Do you believe that the product of “saving souls” was necessary for the enslavement of indigenous people (and looting of the land) for the goal of Western Civilization expansion? Does this question make sense?

When in the course of human history did it become important to “save the souls” of humans? Savings souls seems like a way of using a future fear to control masses of people in the present.

The interpretation of the story about Cain and Abel and the story of creation was shocking to me. I do not doubt it is very logical as it manifests the antagonism between Takers and Leavers.

But then, it makes me wonder if there is a proof that Hebrews adopted the story of creation from their ancestors and that it actually originated among Semites. Maybe the fact that biblical story explains things so well is a coincidence.

I am very curious to find out more about it. I looked into historical atlases but it was hard to find the map similar to that which is in Ishmael.

I hope it is not the comment of a complete ignorant, but I am surprised that I have not heard this meaning of biblical stories before especially since it sounds so obvious when you hear it.

It’s obvious from the book and your answers to questions that you have knowledge on a broad range of subjects. Furthermore, to develop the unique perspective presented in Ishmael requires a special blend of disciplines (e.g., theology, anthropology, ecology, history, etc.).

How did you acquire this knowledge and how did you develop the arguments used in the book?

In response to question #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!

A new reader of Ishmael recently suggested that we ought to let the “weak, old, and handicapped” die in order to decrease population and live in the hands of the gods.

I remember in The Book of the Damned you wrote that part of the Leavers story was that in each generation some would survive and go on to reproduce while others less suited would return their substance early on and that this is how we are shaped.

Does this in anyway come close to “social Darwinism”?

In one of the lectures in The Story of B, I think it may be the first of Shirin’s, you brought up the point about female circumcision in Islamicised tribal cultures.

I remember the question from the audience jolting me when I first read it, and B’s reaction to it more so (“abominable practice” seemed somewhat out of character), and was wondering if there was a particular reason for this—why it wasn’t left until after the lecture, or if you were prompted to put it in somehow.

It seems to me that half the problem with everything in this world stems from organized religion. People are so sure that when they leave this world all their sins will be forgiven, and because the world was made through a divine source we cannot really hurt it or any other species occupying it because God made it his way.

Therefore we cannot improve or impoverish the world. It almost invalidates life to think that afterwards we go to a perfect place where everything is perfect and that our lives were a test to see if we were ready for perfection.

It seems that this is the most perverse way of thinking I’ve ever heard. If I thought my life did not matter because I was heading to a perfect place and anything I did wrong would be forgiven as long as I confess, well I wouldn’t feel as guilty because it is all God’s design.

I think the biggest step in this revolution would be to change minds about this issue. Am I way off base or is there some truth to this?

I am married to a practicing Roman Catholic who believes very strongly that our future children should be raised in the Church. I used to simply call myself an atheist. Then I read Ishmael, and other Daniel Quinn books and found a new vocabulary for what I have felt most of my adult life.

I think it is important for me to have children to pass on what I know about animism. Thanks to Daniel Quinn my view of the world now has words that I can use to teach this view to them. What advice does Daniel have for me for educating my children, while at the same time attending church every Sunday?

I have a question about religion. In Mother Culture it appears that religion and the state have been tied up together since the dawn of civilization. Even though in the United States they claim there is a separation, it appears that many of the state (“state” as in government) laws appear to originate from our deeply held Christian belief system.

Religion’s place in Mother Culture mainly appears to inflict rules of behavior and conduct. My question is regarding indigenous tribal religion. I want to have a better understanding of the purpose religion serves in an indigenous tribal culture.

Are tribal laws and religion one and the same? Or does religion serve only to help them understand their spiritual place in the world? Or is it neither?