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Dragons, myth and not universal gods


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#121    The Gremlin

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:24 PM

Archosaur on Mar 7 2009, 06:13 PM, said:

Grem, distinction between magical serpents with fantastic augmentation (such as wings claws, intellegence, and magic) and dragons is a thin one, in today's mythic literature as well as the past. You are entirely correct in pointing out the association between them in ancient myth. While your thesis that the dragon came from an earlier, entirely serpentine for is plausible, and the two examples (Medias drakons, and the old serpent-dragon image from China) are intriguing, insufficient evidence exists to conclusively support either your theory that the dragon is a dressed up snake totem, or that DC's dragon gods were universal. This is hardley suprising as we are talking about ancient Mythology, for Heaven's sake. Definitive hard proof is going to be rather scarce, I'm afraid.



Im not quite sure how to interpret your first sentence.....distinction between what exactly?

magical serpents with fantastic augmentation?   these are the make-believe ones yes?
dragons  -  ?

wink2.gif

I claim absolutely no ownership over the things im saying. It is not my thesis, and i have no theory on the subject...rather i look at the evidence and how it is recieved by those best qualified to know how to interpret it. All i am doing is demonstrating that current appreciation of the subejct is well informed enough, with adequate evidence, to refute DC's theory.
'dressed up snake totem'  ?     a slightly dismissive spin on it, again its not my theory that the chinese 'long' (dragon) evolved from one which aquired the attributes of others as their clans were defeated/absorbed. Its just one i find more likely than real living quadrupedal dragons that look nothing like the chinese long....ie DC's dragon model. but that's irrelevent here.

Quote

As for people worshiping dragon gods, we have unambiguous examples such as Quetziquoatal and Ryojin. There don't seem to be iron-clad examples in Greece (though there are intriguing indications that that may not have been so earlier) instead we typically see dragons in a support role, such as Ladon and Argus, as guardian and assistants to the Gods. The serpentine features of some of the depictions of the Titans and Drachanie, as well as the biological relationship of the Greek gods with some of the drakons and ketia, suggest an older religion focused on these creatures, later displaced by the deities we know today. Indeed I suspect that is what the mythn of Apollo and Python describes: the displacement of an earlier, orphic tradition at Delphi by the Hellenic tradition.


And the big Q looked like DC's dragon did he?
did Ryojin?  

did they really / do they really exist?

apollo and python....yes at delphi....geography is very important to Greek religion.


an older religion focused on what exactly?  snake cults yes, but a whole religion?
You and DC appear only ever to see reptiles, there are plenty of other animals and their bodyparts to these myths/traditions.



Quote

Prehaps you could elaborate upon the difference between worship and propriate? Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon.  Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. Certainly many of the Greek dragons served as intermediaries, guardians and assistance to the Greek deities, yet there are also cases of Zeus taking on the form of a drakon. I suspect what we have here is Zeus (as the head diety of Greece) had to also be the head deity of any area whereupon Greek culture and rule spread to. Thus Zeus also had to look like: a snake, a swan, a bull, an eagle, and sire whatever heroes and local deities were prevailing at the moment. Many of the creatures below the gods, such as local nature spirits received worship and sacrifice in accord to their more limited perceived supernatural duties and powers. I don't see how worship of a wood nymph or fertility serpent is less worship than of Posidon.  Common to pantheistic systems is a belief in minor powers (also receiving worship) that take care of smaller problems. While I find DC's idea that the Greek gods were originally believed to be dragons compelling, his arguments for that case are not yet conclusive.

one is adoration the other is an exchange.

Quote

Personally, I suspect that there was an earlier widespread belief (broken into local cults) of serpentine/draconic creatures. As these beings feature as the mighty creatures that the conqueror gods of the nomadic conquering peoples that overran these areas, I see evedence of a systematic replacement and demonization of a previous native religious structure.


i dont get it ... perhaps you should put it all together to explain.  



Quote

On the manipulation note: I have not seen anything to indicate that DC has manipulated or deliberately distorted or misrepresented anything. It seems clear to me that he has a strong belief, and is attempting to prove his case.


There is no other way i can see for him to arrive at his conclusions.
How about repeatedly contending that Carians were Greeks?
They didnt speak greek, they spoke luwain. To the greeks they were incomprehensible...apparently.
They worshiped Hittite gods.
Yes there is evidence of Mycenaeans being absorbed...and they were eventually Hellenized.
At the time of DC's coin they were under Persian control.

There is no evidence that they worshiped keto, or witnessed quadrupedal flying ketos at all....or considered the mythical ketos to be quadrupedal and winged.

infact, ive got good reason to believe that the coin does not depict ketos at all.  wink2.gif


QUOTE
PS: Grem, DC I'm very glad we all got to watch this debate, and enjoy it with a minimum of flaming. We need to do something like this again, because it is a fascinating subject. Let's not let other people bait us out of discussing it rationally.
original.gif

Rational discussion is why im here.

Edited by lil gremlin, 07 March 2009 - 08:25 PM.

I rarely talk about such things but I once shoveled 18 tons of material in 11 min-
utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
but I know no one who could have matched it and I do know work
.
...Cladking
If you were a dragon wouldn't you rather eat fat, alocohol fill, Nordic giants, than stringy little Chinamen?   Draconic Chronicler.
You claim you do research and then disregard the fact the Pyramids were built by God, which is why no man-made computer can replicate it.  The Interpreter

#122    Undeadskeptic

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 01:54 AM

Quote

You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died. . New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.


We can identify dinosaur species off a single tooth, but we cannot find one scrap of bone from a dragon?

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#123    legionromanes

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 05:25 PM

draconic chronicler on Mar 7 2009, 05:45 PM, said:

You haven't even grasped what this debate is about yet.  I don't have to prove they are organic beasts, simply that humans all over the world worshipped them, and in this case Gremlin decided to concentrate on the Greeks.

And as for paleontology, there is little doubt I am far more familiar with this subject than you are.  You obviously are not aware that some dinosaurs are based on a SINGLE tooth or piece of bone, even though billions of that kind would have originally lived and died.  .  New dinosaurs are being discovered every year, and we will probably NEVER find fossil evidence of every type of dinosaur.

Therefore it is perfectly understandable that we may never find a fossil of the dragons are ancestors acknowledged.  This is partiularly so if they are the intelligent creatures acknowledged by many ancient cultures.  Reptiles are the longest lived of all land vertebrates as it is, and intelligent ones that humans worshipped may not wish to reveal to humans that they are mortal.  The bodied of any that may have died could have been completely burnt, or even eaten, bones and all.  (Reptiles can dissolve bones in their stomachs).

BALONEY
dragons are not dinosaurs, youre claiming that they actually lived until fairly recently and not so much as a single scale has survived anywhere, not even as an object of veneration
*snip*
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Edited by Lady_Anvilabeel, 08 March 2009 - 10:28 PM.
Unesseccary remark removed


#124    bLu3 de 3n3rgy

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 10:37 PM

Making remarks like the ones I just had to remove ( you know who you are)  make it very difficult for a thread to continue in a decent manner. Please don't attempt to use ad hom remarks to drive your stance on the subject, it's not going to fly here. Again, as mentioned earlier in this thread, that goes for everyone thumbsup.gif

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#125    Archosaur

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:34 AM

lil gremlin on Mar 7 2009, 03:24 PM, said:

Im not quite sure how to interpret your first sentence.....distinction between what exactly?

magical serpents with fantastic augmentation?   these are the make-believe ones yes?
dragons  -  ?

wink2.gif

I claim absolutely no ownership over the things im saying. It is not my thesis, and i have no theory on the subject...rather i look at the evidence and how it is recieved by those best qualified to know how to interpret it. All i am doing is demonstrating that current appreciation of the subejct is well informed enough, with adequate evidence, to refute DC's theory.
'dressed up snake totem'  ?     a slightly dismissive spin on it, again its not my theory that the chinese 'long' (dragon) evolved from one which aquired the attributes of others as their clans were defeated/absorbed. Its just one i find more likely than real living quadrupedal dragons that look nothing like the chinese long....ie DC's dragon model. but that's irrelevent here.



And the big Q looked like DC's dragon did he?
did Ryojin?  

did they really / do they really exist?

apollo and python....yes at delphi....geography is very important to Greek religion.


an older religion focused on what exactly?  snake cults yes, but a whole religion?
You and DC appear only ever to see reptiles, there are plenty of other animals and their bodyparts to these myths/traditions.




one is adoration the other is an exchange.



i dont get it ... perhaps you should put it all together to explain.  





There is no other way i can see for him to arrive at his conclusions.
How about repeatedly contending that Carians were Greeks?
They didnt speak greek, they spoke luwain. To the greeks they were incomprehensible...apparently.
They worshiped Hittite gods.
Yes there is evidence of Mycenaeans being absorbed...and they were eventually Hellenized.
At the time of DC's coin they were under Persian control.

There is no evidence that they worshiped keto, or witnessed quadrupedal flying ketos at all....or considered the mythical ketos to be quadrupedal and winged.

infact, ive got good reason to believe that the coin does not depict ketos at all.  wink2.gif



Rational discussion is why im here.



The idea that dragons are a composite of earlier mythic totems, including the serpent, is, actually a well reasoned idea. As is DC's idea (again, like yours, not only his theory) that there was a widespread belief system in dragons earlier. I am stating the the evidence in not conclusive to either theory. Though I do happen to support the later, there is not solid enough proof to present it as a fact.

Ryu and Q are frequently referred to as "dragons" a creature whose depictions vary widely. If today, modern descriptions of these creatures vary widely, how is it surprising that such a creature wold vary widely in cultures without basic knowledge of biology, whereupon artists would often present well-known animals in such a stylized format as to be almost unrecognizable.

As to weather the big Q and Ryujin actually exist/existed? Beats me, I've never met them.  happy.gif

As for adoration, some of the local spirits in Greece, and yes dragons in China (and yes the big Q in Mexico) were well loved and adored. And of course, some of the humanoid gods were feared and respected, but never adored (Aries comes to mind). I don't see a sharp delineation here.

Trying to explain my theory (although it's not my, or DC's for that matter, idea):
It seems apparent that there were serpentine/dragon religions in much of the Mid East, Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as other locations. I cannot say weather these were serpent guardians representative of snakes (guarding crops from vermin, phallic symbols, shedding signifying eternity, etc) or a cult regarding a "serpentine" reptile with supernatural qualities (speech, intelligence, gifting knowledge, controlling weather, shape-shifting, guarding knowledge/eternal youth/treasure, etc). It could well be both and that they bended together over time. These cthoinic dieties seem to reflect the values of these sendentady agricultural civilizations: fertility, knowledge, and a connection with primal elemental forces important to agriculture (water, weather, fire). Their fearsome, and unpredictable aspect may also reflect the chaotic nature of the difficulties of agriculture.
The ancestors of the Mycanaen Greeks, as well as many of the cultures that later formed the polytheistic religions of which we are familiar with today, were often violent, conquering nomads. Their gods reflected their values: swaggering, arrogant, violent and capricious people, led by a king who was vain, arrogant, and often very vengeful (Zeus, Marduk, Odin, etc).
I believe that in many cases the old gods became the monsters of the new pantheon. Gods became monsters slain by gods or heroes. Marriage/fertility rights became human sacrifices to a monster. The offering of wisdom became corrupting forbidden knowledge, etc. Nonetheless, many of these were too popular to be entirely removed. The mythical founder of Athens ramined half-dragon, dragons assisted the gods as messengers, guardians, and avengers.
A similar event happened in Europe when Christian priests literally demonized deities such as Posidon, Pan, and Hades into the Devil and lesser demons. Yet today, elements of Europe's pagan past persist in many rituals (Christmas, Easter, etc.). Such are not recognized as such by most however, they are simply carrying on a tradition, so it not actually Pagan worship of course. And of course there is that cute little mascot of the Crimsons, nor doubt derived of the red dragon of Wales, the guardian of the Celts in Arthurian legends (and probably another legend that survived into a new myth from an earlier culture).




#126    The Gremlin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:10 AM

Archosaur on Mar 9 2009, 12:34 AM, said:

It seems apparent that there were serpentine/dragon religions in much of the Mid East, Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as other locations. I cannot say weather these were serpent guardians representative of snakes (guarding crops from vermin, phallic symbols, shedding signifying eternity, etc) or a cult regarding a "serpentine" reptile with supernatural qualities (speech, intelligence, gifting knowledge, controlling weather, shape-shifting, guarding knowledge/eternal youth/treasure, etc). It could well be both and that they bended together over time. These cthoinic dieties seem to reflect the values of these sendentady agricultural civilizations: fertility, knowledge, and a connection with primal elemental forces important to agriculture (water, weather, fire). Their fearsome, and unpredictable aspect may also reflect the chaotic nature of the difficulties of agriculture.
The ancestors of the Mycanaen Greeks, as well as many of the cultures that later formed the polytheistic religions of which we are familiar with today, were often violent, conquering nomads. Their gods reflected their values: swaggering, arrogant, violent and capricious people, led by a king who was vain, arrogant, and often very vengeful (Zeus, Marduk, Odin, etc).
I believe that in many cases the old gods became the monsters of the new pantheon. Gods became monsters slain by gods or heroes. Marriage/fertility rights became human sacrifices to a monster. The offering of wisdom became corrupting forbidden knowledge, etc. Nonetheless, many of these were too popular to be entirely removed. The mythical founder of Athens ramined half-dragon, dragons assisted the gods as messengers, guardians, and avengers.
A similar event happened in Europe when Christian priests literally demonized deities such as Posidon, Pan, and Hades into the Devil and lesser demons. Yet today, elements of Europe's pagan past persist in many rituals (Christmas, Easter, etc.). Such are not recognized as such by most however, they are simply carrying on a tradition, so it not actually Pagan worship of course. And of course there is that cute little mascot of the Crimsons, nor doubt derived of the red dragon of Wales, the guardian of the Celts in Arthurian legends (and probably another legend that survived into a new myth from an earlier culture).


This scenario is possible without any need of real immortal giant quadrupedal flying reptiles.

but i thought Zeus was a really a dragon?? The above does not sit well with DC's theory.

Quote

When I began to write my history I was inclined to count these legends as foolishness, but on getting as far as Arcadia I grew to hold a more thoughtful view of them, which is this. In the days of old those Greeks who were considered wise spoke their sayings not straight out but in riddles, and so the legends about Cronus I conjectured to be one sort of Greek wisdom. In matters of divinity, therefore, I shall adopt the received tradition.

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.8.3



in regard to the begining of your explaination...

Quote

It seems apparent that there were serpentine/dragon religions in much of the Mid East, Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as other locations. I cannot say weather these were serpent guardians representative of snakes (guarding crops from vermin, phallic symbols, shedding signifying eternity, etc) or a cult regarding a "serpentine" reptile with supernatural qualities (speech, intelligence, gifting knowledge, controlling weather, shape-shifting, guarding knowledge/eternal youth/treasure, etc). It could well be both and that they bended together over time. These cthoinic dieties seem to reflect the values of these sendentady agricultural civilizations: fertility, knowledge, and a connection with primal elemental forces important to agriculture (water, weather, fire). Their fearsome, and unpredictable aspect may also reflect the chaotic nature of the difficulties of agriculture.



do you mean cults, as in lots of different cults within a culture, or a whole culture whose religion is based on dragon/serpentine gods?
other cults/forms/animals/bodyparts and attributes were much more popular/important. The Bull for one.

A far more convincing case can be made for very real bovine gods teaching man civilization, nurturing them etc... tongue.gif

Edited by lil gremlin, 09 March 2009 - 03:23 AM.

I rarely talk about such things but I once shoveled 18 tons of material in 11 min-
utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
but I know no one who could have matched it and I do know work
.
...Cladking
If you were a dragon wouldn't you rather eat fat, alocohol fill, Nordic giants, than stringy little Chinamen?   Draconic Chronicler.
You claim you do research and then disregard the fact the Pyramids were built by God, which is why no man-made computer can replicate it.  The Interpreter

#127    Archosaur

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 03:55 AM

lil gremlin on Mar 8 2009, 11:10 PM, said:

This scenario is possible without any need of real immortal giant quadrupedal flying reptiles.

but i thought Zeus was a really a dragon?? The above does not sit well with DC's theory.


Pausanias, Description of Greece 8.8.3



in regard to the begining of your explaination...




do you mean cults, as in lots of different cults within a culture, or a whole culture whose religion is based on dragon/serpentine gods?
other cults/forms/animals/bodyparts and attributes were much more popular/important. The Bull for one.

A far more convincing case can be made for very real bovine gods teaching man civilization, nurturing them etc... tongue.gif


I have not made a claim that there were/are dragons in the literal sense, Grem (nor, was that what DC is arguing on this debate). While I do think there is something to the legend of the dragon (though not necessarily literally what the ancients believed in), it is something I cannot prove, so do not attempt to do so. Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary proof, after all. So, as no-one is walking a dragon in for a detailed and peer-reviewed study, such discussions must remain in the realm of conjecture.



#128    The Gremlin

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:00 PM

Archosaur on Mar 9 2009, 03:55 AM, said:

I have not made a claim that there were/are dragons in the literal sense, Grem (nor, was that what DC is arguing on this debate). While I do think there is something to the legend of the dragon (though not necessarily literally what the ancients believed in), it is something I cannot prove, so do not attempt to do so. Extraordinary claims do require extraordinary proof, after all. So, as no-one is walking a dragon in for a detailed and peer-reviewed study, such discussions must remain in the realm of conjecture.



DC
QUOTE

Quote

An entire world of early man considered giant flying reptiles that we call dragons today once were their gods. This i not my speculation, it is fact.


He means this in a very literal sense....real living breathing quadrupedal, winged, giant reptiles....

and you find his argument most convincing,   that suggests that although you have made no overt claims of that nature, you concur.

realm of conjecture?  thats what ive been arguing from the start......that it is speculation, and not fact. Now you seem to be in agreeance with me on the subject of the debate.

You are starting to confuse me, which is it? grin2.gif

I rarely talk about such things but I once shoveled 18 tons of material in 11 min-
utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
but I know no one who could have matched it and I do know work
.
...Cladking
If you were a dragon wouldn't you rather eat fat, alocohol fill, Nordic giants, than stringy little Chinamen?   Draconic Chronicler.
You claim you do research and then disregard the fact the Pyramids were built by God, which is why no man-made computer can replicate it.  The Interpreter

#129    Archosaur

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:42 AM

lil gremlin on Mar 9 2009, 08:00 AM, said:

DC
QUOTE


He means this in a very literal sense....real living breathing quadrupedal, winged, giant reptiles....

and you find his argument most convincing,   that suggests that although you have made no overt claims of that nature, you concur.

realm of conjecture?  thats what ive been arguing from the start......that it is speculation, and not fact. Now you seem to be in agreeance with me on the subject of the debate.

You are starting to confuse me, which is it? grin2.gif


It may be able to prove weather most early cultures had what we today would call dragons as religious subjects. I don't think this debate proved or disproved this. This is provable and debatable independent of weather such creatures might have any basis in reality.

Dragons, like cryptids, supernatural phenomena, and UFOs remain in the realm of conjecture because of the standards of proof required by proper science. Unless a dragon, other cryptic, physcic, or space alien actually shows up at a lab for peer-reviwewd, repeatable, and public examination, such claims must be considered conjecture. This does not mean it is appropriate to summarly dismiss all claims, however.



#130    The Gremlin

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 12:59 AM

so what you are saying amongst other things is, that there is insufficient evidence to say :-

Quote

An entire world of early man considered giant flying reptiles that we call dragons today once were their gods. This i not my speculation, it is fact.



???

taking into account the model of 'dragon' DC insists was the origin of all dragons in every culture, not to mention the earliest civilising gods, the abrahamic god, mesopotamian gods, classical gods, levantine gods, chinese gods, American gods, etc...etc....


Quote

It may be able to prove weather most early cultures had what we today would call dragons as religious subjects.

deliberately vague?
we know most cultures featured creatures (in stories, artwork etc) that we toay call dragons, we know some were worshiped (if you count naga cults and other serpent worship/propitation),

but

as i made clear in my first post DC believes these all have their root in a living, breathing creature of supreme intellegence, civilizing 'chosen' peoples and predating on 'rejected' ones. Really leading armies and laying waste to cities, taking human sacrifice and debauching the virgins.  (well i didnt go into that much detail in the first post)

this debate takes DC's model as signified by 'dragon'.
because that is what he meant.

Quote

This does not mean it is appropriate to summarly dismiss all claims, however.


no just the claims to factuality that are blatantly false and misleading once recognised.
I shudder at the thought of a society where that didnt happen.

Edited by lil gremlin, 11 March 2009 - 01:36 AM.

I rarely talk about such things but I once shoveled 18 tons of material in 11 min-
utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
but I know no one who could have matched it and I do know work
.
...Cladking
If you were a dragon wouldn't you rather eat fat, alocohol fill, Nordic giants, than stringy little Chinamen?   Draconic Chronicler.
You claim you do research and then disregard the fact the Pyramids were built by God, which is why no man-made computer can replicate it.  The Interpreter

#131    Evangium

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 02:05 PM

After following the debate as it unfolded, I'm glad to see that it is open to comment.

My first  complaint (and only relevant one, since the others were fixed via moderator intervention), would be the length of time between responses.  Whilst it is understandable that both participants have a life outside the forums, I feel that this factor may have had an influence on the eventual disjointedness that crept into the debate.  Having said that, the upside is that both participants upheld there commitment and saw the debate out to it's conclusion, rather than let it stay indefinitely open (as is the case elsewhere on the board).

As for the arguments put forward by each member, both were well presented, however I did find that Grem's arguments did rely a little on the audience having some familiarity with DC's past history on this and other forums.
This brings us to an interesting twist in the debate.  If, as an audience member, we are  aware of the claims that DC has made in the past, then Grem has certainly proven that the dragons that DC claims were mankinds teacher's and tyrants are little more than exaggerations of earlier tales and misidentification/misinterpretation of ordinary animals.  DC offers absolutely no effort to provide the audience with so much as one piece of evidence to the contrary.

However, if the audience member is not aware of DC's past claims, then the debate is less cut and dried.  Initally, DC is careful not to state that all dragons were real flesh and blood, scaly clawed firebreathing creatures.  Instead he focuses more on the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship, and only makes refernce to actual quadrapedal forms in two posts, before switching tack to the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship.  Additionally, as the debate ends up mired down in ancient and classical Greek beliefs, the topic of a universal religion is never fully broached by either party.
Unfortunately, as interesting as DC's argument is in regards to the greeks worshipping mighty serpents, his lack of references severely undemines his position when compared to the references provided by Grem in support of his arguments.

Thus, I am lead to the conclusion that, if we disregard DC's past (as we should for this debate), neither party has satisfactorily argued for or against a global serpent/dragon cult.  However, I do understand that something on this scale would be difficult to achieve within the parameters of the UM Debate pro-forma.  If the original scope of this debate was limited to dragon/serpent worship being the origins for the greek pantheon, then I would concede that Grem has the stronger argument as he has provided sufficient references to support it.  If DC had done the same, then the only deciding factor would have come down to the persuasiveness of the projected personalities of both participants.

edit: Typos,

Edited by Evangium, 11 March 2009 - 02:16 PM.

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#132    Archosaur

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 04:17 PM

Evangium on Mar 11 2009, 10:05 AM, said:

However, if the audience member is not aware of DC's past claims, then the debate is less cut and dried.  Initally, DC is careful not to state that all dragons were real flesh and blood, scaly clawed firebreathing creatures.  Instead he focuses more on the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship, and only makes refernce to actual quadrapedal forms in two posts, before switching tack to the mighty serpent aspect of snake worship.  Additionally, as the debate ends up mired down in ancient and classical Greek beliefs, the topic of a universal religion is never fully broached by either party.
Unfortunately, as interesting as DC's argument is in regards to the greeks worshipping mighty serpents, his lack of references severely undemines his position when compared to the references provided by Grem in support of his arguments.

Thus, I am lead to the conclusion that, if we disregard DC's past (as we should for this debate), neither party has satisfactorily argued for or against a global serpent/dragon cult.  However, I do understand that something on this scale would be difficult to achieve within the parameters of the UM Debate pro-forma.  If the original scope of this debate was limited to dragon/serpent worship being the origins for the greek pantheon, then I would concede that Grem has the stronger argument as he has provided sufficient references to support it.  If DC had done the same, then the only deciding factor would have come down to the persuasiveness of the projected personalities of both participants.

edit: Typos,


Well put, E. I am actually of the opinion that DC has shown widespread, though not universal, dragon cults, but neither argument was ultimately conclusive.

As to real flesh-and-blood dragons: it wasn't the subject of the debate. Without independent verifiable, and repeatable, facts, the subject of dragons remains with many of the other subjects within these fora. There are many subjects on UM I do not believe in. Yet it does not follow that since I do not believe in them (due to lack of evidence) that these are dangerous frauds. Many really believe in these subjects, or thought they were witnesses.

It seems quite clear to me that DC believes what he is saying, and is trying to tell us, even against stormy opposition. That it is widely opposed, or that one may not believe in it, does not make it fraud.



#133    The Gremlin

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 06:02 PM

Archosaur on Mar 11 2009, 04:17 PM, said:

Well put, E. I am actually of the opinion that DC has shown widespread, though not universal, dragon cults, but neither argument was ultimately conclusive.

As to real flesh-and-blood dragons: it wasn't the subject of the debate. Without independent verifiable, and repeatable, facts, the subject of dragons remains with many of the other subjects within these fora. There are many subjects on UM I do not believe in. Yet it does not follow that since I do not believe in them (due to lack of evidence) that these are dangerous frauds. Many really believe in these subjects, or thought they were witnesses.

It seems quite clear to me that DC believes what he is saying, and is trying to tell us, even against stormy opposition. That it is widely opposed, or that one may not believe in it, does not make it fraud.


From my first post....

Quote

Introduction.

I will be debating against the assertion that humans have universally witnessed the same flying, quadrupedal reptile, and worshipped them as their gods.
DC would argue that not only did people witness the same creature, but those that worshiped them housed and fed them, took rides into the sky on them,were 'civilised'and protected by them, and followed them around on their nomadic travels.


I quite clearly set out right in the intro that im arguing against the witnessing/worship of real quadrupedal reptiles.....

When someone uses Pliny as evidence for the above to prove that they existed and were worshiped, as a matter of fact......i call that either mistaken, or deliberately misleading.
Since its been pointed out to dc in the past, im left with only the latter, that he is intentionally using evidence in a misleading way to prove something that cannot be proven.



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utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
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#134    Archosaur

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Posted 11 March 2009 - 08:05 PM

lil gremlin on Mar 11 2009, 02:02 PM, said:

From my first post....


I quite clearly set out right in the intro that im arguing against the witnessing/worship of real quadrupedal reptiles.....

When someone uses Pliny as evidence for the above to prove that they existed and were worshiped, as a matter of fact......i call that either mistaken, or deliberately misleading.
Since its been pointed out to dc in the past, im left with only the latter, that he is intentionally using evidence in a misleading way to prove something that cannot be proven.


DC: "But the fact remains that Dr. Jones is correct, winged, scaled covered, long necked, claw footed dragons were believed by humans all over the world, and still are acnowledged in most of the worlds great religions practiced by billions of people."

I agree with this. DC's evidence has shown many instances of ancient belief. Berevity alone may have kept him from quoting the many sources has previously has, and thre are even modern believers. Note, believers, not necessarily proof of existence.

"So what is Lil Gremlin actually trying to say? That these dragons cannot be real becasue they are not exactly alike in every artistic depiction?

This is nonsense. Something as mundance as a horse is often depicted differently even in the same time and place by different artists. Now consider a creature that the original accounts state is rare and a sometimes predator of man. How many artisans would actually see the creature in life, or rather base their art on the descriptions of others, or from sightings from long distances where details of the creature remains obsure. Also, both east and west, the forms of dragons or any other creature are often distorted to suit the object being decorated. Thus, in China, we see both dragons with short winged bodies like the dragons depicted in the West, as well as very elongated dragons so stylized that we see the wings disappear, and the limbs reduced to almost being vestigial.

Yet in virtually every culture we do see dragons which basically have the universal characteristic noted by Dr. Jones, wings, serpentine head and neck, and clawed limbs. And understand too, that today we have only a fraction of the orignal images, artifacts and literature from these ancient cultures.

The fact some artists depict dragons with only two feet instead of four is probably because the artist in question may have never seen a dragon up close, which according to most worldwide accounts, can be a very hazardous endeavor. I do not know what Lil Gremlin hopes to even 'debate'. Does he presume to ignore the artifactual and literary evidence compiled by a real athropologist for more knowledgable on this subject than him? Yes, winged, claw footed , serpentine necked, scaled dragons were acknoledged all over the world by ancient man."

I agree with this as well. Arguing the difference of minor details of a mythic creature is like arguing semantics.

"As for being universal gods, I did not state this."

My mistake, DC did NOT claim that dragons were universally venerated.

"I said the belief in dragons was virtually universal, as does Dr. Jones, but that they were only acknowledged as gods by the cultures the dragons 'adopted' and nurtured. On the contrary, they were merely regarded as fearsome predators in cultures where the dragons perhaps thought the humans in question were fit only to be prey. Thus, we see dragons regarded as gods or assistants to Gods in advanced cultures, yet simply as monsters in backward, barbarian cultures such as the Germanic peoples of northern Europe."

This is an unprovable hypothesis. Without physical evidence of dragons, this statement may not be proved. Thus, while an intriguing idea, it must remain speculative.

However, it is probable that their anthropormorhic gods, were very likely dragon gods too, in their distant past."

Here DC does an excellent job in the threads raising the, sometimes, serpentine nature of Zeus and other normally anthropomorphic gods.

So that is why I have to split my vote.



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Posted 11 March 2009 - 10:08 PM

Archosaur on Mar 11 2009, 08:05 PM, said:

DC: "But the fact remains that Dr. Jones is correct, winged, scaled covered, long necked, claw footed dragons were believed by humans all over the world, and still are acnowledged in most of the worlds great religions practiced by billions of people."

I agree with this. DC's evidence has shown many instances of ancient belief. Berevity alone may have kept him from quoting the many sources has previously has, and thre are even modern believers. Note, believers, not necessarily proof of existence.


I agree that dragons, albeit in a number of physical configurations, has been believed in by folk all over the world.....in one way or another. Ive never disagreed with this statement, and didnt in this debate.......It was never under debate, never contended.

Quote

"So what is Lil Gremlin actually trying to say? That these dragons cannot be real becasue they are not exactly alike in every artistic depiction?

This is nonsense. Something as mundance as a horse is often depicted differently even in the same time and place by different artists. Now consider a creature that the original accounts state is rare and a sometimes predator of man. How many artisans would actually see the creature in life, or rather base their art on the descriptions of others, or from sightings from long distances where details of the creature remains obsure. Also, both east and west, the forms of dragons or any other creature are often distorted to suit the object being decorated. Thus, in China, we see both dragons with short winged bodies like the dragons depicted in the West, as well as very elongated dragons so stylized that we see the wings disappear, and the limbs reduced to almost being vestigial.

Yet in virtually every culture we do see dragons which basically have the universal characteristic noted by Dr. Jones, wings, serpentine head and neck, and clawed limbs. And understand too, that today we have only a fraction of the orignal images, artifacts and literature from these ancient cultures.

The fact some artists depict dragons with only two feet instead of four is probably because the artist in question may have never seen a dragon up close, which according to most worldwide accounts, can be a very hazardous endeavor. I do not know what Lil Gremlin hopes to even 'debate'. Does he presume to ignore the artifactual and literary evidence compiled by a real athropologist for more knowledgable on this subject than him? Yes, winged, claw footed , serpentine necked, scaled dragons were acknoledged all over the world by ancient man."

I agree with this as well. Arguing the difference of minor details of a mythic creature is like arguing semantics.


not when its how people visualise the dragon they are telling tales about, there are often clear differences. From wingless, limbless snakes to composites of different animals with any variation of heads, wings, limbs, tails etc. Too disparate to claim any single origin.
Its not always easy to see past the smokescreen, DC is carefully making it sound like Chinese and Western dragons have the same origin...namely in a real quadrupedal reptile....but stipulating that it is the 'short' dragons of china that he is refering to....and not the long/lung dragon (which is much older).
In this he is correct to a point, it is not any 'real' creature we owe the similarities, but the spread via trade of the composite body form of the Mushushu mythical construct....that makes Chinese 'bixies' (not dragons, which the Chinese call 'long/lung' ) like the western dragon.

Hopefully DC will take up my earlier challenge and start another chapter in this debate, concerning the Chinese dragons.

now look at that last statement of dc's ...."Yes, winged, claw footed , serpentine necked, scaled dragons were acknoledged all over the world by ancient man."

As Evangium said, DC is very careful at this time to be vague and not make clear what he really proposes.....Ive never disagreed with the notion that dragons can be found just about everywhere, so what is the point in making a statement like that?........by doing so he implies that i do disagree with it, a smokescreen to deflect from the real area of contention.

which is as i made clear from the very start, and repeated throughout.....I disagree that all dragons come from a single source, being a real quadrupedal , winged reptile etc. etc....While DC insists they were.....and not only that, but its not speculation, it is fact!

I havent detracted from that area of contention the whole debate, its strange how you missed it. The only thing ive adjusted along the way is the scope of the debate. Realising that (as Evangium observes) dealing with universality would be too much for the space allowed, i decided to stick with one culture here, and move on to another in another thread......Since then Legionromanes has started a thread on the Mushushu which has left me little to do in Mesopotamia....Although i may touch on it in a thread about Chinese dragons because it would be unavoidable.

Quote

"As for being universal gods, I did not state this."

My mistake, DC did NOT claim that dragons were universally venerated.


I didnt say that he did, did I ? He believes that they were universally witnessed, and that those they 'chose' to assist in civilising took them for gods, had rides on them in the skies etc..... (its all in my first post.)


Quote

This is an unprovable hypothesis. Without physical evidence of dragons, this statement may not be proved. Thus, while an intriguing idea, it must remain speculative.


DC's statement? I know its unprovable. Which is why it must be speculation and not fact.




Quote

However, it is probable that their anthropormorhic gods, were very likely dragon gods too, in their distant past."


Here DC does an excellent job in the threads raising the, sometimes, serpentine nature of Zeus and other normally anthropomorphic gods.

Let me get this straight.......the debate is about the statement DC made (in the first post) and to explain the statement i made it clear that 'dragon' here in this debate as far as DC is concerned means very real quadrupedal, winged, etc....etc....

And you are giving him points for pointing to a big snake daemon from Serpent Worship/ Fertility cult.....and claiming it as a dragon????

Zeus as Zeus Meilichios has a serpentine nature, as well as an anthropomorphic one.....but Zeus has no origin in the Serpentine or draconic......he had changed into many animals (in the myths),  why more a serpent than a swan? or a bull?
What other anthropomorphic gods did he point to that had their origins in serpentine creatures?

All very nice ofcourse, but irrelevent to the topic....as ive shown.    so it should either be points away, or ignored.
look at the last sentence again that is above, see his unmerited use of 'probable' and 'likely'...and the vague 'dragons' and ofcourse the 'distant past'.....

a great set of unverifiables.....deliberately vague and misleadingly suggestive.


As ive said before archie your'e quite entitled to your opinion. It appears to me however that you do not have a clear view on what went on here. Heck i would have peppered each of my posts with nice but irrelevent pictures of dragons, and snakes, serpent eagles, crocs etc if i thought you were bought so easily.

Edited by lil gremlin, 11 March 2009 - 10:18 PM.

I rarely talk about such things but I once shoveled 18 tons of material in 11 min-
utes. It was under ideal conditions which allowed use of the legs and gravity
but I know no one who could have matched it and I do know work
.
...Cladking
If you were a dragon wouldn't you rather eat fat, alocohol fill, Nordic giants, than stringy little Chinamen?   Draconic Chronicler.
You claim you do research and then disregard the fact the Pyramids were built by God, which is why no man-made computer can replicate it.  The Interpreter




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