The Garden, The "Fall of Man" and Civilization

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by c0de, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    .

    There's a Coppola film Rumble Fish... there's a scene in it where the "Motorcycle Boy" takes his kid brother into a pet store. He shows him how the Siamese fighting fish attack each other when they get close... He tells him that maybe the reason why the fish fight is because they're stuck in a tank... Maybe, he posits, if they were in a river, they wouldn't have to fight, because "then there'd be enough space for everyone"

    Keep that in mind as you read this:


    Taking this theory into account,

    "The Fall"... is the story of civilization... and the inevitability of conflict

    Read these verses in this light and see:


    "O Adam! dwell thou and thy wife in the Garden, and enjoy (its good things) as ye wish: but approach not this tree, or ye run into harm and transgression."

    Then began Satan to whisper suggestions to them, bringing openly before their minds all their shame that was hidden from them (before): he said: "Your Lord only forbade you this tree, lest ye should become angels or such beings as live for ever." And he swore to them both, that he was their sincere adviser.

    So by deceit he brought about their fall: when they tasted of the tree, their shame became manifest to them, and they began to sew together the leaves of the garden over their bodies.

    And their Lord called unto them: "Did I not forbid you that tree, and tell you that Satan was an avowed enemy unto you?"

    They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged our own souls: If thou forgive us not and bestow not upon us Thy Mercy, we shall certainly be lost."

    God said: "Get ye down. With bitterness between yourselves. On earth will be your dwelling-place and your means of livelihood,- for a time."

    He said: Therein shall you live, and therein shall you die, and from it shall you be raised.


    Quran: Chapter 7; Verses 19-25


    It's simply a matter of geography... Finite space/resources, versus infinite desires/wants. In this equation, Civilization and Conflict are both inevitable... Because once you start planting apple trees, the natural instinct is to believe that the apples which grow on it, are your apples.

    The agriculturists quickly exterminated the hunter gatherers and so began "civilization." ... This, all of it... our entire history, was inevitable... We are geared towards it, like moths to a candle's flame.


    further reading @ Has the Garden of Eden been located at last?


     
  2. Amergin

    Amergin New Member

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    Thoughts of an Ancient Farmer

    Salty sweat drips from my burning brow
    As I strain in the dust behind this plough.
    The Sun is bright, the air hot as Hell.
    Why I breathe this dust, none can tell.

    I cough and ask the gods, “Why oh Why?”
    So I gaze into the glare of the empty sky.
    Am I punished for some bloody crime
    That I can’t recall in this dust and grime?

    It must have been a foul sin before my time
    By my father, or his, in a past gentle clime.
    The sin angered the gods to such cruel rage;
    They burned the garden of the Golden Age.

    Man and woman were sent into dusty fields,
    To scratch the dry soil for meagre yields.
    “By the sweat of your brow shall ye struggle to live,”
    Said the angry God without mercy to give.

    I asked the shaman about the ancient fall.
    “How did our father degrade us all?”
    Moses the shaman, told me the story
    Of Adam’s sin and his fall from glory.

    Adam said, “she, the law first did break
    When the fruit of knowledge she did take.”
    Eve sought truths that God does deny,
    Good and evil, and the first great lie.

    They lied that God made me from mud,
    Slime and dust, spit and crud.
    They denied my solar source,
    Feared my leaning the truth, of course.

    God said magic words, arcane chants,
    Animated mud became man without pants.
    Shamans in their arrogant chatter
    Deny I am ancient star matter.

    In future I’ll avenge slandered Eve
    Using a complex brain I did receive.
    There is no god but Gaia, our mother,
    Earth, visible and real, and no other.

    The complex brain Gaia had us evolve
    By climate shifts, rational thought to solve
    Alleles, markers, and nucleotide codes,
    Translocations, repeats, and deletion modes.

    She evolved my complex frontal lobes
    To send into the cosmos, intelligent probes.
    Finding my beginnings in a proto-star core,
    A supernova blast, and then I did soar.

    Protons fused into atoms of Hydrogen,
    Carbon, Oxygen, Sulphur, and Nitrogen.
    Off into space they sped trillions of miles.
    ‘Till gravity collected them into dense piles.

    Big piles ignited as hot nuclear suns.
    Little piles made planets in orbital runs.
    One watery planet made life in a mix,
    Molecules bonding a double helix.

    Helix bonds lyse and translocate.
    Alleles delete, repeat, and mutate.
    Mutation to mutation, many die out.
    Some adapt to walk, think, and shout.

    Large frontal lobes discovered my kin,
    Amoeba, worm, lungfish, and lobefin,
    Kangaroo, primate, ape, and mankind.
    Gaia evolved my inquisitive mind.

    Here comes that shaman to brow beat
    My tired body in this burning heat.
    “Thank god for not making your toils
    Even worse as your sinful flesh broils.”

    The shaman tells me I will go up there,
    To grovel for God who never did care.
    From this dusty field I’ll get no relief.
    But no shaman’s lie will be my belief.

    A glob of mud was not my sire.
    Eve sought truth I also desire.
    Our atoms burst from a nova’s core,
    Across space sped, 10 billion years more.

    I’m not magic mud, nor conjured by gods.
    I’m star stuff from a journey against odds.
    It formed planets and bonded molecules who
    Stood, thought, and sought what is true.

    Amergin
     
  3. Amergin

    Amergin New Member

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    Original Sin was the sin of inquiry and seeking knowledge.

    Genesis is the story of mankind’s ascent not fall. It begins with the Garden of Eden metaphor. Eden originated in the remembered stories of Hunter-gathering. In the garden (hunter-gatherers) man and woman could just pluck fruit from the trees. There was no need for work. It was truly a paradise in the memories passed down.

    To a Stone Age farmer tilling the soil in Iraq under the hot sun, sweating, wearing blisters on his hands with the plough handles, it must have seemed that we lost something. There were the stories passed down for ages about the Hunter-Gatherer days. In retrospect those memories of hunter gathering must have seemed like paradise. No need to till the soil, just live off of the land's abundance.

    Eden seemed to be a Magic Garden. Why did we lose that? We are now tilling the hot dusty soil to survive. We must have really screwed up to be kicked out of that ancient garden. We forgot the harsh realities of hunter gathering.

    Man and woman must have been kicked out of that magic garden for some dreadful reason. It must have been some offence to the gods or God. What would offend the gods the most? Inquiry, learning, thinking, reasoning, questioning, and scepticism would most offend the gods (or the shamans who speak for the gods.) Would it be disrespectful to be as smart as the gods or to become gods? Eating the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge is the challenge to God's monopoly on knowledge and his hatred of people who ask questions. This was worse than shagging the sheep. Adam and Eve had to be kicked out of the magic garden. They didn't shag sheep, but they inquired and wanted knowledge.

    Today, Christian and Muslims Churches (mainly Fundamentalistic and conservative still view knowledge as the greatest threat to their power.

    The Garden of Eden metaphor is the story of mankind’s evolution from Hunter-gatherers, to pastoralists, and finally agriculture leading to civilisation. We have problems today but our memory and stories tell us we once had a Golden Age…which we lost. We forget the misery, being the prey of predators, the chance nature of finding food, of the hunter-gatherer life. We think of a time when we gathered food all around us and did not have to work.

    Amergin
     
  4. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    So does China, a country whose praises you were singing last month, remember?

    It seems you're caught in a hypocritical vice.

    Your contradictions aside though, I agree that sectarian religious organizations are based mostly on the negation of divisive thought. Although, I disagree that it is knowledge itself which they find abrasive. Its just whatever information that threatens their established order.

    It's the same with any bureaucracy. In fact, even the scientific community isn't free from such self censorship. I remember once in a physics tutorial, I asked my TA "what is heat?"... I just wanted to see what he'd say (just to mess with 'em.) I was pretty surprised when he actually tried to come up with an answer... Even after I told him "there's no answer to that question!" he's like "no, no wait, let me think!" lolz!

    That's when I realized how ignorant most people in science course are... I mean at least people in Pol Sci and History courses know the basics of their own fields... Physics majors don't even have a basic understanding of "heat"!! I mean, they don't even know that they don't know. This TA of mine, who was probably a grad student, in all his years in studying physics, no one ever told him that no one knows what "heat" actually is! Perfect example of invisible dogmatic mental prisons.

    What you're overlooking is the fact that not only positives came out of our ascent/fall (whatever terminology you want to use). Things which also followed: murder, greed, envy, war, genocide, shame, guilt, regret... etc. etc.

    That only applies to the judeo-christian model, in which the tree is called that of "knowledge".

    According to the Quran, satan tempted men and women with the promise of immortality. Which fits better, when you take into account the negatives which you just mentioned above. Hunter-gatherers probably wanted to make a move to sedentary lifestyle, primarily because of the dangers and uncertainties to life inherent in their old way of life. I doubt they were thinking in terms of "knowledge" at all.
     
  5. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    c0de,
    I'm not caught up on the thread but in regard to the opening post that is interesting. I recently became vaguely aware of some of the arguments surrounding that time period & the development of civilization, not that I'm really read up on it. I like the idea of thinking that Eden was the mountainous regions that the people left to go down into the alluvial plain of Mesopotamia and would like to add that the river might be thought of as the snake in the garden. The problem was overpopulation and supposedly increasing scarcity of animals and berries driving people to move into the open plain with its problems of flooding, dryness and flatness. The snake entices the woman by saying that she will not surely die but will obtain knowledge. Its an enticing allegory for civilization, isn't it? The snake is beautiful and clever like the river but is in a wilderness. Cool idea.
     
  6. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Your theory is also one possibility. In fact, there are alternative locations to the possible site of Eden close to the present day "kurdistan" which is mountainous.

    Although, I think the way they have come up with this location in the Gulf is by using satellites to locate the ancient rivers mentioned in scripture.

    NOTE: From the point of view of the Quran, I reject the "snake seduced Eve" idea because its not there. Both Adam and Eve were seduced by Satan, which implicates all of humanity equally.
     
  7. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    About what I said about Eve, it is literally what the text says however I was speaking of her and thinking of her in the same sense as you described civilization. There is precedent for seeing her that way. Firstly, you can see the same kind of use for Bible characters happens in the NT in that the children of Levi are considered to have been present within Levi. In a sense then, all people were in Eve or for allegorical sake that Eve is the first civilization in Mesopotamia. Perhaps all Bible characters should be examined through this method it at least once, including Eve. Secondly, the Genesis text specifically calls Eve the 'Mother of all the living', even though it is already obvious from the story. I assume it is a purposeful redundancy, so perhaps it is the best clue. I do not know whether you feel the Quran agrees with that kind of usage for Bible characters, however in my mind it certainly seems that it might be suggesting it from what you are saying. Either way, it fits with this theory from the opening post.

    Kurdistan sounds to me like a good place to locate Eden, though Kazhakistan would be a lot more romantic since apple trees first appeared there. Lots of people think that apples were the 'Fruit' that was eaten. :) (Kurdistan not to be confused with Kazhakistan, in whose mountains supposedly the first apples trees grew. I will add for those passing through that the apple is not necessarily the generic fruit mentioned in the story of the garden Eden.)
     
  8. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    The Muslims don't have to deal with a lot of stuff the Jews and Christians are stuck with... For example the verse in the Bible which states that God (supposedly) "rested" after creating the world has presented challenges to jews and christians because it seems to imply that God gets tired. But this statement simply isn't present in the Quran, and so it's rejected by muslims.

    As for the biblical characters, their histories are different as well. The Quran simply doesn't state stuff like Eve being seduced by a snake, Lot committing incest, Solomon killing a dude to marry his wife, Jesus claiming divinity etc. Muslims consider these verses as not being Divinely inspired and as later additions to the Bible - which of course, is offensive to Jews+Christians >> Which is why I usually avoid talking about this on an interfaith forum (lolz)

    Well, the Quran doesn't specifically mention the fruit as an "apple." So we muslims don't have to go lookin' for apple trees. But for the sake of discussion, there aren't many mountains in Kazakhstan. Also, I think it is more likely that Eden would be closer to Iraq, because that is where agriculture originated, and the first civilization.
     
  9. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    This part seems questionable. I am not sure whether I agree, because a very small thing can alter very big things, so it is hard to say what an outcome will be. Who can say which flame a particular moth will wind up at?
     
  10. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    that comment isn't predicting the future though, it's looking back on what already happened.

    Although, i'll take it back anyway, as it seems like I am inferring causality, which i'm not, since I believe everything is ultimately arbitrary and causality is an illusion...
     
  11. Amergin

    Amergin New Member

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    I admire China for its ability to move past the unworkable Communist model of economy. They did suppress religion which I personally do not favour. I think that suppression of supperstition had beneficial effects on giving the Chinese people greater opportunities in science and medicine. On each of my three visits there, I was impressed by the level of research and the advanced medical technology. I was also impressed with the scientific literacy of the Chinese public, access to science education without the shackles of Islamo-Christian superstition. Removing the chains of Myth and Superstition freed the Chinese people to pursue real knowledge. I deplore the persistence of political oppression.

    I doubt if you get an answer from the typical US or UK teacher.

    Don't put the cart before the horse. Freedom does not inevitably cause murder, greed, etc. etc. As humans advanced to agricultural and organised societies, inevitably some people sought power over them. I call them warlords. They adopted or in some cases designed the religious beliefs and commandments as a way to control people. Freedom was oppressed more by those who used religion for mind control over the masses. They invented the tribal myths of the Conjured Creation by a scary God, the Garden and the mythical world flood so people would think they had a certainty of their knowledge. Of course that certainty was all lies.

    When people started to doubt the lies and the absurdly funny magic stories, the warlords feared it would lead to disobedience. So free thought was suppressed (heretics, infidels, doubters, questioners, and scientists) to maintain ignorance with mythology passing as fact to the ignorant subjects.

    The Bible says Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The idea that God wanted people to know only good is stupid. How can one function not knowing what is wrong, what is dangerous, and what is morally wrong. It would inevitably produce a totally amoral civilisation. You could kill someone because you did not know it was wrong and escape punishment. The whole story is rubbish, only making sense if knowledge itself was the forbidden fruit.

    Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have long regarded knowledge and inquiry as the major threats to their false religious cults.

    I agree. The hunter gatherers were not thinking of knowledge per se as they experimented with pasturing food animals and planting food plants as an alternative to foraging subsistence survival. It happened over thousands of years. Who knows when humans conceived of useful survival information as knowledge? They noted phases of the moon when tracking migratory hoofed animals each season. They used the position of the Sun at different times of the year as when to plant crops and when to harvest them. They may have attributed this information to the Druids or Priests but it was KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge of good was planting crops in the spring. Knowledge of bad was planting them in the late Autumn. Knowledge of good and evil is knowledge of what works and what does not. Humans who did not know the bad of the world went extinct before Sapiens migrated into Europe and Asia.

    Amergin
     
  12. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Do you think you can give me an answer? If so, then please, tell me what "heat" actually is. Just remember, "a form of energy..." isn't gonna cut it. You have to tell me what that "energy/force" actually is.

    If you give me an answer that isn't rooted in dogma, you'll get more then my applause. You'll get a nobel prize in physics, and be considered the greatest scientific mind ever. Newton, Faraday, Einstein and Bohr will kneel before you.

    You're the one putting the cart before the horse, not me.

    There was an article in the Science Daily a while back which noted that these "myths" might very well have allowed civilization to exist, as it offloaded duties of policing to an unseen God who was watching everyone and allowed for social order to come about in urban environments. I posted this somewhere on this forum.

    What makes you think China can survive political and informational freedom?

    And assuming it can't (which is their official position) would you still support freedom?

    Did you notice any other shackles? Such as the near total reliance on rote learning?

    You have a habit of repeating slogans while ignoring the opposition's actual argument.

    You should run for president.
     
  13. Amergin

    Amergin New Member

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    First one must distinguish heat and temperature.

    Heat is a sensation. It is a perception we have of objects being of higher temperature or lower temperature than we are.

    There is movement of atoms in matter; perhaps you could call it kinetic energy. Like it or not, energy is real. The more movement and collisions of atoms or molecules that occurs is measured as temperature. Absolute zero Kelvin Temperature is a state of matter in which there is no movement of atoms.

    The faster the atoms bounce around, the greater the measured temperature will be. If the activity of those atoms produces a measured temperature of greater then 37 degrees Celsius then our nervous system experiences heat. That is normal body temperature. If it is lower than 21 degrees C (70 Fahrenheit) or room temperature, we find it "a bit chilly or outright cool". Therefore, between 21 degrees Celsius and 37 degrees Celsius we experience increasing levels of heat sensation. 100 degrees C is the temperature of boiling water at sea level. 0 degrees C is the temperature of freezing water or ice.

    Temperature is a physical state of matter reflecting the movement of atoms. Heat is the subjective perception of temperatures above 21 degree C.

    Our bodies constantly lose temperature through conduction and evaporation. So, while our internal body temperature is 37 degrees C, our skin's loss of temperature makes an object or other person "feel" warm. That perception of temperature is either heat or cold, which for practical purposes is neutral at about 21 degrees.

    I do not know what your point was, but hope I explained it rationally so you could understand.

    Amergin
     
  14. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    And there's your problem...

    You can't even grasp the question

    but since im such a nice guy, i'll guide u through this, k buddy?

    ; )


    Actually, temperature is a sensation, not Heat.
    Temperature (Noun): the somatic sensation of cold or heat
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn


    So it appears you can't even get the textbook definition right... sigh...
    are u sure you're a neuroscientist? : P

    no worries though, I'll help you out:

    "In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy,
    transferred from one body or thermodynamic system to another..."



    Whoa!! Hold your horses there mate!! We're gonna take this step by step, k?

    So, where do we stand so far? Up till now, all we've established is that Heat=Energy. In other words, all we did is substitute one word (or "meme" to take your beloved terminology) "HEAT" and substitute it with another, "ENERGY" without actually explaining anything.

    Therefore, the question then becomes: what is "ENERGY" ?

    So go ahead... the floor is yours
     
  15. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Its an interesting thread, so lets keep it going for a bit. First I want to try to explain energy!

    Energy is anything that cannot be seen that must be accounted for by approximations.

    Heat is: 1. Unseen and 2. must be accounted for by approximations. It is therefore energy.

    I think I just liked switching the words too much and got lost in the coolness of reversing the moth analogy. My bad this time.

    You seem to be a big believer for being such an altruistic skeptic. I think that hard times or bitter experience develops the sense of humor if you can overcome it without becoming bitter. The fragile grape becomes a trusty raisin. Do you still feel that the world is in a downward spiral? I bring it up because we are talking about the fall of man and civilization. Do you think that the world goes repeatedly through a cycle of starting high and then falling? What if the story of Eden is about the end of civilization as much as the beginning?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2010
  16. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Scratch out that crack about shameless plugs, thanks. It poorly represents what I'm trying to say. I'm not intending to say that c0de is making anything other than conversation about the differences between two religions.
     
  17. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    dude even Amergin basically said the same thing on the Xtian forum recently.

    how can I be blamed for saying it here (as a relevant reply to your question, no less) ??

    The Quran doesn't contain a lot of the problematic stuff that the OT/NT has

    I don't think there's any such thing as actual "altruism"...

    and I obviously can't be classed as a "skeptic" either, since I'm religious

    ...

    i prefer demotivational talks instead dream, u know that!!



    [image removed - Brian]


    ^ its funny cuz its true


    yep

    according to the second Law of thermodynamics...

    Sure it is.... (not in this life though, sorry)

    this doesn't actually tell us anything about what "energy" actually is. Don't feel bad though, you haven't said anything less then a physics professor will be able to tell you
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
  18. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    I will attempt a definition for energy. Energy is any change of state.

    The confusion about defining energy comes as a result of thinking that there is such a thing as 'Potential energy' and a continuum when really there isn't. Its merely an abstract concept we invent. A change of state is both observable and definable. It turns out that certain Greek philosophers were correct about the world existing in quantum states, rather than in a smooth continuum. Max Planck discovered this when he was trying to understand why metals glow different colors as their temperature goes up. Planck discovered it, and Einstein built on it. The world as we know it is a series of quantum changes too minuscule and myriad for us to count, so we think of it as a continuum. In continuum it is impossible to define energy, since that is now a realistic model of the world. It becomes definable if we admit the world exists in quantum changes of state. The change of state is energy. It is whats in-between that you cannot define. It the question of why one event seems related to another than we cannot answer. Defining energy is a snap. Where's my Nobel prize?
     
  19. c0de

    c0de Vassal

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    Quote 1:
    Quote 2:
    Quote 3:
    Here u go:

    [​IMG]

    can't spell "ignoble" without "nobel" rite?

    : P
     
  20. Aardvark01

    Aardvark01 New Member

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    QUOTE=c0de
    Dr. Juris Zarins, the Latvian-American Professor of Southwestern University[7] believes that the Garden of Eden lies in the vicinity, presently under the headwaters of the Persian Gulf, and he further believes that the story of Adam and Eve in-and especially out-of the Garden is a highly condensed and evocative account of the shift from hunting-gathering to agriculture. The story of Eden, Zarins believes, came about 6500 B.C. during the Neolithic Wet Phase when rains returned to the Gulf region.

    Zarins writes "Adam and Eve were heirs to natural bounty. They had everything they needed. But they sinned and were expelled. How did they sin? By challenging God's very omnipotence. In so doing they represented the agriculturists, the upstarts who insisted on taking matters into their own hands, relying upon their knowledge and their own skills rather than on His bounty."

    I see problems with this notion. I think it is close but not quite consistent with the Biblical Adam and Eve story:
    1/ the tale does not lead me to believe that agriculturalism began with the fall, only that it became hard work afterwards. The serpant (the one who did the devil's work) is deemed "cursed above all livestock", so Adam and Eve must also have kept livestock, whether for meat or for milk, eggs or honey.

    2/ I see no reason to suppose that agriculturalism is or was any less innocent than hunter gathering.

    3/ I do not perceive the two ways of life as neccessarily in conflict. There are environments to this day where agriculture is not feasible: eg. There is plenty of space in the Australian outback wher only hunter gatherers can survive

    I do not think hunter gatherers were the problem for early societies. They lack the social organisation and sheer numbers to be considered a serious threat. The idea that settled communities would go out of their way to eliminate them makes no sense either. What would be their motive?

    However, the Steppes of Russia and Mongolia produced both herdsmen and raiders, and I think that this is where the conflict arose. They did have both the numbers and the means to pose a threat to agriculturalists and hunter gatherers alike by stealing crops or livestock which they themselves did not invest time and energy in gathering or rearing. There is evidence that this was an issue in the Hymns of Zoroaster/Zarathrustra dating to about 1500-1700BC:

    I ask you, O Ahura, about the punishment for the evil-doer who delegates power to the deceitful one and who does not find a livelihood without injury to the cattle and men of undeceiving herdsman. (Gatha 41)

    In a time when there was no law, who was going to declare theft to be wrong, much less put a stop to it?
     

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