StillSearching wrote:Let me clarify a bit. I wasn't implying that you believe in myths per se, rather I was trying to point out that we all engage in selective acceptance of the information and ideas to which we are exposed. I think you'd be hard-pressed to exclude yourself from that process, and therefore think it's hypocritical of you to imply that theists are the only ones who engage in it. As far as the insult you felt, well it was not intentional, but if you perceived it that way then I guess we'll just have to call it even.
I am literally astonished that we have to wrestle this out because of the obvious discrepancies between what I do and what thiests do when it comes to mythology, but ok -- if we need to spell it out, let's roll...
First... I am a part of humanity that is selective, but my CRITERIA is grounded in evidence, materialism, demonstration, and support of contentions. Theists accept a wide range of assertions devoid
of any of that. This is a huge differenc ein approach on how information is taken in and qualified.
It makes it something common to the experience of all humans, and therefore undeserving of your judgement. We are bombarded by information and we naturally sort that information into categories. True and untrue. Important and unimportant. Compelling and not compelling. Etc., etc.
Yes, and so what? the point of your objection seems to be "We all do it therefore we all do it the same way" -- which is, of course, utter bullshit
. Some of us do it in a disciplined, clear cut and suported way, and some of us don't. I belong to the category that needs quite a bit of supportive data before I adopt a particvular ideology -- especially
when it comes to ideology! That way, I don't find myself a sheeple marching along with the gooseteppers who don't evalute their bleief systems, or accept them on the weakest of criteria.
Come back to this with some data to support your assertion and we can discuss it further. I've seen information
that suggests otherwise
You're not understanding my position. Your links only tell us that people believe multiple myths are TRUE. Look at this opening paragraph, where it asserts:
The religious beliefs and practices of Americans do not fit neatly into conventional categories. A new poll by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that large numbers of Americans engage in multiple religious practices, mixing elements of diverse traditions. Many say they attend worship services of more than one faith or denomination -- even when they are not traveling or going to special events like weddings and funerals. Many also blend Christianity with Eastern or New Age beliefs such as reincarnation, astrology and the presence of spiritual energy in physical objects. And sizeable minorities of all major U.S. religious groups say they have experienced supernatural phenomena, such as being in touch with the dead or with ghosts.
Really? Astrology is true
and not nonsense?
The point is, there are myths, and MYTHS ARE NOT TRUE. It doesn't matter if you believe one myth is true or two or six or nine-- the point is if you call it a myth -- you know it's not a literally true representation of reality. These folks are doing just the oppsite. they are not able to discern that pseudoscience and myths are NOT TRUE -- but they think they are anyway.
Those are the folks on the theist
side of the fence, for the great majority.
It's also probably a good idea for us to clarify what we mean by "myth" and "believing in a myth." Can we agree, for the purposes of discussion here, that the term goes beyond "a made-up story" and encompasses a teaching or tradition-supporting element? Myths carry a message or lesson, in addition to their literal narrative and one can believe the former without believing that the latter is literally true. Which brings us to your next comment...
I'm fine with this definition. What a myth can do is, of course, deliver a truism but via a fictional path. The "truth" is a message, moral or lesson, but the events depicted within it are not actual documentary records of actual events that actually occured.
I can't answer your first question, given my limited knowledge of you and the information to which you've been exposed, but I would venture a guess that you've digested at least a few fictional books, movies, plays, etc. that tell a story in order to convey a message. Surely one or two of them have had an impact on how you experience life and what you believe to be true. No?
Here's the part that really made my jaw drop.
Surely you cannot equate the reading of a work of fiction with the reading of a book like the bible, and think that people don't approach these books in very different ways.
I read fiction and recognize it's not really a record of actual events
. This is an essential, quantitative difference between me and your typical theist, who reads the bible and believes it depicts actual events that actually occured
. And I do NOT fit in that category in any way shape or form.
I don't ever dismiss the power of the biblical mythology-- in fact, I think it's a pretty damned compelling one. It's why I don't get riled up over all the murder and mayhem in it because I recognize it as a fictional story meant to dleiver a message for human introspection
It doesn't mean god, heaven, hell, ressurrection, Jesus, sin, miracles are actual things that actually exist. These are allegories, like Zeus, Olympus, Hades, etc. (which we seem to have no problem agreeing upon those ealrier mytholgies).
One of the best books ever written is "To Kill A Mockingbird" It delivers a powerful indictment against racism-- and in fact it delivers the message that when you live by your own hatred, it will consume you and destroy you (as it does Bob Ewell). The message in the book is true; but the characters and events are not. I have no delusions that Atticus Finch ever existed or practiced law or had children named Jem and Scout, or that a Boo Radley saved them from the despicable Ewell who abused his daughter and accused an innocent black man of rape, leading to the death of the black man, and ultimately his own destruction (spoilers galore).
This is worlds away from people who believe that a Jesus born of a virgin existed, he is the son of a god, and his death on a cross and ressurrection leads us to a paradise in terms of a sin being paid for in blood. As allegory it's fine, noble, poetic, marvelous, and yes, to conquer our fears of death and acts of evil and cruelty would lead to a "new rebirth" but only in allegorical form, like the racism of Ewell leads to self-destruction.
So no, I think you fail utterly in assigning to me the same weakened methodology that thiests employ to come to their beliefs. If I were to insist that the characters in "To Kill A Mockingbird" were real and the events written actually occured, then you'd have me in that category, rightfully so. But I know myths are not accurate documentaitons of events.
Theists -- do not.