Languages Are Vanishing: So What?

You need to be a member of Depth Psychology Alliance to add comments!

Join Depth Psychology Alliance

Email me when people reply –


  • Just a quick note about the interpretation of the Tower of Babel story cited by Baumeister. The reason God got angry was because the result of humanity having one langauge was a massive species inflation that made humanity think they could take a position equal to God (the gods). Another example of a half told story to support a particular perspective. One could also say that the multiple languages were created to keep us humble.
    • Ed, your comments are always so astute and I appreciate both your "big picture" thinking and your wit when you assess any topic.

      Your observations about half-told stories and massive species inflation are, for me this morning, connected to the pastor in Florida who is insisting on hosting a book-burning of the Quran on September 11. The irony, of course in all this, is that the pastor, Terry Jones, along with members of his congregation, honestly believe this is what "God" wants. What is the irony in the fact that "God" is telling certain people to burn the "word of God" which others believe?

      And, to answer your question, yes! The person who suggested we all would benefit from speaking one language was an English speaker and was clearly assuming the one language would "naturally" be English....
      • My greatest frustration about the Koran burning event is that this church of no more than 30 people suddenly has national and international attention due to our news media. How many churches, synagogues, and mosques are involved in bridge building and peace initiatives that will never be televised? My opinion is that those efforts are worth far more media time than this pastor's (and I shudder even as I give him this title) throwback to the Crusades. I'm also getting flashes of the story Fahrenheit 451 and the many films of Nazi Germany burning books. I wonder if the media will give broadcast time to the actual burning rather than focusing on the much larger interfaith groups that are gathering to demonstrate compassion and mutual support?
  • I will read the attachments but my knee jerk reaction is that as the languages die so will the multileveled meanings of the human experience presented by their stories/myths. In addition, the longed for "one language" often is a subtle sign of linguistic colonialism and cultural fascism. (Bonnie, would I be wrong to assume that the person making the one langauge defense was speaking English?) Add this to a society that believes you can Twitter anything meaningful and my guess is we are heading towards a return to a prelinguistic grunting. Okay, that's over the top, but I will be comforted if I read that there has been a serious attempt to adopt the various idioms and their multiple meanings into the "new" one language.
    My fear is that we assume that our modern day languages, increasingly shaped by corporate and scientific terminology, are more advanced, meaning more expressive of reality, than earlier languages. I end this rant with the response from the old Saturday Night Live newsteam: Really!?
    (I will apologize publically if after reading the attachments my fears are releaved.) :)
This reply was deleted.