General Question

Fred931's avatar

What's your take on mythology?

Asked by Fred931 (9392 points ) July 28th, 2009

Is it the greatest thing on earth? Do you want to burn every book about it? Do you even know what it is? Ask me, i’d choose answer B. No matter what.

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52 Answers

barumonkey's avatar

Mythology is just religion that’s gone out of style.

fireinthepriory's avatar

I think they’re fun stories.

And some friendly advice – you might want to take back the book burning comment… we don’t like that here. :)

deni's avatar

ah, i think greek mythology is very interesting stuff. other than that i don’t know much about it but i surely don’t hate it, it just isn’t something i pay attention to ever.

BUT i do have a class on it this fall!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I loved reading and learning Greek and Roman mythology – it’s well written, I believe, and really shows thoughts of the times – Metamorphoses by Ovid is wonderful

Chongalicious's avatar

I think mythology is really great because it demonstrates the vast imaginations of some of our ancestors. They created a diety for everything that occurred to them that they didn’t understand; and, although they were wrong about why things happen the way they do, we have to give them an A for Effort because they had no real way of knowing back then.

Darwin's avatar

Mythology used to be religion but now is just fiction. I rather like the way in which modern authors can take mythology and add a twist to it, bringing it into the modern day. An example is Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, in which the gateway to Hades is located in Los Angeles.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Why would you want to burn all the books about it?

garrettld's avatar

i love reading mythology. myths are records of the ways that humans have tried to explain their world and the things in it. i agree with chonga…myths are insights into the minds of our ancestors. and who’s to say that the religions of today won’t be myths in a thousand years? would you want people 1000 years from now burning the remnants of your beliefs, even if they were/are wrong?

Thammuz's avatar

a placeholder explaination for times when no better one was around.

Hambayuti's avatar

Loved learning and reading Greek and Roman mythology as well, like @Simone_De_Beauvoir. They are very interesting.

@Fred931 What do you have against mythology to bring about this book burning comment? Just wondering.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Interesting stories, nothing more.

Grisaille's avatar

@Darwin But LA is the gateway to Hades.

Darwin's avatar

@Grisaille – Precisely! Not all fiction is fiction.

Jeruba's avatar

It’s a way of expressing truths, often the deepest truths—a human understanding of things that are closer to our core than history and facts.

Mythology is not at odds with scientific knowledge. It expresses different perceptions altogether.

fireside's avatar

I guess the Vikings would consider it an honor if you wanted to burn stories about Odin and Loki.

Sarcasm's avatar

It’s very interesting.

At what point, though, do we decide when a belief system is mythology, and when it is religion?

lloydbird's avatar

Right now? At this moment? Shite!

Mythologise that you *%@%ER!!

Icky's avatar

mythology may sound like a stupid idea to you today, but in the future the beliefs you view as being fact may become the new things they want to burn, like how you feel about mythology.

believing in a god in 1,000 years may be a joke.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Sarcasm some of us do it for all belief systems

tullbejm's avatar

Mythology makes for some great modern stories and movies

Grisaille's avatar

@Sarcasm We, as in the human populous as a whole? Probably never. People need that hope.

As @Simone_De_Beauvoir said, however, some of us already do so.

Akkifokkusu's avatar

It’s interesting. There are a lot of great stories, and I loved Greek mythology as a kid. I’ve also looked into Roman (basically the same), Egyptian, and Norse. Plus, Greek for example, has led to a lot of great works like the Odyssey. And unlike the Bible, no one looks at you weird if you say it’s fiction.

ESV's avatar

It’s just interesting storytellings of past with load of fantasy sprinkled here and there , I consider it nice read but never take it seriously of course.

mea05key's avatar

It is just a story that people hand down from generations to generations. In the olden days, there are very few records around and often stories about a certain personality or event is being brought forward verbally. Over a certain period of time, the truth begin to go missing and obviously more out of the line stories are fitted to the original.

Basically to me it serves as an entertainment, general knowledge and a good tale to memorise so that I have an interesting topic in my conversation library.

Facade's avatar

It’s a myth. That’s all.

Jeruba's avatar

“Myth” does not mean “falsehood.”

aprilsimnel's avatar

Reading mythologies of different places tells me important things about that culture. Plus, I think The Iliad and The Odyssey are a really great stories.

Allie's avatar

As a Greek, I love Greek mythology. Honestly though, I would probably love it even if I weren’t a Greek. Sometimes mythological stories were my bedtime stories.

bea2345's avatar

There is more to myth than story telling. Like, as @aprilsimnel says, myths tell us important things about their culture of origin. Some years ago a Belgian priest collected, and transcribed, the oral histories of the Congolese tribe to which he ministered. Some of it was translated into English, and it was fairly obvious that the more fantastic details had to do with the historians’ interpretations of actual events, than with storytelling. And over time, the details become blurred as the original witnesses die, leaving only an oral record. In this connection, it is interesting that South African scholars are engaged in transcribing Zulu history; much of it is oral.

troym333's avatar

Myths simply states how far ones imagination was capable of going at that time.

they were a bunch of bs

wundayatta's avatar

Myths are not merely those stories you read about Greek gods and heros or Norse gods and heros or anything like that. Myth is something we live with every day. We live out myths. In the United States there are many myths that guide our lives. The myth of the American Dream is a biggie.

Saying that something is a myth does not mean it isn’t true. Myth means it’s an idea or character that is illustrated via a story that gets to the essence of what that idea or character is all about. Jesus, whether or not he was real, is a mythic character symbolizing the best kind of human behavior. Saints serve the same purpose.

In the US there are myths about the rough and ready cowboy (illustrated by John Wayne, among others), the corporate dweeb, the star, the fabulously wealthy person. Myths are stories about archetypes. They represent the different faces of humanity. They are the distillation of all stories about people like that into a single archetypal story.

Every people has myths about the creation of that people, and the nation of that people. The US nation-starting myth is that we are formed as a rebellion that gave us the ability to govern ourselves. Just about every people (tribe) calls themselves “the people” and has a story that tells how they came to be “the people.”

Anyway, whether you see it or not, our lives are driven by myth. We may not have studied them in school, or they may have been called something else when we studied them, but they are there, no matter what we think. Fairy tales are myths, not just fairy tales. Cinderella is about a longing to be rescued, and about the idea that a man can actually make everything better for a girl. It’s a powerful myth that drives many a woman—most of whom are unaware they are living out (or attempting to live out)—that myth.

There is more to myth than meets the eye. Myth is a very important way of communicating the important ideas of a culture or a nation or a people. Many myths are not presented as myths. Myths are hidden underneath just about every toadstool. Even the idea that myth is just a story, or just bs, is a myth.

troym333's avatar

So daloon your saying life is a myth?

bea2345's avatar

My favourite American myth was of Paul Bunyan and his blue ox, Babe. Throughout my childhood I believed that they were real characters.

PupnTaco's avatar

Fascinating stuff. I lump religion, myth, and folklore in the same bag. Ultimately, they’re all attempts to explain the unknown using the limits of language and creativity.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s fucking legendary man!

Jack79's avatar

Mythology is just religion that’s gone out of style.

(yeah I know barumonkey said it first, but that’s the correct answer)

filmfann's avatar

I love mythology. Hindu, Greek, Norse…it’s all good.
Kalki and his monkey army, Ulysses and his long road home, Thor drinking the wine. Good stuff.

Jeruba's avatar

Psst, @Grisaille, “populace.” That’s the word for an aggregate of people, an entire community or nation. “Populous” is an adjective meaning having a lot of people. For example, the mayor addressed the populace of his populous city. The two words sound the same.

wundayatta's avatar

@troym333 So daloon your [sic] saying life is a myth?

Where did you get that from? I’m saying that I (as do all of us) use myth to talk about and understand my life. The facts of myths may be fiction, but the truths of myths are not. Myth enables us to talk about truths that are difficult to discuss in other ways. Stories are incredibly important when we seek to understand our lives, and narratives that fit our stories into archetypal myths are how we use myth to understand what is going on.

I wonder. Have you ever been to a service where an officiant takes a chapter of a holy book and tries to relate it to our real lives as we live them? That’s using myth to help us figure out what the hell we are doing.

tinyfaery's avatar

Mythology is a fascinating look into the culture and ideology of a culture.
Myths from Ireland can be traced to Sumer.
I did a lot of study, both in school and on my own, into world mythology. It’s fun and fascinating, especially when you get into comparative study.

Zendo's avatar

@Darwin @Grisaille

That’s why they call it Hell A.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I find mythology fascinating. It often portrays important traits of human character. My favourite is ancient Mesopotamian mythology, such as that of Gilgamesh king of Uruk, and British/Norse mythology such as Beowulf and Grendel and the Saga of the Volsungs.

Grisaille's avatar

@Jeruba I just facepalmed the size of Texas.

Quite embarrassing, thank you for that. Damn homophones coupled with haste, I say.

Darwin's avatar

@Zendo – And that is why I live as far away as possible from it.

Jeruba's avatar

@Grisaille, that’s the third or fourth time I’ve seen that same error around here in the past month, so I thought I’d mention it. I hope the others who’ve been confused will catch the note. Don’t feel bad—I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a little verbal train wreck now and then.

Grisaille's avatar

@Jeruba Thing is, I should know better. :[

Damn, me.

lloydbird's avatar

@Fred931 Please understand that my little outburst, above, was not directed at you personally.
It was directed at the universe ( to be specific! ).

What do I think of Mythology today?

It is probably degraded or overelaborated History/Propaganda, allegory or ‘spin’.
Worthy of research, but deserves to be treated with caution.
Dangerous when attached to moral and spiritual philosophy. Then it becomes ‘Religion’.

ilvorangeiceblocks's avatar

i’m in love with mythology

filmfann's avatar

@ilvorangeiceblocks welcome to Fluther. Lurve.

circedog's avatar

Myth is real because it makes stories out of how we feel.

filmfann's avatar

@circedog Welcome to fluther Lurve

oxenfree's avatar

it depends on the type of Mythology. i personally love Greek Mythology. it always grabbed my attention.

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