Uber vs Taxi-Drivers: Progress over Past

Husband and I recently relocated. The Rocky Mountains display the meaning of “majestic.” Nephew and I are once again in the same time-zone, and we are eager for a visit. I believe the last time was … dear Reason…fifteen years ago. Wow. {letting that settle in, fifteen-years} Time! you ruthless thief.

Once removed from “West-By-God Virginia,” husband and I were exposed to modern-day comforts. I feel as though time-travel can exist, dependent on one’s perspective and definition. My world time-warped roughly twenty-years into the future. I stepped through an unseen void into the benefits of contemporary society. I am the child reborn, so to say. Sure, we knew Uber existed while living in WV – but it was always for other people. West Virginians stick to what they know, what “used to be done,” clinging to the past as if it produced oxygen.

uber-serp-logo-f6e7549c89

We heard about Uber on television and the Internet like any other American would, but the niceties were not available in our small town. Charleston or Morgantown, WV may have these services, but Fairmont did not. In our town, locals relied on “Dirty Diane” – a questionable sort with a mini-van. {MTF on Experiences in Oddity:  Fairmont, WV, an in-the-works memoir} Diane’s main hours revolved on ushering charges from one bar to the next.

Uber is innovative and nearly iSmart. The ease and dependability of securing a Ride is so much more realistic than standing along the curb waving one’s arm. I am curious of Uber standings in metropolises like New York City and D.C. Here in Colorado, Uber is a notable business.

What will Uber do to the Taxi industry?

I am curious, I do not know the answer. This will require <research> and further data. However, the gut tells me either A. Taxi companies came up with the idea for Uber and are receiving shares of the profit. OR B. Taxi companies will face extinction at the hands of Uber’s success.

What do you think?

@MmePhilosopher

Check this out – Free Ride for you:  Angela has given you a FREE Uber ride (up to $20). To claim your free gift, sign up using this link: https://www.uber.com/invite/angelas13564ue

What a Week: Research Splendor, Texts, Interview

Traces of Connectivity

Researching Darwinism and the Alice texts this week, I came across a slang terminology that applicably embodies half of my theory<>…so very exciting. Also reading Alice beyond Wonderland ed. Cristopher Hollingsworth and The Selfish Gene by the great Richard Dawkins, but today I need to do a lil research assistance for a fellow scholar. The topic is political {gnashing-of-teeth} so I approach with caution – timidly toting Max Weber’s Essays in Sociology. The Capstone is progressing, and I am enjoying the process. Again, I apologize for not disclosing these amazing concepts I’m working, but I cannot take my info public until the end of session (August).

Interview with Earl Pereira from The Steadies

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My editorial internship with Punchland.com proved positive this week with an exciting opportunity to chat with Earl Pereira from The Steadies. Click HERE to read the full interview, “Silver Lining Sensation:  Love Revolution by The Steadies,” and listen to their contagiously-happy tracks. What brings me extra <smiles> is that The Steadies incorporates positivism with music. As followers may note, my #PursuitofOptimism research has been lacking since the project was rejected as Capstone theory. Picturing positive vibes pinging off Pereira recharged the authority of optimism. I’ll make sure to visit the group today with an up-lifiting update, inspiring poem link, and band website. Listening to this album invokes reggae-beach-happiness. My fav track:  “Phoenix.” Check out The Steadies latest video below to energize your weekend.

“Take Me Home” by The Steadies from Love Revolution:

 

Picture and video c/o @TheSteadies

Reading Notes on “Twilight of the Idols”

When Leisure runs with Research

My session is nearing the end, two more weeks. I have minimal assignments due, and I note that I work much better under pressure. A few months ago, while carrying three courses, I thrived. Much writing and contemplation was required. Now, I have only one topic. And – as a cruel twist – I have to say that I am not real fired-up about said topic. The sad part is, I could be. Maybe one day, my non-traditional thinking will be noted as “ahead of her time” but for the present…’tis socially conditioned that I retreat “back to the mountain.”

Off I crawl, licking my wounds inflicted by society’s barbs, with a text from Herr Professor clung to my breast. Searching for inspiration. {for Life in general, not for the piece} However, while beginning my read the other night, one of Nietzsche’s maxims jumped out at me. Well…much of Nietzsche explodes off the page, but this one, it felt so true I have to share:

“There are times when we psychologists are like horses, and grow fretful. We see our own shadow rise and fall before us. The psychologist must look away from himself if he wishes to see anything at all” (Nietzsche 35).

The quote reminds me to remove myself from philosophical consideration as well as interaction with society in efforts to see the issue – whatever that may be – through an objective lens. By making the situation just that, a situation or a happening, instead of my situation, the experience may be noted from more than one perspective. Applying this to life, I see this method as able to reduce emotional connection to an experience. To look at problems as puzzle pieces to put together – the important factor is that the “I” is assembling the puzzle and not just another piece.

 

Works Cited

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Twilight of the Idols (1888). Trans. Anthony M. Ludovici. Ed. Dennis Sweet. New York:  Barnes&Noble, 2008.

Picture c/o:  http://www.jamesmaybe.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/Dominic_Rouse-Twilight_of_the_idols.jpg

Was Einstein dependent on Darwin?

If Darwin did not discover and publish Origins of Species would Einstein still have came onto his Theory of Relativity?

That is an interesting question with two possible answers. On one hand, Darwin was not alone; nor was his idea singularly unique. Gavin DeBeers wrote “Biology before the Beagle (1964)” to demonstrate that Darwin did not pluck his theory of evolution through natural selection from the recesses of his unique mind or thin air. Darwin was a detailed natural philosopher – nearly obsessive compulsive – who categorized animals and plants. Wallace’s discovery encouraged Darwin to publish so that Darwin would still receive credit, which rather implies that Wallace was onto the same research trail. Not to mention that Lamarck published Philosophie zoologique in 1809, developing a “theory of ‘transformism’ or evolution, which he was the first to do, invoking descent of species during long periods of time from other species, so that the Animal Kingdom could be represented by a genealogy of branching lines, the last branch being that of man.”[1] Lamarckism did not flourish like Darwinism did though, perhaps much can be said for Huxley’s support. William Paley wrote “Natural Theology (1802)” to illustrate life according to the workings of a clock – dependent on a watchmaker. But Darwin found causation for adapted species due to Paley’s description of the select workings of the clock pieces and the altered methods in which species was able to adapt to different surrounds. Paley called to attention the human eye, and he claimed it was created specifically by the Creator to grant vision. The same eye, though, he noted, adapted differently for fish that lived in the water; it was still an eye, but the eye was changed.[2] Scientists, other than Darwin, worked on evolutionary concepts.

On the other hand, if we were to consider that evolutionary theory had not happened, that the concept of biology had not been founded, and religion still held the final authority…then no; I do not think Albert Einstein would have been able to come up with the Theory of Relativity because I do not think the collective consciousness (or ability to develop advanced concepts) would have began to form. In a very reduced example, I think I understood this course because I took Evolution of Life and Intelligence, which is basically the “Darwin course.” When I began, I was terrified because I am not a scientist. I read many articles. I watched videos and listened to lectures. The more I submersed myself in the concepts, the more I was able to understand. I think the large lessons learned, namely through the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution, was to question, to think, to experiment and see what all humans can do – because we are changing, and the more we learn, the more we evolve.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beer, Gavin De. “Biology before the Beagle (1964).” Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition, Texts, Commentary. 3rd ed. Ed. Philip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 41-44.

Paley, William. “Natural Theology (1802).” Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition, Texts, Commentary. 3rd ed. Ed. Philip Appleman. New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 41-44.

Picture c/o:  http://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/0a/0f/1a/e3/cosmocaixa-barcelona.jpg

[1] Gavin DeBeers, “Biology before the Beagle,” p. 34.

[2] William Paley, “Natural Theology (1802),” p. 43.

Social Implications on Darwin’s Dangerous Idea

Darwin’s discoveries were debated because he was not able to offer substantial evidence – one of the reasons he waited twenty years to publish Origin of Species. The social aspects of the response to Darwin’s theory showed society taking natural selection’s abilities into the communal sphere of reality, encouraging capitalism. Bowler and Morus said, “Others stress the parallel between natural selection and the competitive ideology of Victorian capitalism and see Darwin as someone who projected the social values of his own class onto nature itself.”[1] So much for objectivity in masculine science, <smh> smells like corruption through propaganda – after all, Darwin did say that the female skull and brain were smaller than males, and therefore less intelligent and less capable of developing intelligence; he devoted a section to The Descent of Man (1871) entitled “Difference in the Mental Powers of the Two Sexes,” and he summarized in one line: “Thus man has ultimately become superior to woman.”[2] Women were noted as less selfish than men as means to take care of their offspring and subject themselves to male domination – backing up the “cult of domesticity” and place of woman – while man delighted and benefited from competition, thriving on selfish ambition and intellectual powers above lower, and sexually centered, woman.[3] Intellectual powers for males included: observation, reason, invention, or imagination,[4] because they benefited the hunt and were attached to the outside world was woman was chained to the household, her life revolving around producing and rearing children. Evelleen Richards highlighted the negative social issues at play via education limitations that showed few women were allowed or accepted into university – and if they were, it was even less seldom in masculine fields such as science or mathematics.[5] Richards quoted J.N. Burstyn from “Education and Sex: The Medical Case against Higher Education for Women in England, 1870-1900,” and said, “It seemed only a matter of time before middle-class women not only gained the franchise, but would be able to take out degrees and compete professionally with men …”[6] Men did not want to compete with woman possibly for fear of being less intelligent than her, nor did he want to allow room for his servant-wife to grow consciousness and a spine.

Some men, however, took advantage of wealthy women who pined for purpose and a voice: Francesco Algarotti, a Venetian merchant, took to travel and writing to grant him a luxurious salon-life he was accustomed to as protégé of Marchioness Elisabetta Ratta for his poetry and support.[7] He received much contempt from literature and science because, as an author and artist, he was not qualified or respected as a scientist. Algarotti, funded by his ladies, wrote appropriately to address female issues and aptitude. He addressed the ladies because their emotional nature responded to the attention – other male scientists shrugged women off as incapable of being scientists, taking support through Darwin who saw the place of woman as purely sexual and not able to reason like men.[8] Women were attributed as more emotional than men and therefore unable to achieve pure objectivity. As we have discussed in previous weeks, the human ability to remain objective is an impossible feat as each individual is reflective of their own values of societal or religious connotation – elements to cloud reason or form it, dependent on how one thinks. So why then is this imaginary “objectivity” not extended to female scientists if it is extended to males? Well, another aspect of rejected feminist thought might be of use; Bowler and Morus noted the contradictory starting point between gender: “Men typically regard themselves as apart from nature and therefore as needing to be able to control it, while women typically regard themselves as part of nature and therefore as being in harmony with it.”[9] Male scientists want to control nature and women – unfortunately, this whole scam is still going down. Male science may be keeping female scientific-thought out of science for the specific purpose of maintaining control of society and re-instilling the world-view of the earth as a machine because it is more profitable to humankind in terms of progress. If the major consent in society recognized the earth as a living entity then the average “good-natured” person would not want to harm, rape, or destroy anything alive. Women by nature are more empathetic than men, on average, and more emotional – but they are also subject to suppression, and the feminine cause can be attached to many of humanity’s list of victims such as the abolition movement in America that displayed women championing the cause of the oppressed African-American before she had the right to vote herself. It only seems natural then, to saddle the feminine with Mother-Earth to relate to victimization at the hands of the masculine force.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bowler, Peter J. and Iwan Rhys Morus. Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2005.

Darwin, Charles. “The Descent of Man (1871).” Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition, Texts, Commentary. 3rd ed. Ed. Phillip Appleman. New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 175-254.

Mazzotti, Massimo. “Newton for Ladies: Gentility, Gender and Radical Culture.” British Journal for the History of Science, 37.133: p. 119-46 ProQuest. Web. 31 Dec 2015.

Richards, Evelleen. “Darwin and the Descent of Woman (1983).” Darwin:  A Norton Critical Edition, Texts, Commentary. 3rd ed. Ed. Phillip Appleman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2001. pp. 435-444.

Picture c/o:  http://usercontent2.hubimg.com/6464667_f260.jpg

[1] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 143.

[2] Darwin, “The Descent of Man (1871),” p. 234-235.

[3] Darwin, “The Descent of Man (1871),” p. 234-235.

[4] Darwin, “The Descent of Man (1871),” p. 235.

[5] Richards, “Darwin and the Descent of Woman (1983),” p. 441.

[6] Richards, “Darwin and the Descent of Woman (1983),” p. 441.

[7] Mazzotti, “Newton for Ladies: Gentility, Gender and Radical Culture,” p. 124.

[8] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 503.

[9] Bowler and Morus, Making Modern Science, p. 505.

Historical Consideration for Science and Religion

Science and religion offer different methods for the human being to interpret one’s place in the universe. Prior to the Enlightenment, religion was the ultimate authority of information as to where humans came from and what their purpose in life entailed. Science utilized empirical evidence to assert truth while religion required the belief of those who practiced their faith. Both offices ask for society to believe in the policy and procedure ascribed by the officials, however, science offers observable proof to back up their claims. Religion is not empty handed, and the believers incorporate compassionate consideration for the existence of a higher power – displayed not in empirical terms but relying on sentiment, feeling, and a natural connection to their deity. Science and religion are not equal contenders. I see a place for both offices in modern society, I do not see them sitting at the same tables – they are different, and at times, opposing methods used to address the human position.

Science and religion have different theories regarding the origins of existence as well as the place and purpose of homo sapiens. William Paley offered a theory to unite science and religion. His book Natural Theology: or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected from the Appearances of Nature (1802), was required reading at Christ’s College of Cambridge University.[1] The text included the famous metaphor of the watch and the watchmaker, presenting a case for God as the watchmaker to create and tend his watch (life). BMW noted Darwin as developing his theory of natural selection from inspiration presented by Paley; he said, “…Darwin took from his reading of Paley a belief in adaptation – that organisms are somehow fit for the environments in which they live, that their structure reflects the functions they perform throughout their lives.”[2] Religion, when forced to answer difficult questions, had to accept that bad things happened even though God was granted the ability to “fix” any error in the organic world. BMW said, “Paley struggled to reconcile the apparent cruelty and indifference of nature with his belief in a good God, and finally concluded that the joys of life simply outweighed its sorrows.”[3] After all, philosophically, if one does not experience pain and sadness then one will not recognize joy and happiness.

In “Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America’s Soul,” Edward Humes spoke for the Dole Institute on the conflicts of evolutionism and creationist theory. The video showed me that people are completely able to believe different realities based on their subjective perspective regarding how they want to interpret their own existence. In Dover, PA, the teacher and administrators did not want evolution taught in science class. Humes said, “During the presentation on intelligent design, the administers of the district instructed the students not to ask questions.”[4] The fundamental purpose of education is to acquire information by answering questions. Robbing the students of simply questioning authority could result in those students not trusting authority. However, I suppose the belief must fill in all the cracks – the concept is to trust in one’s religion, therefore, those with authority should be in league with the ultimate power. I agree with Humes that teaching evolution is conflictive with religious belief. I think that the offices of religion and science do not belong together, and should not compete with one another anymore than I think home-economics and history should have a duel. They do not coincide or work with each other – one is objective empirical theory and the other is sentimental expression/connection with an outside force. Both, however, are human expressions. If religion wants a school of thought to support it, I think it would be more beneficial to turn to literature and the arts and wisely leave science alone.

The real issue I see is found in education – the information that is presented to the youth. Science offers evolution, and biology rather relies on it to justify medicine, surgery, and technological advances – withholding this information from young minds seems criminal to me, and also when they find out later in life, they may look back spitefully at both science and religion, or really, authority in general. Not providing any answer is still going to present a negative outcome because it makes it look like authority itself does not know what is really going on, therefore, why would anyone believe what authority said sometimes if it was not always aware. Before the Enlightenment, religion was not questioned but accepted as true. Look what happened when the scientific method stormed the stage – society still feels the shudder.

 

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BMW. “William Paley (1743-1805).” ucmp.berkeley.edu. 21 Aug 1996. Web. 12 Jan 2016.

Humes, Edward. “Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and theBattle for America’s Soul.” YouTube, 11 May 2012. Web. 11 Jan2016.

Picture c/o:  https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Religion_in_SF.png

[1] BMW, “William Paley.”

[2] BMW, “William Paley.”

[3] BMW, “William Paley.”

[4] Humes, “Monkey Girl,” 20:35-20:40.

Quick Note: on Whitman and James

{originally written in message to esteemed peer from HUMN 555}

In The Varieties of Religious Experience, William James noted Walt Whitman’s theory to personally refuse that negative factors hold any authority, but Whitman successfully led an optimistic life – success defined as fulfilled, he led a full life and saw challenges as experience. Maybe Whitman was a little out there, but he says “I am large…I contain multitudes” (Leaves of Grass, p. 67). He is evidence that human nature is malleable and apt to alter via subjective perspective. Aware consciousness is able to recognize the ability to alter one’s viewpoint and implement positive factors to improve one’s experience. {bows to Whitman}

#PursuitofOptimism #Dionysian

“Renegade” by X Ambassadors as Message to Dionysian Mind

Granted, Wagner, the X Ambassadors is not, lol, but… Nietzsche saw music as the best way for humans to express themselves or as an avenue to happiness. You asked about commercialism – combing through our text, I find it interesting that there is not heavy influence in capitalism, commerce, or materialism – only reference to seeking a pleasure filled life. However, there is a note from Bernard Williams in the introduction, that I feel supports my inclusion of the modern song; Williams said, “[The Gay Science], like all his others, makes it clear than any life worth living must involve daring, individuality and creative bloody-mindedness” (Nietzsche xiv).

Yes, the message I see in the song indicates that the lyrics are addressed to the Dionysian. It is a call to arms, so to speak. Another piece, “Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz from 2014, has a similar connotation where the individual rejects the modern understanding of right/wrong. One of the chorus verses altered from “I” to “We” indicating that one person’s concept became mutual understanding – “collective thought” (Nico & Vinz). Before the song hit the charts, Nico & Vinz were addressing the modern group “Anonymous”; the first time I heard it was when I was tagged on a link in Facebook from one of my groups. My experiment with social media is still on-going, so I have not been exposed to collective thought for nearly a year now – I am not certain that X Ambassadors is addressing the same audience as Nico & Vinz, but I can deduce relation. It could be a ploy on consumerism, but I do not think the average person gets the same message from listening to the song as few are well read in Nietzsche. If it is just for the money, all they got from me was $1.29, so I can live with that. The message is worth far more – it is one of hope.

Here is my breakdown of the song. Enjoy!

“Run away with me / Lost souls and reverie / Running wild and running free / Two kids, you and me” (1-4). The X Ambassadors are encouraging the individual to break free from the norm and to find oneself – to release adult hibition and return to natural carefreeness of youth. I sense dualism; you and me could be two versions of one person, or body/mind.

“… Living like we’re renegades …” (Chorus 5-11). The word choice of “renegade” means one who leaves one system of order or belief for another path – one can then create a new path for themselves.

“Long live the pioneers / Rebels and mutineers / Go forth and have no fear / Come close the end is near*” (12-15). These are the types of individuals, Dionysian for Nietzsche, who are brave enough to challenge the norm. Renegades can be comparable to the Overman or ManGod because they refuse to accept what is given so that they can create what they want. They are more human than human – more than the average bear. X Ambassadors ask the Dionysian to come closer because normality is nearing its end, society will need Nietzsche’s physicists to rebuild.

*I’ve listened to the song over 100 times now, and it rather sounds like they say “Come close and bend an ear” for line 15. Maybe it is just stage 3 madness, lol, of over-listening, but just in case, it still fits: gather the unique thinkers together to sort out the plan of action.

(Chorus)

“All hail the underdogs / All hail the new kids / All hail the outlaws / Spielbergs and Kubricks” (22-25). More Dionysians: Underdogs – those that should not win but will pull through despite the odds, New Kids – evolved thinkers with fresh concepts, and Outlaws – those that reject directed order and law. And finally, the dreamers of the future, modern artistic expression – directors and writers sculpt concepts into film and literature allowing the individual mind to imagine altered conditions for life.

“It’s our time to make a move / It’s our time to make amends / It’s our time to break the rules / Let’s begin” (26-29). X Ambassadors is prepping the Dionysian. Social media allows like-minded individuals to find one another over vast geological separation. Unique individuals, the physicists, realize that they are not alone, and that by uniting with other’s of similar disposition a new understanding is possible. Down with the old order, in with a new; le roi est mort, vive l’auto.[1]

“… Living like we’re renegades” (Chorus 30-35). Nietzsche’s belief that evil upset good in efforts to create a new understanding. Good did not change, it clung to what was “good” for the past – keeping society in stasis. But humanity, like existence itself, is static and must be able to change/adapt or species will not survive in the constantly evolving world. The opposite of adaptation is extinction. Nietzsche did not say there was no morality – he thought that societal opinion had morality wrong from the start. Good and evil were masks created to cover the true self. Evil looked for improvement, and many results are definitely good: modern necessities like indoor-plumbing, roads, electricity, and technology. However, Nietzsche was not expecting people to turn into cartoon villains – he suggested a closer look at human consideration for the term and expanded possibilities removed from black-or-white configuration.

 

Works Cited

“Am I Wrong” by Nico & Vinz, 2014.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Ed. Bernard Williams. Trans.

Josefine Nauckhoff and Adrian del Caro. Cambridge, United

Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

“Renegades” by X Ambassadors, 3 Mar 2015.

https://www.google.com/search?q=lyrics+renegades&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

Picture c/o:  https://i.ytimg.com/vi/-SytFteQnYY/hqdefault.jpg

[1] “The king is dead; long live the self.”

#PursuitofOptimism #DionysianLifestyle

Dionysian Roll-On

it seems to me that Nietzsche’s Dionysian is comparable to Kierkegaard’s aesthetic, with the main difference being that the Seducer was viewed negatively while Nietzsche does not leave room for others to critique the man-god Dionysian. Or…Kierkegaard [in my opinion] did not like the aesthetic and sided more with Judge Wilhelm and ethics; whereas, Nietzsche was a Dionysian himself and was attempting to encourage society to embrace new concepts while letting go of past misconceptions.

The Dionysian was a man-god: a human person with exceptional abilities in which one utilized personal preference to shape one’s experience. Based on Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, the Dionysian movement encouraged participants to live fully and to try anything interesting that crossed their path. They were expected to experience severe misery because they were able to know the fullest joy. In a way, they were extremists – when they loved it was true, when they cried it was agony – there was no middle ground. Nietzsche said, “He who is richest in fullness of life, the Dionysian god and man, can allow himself not only the sight of what is terrible and questionable but also the terrible deed and every luxury of destruction, decomposition, negation …” (370). The Dionysian knew that they were creating themselves, and they were able ignore labels such as “good/evil” because, as gods, they knew that there could be good as a result of evil and evil from good intentions – it was not their playing field. Their goal was to experience, to live, and most of all, to create.

Aesthetic value is found in art and music for Nietzsche, here lay the true beauty of the human experience. Once Nietzsche stripped away the need for a god, what was the human left with…music. Art and music were the human engines of creation. I have loved Nietzsche for roughly half of my life. My motto used to be: Live one’s life as art! I still find pause with process, I see much beauty in the ability to express, not just the final project. I would pay five times as much for the same piece of art if I were able to watch the art being created before I purchase it, because later, when viewing the art, I would remember the moment the artist took his stroke or the scent of paint and mad creation in the air.

Overall, I see the Dionysian as opposite to moral expectations of the masses. Dionysian is very close to “pleasure living” with their concerns fixed in the present – they want to live life while they can because there is no afterlife, this is it. Now, I know Nietzsche gets attacked from every angle, but look at what he was arguing against – set belief aside and work with only organic natural possibilities – the religious belief system is not very believable if one is not raised with the message harped into one’s existence. Christianity, boiled way down, basically says that the physical life [the one each person actually lives] is nothing compared to the afterlife [the one we have zero proof or evidence of]; that living is just a phase before one can spend eternity in heaven. Please take a moment and truly consider this. Now tell me why it is that Nietzsche is the one off base?

 

Works Cited

Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Ed. Bernard Williams. Trans.

Josefine Nauckhoff and Adrian del Caro. Cambridge, United

Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015.

Picture c/o:  http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sumer_anunnaki/reptiles/serpent_tribe/images/bacchanal_b4a_herm.jpg

Essay: Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nephilim

{Graduate Studies; originally written for Humanities 520 Fall 2014}

The supernatural elements of God, angels, and demons are represented as unsurpassable entities capable of wiping out existence on a whim. Humanity is viewed as subject to God and must suffer his wrath. For his select chosen few he will grant everything – with the proper amount of praise and strict maintaining of diet and cleanliness.

Anthropologically, the concept of eating clean food ensured that people consumed safe food, as the body was a temple for God. God’s chosen people were to mimic the actions and desires of God, this would apply to their bodies: “The ‘body’ of God has been an overwhelming concern of Jewish exegesis since its very beginnings. And it is important to grasp that the philosophical pain that it caused was sharp and real, because it appeared to defy the notion of a single transcendent God, which was the foundation of the Jewish revolution in religion” (Wieseltier 440-41). When the body is considered a temple of God the person must preserve it accordingly. Religiously, the eating of pure and clean foods ensured that the body was made holy for the grace of God to be able to be housed inside. Realistically, pure and clean food ensured the person did not get food poisoning and become ill. Methods for handling foodstuffs in the Medieval period was not sanitary and led to rampant disease. Symbolically, unclean food let evil or perversity enter the body: “{…} a temple for Israel, and – mystery! – a Holy of Holies for Aaron; true witnesses to justice, chosen by God’s will to atone for the land and to recompense the wicked their due” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Charter 7 p 129).

The Watchers or Nephilim are guilty of copulating with human women, which in turn produced a generation of half human-half divine creatures. These are the people which caused God’s wrath of the Flood. The Nephilim revealed mysteries which God did not want humans to be aware of, gifts of knowledge which left man less dependent on deity. Noah receives a message from a mighty Watcher that all the earth must be destroyed due to the interbreeding: “{…} holy ones who [mated] with hum[an] women” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Tales of the Patriarchs p 94). Common Christian notions imply that the Great Flood was brought on because of idolatry with no mention of demigod giants.

Belial is the leading force on the side of the forces of darkness in opposition to the forces of light. The fallen angel is the master of all perverse and evil things. Demons tempt and mock humanity, the following incantation attributed to David reduces the authority of the demons in the presence of the righteous God: “Who are you? [Withdraw from] humanity and from the ho[ly] race! For your face is a face of [nothing], and your horns are horns of a dre[am]. You are darkness, not light, [wicked]ness not righteousness {…}” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, Songs to Disperse Demons p 590). The evil forces may be related to flowers only when death has seized them, removing humanity from the Others: “Every creature of destruction shall wither quickly away [like a flow]er at ha[rvest time …” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, The War Scroll p 163). Flowers are a symbol of beauty and life, yet they also invoke melancholy notions of a funeral. The reference implies that while darkness appears so mighty that God alone can remove any threat. The comparison to a flower, however, offers a smidge of empathy for the lost souls who are not among God’s chosen people.

Michael is noted as a divine messenger who will relay God’s will to the people. Certain mysteries as to the existence of humanity are meant to be kept secret; the Watchers are only to disclose information God approves for humanity to understand. Angelic authority was placed on Michael: “By eternal light He shall joyfully light up the covenant of Israel; peace and blessing for the lot of God, to exalt the authority of Michael among the gods and the dominion of Israel among all flesh” (The Dead Sea Scrolls, The War Scroll p 163). The sons of light, or angels, are in support of God and work out his will. Placing Michael among the gods, however, leads to question if this was an area of Judaism where such acknowledgement of other deities still existed. The quote changes the concept of the Nephilim, that the angels were in fact gods in their own right who chose to worship and obey God. Yet, the purity of the angels must be somewhat lesser than God as they are able to communicate and enact with humanity while God is an ambiguous specter.

Works Cited

Wieseltier, Leon. “Jewish Bodies, Jewish Minds.” The Jewish Quarterly Review, Vol.

95, No. 3 (2005). University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 435-442. JSTOR. Web.

18 Sep 2014.

The Dead Sea Scrolls. Trans. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg Jr., and Edward Cook. New

York: Harper One, 2005.

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