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Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World 
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Those are some nice words.
They aren't however a precise summary of the totality of his book.

This is what's most popularized, Sagan's wondrous "pale blue dot" speech. And there's much to appreciate about it.
Don't get me wrong.

I personally did not need Sagan to "teach" me how wondrous existence is and how fortunate as a species we are.
I imagine some people might need a prophet like Sagan to ground their existence.



Sun Feb 01, 2015 3:22 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Quote:
I personally did not need Sagan to "teach" me how wondrous existence is and how fortunate as a species we are.

Was my use of the word "teach" an insult? none was intended. Perhaps reiterate would have been more appropriate, I'm not sure, sometimes the best word eludes me.

Quote:
I imagine some people might need a prophet like Sagan to ground their existence..


The implication here is demeaning don't you think? I was under the impression that you were for the down trodden, the marginalized, yet here you are, castigating through the use of the word "prophet". Idolization of CS and science, may be a goal for some, but do you really think that element thrives here?. In all my years following this form I have not seen one regular advance scientism as the answer to life, does the book advocate science as the only answer? no, it does not. Is science our only hope? no, it is not, Does science offer more than superstition? yes, It does. Is what CS proposes exclusionary or inclusive? the answer is obvious.
By the way Sagan was faculty adviser for Cornell Students for the Ethical treatment of Animals. again I'm not trying to be misunderstood here, as I also have problems with what people do to the creatures we share the planet with.



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Sun Feb 01, 2015 4:48 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
It was not insulting and I didn't interpret it as such.
I was simply stating a fact about myself.

Excluding yourself and a few others, anything Sagan has expressed, including all his opinions have been so vigorously and unquestionably defended, it's as if he is a prophet.
Just saying, that's all.



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Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:27 pm
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Post Re: Chapter 7: The Demon-Haunted World
Sagan talks about Daemons from the Greek perspective. Here's some additional background from Grote's masterpiece: A History of Greece

From the Hesiodic theogony as related by Grote:

"First (he tells us) the Olympic gods mad the golden race, - good, perfect, and happy men, who lived from the spontaneous abundance of the earth, in ease and tranquility like the gods themselves: they suffered neither disease nor old age, and their death was like a gentle sleep. After death they became, by the award of Zeus, guardian terrestrial daemons, who watch unseen over the proceedings of mankind - with regal privilege of dispensing to them wealth, and taking account of good and bad deeds."

This is a Daemon. A dispenser of wealth and justice according to an ancient "Greek".

Grote: "Nevertheless the Hesiodic daemons are in no way authors or abettors of evil: on the contrary, they form the unseen police of the gods, for the purpose of repressing wicked behavior in the world."


The new religion and fear... I think this is what changed demons from the ancestral worship that once had them being benign to malign. Hesiod came much before Plato who it seems, not from Grote but from what I've read in Sagan, sent some from neither good nor bad, then fear and ultimate superstition must have taken over with a good help from the incoming crowd. I'll have to find where Sagan quoted Plato. I'm unfamiliar/can't remember that.

I didn't mind this chapter at all. It was a nice, hard hitting shot at superstition and I can always appreciate that.



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Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:07 pm
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