Anthropology Of Religion

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[An interminable debate on 'methods']

Here GC (misunderstands or rather refuses to accept) the comparative technique. He desires to have each myth told in its entirety and
analyzed, so the reader can learn the metaphorical meanings or ethical lessons that are symbolized or defined. But this is not the way the comparative method is properly used. It's purpose is not to explain the detailed meanings of a single myth, rather it is a means of extracting an unusual detail or motif and relating it to other myths from other cultures with a similar unusual detail or motif. This process requires that many elements of a specific myth must be ignored (it is a filtering process) as local, and therefore irrelevant, embellishments. It is in essence a forensic technique.

-- nick, ca Jul 22, 2010, EU blog

"In contrast, David Talbott, inspired by Immanuel Velikovsky's theory of interplanetary upheaval, developed a method for comparing the myths of far-flung cultures. His objective was to discover whether reliable
memories are embedded in the different stories. This method is similar to the reasoning of lawyers in a court of law, questioning witnesses who may be lying, or incompetent, or remembering incorrectly. When
statements from independent witnesses converge on unique details, they tend to corroborate each other, even if the witnesses are not reliable in other things they say. Similarly, according to Talbott, there are hundreds of common themes in world mythology, where different words and different symbols point to the same remembered events. The more peculiar the points of convergence, the more unreasonable it is to dismiss them.

Talbott insists that a comparative
approach can demonstrate the common roots of such mythical themes.

The comparative method can also account for numerous details that
the experts have missed. Most dramatic is the connection between the Scarface theme and the lightning of the gods. Talbott gives as an
example the god Enceladus, struck down by a thunderbolt of Zeus. The god was remembered as "the lightning-scarred god". Enceladus appears to be a counterpart of the monster Typhon, the "thunderstruck" god. Both can be identified as the terrible aspect of the celestial warrior, according to Talbott, for it was in his "man-slaying" rampage that Ares received his wound.

-- *The Case for an Electric Universe*
by Amy and Nel Acheson

note by Jno: I think that the 'comparative method' is reductive, and leads nowhere fast. Why look for roots, when you can as well start with a reasonable model, and seek confirmation instead of roots. As in this case: he has Typhon wrong, it has nothing to do with the "scarfaced warrior".
Enceladus belongs to the second battle of the Gods, ca 3150 BC, not in the
8th or 7th century BC. Oh well.

"Yes I desire each mythological tale to be analysed in its entirety but not just so the reader can learn metaphorical or ethical lessons. I wish the tale to be taken in its context not to be cherry-picked for a word or phrase then abandoned. That there are metaphorical, ethical and
allegorical elements to myths is not my invention, it has been
recognised for thousands of years, e.g. by Plato. A further point which I made in the critique and have mentioned more than once on this forum is that every part of a given tale is information it is not padding.
I still do not understand your (and the Saturn theorists) use of the word forensic.

-- Grey cloud, same thread, answer to nick

"And the only way for anyone to discover what the original reports were is to find all of the things, i.e. motifs, that all of the ancient myths had in common, not the many details added by later generations in each nation.

Why do you ignore the many scientists who contribute to this site
and the forum? Most of them probably haven't read Cardona's
expensive book, but many know the basic theme, based on some of the material here and from Thoth and other sites.

-- Lloyd

Point me to the many scientists on this site and the forum who provide evidence for the science involved in either Cardona's or Talbott's
planetary merry-go-round.

-- Grey Cloud

... later, responding to Stephen Jay

You consistently maintain that the "humanities" cannot be examined
via the scientific (forensic) method but, rather, must ONLY be
metabolized in their larger philosophical context. Sorry, but that
sounds suspiciously pseudo-religious to me.

Why do Saturn theorists and their supporters have to invoke the word forensic? Can a myth be recreated in a lab? The humanities are more art than science as they rely on subjective judgement. Sure, artefacts etc can be dated using scientific techniques but the Saturn theorists don't accept the dating techniques, or the ice-core records or any other science which disagrees with their theories anyway, so where does that leave 'forensic science'?

What I actually maintain is that any mythological tale or episode should be examined in context.

--Grey Cloud


Suggested ebooks:

Robert Ellwood - The Encyclopedia Of World Religions
Reformed Druids - Anthology 00 Introduction
Reformed Druids - Anthology 07 Miscellany

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