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  The Ishmael Community: Questions and Answers

Questions and More Questions...

    Your request found 68 questions.
    The newest (or most recently updated) are displayed at the top. Just click on the question to see the answer.

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  • The Question (ID Number 758): I can't agree with your reply #757, where you say that Totalitarian Agriculture produces food the same way as any other form of agriculture.
    Reading about different types of cultivation, I see that agriculture is a way of cultivating by catastrophe, where people till the soil to emulate the effects of a flood (and this method doesn't tolerate diversity on the landscape) while permaculture/horticulture is cultivation by participating in ecological succession and aiding in building up the soil and fostering diversity in the landscape.

  • The Question (ID Number 726): In an article titled "Comprehension by Crucible" (which was originally published in ILLUSIONS magazine in A.D. 1996 and can now be read at http://mshadow.com/illusions/vol1pp6.htm#COMPREHENSIONBYCRUCIBLE) you are quoted as having written the following: "Our task is indeed not to be like Leaver people but rather to be Leaver people. We must be Leavers who drive cars and build skyscrapers and use computers--because if we don't learn to be such then we're going to become extinct." Assuming those are your words, do you still think this is the case after nine more years of thought? Do you still think we can both have those technologies and be Leavers--which is to say, live sustainably? If so, why?

  • The Question (ID Number 724): In response to the question and answer #538, you stated that you are not agnostic because you are not stating that you don't KNOW if God exists, but that the knowledge is unobtainable. I find this difficult to follow. If the knowledge is unobtainable (which is what I know) then does that not imply that you don't know if God exists (I don't)? The reason I don't know God exists is BECAUSE the knowledge is unobtainable, and that, from what I've been taught, makes me agnostic. Please help me with this!

  • The Question (ID Number 723): It would seem from the earth's point of view that a flu pandemic which some people are worried about would be good for the world since it would reduce the human population, and it would certainly be perfectly natural. What do you think?

  • The Question (ID Number 722): Were you influenced by any of the works of CS Lewis? Particularly I'm referencing "The Great Sin" excerpted from his "Mere Christianity." In this, Lewis goes in depth on how in the Bible it is pride which is Man's greatest sin. He sites how in the Bible Satan tempted man to find seek a independence and from this "human history; money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, slavery" etcetra resulted. He even uses an analogy similar to your pilot analogy (the man in free fall) where he sites a machine that "seems to start up alright and runs a few yards" only to fail because it is not being run on the proper fuel. The similarities are there, even if you weren't at all influenced, I wanted to thank you for perhaps opening my eyes to some truth.

  • The Question (ID Number 721): A population that is over represented beyond sustainability will feel some sort of backlash (I think this is called the revenge effect). Is the human species collectively able to make the choice to stop an overall population increase before there is a revenge effect? If we were to suppose that all humans were capable of this trait, we would also be acknowledging something that (to my knowledge) has not happened in our evolution; an entire species choosing not to further increase their representation in the gene pool for a long term view of survival. This has been a consistent road block for me.

  • The Question (ID Number 717): What biological mechanisms would allow humans to keep their populations at levels compatible with food supply?

  • The Question (ID Number 716): I've read "Ishmael" and "The Story of B". Your thinking seems sound and well though out. You have proved through logical reasoning that God as Christians know him does not exist. On the other hand, C.S. Lewis proved in much the same fashion in "Mere Christianity" that God does very much exist. Have you read his book? Any response?

  • The Question (ID Number 715): I loved The Story of B, especially what it had to say about animism. In doing further reading on the topic, however, I've found that your definition of animism differs greatly from that found in dictionaries and encyclopedias or taught in schools. Why is this? Is their definition "wrong," or is it just focusing on different aspects?

  • The Question (ID Number 697): I just read Ishmael and found it thought provoking in many ways. The central tenet seems to be that Taker culture, in its present course, has harmed and will eventually destroy the environment.

    I am familiar with much of the literature that supports this apocalyptic vision. However, I find Bjorn Lomborg's book "Skeptical Environmentalist," in which he discredits much of this premise, to be quite credible. My own research and observations put me in varying degrees of agreement with Lomborg.

    Do you have any comment on Lomborg's research and have you considered the possibility that your assertions of imminent environmental destruction are exaggerated or simply false?

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