> Well, it's not as if I think cladking is using the
> right arguments to try to dispel notions about
> superstitious ancients (I'm not sure what the
> right argument would actually be or I'd be
> flinging it I suppose) but I'm not sure these are
> the right arguments to counter with either.
I agree but there are a limited number of tools for me to use in the argument. I've discovered the meaning in the ancient words by solving word meanings in context. The problem here is that Ancient Language didn't work like our language and this is why Egyptologists can translate and not understand it. They translate it in terms of the "book of the dead" and they they read it like it's English. Meaning is destroyed when this is done.
What Ancient Language means is exactly what it says but what it says is so incredible it's hard to believe. Much of it is incomprehensible because we don't understand it but then it will say something like "bring me the boat that flies up and alights" that people can't believe was meant literally even though it apparently was. We mistranslate large numbers of words, misunderstand how the language was formatted, and we don't notice that the vocabulary was wholly dissimilar to our own.
All I can do is to use their words to aid in reverse engineering the pyramid (stones were pulled straight up one step at a time) and point out the inconsistencies in Egyptological beliefs. These inconsistencies involve things like their beliefs that the Egyptians were highly superstitious and moribund but they had no words that meant "belief". Egyptologists believe the Egyptians were just like us but they had no words that meant "thought". Egyptologists believe that the Egyptians thought just like us but they had no taxonomic words. Egyptologists believe the Egyptians learned just like us but they had no reductionistic words. More than 80% of the words in modern languages didn't exist and had no referent in Ancient Language. They didn't have "abstractions" per se (as we read it it appears they did) because every word in their language was representative rather than symbolic. Instead of trying to understand me or talk to me they turn their back on me, the facts, and now even the evidence that I am correct; the predicted thermal anomaly. Instead of arguing they try to straighten me out by repetition of their beliefs that pyramids are tombs built by changeless and superstitious bumpkins just like us who dragged them up ramps and then hid all traces of ramps.
I'm left to talk about what's real rather than what can be seen by believers in the power of ancient superstition. I KNOW for a fact that superstition has no power at all and it appears that ancient people had no superstition at all. They didn't even have the words to conceptualize what wasn't real. They lacked the luxury of beliefs. They understood their world in terms of their limited knowledge just like all animals and not in terms ofg their beliefs and models like modern people who speak modern languages.
> I think cladking has a very good sense if even
> intuitively that religious writings might be
> something other than a bunch of pointless,
> superstitious rot, just as I like to think I have
> myself, even if they're not much good at face
The only writing that survives is the Pyramid Texts and parts of the Coffin Texts and most of this is just the silly little rituals that accompanied the ceremonies performed at the various ascension ceremonies of the kings. It would be embarrassing for the pyramid builders to know this is the only thing that survived but it is. What makes this so interesting is not only the clues about how they built pyramids but that the language is formatted in terms of their knowledge, their science. To understand any sentence you must understand the science and formatting. It's very simple but it's wholly alien to the way we speak and write. They were the "words of natural phenomena".
> It occurs to me to at least try to point out that
> to try to paint an entire people with the same
> brush must be precarious at best. Does having
> three churches within five blocks of my home
> actually tell you that I subscribe to any of them?
And this is exactly much of the reason Egyptologists got everything wrong. Almost all artefacts and all writing came out of cemeteries. This is sample bias of the highest order! Egyptologists believe the people were moribund, obsessed by death, and everything is a grave with only magical and religious significance.
> For that matter, does indigenous people continuing
> to hand down folktales and oral traditions mean
> that anyone "in the know" interprets them in any
> "gospel" sense?
This process is quite visible when it is traced from the beginning in the Pyramid Texts and then down through the Coffin Texts, the "book of the dead" and the Bible. We look at it backward so we miss the important changes from language to language and the onset of modern beliefs.
> I suppose for purposes of debate this eventually
> begs the question whether anyone anyone being so
> dismissive of cladking affords room for any
> ancient Egyptians or Greeks or Romans to have been
This is a point that people are missing. Even if it were true that the great pyramid builders were just like us the fact is that we aren't all atheists, theists, or believe the question is relevant. Where's the writing of these other people? Where are their tombs? Why are their no words of belief or thought?
> It also occurs to me ask that if - okay, say this
> language has only 1000 words in it - but if they
> were so deeply superstitious that religious ideas
> held such an incredible amount of sway in their
> societies, why wouldn't words like "faith"
> or "belief" be part of their limited lexicon?
> Wouldn't it seem like if they were so deeply
> devout, words like that would be important
> enough to make it into their vocabulary?
> Not that I think that will settle the matter, but
> maybe it does seem worth asking?
Thanks for the post and thoughts. I'm sure I'll steal some of it. ;)