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Desc:For the Greeks and Romans, a resounding yes
Category:Educational, Educational
Tags:animals, crimes
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Comment count is 4
Mr. Purple Cat Esq. - 2019-07-11
Quality content
GravidWithHate - 2019-07-11
The interesting thing for me in this was the idea of murder as a source of spiritual pollution, or evil attracting evil. Because I know there's work being done treating violence with public health tools: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/publichealthissue/publichea lthapproach.html Specifically this approach is based around the idea of violence as a disease, where exposure to it increases the likelihood people will 'succumb' as either victim or perpetrator. Which isn't miles off from what the Ancient Greeks or Medieval Europeans thought about it.

The description of Greek open-air trials or of the church being involved in Medieval trials makes me think of them as as much an exorcism or ritual cleansing as what we would consider criminal justice. Which makes the idea of putting animals on trial make much more sense; even absent the discussion of moral agency that the video goes into. You put the animal on trial because the trial itself more about the necessary ritual, that there has been some kind of redress, than the specific outcome.

In that vein, I'd be curious to know what happened with the pardoned pigs. Were the people upset, or were they kind of "Okay, the rules were followed, so fine. At least we don't have to slaughter all of our livestock".

I'm also wondering if there's anything that can be salvaged from the idea. If having more ritual and ceremony involved in criminal trials actually has a beneficial effect; or if there's a way to have some similar symbolic 'cleansing'.
Old_Zircon - 2019-07-11
It's getting on in years and has plenty of issues but René Girard's "Violence and the Sacred" is still kind of the best modern take on this subject.

Old_Zircon - 2019-07-11
"This subject" meaning the use of ritual violence as a proxy for violence between members of a group and how that relates to the development of legal systems in complex societies.

The main problem is the farther you get in the book the more it seems like his ultimate thesis is "everyone should be Catholic" but it's still a worthy read.

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