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Paul Doumanis
Prof. Izquierdo
History of Western Civ.
24 September, 2015
Discussion Day I
The two accounts of great floods being brought down on the Earth by some kind of God are
very similar between the story of Noah in the Bible, and the story of Utnapishtim in the Epic of
Gilgamesh. Both men were ordered by their God(s) to build a boat to withstand the flood that would be
brought forth to wipe the Earth clean of humankind. They both then sent out doves and ravens to find
land to signal the end of the flood. Then once they found land and successfully fought through the
flooding, they both were blessed by their Gods.
I think that the story of Utnapishtim laid the groundwork for the ancient flood story throughout
history for religions to use as either a parable or to adopt as their own for teaching lessons on how to
obtain approval and obey the God you worship. I personally do not believe these stories to all be true,
but there could have been some kind of event that took place that either could have inspired the story
somewhere throughout history, or they could have been told through oral storytelling or legend.
Governments have tried to make their country a single, unified culture before, Babylon, the
United States, and even Nazi Germany have had their try at making some kind of melting pot culture
the norm,where all of these cultures come together and think the same way about their country, act
certain ways in their societies, and view many political and social issues the same way. The only
problem that they run into, Nazi Germany, and Babylon specifically, is that some people just don't want
to be a part of that culture, they want to live their life how they see fit, and especially with countries
trying to expand, assimilation or coercion to change attitudes and behaviors is a very abrupt and
ineffective way to change peoples behaviors and outlooks, and more times than not, ends in angry

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citizens and upheaval many times.
The main issue I see with this assimilation and melting pot type culture is that, most of the time,
these countries are expanding into areas where culture is so rich and deeply rooted, like the Native
American culture, or any of the Middle Eastern cultures at the time of the Babylonian Empire, that the
only way these things can be changed is either by complete brainwashing of the youth, or the violent
change of the way of life that these people have so deeply a connection with. This does not even
guarantee success. In the case of the Babylonians, the empire only lasted for about one-hundred years
as a result of this type of society, the Nazi empire did not last long because of the violent approach they
took to this kind of indoctrination and machine, and the United States destroyed one of the wisest,
longest lasting cultures in the world, and reduced them down to trailer parks and casinos, with very few
people able to speak their native tongue, and many becoming depressed alcoholics. This type of
destruction of culture is dangerous and will almost always end in some kind of failure.
The transition from Middle Kingdom to New Kingdom Egypt was one that had two very
different types of society up against each other for comparison. In the period of the Middle Kingdom,
people had an abundance of freedom, Egypt was prosperous and uncensored. The quality of life was
incredible, and the people embraced it. But once Egypt was taken over by the Hyksos and then
restored, things took a different path toward security, censorship, and all around oppression for the
citizens of a once free and prosperous empire, which then ultimately led to the downfall of the Ancient
Egyptian empire.
Relating this to 2015, we can compare the Hyksos to terror groups, such as ISIS, or Al-Qaeda,
perpetuating terror toward the United States. 9/11 is an event that caused much of the same things to
happen to the US, as they did to Egypt. Higher security and censorship instead of freedom and
unfiltered speech. I believe that freedom is the supreme cultural template to follow. Freedom allows
people to live their life to themselves, privately and how they wish, without corruption or coercion

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from a government. They will not censor speech, and people will be able to change the world they live
in for the betterment of themselves and others much easier than using force to change an abusive
government power that has gone too far with surveillance, oppression, and abuse of power. Even
though living this way may bring in terror, it is much better than dealing with something just as bad, all
the time.