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Old May 26 2010, 04:14 AM   #1
bingley
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The Dolphins of Pern, Corgi edition pg 36

He clung - one hand to the ship and one on Readis and prayed for the end of the squall.

I'd always understood that there was no religion on Pern (it seems an unlikely state of affairs but there you go), so who is Alemi praying to?
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Old May 26 2010, 07:15 AM   #2
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No religion does not mean no beliefs, superstitions etc. bingley.

In this case, Alemi being a fisherman/sailor, who are notorious superstitious you might imagine that he "prayed" to Mother Sea

People will always need something to believe in for comfort and social reasons but that doesn't mean (organized) religion per se.
I remember F'lar remarking (in Dragonflight): "By the void that spawned us", which is technically true, right? So maybe people "believed" strongly in their ancestoirs (like the e.g. Japanese). Who knows what the individual or small groups will come up with in practical life.
Just read "no organised religion" and you can safely understand and use old fashioned Terran terms as "prayed" and ideas about a "heavenly" afterlife and land based, parochial feelings that will be akin basic rural beliefs and superstitions.
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Old May 26 2010, 09:22 AM   #3
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Perhaps it depends on what one understands by religion -- I wasn't necessarily thinking of an organised religion. Then again, I'm not sure how long an un-organised (disorganised? ) religion would last.
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Old May 26 2010, 11:26 AM   #4
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The way I understand religion it has to be organised.

Anything not organised is not a religion in my book. But that could be me...
Also, the most common description of religion seems to involve a belief in a superhuman agency or agencies.

a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

So yes, you are correct in assuming, what one would personally understands *nods*
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Old May 26 2010, 01:14 PM   #5
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Default Re: Prayer

Praying doesn't always have to imply belief in any supernatural agency either. That's the common usage, obviously, but it's not necessary. One form of prayer could be considered as a mantra repeated to one's self to help hold on, or keep focus, or just to distract from the terror of the situation. I sometimes find myself inadvertently repeating to myself, "Please don't let it go wrong... please, please, help me make this work..." without praying TO anything. I don't believe in God or any supernatural deity, and I'm not asking for help from an outside source. It's just something to chant to yourself to bear the stress.
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Old May 26 2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Prayer

I like what you say there, Spaceman - I deliberately do not use the word "pray" in any of its forms because it's associated with religion - but it's just the right word for what I want to say at times

If you see what I mean.
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Old May 26 2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I do something similar to what Spaceman described sometimes.
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Old May 26 2010, 10:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaceman Spiff View Post
Praying doesn't always have to imply belief in any supernatural agency either. That's the common usage, obviously, but it's not necessary. One form of prayer could be considered as a mantra repeated to one's self to help hold on, or keep focus, or just to distract from the terror of the situation. I sometimes find myself inadvertently repeating to myself, "Please don't let it go wrong... please, please, help me make this work..." without praying TO anything. I don't believe in God or any supernatural deity, and I'm not asking for help from an outside source. It's just something to chant to yourself to bear the stress.
Now, you see I think this sort of experience is one piece of evidence for religion being innate to our species. And when people start talking about it, it becomes a set of beliefs or group expectations of how it works and what's going on and then you get rituals (teaching songs?) to pass on that group experience, and maybe some sort of group of specialists within a society.
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Old May 27 2010, 03:34 AM   #9
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I strongly disagree with you there, bingley, and think religion is pure conditioning. However, if you would mean that people are inclined to rather believe something over nothing and rather want to "belong to a group" concerning many aspects than live individually, yes, then I fully agree.
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Old May 27 2010, 11:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Prayer

I believe there is a significant difference between religion and believing in something outside yourself. Religion is structure and formalized, and requires a leader. A belief system can be anything, and is very personalized. I've always loved the example of the Japanese culture, who do not consider themselves to be religious but who have very strong beliefs about the existance of spirits and how their actions toward these spirits influence their lives - ie showing respect for their ancestor's spirits encourages the spirits to bring them good luck on exams.
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Old May 27 2010, 01:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: Prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingley View Post
The Dolphins of Pern, Corgi edition pg 36

He clung - one hand to the ship and one on Readis and prayed for the end of the squall.

I'd always understood that there was no religion on Pern (it seems an unlikely state of affairs but there you go), so who is Alemi praying to?
Providence?

'Oh please let this storm end. Please!'

You don't need to pray TO anything in order to feel the need to say something like the sentence above.
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Old May 27 2010, 09:20 PM   #12
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To me, the Japanese example is still a religion, very different in form from religion as practised in European-derived cultures, but still a religion.
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Old Jun 1 2010, 02:29 AM   #13
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Default Re: Prayer

Anything like Sorka use of Jays and Red being called Peter his Christian name?
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Old Jun 1 2010, 11:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: Prayer

When I say "Geez!" I am not intentionally invoking the name of Jesus. It seems that their use of "Jays" is about the same.

That doesn't mean that NONE of the colonists were religious.
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Old Jun 2 2010, 10:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Prayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by bingley View Post
To me, the Japanese example is still a religion, very different in form from religion as practised in European-derived cultures, but still a religion.
It does have a name and I believe, pardon the pun here and no offence to those who practise it, is called Shinto-ism. Hope that helps you out.
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Old Jun 3 2010, 02:34 PM   #16
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It does have a name and I believe, pardon the pun here and no offence to those who practise it, is called Shinto-ism. Hope that helps you out.
Shinto is the 'native' religion of Japan and it is in fact organized (though not on the same 'model', so to speak, as a Judeo-Christian religion might be.) The Japanese also have a high percentage of Buddhists in the population, an import from China. Ancestor veneration may be related to Chinese cultural influence, as well.

Hans--there are actually researchers who would say bingley is right, those who are looking for what they call the 'God gene'--a genetic explanation for belief in a deity or faith system, which is more or less universal to human cultures. Simple group living and basic cooperation (at least among individuals who look and sound like each other) is a relic of primate ancestors--most advanced primates live in heirarchical social groups. (They also tend to react...poorly...to members of the same species from outside the group.) The question would be what benefit such a gene would confer. (Besides most religions frowning upon things like killing 'step-offspring' and automatic distrust of individuals that don't look like your group members, which are innate to most higher-order primates but now frowned upon in polite human society.)
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Old Jun 4 2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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This wiki article explains a fair amount about speculations as to the evolutionary origins of religion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evoluti...gy_of_religion
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Old Jun 5 2010, 04:38 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jube View Post
It does have a name and I believe, pardon the pun here and no offence to those who practise it, is called Shinto-ism. Hope that helps you out.
Sorry for the . Shinto is more formally called "kami-no-michi", but I'm not sure if it was really considered a religion in the old times. (I don't really trust Wiki for the full information.)

Anyway, me personally, I don't consider myself religious; "spiritual" is probably a better term. I think one can have spirituality without religion, and that's probably what the majority of the colonists went with, since religion ended up missing Pern entirely. But Mrs. McCaffrey did say that since she thinks God is everywhere, there's a Heaven for Pern, even if the Pernese don't know it's there or believe in it. (Well, there is "Beyond Between", but people debate its canonicity.)
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Old Jun 5 2010, 03:37 PM   #19
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Well, this isn't exactly Star Wars or Star Trek with fifty different writers, so I don't think we can debate it--Anne wrote it, Anne owns Pern and created it, she IS the canon.

And I agree--absence of organized religion does not mean there is no afterlife.
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Old Jun 6 2010, 05:31 AM   #20
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Debating whether "Beyond Between" is canon is rather silly. I agree with Anareth on this. Anne has written it, therefor it is canon.
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Old Jun 8 2010, 12:02 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Debating whether "Beyond Between" is canon is rather silly. I agree with Anareth on this. Anne has written it, therefor it is canon.
Well they did bring the history of Earth, with them, Paul Benden and E Boll, talk about Rome, and Kenjo uses his spirituality call when he attact Thread in DD.
--
I don't know if of on, so I did wish and pray for good weather!.
Also the Red Sky at Night Sailor (Land floks) delight, for the storm pass us, our fly-in/drive in was good, for I saw a pink sky in the west, for dad was tell me that the storm has passed for our are of the United States
Red Sky in morning Sailor (Land folks) take warning for there is a storm comming.
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I too felt the storm the change in the pressure in my ankle.
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Also the saying about the weather too.
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Old Jun 8 2010, 06:55 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kath View Post
Providence?

'Oh please let this storm end. Please!'

You don't need to pray TO anything in order to feel the need to say something like the sentence above.
I think Kath hit the nail on the head here. This is exactly the way I always viewed this scene. They're not necessarily praying to some kind of religious God, they're simply wishing to survive the storm.
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Old Jun 8 2010, 02:02 PM   #23
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Default Re: Prayer

As a Wiccan, religions =/= organization by any stretch of the imagination.

Simply because the most popular examples of religion are strictly organized does not mean that it is the only possible answer. Religion encompasses a wide spectrum of beliefs, from the atheist (who still believes in something, even if it is nothing) to the agnostic to the Wiccan, and so on to the Christian/Jew/Muslim. Wiccae is probably the most disorganized of the "organized" religions - you can put twenty white-magick Wiccans (or Pagans) in a room and get thirty different opinions. Similarly, not all people worship a singular God or even a pantheon, but instead hold spirits or plants or even cows in the highest of regards.

To the Wiccan, prayer is nothing more than a movement of energy. When we pray, we are sending out a flow of energy - either positive or negative - with the hopes of creating a change. You don't have to pray to be specifically religious, you don't have to be specifically religious to pray.

I, personally, still think they hold the spirits of dragons gone in the highest regard. Hence the popularity of oaths like "by the first egg," or "by the golden egg of Faranth." There's no arguing that dragons play a major part of Pernese society, nor that they are out of reach of all but a selected few. I don't necessarily mean that the Pernese "worship" their dragons in the sense that some people worship and sacrifice to gods or saints, but I do believe if there was any religion at all on Pern, the dragons would be a huge part of it.
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