Saturday, January 31, 2015

Silly, archaic, asinine ...

Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me, here goes a saying. "Words can never hurt me" is sometimes wrong - but not for these three words.*

English SILLY is cognate of German SEELIG and of Swedish SALIG. It means blessed. It came to mean "Down's syndrom patient" (or similar syndromes, genetics was not too precise back then before Mendel) through a piece of Catholic theology. A child who died between baptism and "age or reason" (assumed to be seven, or sometimes even twelve) was blessed, i e went very certainly to Heaven. And still is, of course. Those burials were burials in white. Whatever sorrow parents might feel, the Church insisted (and insists): here is a soul who is praying for us. A soul who is enjoying the Beatific Vision, who is seeing God face to face as He really is.

BUT a certain category of people can get adult bodies without reaching the mental maturity of the age of reason. At least so it was thought. Yes, I mean those who have an extra chromosome. So, these might live on well past both seven and twelve and were still considered immune from damnation, if baptised as children. Hence they were "silly" as in blessed. They were of course also sometimes what we think of as silly.** Hence the shift of meaning.

So if one calls you silly, think of the old meaning!

ARCHAIC comes from Greek ARCHÉ and that means authority or beginning. In the BEGINNING was the Word ... εν τηι αρχηι ην ο λογος ... the beginning is not a bad thing to the Christian world view. Archaic neither means bad nor false nor otherwise wrong.

And asinine ... well, I guess Bileam (a k a Balaam) thinks of some of us we are so ... but there was an occasion where an ass knew better than a prophet.

Thinking of "archaic" as bad or false comes - like the same shift of meaning with "primitive" - from the Evolutionist ideology in its largest sense. The one sense that C S Lewis clearly condemned even not daring to denounce the theory in biology. And thinking of "silly" behaviour as behaviour needing to be avoided, even more so for silly observations, comes from a Puritan repressian of childishness, which came around a bit earlier, it was opposed to Shakespear rather than to Sam Wilberforce.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St John Bosco


Speaking of "silly", as I have already spoken of behaviour and observations, here is another angle:

Illegal Imprisonment of Christians in America | #FreeKent
Free Kent Hovind

Dawkins (around 6 minutes sth in the video): "the correct answer is: 'don't ask such a silly question'."

Well, kind of implies he's above the rest of us and can tell us what questions not to ask, doesn't it? Or if not him personally, it implies an élite (which he's part of) as entitled to that power over the rest.

* A trio of words brandished like an awful threat or a total refutation by the feedback writer in the :

CMI : Feedback archive → Feedback 2015
Know thy enemy

** As are most of us at times when we enjoy ourselves. An observation, which I was not enjoying myself enough to make (due to fatigue), and this is not because I am a Puritan, more likely because Puritans interfere with my situation!

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