In Chapter 1 Backhouse, Economists are acused of being “autistic” summarize the positions taken by “The Prosecution” and “The Defense”. Do you agree or disagree with either of these?
We will be discussing creation stories as a means by which different cultures describe who they are. This includes what it means to be “human”, and how we relate to God (or the gods), to each other, and to nature. In your reading, you have two conflicting examples of creation s: the epic of Gilgamesh, and the creation stories in the Bible. From your readings, please comment on how these stories differ with respect to:
- Understanding the created universe, God’s (or the god’s) purpose for it.
See Sedlacek pp. 31 – 36 and 49-57, as well as The Genesis Paradigm.
- Understanding man’s role in his/her environment (both the natural and human)
See Sedlacek pp.32-31 and pp.58-60
- Understanding the nature and cause of evil.
Sedlacek pp.61-62, and The Genesis Paradigm Section 3.2
In a brief paragraph, discuss the differences between the way the Hebrews and the Sumerians viewed their “heroes” and rulers. Where does Sumerian law come from as compared to the Hebrew “Law”?
The Hebrews were required to love “The Law” and “meditate on it day and night”. Sedlacek pp.72-75. How does this relate to the call for them to “get wisdom”? How might this relate to their understanding of Creation?
Describe the Hebrew social “safety net” Sedlacek pp.76-80. Compare this to modern notions of government regulation. Does the Hebrew notion of social (i.e. economic) responsibility differ from how it is viewed in the US today?
Sedlacek makes a point of saying that preferred that the people be ruled by “judges” as opposed to a king. This makes for a more lasses fair society. How does Hebrew “love for the law” compare with modern notions of “self-interest”?