Saturday, October 01, 2022

From the analyst's couch

Regular readers will know (passim) that I am currently working my way through 'Nomads: The Wanderers Who Shaped Our World' by Anthony Sattin.

Early on, in a discussion of the Phoenicians he mentions that they actually did practice child sacrifice.

This got me thinking. The Phoenicians were Canaanites. Traders and sailors, their land was the coast of what today we might call the Levant, adjacent to, if not overlapping, Israel.

It seems to me that if the sacrifice of a son was a socially sanctioned practice in a shared culture, this casts an entirely different light on the story of Abraham and Isaac in Genesis. Rather than an incomprehensibly cruel deity demanding the life of Abraham's son, then arbitrarily and capriciously changing His mind, it becomes a divine warning against the practice. More like your Dad putting you off fags by making you smoke the whole pack one after another because he caught you sparking up a crafty prepubescent ciggie.

I cannot explain why such reflections occurred to me on the day of the son and heir's twenty second birthday. Not even Jordan Peterson could. At least I hope not.

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