[b-hebrew] Nooo! Don't go!

Arnaud Fournet fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr
Wed Jul 21 10:20:25 EDT 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Barry" <nebarry at verizon.net>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 1:49 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Nooo! Don't go!

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Arnaud Fournet" <fournet.arnaud at wanadoo.fr>
> To: "Barry" <nebarry at verizon.net>; <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 4:23 AM
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Nooo! Don't go!
>> This strikes me as being a complete fallacy.
> Good morning, as it is here, Arnaud.  Thanks for your response.  You have 
> precisely the reaction that many students give when faced with the 
> assertion, which allows me to start quite a discussion on the subject.
Anyway I'm not one of "many students".
This is a forum among listees here, as far as I understand it.
You're not "teaching" me anything, we are discussing on a par.
Hope this helps.

>> Evolution is about scientific knowledge. There are explicit criteria to 
>> know if something is scientific or not.
>> And Evolution doubtless has nothing to do with "mythology" unless one has 
>> a very idiosyncratic and hyper-extensive approach of that word, which 
>> would nearly amounts to equating any kind of knowledge with mythology.
> Not at all.  A standard definition: " mythology, myths collectively; the 
> body of stories associated with a culture or institution or person..."
> The Wikipedia article correctly points out:
> The term mythology can refer to either the study of myths or a body of 
> myths.[1] For example, comparative mythology is the study of connections 
> between myths from different cultures,[2] whereas Greek mythology is the 
> body of myths from ancient Greece. The term "myth" is often used 
> colloquially to refer to a false story;[3][4] however, the academic use of 
> the term generally does not pass judgment on its truth or falsity.[4][5] 
> In the study of folklore, a myth is a symbolic narrative explaining how 
> the world and humankind came to be in their present form.[5][6][7] Many 
> scholars in other fields use the term "myth" in somewhat different 
> ways.[7][8][9] In a very broad sense, the word can refer to any 
> traditional story.[10]
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythology
> I would add to this the purpose that mythology serves in the culture -- it 
> often has explanatory and didactic force.  George Washington chopped down 
> a cherry tree, a story now universally acknowledged to be a fiction, but 
> it was long believed, and even now, historians will say that it appears to 
> have captured nicely Washington's character.
Wikipedia is just a huge heap of amateurish crap trying to masquerade as 
I'm afraid you missed an opportunity to convince me you are professional and 
I would rather consider a reference to a relevant book written by some 
competent individual.
So far, erh, well, to put it short, well: none... nothing...

>> In all cases I tend to think that the word "mythology" is somewhat flawed 
>> from the start.
>> This word is tainted by the Greek mythology and the major problem is that 
>> the Ancient Greeks no longer "believed in" their own "mythology" in the 
>> first place. They dealt with it as entertainment and moralistic fairy 
>> tales.
>> Normally we would expect people to believe in their own "myths" and take 
>> them in earnest, not to laugh at them. It should be a cultural given with 
>> an emotional and personal involvement.
> This is a vast oversimplification, actually.  It is true that by the 
> classical period, the philosophers and literrati are viewing myths in a 
> way closer to what we call metaphor, but that doesn't meant they don't 
> believe them.  Plato's philosophy is, in my opinion, impossible to 
> understand unless you see the mythological underpinnings. Cicero, in De 
> Deorum Natura, writes:
> Velut in hac quaestione plerique, quod maxime veri simile est et quo omnes 
> duce natura venimus, deos esse dixerunt...
> [Everyone should learn Latin.  No funny little letters]
> "In the question now before us, the greater part of mankind have united to 
> acknowledge that which is most probable, and which we are all by nature 
> led to suppose, namely, that there are Gods."
> Now, as to precisely what Cicero meant by this and how he incorporates 
> "mythology," one must read the rest of the treatise.
> You might also want to consider the ways in which classical mythology 
> interacts with the mystery religions as they begin to pervade the 
> Greco-Roman world, and the popularity of these religions, including 
> Christianity, with their many mythic elements (some incorporated from 
> "traditional" Greco-Roman religion, which is itself not necessarily the 
> same as the literary forms of the myths).  Particularly of interest is the 
> way in which non-Christian influenced gnosticism incorporates and 
> expresses mythological elements.
>> I don't know if there is another word that would not convey the implicit 
>> idea that it's just fake and absurd stuff that hangs in the distance.
> By the standard definition(s) above, shared by most scholars of the 
> subject,
> evolution does fit the bill.  It is an integral part of the culture with 
> tremendous explanatory force.  It works its way into popular writing, both 
> fiction and fact.  It has largely the same function as myths have in any 
> culture.
> Feel free to disagree.  While this has some impact on biblical studies, of 
> which Hebrew is a part, we should really get back to a discussion of the 
> language, so this will be my last post on the subject.
Anyway the forum is about "the discussion of Biblical Hebrew language and 
I don't buy your "hit-and-run" rhetorics about throwing some huge 
provocative pseudo-truth and then expect that huge crap to be left 
Dirty tricks for retarded rabbits of the day, aren't they?
Hope this helps again.

By the way, do you have anything relevant to say about "Biblical Hebrew 
language and literature"?

Best Regards

Arnaud Fournet

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