Skellywag

Monday, October 30, 2006

WOTD: paraskevidekatriaphobia

paraskevidekatriaphobia: A morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th.

...[snip]... Some even think that Friday was the day God threw Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden, which is unlikely since the concept of Friday hadn't been invented yet.


3 Comments:

  • Of course, we all know (post-Da Vinci Code) that it stems from the massacre of the Knights Templar in 1307, although I do wonder if they weren't using a different calendar then? In which case we've all been fearing the wrong date. Oops.

    I've always found Tuesday 23rd to be a bit crappy, m'self.

    By Blogger Raps, at 9:52 pm  

  • I am still pre-Da Vinci Code. Does that make me an endangered species?

    By Blogger Skellywag, at 11:32 pm  

  • RE: the concept of Friday. It might be true that a calendar had yet to be drawn up, but we would be able to say the following in order to deduce that it was a Friday...

    1. The Bible states that God created the world in six days and declared the seventh the day of rest. This is where the structure of the seven-day week comes from.

    2. If the number of days that had passed were known (and known to be a multiple of 5 (0r 6 - see below) then it would be possible to say in retrospect that it happened on the 5th (or 6th) day of the week.

    3. This day comes to be known as Friday. The statement "Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden on a Friday" would thereby become falsifiable and therefore not meaningless.

    What it would seem to swing on is whether one were to use the Hebrew system (where Saturday is the Sabbath) or the more familiar Christian one. The name (sigifier) "Friday" has no intrinsic connection to a particular day, therefore. But the analytic concept of the fifth/sixth day (the signified) is a relation of ideas which itself is not contingent (like numbers, although this is debatable).

    The only point being that whether a concept exists now (which is a socio-historical contingency) doesn't necessarily prohibits its future truth. For example: the truth of DNA was not predicated by our conceptualising it.

    Er... time to get on with what I am supposed to be doing (this kind of procrastination is what's known as PhD avoidance). I fear I am in danger of overcomplicating a relatively throwaway witticism.

    By Anonymous blackthumb, at 12:04 pm  

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