen a growing element of deconstruction over construction in terms of development - a sign generally that any myth's days are numbered regarding popular relevance. It began of course with much anyway that had been rather obviously borrowed from other mythological sources, and stands therefore as testimony to those original sources' value and longevity, not necessarily its own.

None of which is to say that any dying myth, once expired, does not leave cultural residue in its wake which retains a perceived benefit, even if not the one originally perceived or intended. Religious myth is no exception and of course may confer benefits of this nature, though always incidentally, if not even accidentally. The same can be said of ideologies past their sell-by date, or indeed any disproved scientific theory or defunct philosophy. They rarely depart without leaving something deemed useful in their passing, of however little comparative worth that something might be.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 18:08

Temps, surely in the classical sense an apology was a defense - as in Plato's Apology  re the trial of Socrates...... who, in tangent interest here, was accused of impiety towards the gods of the city. This being a useful ploy lest, I suppose, attention was drawn to his definite impiety towards the growing immoral politics of the city. Protagoras somehow dodged the hemlock cup but they had his books burned because of his close to atheistic opinion. And as a further  by the by observation, Protagoras  took part in the first Rhetoric competition introduced into the Olympic Games.  That's due for a revival, I suggest. 
All right, I'll get back to the bar and shut up and ponder death of a cult and arising myths  from it- or possibly just read bottle labels.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 18:16

Yep, it's an argument to defend one's position or one's views - not an apology for anything. I think it was originally a Greek legal term, but I'm not sure.

But I ain't talking about nuffin Greek no more. I'm having a huff. I made an awful mythtake on the myth thread talking about rice pudding, and I'm really embarrassed.



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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:00

Misuse of huffs, also. Huffs are only snatched from the bar shelf when stridng out offended. A crass offender of embarrassing posts merely slopes off. Slopes (downward) can be found at the bar. Rice pudding is not allowed there.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:11

I wrote:


Sorry.

Good Goad -  not another apology from me! Let's have more apologetics here!




But the above was not a misuse of "apologetics". I meant, "Let's have fewer apologies (from me), and more reasoned argument!" It were a play on words, mate.

But huff was indeed misused above. I am having a squirm about my rice pudding error, norranuff.


Last edited by Temperance on Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:53; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:15

Got in a muddle editing and quoting. Think I've rectified it all now.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 19:55

Temperance wrote:
I wrote:


Sorry.

Good Goad -  not another apology from me! Let's have more apologetics here!




But the above was not a misuse of "apologetics". I meant, "Let's have fewer apologies (from me), and more reasoned argument!" It were a play on words, mate.

But huff was indeed misused above. I am having a squirm about my rice pudding error, norrahuff.

Temperance and Priscilla, how a Dutch speaking Belgian is learning English overhere. But also a conclusion that your posts start to be not that easy to read, a bit as the Nordmann ones and that's a congratulation...
"goad" I found: a sharp pointed stick to drive cattle, a spur or excitement
"apologia" a formal written defence of a cause
"apology" an expresion of regret for some wrong doing
"squirm" to wriggle, to feel deep discomfort. noun: a wriggling movement.
"wriggle" I can understand better as we have the word "wrikkelen" in our dialect, looking in the Dutch dictionary the word seems no to exist...in our dialect it means the same as in English "wriggle"...and we have also the word "wrikkelaar" (he/she who wriggles)...how polyvalent we are with our dialects...oops and I forgot to add: a wrikklar can be quite embarrasing as bed partner...not my wife if you suppose...

Your mutual friend, Paul.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 20:58

Good goad - good god - good gaad - good gawd!

....... But thankfully you didn't mistake a good goad for a good gode (as in a French godemiché Shocked ...)

Now that would be taking things perhaps a bit too far... Oooo-err!

OK, I'll get my coat, côte, or cote.


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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 21:24

Good Goad was originally Priscilla's bon mot, like mythtake. I pinched it.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 21:33

Nevertheless I unfortunately now always associate it with a good gode Embarassed .
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 21:35

I do hope this is not something risqué. I suspect it could be.

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Sun 28 Aug 2016, 22:06

Risqué? Peut-être ... mais seulement si vous connaissez français.

Well let's maybe put it this way ... a gode reaches the places other goads rarely reach.

....... And on that, rather euphemistic note, I really must apologise for lowering the tone, yet again ....  and on a religiously-themed thread too!.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 03:20

PaulRyckier wrote:
Quote :
Temperance and Priscilla, how a Dutch speaking Belgian is learning English overhere. But also a conclusion that your posts start to be not that easy to read, a bit as the Nordmann ones and that's a congratulation...
...

Your mutual friend, Paul.


From me too, Paul, there's so much to learn.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 08:12

Meles meles wrote:
Well let's maybe put it this way ... a gode reaches the places other goads rarely reach ...

... and, surprisingly, was overlooked by Priscilla when attempting to list off her "benefits" of religion. The dildo has a long and honourable association with religious belief - at least from when those living in the Paleolithic era realised that siltstone lent itself to being polished to a high gloss using available tools. And nor was this innovation restricted to female - er - "religious observation". Cave art from (where else) France provides some rather graphic examples of spirituality in action, and the artefacts so far discovered tend to point to even more excessive spirituality than the holy pictures allude to;


A paleolithic dildo and double-dildo (circa 15,000 to 11,000 BCE)


Mutual male intercourse (circa 14,000 BCE)


Mutual female breast-rubbing (circa 15,000 BCE)
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 09:06

Hopefully the above was meant as a serious post and not one sent merely to raise a few sniggers at the expense of female contributors. That would dismay the women who bother to support this site and would indeed be a shame.

Obviously human sexuality, fertility and religion are entwined. As with most human activity, there is always paradox, always the possibility for good and evil. However, these days one would hesitiate before claiming sexual pleasure as a benefit of religion. Please read the following article in which the New York Times claims that there is deep-seated religious justification for rape and sexual captivity within the  so-called Islamic State. I quote its opening paragraphs after the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/world/middleeast/isis-enshrines-a-theology-of-rape.html?_r=0




QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 09:43

Were I the taking-offence type I would now be seriously huffed.

The correlation between sexual activity and religion far exceeds justification for rape in the minds of badly thought out Islamic State extremists - in that sentiment alone for example you have discounted countless millennia of fertility rituals enthusiastically and willingly engaged in by communities across the globe in a myriad of fashions, with sex as an important element. The assumption that religion can only be associated with sexual pleasure if also associated with coercion and assault suggests in fact that you have even less of a regard for religion than I do. In other times and in other places (and for many more millennia than the Abrahamic codes have been around) it would appear that sex was not an agent of coercion or a source of shame for the religious practitioner. The cave art and artefacts depicted above are an indication of this, as they also are of how ancient and venerable (if not venereal) an aspect to worship this was too.

There is no reason to suppose that "these days" it should be any different, except of course for those whose religions have encouraged them to see sex as an immoral act or simply an agent of coercion. I humbly suggest that the paleolithic double-dildo represents a far healthier attitude to both sex and religion than the narrow and frankly anti-social views you cite might indicate, and on that basis (however unpopular it may be amongst "devout" followers of modern religious brands) I will still submit that it represents a benefit, especially if those enlightened religions of their day encouraged their development and use, as consensually as such use was sensual of course.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 10:31

Clearly you have not noted my comment:

I wrote:
As with most human activity, there is always paradox, always the possibility for good and evil.



nordmann wrote:
  In other times and in other places (and for many more millennia than the Abrahamic codes have been around) it would appear that sex was not an agent of coercion...




But there was occasionally the odd human sacrifice involved, was there not, in some of the more elaborate fertility rituals? That can't have been much fun if one was a chosen victim. Or did Sir James Frazer and Robert Graves get that wrong? But their stuff is so old now and, no doubt, well out-of-date.

The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief and scientific thought, discussing fertility rites, human sacrifice, the dying god, the scapegoat and many other symbols and practices whose influence has extended into twentieth-century culture.[2] Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship and periodic sacrifice of a sacred king. Frazer proposed that mankind progresses from magic through religious belief to scientific thought.

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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 10:38

Temp wrote:
But there was occasionally the odd human sacrifice involved, was there not, in some of the more elaborate fertility rituals?

I believe there was, yes. However dildos were not involved in such executions (to the best of my knowledge) so I cannot see how this could be construed as beneficial.

Anyway, even if they were and religion's contribution to their development was primarily to that end (death by dildo), then one can still say that the dildo - which after all has uses these days other than as a weapon - represents a benefit of religion, however accidentally.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 10:45

Well, as ever, when it come to smart-smut, you win, chuck. And that you can't deny!

Over and out.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 11:04

Temperance wrote:
Well, as ever, when it come to smart-smut, you win, chuck. And that you can't deny!

Over and out.

'Smut', Temp? Really? I'd suggest that those implements may have induced at least as much, and possibly more genuine, ecstatic revelation as any of the other techniques employed by all religions to allow their followers to reach transcendence.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 12:56

As the Bishop said to the actress; religion makes a great foil for humour. As for the historic examples found by nord - surely his makes for fascinating search history, similar has long been chalked on our viaduct walls - not for religious reasons, I imagine nor intellectual.  Of course there is much covert speculation about who does it - and why. All walkers make a point of going that way to see the latest.  whether for transcendance  is moot.  
It might give the viewing figures here a boost  - and ever so intellectual and historical too.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 13:13

You are in quite a minority (at least among anthropologists and archaeologists) if you think the cave art exemplified above is simply lewd graffiti - in fact this speaks much more about your own attitudes than those of the artists which can be discerned from the artefacts in question, given the context of their creation and the workmanship involved which is commensurate with anything else considered of aesthetic and cultural value surviving from that period.

To me I see nothing smutty or lewd in these representations at all. I am reminded of the Sheila-Na-Gigs of my own country which also were seen as "smutty" by ignorant and religiously prejudiced minds to the extent that they were destroyed in their thousands to the point of near total annihilation within a few short decades having survived centuries, if not millennia, should the association with the ancient Irish "Cailleach" be correct in its assumption, itself a Gaelic manifestation of what might be a pre-Celtic fertility symbol.

Religion might make a great foil for humour, but in this instance it is being held up by me as a facilitator for the concept of joy in sex through its association of procreation with general fertility, and thereby indirectly providing a pre-cursor for modern healthy attitudes towards sexuality which more recent manifestations of religion than those represented above have attempted to eradicate or subvert.

I would have thought you'd be pleased with my example. Instead you think I am making a joke? If you and Temp can get over your own aversions to what you obviously perceive as mere smut then maybe you can actually appreciate the benefit being cited here.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 14:40

Gosh no. History is surely a study of all such stuff. And currently the very same material is alive and doing well - but not for religious reasons, so I assume. Sometimes there might be an issue with what is appropriate......there are several Lucien Freud works that I  would be selective in sharing on  greetings cards, for instance. I wonder also what was in the cave artitst's mind when scratching them out. I met up with much wonder of the phallic creations in the east and was careful about who I took to view them. 

Possibly our local History group also include our great viaduct wall display for the pics collection of each decade. 

Ah, and what does all that have to say about me....... who cares?
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 14:47

Whether sexual arousal has any role to play in religion or not (I suspect it has, though with respect to the subject under discussion I would never suggest it was a benefit that derived solely from that source), the point about dildos remains a quite separate one and within the thread's remit. They give pleasure to many (not just women) and they appear to have been developed at least partially within a spiritual context. If so, then they represent a benefit - regardless of who you would be selective in showing them to, or regardless if mentioning this rather self-evident point is "smart-smut" to one's ears.

The history of smut is something else - I'll leave that one to the experts.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 15:29

I find all of this a somewhat tortuous path to associate with a benefit of religion because we never touched on it at Sunday School, RI or in comparative religious study - nor did I  with  people of  many and varied religions and sects I have been very closely associated with; more than the average experience, I'm certain.... over 30 at a quick count. Had I better take our Viaduct Visionary more seriously? I have heard guides deduce high minded spiritual thoughts about phallic objects - the nodding agreement from  the gathering being as funny as the pompous observation. 

Can't take me anywhere, can you?
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 15:36

Of course your images were of historical interest, nordmann; and the role of sex in religious ritual is important. I'm thinking of the Dionysian mysteries now which, I believe, were favoured by women and slaves. I know sex and alcohol were involved, but I do not know if they waved dildos about during their rather frenzied rites*. I have a friend who is something of an expert on such stuff (religious ritual, I mean, not dildos, although you never know). I'll ask him next time I email him. Then again, I may not. Our relationship is platonic and I don't want him getting the wrong idea.

But I still think that - perhaps - you are being a teeny-weeny bit dishonest with us in your protestations of complete innocence. You must forgive me - no, that's too much to ask - but the thought of your racking your brain (which we all know is enormous and which we all admire very much) for a benefit that could be attributed to religion does rather beggar belief. But perhaps I am being unfair - I do always try to consider that as a possibility.

PS I am neither ignorant nor religiously prejudiced; unlike Priscilla, I care very much about such an imputation. I would hate to be seen as a joyless, miserable old cow, rather like that horrible nun in Philomena.

PPS I do, unlike you, have a bit of a smutty mind  Embarassed , although I do not consider myself an expert on the subject. However, I was married to a sailor and they are indeed a dreadfully smutty lot. One day I shall perhaps recount my husband's response to my telling him about Saint Jerome's trials when he spent weeks in the desert without human contact of any kind - certainly without female company. Poor Jerome was often tormented by visions of the "naked dancing girls of Rome", hallucinations he believed were sent by the Devil. My husband expressed great sympathy for the lonely saint, although he was not at all religious (my husband, that is, not Saint Jerome).

PPPS I do hope things can be smoothed over yet again; I am dying to start a thread on Homophobia, Henry VIII's Sodomy Act (1533) and the Protestant Reformation, something I touched on yesterday in my David Rizzio post on the Ninnycock thread. If I am forced into Huffy Corner, I shall not be able to do so, which would be a shame.


EDIT: * It is confirmed that they did.


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 17:29

Oh dear, I fear it was my silly, schoolboy humour, aiming at no higher intellectual level than a purile smutty giggle, that has prompted this round of rancour .... although at the same time the comments have been very interesting. I'd never encountered those examples of cave art before and for once at least part of their intended use would appear to be evident ... alongside the usual explanation of them being "of some ritual significance".

Please don't retreat into the Huffy Corner, Temp ... be proud, come out! ... and start your Renaissance/Reformation Homophobia thread. I'm interested in your thoughts ... for a start just why did Henry VIII in 1533 feel the need to enact his Sodomy Act? But that, as you say, is not a matter for this thread. And apologies, P, for diverting your thread just for a smutty giggle ... although as I say, it has led to some interesting comments.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 18:04

What a nice post, MM. Although you were indeed a bit of a naughty boy last night, your message is a gracious and honest one. Here, have a glass of my posh wine. Cheers

MM wrote:
 And apologies, P, for diverting your thread just for a smutty giggle ... although as I say, it has led to some interesting comments.


And, what's more, we have all learnt the French for dildo, a new if a somewhat rude word to add to our knowledge of the Gallic tongue. Possibly not a noun to be used in everyday conversation, but it could be an interesting addition to the post-Brexit Franglais For Beginners: A Useful Phrases Guide. What, by the way, is the French for smutty, as in "Moi, smutty? Mais non, monsieur! Certainement non! Je suis une intellectuelle, moi!"

On a serious note, I shall start my new thread tomorrow. I wonder if modern homophobia really started with the rabid Bible-reading Protestants of the 16th century? I thought it might be worth looking into.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 18:56

Sweet sister Temperance you don't believe it but I learned first time in my life the English word "dildo". We have a hunderd words for it in our dialect, but "dildo" for God's sake???We will not ask Nordmann for the etymology, don't we? But I have to say the thread started by Priscilla is indeed interesting and has so many "facets"...

And I join Meles meles in his attempt to push you to introduce us to another interesting thread.

Paul...from the sideline...
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Mon 29 Aug 2016, 19:00

Although the etymology of the word dildo is unclear, the Oxford English Dictionary explains its colourful early literary history: the word’s first appearance in English was in Thomas Nashe’s Choise of Valentines or the Merie Ballad of Nash his Dildo (c. 1593). The word also appears in Ben Jonson’s 1610 play, The Alchemist. Wobbleweapon used the term once in The Winter’s Tale (Act IV, sc iv):


Servant:
He hath songs for man or woman, of all sizes; no
milliner can so fit his customers with gloves: he
has the prettiest love-songs for maids; so without
bawdry, which is strange; with such delicate
burthens of dildos and fadings, 'jump her and thump
her;' and where some stretch-mouthed rascal would,
as it were, mean mischief and break a foul gap into
the matter, he makes the maid to answer 'Whoop, do me
no harm, good man;' puts him off, slights him, with
'Whoop, do me no harm, good man.'
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 09:20

Priscilla wrote:
I find all of this a somewhat tortuous path to associate with a benefit of religion because we never touched on it at Sunday School, RI or in comparative religious study - nor did I  with  people of  many and varied religions and sects I have been very closely associated with; more than the average experience, I'm certain.... over 30 at a quick count.

I bow to your expertise, so. I stupidly took "religion" to mean what it says in Temp's dictionary.

But Temp's assessments aside (and boy are they getting personal) I have been thinking about this general issue more admittedly than I have cared to in the past and now think that I am doing religion a disservice by focusing on the humble dildo as evidence of its contribution to the pursuit of the transcendent through sexual gratification. As Temp rightly pointed out the more modern Abrahamic faiths have tended towards coercion and abuse in this pursuit, but before this unfortunate development religion appears to have been the "go to" place for those attracted to wild sexual abandon, a healthy satiation of natural desires, and all with the bonus of believing that engaging in such activities somehow contributed to the cosmic good. The example of the Dionysian mysteries above (cited by Temp in a later manifestation within Roman society) is a great starting point for unraveling religion's sterling efforts in getting all our rocks off with minimum guilt and maximum effort. Reduced in the scale of observance as they might have been at that time to those in society most in need of a bit of abandon, they certainly had already attained by then a long pedigree of observance within society as a whole, especially in their original adoptive country, Greece having imported the religious rite apparently from Anatolia (though once imported heavily customised it so that one could expand one's religious devotions from mere intoxication to anything, it seems, which relaxed social constraint).

That it served as a fundamental pillar of religious observation is not that clear any more, the traditional consensus being that it must surely have been a devotional sideshow to the "main" religion. But that assumption (not borne out by evidence but surely a retrospective assignment of importance coloured by Abrahamic tendencies) is somewhat challenged by the realisation that its origins appear to lie in devotion to Sabazios, the Thracian and Phrygian skyfather, the divine nomadic horseman whose name alone accounts etymologically for Zeus, Deus and even the Sabbath thanks to some Roman confusion with the Jewish Sabaos. No sideshow, he.

Hypsistarians, the proto-Christians who Christians have always astutely avoided referring to throughout their history for fear of diminishing claims to originality, were seemingly the ones who were responsible for the conflation of Sabaos with Sabazios (who by then had been Romanised to Sabazius, just to add to the confusion) and had attemptedly tried to "clean up" devotional rites associated with the cosmic nomad. We don't know what needed to be cleaned up (we only know their objections) but we do know that the Roman version of Dionysian Mysteries, depending on the region, apparently tallied so closely with rites associated with Sabazios as to be indistinguishable at times, so one can imagine what the proto-Christians were objecting to.

I suppose basically what I'm saying is that we should be grateful to religion for having done its damndest to supply us with an alternative to Christianity/Judaism/Islam which allowed us engage in guilt-free sex as a contribution to keeping the universe going. It didn't quite pull it off (ouch) but at least the humble dildo can stand as an emblem of its gallant effort.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 10:52

nordmann wrote:
But Temp's assessments aside (and boy are they getting personal)...


Yep, sorry about that: I was a bit narked by what I read into some of your comments.


Above is very interesting. What is odd is that, if all this wild abandon was so good for everyone, why did Christianity - with its emphasis on sexual continence - take such a hold? Paul's letter to the Corinthians is often mocked, but, read properly, he seems to suggest that love and respect in sexual relationships - whether heterosexual or homosexual - make for a happier and more fulfilling life. Most people - whether religious or not - have no argument with that. It's an ideal. Corinth in Paul's day was considered a shocking place, even by Roman standards; it was (I think) particulary known for ruthless and heartless sexual exploitation. Perhaps people were sick to death of wild abandon. Control and abandon - paradox again. Humans - or human society rather - does seem swing wildly from one extreme to the other.

There is always a middle way, surely. Most sane people would agree that repression of healthy sexuality - especially when such repression is the result of religious guilt and shame -  is of no benefit to anyone, but then again, sexual addiction is also now recognised as being as destructive an addiction as any other, and its reckless indulgence is of no benefit to anyone either.  And perhaps, like the poor, the sexually addicted have always been with us?

This is not thought through - awful muddle - but will still send. Want to look later at the rise of Protestant control of sex: all that Bible reading led to too much Bible thumping - and worse. Still does. Poor old Saint Paul - I sometimes wonder if he would weep at what we've made of his teaching. Would he say, "But that's not what I meant at all." I bet he would - and Jesus of Nazareth too. Alexandria has a lot to answer for.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:04

How can Aristotle's approach to ethics be applied to issues of sex and sexuality? I believe it's been called  'the Aristotelian strategy', but I know little about it. Aristotle was all for the application of reason to the urges of appetite, wasn't he? And Paul knew his Greek philosophers - I wonder how much he was indebted to Aristotle's ideas about the understanding of "virtue" as a benefit to us. Did Paul hijack Aristotle's earlier teachings on continence - a benefit of philosophy - and transform them into a benefit of his new religion?

And did Aristotle (and Plato before him) despise the devotees of the cult of Dionysius? Women and slaves, after all, were not known for their rational approach to life. I cannot imagine Aristotle advocating the use of sex toys as a particular benefit of Greek thought.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:26

Temp wrote:
Aristotle was all for the application of reason to the urges of appetite, wasn't he?

Yes, but women were incapable of it, according to Aristotle. Especially blondes.

Aristotle did most of his research on Lesbos and though he didn't write much about his techniques he certainly wrote about his findings. Among these were that women had orgasms (especially blondes), that women had sexual discharge during intercourse (especially blondes), that women lacked a natural tendency to shame about sex (especially blondes) and that they were quicker to sexual arousal than men (especially blondes). One can't help but deduce that Ari used at least a little of his time - stickler for method that he was - confirming his theories through observation and experiment, especially on blondes.

He also spent an inordinate amount of time separating "female fluids". As hobbies go it was probably weird even by Lesbian standards (you know what I mean) at the time. Keeping phials of menstrual blood, urine, vaginal lubrication and sexual discharge from the same vaginas on one's sideboard is an aspect to Aristotle that St Paul apparently did not continue.

He might have despised all that Dionysian carry-on, but his own carry-on (in the name of science) certainly must have looked pretty indistinguishable from that of the swingers down the road.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:48

nordmann wrote:
As hobbies go it was probably weird even by Lesbian standards (you know what I mean)...


No, I don't! Speak for yourself.

I should be outraged by that post, but I never was a very good feminist. As ever, I'll try to see the funny side and not be upset. What else is there to do?

Mine was an attempt at a serious post - big mistake on this thread! Lesson learnt - won't bother again.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 12:57

Don't shoot the messenger. You wondered about Aristotle's approach to ethics, urges and appetites, and unfortunately what I presented is true about the lad and a good indication of what he actually believed in this regard. If you want to understand Aristotle then his self-admitted blonde fixation and inordinate interest in vaginas is something you have to take on board too, just as you do the uncomfortable fact (for you apparently) that the inhabitants of Lesbos are called Lesbians (Aristotle was one himself).

Why the hell would you be outraged by the views of a man who's been dead for almost two and a half millennia? That'd be just weird. As weird as thinking I'm joking in fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 13:36

I certainly rose nicely to that bait, didn't I? I feel an awful fool, but it would have helped had you made it clear you were referring to a recent book:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/11/141130-aristotle-natural-history-seashells-biology-philosophy/

http://modernnotion.com/aristotle-philosopher-bedroom/

Anyway, I did think you were joking: most people, knowing your acerbic wit, probably did. Does that make me weird? Possibly. I'm sure you don't want weirdos hanging around your site, so perhaps best I crawl away under my weird person's little stone for a bit. Really annoying, as I've just spent ages working on my Henry VIII and Homophobia post. Talking of which, may I make it clear I have no problems with the inhabitants of any lovely Greek islands, or people named after such islands - just thought you were having a bit of a misogynistic dig. Sorry about that.

Temperance the Weird.


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 13:43

I wasn't referring to any recent book. Aristotle's views on the female of the species are well known, at least I thought they were.

Henry and the Homophobia Post. It sounds like an 80s band Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 13:50

Actually I believe the current inhabitants of that Greek island prefer to be known, at least in English, as Lesbosians.

And don't you dare hide away under a huffy stone ... I want to know about Henry's homophobia. It is fairly well attested that he was often impotent, at least with women, so maybe his homophobia was just his over-reacting to a personal issue. Just saying (but not on the right thread).

PS : All these references to dildos, homosexuality, religion, ... and now the Tudors as well, should earn this particular thread quite a lot more google views. Well done Priscilla!


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 13:58

Going down the beach for a swim now before the tide gets in.

Back later - maybe.

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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 16:37

MM wrote:
PS : All these references to dildos, homosexuality, religion, ... and now the Tudors as well, should earn this particular thread quite a lot more google views. Well done Priscilla!


Yes, if we can now introduce a few dragons (and zombies) into the thread, we'll be up there with the best of 'em. Our answer to Game of Thrones.

There's a big dragon thing in the Book of Revelation - perhaps we can work him into a post. Don't think he's much of a benefit, though.


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 19:11

Temperance wrote:
I certainly rose nicely to that bait, didn't I? I feel an awful fool, but it would have helped had you made it clear you were referring to a recent book:

http://modernnotion.com/aristotle-philosopher-bedroom/

Anyway, I did think you were joking: most people, knowing your acerbic wit, probably did. Does that make me weird? Possibly. I'm sure you don't want weirdos hanging around your site, so perhaps best I crawl away under my weird person's little stone for a bit. Really annoying, as I've just spent ages working on my Henry VIII and Homophobia post. Talking of which, may I make it clear I have no problems with the inhabitants of any lovely Greek islands, or people named after such islands - just thought you were having a bit of a misogynistic dig. Sorry about that.

Temperance the Weird.

Temperance, a bit touchy I presume...you now after all  these years know enough Nordmann to not let you trap into some of his expert "exposés". He mostly knows about what he is speaking. And yes thinking about it...he can also be a bit touchy...
Temperance, we need you overhere for your intellectual contribution to the board. And that contribution is brought as Nordmann's in a splendid English. I both thank you for that.

PS: And as Meles meles I am looking forwards to your further posts.

PPS: And I for all find that you brings "colour" to this board and without you it would be a lot more dull overhere.

Paul (not your new testament Paul)
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Tue 30 Aug 2016, 20:21

Paul (not Saint) wrote:
...you now after all  these years know enough Nordmann to not let you trap into some of his expert "exposés". He mostly knows about what he is speaking.



Yes, I know he does - usually. I'm still fuming about getting caught out by Aristotle and his penchant for tarty blondes. I didn't know they had blondes in Greece in the very olden times. Where on earth did they get their highlights done?

PS But thank you for your kind words - a soothing salve for my injured pride. Smile


PPS I knew Aristotle said odd things about male and female sex organs - wombs wandering about the body and all that, but collecting female body fluids? Good grief, Saint Paul would have had a fit.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 01 Sep 2016, 07:18

MM wrote:

And don't you dare hide away under a huffy stone ... I want to know about Henry's homophobia. It is fairly well attested that he was often impotent, at least with women, so maybe his homophobia was just his over-reacting to a personal issue. Just saying (but not on the right thread).


Wasn't actually thinking that Henry himself had any repressed homosexual tendencies, MM; I was more interested in Protestants v. Catholics and how enthusiastic Bible reading among the former group may have triggered religious homophobia. It was Cromwell who pushed the 1533 Act through Parliament. Officially it was a way of getting at the monks - and their property - but perhaps there was more to it than that. And Retha M. Warnicke, in her book about Anne Boleyn, looks at the question in her chapter on "Sexual Heresy".

I may start a thread on this topic in the future, I don't know. I'm not being huffy after all the above "weird" nonsense, I'm just a bit fed-up generally at the moment. Need a break!


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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 01 Sep 2016, 08:06

Temp wrote:
Need a break!

I know the feeling ...

Mind you, if you have a thread addressing religion, and more so one that includes discussion about Aristotle, "weird" is bound to arise at some early point. A bit like considering Tudor homophobia within the context of "Religions - The Benefits". It's amazing where these discussions can go sometimes.

For what it's worth I reckon the Tudor attitude is almost impossible to analyse in purely modern terms, including the term "homosexuality" itself which would be unknown to interested parties until the 19th century. If Cromwell concentrated on "sodomites" and "catamites" (and "tribadites" within the nunneries) when composing charge sheets against the ecclesiastic orders he was simply typical of his age in England in stipulating the behavioural implications rather than the character or nature of homosexual people, though typical also would have been that the charge carried no direct legal implications for the accuser or the accused beyond tainting character - it wouldn't be until James I that the first court case prosecuting a male homosexual simply for being homosexual actually occurred (ironically enough given James' own attitudes and behaviour, though indeed the rather vindictive legal pursuit of the 2nd Earl of Castlehaven could well be regarded as a warning shot across James' own bow by parties wishing to remind him of how he should consider exactly whose control he was actually under).

Worth a thread in its own right, I agree.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 01 Sep 2016, 09:12

Temperance wrote:

Wasn't actually thinking that Henry himself had any repressed homosexual tendencies, MM; I was more interested in Protestants v. Catholics and how Bible-reading among the former group may have triggered religious homophobia. It was Cromwell who pushed the 1533 Act through Parliament. Officially it was a way of getting at the monks - and their property - but perhaps there was more to it than that....

I wasn't being serious and I also very much doubt Henry had any such tendencies ... I was just goading you (NB spelling) to come out from under your stone. But I should have guessed it was Cromwell's idea to introduce the act to lend yet more weight to the plan to get his hands on the monastic coffers.

Interestingly accusations of unnatural practices, including sodomy, were amongst those charges levelled at the Knights Templar when in 1307 Philippe IV of France - who was deeply in debt to them - took advantage of the Templar's loss of power in the Holy Land, to break up the order. In a well-planned operation nearly all the senior Templars were arrested simultaneously, tortured into giving false confessions, and then burned at the stake. And most importantly for Philippe the majority of the Order's considerable assets in money, land and property, could then be seized by the Crown. Sodomy was not specifically a crime in France - indeed it was uncertain whether the order had committed any crimes at all (other charges were corruption and financial fraud) and in any case the Order was generally recognised throughout Christendom as being exempt from local and state law, and answerable only to the Pope. Unfortunately for the Templars, Pope Clement V, now based not in Rome but at Avignon, was heavily leaned on by Philippe. Under the French king's pressure Clement completely disbanded the order in 1312.

I wonder if Cromwell got some of his ideas for over-ruling the Papacy and then sowing rumours of immoral behaviour and actions against nature and God amongst England's monasteries, in part from Philippe's highly profitable attack on the Templars.
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PostSubject: Re: Religions - The Benefits   Thu 08 Sep 2016, 09:47

Didn't know anything about Philippe IV and the Knights Templar - thank you for that, MM. Still mulling things over, like you do.


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