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2009-06-15

I love how the bible says that God came up with names for all this stuff. Think about what it entails to name something. Even though humans didn't even exist yet, God felt the need to create an alphabet, syntax, vocalizations, words, and a functioning language, just so he can talk to himself. But, I guess if you've been sitting around for all eternity with nothing else to do you tend to get a little batty.

We're all the way up to Genesis 1:5 now!

 

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The Snake writes:

 

I've always asked this, but the typical response I always get is "you can't question God." Bleh.

Veritas writes:

 

Vocabulary is a pressing matter for me. I don't get how one just 'names' something what it is. Our language is derived from Greek and Latin and French and all this other stuff, but where did those languages come from? Aboriginal language (those of the indigenous culture here in Australia) is one of the oldest still spoken languages we know of, and yet I don't get how it began calling objects what they called them on a whim. It is a strange matter indeed...

merideth writes:

 

wut about cavemen!! wut happened to "ugg"???

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Sorry, according to Young-Earth Creationists, cavemen don't exist. To them all the thousands of skeletons of Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo floresiensis, and early Homo sapiens are all either 100% ape or 100% human. It doesn't matter that they show a progression of skeletal and societal evolution over a period of several hundred thousand years.

Spectre100 writes:

 

Best satirical episode of 'creation of vocabulary' IMHO is in Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In one chapter, a Missile ALMOST hits the ship our protagonist group is in, when something important to the storyline happens and the missile is turned into an existentialist Whale who must come to terms with existing before immediately being forced to come to terms with not existing anymore. During the duration of his FREEFALL from sub-orbital heights, he names things around him... conveniently, the same thing the rest of us call it... perhaps that's pretty close to the truth, at least like they want us to believe it...

kris writes:

 

sorry to be such a stickler, but to call something "day" and "night", you don't really have to have an alphabet, syntax, vocalizations, words, or a functioning language (in the sense of a "human" or "natural language"). an alphabet you only need for writing (and if you write in, say, chinese style characters, you can even thendo without an alphabet in the technicel sense of the word). syntax you only need if you want to utter whole structured sentences. and a "word" as a category is a horrible sticky mess that lots of clever people have written very long books about.

let it suffice to say that just to have a "language" that is able to signify something as in having an arbitrary symbol for some concept you want to communicate is something can also do without the vocalisation, syntax, and -in the traditional narrow definition- "functioning" bit.
the waggle dance of bees could serve as an example, or the different kinds of warning cries that you find in lots of different animal species (birds, monkeys, meerkats, you name it) that specifically signify if you should duck to be save from the attack of an eagle or climb a tree to be safe from a snake.

anyway. i'll not go into the debate over the origin of language now -- i might still be here tomorrow. the wikipedia article on "origin of language" is pretty decent though, if anyone would like to know more.

however, i don't think this "calling it heaven and earth" business is a question of linguistics so much as a ritual: by giving something a name, you acknowledge it, adopt it, make it yours, even gain magical power over it. think of the episode where odysseus calls himself "nobody", or of the little prince where he has to tame the fox.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Well said kris! Yes, I suppose God could have created some unique language for his own fetish of talking to himself. Maybe he did the entire thing in interpretive dance--it's tough to say!

As for ritual... the universe was just created, there hasn't been enough time for ritual! ;-)

kris writes:

 

ah, but there is always time for ritual! don't you think god sat down before he started creating stuff, rubbed his hands and thought to himself: "now, i must make this special somehow!"? ;)

(also, there are strong hints pointing in the direction of "name magic" -- in some bible versions, there is an episode stuck in where adam gets to name all the animals, and once he does so, they are his, if you will. same thing really. :))

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

There should have been something in the bible like, "Day -2, God finishes the blueprints for Proxima Centauri."

Katy writes:

 

AC-tually, if you look REALLLY closely at the wording of the first bit of Genesis, you can find evidence for TWO beginnings to Earth - like Earth was created, everything set in place, then Yahweh decided it wasn't QUITE right, put in the Garden of Eden and made Adem then Eve and sort of started over with them, leaving his previous creations outside roaming around (come on, where did you THINK the people that Cain hooked up with when he was banished for slaying Abel came from??).

Also (and this was sort of my point) while looking closely at this, you find Yahweh saying things like "Let US ..." do this and "Let US ..." do that ... which I think argues strongly for the fact that Yahweh wasn't along. Whether this is proof of the fact of other gods around him, or the fact of a Goddess helpmeet (where else did he get the idea??) that has since been written out of the so-called scriptures I hesitate to guess, but ... the clues are sort of there ...

Of course, probably no one will see these posts of mine, since I'm writing almost a year after the comic was initially posted, but ... meh. Who knows ... I'm just putting it out there and maybe someday someone will see it and get to thinking - I like to make people think, as much as they tend to hate me for it! LOL

Katy writes:

 

Crap - typos all over the place ... In my 2nd paragraph I meant to say "...I think argues strongly for the fact that Yahweh wasn't ALONE." That was the one least likely to make sense w/out explanation!

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

Never fear, I address all of your issues in future comics!

Also, the "Recent" button on the left will show you the most recent comments, regardless of where they appear.

This Site is a FAIL. writes:

 

Actually in Genesis its says that GOD gave man the duty of naming even animals, guess you skimmed over that one..

This Site is a FAIL.

This Site is a FAIL. writes:

 

And again GOD isn't speaking to himself it is the conversation of the Trinity, thus it says 'us' ... Skim over that too?

This Site is a FAIL.

TheAlmightyGuru writes:

 

@This Site is a FAIL.: No, I didn't skim over either of these parts, they're addressed as you read on. You must have patience.

NotNiceNorseman writes:

 

@This Site is a FAIL.: The Trinity thing, a god who is three, who are one; and both father and son of himselves - I never got that. That sounds both schizophrenic and incestous to me.

Katy writes:

 

There really isn't much (if any) biblical support for the concept of the Trinity - that is a dogmatic thing, like the Rapture and Hell. Some Pope somewhere sometime decided that this was the way it was going to be, and that is the way it was from then on. Dogma vs. biblical support. And people wonder why I'm Pagan - at least what I believe makes sense!

Anonymous writes:

 

What I'm surprised about is that you skipped the obvious linguistic challenge: determining how "Elohim" and "Deus" are interpreted as singular, when by the grammatical rules of their source languages, they should be plural.

Bereshit bara Elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'arets.

In the beginning, _Gods_ created the heavens and the earth.

And the Bible itself repeatedly states that there are other gods, so... yeah. :P


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Oh the irony!