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September 15, 2001
11:27 PM   Subscribe

Sorry, I don't have a link for this post, but in light of the tragedy, I was thinking of the Tower of Bable story from the Bible. As I understand the story, man was trying to build a tower to reach God, but God made sure man didn't succeed.

For those of you who do (or don't) believe in God, do you think there is a message in all this sadness?
posted by Rastafari (17 comments total)

 
Yes, evil exists in the world and it is done by mankind, to mankind.
posted by dewelch at 11:31 PM on September 15, 2001


If a post ever begged for deletion its this one.

Okay Rasta, how about the Sears Tower it seems to be doing ok. Or should us Chicagoans start repenting?

Unfortunately there is no message than the subjective one you can pull from your religious texts. Thats the great part of religion, you can just see whatever you want and something written 2,000 years ago applies today! Just like Nostradamus!
posted by skallas at 11:36 PM on September 15, 2001


this post would probably be more appropriate in metatalk's weblog grab bag, rasta
posted by moz at 11:44 PM on September 15, 2001


Skallas, calm down, it was just a suggestion and metaphor that is begged of our current situation. Check out the article that caused this thread. The author claims that we must keep building bigger and better. Biblical stories often provide a valuable metaphor (and I'm an atheist). Recognize that American society is diverse (as the collaborators of Babel) and that the towers were representative of man's desire of grandeur. Whether or not one believes in god, it is necessary to realize that there is a strong correlation between the biblical story and the modern tragedy. I'm not nearly enough of a scholar to fully understand the implications of this similarity, but it is definitely worth studying. For instance, to my understanding, in the story, the verbal similarities of the builders broke down and the tower erupted in fighting. Can this be compared to the standard of logic that Americans have applied to the rest of the world, that the rest of the world might not respect? Could the destruction of human accomplishments be the consequence of trying to unite the world. Consider this concept, don't just flippantly discard it.
posted by wsfinkel at 11:50 PM on September 15, 2001


Unfortunately there is no message than the subjective one you can pull from your religious texts.

I guess you should know that I'm not a Christian, but I am familiar with many stories from the Old Testament. Maybe you misunderstood the intent of my post. I was only wondering, from a religious perspective (given that the US is a majority Christian nation) what one should take away, from a philosophical point of view, from a tragedy such as this?

If a post ever begged for deletion its this one.

I am very shocked and saddened by these events. I'm just trying to make sense of it all. Didn't mean to offend anyone.
posted by Rastafari at 11:54 PM on September 15, 2001


Consider this concept, don't just flippantly discard it.


Like I wrote in my post, what you can get out of religious texts is subjective so I'm not totally discarding it, flippant or not.

As to this thread, please refer to the guidelines:


Make sure you're linking to something on the web. If you're posting a generalized question to the audience, or posting a comment as a main thread, either find an appropriate mailing list, or use MetaTalk.


And lastly, don't troll
posted by skallas at 12:02 AM on September 16, 2001


If there is a message in this sadness, it is that people who blindly sacrifice their lives to invisible men in the sky are FUCKING DANGEROUS. Not sure if that was the message you were looking for, however.
posted by dagny at 1:53 AM on September 16, 2001


...might as well be shot for a sheep as a lamb...here goes, I have been itching to post this all week-no real reason, but this week, do I need one?

Isaiah 30:25

And on every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. (New American Standard Version)
posted by bunnyfire at 2:55 AM on September 16, 2001


Maybe I should add this is what I was reading on September 10......eerie.....
posted by bunnyfire at 2:56 AM on September 16, 2001


Muslims draw a lot of stories from the Old Testament. The hijackers were likely familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel, and no doubt saw themselves acting out God's will in a similar manner. Given the number of languages spoken in the Towers at any given moment, there certainly are some striking parallels.

However, I don't necessarily see that the message we should draw from this event is "Don't build any more skyscrapers." I'm very much in favor of rebuilding a much taller tower in place of the WTC.

Unfortunately, the most salient message I've drawn is never to underestimate the evil which the human heart is capable of.
posted by Loudmax at 7:45 AM on September 16, 2001


I thought of the Babel passage in the days following the attack, too, but I saw it as a rather encouraging juxtaposition. Whereas in the Bible, a tower is destroyed and people are divided and scattered, it seems as if this destruction is bringing about the unity of a lot of people and nations, perhaps a small glimmer of hope amidst all this horror.

Additionally, I don't think the issue was or is now about the height of buildings, but rather the attitude of those involved -- important to remember if one is going to take any kind of lesson from this similarity.
posted by Moireach at 9:11 AM on September 16, 2001


Sorry. I refuse to make a connection between any god and this tragedy.

Oh, Jerry Fallwell and Pat Roberson should mysteriously "disappear".
posted by Satapher at 10:10 AM on September 16, 2001


Mysteriously? They should be run out of the country on a rail.
posted by darukaru at 10:20 AM on September 16, 2001


As I understand it, Muslims don't draw on the Old Testament; they're not supposed to rely on any text but the Koran. The Koran retells all that a Muslim need know.
posted by argybarg at 10:34 AM on September 16, 2001


Argybrag: as someone who has read all sorts of religious books, including Buddhist sutras, I can assure you that nearly 70% of the Quran is made up from the stories of Old Testament. All the major OT stories and their heros and villains are all present in the Quran.
posted by tamim at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2001


Right. But Muslims are not supposed to turn to the Old Testament itself for independent study. They're supposed to read the Koran for those stories.
posted by argybarg at 11:57 AM on September 16, 2001


If there is a message in this sadness, it is that people who blindly sacrifice their lives to invisible men in the sky are FUCKING DANGEROUS. Not sure if that was the message you were looking for, however.

Dagny: Perfectly stated! Wish I'd thought of it. :-)
posted by davidmsc at 7:18 PM on September 16, 2001


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