Tag Archives: Tribalism

Genesis of World Bullies

What Aldous Huxley called “an unfortunate remark in Genesis” is really a few remarks that have justified centuries of disregard and abuses against nonhuman animals. Huxley was referring to how flippant remarks became highly influential through history by sheer chance. A few scrawls by an anonymous scribe, detailing what his desert tribe of ancient Hebrews believed concerning humans and the natural world, happened to pass through history on the back of an increasingly dominant religion. That effectively gave to humankind an animal killing, meat-eating manifesto in Genesis.

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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Put the Noble Savage to Rest

Critics of today’s human behavior often point our tribal past as an example of how we should nobly live in harmony with nature. Animal activists sometimes do the same, when decrying today’s vanquishing of the natural world. But this nonsense is becoming particularly tiresome and annoying. The following is therefore a response to the myth of the noble savage.

Our prehistoric ancestors indulged a wide range of murderous and bizarre excesses resembling the insanity of rampaging chimpanzees. Archaeologist Lawrence Keeley provides a detailed account of our ancestors’ war-faring behavior in War Before Civilization. He presents the thesis of a decline in violence—the same picked up and expanded later by Steven Pinker in The Better Angels of Our Nature, noting that as civilization emerged in the form of established settlements and governments, violence declined and has been declining ever since. • • •

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Folly at the Alter

Prehistoric humans projected meanings onto their environment, and as bizarre as any was the belief that in eating an animal or fellow human you acquired its traits. This meant animal eating was valued added with the imagined profit of physical or spiritual enhancements. It is a small step to extend this to value-adding supernatural favors through the act of sacrifice, an act as ancient as religion itself. As if a quota were demanded to sate fate’s bloody maw, a sacrifice might help to ward of your own death or as a favor or homage to the gods. Supernatural reward through killing is a mentality common in human animal tribes the world over and across time. • • •

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Korean Protesters Kill Animals to Show Emotion

Projecting sins onto scapegoats is a delusional act that goes back to the days before science and rationality. Yet even with science and rationality, you still get humans exercising the “scapegoat” impulse, sometimes disguised by belief systems or cloaked in ceremonial practices.

In the case of this Korean protest, a young pig was sacrificed to express how emotional people felt. It symbolized the “sin” they objected to. That’s all. The protesters, around 1,500 of them, were at the rally in Icheon to protest the proposal to relocate a US military facility (or perhaps only an office) to the area.

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Such barbarism, however, only reflects badly on scum performing it. • • •

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