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ciaran1212 wrote:For starters, I should say that I am VERY atheist. I strongly believe that when you die you simply cease existing
ciaran1212 wrote:As such, I would be a torch-bearer of their immortality, and future generations would be torch-bearers of mine. I suppose I'm seeing my immortality in the continuous flow of a culture through time
ciaran1212 wrote: (if they die, the torch-bearers of their past speakers' immortalities have doomed them to oblivion)
Set wrote:If you believe there is nothing after death, why do you care about 'immortality'?
Set wrote:To be honest, it just sounds like you're trying to legitimise your desire to force other people to learn the languages which you like again, only this time using an ancestral guilt complex.
Set wrote:Of course you can do whatever you want; if it makes you feel 'immortal' great
Set wrote: but I don't see the difference between that and believing in an after-life to make yourself feel better.
and language to me is the most important element of that because it imbues everything: I think in language, write in language, speak to everyone I know in language, do everything I do in language. It is necessary not only to convey my personality to others, but also it invent that personality inside my own head.
I have a bit different thoughts on that. The impact an average person can make on that never ending cultural flow is next to none. Even if each person thought up a neologism that would be taught to the next generation, most of those would vanish with time; there's hardly any room for individuality to survive or become immortal in that flow. Unless you're a popular writer you won't change much about it.
It's just the infinite-like sum of zeros (= us, individuals in a culture) that eventually make a small difference, which in turn will be eventually covered with subsequent layers of grass, moss and dirt with time, so that nothing odd would stick out for too long.
... I might be just in a bad mood today as well.
BezierCurve wrote:So, the chaos theory and the buttefly effect I guess you're right there.
BezierCurve wrote:Then yes, I think it is like making your own tiny but everlasting impression. It's like walking on cobblestones, slowly changing their shape with every person that goes by.
BezierCurve wrote:What you're saying about being part of something bigger instantly brings to my mind collective unconscious and archetypes common to all cultures, something that is rooted deeper than a particular culture/language environment. But again, this seems to be going too far in terms of what you said in the beginning, I suppose you meant just that: a particular language and the culture that evolved around it.
linguoboy wrote:I was more intrigued with this topic when I misread it as "Language as Immorality".
I have to agree with BezierCurve on this: to the extant that you live on after your death, it's not really through language unless you were a particularly distinguished wielder of it during your life.
ciaran1212 wrote:I'm really not talking about huge language change, I was considering more the idea that we are the smallest units of linguistic drift and ethno-cultural evolution. It seems to me that these happen gradually on a generation by generation basis. As part of a generation of my culture I am a part of that.
ciaran1212 wrote:Sorry if my topic bores you.
linguoboy wrote:ciaran1212 wrote:I'm really not talking about huge language change, I was considering more the idea that we are the smallest units of linguistic drift and ethno-cultural evolution. It seems to me that these happen gradually on a generation by generation basis. As part of a generation of my culture I am a part of that.
We may be the smallest agents but the smallest units are surely individual instances of behaviour--particular utterances, gestures, and the like.
linguoboy wrote:ciaran1212 wrote:Sorry if my topic bores you.
Were you aiming for broad appeal? If not, there's nothing to be sorry about.
ciaran1212 wrote:I was aiming for a rambling monologue that would attract interested parties. I didn't bank on uninterested parties.
linguoboy wrote:I don't know if you've ever had this experience, but it can sometimes be difficult to tell whether or not you're interested in something without having read it.
ciaran1212 wrote:(the back-handed comment about the thread being boring just seemed a little needlessly malicious).
ciaran1212 wrote:Anyway, now I'm intrigued as to what a thread titled 'Language as Immorality' might postulate...
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