Re: thoughts on origin of religions

From: Jacques Du Pasquier (
Date: Wed Feb 27 2002 - 11:11:59 MST

steve wrote (27.2.2002/12:39) :
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jacques Du Pasquier" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 10:21 AM
> Subject: Re: thoughts on origin of religions
> >
> > Very. Remember that the human brain is unchanged since a very long
> > time. The reason why it seems so different now is it is full of very
> > sophisticated cultural products; those rely on the written word to
> > develop. Oral tradition can only go so far.
> >
> > And this is the real way I intended this link between writing and
> > philosophy. The idea is not that any person worth the name
> > "philosopher" must have written many books. The idea is that you can't
> > get to a certain level of elaboration in thought if you don't live in a
> > society in which writing has been invented. We were talking about world
> > view developpement in various societies, remember?
> <snip>
> > Our brain was not designed to do philosophy (nor science) as you may
> > realize. It was designed to be distracted, to react in real time to
> > threats, etc. We manage to think more refined thoughts with the aid of
> > that intellectual augmentation called writing.
> Very interesting post. If what you say is correct (I personally think it is)
> then what are the implications of the decline in the use of the printed word
> and the move to a more visual culture among the majority of the
> population-which I think is happening in modern societies ?

If I understand well your post, then the first thing to note is, as
Mike said, that the decline of printing doesn't mean the decline of
writing. What matters most about writing, material or numeric, is, I
think, that it be stable, in the sense that you can get back to it.

(This accomodates truth quite well, as truth itself is stable -- while
we are always changing, as are our circumstances.)

Seen that way, it has increased, not decreased, recently. (In fact, I
am not aware that even printing alone has decreased.)

By the way, while I think that Google is an opportunity for some
people (me included), and possibly for all society as a result of what
these people will make with the support of Google, I don't think it is
really what most people, individually, need. Most people already
suffer from too much alienating symbolic mediation, in fact they can
barely stand techné, that funky eschaton.


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