Sunday, April 29, 2012

On Neolithic Goatherds


Almost as an aside, a couple of people on those threads I’ve been linking to like to mention Neolithic goatherds, as though what such notional creatures might or might not have believed has any relevance to what their current antagonists might believe. I imagine there have an idea that religion was deliberately invented by said goatherds and then imposed on a thousand generations of unwilling minds. It doesn’t work that way. Societies, tribes, groups- more than individuals- are continuously reinventing and renegotiating- with heavy borrowing it’s true, much like language- their understanding of the world and the way they reconcile themselves to it. The need to do it comes from inside them. Whether the answer they find corresponds to anything outside them is another question. It is, in fact, the big question. Neolithic goatherds are not germane.

6 comments:

Vincent said...

Nicely put! I'm curious now as to where these references are. Might you satisfy your reader's curiosity?

CIngram said...

I think it's particularly these two articles and the comment threads, although I seem to have heard it before, at that site and others.

I like Longrider's blog. I agree with him on most matters of freedom and responsibility and he writes well about these things, dropping in enough random stuff about cats and swans to stop you nodding off. But there's a strange character who pops up there from time to time and when he hears an opinion he disagrees with he THKWEAMTH and THWKEAMTH until he's THICK, in capital letters and with random puntuation, spraying bits of irrelevance about the place. It's hard to argue with someone like that, which is why I don't bother. But I do like to analyse arguments, so I do it here.

CIngram said...

By the way, you've finally inspired me to read Pessoa. If I can make any sense of him I'll write about it.

Longrider said...

Any references I make to bronze age goatherds during religious discussions is generally made tongue in cheek and should be taken in that light. It's just a crude way of saying that the whole thing is a bit daft, nothing more. I certainly don't expect people to be taking me too seriously when I say it.

CIngram said...

LR

Thanks for dropping by. I take on board your intention in using the term and shall interpret it in the spirit in which it is intended.

By the way, you have qualified for my QSL card.

CIngram said...

As I was saying, my QSL card.