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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by YorkNecromancer View Post
    Zombies, Klendathu and The Absurdly Violent Intergalactic Space Fungus.

    I remember the first time I tried to properly read the Bible. I lay down in bed, cracked open Genesis, and just ploughed in there. The stories seemed fun enough, and a lot of the ideas are certainly interesting. (Genesis 3:22 has always been a favourite little curiosity of mine...)

    But the genealogies…

    I can never manage the genealogies. Where Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram…

    Pages and pages of them! When I was young, I could never work out why they’d stop the stories and parables in favour of a really long list of names. And not names of interesting characters. Names of people we’re never really interested in, whose stories we never hear, and who aren’t ever really mentioned again. It’s like those double page spreads in special issues of the ‘Avengers’ comics where you’ve got two pages filled with all the heroes, and you know Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, but you’ve got no idea who the other nine hundred tits in tights are in the background, and you never get to find out, because they never show up again.

    ‘Who are these people?’ I wondered. ‘What is the point of mentioned them if they don’t do anything else?’

    I didn’t realise that there were only three names on the list that mattered: Abraham, David, and, of course, Yeshua.

    Years of Nativity plays have taught us that Jesus was the son of a carpenter. We’ve all been there, sat in a hall as scared children in fibre-glass beards stand next to cardboard cows with rubber gloves for udders, praying that the sick-looking girl vomits on the smug-looking boy playing the third King from the left. As a result, we all know that Jesus was born so absurdly humble, his family couldn’t find any room at an inn, and had to stay in a barn with the animals. It’s a charming story; a narrative designed to show us that God doesn’t really like the rich.

    The problem, of course, is that people have always hated the poor. And an impoverished son of God… Well, it’s a solid moral lesson, but it doesn’t bring legitimacy.

    Hence the geneaologies. See, Jesus has to have credibility. He has to be royalty. The same way Aragorn can’t just be some guy who’s strong and brave and fundamentally decent, Jesus can’t just be himself, oh no. He has to be a king, too, even if he never mentions it. So the Bible interrupts a set of entertaining tales with a series of people’s names in order to prove that Yeshua, son of Joseph, who would later be named Jesus, The Anointed One, was in fact, descended from a line of kings.

    Which means, despite the Nativity, he wasn’t just some working class dole-scum, out to steal the jobs from hard-working locals. No, he was a king, descended from kings.

    We’ve always hated the poor.
    There is two other reasons for those genealogies. First, there is the fact that God cares about the insignificant people to list a bunch of them people in a book so that we know about them. Yes, we don't know what they did in their lives, but God does and he finds importance in even that which we do not find important. Secondly, those names mean something in Hebrew. Unlike in the 21st Century western world, where we have names that sound nice or names that our parents had (junior, the III, etc), a name in Hebrew had a specific meaning. For example, Yeshua is a form of Yahoshua, which means "Yahovah saves". Let's take the first one in Genesis as an example. In Genesis 5, we are introduced to Adam's lineage to Noah. Adam is the father of Seth etc. Well, if you look at the names' meanings, something is revealed.

    Adam = Man
    Seth = Appointed
    Enos = Mortal
    Cainan = Sorrow
    Mahalaleel = The Blessed God
    Jared = Descends
    Enoch = Teacher
    Methuselah = Death brings
    Lamech = Despairing
    Noah = Comfort

    So when read in order as presented: Adam Seth Enos Cainan Mahalaleel Jared Enoch Methuselah Lamech Noah or Man is Appointed Mortal Sorrow. The Blessed God Descends as a Teacher. His Death Brings the Despairing Comfort. In short, the Gospel message in Genesis 5.

    As far the lineage of Jesus in Matthew, Jesus also has a separate lineage in Luke that diverges after David. Joseph, Jesus' foster father, was descended from David through his son Solomon and eventually Jeconiah (aka Jehoiachin or Coniah). Jeconiah was placed under a blood curse by God that affected his descendents as well. Mary was also descended from David, but through his son Nathan. Since Jesus was not Joseph's biological son, that blood curse did not affect him. The Jews would have wanted to see Jesus' tie to David patriarchally, so that is seen in Matthew 1, but what matters is the matriarchal line found in Luke 3. As to why it says "Joseph" in the matriarchal line: in Jewish law, if a man had no male children, but only daughter(s), his inheritance would pass to his daughter(s). The daughter(s) would have to marry within the tribe of their father (Judah or Benjamin or Simeon, etc) and the husband(s) would become their father's son(s) as far as legal inheritance went. Legal genealogies would then show the son-in-law as a son. If Heli only had a daughter, Mary, with her marriage to Joseph, Joseph would have been adopted into Heli's family as his son.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeGrunt View Post
    The Air Caste live entirely in zero-g and their bodies can't handle gravity wells due to their lightweight frame, so they're definitely not eating with the Earth Caste factory workers. As much as you say there's no sign of non-commensality, there's also no sign that there is, either.

    Also the needs are biological due to enforced inbreeding.
    A poor example - I don't eat with people from Ulan Bator.

    But not because of Non-commensality imposed upon me by mine or their society - it purely reflects where we respectively live.

    Similarly, Air caste live mostly on space stations or on board ship. Nothing indicates that Tau society actively prevents them working/eating together with Earth caste.

    In fact given that Earth caste are the vehicle designers, and that efficient design requires maximum input from users, I expect it to be the total 180 degree opposite.
    Last edited by Denzark; 02-09-2016 at 11:11 AM.
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  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix01 View Post
    Unlike in the 21st Century western world, where we have names that sound nice or names that our parents had (junior, the III, etc), a name in Hebrew had a specific meaning.
    While I like your explication on the Hebrew poetry of the Bible a great deal - I always enjoy the charming details like that - I would say that I feel it's kind of insulting to declare no modern parent chooses the names of their children in order that they should have a deeper meaning regarding those parent's hopes for their child's future. While, sure, some parents definitely choose names because they like how it sounds, other choose names because they what the name refers to, I can name quite a few friends who studied the etymology of their child's names in order to make the best choice possible.

    I think more people than you give credit for are well aware that naming is the root of a great deal power, and so therefore treat it with the importance it deserves.
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  4. #44
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    the genealogies in the bible are only there in an attempt to link Jesus to the prophecy of David, there is no deeper meaning to them. they contradict themselves as well.
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  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by YorkNecromancer View Post
    While I like your explication on the Hebrew poetry of the Bible a great deal - I always enjoy the charming details like that - I would say that I feel it's kind of insulting to declare no modern parent chooses the names of their children in order that they should have a deeper meaning regarding those parent's hopes for their child's future. While, sure, some parents definitely choose names because they like how it sounds, other choose names because they what the name refers to, I can name quite a few friends who studied the etymology of their child's names in order to make the best choice possible.

    I think more people than you give credit for are well aware that naming is the root of a great deal power, and so therefore treat it with the importance it deserves.
    I never said no modern parent chooses the names of their children without regard to meaning. I know I did, and if I did, then there are others that do so. In fact, there are many websites out there with baby names and their meanings to help parents decide just that. However, today most people would scoff at the idea of a name having power of any kind over an individual, and I believe that more people choose a name due to how it sounds or to honor a beloved family member than due to any meaning to the name (a secondary concern) and how it would apply to the child. Otherwise, we would have more Adelhard's ("brave"), Adda's ("wealthy"), Agatha's ("kind"), and Albert's ("noble, bright") than Logan's ("small cove", sixth most popular name in 2015, and, incidentally, Wolverine's secret identity).

  6. #46

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    One could also argue it's possible (however unlikely) that a particularly influential Grot Orderly could arrange to have his head stitched on in place of Warboss should the Boss get krumped.
    Heh, this is actually mostly the story of one of my Nob bikerz. The old Warboss got krumped and beheaded, and the new Warboss had his favorite Grot's head stitched onto the body. Now he rides as the boss's enforcer, but since he's got a grot brain, he thinks he's weedier than he actually is, and thus has a Warboss body and a Nob statline.

    To get into the rest of this argument... I agree that the Orks are a meritocracy as opposed to a Caste system, but there are some biologically determinate aspects to their Kulture. The oddboyz, grotz, and snots are all basically subspecies, much like the Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Ethereal castes of the Tau. They are literally born into those roles, are physically adapted to the roles: grotz are smaller but generally "craftier" than their bigger Ork brethren, the Oddboyz are hardwired for certain roles, Fire Warriors are naturally more aggressive, and the Air Caste are adapted for zero-G environments. The overall enforcement by the Ethereal Caste may be tyrannical and possibly the result of meddling from the Eldar, as is suggested in Xenology... but wouldn't that make it possible that the Ethereals themselves aren't being intentionally tyrannical, but instead falling into the role that has been designed for them?

    Tau Society may not actually be evil, but tragic. The real villains aren't necessarily the Ethereals, but the Eldar who turned an entire species into a weapon against Chaos. And even Farsight isn't an example of a Tau breaking away from the oppression of the Ethereals, but of falling under the sway of another Alien influence... Finding the Dawn Blade clearly changes something for him, and whether the blade is Necron or Chaotic in nature, it seems to be influencing the Commander, who in turn influences the troops below him. They aren't unchained, just shackled to another.

    The Tau are apparently made to follow just as much as the Orks are made to fight. They aren't so different after all.

    Except, of course, that Green is Best.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix01 View Post
    However, today most people would scoff at the idea of a name having power of any kind over an individual, and I believe that more people choose a name due to how it sounds or to honor a beloved family member than due to any meaning to the name (a secondary concern) and how it would apply to the child. Otherwise, we would have more Adelhard's ("brave"), Adda's ("wealthy"), Agatha's ("kind"), and Albert's ("noble, bright") than Logan's ("small cove", sixth most popular name in 2015, and, incidentally, Wolverine's secret identity).
    Respectfully, I'm going to disagree with you there, because I feel you are arguing about an issue of taste.

    You have a personal taste for Bible names, and seem to hold those in a higher regard than non-Biblical names. This is both your right and your perogative. However, the Bible is not the only source of venerable naming choices: consider those people descended from African roots, who may wish to use African names as a way of honoring their heritage.

    Or consider those who chose names that honour roots and cultures which predate the Bible. The Greeks, the Parsees, the Yazidi, and so on...

    And who is to say that modern names are less valid? You yourself raise the name 'Logan'. Why should a parent not wish to name their child after the character of Wolverine, an essentially mythical figure who embodies characteristics of courage, boldness, tenacity and conscience in the face of destructive urges? Yes, the myth might be a modern one, but to dismiss that choice as less worthy, simply because the origin of the name is newer?

    As I say, I feel it's insulting, because there's an assumption that the parents didn't think. The truth is, you don't know that.

    You can't apply your own personal tastes and values to people and issue a blanket condemnation based on a personal supposition. It's simply unfair, and does people a disservice.
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  8. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by YorkNecromancer View Post
    Respectfully, I'm going to disagree with you there, because I feel you are arguing about an issue of taste.

    You have a personal taste for Bible names, and seem to hold those in a higher regard than non-Biblical names. This is both your right and your perogative. However, the Bible is not the only source of venerable naming choices: consider those people descended from African roots, who may wish to use African names as a way of honoring their heritage.

    Or consider those who chose names that honour roots and cultures which predate the Bible. The Greeks, the Parsees, the Yazidi, and so on...

    And who is to say that modern names are less valid? You yourself raise the name 'Logan'. Why should a parent not wish to name their child after the character of Wolverine, an essentially mythical figure who embodies characteristics of courage, boldness, tenacity and conscience in the face of destructive urges? Yes, the myth might be a modern one, but to dismiss that choice as less worthy, simply because the origin of the name is newer?

    As I say, I feel it's insulting, because there's an assumption that the parents didn't think. The truth is, you don't know that.

    You can't apply your own personal tastes and values to people and issue a blanket condemnation based on a personal supposition. It's simply unfair, and does people a disservice.
    You accuse me of assuming things, yet you are making assumptions too. You claim I hold "biblical" names in higher regard than others. None of my children have "biblical" names. My children are named Meghan ("pearl"), Brianna ("strong"), and William ("protector"). I didn't even consider a "biblical" name for any of my children. And I am not condemning anyone for what they choose to name their kids or why. If they want to name their kid Moon-Unit or Kal El or Seven of Nine good for them. I could care less what people name their kids or why. My point was that unlike in earlier cultures (Hebrew, Greek, Sumerian, Egyptian, Toltec) where names were given based on their meaning or as a title, these days that's not the primary reason people name their kids what they name their kids. I never said naming your kid Logan after a fictional comic book character was stupid or that people don't think about what they name their kids, I simply said that many people don't say "I want my child to be a strong kid, so I named her 'Brianna' because it means 'strong'". If you want to be insulted by what I wrote, that's fine by me, but don't claim I wrote something I didn't and claim that I insulted you.

  9. #49
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    It might be a little early to claim a Marvel character is "mythical". We know the provenance of the story for a start. Wolverine is very much a comic book character at the moment.
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  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Denzark View Post
    Is the Tau system a 'socially constructed boundary' or is it based on Ethereal pheromones - ie biological?

    Either way I can still find no indication of non-commensality within the Tau cast system. Random quote: 'Their tolerance also extends to themselves, as the Tau recognize even lowly Fio'la workers as being as important to the operation and well-being of the Empire as Shas'vre Battlesuit leaders or even the highest Aun'o'.

    Within a given sept, the tau all work together - there is nothing to indicate never the twain shall meet between castes, nor that one caste feels itself superior to another,

    The Sept is almost more important and whilst I full acknowledge the endogamy of the Tau - I am not convinced by hereditary occupations. A Water caste can be traders, merchants, public servants, bureaucrats, administrators, diplomats, and ambassadors - but I have not seen anywhere that says that is hereditary as opposed to personal choice.

    Lexicanum alludes that 'Each caste could almost be considered a subspecies of their own, such are the variations between the caste members'. I think this is far more pertinent as this shows the role is biological imperative rather than sociological conditioning.

    Because there is plenty of fluff showing all Tau working together towards the greater good, and respect for other castes, I don't think you get more than 1.5 out of 3 ticks of Yorkie's definition of a caste system.

    I think if one can accept that GW used 'caste' erroneously, as 'sci-fi short hand' whilst describing ork kultur, one should equally be able to accept that GW, only going about halfway if giving the Tau fluff that meets the definition of a caste system, did not intend for the Tau to be evil by association.

    Further, if describing orks using might to get to the top is the very definition of meritocracy, then orks using might to stay at the top must be meritocracy. That also tells me Yorkie must surely define The Imperium as a meritocracy because they use strength/force to maintain their own status quo. Actually, in real life, the rich using their financial might to maintain their stauts quo and not let the poor get to the top must also be a meritocracy - with rich man substituting for Warboss and poor man substituting for 'smaller ork with eye on the top'.

    Edited to add - I only own Mont'ka hard copy. From that and Lexicanum - hardly a mass body of research - I can find no ideas of non-commensality amongst the Tau. Anyone out there with actual codexes or novels may be able to reference evidence of this which I would fully concede to - I just don't have any to hand.
    I think the established fluff on the Ethereal pheromone control (Xenology) doesn't have it extending so far as pre-determining the Tau caste. Rather, it is shown as being a way for the Ethereals to be able to enforce total obedience of their will over the other Tau. So basically, the ability for the Ethereals to be unquestioned is biological, but the decision to then create a caste system is the choice of the Ethereals.

    As for you points about meritocracies, I think what you say is true until you consider inheritance- the rich in this case can not only maintain their own position, but then maintain the positions of their descendants, regardless of the aptitude of the descendants. This is the bit that is not meritocratic.
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