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Tower of Babel

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Jaymes, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Jaymes

    Jaymes The cake is a lie

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    The story of the tower of Babel, as I remember it, involved men trying to build a tower to reach heaven. The only parts I'd swear on remembering correctly is God causing them to speak different languages and not be able to finish making the tower.

    Why hasn't it happened again? Why didn't God strike us down when we went to the moon, or built skyscrapers?

    (Note to the mods: Sorry, I didn't know which forum this should be in. Please move if I've misplaced it.)
     
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  2. lilithu

    lilithu The Devil's Advocate

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    Don't know about others but I read the Tower of Babel story allegorically. Adam and Eve "fell" when they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Because they wished to be like God. The builders of the tower had a similar intent. Pride goes before a fall, so the saying goes. One can say that there was pride and arrogance involved in our building of skyscrapers and our race to the moon, but were we really trying to reach heaven? Were we trying to be like God?

    Another, more literalist way to explain it would be that the miracle of the Pentacost reversed the curse of the Tower of Babel. Therefore, Christ's redemption of our sins allowed us to do what was forbidden before. (That's not my pov but it strikes me as a valid argument within the framework of traditional Christianity.)
     
  3. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    well I don't know about skyscrapers, but genetic engineering is getting realy close to playing 'god'.
    Cloning, designer pets, and 'franken food' all seem like better targets than a tall building ;)

    wa:do
     
  4. HelpMe

    HelpMe ·´sociopathic meanderer`·

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    well then his existence would be physically recorded and no faith would be necessary.i may be wrong, this is just my opinion.if he struck us down again, what would he do?such as how he divided us with languaged before?
     
  5. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    I think motivation had a lot to do with it.

    God was protecting these dolts who thought they could "buy the stairway to heaven". I can see it now... they get up into the stratosphere, the whole schmeel collapses and then Deut complains how only a monster could have allowed all those people to perish!
     
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  6. t3gah

    t3gah Well-Known Member

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    God never struck them down. He only "confused their language" or made them all to speak different languages.

    As for making us speak different languages some more? That would be crazy I think, but I'm not God. The definiton of "babel" is "confusion".



    Genesis 11:1-9


    1 The whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 It happened, as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they lived there. 3 They said one to another, "Come, let's make brick, and burn them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they used tar for mortar. 4 They said, "Come, let's build us a city, and a tower, whose top reaches to the sky, and let's make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad on the surface of the whole earth."

    5 Yahweh came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men built. 6 Yahweh said, "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do. Now nothing will be withheld from them, which they intend to do. 7 Come, let's go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So Yahweh scattered them abroad from there on the surface of all the earth. They stopped building the city. 9 Therefore the name of it was called Babel, because Yahweh confused the language of all the earth, there. From there, Yahweh scattered them abroad on the surface of all the earth.


     
  7. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    Just wait; soon somebody will invent a fairy tale to cover that as well. Probably you're already stricken, only you haven't noticed yet.
     
  8. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Ah, the Gospel according to NetDoc: Kill the Dolts! Got it.
     
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  9. croak

    croak Trickster

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    How do you know it is allegorical?
     
  10. Khale

    Khale Active Member

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    Here is a simpler (and more correct) explanation for the story of Babel:

    The story of Babel was originally an etiological explanation for why the City of Babel was given it's name. Babel*, in the hebrew language, means confusion. Therefore to the Israelites this city was called something akin to Confuseville. Odd name wouldn't you agree?

    Obviously, the people of Babel must have done something to cause this name to befall their city. Well, one thing that Babel was famous for was it's ziggurats**. These huge, monolithic structures were most likely quite famous at the time so it was only natural that they would be incorporated into the story. The next thing that was needed so that this story could truly explain the name was a little divine intervention.

    Now if you take these elements and mix them together what do you get? Why a piping hot "Tower of Babel" story of course(tastes best with parmesan)!



    *Babel in it's original language (Assyrian I think?) did not mean confusion I have no idea what it originally meant however. Sorry.

    **Ziggurats, if you didn't know, were the stepping stone pyramids that you see most often in photos of maya. They were believed to have been a stairway for which the peoples God's would enter the earth from the Heavens.
     
  11. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Isn't that south of the Point of indecision and east of Mt Phobia (Which was renamed Mt St Bush just before it erupted)???

    In reality, we are going to approach this "story" and either, accept it, rationalize it or reject it based on little else but our current perspective. While we may freely substitute "speculation" for true debate, there exists only scant (and mostly apocryphal) evidence suggesting one version over the other.

    Me? I am going to depart from the status quo, and just accept the story as written in the Bible. :D Just label a religious rebel if you must!
     
  12. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Absolute bullpuckie. There exists the sciences of archaeology and linguistics - not to mention physics. To suggest that the Harappan, the Xia, and the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom/First Intermediate Period spoke one language before being spanked by YHWH sometime during Akkad/Ur is ludricrous.
     
  13. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    In light of Deut's "blistering" assertions, I would like to rephrase my last statement:

    Just label me a ludicrous, religious rebel if you must!​

    I am open to any other appelations you might wish to attribute to me. Have a great day!
     
  14. Scuba Pete

    Scuba Pete Le plongeur avec attitude...

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    Hey Deut

    Newsbreak!

    Here is the original language of creation: http://www.lumari.com/alawashka.htm

    I don't feel quite so ludicrous after reading that! :D

    OK, so I never felt ludicrous at all!

    And I still believe in the Bible.
     
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  15. anders

    anders Well-Known Member

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    If you see an explanation of a name in the Bible, you should always assume that it is wrong until proven.
    Well, in all probablity it is the other way 'round.
    In the first place, the word Bavel always refers to the city. It is never used in any "confusion" sense in the Bible, except for the "explanation". Clearly, seeing Babel as confusion comes after the naming of the city and after the fable. The traditional scholarly explanation of the name is that Babylon is read Bab-ilu in Akkadian and means "The Gate of the Lord". In the book Die Keilschrift, the professors B. Meissner and K. Oberhuber argue that this is (yet another!) folk etymology, that the name should be read babilu and not bâb ili(m) as required by the "Gate" theory. They say that the name is derived from an old field name babila.

    I have doubted the existence of the Xia dynasty, but at least there were people there in those days, and they would not have been involved in the building project. Perhaps that's why they were allowed to keep their language.

    But wait -- since the Chinese have stuck to their language, and the pre-tower language was one and the same for all people, that must mean that Chinese is The Original Language! (Substitute any other ancient civilization.)
     
  16. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    For once, I'm speechless ...

    In my own special way, so do I. ;)
     
  17. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    Looks real to me, but I could certainly be wrong.
     
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