Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2011 February 5

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Humanities desk
< February 4 << Jan | February | Mar >> February 6 >
Welcome to the Wikipedia Humanities Reference Desk Archives
The page you are currently viewing is an archive page. While you can leave answers for any questions shown below, please ask new questions on one of the current reference desk pages.

February 5[edit]

Lawyer on trial defends himself[edit]

Does anyone know of any notable cases where a criminal defense lawyer was charged with a crime and successfully defended himself? Or is that even allowed? -- œ 03:51, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

It would be allowed in the US (In the US, any defendant can represent themselves, whether they are a lawyer or not ... it is considered an extremely foolish thing for a defendant to do, but it is allowed). Not sure about other countries. Blueboar (talk) 04:29, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
In the UK it is also possible to defend oneself without a lawyer. I would expect lawyers to be able to do that too. Quotes from one quite recent case in which the defendant chose to defend himself can be seen here. The defendant was sentenced to 3 years in prison. --KägeTorä - (影虎) (TALK) 05:31, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
A smart lawyer would never defend himself, because that would take away an option of appeal on the grounds of "incompetent representation". ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 06:58, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, there is a proverb to that general effect. (talk) 12:14, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Slobodan Milošević, a lawyer by profession, defended himself in the Hague. Of course he died before the trial ended, so we can't say whether he was doing it successfully or not... TomorrowTime (talk) 13:36, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
That consideration never seems to stop WP writers from describing living subjects as "a successful actor", "a successful writer", etc. Let alone the total lack of any definition of "success". I eliminate as many of them as I can find, but it's a losing battle. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:41, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Given how hard it is to make it in acting/writing, I've always taken "successful actor/writer" to mean "makes enough money from it that they don't need a day job," as opposed to most "actors" in Hollywood who wait tables to pay the rent. In the case of Wikipedia, it's probably redundant, as if you're notable enough to be listed, you're probably "successful" at it. - This, though, means that "successful" for an actor is different than "successful" for a lawyer, where I would interpret it to mean "wins a large number of his cases". -- (talk) 21:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
It's uncommon but has been done. Harvey D. Myerson, a formerly prominent New York City attorney about whom we should have an article, was convicted at his criminal trial (as we note in the Myerson & Kuhn article). My recollection is that he represented himself. Although it's generally considered to be a bad idea, there can be advantages to it. In the case I'm remembering, be it Myerson or someone else, the attorney did not take the stand in his own defense, but was able to convey his side of the story to some extent through his questioning. For example, if a witness says that certain information was not provided, the attorney can ask him, "Did you think I was an idiot?" This lets the jury know that the defendant contends that he did provide the information, because he would have been foolish not to. He gets this message to the jury without the inconvenience of being cross-examined about it, and without saying anything under oath that might later support a perjury prosecution. A personable attorney-defendant will also have more opportunity to come across as a nice guy and make some jurors reluctant to vote to convict him or her. JamesMLane t c 00:06, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
So it's still a bad idea to defend yourself even if you're a good lawyer? I've always thought it was considered a bad idea only because chances are that you're not knowledgeable enough in the intricacies of law to mount a reasonably successful defense. Whereas a lawyer would know what he's doing, right? What other reasons are there for it to be a bad idea? -- œ 02:03, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Lawyers maintain a certain intellectual distance from the case. They are able to look at things objectively, design and plan a defensive strategy, etc. largely because it is just a job for them. When you are yourself on trial, even if you know the law, you lack the emotional distance to actually mount a competant defense. Just as psychoanalysts don't psychoanalyze themselves, just as an orthopedic surgeon doesn't set their own broken bone, lawyers shouldn't necessarily defend themselves. Knowing what to do and being able to do it effectively are different things. In the case of actually being on trial, the real fact that you are the defendent probably provides enough of a hinderance towards doing your job as a lawyer all that well. --Jayron32 05:30, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Think of it this way: a doctor is well-trained, and generally knows what s/he is doing. However, diagnosing oneself is fraught with danger, because it's impossible to fully be objective in your assessment. In that same vein, a lawyer representing him/herself isn't able to stand back and look at the case from an independent viewpoint, and likely will miss many opportunities for defense because of that. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:38, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
What if you're a sociopathic, depersonalized, existentialist lawyer? What if Meursault was actually a brilliant lawyer? ;p -- œ 08:14, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
As has been well mentioned anyone can defend themselves, barrister or not. Though it would be relevant to quote an old aphorism told to me by a professor (a professor that was a practicing lawyer, as it happens to be, I myself am only a pre-law): "Anyone who represents himself before the court has an utter fool for a client" (talk) 09:49, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
And since you would have to be insane to have an utter fool defend you, you can plead insanity! Googlemeister (talk) 15:34, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
I believe that Albert Goldman defended a group of SWP members, including himself, and they were all jailed. Warofdreams talk 11:36, 8 February 2011 (UTC)


Why was the US Stella coin called a Stella? Dismas|(talk) 07:13, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Possibly because stella is Latin for "star", and the coin has a 5-pointed star on its reverse side. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Also note that in the article, the term "quintuple stella" is used. That's apparently a fancy-schmancy way of saying "five-pointed star." ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:26, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Here Tapestry of bayeux10.jpg we see some men marveling at a Stella that has been tossed over a castle by the famous fast bowler, Leif the Lefty. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:47, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually, since a stella was a $4 coin, a quintuple stella would have been $20 (just as a "double eagle" was twice the value of an "eagle" coin). AnonMoos (talk) 16:22, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
In New Orleans, if you stand in a courtyard and bawl "Stella!" they throw down coins I think...--Wetman (talk) 18:16, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

There should be an award for the best answer . . . DOR (HK) (talk) 09:08, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

More currency - the loonie[edit]

Do Canadians use "loonie" as a mass noun? For example, would the question "How many loonies is 25 euros?" make sense? Or is "loonie" just the word for the coin? Dismas|(talk) 08:36, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Are you asking whether the plural of "loonie" is "loonies" or also just "loonie"? The article Canadian 1 dollar coin uses "loonies" here and there, assuming the editor knows what he's talking about. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 09:59, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
No. As a US American, I would have no problem saying either "I have a dollar" or "That'll be five dollars". But would a Canandian use loonie in both of those sentences equally? Dismas|(talk) 10:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
As in "that'll be 5 loonies?" I googled "loonie" and "loonies", and they seem to be used as we would expect; but I think that's strictly a nickname (like we say "bucks") and that they would most likely say "that'll be 5 dollars", in part because the joke is getting a little old by now. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 10:46, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
We only say "Five loonies" when we want specific change for a five dollar bill, as in "I need 5 loonies please". "5 loons" would also be correct. However, for the 2 dollar coin (the toonie or two-nee), we would say "5 toonies for a $10" but NOONE says "5 toons". I'm guessing because we fear Warner Bros. might sue.. or something. -- œ 11:45, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I've never heard anybody call them "loons", but "loonies" and "toonies" are kosher. Clarityfiend (talk) 11:50, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I have heard "loon" occasionally, but "loonie" is certainly the most common way to refer to the coin. Of course, we can also just say "dollar coin". I sometimes just call it a "one". --Anonymous (Canadian), 05:40 UTC, February 6, 2011.
If "loonie" is a mass noun, then "How many loonies...?" would not make sense, any more than you can ask "How many water?" Marnanel (talk) 15:54, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
"Loonie" is not a mass noun. We use it to refer to the coin and as a nickname for the currency. Otherwise it's dollar or buck, same usage as in the US. Aaronite (talk) 16:43, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
My bad. I was imprecise with my terminology. Dismas|(talk) 20:32, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
If someone asked for twenty loonies, they would get twenty one-dollar coins. If they wanted a bill, they would just ask for twenty dollars. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 23:51, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Former British Empire not in the Commonwealth?[edit]

Aside from Ireland, the United States and Hong Kong are there any other countries that were part of the British Empire but are not members of the Commonwealth of Nations? --CGPGrey (talk) 12:50, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Fiji and Zimbabwe are not members of the Commonwealth at the present time. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 12:55, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Fiji is suspended for not intending to have an election anytime soon. Zimbabwe was suspended but left of its own accord in 2003. Alansplodge (talk) 13:30, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Burma, Egypt, Sudan, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, South Yemen, Somaliland, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman ...... Ghmyrtle (talk) 12:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
The former Ottoman territories in middle east (Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, and the various Gulf Emirates.) were were governed by the British as League of Nations Mandates... I don't think they were considered part of the Empire. Blueboar (talk) 14:21, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Well Tanganyika and South West Africa were LoN Mandates too, but they are part of the Commonwealth as Tanzania and Namibia. Alansplodge (talk) 16:28, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
This map, used in our article shows them as part of the Empire. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:39, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think one map proves the case... other maps disagree. For example neither [this map], nor [this one] shade Palestine and Mesopotamia as part the Empire. (I do find it interesting that while the second map does not include Palestine and Mesopotamia, it does include the former German colonies in Africa... I suspect historians of European racism would have a field day with that.) Blueboar (talk) 17:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Our List of territories of the British Empire includes the Arab mandates AND the Channel Islands. Alansplodge (talk) 17:38, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Followup question: were the Isle of Man, Jersery and Guernsey part of the British Empire? --CGPGrey (talk) 14:01, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
No, they are Crown Dependencies, with a direct relationship to the monarch. They might informally be considered part of the Empire (and indeed Jersey and Guernsey were occupied territory 1940-45) and they went to war at the same time as the UK, but they were internally self governing. -- Arwel Parry (talk) 14:09, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Well shit. That's going to make my improved UK venn diagram a real tangle. --CGPGrey (talk) 14:29, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I suppose you could say they were "part of the Empire" ... in the same way you could say that England itself was "part of the Empire". Blueboar (talk) 14:21, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are esentially private property of "The Crown". They could just as well design a flag for some apartment that "The Crown" owns somewhere and call it a "dependency". Rimush (talk) 15:18, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Not sure if this proves anything, but the Channel Islands take part in the Commonwealth Games as individual nations, but in the Olympics are part of Team GB. Alansplodge (talk) 17:44, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
For the record, Great Britain is only one island, England, Wales and Scotland also inclue many others. You may want these on your diagram as well. (talk) 16:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
That is only partly true. "Great Britain" is indeed the name of the large island, but it is also used (for example, in the name United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) to mean England, Scotland and Wales, including the various offshore islands within those countries. Ghmyrtle (talk) 16:39, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I agree... I doubt anyone would seriously say that Islands like Skye and Mull are not part of Great Britain. Blueboar (talk) 17:47, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
And at the Olympics, "Great Britain" extends to Northern Ireland and can also include people from Ireland (the other part of Ireland; the bit that isn't even part of the Commonwealth, let alone the UK). -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:36, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Hawaii? (There has to some explanation for an American state having the Union Jack on its flag.) HiLo48 (talk) 20:29, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

And indeed there is. Good ol' Wikipedia. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 21:08, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
So, never technically part of the Empire? HiLo48 (talk) 22:17, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
And then there's Mozambique, which is part of the Commonwealth, but never part of the Empire. Corvus cornixtalk 05:22, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Also, Rwanda. Rimush (talk) 10:25, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
You may also be interested in Commonwealth of Nations membership criteria#Prospective members Nil Einne (talk) 13:14, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Great map. If Sudan, Congo, and Egypt all enter the Commonwealth, Cecil Rhodes' dream can finally be realized! (talk) 07:21, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Royal jewlery[edit]

In the book The Three Musketeers, Anne of Austria wears 12 diamond tags. What would the diamond tags that she wore look like?

Here is an example of them from the book. "There," said he, drawing from the casket a large bow of blue ribbon all sparkling with diamonds, "there are the precious studs which I have taken an oath should be buried with me."

Most of the refrences to them are rather vague as to their apparence. I'm just curious because there is a long portion revolving around them in the book. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ClareRae (talkcontribs) 16:43, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

One of the meanings of the word "tag" is "a ribbon bearing a jewel" (OED). The book being fiction, it is probably impossible to give a fuller description than that with any authority.--Shantavira|feed me 17:41, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
In the French original, they are called "les ferrets de la Reine". The French article redirects to aglet in the en:wp. --Xuxl (talk) 15:47, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

I think Aiguillette (ornament) gives a much better idea, including examples in various 16th and 17th century portraits. -- (talk) 20:37, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Art with a gamma camera[edit]

Has someone used a gamma camera to take pictures of the world as art? Where are such pictures? Is this even possible with modern gamma cameras? (talk) 17:00, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Cop says: "Don't leave town"[edit]

I've probably seen it in a dozen U.S. crime shows: The police don't have enough evidence to hold the suspect, but as he leaves the detective says, almost in passing, "Don't leave town." I don't think that a police officer can decide on a travel ban, and I don't think that even if he could that such a vague statement would be valid. But, is there any legal way to prevent a person from "leaving town" when there isn't enough evidence to detain him or her?Sjö (talk) 17:47, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

They're saying they may wish to have further discussions with you, and it would suit the police's convenience if you can be quickly located (e.g. at your home, place of work, club etc). It's always good to cooperate with the cops, particularly if you have nothing to hide or fear. They can't stop you leaving town, but if you're out of town the next time they want to contact you, it would go well for you if you can produce a compelling and legitimate reason for being away (urgent family or business reasons, for example). Even better if you advise the police that you're leaving, and why, and where you'll be and for how long. But if you've left just to get away from the cops, whether or not you're using a contrived excuse to mask that, that in itself might say something about your guilt. So, "Don't leave town" is giving you enough rope to hang yourself with. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:30, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
So if I leave town for "uncompelling" reasons it will be taken as an admission of guilt? I do hope that police don't rely on such assumptions.Sjö (talk) 20:42, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
But they do, to a degree. If someone's been asked not to leave town, and they have no particular reason for leaving, but leave anyway, wouldn't you wonder what's going on? It doesn't necessarily say "I'm guilty" - but it's certainly grounds for questions to be asked. On top of the ones they were already going to be asking about your involvement or otherwise in the original offence, whatever it was. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:55, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
If you've got sufficent reason to arrest someone and then release them on bail, then you can include travel restrictions in the bail conditions. I think that's about it. --Tango (talk) 21:13, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I would like to see this settled more persuasively. I know that in short-term confrontations, police in the U.S. seem to have a wide latitude to issue "lawful orders" or some such - e.g., people who don't get out of a certain area can be arrested for not doing so. I don't know what the range or duration of such orders is. At the same time, I'm not sure it would be truly advisable to call police to tell them of your travel plans. After all, if you were guilty, you'd just make something up ... and if you're innocent, you're giving them a good reason to arrest you in a hurry despite the evidence being scanty; and an arrest can involve substantial time due to lack of bail, or substantial money lost and gone for good to pay a bondsman, and in any case all sorts of restrictions that make it easy for a person to be put even further in legal trouble. Wnt (talk) 01:15, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
In the short term, sure. For example, a cop can say "Don't go anywhere!" to one person as he chases after someone else and it would be illegal not to obey (in the UK, at least - there was a case a few years ago where it was determined that simply saying not to go constitutes an arrest and leaving counts as resisting arrest - the reading of rights is only required prior to questioning). The police can't give long lasting orders like that, though. --Tango (talk) 22:32, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
This is not a reliable source, but someone asked this question about seven months ago on an internet forum that is apparently frequented by American police officers: [1]. The officers present all seem to agree it is a movie thing and not a real life thing in most situations. Nobody seems to ascribe it any legal weight. Not definitive, or reliable (they could all be impostors, what do I know), but seems to jibe with what has been said already. --Mr.98 (talk) 01:23, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

In the United States, it can be set as a condition of bail not to leave the jurisdiction of the court so granting bail. In which case if you so much as cross the state or even county line you can be hauled in, but if you stay in the city/county (often the same in major US metro areas I might add) you are not subject to arrest. As I understand it that is not an unreasonable request. I have several family members who are members of the bar but neither has practiced criminal law in years, so this is subject to YMMV as far as it may be out-dated, should not be considered legal advice, ect... (talk) 10:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I looked up the relevant Swedish legislation ( Here, the courts can issue travel restrictions when there is "reasonable suspicion", which is the same degree of suspicion necessary for detention. It is always a court decision, the injunction has to be served, and the content of the decision is specified: The village, town or city where the person must remain, the suspected crime, any other restrictions or orders (e.g. reporting to the police daily) and the consequences of not following the injunction. It seems improbable to me that the rules about due process are very different in the U.S.Sjö (talk) 10:50, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
In short... in most western countries, a court can set travel restrictions... the police can not. Blueboar (talk) 14:47, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Famous Ancient Chinese Common Women[edit]

What are some famous ancient Chinese women who were not royalty or married into royalty? It seems like there isn't many. --Queen Elizabeth II's Little Spy (talk) 17:53, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

As a rule, the only people we remember from the 'ancient world' of any culture are nobility, religious leaders, philosophers, and warriors. Women (historically) were not as well-educated and had far less leisure time than men (which opts out philosophers), were not usually allowed dominant roles in religious orders (barring cases like the oracle or Delphi), and did not generally participate in battle or train as warriors. That leaves nobility. Further, China had a particularly male-dominated culture: I'm surprised any famous women are recorded at all. --Ludwigs2 01:33, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Notable Women of China: Shang Dynasty to the Early Twentieth Century by Barbara Bennett Peterson has a few, although most are part of the nobility along side their notability:
earliest female general, Shang dynasty - Fu Hao
poet, Spring and Autumn period - Lady Xu Mu
politician, Spring and Autumn period (Eastern Zhou dynasty) - Qi Jiang
beauty, Spring and Autumn period - Xi Shi, one of the Four Beauties
mother of Mencius, Warring States period - Mother Meng
political aide, Warring States period - Ru Ji
meltBanana 02:31, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Mencius' wife gets mentioned some in his writings, too, if we want to stretch "famous" a little bit. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
A few women who were independently famous (i.e. other than by reason of their connections to famous men):
Huang Daopo who lived in the Yuan Dynasty was credited with introducing textiles technology learnd from the natives of Hainan to the Yangtze delta, thus starting the textiles industry there that would become immensely important for the next 800 years. Her biography is part of the primary school curriculum on the east coast and a shrine to her has been maintained to this day, not far from the Shanghai Botanic Gardens. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 09:27, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Wang Zhenyi (not on English wikipedia but is on Chinese wikipedia:) was a female astronomer of the Qing Dynasty, came from a prominent family of mandarins and was well known in her time for being both learned and also an excellent horseback archer. Well known works include "On the roundness of the earth" and "On lunar eclipses". --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 09:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Li Qingzhao was a famous poet of the Song Dynasty, perhaps the best known female Chinese poet of the pre-modern era. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 09:48, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Zhuo Wenjun, another woman poet of aristocratic birth, this time of the Han Dynasty.
Cai Wenji, a poet and composer of the Han Dynasty / Three Kingdoms period.
There are a number of courtesans, writers and other artists who were famous on their own accounts (and not just by reason of their marriage) but the most famous ones of these have a tendency to marry some sort of royalty, so I guess these are outside the scope of your enquiry. --PalaceGuard008 (Talk) 09:36, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

William Poole House[edit]

Hi. Who is that William Poole House refering to ? Which William Thompson Cade or which William Poole ? Thx -- Gary Dee (talk) 19:20, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Christian deism? Jesuans?[edit]

There is Christianity, there is Christian atheism, and there are not that view persons who believe in God and accept Jesus as the central prophet/revelator/teacher of God's word, but do not believe in the supernatural qualities of Jesus (virgin birth, resurrection, miracles...). But how do you call them and their belief? Is there a religious community with this belief? --KnightMove (talk) 21:45, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Muslims? -FisherQueen (talk · contribs) 21:50, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
For them, Jesus is not the central figure. --KnightMove (talk) 21:52, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
More to the point, Jesus in Islam did have a virgin birth and did perform miracles even if he hasn't been resurrected yet although he perhaps didn't really die. BTW, while I don't know if many would call him the central figure, I would say some/many? would call him a central prophet. See also Prophets of Islam. While most would accept Muhammad as the Seal of the prophets I'm not sure if all would consider him the central prophet. The central figure is arguably Allah/God. Of course for Christianity Jesus and God are central figure/s but often considered one and the same. Nil Einne (talk) 04:12, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
(e/c)I would have answered Socinianism and perhaps Arianism, but it seems to my surprise, judging from the articles, that both these schools does in fact accept the virgin birth of Jesus, although they do not believe in the rest of the criteria you mention. --Saddhiyama (talk) 21:54, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Unitarianism? --Antiquary (talk) 21:58, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
They also seem to accept virgin birth though. I am curious to learn why this particular dogma seems to be generally accepted, even by radical reformist branches that denies the divinity of Christ, miracles, the Trinity and other much more controversial things. --Saddhiyama (talk) 22:02, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Quite literally Jesus had to be born of a virgin, for two reasons. One was that it was prophecied:
Secondly Jesus had to be born of a virgin because he was perfect and required a perfect father. While there has been new knowledge about dominant and recessive traits, there have been no experiements about mixing perfection (holy spirit) and imperfection (Mary's Ovum). schyler (talk) 23:37, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, I will buy the prophecy bit, it seems reasonable that they would try to hang on to a continuity from the Old Testament. However the "he was perfect and required a perfect father" explanation does not seem to hold water, if those particular schools did not believe in the divinity of Christ. --Saddhiyama (talk) 00:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Why would you buy the prophecy bit? The prophecy was being given as a sign to King Ahaz that the Kingdom of Israel would not overtake the Kingdom of Judah, but King Ahaz died and his reign ended prior to 700 BCE, so how would a sign from God through Isaiah be valuable if it it referred to Jesus who was born nearly 700 years later? And that's notwithstanding the major issue of "ha'almah" not meaning a virgin, but a maiden, in Hebrew. But leaving that alone entirely, this taken as a Christian prophecy completely removed the incident from context. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 02:10, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
STX: Being perfect and being human are not mutually exclusive. Jesus had to be born perfect in order to ransom from sin the human race, which descended from originally perfect Adam. (
Wavelength (talk) 02:28, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I should perhaps have rephrased it, it sounded plausible that they would buy the prophecy bit in order to get a historical continuity in their faith from the time of the Old Testament to the New, however it does not mean that that is the explanation, it might very well be different one like the one Wavelength mentions above. I guess plausible or reason does not always apply to theoloy, not even these schools which were in their own time criticised for applying too much rationality to their Bible interpretations. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

In early Christianity, those who denied truly human qualities to Jesus, denied atonement, etc. and therefore had Jesus at a somewhat distant remove from humanity (similar to the God of Deism) were the Docetics. I don't know if there's any single convenient name for those who claim to follow Jesus as a great moral philosopher without attributing any divine characteristics to him, but it's similar to the Jefferson Bible etc. AnonMoos (talk) 00:28, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

This is indeed perplexing. After all, the New Testament actually gives two different versions of the genealogy of Jesus (well, actually, Joseph... the relevance of which is also a curious issue). One would think that Christians would have been more open to consider a less literal interpretation of the text in such a situation. It is also worth considering the Jewish tradition of the Lamed Vav Tzadikim, the thirty-six truly good men who uphold the world, who are at once human, yet may be capable of becoming the Messiah, who may be regarded as the Son of Man. Wnt (talk) 01:21, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, remember that Christianity is actually more of a Roman faith than an Abrahamic faith, and as such has some decidedly pagan roots. Virgin birth was a very common trope in Greco-Roman theology, and Roman citizens would have naturally assumed that anyone 'heroic' would have been the product of a god mating with a mortal woman. IMO, Jesus just happened to hit the jackpot at the confluence of Roman paganism and Judaic monotheism (i.e., he wasn't just 'a' son of 'a' god, but became 'the' son of 'the' god). --Ludwigs2 01:45, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
That's extremely historically dubious. In fact, in the cosmopolitanism of the Roman Empire, the traditional "Greco-Roman theology" was greatly weakened, and few people took it very seriously as theology (as opposed to being a rich storehouse of poetic literary allusions, and a source of civic rituals which were considered to bind social and political entities together). People turned much more to things like Stoicism, Epicureanism, Mithraism, worship of Cybele, worship of Isis-Osiris etc., rather than worrying about fusty legends of Zeus siring demigods (which were of much more concern to archaizing poets than to most ordinary people in their daily lives). AnonMoos (talk) 04:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I can how DRosenbach's claim that the prophecy found at Isaiah 7:14 references that "the Kingdom of Israel would not overtake the Kingdom of Judah" could hold water. Do you have a source, though, for this claim DR? I see that the remaining prophecy does indeed refer to Pekah, but to whom does the name-title "Immanuel" refer? Is it Hezekiah, who was already 9 years old at the time? Was it Maher-shalal-hash-baz, Isaiah's second son, who's mother is not known as a maiden, but as "the prophetess?" I think the two qualifiers disqualify these personages as the prophesied Immanuel.
Furthermore, when Matthew quotes the prophet he uses the Greek word parthenos for the Hebrew almah which are translated into English as virgin and maiden respectively. Thus, maiden means virgin in antiquity. While there may be other arguments that can be settled by simple logic, the truth is clear: the full and complete identity of Immanuel is found in the office and personage of the Lord Jesus Christ. schyler (talk) 05:03, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Understanding Isaiah, which was written in Hebrew, requires one to understand Hebrew. The letter hey preceding the word almah indicates that it refers to a particular known maiden -- Rashi states this refers to Isaiah's wife, while the Radak states that this refers to Ahaz's wife, but it certainly does not refer to some random woman who would approach you to claim that she's pregnant with no male involvement. And Immanuel would be either Isaiah's or Ahaz's next son. And you cannot bring any proof from Matthew because Matthew was written well after Isaiah and in Greek, not Hebrew. Who cares what Matthew wrote? There are two distinct words in Hebrew: almah and besulah -- the latter one means a virgin, while the former one means a maiden. What's a maiden? So the definition can be disputed, much like it could in English, but if I were trying to start a religion, I'd make sure my proof text was a little more substantial than taking a word that only might backhandedly refer to what I'm trying to make the basis of my religion. Your challenge has no merit, because Greek was a translation -- why does it matter what word was used? It's obviously more important which Hebrew word was used, and it wasn't besulah (virgin). Your emotional convictions blind your quest for truth. DRosenbach (Talk | Contribs) 05:08, 7 February 2011 (UTC)
Only if you accept that all the writers concerned were (a) fully and accurately informed of reality (ultimately requiring circular logic), and (b) honest (see Pious fraud). [Addendum: I should have included (c) sane]. (talk) 09:51, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the suggestion above of Unitarians is correct. Its modern anglophone manifestations are,at the denominational level, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in the UK and Unitarian Universalist Association in the US. Not all of the members of those organisations are Christians, but of those who are, many would hold the view of Jesus as a great teacher rather than a miraculous Son of God. The smaller organisations of relevance are the Unitarian Christian Association and Unitarian Universalist Christian Fellowship; their websites may be more specific about the detail of their Christology. BrainyBabe (talk) 00:12, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Northern Irish Citizenship?[edit]

I'm trying to sort out the situation with citizenship in Northern Ireland and have two scenarios I'd like answered.

1) Two citizens of the Republic of Ireland move to Northern Ireland and have a child. Is that child entitled to British Citizenship at the point of its birth?

2) Two British (English) citizens move to Northern Ireland and have a child. Is that child entitled to Irish (Republic of) citizenship?

Thanks so much for any help. --CGPGrey (talk) 22:28, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

For #2, yes, as per the Constitution of Ireland. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 23:14, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Or maybe not. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 23:18, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
For #1, following the guidance in the official border agency leaflet on British Citizenship, the answer appears to be No, at birth, unless either of the parents is "settled in the United Kingdom", which if I understand note 5 correctly, seems to mean they've lived in Northern Ireland under EEC free movement rules for 5 years or otherwise have indefinite leave to remain (or of course, British citizenship.) [Ignore this, it's just in here for the sake of completeness: it goes on to say that if said child lives in Northern Ireland for the first ten years of their life they qualify for citizenship or if the parents become settled whilst the child is still under 18] Straightontillmorning (talk) 23:45, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
For #2, the child is 'entitled' to Irish citizenship, by virtue of being born on the island of Ireland to parents who had the right to live there [2]. Before 2005, the parents' rights were irrelevant. Having entitlement does not, however, automatically make them a citizen, there would be paperwork to fill out. --Saalstin (talk) 01:38, 8 February 2011 (UTC)