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November 29 Notes.docx

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University of Alberta
Francois Larose

ANTHROPOLOGY LECTURE NOTES NOVEMBER 29 - with the benge poison ordeal on chickens amongst the azende, the person administering the oracle can control ● how much poison, ● how strong the poison is, ● how big the chicken is, etc. ● THE WAY THE QUESTION IS ASKED "if the person is guilt, let the chicken die, if the person is innocent, let the chicken die." - now that you are not put to death for adultery, the stakes are not as high, so this process is not watched over as closely by the adjudicator - with the sticks and the termites, you can choose which types of wood to use and which of the sticks you will designate with which meaning. - people need to really believe in the oracles/ordeals and their value for them to work. If you know you will go into a trial by ordeal with poision and you believe it will kill you if you are guilty, you are more likely to confess. FUNCTIONS OF RELIGION SOCIAL FUNCTIONS: ● SOCIAL CONTROL - panopticon ● CONFLICT RESOLUTION - mediation, oracles, ordeals ● GROUP SOLIDARITY - rituals performed in groups PSYCHOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS: ● COGNITIVE FUNCTION (explaining the unknown) ● EMOTIONAL FUNCTION (stress reductions) ● ie. why did this person have to die? where is this lightning coming from? ● science used to think that the more they discovered, religion would become useless... but it hasn't and couldn't answer what happens after you die. and it makes us feel better to have answers. if a loved one dies, we say things like they're in a better place, which is said to make US feel better. ● if a person is sick, they will pray for them to get better. the function of prayer: maybe they will be healed, but also, even if they die, it makes us feel better that at least we were trying to help somehow. ADAPTIVE BASIS OF RELIGION - IF YOU WANT TO UNDERSTAND WHY ALL FORAGERS OR ALL AGRICULTURALISTS SHARE CERTAIN BELIEFS, we look at the adaptive quality of certain beliefs - not all cultures believe the supernatural will punish you if you do something wrong SUPERNATURAL SANCTIONS are common where great DIFFERENCES in WEALTH are prominant. (which leads me to believe that the qualities that lead to wealth, capitalistic qualities, becomes our morality. Capitalism is next to Holiness) :( ● this exists in societies with hierarchy because rulers who want people to behave convince people that their laws are actually God's laws ● if you have people in charge of you, how do you justify that when in the past, when you were foragers, no one could control you, that now there is a h
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