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Notes on video lecture:
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Choose from these words to fill the blanks below:
cooperation, justice, drought, Jericho, Hammurabi, inequality, equality, arbitrary, stories, Marduk, Iraq, sufficient, 282, stable, mirages, fertile, foragers
impact of the agricultural revolution on humans
led to far more complex human societies
                 lived in small bands of a few dozen individuals
farmers and peasants lived their lives in towns of hundreds, thousands and ultimately millions of people working on a daily basis towards common goals
a reason for this growth was that agriculture could support far more people
more food is a necessary condition but not a                      condition
having all of the food doesn't mean that the large number of people can agree how to divide and share the food, how to settle disputes, and how to act in times of crisis such as a                or war
if people cannot reach a census, then conflict spreads, even if the storehouses and granaries are full
it was not food shortages that caused most of the big war and revolutions in history
WWI and WWII did not begin because of a shortage of food in Britain, Germany of France
in Yugoslavia in 1991, there was enough food to feed all the people there, their conflict arose on other issues
in Israel and Palestine, there is no shortage of food to feed the people, but many parts of these countries have not seen a day of peace in decades because of the disagreements on the issues of land, politics, and religion
the root of these wars and calamities is that Homo Sapiens have no natural instincts for cooperating with large numbers of strangers
humans have evolved living in small bands comprised of a few dozens individuals at most
sapiens had to rely on inventing                and imagined realities that can regulate the cooperation on such a huge scale
just as hunter/gather bands began to create stories of spirits in order for hundreds maybe thousands of people to live and fight together under a common cause, peasants and farmers began to create similar stories which allowed this                        on a much larger scale
8500 B.C. the largest settlements in the world were villages such as                which contained a few hundred humans at most
3000 B.C. you had cities and kingdoms ruling 10,000 to 100,000 of people
1000 B.C. you had the Roman and Han empire (206BC-220AD) which rules 10 million and more people
these societies were held together by imagined realities
imagined order
the social and legal laws which sustained these kingdoms and empires were based not on natural instincts or personal acquaintance, but on beliefs in shared stories and imagined realities
two of the best known imagined realities in history fundamental for the establishment and maintenance of large social order
1772 B.C.: Code of                   
1772 B.C. sixth Babylonian king Hammurabi enacted the code
Babylon was the largest political entity on the globe
it's king ruled more than 1 million subjects
controlled most of what is today is         , huge areas in Iran and Turkey
the Gods Anu, Enlil, and              appointed Hammurabi "to make justice prevail in the land, to abolish the wicked and the evil, to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak"
there were        laws
an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, depended on social status
one-half of the Code deals with matters of contract, establishing the liability of a builder for a house that collapses, for example
the Hammurabi laws are quite                   , one had to pay "20 shekels for killing a woman"
this code asserts that universal of justice is dictated by the gods
people are divided into two genders and three
children are the property of their parents
if everyone accepts this then the million inhabitants would be to live together peacefully, protect itself against enemies and have enough food to feed all his people
1776 A.D. Declaration of Independence
13 colonies got together in Philadelphia
declared universal laws of justice
where Babylonian laws dictated                     , the laws of the American colonies dictated                 
also promises that if people act according to these principles, they will be peaceful and prosperous
200 years after this Declaration are still copying and learning this text by heart
both of these claim universal and eternal laws
both Hammurabi and Thomas Jefferson imagined immutable principles of justice, one that equality is higher than hierarchy and the other that hierarchy is higher than equality.
the only place that                exists is in the                imagination of Homo sapiens
there are no objective laws of justice which are true everywhere for everybody
declaration of independence states that all men are created equal
yet biologically, every person is different
people are created through evolution pursuing its goals, but evolutions goals have no reason or purpose other than to perpetuate a particular species of organism
unalienable rights
in biology, there are no rights
birds fly because they have wings, not because they have the right to fly, so in biology instead there are "mutable traits"
life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
can't be measured objectively in biology
you can, however, measure pleasure
becomes: life and the pursuit of pleasure
we know that people are not equal in essence, but if we believe this, we can create a stable and prosperous society, so we better believe it, even though it is not a biological fact
we believe in an imagined order not because it is objectively true, not because it is scientific fact, but by believing in this imagined reality, it enables us to cooperate effectively and to forge              societies. Imagined orders are not mere stories or useless                in any way, as they are the only way that large numbers of humans can cooperate effectively. They are necessary. However, this doesn't mean that they are objectively true.
Hammurabi may have believed this as well, that his laws were imagined but necessary to maintain social order
The Context of History and Our Extended Human Family
How Walking Upright Led to Better Social and Cooperative Skills
The Importance of Fire and Cooking
Why Did Other Human Species Become Extinct?
The Cognitive Revolution and the Beginning of Human History
The Language of Homo Sapiens
How Fictive Language Enabled Larger Social Groups
The Power of Imagined Realities
How the Ability to Tell Stories Enabled Humans to Cooperate in Massive Groups
The Cognitive Revolution and the Variety of Human Communities
Spiritual Beliefs of Early Humans
Politics and Warfare of Pre-Agricultural Societies
45,000 Years Ago: Human's Decimation of Australia's Large Mammals
14,000 BC: Human Migration to the Americas
Agriculture: The Good and the Bad
10,000 BC: Agricultural Revolution
The Origins of Agriculture
The Code of Hammurabi and Other Imagined Realities
Inter-Subjective Reality and Romantic Consumerism
The Human Brain's Outsourcing of Mathematics
Unjust and Imagined Hierarchies
Imagined Hierarchies in History
Culturally Defined Gender
Three Theories of Gender Domination
The Direction of Humankind: Global Unity
The Essence of Money
The History of Money
The Historical Definition of Empire
The Relationship between Science, European Imperialism and Capitalism
Science, Capitalism and European Imperialism
Columbus: Last Man of the Middle Ages, Vespucci: First Man of the Modern Age
European Empires, Science, and Capitalism
How Capitalism is Based on Trust in the Future
On the Interdependence of Science and Capitalism
How Capitalism Enabled Small European Countries to Explore and Conquer the World
The Relationship Between Capitalism, the Slave Trade, and Free Market Forces
Industrialization, Energy and Raw Materials
The Second Agricultural Revolution and its Effect on Animal Treatment
The Ethics of Capitalism and Consumerism
On Limitless Energy Resources and the Hegemony of Modern Time Schedules
State/Market vs. Family/Community
Humankind's Rigid and Violent Past, and Flexible and Peaceful Present
Reasons for Our Current Unprecedented Era of International Peace
Three Theories on the History of Happiness
Psychological and Biological Happiness
Measuring Human Happiness
The Future of Cyborgs and Robots
What Do We Want to Want?