Likely an Old Debate

Humans are programmed in their brains to apply religious qualities to weapons. We do it, they do it. For many people on our side, it’s a talisman that wards off all evil. The attitude of “it’s just a tool,” is held by a very small group of people. I’ve found the tendency to view it as “just a tool” tends to roughly correlate to one’s level of training and experience. Experience and training demystifies the magic.

I believe this debate probably goes back as far as we do. No doubt Ogg was once pissed off that members of his tribe demanded he burn the shaft of his spear, and smash its point, because while he was out hunting one time, he had to kill Moog from the other tribe with it. The tribe shaman insisted the spear was now possessed of evil. Ogg’s hunting buddies insisted the spear was possessed of good Mammoth killing spirits, and only a fool would insist it be broken. Ogg shrugged it off and thought, “It’s a good mammoth spear, but I can make another.” Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re Ogg, and now that we have the technology, we’ve taken this ridiculous religious argument to the tribe of our entire country, even world. Ogg would probably think: “The more shit changes, the more shit stays the same.”

6 thoughts on “Likely an Old Debate”

  1. It cuts the other way too. Swords were associated with the great things that their wielders did. In myth, there was Roland with his unbreakable sword Durandal, and the Japanese emperors had Kusanagi. Outside of myth, marauding Visigoth warriors and Viking raiders were proud to carry the same swords that their great-uncles carried into battle, because there was tradition and history behind those blades.

  2. I’ve seen way too many people with Magical Thinking about the Other Fetish Object known as “guns”, yeah.

    (And too many with personal Fetish Object relations to them, too, but at least they’re not constantly pushing plausibly-enactable awful policy suggestions.)

  3. I would extend that: Republicans believe in one all-powerful God (at least the Judeo-Christian ones), Democrats believe in one all-powerful government.

    Its true: a lot of leftists seem to think that if the government hands down The 10 Commandments, including Thou Shalt Not Have Salt Rifles, people will simply obey and murders will cease.

    Demographically, Americans are much less religious than in the past, but I think that they have simply substituted belief in an all powerful invisible government.

  4. This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream:—
    There spread a cloud of dust along a plain;
    And underneath the cloud, or in it, raged
    A furious battle, and men yelled, and swords
    Shocked upon swords and shields. A prince’s banner
    Wavered, then staggered backward, hemmed by foes.
    A craven hung along the battle’s edge,
    And thought, “Had I a sword of keener steel—
    That blue blade that the king’s son bears,— but this
    Blunt thing—!” He snapped and flung it from his hand,
    And lowering crept away and left the field.
    Then came the king’s son, wounded sore bested,
    And weaponless, and saw the broken sword
    Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
    And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
    Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down
    And saved a great cause that heroic day.

    – by Edward Rowland Sill

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