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July 16, 2010


Scott W. Gustafson

I suppose I should comment since I wrote the books on which you comment. I think your summary of what I tried to convey in these books is very accurate. The question,"Why people settled down into civilization?" is a good one and can only be answered speculatively. I think it is a product of the "fact" or contention that a technology is never neutral. It always has cultural, social and intellectual implications. The implications of the agricultural revolution's technology (the new technology was not planting food, it was making food into a commodity) is this: the moment food is bought and sold (in a moneyless society) the society in question must determine who is worthy of food and who is not. The answer to this question is a reflection of the values of a particular society. One society might value strength the other artistry. IT all depends on the culture in question. In any case, this is the origin of morality - our knowledge of good and evil. Religious leaders get into the act when they make it appear that these arbitrary standards are god-given. This adds to the social cohesion. Prior to the religious ingredient, some people benefited from this new technology in the sense that they had access to food. AFter the religious ones establish morality, even the marginalized ones tend to stay in the culture because they can't fight a god.

John Petty

Hi Scott,

Thanks for dropping by and posting a comment. I plan on saying more about this in the future. (Just finished reading two of Daniel Quinn's books.)

pax, jp

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