tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Mon Oct 18 19:05:43 1999

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Re: Eternal Life...

>From: "William H. Martin" <>
>Date: Mon, 18 Oct 1999 12:09:36 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
>On Mon, 18 Oct 1999 09:30:08 -0500 Steven Boozer 
><> wrote:
>> qurgh wrote:
>> : I'm trying to find out a way to translate the phrase "Eternal life". The
>> : context is that of a biblical one. ie, Through me you will have eternal
>> : life.  I thought of what it means, but can't translate those, ie never 
>> : stopping life, never ending life..
>> ~mark:
>> : jubtaHghach?  I'm not generally a fan of mechanically inserting -taH to
>> : make -ghach work, but it makes sense here.
>Wait a minute. How could one be discontinuously immortal? Isn't 
>that like being temporarily permanent? As usual, I think it is 
>better to get back to the entire expression of thought instead 
>of screwing around with artificially isolated words. I would 
>think this biblical meaning would be far better expressed as 
>{qajubchoHmoHlaH jIH neH}. The whole idea of this, after all, is 
>to say, "I have an exclusive power the OTHER side can't give 
>you. If you want it, you have to do what I want you to do." 
>Strong-arm morality.
>It has always amazed me that Christianity describes a God that 
>says you should avoid temptation and be good so you can have 
>eternal rewards. But, why is it that these people don't consider 
>the promise of eternal rewards to itself be temptation?

Good points.  I'm not going to touch the philosophical/religious question,
since that's not really my place to say.  Except that I will say that you
should realize you're not the first to grapple with it.  Even thinkers in
those very religions you wonder about have tried to deal with these very
problems; you're in good company with them, and they are in good company
with you.

>> Why does it have to be a noun anyway?  Because it's so in the source text? 
>> Only a novice translator tries to translate everything literally--noun for
>> noun, verb for verb, etc.  Play to Klingon's strong points and recast the
>> sentence:
>>   jIHmo' reH bIyIntaH.
>This makes exactly as much sense to me as the English does, 
>which is to say, to my ear, it is gibberish. If death is a 
>natural thing, I would not want an individual to act as a 
>causative agent to prevent this natural event. Stand aside. I 
>would not cheat death of its right to me by offering to pretend 
>to believe that which I honestly do not understand.

Now, now.  We're not here to question why someone would want to say
something, merely to help say it.  I think the above sentence expresses the
point very well and powerfully.  Whether or not it's a coherent point or
one that is consistent with my philosophy or world-view isn't relevant to


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