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Old 07-18-2001, 08:14 PM   #1
Lance
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Question Tower of Babeylon

I was reading some of the drivel commentary over on WND about the "Tower of Babylon" and something struck me.

Here we have the most grand structure of the ancient world, something so massive, so large, that it offended God himself and caused him to scramble the tongues of the workers.

Christians, a simple question. Where are the ruins? Where are the remains?

Absence of a relic this massive would tend to indicate the bible false. Or at least this myth in it anyway.
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Old 07-18-2001, 08:38 PM   #2
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Another question about the Tower is why did God go to all the trouble to prevent it from being built, and then allow man to land on the moon? Or launch probes into deep space?
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Old 07-18-2001, 09:08 PM   #3
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Presumably, an omnipotent god would be able to remove all trace of any structure that offended it.

Still, why wait for it to be built? Surely it would have taken some time...did god not notice it until it was nearly complete?
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Old 07-18-2001, 11:55 PM   #4
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I highly recommend Roger Pennock's Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism.

Creationists reject Darwinism, and also reject the idea of the evolution of languages. Pennock spends some time on how creationists try to deal with comparative linguistics.
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Old 07-19-2001, 12:03 AM   #5
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I doubt the lack of physical evidence of the tower is problematic to theists. After all, if God is omnipotent, erasing all the traces from such an edifice should be an easy task.

However, the myth of the Tower of Babylon is an interesting one, and it makes sense in the historical context. Here's my hypothesis:

At the time the myth was written down (I have no date of reference for this - I am a philosopher, dammit, not a historian) the people who created the myth were faced with the following puzzle: different tribes that settled the same area spoke in different languages. The myth could very well have been created to explain why this is so: God did it because he was upset at humans. It made sense to the people who had this religious tradition, but the myth is nothing more than an ad hoc explanation. And since linguistics was an unknown practice, the myth nicely explained this phenomenon.

Similar stories are rife in the history of Greeks, e.g. the storm that wrecked the ships was a sign of the wrath of Poseidon. The first natural philosopher, Thales of Miletus, tried to give a more complete account why the world works as it does instead of relying on the ad hoc explanations on the wrath of gods, which were preferred by his predecessors. But this didn't happen until 6th century BCE, and the myth of the tower is older than this. The practice of giving mystical explanations for natural phenomena is quite prominent in early stages of cultural development, and the myth of the Tower of Babylon should be counted as one.
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Old 07-19-2001, 01:50 AM   #6
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Is everyone referring to the tower of BABEL of genesis 11? Where outside the legendary city of Nebuchadnezzar the remains of a huge tower stands? a square of earthen embankments some three-hundred feet on each side, correct? What the Babylonians of the time call etenmenanki?

My out of-date history books state that in 460 BC, after the tower had been crumbling for many years, the Greek historian Herodotus visited the tower and was blown away. "It has a solid central tower, one furlong square, with a second erected on top of it and then a third, and so on up to eight," Herodotus gushed. "All eight towers can be climbed by a spiral way running around the outside, and about halfway up there are seats for those who make the journey to rest on." So how come folks are saying it's a mythical place?
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Old 07-19-2001, 02:36 AM   #7
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The tower was built so that one person would sit at the top level and replace god.
(god) confusing their language meant that; the decision of trying to decide who would sit at the top and be "god" became so confusing that they just gave up and went there separate ways.
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Old 07-19-2001, 02:54 AM   #8
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Babel, Babylon - what's the difference, right? (In similar vein: celibate, celebrate...)

Indeed, I took the reference to the tower to mean the tower of Babel (Genesis 11). But despite the inadvertent (?) slip in language, I still stand by my hypothesis. Even if the edifice (or the ruins thereof) exists, the story of God confusing the languages is a myth.
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Old 07-19-2001, 03:11 AM   #9
Ted Hoffman
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more proof of hogwash in the bible.
Thank you
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Old 07-19-2001, 03:18 AM   #10
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Jaliet, You are right. 6000 years ago no one had anything better to do that sit around and make up bullshit to fuck up the future world. Where were hulahoops when we needed them?
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