the gods

thompson at thompson at
Tue May 27 00:18:45 UTC 1997


Let me remind you of Howard's original post:

As scholars, we should first admit that there is no feature or
>aspect of an
>academic education that qualifies one, as a scholar, to say that there is, or
>that there is not, a god of fire. This is a religious issue, and only a
>hopeless logical positivist would argue that we must reject a god of fire on
>"scientific" grounds. To affirm or deny a particular proposition places one
>in the identical realm of discourse. An algebra teacher that marks a
>student's answer right or wrong requires the same knowledge. To affirm that
>Agni is the god of fire is no more a religious utterance than to deny that he
>is and thus proceed to a discussion of how and why a community "created" this

First, Howard says that questioning the existence of a god is off-limits
for scholars. Second, he says that anyone who adopts the religious view
that there is no such thing as a god of fire must be "a hopeless logical
positivist." Then he says that yea-sayers and nay-sayers are all in the
same boat [of discourse]. Then follows an unintelligible remark about
algebra teachers. Finally, he denies that the religious view that Agni
exists is a more religious view than the religious view that Agni doesn't
exist. Oh yes, then there is something about someone [I don't know who]
proceeding to a discussion about a community creating some notion [I don't
know what].

Have I left anything out or badly misunderstood something?

Edwin, please tell me, what boundaries, exactly, is Howard delineating
here? Honestly, this post rather looked to me like a rant than an argument.


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