Question Posted to the Ishmael Community

Posted this evening to the Ishmael Community, a web community devoted to the principles set forth by Daniel Quinn in his books Ishmael, The Story of B, and Beyond Civilization, among others:

My question is the result of a conversation I had this evening with a couple of Latter Day Saint recruiters on my front lawn. I was able to describe for them very well (using the ammunition provided by your books) an alternative to their explanation of “how” things got this way, including acknowledgment from them of the accurate interpretation of the Tree of Knowledge and Cain and Abel. However, I found myself in a quandary when attempting to describe “why” our culture, as opposed to the lions and bears, the Maoris and Navajo, would choose to take divine right into their own hands and take their lives out of the hands of the gods. In other words, what was the impetus that caused the Takers to become Takers? The explanation in your books very clearly identifies the myths (now borrowed by the Takers) trying to explain “how” things got to where they are now, but what seems to be missing is “why” anyone would make what seems like a giant leap and decide they were above the law that brought them through the evolutionary chain. So I pose the question to you — WHY did the Takers stop becoming Leavers? Where did this seed of self-delusion germinate? And more importantly, why would a group of Leavers (for that is what we all were, at some point) believe such a lunatic? Why would anyone assume that their way was right for everyone in the first place? There had to have been some event, some epiphany that led first to this ill-founded conclusion, and then to its growth into a shared delusion.

I’m just not sure what it is, and that information seems critical to expounding “why not”.

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