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Featured Island of Neanderthals (Thought Exercise)

Discussion in 'Interfaith Discussion' started by Samantha Rinne, Aug 23, 2019.

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  3. Buddhism

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  5. Jainism

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  9. Mormonism

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  10. Other besides Taoism/Shintoism

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  1. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    Okay, so this is what is called a thought exercise. As in, you don't immediately quibble about "There are no Neanderthals left today", you actually do the scenario. The point of this exercise is to determine your ability to give your message to a people completely alien from yourself, and to determine the "real world" truth of your religion. Basically, whether the core teaching is down-to-earth enough.

    An island appears one day from the mists of time after being gone for centuries and centuries, directly between Asia and North America. Let's call this island Pangu. The people there, however, are not like us humans, for they are purebred Neanderthals. Genetically, not only can they not speak, but they cannot understand language even sign language. The island is filled with a huge mixture of food, from Asia to Africa to Europe to the Americas, and so on. In fact, these Neanderthals long ago, lived on all continents, but sections of each broke away, trapping them on this island. Neanderthals understand food (including bread, cheese, wine, and even stuff like sausage), they understand instrumental music and dance, they understand pantomime, they understand crude drawings, and they understand skits. They cannot sign language, as said before, but they can understand hugs, thumbs up or down, kneeling, and stuff like that.

    The Neanderthals worship a mix of Taoism (which they taught to the Chinese), Shintoism (which the Japanese taught to them shortly before their island disappeared) and sorta nature worship. The thing is, while they completely accept Taoism, the other two are kinda spotty, because they don't understand gods or angels or prophets. And no, this isn't a matter of teaching harder, they believe in things of this world, prophets are sent from God, so if you teach about Jesus, they will only understand that he is a man, and that he died for others.

    The Neanderthals have learned modern farming and medicine, as well as how to build skyscrapers (just because), but being good Taoists, refuse to build too many cities on their island. So yeah, they're modern, only you and missionaries like you have concluded they are superstitious heathens (unless you're Shinto or Taoist, then you win this game automatically). So, you have decided to convert them. You have to do so without language, only using symbols and physical action.

    I have already tested this for Christianity. It passes, not only on performing a skit about the birth, passion, and resurrection of Jesus, but also many of his parables. They could definitely convert to Christianity, though there would be gaps. Judaism, on the other hand, they probably would pick up the festivals or rituals without understanding anything about God.

    Would you be able to teach them enough for them to be considered believers? And what would you teach them if your core beliefs were no good?
     
  2. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    First thoughts...
    Given...
    "Genetically, not only can they not speak, but they cannot understand language even sign language." ​
    How did...
    "The Neanderthals have learned modern farming and medicine, as well as how to build skyscrapers"
    One does not do modern farming, tractors, GPS, Oil fields, refineries, electronics, etc. without language. One does not build skyscrapers without advanced mathematics which cannot be passed from generation to generation without writing and language.

    How...
    "I have already tested this for Christianity. It passes"
    How did you test it?
     
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  3. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    Why is there no option for none?

    BTW, Neanderthal brains were bigger than Homo Sapiens brains. They fashioned tools as effective as the HS of their day, buried their dead, cared for their sick, they conversed, produced art, could organise etc, etc.

    Yes they were capable of learning,of rational thought and they did not need modern religion, they had their own, a form of totemism and animal worship, i would think they would reject any religion on your list as worthless in their environment.
     
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  4. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    My thoughts exactly. Also, if they're unable to even understand the most basic sign language, I don't know how they're going to understand the meaning of a passion play about Jesus. We're talking about lifeforms less intelligent than human toddlers. Religious concepts would be way above their pay grade.
     
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  5. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    Two things:

    You have 'Mormonism" and "Christianity" as two different things. Mormons are Christians, since of course a belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ are at the center of their beliefs. So there's that.

    The other thing is that unlike pretty much everybody else, LDS wouldn't go in assuming that they were 'superstitious heathens,' but would figure that they (the LDS) would have things to teach them that they didn't already have, AND that there is nothing about them (the Neanderthals as a group of people) that would be a problem for LDS theology....and there would be for pretty much everybody else.

    Hey. You asked.
     
  6. ADigitalArtist

    ADigitalArtist Well-Known Member
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    Option 11: I would leave them alone and not try to interfere in their culture.
     
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  7. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    The Neanderthals were a different type of human, and many today carry some of their genes.

    You are absolutely right in your description of them.

    The idea that they could not verbally communicate is probably wrong as well.

    Speculating as to whether they could be converted to some religion may be fun, but it has no bearing in reality. We haven´t a clue as to how they would react.
     
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  8. shmogie

    shmogie Well-Known Member
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    These life forms were an intelligent people, with brains larger than yours or mine. This terribly old and desperately wrong view of them needs to be changed.

    They were as ¨human¨ as you or I. This is supported by archaeology, they were as ¨advanced" in most areas as other humans.
     
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  9. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    A hobby of mine is the cro magnon era, one reason i live where i live is the hundreds of cro magnon sites in the area. It was also home to Neanderthal peoples with a few thousand years overlap. So as well as getting involved in cro magnon archaeology i also get need to understand Neanderthal and there interaction.

    I will once got told off for sticking my fingers in the eye socket of a Neanderthal skull.

    To cut a long story short, it had recently been descovered in the Vezere valley. I was visiting a friend who works in the museum. It was on a bench and i asked if i could examine it. Well you just have to poke it in the eye dont you :rolleyes:
     
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  10. Left Coast

    Left Coast Active Member
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    Sorry, I didn't mean actual, historical Neanderthals. I meant the imaginary Neanderthals conceived in the OP.
     
  11. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Sorry-ah, but too fanciful. For one, it is extraordinarily
    unlikely that Neanderthal did not speak, and well.

    Depictions of them with crude clothing is also
    ridiculous. European winters in the ice age
    would require clothes as good as Eskimos made.

    Do some entirely imaginary creature, let us not
    insult ancestors.
     
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  12. Milton Platt

    Milton Platt Well-Known Member
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    Why would they need a religion?
     
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  13. ideogenous_mover

    ideogenous_mover Well-Known Member

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    I don't if I would be creative enough to teach them stuff under those conditions. I think some scientists argue that they could talk now, that some gene they had was misinterpreted. And if they couldn't, they were probably telepaths since their brains are like 300 or 400 cubic centimeters larger than ours (if I remember correctly.) (and if nature can produce bioluminescence, it can create telepathy) So from that I surmise that their spirituality is probably also quite advanced, and I'd be more at risk of being converted by them to their combination of more highly developed views.
     
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  14. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    No kidding. I think it would be something like that Chau guy with the Sentinelese.

    One thing we could extrapolate about Neanderthals, those mothers were strong!
     
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  15. Mock Turtle

    Mock Turtle Compassion, understanding, and tolerance.
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    Silly. Because humans are not complete without at least one delusion. :alien:

    Anyway, best to replace Atheism with None, since Atheism is not a religion. Then I might vote. :rolleyes:
     
    #15 Mock Turtle, Aug 24, 2019
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  16. ecco

    ecco Well-Known Member

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    It seems you are the only person who felt it was necessary to proselytize to these people.
     
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  17. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    I'm afraid I wouldn't either. I'm okay with them being Shinto and Taoist.

    But this is a mental exercise. You, an atheist, maybe decide they're too spiritual with all of their nature worship. So you do the thing. If not , I'll have to declare nature worship > atheism, and atheism not natural as a belief set. Basically you lost because you didn't play.

    Honestly did you even read the first paragraph? I said NOT to nitpick about what actual Neanderthal were like. If you are having trouble with this make them some kind of other humanlike primate, that has tool using ability, and perfect understanding of things like acting but no spoken language.

    And yes, if None makes you feel better, you have to basically talk them out of their nature worship by showing not by telling.
     
    #17 Samantha Rinne, Aug 24, 2019
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  18. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    They learn stuff by copying and by doing. They are not wired to speaking or reading but they do understand how to do mental math and have photographic memories. Basically their brains are not stupid, just devoid of language abilities. They watch you doing metallurgy, they pick it up exactly without understanding the theory. They basically trial and error anything they don't know, and suddenly skyscrapers.

    I personally learn things better without alot of talking. And I do trial and error. So no, there isn't one way to learn.

    I tested it, by playing out all such scenarios. Basically you can have a silent passion play, that involves one person being "accused" (pointed at while he looks sad), punished, hung up on a cross, falling over, a sun moon dance x3 (the person dressed as the sun, and person dressed as a moon gets up, moves around, sits down and repeats), and then kinda suddenly gets up and acts all ghostlike. They generally understand someone is dead for three sun moon dances (days) and is now back.
    You do skits for many of Jesus's parables (lost coin or lost sheep for instance, along with the bad seed, and most of the parable of the evil tenants), which involve food or other such imagery. All of these make sense to a ppl who can remember stuff acted out but not get the spoken word. Pass.

    Islam? Probably would fail. They wouldn't understand Muhammad getting spoken to by an angel, they'd just decide it was a man he trusted too much. And "no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet" would fail too, as they neither understand gods nor prophets.

    They can't understand sign language, but you can do a play. Sign language fails, because some of the words are unintuitive.
     
    #18 Samantha Rinne, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  19. Altfish

    Altfish Well-Known Member

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    None, why teach any??
     
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  20. Samantha Rinne

    Samantha Rinne Active Member

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    So, people asking me why they can't understand sign language.

    Sign language and pantomime production differentially engage frontal and parietal cortices

    Pantomime and sign language are completely different parts of the brain. These people (Neanderthals being the first one I could come up with, simply as a matter of convenience since they were rivals of the Cro Magnon) understand actions not words, so trying to forcibly convert them or lie to them won't work. You have to convince them by what you do, and your religion has to make sense without the use of long paragraphs like this one.

    If Neanderthal is somehow offensive, think of them as a "Charlie Brown" tribe of people. All writing (aside from mebbe math) looks like gibberish, any sign language that is not 100% intuitive looks like hand-waving, and all spoken language sounds like "Wah wah wah wah wah~"

    Why teach any, you ask? Well, because the premise requires you to do so. You can in fact deconvert them, but unless you are Shinto or Taoist, even as an atheist, you are deeply offended by their beliefs. For some reason. You are a missionary, and if you're having doubts as an atheist missionary, perhaps you shouldn't be one anyway.
     
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