Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn

My atheist brother keeps on recommending a book for me to read, called Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. Anyone know what kinds of themes are covered and is it worth the read? If someone has actually read the book, that would be great.

This book is the illogical and narrow musings of humanist and New Tribalism ideals. It’s like a Davinci Code for humanists. I have suffered through this book. At the beginning, Quinn has to redefine anthropology and ignore historical and scientific fact to make an argument for the impending destruction of man. I can only assume an atheist would want you to read it because it provides a seemingly compelling alternate truth to the story of Genesis and the Big Bang. If I were you, I’d read the wikipedia article about it and save your brain cells.

Just for funzies, here are some of the facts that are ignored to make his argument:

Ishmael will have you believe that “Every ‘civilized’ culture believes Earth was created for man.”

I’m sure you can think of a dozen people off the top of your head who disagree with this statement.

“Animals do not exhibit behavior that would imply they own the Earth” such as agriculture, settlement, or war.

The first example I thought of to disprove this notion is the beaver. By creating dams, the beaver is changing his environment to survive.

A better example is the ant. Certain species of ants - the ones you see carrying leaves - are not eating the leaves, they are farming! They use the leaves to grow bacteria which they store and eat.

Another crazy thing about ants - they wage war! They will attack a colony, kill all the adults and actually enslave the young! They teach them small labor tasks and use them as slaves!

These small, fun facts and plenty of other evidence throughout nature and history make “Ishmael” an irrelevant read. Don’t waste your time.

The end.

More reasons to dislike ants. Thanks!

i think the imael is the character in bible.

Oprah seems to hold it in High Esteem. Even though it features a Talking Gorilla. :rolleyes:
More reason to dislike Oprah. :thumbsup::thumbsup:

Ishmael doesn’t talk. He’s telepathic. And that fact in and of itself is no reason to dislike this book or people who endorse it. Please see the above for reasons to dislike this book. Thank you.

OK, let me put it this way------

One should dislike the Book Because it is Satanic New Age Religious Propaganda.

And that same type of propaganda is heartily endorsed by folks like Oprah.


I had forgotten Ishmael did not talk. Still, a TELEPATHIC GORILLA…:rolleyes:
Thnks for the "reminder,"anyway. :shrug:

You’ll need to provide some proof for the accusation of it’s “Satanic” properties. If you have read this book, perhaps you can scan through it again to find such a reference. I’m afraid you’ll have a hard time of it.

You know, just because something is ill-conceived, illogical, and false doesn’t mean it derives from Satan himself. And if one uses the term “Satanic” to discredit propaganda that is in fact not Satanic - one hinders the case made against said propaganda by speaking out of anger and ignorance.

In other words - you’re hurting my case. Please quit it. :slight_smile:

So You DO admit the Book has New Age Ideas and Philosophies in it, Right?

As a Very Penintent Former New Ager, I can Confidently attest to the Fact that the Whole New Age Movement is Ultimately Inspired by The Devil. :eek:

So I DO Know Whereof I Speak Of. Call it “Life Experience.”:thumbsup:

And Methinks you are being a Tad too Confident in Your Assertions that I am “Hurting Your Case.”:slight_smile:

At Least to ME, Anyway. :D:D

Actually, I never once use the term “New Age” because I do not believe it describes the philosophies in this book. I use the term “New Tribalism”.

And your personal experience is decidedly not a valid source of evidence.

Maybe you can provide a passage from the book that proves your point? If it is indeed inspired by the devil, as you say, it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find at least one passage.

I am always confident in my public opinions only because it is with very careful thought, consideration and study that I ever assume to express my opinion to a medium as public as the world wide web. Maybe you should do so yourself.

I would say the Term “New Tribalism” IS New Age-Inspired. It is simply a new way of Repackaging the Same Old Same Old. I used to hear that term Occassionally when I was still New Age.
It is just like the term “New Age” itself. Nothing about the New Age is “New.” It si simply Old Hinduisitc/Gnostic/Esoteric Ideas?philosophies Repackaged for Our Time and given a “Modern Twist.”:thumbsup:

As to Providing Quotations from the Book-----it has been a LONG Time since I read the Book and I do not Own It. I may go over It at my Local Library later on.
However, the quotes posted in a Post above should suffice for now. Particularly the Quote that “Every Civilized Society Thinks the Earth was Created for Man.”
I heard stuff like that among SOME New Agers back in the day. Man is just one more Animal. Man is Arrogant and Destructive and Presumptous. Gaia Ty-pe theories.

Of course, the “New Age” encompasses a LOT of different Ideas and Philosophies, but the Idea that “Humanity Thinks They own the Earth and Animals are More “Civilized” than Humanity” is one of the Oft-Repeated Mantras that keeps being used by a lot of New Agers Over and Over.

Like I said, I may go over the Book again.

But my opinion of it still stands. Based on Experience. :thumbsup:

i realize this is quite the dated response at this point but as someone who has just recently read the book i believe i can give you a challenge.

  • the mere fact that a person denies knowledge of a human desire to claim and rule the earth does not preclude the possibility that the Mother Culture figure in us all moves us to that end.
  • beavers do not congregate at the dams and discuss plans to build bigger, more magnificent dams just for the sake of praying to their beaver gods. They do it to survive (they aren’t exactly able to hunt deer you know) not to claim territory and establish permanence. It is an adaptation at best, even the favored Leaver cultures built homes to shelter themselves from the elements and the competitors.
  • Mr. Quinn states clearly that farming is not inherently evil, its just that man can’t seem to farm responsibly in most cases. it always becomes the make food, increase population, have famine, increase food, etc cycle with us. an ant that learned how to farm bacteria has found a very fascinating niche to fill and these ants probably haven’t figured out how to construct AA guns to eliminate the bird or ant-eater problem they no doubt have.
  • as far as ants waging war, refer to Quinn’s baboon argument. A baboon may kill a leopard, even if it wasn’t attacking them, but when baboons go out to hunt for food, they don’t plan a side trip to go murder all the local leopards for good measure.

so you see, he does have very sound arguments if you would not deny them first and examine them second. i hope you find this as an interesting counterpoint and continue a dialogue until this debates logical conclusion.

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