God reigns in sorrowNew York skyscrapers

"Hammurabi's children made their house of slavery's bricks, imprimatured by some mad priest's imagined good. The good is gone; the priest stamps on...." (George Delury)

11.1And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
2And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
3And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
4And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
5And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
6And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
7Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.
8So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
9Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

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I THINK the standard interpretation of this story gets it all wrong, sort of like poor Oedipus

The guild of master builders (structural engineers) decides to undertake a project to show off their trade skill. In 21st century terms, they want to become famous for their work. They want to build a masterwork. They are like a 20th century radio station which broadcasts its call letters to the ether. In the 20th Century, especially before television, there were a few special radio stations whcih, all night, had specific legal right to exclusive use of their broadcast frequency ovet the whole continental United States until, in th morning, local stations could come on air again: "Clearcast" stations. The master builders at Babel wanted to open a clearcast broadcast channel. Of course, they epected to get some good publicity out of it.

Their purpose was to politically unite all humanity, so that all persons would live in harmony, all over the earth.[2] And also note: They chose to build the tower theselves, with their own hands, not hiring a hoard of wage laborers or requisitioning an army of conscripts (or slaves) to do it for them while they would sit back in their La-Z-Boy Recliners and drink three-martini lunches all day watching them sweat and some even die by collapsing from exhaustion and falling to their death off the scaffolding, or other miscellaneous occupational mishaps.


What they might have done had they finished the project? We cannot know, because creative achievement, unlike rote pedagogical exercises in a Peter Ramus school, cannot be described before it happens (pre-dicted) nor toiled to order.[3] And they may even have found unanticipated faults in the tower which would need to be fixed (See William Lemessurier and th New York CiriCorp building, a story well documented on the Internet). Maybe they would have gone on to invent quantum physics and RNA vaccines. Excelsior!

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What rational and reasonable creature could find fault with this? Apparently the Abrahamic Deity Creator did. What could His problem have been? Maybe He was afraid they would threaten His reaign in Heaven? That is absurd on two counts, first that the master builders never gave any hint of wanting to overthow the Deity's regime, and second, of course, they were only mortal men and He was Omnipotent, so if they had tried that foolish idea, even had they disposed over thermonuclear weapons, He could have crushed them like if you step on an ant on the sidewalk.

I go for mean-spirited: He didn't like them getting "uppity": Who did the master builders at Babel think they were to want to make a name for themselves,like He had? After all, He had told everybody to not take His name in vain (Why should an Omnipotent Deity care about what mere mortals say about Him?). For whatever reason or lack of same, He scrambled all their minds and put them in their place.[1] Hummph!

Paradise"Anything you want, Boss! You're the greatest! We worship you!

Here we see God, sitting on His throne in Heaven like the Sun King Louis XIV, surrounded by courtiers dancing all around Him endlessly repeating His praises, probably some of them hoping for some benefit, and others, more simpleminded folk, just because such people are worshipful and in awe of their betters.

Might God get tired of being toadied up to be a bunch of Yes-men (Yes-women, Yes-others) all the time, telling Him how great He is when He already knew that? He finds Himself getting bored on His throne with nobody to talk to, because no matter what he might say or do, like ordering Partiarch Abrahan to murder an innocent civilian (his own son, Isaac!) or tormenting righteous man Job to see if he could get him to curse Him, here are all these toadies, "the elect", praising Him just because He's Him. You can't discuss anything with or learn anything from people who always mindlessly (or cynically) parrot to you that you are always right, "just because". Enough already! Maybe it's lonely at the top.

Had God respected the master builders at Babel and encouraged their industry, He would have intelligent interlocutors, to learn from and enjoy their honesst, thoughtful companionshiip. It's too late now, so, all alone up there amid the endless mass demonstration of people who either really idolize Him or pretend to:

God reigns in sorrow.

He reaped what he sowed. He got what He asked for. He made His bed; and now He lies in it, forever. Serves Him right, for having messed with the minds of the master builders (structural engineers) at Babel.

And down here on earth? Go back to the top of this page and THINK abou the epigraph: here. End of story. Damn God.[4]

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  1. If someone objects that the text only says the God gave each person different languge, not messed up their minds, that does not seem to hold water. "Langugages" here seem to be being used as pars pro toto: the reality being more like that God gave each one of them a different ethnicity to put them at odds with one another, so that they could no longer pursue their cooperative endeavor. If they had all remained with a single purpose, surely they would hve been clever enough to translate all the different languages, and then got back to work. No, what God did was to break their unity of purpose, through the vehicle of diversifying their languages. Thus today (2023CE) we have Ukrainians and Russians squabbling with each other insead of getting on with building communism todather and finally annulling God's curse on Adam for persons to have to waste their lives doing menial labor.
  2. " have substituted for the magical communion of species and the confusion of distinct orders a spiritual relation in which beings remain at their post but communicate among themselves will have been the imperishable merit of the 'admirable Greek people,' and the very institution of philosophy." (Emmanuel Levinas, Totality and Infinity, p. 48)
  3. Compare with the folly of what I once overheard one business planner say to another business planner, in IBM's Armonk New York headquarters building, back around 1986, concerning IBM's then mission-critical computer chip production facility: "Fishkill is not coming in with the inventions on schedule."
  4. People sometimes have weird thoughts about a Supreme Deity. Thay may even say we cannot judge God because His [fill in the blank] is beyond our comprehension. But if it's beyond our comprehension how can we assess whether is it good or bad? In any case, we can judge the reaults. If God gives you cancer or makes you homeless or some other thing that persons generally don't like and which would make you very angry if another person did it to you, but you love it because God did it to you, that's your choice. But that's just what you like, not something in any waybinding on other persons or somehow "ordained by God", like you may like or dislike jellybeans, too. God can only affect what you are presented with in your life and obviously, He can do anything either for or to you because He is Omnipotent: The Biggest Bully on the Block. But He can't tell you how to feel about it: that's on you. Even if you don't own up to it: You are a judge of God (and if you say you aren't, that's howyou, not Him, judge it to be....). (Most people agree on the other side that God is also a judge of you — just they don't include the "also" there.)
BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)Invenit et fecit
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