Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
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23-09-2011, 10:02 AM
Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
To start off, I love books, love reading, 3 books that really had me hooked in my life (besides Mr. King's horror tales) are "The Panda's Thumb" by Stephen Jay Gould, "Ishmael" By Daniel Quinn, and "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. The first book helped out my understanding of science and evolution both past and present, the second helped me to understand a bit about why some people have anthropocentrism and why others lack it, and the last helped me to understand what I now believe to be the myth behind religions and the messages that could be learned from them, if we hold back from thinking that they are absolute truths.


I've been wondering lately, what do you you guys think about the current myths of our age?

Do you think we benefit from them?

Do you think they hurt us/our society?

Do people misunderstand them as truth?

Am I misunderstanding them as myths?

Am I correct in thinking that they are stories?

Got any good books for me to go harass the workers at Barnes and Noble?

I don't mean to offend anybody out there, just want some opinions from others on this.

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” -Siddhārtha Gautama
"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” -Lao Tzu
"...thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." -Jesus
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23-09-2011, 05:15 PM
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
I think myths were a way for people to explain the mysteries of life. For some reason we aren't content with not knowing, wrong answers were better than no answers. Religion/mythologies were also a way to control the masses. Throughout human history it was a great tool for gaining and holding onto power. Just read the Old Testament and you'll see that religion and politics were intertwined, and it demonstrates why the separation of church and state is so important.
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23-09-2011, 08:19 PM (This post was last modified: 23-09-2011 08:24 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
My biggest problem with the word 'myth' these days is that people misuse it to mean 'lie'. There seems little understanding of what mythology is or what it's supposed to do for us; advertisers, satirists and fiction writers mine all the world's myths for easy plot and character ideas; mix things together and misrepresent things.
I have a deep appreciation of mythology that's rarely shared.

Does it hurt or help society? No. Because myths are part of a culture that's grown up with a people - outside that people and that culture it's either meaningless and despised or constrained into religious lore. Dogma is not mythology. Propaganda is not mythology.

And now, having put down fiction writers, i must recommend Neil Gaiman, particularly American Gods and Thomas King's Green Grass, Running Water is superb.
I also like native mythology, of which a pretty good overview is American Indian Myths and Legends edited by Richard Erdoes and Basil Johnston's works on the Ojibway.
And i'v read just about everything on King Arthur, but that was years ago.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 02:29 PM
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
@Peterkin
Thanks for your views on the subject, I'm a beginner in mythology, and being that my major isn't myths, but oceanography, I have to really learn this stuff on my own for a while. Thanks for the books as well, I'll most likely order them tomorrow, and totally wear them out, reading them over and over. Big Grin

Keep the view points flowing guys, and the books too!

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” -Siddhārtha Gautama
"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” -Lao Tzu
"...thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." -Jesus
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24-09-2011, 03:29 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 03:48 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
(23-09-2011 05:15 PM)RubyHypatia Wrote:  I think myths were a way for people to explain the mysteries of life. For some reason we aren't content with not knowing, wrong answers were better than no answers. Religion/mythologies were also a way to control the masses. Throughout human history it was a great tool for gaining and holding onto power. Just read the Old Testament and you'll see that religion and politics were intertwined, and it demonstrates why the separation of church and state is so important.

No.
People didn't start out as people: we started out as apes, and before that, lemurs. For animals, there are no mysteries to life: they eat, sleep, reproduce, bask in the sun and run away from forest-fires.
Mythology isn't about questions and answers: myths are stories.
People - once they had a language - told stories. Before they had language, they drew pictures on walls and danced their stories. All the stories are about self, the world as observed, and the relationships of self with other people and the world. And myths are stories that teach, stories with morals. They personify and externalize human characteristics and human predicaments, and put these up in exemplary situations: show what we do wrong, what we need to be wary of; how we mess up and lose what we most prize, through typical human flaws. These are not, by any means, wrong answers: they are insightful and timeless. Freud fished much of his psychoanalytic language out of greek mythology (which is a bit funny, when you consider that the Nordic myths should have been more familiar through his heritage. Classical education, no doubt.)
Mythology is the basis of religion, but is not, of itself, religion.
Religion is a far more sophisticated cultural construct, much later in societal development.
Of course, you're right about the control issue - by the time the OT was written, civilization required a lot of political control. That's how it works now.

(24-09-2011 02:29 PM)Thinking about Myths Wrote:  Thanks for the books as well, I'll most likely order them tomorrow, and totally wear them out, reading them over and over.

Neil Gaiman also has some pretty good videos on youtube.
Add Terry Pratchett to your reading list. Small Gods is my special favourite, but the weird sisters and the night watch books are also very good. Very funny, as well as right-on, wow! insightful about the way things work. Go to the library - then, if you want to own some of the books, pick them up at thrift stores and fund-raising book sales - way cheaper!

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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24-09-2011, 04:22 PM
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
@Peterkin
I'll have a busy week now, no more hanging for me Big Grin, thanks!

"You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” -Siddhārtha Gautama
"I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” -Lao Tzu
"...thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." -Jesus
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24-09-2011, 09:59 PM (This post was last modified: 24-09-2011 10:13 PM by RubyHypatia.)
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
The story of creation in the Bible along with Adam and Eve is an example of mythology. People didn't understand how they and the world came to be so they made up this scenario. Did it help or hurt their society? I say it hurt being that misogyny was written into it. The same goes for Pandora in Greek mythology. Basically, these myths reinforced negative attitudes toward women. Another problem with the Genesis mythology is that it gets in the way of certain sciences: Evolution, Astronomy, and Geology. It would be fine if we all understood these stories to be myths, but unfortunately, they've been and continue to be taken literally.
The other day I was watching a documentary about how human populations moved out of Africa and all around the world. They could track this through the human genome. One of the first populations to leave Africa ended up in Australia, the Australian Aborigines. The ones the host talked to refused to believe they were descended from Africans. Their mythology says they originated in Australia, so it must be so. The American Indians were also skeptical about their origins based on their DNA, and corrected the host when he referred to their stories as mythology.

My point is if you're content with your mythology explaining how things are, you're not as likely to use science to answer the important questions.
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25-09-2011, 04:18 PM
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
Another great example to people clinging to mythology: there's a documentary on tonight about Atlantis. Yeah, I've seen many of these. Even though the existance of Atlantis is based solely on heresay, people want so bad for it to have been a real place.
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25-09-2011, 05:32 PM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2011 05:45 PM by Peterkin.)
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
(24-09-2011 09:59 PM)RubyHypatia Wrote:  The story of creation in the Bible along with Adam and Eve is an example of mythology.

Of course. But it's far older than Genesis. The Hebrews inherited it from their parent peoples.

Quote: People didn't understand how they and the world came to be so they made up this scenario.

Yes, every tribe has a creation story and an origin of themselves story.

Quote: Did it help or hurt their society?

Neither. It had zero effect on Sumerian society - the other way around: it was a product of that society. And all the other tribes who heard it and passed it probably enhanced it to describe their own physical features and way of life.

Quote: I say it hurt being that misogyny was written into it. The same goes for Pandora in Greek mythology.

These are stories that suggest that women started agriculture. I find that plausible. That herdsmen and hunter-gatherers had some trouble accepting settled civilization and all that that entails.... well, i can't blame them. That wasn't misogyny; that was a kind of tribute to the wisdom and power of women. Misogyny comes later, with the ownership of land and the perceived necessity of well-documented paternity. (Not that birds and beavers don't try to ensure that their kids are their own; they're just less fanciful in their methods.)

Quote: Basically, these myths reinforced negative attitudes toward women.

Reinforce? That would presuppose that such an attitude already existed and required encouragement. It didn't. Once hierarchy, territorialism, militarism and patriarchy had been established, women and children were relegated to property.... and property became increasingly important.

Quote: Another problem with the Genesis mythology is that it gets in the way of certain sciences: Evolution, Astronomy, and Geology. It would be fine if we all understood these stories to be myths, but unfortunately, they've been and continue to be taken literally.

The sciences had not yet been invented, so nobody was out to discredit them. How the fundies use old stories now is something the Sumerians cannot possibly have predicted or controlled. No fair, blaming them! Their creation myth had been exported and altered a dozen times by then.
The taking old stories literally problem didn't come in until the AD 300's, when Christianity was already backed up by the entire Roman army. Again, it wouldn't matter which stories they adopted, they would impose their ideas on everyone they conquered, regardless.

Quote:.... Australian Aborigines. The ones the host talked to refused to believe they were descended from Africans. Their mythology says they originated in Australia, so it must be so. The American Indians were also skeptical about their origins based on their DNA, and corrected the host when he referred to their stories as mythology.

Because the same host will probably consider his own xtian stories as religion. Raising our own, putting another people's down is standard behaviour. Even if this guy didn't do it, generations of whites had done it before.
Mythology is non-transferable. It's organic: part of the environment, family ties, livelihood and cultural heritage of a people. It's not amenable to objective evaluation, any more than costumes and dances and shelter construction are. It works however well or badly it works for the people it belongs to.

Everybody had to start their stories somewhere. It's not important for peoples to know their origins factually (that's only important to certain scientists, and they're welcome to their stories!). Mythology isn't about information; it neither helps nor hinders other ways of examining life. What's important to know is who belongs where, by what rules and principles their society works, how to live a balanced life.

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27-10-2011, 04:09 AM
 
RE: Christian, Islamic, Hindu Mythology (opinions wanted)
Almost all religion ideology is same.The ideologies are peace,truth and healthy society with better environment for all.You can follow any religion according to your wish.But there are some rituals for the gods differently in different religion.You have to follow it at the time of offering prayers to the gods or goddess.
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