Monday, August 22, 2011

Pygmies in the Garden of Eden

The Atheist Turtle idea is the result of thousands of online conversations I have had with a variety of anti-Christians.  I suppose the term atheist is not totally accurate as some represent themselves as agnostics, astrotheologists, and even an alchemist but they all shared a disdain, in some cases bordering on hatred, for God, the Bible, Jesus and Christianity - In my book that makes them atheists.

The atheist turtle’s war cry “Turtle Up” is perhaps more accurately described as a call to retreat and is the final event in the typical sequence of discussion with atheists.  Said sequence usually involves some or all of the acronym C.R.U.D.E. which stands for:

Accuse Christian of Circular reasoning
Accuse Christian of Rationalization/Rationalizing
Call the Christian Uneducated
Say the Christian is Deluded, Delusional or Demented
If the Christian continues to argue implement Evasion, Turtle Up, go into your shell and refuse to discuss anymore.  This behavior is often preceded by accusing the Christian of trolling or spamming and may take an extreme form by banning the Christian from the forum.

The following is an actual discussion which took place on a forum devoted to Freethought.  The names have been changed to avoid free publicity for them.

In the article by MAS on the Hallet book about pygmies there seems to be an assertion that the pygmy tribe was extremely isolated from the outside world and they developed language and religion without outside influences. Is this a correct assessment?

Atheist Turtle
Why do you ask? Where are you getting your information? It sounds like you haven't actually read the blog or her book for yourself. Is that a fair assumption?

I ask to validate what I believe MAS is claiming about the pygmies.
I did read the blog. What does that have to do with the answer to my question?
I repeat, is it MAS' assertion that the pygmies developed their religious beliefs without any contact with the outside world?

Atheist Turtle
Were the blog, forum thread and book not clear enough?

There may be a fair amount of background noise going on here which I am not privy to. Your evasiveness is counterproductive. If MAS intends her article to support that position she need only verify that. My reason for asking is to avoid any possibility of misunderstanding. If truly this is a site for Truth I should think it would also be acknowledged when a question is asked.

Atheist Turtle
What about the blog, forum thread and book did not already answer your question?

Allow me to rephrase the question;
In an article by MAS on the Hallet book about pygmies there is an assertion that the pygmy tribe was extremely isolated from the outside world and they developed language and religion without outside influences. Does MAS agree with this assertion?

Atheist Turtle
Help me understand what about the blog, forum thread and book did not already answer your question? The answer to your question is more complex than just a yes or no and it is all explained throughout the blog, forum thread and book. So, why is this even coming up?

Your response is confused and contradictory. You state that the referenced element should have answered my question, then state that the answer is more complex than just a yes or no. IMHO It really isn't that complex and it is a question only one person can answer.

From the activity related to this discussion - 47 views - I suspect that your evasiveness is intentional. That's fine. My belief is that MAS supports the premise which creates a paradox in a fundamental construct of the foundation of MAS' theme. I wanted to permit a confirm or deny opportunity. So, one more time; Yes, or no?

Atheist Turtle
That's funny because I feel that your question is confused and contradictory. The blog, forum thread and book already answer your question. All you need to do is actually read them. Reading them answers your question much better than a yes or no because your question is not an accurate representation of what she wrote. So, I can't help but get the spidy-sense we're being set-up here for some sort of scam. You are trying to corner me into giving a yes or no answer to a question that is not accurate in the first place. So, there will be no yes or no answer. And for like the 5th time now, a reading of the blog and forum thread should've been enough for you to comprehend the answer to your question if you are being sincere. There's something very fishy going on here.

She is not the one making those claims, Anthropologist Dr. Jean-Pierre Hallet does in his 20 year investigation on Pygmies as explained in his book. She is relaying that information and pointing out that more research needs to be done on this subject. So, a yes or no answer would never have been an accurate answer to your questions. And all of that is made categorically clear in the blog, forum thread and book.

What have you to fear? What have you to dread? - a single person, asking a simple question invokes so much fear that it paralyzes you into being unable to answer on your own forum! The fact that space is devoted to the theories set forth in the article and the general supportive tone lead me to believe that the answer is affirmative. It may be qualified as you have indicated and doing so would not be a sin.

If you choose to reply I will give you the homefield advantage in the form of the last word on this thread.

Atheist Turtle
"What have you to fear" ??? Are you serious? This is getting more fishy as it goes. From where I stand, my last comment answered your question. I will not waste any more time on this issue. You're wasting my time.

Second Atheist Turtle joins in
So, you want to try and put together an argument for Christian missionaries being responsible for the Pygmie parallels. Well, that's sort of the starting point. People would think that at first glance, but is that the case? It appears that these parallels are of the pre-Christian variety.

But this isn't given as absolute. You're trying to turn something investigatory into an absolute claim on the part of MAS so that you can try and refute the information as an absolute claim. But it wasn't given that way. And so you can't refute it in that way. There's no diversion here, that's the just bottom line. MAS clearly hasn't made this concrete. It's just an example of the possible antiquity of these myths. That is the context that the Pygmie thing was given in the CC.

I see you haven't lost your ability to jump to incorrect conclusions. I have no interest in tying the pygmies and Christian missionaries together. That was already done in the post under discussion. But wow, 150 views and only three participants ... I can smell the fear.

Second Atheist Turtle
If you aren't trying to claim that the Pygmies got there Christian Parallels from interaction with Christian missionaries or Christian expeditions into the jungle, then where do you suppose that these parallels came from? Did Satan visit the Pygmies to try and beat Jesus to the punch?

You obviously want an absolute yes or no answer for some reason related to another ridiculous attempt at an apology. But there is no absolute yes or no answer to be given in this case, so just go ahead with the apology and get it over with. This is dragging on for too long already. Let's have it.

You haven't changed. I wasn't making any assertion. All I was doing was asking a question but instead of a straight answer all I got was evasion, then you pop in and say I am dragging it out too long - classic.

Second Atheist Turtle
As it stands there's no credible evidence to support the Pygmie's being indoctrinated by outsiders. I'd say that MAS is leaning towards the simplest explanation here. These beliefs were likely formed with no contact from the outside world. So what? Of what concern is it to you? Once again, let's have it. No one's evading, no one's hiding, no one's scared of any fundie apologetic trolling questions around here...

Well, I will quote what MAS says in her post and critique it as follows:

Garden of Eden originally a Pygmy myth?
The entire article is full of weaknesses but the two major failures are:
MAS wrote:
1) “Hallet spends considerable time essentially proving that the Pygmy legends are their own homegrown stories. Hallet does a thorough job addressing criticisms that the Pygmies were influenced by other cultures, such as the Judeo-Christian - indeed, he addresses this contention throughout the book, which is seemingly written for just such a purpose.”

This is a very telling statement. It is usually the case that one proves what one sets out to prove in one’s own book. It is self-fulfilling prophecy, not objectivity and is usually the basis for extreme skepticism by the independent reader.

MAS wrote:
2) “He then demonstrates that their legends and myths are likely the basis of much Egyptian myth, which in turn influenced biblical stories.”

Statements 1 and 2 cannot both be true so Hallet has impeached his own book.

Second Atheist Turtle
Now, of course they can both be true.

1) The Pygmies could have developed their motifs without outside influence at earlier dates than the Egyptian and Judeo-Christians myths and 2) The old Pygmie myths could have gone out to Egypt in a remote period long before any influence in the opposite direction could have occurred. I think that is what Hallet is hinting towards. During the written historical period there's no evidence of Judeo-Christianity penetrating the jungles to the Pygmies in other words.

Once you claim contact it becomes impossible to identify which group influenced the other.*

*I attempted to post this response but got the following notification:

"This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies."

It's like talking to a wall.

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