Myth Related Theories

Abstract

It’s good to have faith in the Supreme Power. It brings morality in our conduct, there is a sense of fear in our souls and as such we try to abstain ourselves from doing anything wrong. So in a way the myths that we believe in, show us a path to follow; the path of righteousness. This is beneficial for the society as a whole because without a religion, based on moral fibre, our society would be full of evils.

On the other hand, we human beings have a mind that tells us what is right or wrong. Even without a religion we are capable of knowing as to what deeds of ours could harm others. We are what we are today because we are capable of stopping such things that would threaten mankind. Today, there are many people who are trying to do something good to the society by way of religious preaching but there are also atheists who are engaged in the socially beneficial works.

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Myth Related Theories – Bronislaw Malinowski’s Theory of Religion

Alford, A. F. (2006). Myth-Religion. Retrieved from http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/myth_religion/myth_religion.html

Alan F. Alford, in his article Myth-Religion, explains the relation between myth and religion. He also tries to establish myth as a fact by trying to prove its truthfulness. Alford believes the Supreme Power behind the origin of all myths. Various definitions of ‘myth’ can be found in dictionaries.

But in all the definitions, one word will be common, and that word is ‘story’. Such stories relate us to our Gods and ancient heroes. During the years, certain actions were done in praise of the Gods and the heroes. Such actions have become traditions and now we know they are myths.

Anunda. (n.d.). Enlightenment, Religion and Spirituality. Retrieved from http://www.anunda.com/enlightenment/index.htm

According to an article titled Enlightenment, Religion and Spirituality in Anunda, our religious beliefs are the main source of all the myths. These religious beliefs have certain stories behind them that tell us the reasons of such beliefs.

Since such stories have been told by generations after generations and so on, people have started having faith in them. If a person is told the same thing time and again, he/she will start believing in what has been told. Similarly, since these stories are age old, people have carried them over to their next generations.

Moreover, since man is a social animal, he is worried about his family and believes that his faith in the Supreme Power, will keep his family away from any sort of danger or mishap. Such faith is good up to a certain extent but when it leads to wrong practices, it should be avoided.

Ecklund, E. H. (2010). Myths Widen the Science-Religion Divide. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-07-19-column19_ST_N.htm

Ecklund relates tries to counter myths with the help of scientific data. Today, science has been able to prove some of the myths to be wrong. This has been possible due to the data and information that has been collected and put on paper.

One cannot deny the data because there is proof for each and every entry. If such studies are continued, it is quite possible that one day, scientists might be able to prove that myths are just myths. According to Ecklund, many people in the religious fraternity don’t entertain such people who want to disregard their religious beliefs on which the society is based.

Gill, N. S. (n.d.). Myth vs. Science and Religion. Retrieved from http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/whatismyth_2.htm

In some cases, it has been noticed that the religious beliefs or myths are tried to be proved scientifically. A lot of reasoning is also done. But such efforts have no standing because science is based on facts whereas myths are baseless. There is no proof for the myths. But since the myths are related to faith, they are being followed even today.

Malinowski, B. (2004). Magic and Religion and Other Essays 1948. United States: Kessinger Publishing.

If we compare magic to the religious beliefs or myths, we can say that magic has a reality whereas myths are just myths. In a magic, the performer and the audience both know the outcome of the magic trick but in the religious rites, that are a part of the religious myths, the performer and those around him/her participate simply because they have to. No one is certain about the outcome of such rites. They do because their forefathers used to do.

Needham, J. (2003). Science Religion and Reality. London: The Sheldon Press.

In his book Science, Religion and Reality, Joseph Needham stresses more on religion as the need for happiness of human beings. The world is based on some or the other faith.

People of different places have their own faiths. It is this faith that gives them the inner strength to face the problems of life. If we think philosophically, faith in the Supreme Power stops people from doing anything wrong. They have a sort of fear in their hearts. Needham also relates science to religion.

According to him, today the bond between science and religion has become stronger. To be more precise, science has strengthened the religious beliefs. People have always had various myths about the heavenly bodies like the sun and stars. Science has brought the human race closer to such heavenly bodies by getting details about them.

Universe-galaxies-stars. (n.d.). Mythology Tells Stories of Ancient Myths and Legends. Retrieved from http://www.universe-galaxies-stars.com/Mythology.html

According to an online article in Universe-galaxies and stars, mythology mainly concentrates on the myths that some cultures have believed to be true. According to the article, the human nature and that of the universe can be explained by the help of supernatural incidents or personalities.

Because of the involvement of supernatural powers, these myths have taken the shape of faith. As mentioned in one of the previous annotations, the myths, that have become faith, are good only if a person follows them in order to attain some spiritual objective. All religions in the world have their own myths. But there are certain myths that have been formulated by people to attain their personal gains. We should abstain from believing such myths.

References

Alford, A. F. (2006). Myth-Religion. Retrieved from http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/myth_religion/myth_religion.html

Anunda. (n.d.). Enlightenment, Religion and Spirituality. Retrieved from http://www.anunda.com/enlightenment/index.htm

Ecklund, E. H. (2010). Myths Widen the Science-Religion Divide. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-07-19-column19_ST_N.htm

Gill, N. S. (n.d.). Myth vs. Science and Religion. Retrieved from http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/a/whatismyth_2.htm

Malinowski, B. (2004). Magic and Religion and Other Essays 1948. United States: Kessinger Publishing.

Needham, J. (2003). Science Religion and Reality. London: The Sheldon Press.

Universe-galaxies-stars. (n.d.). Mythology Tells Stories of Ancient Myths and Legends. Retrieved from http://www.universe-galaxies-stars.com/Mythology.html

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