Secularization

Eric Kraufman argues that the religious are inheriting the earth.  The religious are reproducing faster, and despite the fact that many of their children are captured by progressivism, the number of people who say they are religious is increasing.  According to Kraufman the number of people who adhere to moderate religions is decreasing, and shows every sign of altogether vanishing.  The proportion of the religious, and the absolute number of religious people who adhere to fundamentalist religions is increasing.

But he ignores the fact that “fundamentalist” religions are rapidly being captured by progressivism.

In 1960 or so, all Anglicans believed, or purported to believe that divorce was shocking, and that a divorced woman should never remarry.  They believed that in marriage, the wife promised to honor and obey, and failure to do so was disgraceful.  Today, hard to find “fundamentalists” so fundamentalist as to believe in such old fashioned idea.

Moderate religions are disappearing because no one can tell the difference between adhering to a moderate religion and progressivism.  Pretty soon the only Roman Catholics will be sedevacantist rebels, as the Vatican becomes a museum and left wing book store – but the ultra orthodox will be celebrating gay marriage with leather, chains, and giant condoms.

The sedevacantists’ priest shall say:

I now declare you husband and husband.  You may now insert these giant vibrators up each other’s asses.

23 Responses to “Secularization”

  1. J says:

    Filed under “culture”…?

    • jim says:

      Where do you suggest?

      I don’t like to have a category called religion because that would suggest the progressivism and politics is not religious.

  2. J says:

    You could tag it ‘decline of the west’. Or “good vibes”.

  3. B says:

    Let’s make a bet about mainstream Orthodox Judaism in Israel, with clear metrics and deadlines.

    • jim says:

      When you failed to reply to my previous comment on the book of Ruth I thought you had conceded that Orthodox Judaism, which today refuses to fight for Israel and lives on welfare, was in the process of being captured by feminism.

      Reinserting my previous comment:

      > I am pretty sure that this woman does not defer to men, and does not feel all that much like marrying and having sex and children with the kind of man who is likely to marry her and have sex and children with her.

      There is no obligation on women to marry and have children in Judaism.

      The reason that Jews have high fertility and that in particular orthodox Jews have high fertility is not the obsession with cheesecrumbs. It is that the old testament position is that women are simply property, and orthodox Jews have various rituals and practices that remind women of this. The problem is that you are running away from this position, from the clear meaning of your rituals and practices.

      She has no authority whatsoever and is expressing her opinion online. She grew up Reform and became Orthodox as a grownup, accepting upon herself all the restrictions involved. By doing so, she is implicitly supporting Torah Judaism.

      Old Testament Judaism was pretty bloodthirsty and unambiguously treated women as property. Talmudic Judaism is even guiltier than actually existent Christianity about slaying its enemies, and equivocates on women as property

      Talmudic Judaism gets reinterpreted by each successive set of rabbis. If you are not prepared to treat her Judaism like a cheeseburger, it will go the way it is in fact going. Since each successive set of rabbis has full authority (“sits in the seat of Moses” as Jesus parodied them) there is nothing to stop her kind of Talmudic Judaism from having authority.

      >You defend Jewish Orthodoxy against feminists the way that Israel defends itself against Hamas – as little as possible, guiltily, and furtively.

      I do not see the need to defend Judaism against 49 year old ladies with a website.

      The fact that you cannot read the book of Ruth as meaning what it means about the status of women tells me she is winning, and you are losing.

      >Recall how King David came to power.

      The same way that Saul came to power-he was anointed by Shmuel.

      His crown, however …

      >You never have had a Sanhedrin powerful enough to appoint a King, even in the time of its greatest power, under Rome.

      During the Bar Kochba revolt, they were seriously debating anointing him. Rabbi Akiva was for, the rest of the sages against. No miracles were involved.

      As I said, could not agree on what pizza to order.

      >You are going to get a general who is, like King David, quietly dependent on junior officers acting like he is a King, King David’s mighty men.

      His mighty men were commandos, not internal enforcers. Had the relevant spiritual authorities not supported him, he would have lost power, like Saul.

      His mighty men slew his rebellious son, and when he got upset about it, reprimanded him for undermining his and their authority.

      > They just want to enlarge their phylacteries and have men call them “Rabbi, Rabbi”, which as progressives know very well is not power, merely its semblance. They don’t really want to touch the temple mount, because they are happy to be in exile forever.

      You are painting with a broad brush and taking something widespread and calling it universal.

      True. But it is widespread. Orthodox are a minority, and orthodox that genuinely want to come out of exile, to replace progressive theocracy with Jewish theocracy, are minority of a minority. And of that minority of a minority, there is reluctance to confront the choices that would need to be made in coming out of exile.

      A cohesive minority with a clear plan can easily take charge of an incohesive majority with no clear plan, particularly when survival comes to be obviously at stake. But the sanhedrin does not have an impressive record of coming up with clear plans.

      >The way power works is that a bunch of alpha males quietly sort things out between themselves, and then present a solidly united face to the rest of the world.

      Not the way it works with us. The deliberations of a Sanhedrin are open.

      This may partially explain its inability to order pizza.

      >If the Sanhedrin existed and had the power to make a judge a supreme judge, no one would have worried about the sons of Samuel not measuring up.

      There was no institution of “supreme judge.” You are confusing the judicial/legislative (the same thing in a religious state) with the executive.

      Whatever you want to call Samuel and the rest. I keep trying to use your terminology, and you keep chiding me for it. Old Testament terminology is “Judge in the day”, which implies that there were no other judges. I therefore believe that there were no other judges, but I am trying to accommodate your belief system.

      >This procedure only makes sense in a society where woman are as much property as a dog is.

      No. We have a record of female consent being required going back to Avraham’s son.

      The servant makes a deal for Rebecca with her father as if she was a puppy. The servant pays up.

      Then the following day, after the servant has paid up, her brother and her mother (but not her father) insist on consent. Her consent was not required by her father, nor by the servant (who seems rather pissed by this last minute issue)

      So consent was not a legal or social requirement, not expected, preferred, but not required.

      32 And the man came into the house: and he ungirded his camels, and gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet, and the men’s feet that were with him.
      33 And there was set meat before him to eat: but he said, I will not eat, until I have told mine errand. And he said, Speak on.
      34 And he said, I am Abraham’s servant.
      35 And the LORD hath blessed my master greatly; and he is become great: and he hath given him flocks, and herds, and silver, and gold, and menservants, and maidservants, and camels, and asses.
      36 And Sarah my master’s wife bare a son to my master when she was old: and unto him hath he given all that he hath.
      37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
      38 But thou shalt go unto my father’s house, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son.
      39 And I said unto my master, Peradventure the woman will not follow me.
      40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:
      41 Then shalt thou be clear from this my oath, when thou comest to my kindred; and if they give not thee one, thou shalt be clear from my oath.
      42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:
      43 Behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass, that when the virgin cometh forth to draw water, and I say to her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher to drink;
      44 And she say to me, Both drink thou, and I will also draw for thy camels: let the same be the woman whom the LORD hath appointed out for my master’s son.
      45 And before I had done speaking in mine heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder; and she went down unto the well, and drew water: and I said unto her, Let me drink, I pray thee.
      46 And she made haste, and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: so I drank, and she made the camels drink also.
      47 And I asked her, and said, Whose daughter art thou? And she said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bare unto him: and I put the earring upon her face, and the bracelets upon her hands.
      48 And I bowed down my head, and worshipped the LORD, and blessed the LORD God of my master Abraham, which had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter unto his son.
      49 And now if ye will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me: and if not, tell me; that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left.
      50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the LORD: we cannot speak unto thee bad or good.
      51 Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken.
      52 And it came to pass, that, when Abraham’s servant heard their words, he worshipped the LORD, bowing himself to the earth.
      53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.
      54 And they did eat and drink, he and the men that were with him, and tarried all night; and they rose up in the morning, and he said, Send me away unto my master.

      No one even tells Rebecca about the deal, let alone asks her consent. The servant gets a wife for his master in the same manner as he would get a puppy. In the morning, when he is about to leave the issue of consent arises, obviously unexpectedly.

      The old testament, and many present day Jewish rituals, make no sense in a society where female consent was expected or required.

      >if you guys had the courage of your convictions, you would tell women they were property, albeit very specially protected property, which imposes great obligations on its owner, and when you raised the status of women by requiring their consent

      You are upset at Avraham’s slave, Eliezer, claiming that he was overstepping his authority at asking Rivka’s consent?

      Abraham’s servant does not ask for Rebekah’s consent. He is about to leave with her, when her brother starts stalling. Up till then no one has asked her consent, and there is no mention of her even being told the deal, though she must have figured it out when she received her dowry.

      Notice the order of events. First the deal, then the payment and dowry, then they go to sleep. In the morning the servant is about to leave with Rebekah, and Rebekah’s brother starts being difficult. Then they ask Rebekah. Who “consents” after being married (since the payment makes the marriage) and without ever having met the man she has just been married to.

      >Everyone acts as if Ruth is property. She is not present when Boaz goes off to dicker with his kinsman. They settle her fate and Naomi’s fate in her absence without input from her.

      She gave her consent the previous night.

      That influenced Boaz, but it was his choice to be so influenced. He still settled her fate with his kinsman in her absence. Her consent had no legal effect. He could have made the same deal with his and her kinsman without ever speaking to her. If her consent mattered, Boaz would not have needed to cut a deal with his and her kinsman.

      Again, you have no textual proof of her absence at the marriage, nor can you point at any other points in the Torah where there is a marriage with the wife not there. This is retarded on the face of it-if the woman who is supposedly being married dies in the meantime, then what?

      In the case of the marriage of Abraham’s son, I suppose that Abraham might have asked for a refund.

      >You don’t admit to abandoning the old rules, and neither do you admit to endorsing the old rules.

      We know what the old rules actually are from our tradition

      Your quite recent and deliberately evasive and ambiguous tradition. Female consent being a requirement for marriage does not go back very far at all, and you still practice rituals that make no sense in the context of a society where female consent is a requirement – you still do that business with the shoe that Boaz did.

      Eh? The events in the Book of Ruth take place long after the events of Yitzhak’s marriage to Rivka, which required consent.

      That it required consent evidently came as a surprise to her, her father, and Abraham’s servant. She had already been given her dowry the day before the issue of consent arose.

      >Supposing it to be true, supposing the elders were judges, the christian commentators do not believe that they got to do any judging in the Book of Ruth. Thus, the book of Ruth is not evidence that elders were judges in that time.

      The elders are identified as judges in Deuteronomy and in Josephus.

      I am pretty sure they are not identified as judges in Deuteronomy.

      • B says:

        I’m in an accelerator program, sleeping four hours a night and don’t have the time to reply promptly at length. Will try to get back to you shortly. In the meantime, let’s place that bet.

        • jim says:

          I originally proposed to bet a bottle of reasonably good whiskey that before the 2020 presidential election, Israel will move towards the democratic one state solution (which is to say, suicide) in a manner that results in blessings from the New York Times and/or peace prizes all around.

          • B says:

            That’s very vague.

            • jim says:

              Generally I am arguing that progressivism is in power, that you are losing to it, and progressivism will kill you.

              You, on the other hand, observe that orthodoxy is rising, to which I reply it is getting less and less orthodox, that increasing numbers of Jews who refuse conscription and live on welfare is not good, but bad, for Israel.

              If I am right, Israel will get noticeably closer, one tiny step at a time, to suicide by progressivism.

              If you are right, Israel will get noticeably further, one tiny step at a time, from suicide by progressivism.

              The one state solution is suicide – except of course, it is one state with Jews as citizens and non Jews as merely residents. Any measure that enfranchises more Arabs as citizens is a step towards suicide by progressivism. So is any measure that cedes more land, as Gaza was ceded, to your enemies.

              So, Israel annexing Gaza or part thereof, and resuming settlement in Gaza, while not granting citizenship to its residents, proves you right. Any further territorial concessions, as Gaza was conceded, or further grants of citizenship, prove me right.

              If you take back the temple, then that proves you right, and also leaves the vast majority of believing Jews cut off at the knees. What is a religion of exile to do if there is no more exile? (I have argued, and I think you have agreed, that a religion that is too comfortable with exile is bad for both Jews and their neighbors, but particularly for Jews)

              Seems to me that the fact that Gaza was conceded proves me right. But you can say “OK, but now everyone can see that was a really bad idea, so now things are moving from suicide to sanity”

              But things were moving to suicide, and any further moves in that direction prove me right.

              Chances are, however the first big step to suicide won’t be granting a bunch of Arabs citizenship, but rather a path to citizenship, a bunch of promises and deals that will make it harder to not give them citizenship in future.

              For which there will be peace prizes all around.

              In due course, after the peace prizes, the Arabs will not hold up their side of the deal, but the Israeli government will unilaterally give some of what was promised, and some Arabs will become citizens.

      • B says:

        >The reason that Jews have high fertility and that in particular orthodox Jews have high fertility is not the obsession with cheesecrumbs.

        The reason we have high fertility is that we have sacralization of mundane activities, including sex, which puts it into a greater context. Food is another one of those mundane activities.

        >Old Testament Judaism was pretty bloodthirsty and unambiguously treated women as property. Talmudic Judaism is even guiltier than actually existent Christianity about slaying its enemies, and equivocates on women as property

        It would help if you knew what the Torah and Talmud actually said.

        >If you are not prepared to treat her Judaism like a cheeseburger, it will go the way it is in fact going.

        Doubt it. Actually, we have protocols in place for dealing with Jews who are observant to some degree but hold objectionable opinions, of which she is one.

        >Since each successive set of rabbis has full authority (“sits in the seat of Moses” as Jesus parodied them) there is nothing to stop her kind of Talmudic Judaism from having authority.

        She is not a rabbi-there is no such thing as a female rabbi. She is some woman with a website. Should we have a rally because somebody is wrong on the internet?

        >The fact that you cannot read the book of Ruth as meaning what it means about the status of women tells me she is winning, and you are losing.

        Actually, you don’t know what it means about the status of women. You are reading a translation with no context and making the context up, then excoriating us, who are the reason you have the book in the first place, for not reading it right.

        >His crown, however …

        His crown what? The reason he had a crown was that Shmuel anointed him.

        >As I said, could not agree on what pizza to order.

        The point of having a Sanhedrin is that they have to have differences of opinion. That’s explicit. For instance, a unanimous death sentence is voided.

        >His mighty men slew his rebellious son, and when he got upset about it, reprimanded him for undermining his and their authority.

        He was overcome with grief, and the whole episode was an extreme case and not business as usual-not representative.

        > Orthodox are a minority, and orthodox that genuinely want to come out of exile, to replace progressive theocracy with Jewish theocracy, are minority of a minority. And of that minority of a minority, there is reluctance to confront the choices that would need to be made in coming out of exile.

        The minority are always the ones to make the big changes happen. See: David above. And this minority of a minority is bigger and taken more seriously than at any point in the existence of the state.

        >But the sanhedrin does not have an impressive record of coming up with clear plans.

        The Sanhedrin did well at its purpose, as a legislative/judicial body. It was not an executive one.

        >The servant makes a deal for Rebecca with her father as if she was a puppy. The servant pays up. Then the following day, after the servant has paid up, her brother and her mother (but not her father) insist on consent. Her consent was not required by her father, nor by the servant (who seems rather pissed by this last minute issue)…
        No one even tells Rebecca about the deal, let alone asks her consent. The servant gets a wife for his master in the same manner as he would get a puppy. In the morning, when he is about to leave the issue of consent arises, obviously unexpectedly.

        First, Eliezer spoke with Rivka. We are given an excerpt, not a transcript. But he gave her the bracelets and earring/nose ring. Presumably, he secured her consent there. Then we get a transcript of Eliezer’s conversation with Lavan and Betu’el, where they basically said, we have no opinion, do what you’re going to do, take Rivka. Then when they tried to weasel, it became apparent that Rivka had the final word-once she confirms her consent, that’s that.

        >The old testament, and many present day Jewish rituals, make no sense in a society where female consent was expected or required.

        They most certainly make no sense in a society where women are property. For instance, the ability of Sarah to send away Hagar and Ishmael, or Leah’s ability to purchase a night with Ya’akov from Rachel. We need context, and context comes not from Jim Donald’s cursory reading of a translation but from millennia of recorded conversation between our scholars who made this their life’s business.

        >Who “consents” after being married (since the payment makes the marriage) and without ever having met the man she has just been married to.

        She is not married. She is betrothed. If you kept reading your Bible, you would notice that she does not become Itzhak’s wife until he takes her into his tent. Or is it that the Torah doesn’t mean what it says here?

        >That influenced Boaz, but it was his choice to be so influenced. He still settled her fate with his kinsman in her absence.

        The kinsman had right of first refusal-a veto, so to speak. His forfeit of that right was the remaining issue.

        >Her consent had no legal effect. He could have made the same deal with his and her kinsman without ever speaking to her. If her consent mattered, Boaz would not have needed to cut a deal with his and her kinsman.

        You don’t understand the institution of levirate marriage.

        >Your quite recent and deliberately evasive and ambiguous tradition.

        Yes, we made everything up in 1993. Josephus notwithstanding.

        >you still do that business with the shoe that Boaz did.

        Of course. So is our tradition quite recent and deliberately vague?

        >That it required consent evidently came as a surprise to her, her father, and Abraham’s servant. She had already been given her dowry the day before the issue of consent arose.

        That’s because she gave her consent then. She was restating it in front of her mother and brother (and by the way, it’s funny that in this rigid patriarchy where women are property, her mother’s objection counts for anything.)

        >I am pretty sure they are not identified as judges in Deuteronomy.

        If I was consistently wrong on so many things of which I’d been pretty sure, I’d revise my confidence in my own authority:

        12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?

        13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

        14 And ye answered me, and said, The thing which thou hast spoken is good for us to do.

        15 So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes.

        16 And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.

        17 Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.”

        No judges here, no sir, just those lying Jews making things up.

        18 Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the Lord thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

        19 Thou shalt not wrest judgment; thou shalt not respect persons, neither take a gift: for a gift doth blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous.

        20 That which is altogether just shalt thou follow, that thou mayest live, and inherit the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

        • jim says:

          >Old Testament Judaism was pretty bloodthirsty and unambiguously treated women as property. Talmudic Judaism is even guiltier than actually existent Christianity about slaying its enemies, and equivocates on women as property

          It would help if you knew what the Torah and Talmud actually said.

          I know what the Old Testament says.

          >The fact that you cannot read the book of Ruth as meaning what it means about the status of women tells me she is winning, and you are losing.

          Actually, you don’t know what it means about the status of women.

          What the book of Ruth means about the status of women is that the nearest kinsman to Elimelech was entitled to claim ownership of Ruth, regardless of what Naomi and Ruth might have to say about it, but was persuaded by Boaz to not do so so that Boaz, the second nearest, could claim her.

          >His crown, however …

          His crown what? The reason he had a crown was that Shmuel anointed him.

          David was king because the mighty men treated him as king. The crown came into his possession before Samuel anointed him.

          Recall that the Pope proclaimed Charles the Great Holy Roman Emperor, but this happened after Charles the great’s grandfather, Charles the Hammer, had confiscated the wealth of the Church for the war to defend Europe from Muslim conquest, and had remade Christianity at swordpoint into a less pacific, more martial and more valiant religion. While it was the pope that proclaimed Charles the Great Holy Roman emperor, the pope was no kingmaker. The pope merely announced a reality that steel had already created.

          >His mighty men slew his rebellious son, and when he got upset about it, reprimanded him for undermining his and their authority.

          He was overcome with grief, and the whole episode was an extreme case and not business as usual-not representative.

          Rebellion was dealt with by his mighty men, not your judges.

          > Orthodox are a minority, and orthodox that genuinely want to come out of exile, to replace progressive theocracy with Jewish theocracy, are minority of a minority. And of that minority of a minority, there is reluctance to confront the choices that would need to be made in coming out of exile.

          The minority are always the ones to make the big changes happen. See: David above. And this minority of a minority is bigger and taken more seriously than at any point in the existence of the state.

          So long as you evade the choices that would need to be made in coming out of exile, you are not taking yourselves seriously.

          >The servant makes a deal for Rebecca with her father as if she was a puppy. The servant pays up. Then the following day, after the servant has paid up, her brother and her mother (but not her father) insist on consent. Her consent was not required by her father, nor by the servant (who seems rather pissed by this last minute issue)…

          No one even tells Rebecca about the deal, let alone asks her consent. The servant gets a wife for his master in the same manner as he would get a puppy. In the morning, when he is about to leave the issue of consent arises, obviously unexpectedly.

          First, Eliezer spoke with Rivka. We are given an excerpt, not a transcript. But he gave her the bracelets and earring/nose ring. Presumably, he secured her consent there.

          So why does her mother and her brother raise the consent question the morning after the servant has cut the deal with her father

          Her brother and her father tell the servant:

          Behold, Rebekah is before thee, take her, and go, and let her be thy master’s son’s wife, as the LORD hath spoken

          Then the next morning, when he is about to do exactly that, then the brother, at his mother’s instigation, but not the father, starts worrying about what Rebekah thinks of this plan.

          You don’t understand the institution of levirate marriage.

          The institution of levirate marriage makes no sense in a society where a woman’s consent has legal consequences.

          >you still do that business with the shoe that Boaz did.

          Of course. So is our tradition quite recent and deliberately vague?

          What the business with the shoe now means is quite recent and deliberately vague, and reflects the dangerously great influence of feminists.

          >That it required consent evidently came as a surprise to her, her father, and Abraham’s servant. She had already been given her dowry the day before the issue of consent arose.

          That’s because she gave her consent then. She was restating it in front of her mother and brother

          Which would imply that her brother was unaware of her consent when he agreed with his father to give Rebekah away.

          >I am pretty sure they are not identified as judges in Deuteronomy.

          If I was consistently wrong on so many things of which I’d been pretty sure, I’d revise my confidence in my own authority:

          12 How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?

          13 Take you wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you.

          Terminological dispute: Not identified as judges, meaning not called judges. Only the top guy, who judges the important matters solo, is called a judge. There is no committee deciding questions of law. The top guy, in old testament terminology, the one and only judge, gets to decide the law and authorize these lesser people.

          Their authority comes from Moses. Moses’s authority does not come from them. If there were lesser authorities under Samuel doing jobs that we today would call judging, he appointed them, they did not appoint him. They are nowhere called judges, only the leaders like Samuel are called judges, though obviously the job is what we would call judging.

          If there were a bunch of judges that had the authority to appoint Samuel, no one would have worried that Samuel’s sons were not of good character. The problem was that the death of Samuel would leave a vacuum, that there was no individual or group with sufficient prestige and authority to get away with judging Israel.

          So authority had to be created coercively. Before then, the Children of Israel had been in anarchy in the sense that there was no coercive authority, though mostly it was orderly anarchy, in that there was religious authority.

          • B says:

            >I know what the Old Testament says.

            You’re confusing engagement and marriage, so it would appear not.

            >What the book of Ruth means about the status of women is that the nearest kinsman to Elimelech was entitled to claim ownership of Ruth, regardless of what Naomi and Ruth might have to say about it, but was persuaded by Boaz to not do so so that Boaz, the second nearest, could claim her.

            Not so. He was 1) not entitled to claim ownership but entitled to first refusal, 2) was not persuaded by Boaz but was asked by Boaz, and used that right.

            >David was king because the mighty men treated him as king. The crown came into his possession before Samuel anointed him.

            Not so-here again we see you don’t know what the Bible says. Samuel anointed David when he was still very young and a shepherd. No mighty men in sight. How do you presume to argue about the meaning of the Torah when you don’t even know what its translation says?

            Further, there were plenty of strongmen in the hills of Judah in those days (and there still are.) Before David, Saul became king. How did he become king? Samuel anointed him. What did he say to Saul? “Am not I a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me?” And how did Saul lose his kingdom? By not listening to Samuel. So we see that it is not by the wiles of strongmen that rightful kingship is attained in Israel.

            >Recall that the Pope proclaimed Charles the Great Holy Roman Emperor…the pope merely announced a reality that steel had already created.

            But Jews live by different historical rules than non-Jews. It also says this in the Bible-that we are not to walk in their ways, and that G-d will not let us be like them even if we wish. So analogies to Charles the Great or Shaka Zulu are of limited utility. Sorry, i know it’s not a very Universalist view to take.

            >Rebellion was dealt with by his mighty men, not your judges.

            The judges are not an executive body. But in actuality, the rebellion was dealt with by G-d through Absalom’s enstupidation.

            >So long as you evade the choices that would need to be made in coming out of exile, you are not taking yourselves seriously.

            Soon. Wait.

            >So why does her mother and her brother raise the consent question the morning after the servant has cut the deal with her father

            Exactly-if women are property and the father is the head of the family, why would the mother’s objection matter (why would she speak at all,) and why would the question be settled by Rivka’s consent?

            >The institution of levirate marriage makes no sense in a society where a woman’s consent has legal consequences.

            Of course it makes sense. Judaic law is a series of nested if-else statements, on one level. If a man dies childless, his brother is obliged to marry his widow. But she is not obliged to marry him. If she consents, they marry. If not, or he refuses, they do chalitza, the ceremony with the shoe.

            >What the business with the shoe now means is quite recent and deliberately vague, and reflects the dangerously great influence of feminists.

            What does it now mean? When did it start meaning that? Do you have a source? Why did it start meaning what it now means, and what did it mean before? How and when did it change?

            >Which would imply that her brother was unaware of her consent when he agreed with his father to give Rebekah away.

            Which would imply that Lavan’s family enjoyed dishonest dealing, backsliding and a complete lack of morality. Which we in fact know to be the case from, e.g., their dealings with Ya’akov.

            >Terminological dispute: Not identified as judges, meaning not called judges. Only the top guy, who judges the important matters solo, is called a judge. There is no committee deciding questions of law. The top guy, in old testament terminology, the one and only judge, gets to decide the law and authorize these lesser people.

            Your arrogance is amazing. You don’t know what the Torah says but know exactly what it means. In the passages I quoted, these men are called “shofetim,” judges. Now you are telling me that the Torah doesn’t mean they’re judges when it says they’re judges and their job is to judge. As for the judge (singular)-the Torah switches between singular and plural constantly, using the one to refer to the other and vice versa. It also goes back and forth between past and future tense. Obviously, King James’ translators didn’t put that in in order not to confuse their audience, but we are obliged to read the Torah over the course of a year, each part twice in the Hebrew and once in the translation, so we know what it means. When it says “the judge that shall be in those days,” it means judges, plural.

            >Their authority comes from Moses. Moses’s authority does not come from them. If there were lesser authorities under Samuel doing jobs that we today would call judging, he appointed them, they did not appoint him.

            What makes a judge a judge is that people go to him for judgement. Among other things, of course.

            >They are nowhere called judges, only the leaders like Samuel are called judges, though obviously the job is what we would call judging.

            They are repeatedly called judges. Even in the English translation. Further, Samuel’s sons are called judges. Where do they judge? In Be’er Sheva. A backwater nowhere near the Tabernacle.

            >If there were a bunch of judges that had the authority to appoint Samuel, no one would have worried that Samuel’s sons were not of good character.

            Aside from being a judge, Samuel was also a prophet. His sons’ poor character was a local problem. The lack of a national executive leadership capable of solving inter-tribal issues and leading Israel against her enemies was a national problem. Samuel filled this function from the defeat of the Philistines at Mitzpeh. By the way, by demanding a king to rule and judge over them and lead them in battle, the Children of Israel were affronting G-d, which Samuel stated explicitly to them.

            >Before then, the Children of Israel had been in anarchy in the sense that there was no coercive authority, though mostly it was orderly anarchy, in that there was religious authority.

            True. In a way, this would have been the ideal state, with the tribes being ruled by G-d. Unfortunately, they were incapable of walking straight in G-d’s eyes, and sought the solution in a king. Even more unfortunately, a king can’t straighten people who are crooked-it usually goes the other way, if not with him then with his children or grandchildren. Hence, the foundation of a stable state (I’m talking on the Jewish timescale, not the British or American one) is a people who accept the Torah, a Sanhedrin which is in charge of teaching them what it means overall and in context, and all the judges/rabbis in between. And the King is its crown, but not its foundation.

            • jim says:

              >What the book of Ruth means about the status of women is that the nearest kinsman to Elimelech was entitled to claim ownership of Ruth, regardless of what Naomi and Ruth might have to say about it, but was persuaded by Boaz to not do so so that Boaz, the second nearest, could claim her.

              Not so. He was 1) not entitled to claim ownership but entitled to first refusal, 2) was not persuaded by Boaz but was asked by Boaz, and used that right.

              This is a bunch of words that has the form of an argument, but is not an argument. The Book of Ruth means what it means, and you have not proposed any intelligible alternative meaning.

              >David was king because the mighty men treated him as king. The crown came into his possession before Samuel anointed him.

              Not so-here again we see you don’t know what the Bible says. Samuel anointed David when he was still very young and a shepherd. No mighty men in sight. How do you presume to argue about the meaning of the Torah when you don’t even know what its translation says?

              I mispoke. I was thinking of this anointing,
              2 Samuel Chapter 2:

              3 And his men that were with him did David bring up, every man with his household: and they dwelt in the cities of Hebron.
              4 And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

              though of course Samuel is dead by then. Samuel’s anointing did not, in fact, make David King. Fire and steel made David King, and the anointing in Samuel 2, Chapter 2 is acknowledgement of this fact.

              >Recall that the Pope proclaimed Charles the Great Holy Roman Emperor…the pope merely announced a reality that steel had already created.

              But Jews live by different historical rules than non-Jews.

              2 Samuel Chapter 3

              1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

              That was long after both anointings, and long after Samuel was gone

              It is perfectly clear that anointing resulted from David’s power, not the other way around. Again, you are making something that has the form of an argument, but is not even an argument. Samuel’s anointing did not make David King. Fire and steel made David King.

              If there ever was something like the Sanhedrin before the Romans created it, it expired with Samuel.

              Compared to David, the origins of the Holy Roman Empire are comparatively decorous. By and large, Christians went along with the Holy Roman Empire program because the alternative was to be overrun by Saracens, the only real opposition coming from pagans.

              >So why does her mother and her brother raise the consent question the morning after the servant has cut the deal with her father

              Exactly-if women are property and the father is the head of the family, why would the mother’s objection matter

              Natural affection. Rebekah’s mother’s objection does not legally matter. Rebekah’s opinion does not matter to her brother and her father until her mother gets on her brother. The father was fully entitled to thrash her and Rebekah- but he probably would not, and would get nagged if he did. Patriarchy does not guarantee domestic tranquility, though it helps.

              >The institution of levirate marriage makes no sense in a society where a woman’s consent has legal consequences.

              Of course it makes sense. Judaic law is a series of nested if-else statements, on one level. If a man dies childless, his brother is obliged to marry his widow. But she is not obliged to marry him.

              The nearest kin of of Elimelech is entitled, not obliged. Hence Boaz needs the permission of the nearest kinsman, and that kinsman has the power to give permission. If Ruth not obligated, Boaz would only need Ruth or Naomi’s permission.

              So it is the other way around. The brother is entitled, the widow is obliged.

              If she consents, they marry. If not, or he refuses, they do chalitza, the ceremony with the shoe.

              If it is mutual consent, no point in the ceremony of the shoe. Obviously, at the time of Ruth and Boaz, there was a point. You have rewritten your past to suit the demands of feminists, and rewritten it rather recently, because I recall the Jews of my youth acknowledging that the widow was pro forma property of the brother in law, and needed the shoe business to be released, which of course the brother was always supposed to do.

              The way the ceremony works – the brother in law acts, the widow does not act, reflects what the ceremony used to mean in living memory. Or at least that is the way the ceremony was very recently, though I expect that under the impact of feminism, you are furtively changing it, much as the Christian churches furtively changed the marriage ceremony.

              >Before then, the Children of Israel had been in anarchy in the sense that there was no coercive authority, though mostly it was orderly anarchy, in that there was religious authority.

              True. In a way, this would have been the ideal state, with the tribes being ruled by G-d. Unfortunately, they were incapable of walking straight in G-d’s eyes, and sought the solution in a king. Even more unfortunately, a king can’t straighten people who are crooked-it usually goes the other way, if not with him then with his children or grandchildren. Hence, the foundation of a stable state (I’m talking on the Jewish timescale, not the British or American one) is a people who accept the Torah, a Sanhedrin which is in charge of teaching them what it means overall and in context, and all the judges/rabbis in between. And the King is its crown, but not its foundation.

              I don’t see, in the old testament, any group like the Sanhedrin appointing the top judge.

              You would probably argue that the “men of Judah” were the elders/judges of Judah, rather than the mighty men of Judah, although all the old testament evidence indicates that they were the Judean militia, or more likely the Judean mighty men. But even if they were the elders of Judah, they were not your Sanhedrin.

              The early Judges seem to simply appear. One day everyone agrees that they are judge. Then later judges are elected. And then, later still, it’s more a power struggle and the system eventually breaks down.

              Where we have definite and clear historical record of the Sanhedrin, they suck.

              If you have theocratic rule, and there is open entry into the role of opinion leader, you get competition to be holier than thou, leading the religion to rapidly head off into insanity. And the historical record, where we have a real historical record that the Sanhedrin existed, shows that this is in fact what happened.

              The Jewish religion initially avoided heading off into madness by having hereditary priesthood. When rabbis appeared, you had a problem. Democratic representation of rabbis will worsen the problem.

          • B says:

            >This is a bunch of words that has the form of an argument, but is not an argument. The Book of Ruth means what it means, and you have not proposed any intelligible alternative meaning.

            The Book of Ruth is referring to an institution which we know from as far back as we have a comprehensive codex of Judaism as it was actually practiced. It is not a case of levirate marriage, by the way, but a case of a marriage to redeem the inheritance of the deceased. The commandment is upon the redeemer to continue the line of the deceased and allow his inheritance to continue, in opposition to his own interest and at his expense. He has an obligation to the widow of the deceased (see Er and Tamar), and thus the commandment is binding on him but not on her. He is the responsible party (as can be seen by the public humiliation prescribed for the one who refuses to do his duty.) She is the beneficiary, and it is her right to be redeemed, and of course she has the choice not to marry the redeemer. Throughout the story of Ruth, we see that from the beginning, Ruth and Naomi are looking for a redeemer, before they even go up to Israel, and that when she approaches Boaz on the threshing floor, it is to implore him to fulfill this responsibility. It is therefore crazy to say that she is property to be transacted. The King James Bible, for instance, translates Boaz as saying “”What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou
            must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the
            dead.” Meaning, the kinsman is not obliged to buy Ruth but to buy FROM her. Were the translators of King James feminists? You can, if you’d like, read a monograph on the whole story/institution from a non-Talmudic prospective here: https://faculty.gordon.edu/hu/bi/ted_hildebrandt/otesources/08-ruth/texts/books/leggett-goelruth/leggett-goelruth.pdf

            Further, we can see Job’s daughter inheriting along with her brothers and the widow in II Kings 8:1-6 inheriting her husband’s property.

            Further, we see in other places that a woman was not property, that she had freedom of transaction, including the freedom to sell herself into slavery and the freedom to refuse her mandatory release at the end of six years.

            >Samuel’s anointing did not, in fact, make David King. Fire and steel made David King, and the anointing in Samuel 2, Chapter 2 is acknowledgement of this fact.

            The only reason that fire and steel made him king is that Samuel anointed him as a youth in Betlehem. And by the way, when the tribes recognized him as king in Hevron after the death of Ishbosheth (in 2 Samuel 5, not 2 Samuel 2-you are “misspeaking” again), these are the words that are used to describe it: וַ֠יָּבֹאוּ כָּל־זִקְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל אֶל־הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ חֶבְרֹ֔ונָה. “All the elders of Israel came to the King in Hevron.” Should I remind you of what context “elders” is used in? And then they anointed him king over all Israel, as is the function of the council of elders, the Sanhedrin.

            >Again, you are making something that has the form of an argument, but is not even an argument.

            I need to keep that in mind as a response for future situations when in it becomes obvious I don’t know what I’m talking about, but want to keep arguing.

            >Samuel’s anointing did not make David King. Fire and steel made David King.

            This depends on your perspective on history. If it’s just a “bunch of shit that happens,” then yes, fire and steel made him king, as it made Saul king before him, and the fact that the document from which we know of their existence specifically tells us that this was only a secondary effect of them being chosen by G-d and anointed is irrelevant. If your perspective is the Jewish one, then David becoming king was inevitable from his covenant with G-d, and the Sanhedrin formalized it.

            >Natural affection. Rebekah’s mother’s objection does not legally matter. Rebekah’s opinion does not matter to her brother and her father until her mother gets on her brother. The father was fully entitled to thrash her and Rebekah- but he probably would not, and would get nagged if he did. Patriarchy does not guarantee domestic tranquility, though it helps.

            I sort of have my hands full with the Jewish legal framework here, but it is obvious that the legal framework of Lavan’s society did not view women as mute property. In today’s Afghanistan or Iraq, the mother of the bride-to-be would not be in the room at all with strangers discussing business, and certainly they would not bring the bride in and ask her to provide the final word.

            >The nearest kin of of Elimelech is entitled, not obliged…So it is the other way around. The brother is entitled, the widow is obliged.

            I recommend you actually read the monograph linked above, and review the parts of the Torah where the obligation of a goel is listed. And try to use your common sense-if a man refuses something he is entitled to, why would there be a commandment for the widow to publicly humiliate him?

            >You have rewritten your past to suit the demands of feminists, and rewritten it rather recently, because I recall the Jews of my youth acknowledging that the widow was pro forma property of the brother in law, and needed the shoe business to be released, which of course the brother was always supposed to do.

            I am not responsible for what these alleged Jews of your youth said or didn’t say, or for their level of understanding of Judaism. I am responsible for trying my best to understand what the Torah says and what it means.

            >But even if they were the elders of Judah, they were not your Sanhedrin.

            I don’t understand your “even if.” The Torah calls them “ziknei,” which means “elders,” and not of Judah but of all Israel. A body of elders of all Israel with the power to anoint a king are, by definition, the Great Sanhedrin.

            >The early Judges seem to simply appear. One day everyone agrees that they are judge. Then later judges are elected. And then, later still, it’s more a power struggle and the system eventually breaks down.

            You understand that the purpose of the Torah is not to provide you with a comprehensive historical record, but to show germane events to a point, in a historical context with which it presupposes the reader is familiar, right? What is this “simply appear”? We have a record of Moshe establishing a judiciary institution. Next thing you know, hey, here’s a judiciary institution mentioned. Obviously, they are one and the same, and the judiciary institution did not “simply appear.”

            >Where we have definite and clear historical record of the Sanhedrin, they suck.

            You mean, where you have a non-Jewish, Roman record of the Sanhedrin. But this is the worst moment in Jewish history. The Jewish people sunk to lows of civil strife. The Sanhedrin was a judiciary body, with no executive body. Nonetheless, despite the tragic context, I think the Jews came out better than anyone else who got into it with the Romans at their peak.

            >And the historical record, where we have a real historical record that the Sanhedrin existed, shows that this is in fact what happened.

            The issue of the Sanhedrin you are accusing was not that they were “holier-than-thou.” It was that they were presiding over a Jewish people with no king, a kingly line which had degenerated and been usurped by Herod, and ruled over a schizophrenic Roman empire which went this way and that based on political chaos, with Greek neighbors who hated them and plotted to turn the Romans against them. Given all that, they did as well as could be expected.

            The Jewish religion initially avoided heading off into madness by having hereditary priesthood. When rabbis appeared, you had a problem. Democratic representation of rabbis will worsen the problem.

            • jim says:

              He has an obligation to the widow of the deceased (see Er and Tamar), and thus the commandment is binding on him but not on her.

              We are just repeating ourselves. The Book of Ruth says what it says. You think you have made an argument. I don’t think you have made an argument. If the obligation is binding on males but not binding on females, where is the problem that Boaz has to deal with? If the obligation is binding on males but not females, why does your present day ritual have the male freeing the female, rather than the female freeing the male?

              The Torah calls them “ziknei,” which means “elders,” and not of Judah but of all Israel.

              Is that your “oral Torah”? Old testament calls them “men of Judah”.

              Which, given that fire and steel made David King, makes a lot more sense in context than your version. “Men” could mean many things – but Judah means Judah.

              The issue of the Sanhedrin you are accusing was not that they were “holier-than-thou.”

              Jesus was not the only one to complain. Pretty much everyone complained that they were fanatics.

              >Where we have definite and clear historical record of the Sanhedrin, they suck.

              You mean, where you have a non-Jewish, Roman record of the Sanhedrin. But this is the worst moment in Jewish history.

              Where we have clear evidence that the Sanhedrin existed and ruled, it is indeed one of the worst moments in Jewish history and quite possibly the worst.

          • B says:

            >The Book of Ruth says what it says.

            The Book of Ruth, like every other book in the Tanakh, exists in a context. It presupposes a level of familiarity with the rest of the books. Including those parts of them which speak of a “goel,” a redeemer. This word is of the male gender, and where we see the order of precedence for goelim being explicitly stated, they are all male: Leviticus 25:48-49 says:
            48 then after he is sold he may be redeemed. One of his brothers may redeem him,
            49 or his uncle or his cousin may redeem him, or a close relative from his clan may redeem him. Or if he grows rich he may redeem himself.

            In Deuteronomy 25, it says:

            5 “If brethren dwell together, and one of them die and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry outside unto a stranger; her husband’s brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him for a wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother unto her.

            So, we see that Levirate marriage (which is different from the situation in the Book of Ruth, but related) is an obligation binding on him. Her obligation is not to marry outside of the family, until at least the brother of the deceased has passed on his obligation. And why does he have this obligation, and to whom?

            6 And it shall be that the firstborn whom she beareth shall succeed in the name of his brother who is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

            So, it is an obligation he has to his brother. His son with the widow of the deceased counts as the son of the deceased and inherits his portion (rather than the brother inheriting.) So you completely misunderstand this law-it is not that the widow is spoils, as it were, of the brother. It is the opposite-she has a claim on him and he has a duty.

            7 And if the man like not to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go up to the gate unto the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuseth to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel. He will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’

            “He will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.” Meaning, again, that it is his duty, not his right, and the duty is to his deceased brother (and to his widow.)

            8 Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak unto him; and if he stand by it and say, ‘I like not to take her,’
            9 then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face, and shall answer and say, ‘So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.’

            See? He is humiliated publicly (this is the only time that public humiliation is prescribed by the Torah as a punishment, except for cases of the death penalty with hanging-in general Judaism takes humiliation very seriously) FOR REFUSING TO PERFORM HIS DUTY.

            10 And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him that hath his shoe loosed.’

            His humiliation is perpetual, which goes to show that this is a commandment upon him.

            >If the obligation is binding on males but not binding on females, where is the problem that Boaz has to deal with?

            The problem is that when someone is obligated by a commandment, we are obligated to help him or at least prohibited from getting in his way. The commandment is on the nearer kinsman first, and Boaz can’t jump the line.

            >If the obligation is binding on males but not females, why does your present day ritual have the male freeing the female, rather than the female freeing the male?

            It does not involve him freeing her. It involves him refusing to fulfill his obligation to her and being publicly humiliated for it (in a ritualistic way which is no longer considered humiliating, but that’s another story.)

            >>The Torah calls them “ziknei,” which means “elders,” and not of Judah but of all Israel.

            >Is that your “oral Torah”? Old testament calls them “men of Judah”.

            I thought we’d established through Josephus, whom you consider an authority, that there is such a thing as Oral Torah and that it existed in his day and was considered legitimate and genuine by the majority of Jews. In fact, the whole obligation to redeem the widow of the deceased by his relatives who aren’t brothers in the above story is completely from the Oral Torah, as the written Torah only speaks about the obligation of a brother who lives in the same household. Regardless-they are referred to as the elders of Israel in the Written Torah, about which you keep saying you know what it says but then keep demonstrating that you DON’T know what it says, and can’t even read the parts you quote. It’s in 2 Samuel 5: “So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.”

            >Which, given that fire and steel made David King, makes a lot more sense in context than your version. “Men” could mean many things – but Judah means Judah.

            You should probably just go ahead and write your own Torah. Then you wouldn’t have this recurring problem of it not saying what you think it should say. We will have to wait and see how it does, and whether anyone is reading it and living by it in the distant future.

            >Jesus was not the only one to complain. Pretty much everyone complained that they were fanatics.

            Who else complained? The Romans? By the standards of non-Jews, we are fanatics for not allowing statues of the emperor to be put up in our synagogues or our Temple to be defiled. Fortunately, we don’t live by those standards. We live by the Torah, which prohibits these things under penalty of death, and tells us to die rather than do them.

            >Where we have clear evidence that the Sanhedrin existed and ruled, it is indeed one of the worst moments in Jewish history and quite possibly the worst.

            First, the clear evidence that we have that David existed and that Samuel existed and that Moshe existed is the same as the clear evidence we have that the Sanhedrin existed in their time: documents/testimony passed down by their contemporaries and inheritors. The fact that one set of documents was translated a few centuries earlier than another does not (to me) affect their relative veracity.

            Second-what would you have had them do? Put up a statue of Nero in every synagogue? Bow down to it? Allow Roman soldiers to expose themselves in the Temple? This would be tantamount to stating that we have no purpose for national existence, and would have had the predictable result of extinction.

  4. Barnabas says:

    They can meme faster than we can breed.

  5. Dave says:

    Natural selection favors religions that most strongly reject progressive ideas. Christian fundamentalism began as a reaction to 1900-era progressivism, and there will be another religious revival that spits on today’s leftist pieties.

    A high-fertility faith must however have *some* doctrinal flexibility, to handle the transition from minority to majority. E.g. pacifism is a good idea when your sect is small and vulnerable, but the Amish and Haredim cannot expect us seculars to protect them forever as we contracept ourselves out of existence.

  6. Matthew says:

    Race is the new religion. Varg Vikernes and Christian Israel Identity are ultimately on the same side.

  7. Brian says:

    And then people more aligned with reality will come and take all the resources neglected by those too immersed in their own grandiose delusions to notice. In other words, the meek shall inherit the Earth.

    • jim says:

      In other words, the meek shall inherit the Earth

      The way the wind blows, looks more like Islamic State and Boko Haram will inherit the earth.

  8. anon says:

    Life as we know it cannot have evolved 10 billion years ago, because the needed materials have to have come from a previous star. universe is ~13bn years old. stars live ~10bn years ago. sun is ~5bn years old, earth ~4.5bn years old, life is ~3.5bn years old. Sun is one of the earlier 2nd generation stars and life appeared quite early on earth after liquid water was present.

    Though we know intelligent life appeared very recently (40k years ago), and it is very rare, ‘even unto this day’. Civilization ~5kya, science ~.5kya. and just now ( ~0kya=~1950) we seem to be technologically stunted, or peaked (if you are a glass-half-full kind of person)

    There cannot be an alien civilization similar to us in our galaxy with a ~10bn head start on us. but ~1bn or ~1M years of head start I cannot reject using this argument, any astrophysics wonks may refine the numbers (order of magnitudes). (Fermi paradox, Drake equation, etc etc)

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