Re: Is the Swastika evidence of a common origin?

Gerry Palo (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 00:01:38 GMT

In article <5c2h06$>,
Dan Moore <> wrote:
>Apologies if I screwwed up the atributions, but I think I got them right.
>In article <>, says...
>Gerry Palo said:

>>>}The Philistine needs to learn that there are different kinds of literal
>>>}truth than those that apply only to gross matter. Pictures of this kind
>>>}are meant to enlighten just such folks, all of us really, if they will
>>>}only open their eyes and minds to new possibilities.
>Steve Pridgeon <> wrote:
>>>So is the chest hair really there, or do you just have to believe in it?
>Gerry Palo said:
>>Are these the only possibilities you can think of? (From your remarks so
>>far, I am afraid they are.) Didn't you ever read about symbolism in one of
>>your school classes, perhaps in an art course? The artist's arrangement
>>of the hair would be considered a symbolic gesture to indicate a spiritual
>>truth in pictorial form. We are talking here about the meaning of the
>>hooked cross beyond its use by the Nazis. Why is this so difficult for
>>you to understand?

>If you are going to cross-post to a gaggle of science groups
>you are just going to have to expect that a bunch of flaming
>agnostic types are going to take pot shots at your symbolic
>constructs. Would you expect us to do less? The symbolic
>constructs you are defending aren't in the world of matter
>and energy and are immune to objective observation and rational
>interpretation, and therefore, are not the subject of science.
>Around here you are going to have to produce a hairy kid or blow.
>Dan Moore

First, I take no responsibility for the original distribution of the post
to which I responded on one of the religion groups. Second, I don't
expect agnostic types to believe everything I believe, but at the same
time I expect them to hold to their position of agnosticism, which is one
of "not knowning." If they are also scientific, they will be willing to
consider all alternatives and not make absolute dogmatic statements.
Third, an agnostic or even an atheist should be able to understand the
elements of artistic symbolism without having to believe in what it
symbolizes. The absurd argument about the baby Buddha having literal
chest hairs is the equivalent of saying that Renaissance painters and the
devout believers who observed their paintings really believed that saints
went around with metal rings suspended over their heads or that angels
have human bodies to which are attached bird's wings, sans the muscles
necessary to operate them. Or for that matter you could argue that
geometricians believe that lines are material and have thickness, because
they draw them so in their geomoetry books.

Finally, I would point out that I myself, though not being a Buddhist,
offered a possible explanation of the Buddhist use of the swastika in the
way indicated. It seems to me that the highly touted openminedness of
some "agnostic and scientific types" is highly exagerated.

And Steve Pridgeon -- of whom I might well ask, why was he (as well as
you) cross-posting to a religious newsgroup? -- comes across not as an
agnostic but as a dogmatic materialist. The subject was one of the
history of a symbol and its meaning. Even the most materialistic historian
would grant the legitimacy of considering what other people thought of
such symbols in ancient and modern times. Only a materialist who is
terribly insecure in his world view would take umbrage at a discussion
like this. And a true agnostic would take seriously his position that he
does not know.

Well different strokes for different folks, but in this marketplace of
ideas it is not always possible to avoid offending some people.


Gerry Palo Denver, Colorado