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Myths and facts

How does a story help us in a way that a pure stated truism/aphorism might not?

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Myth

How does a story help us in a way that a pure stated truism/aphorism might not?

Myths were originally the stories of the gods and heroes concerning questions of cosmology and cosmogony. This was the case in ancient Greece, for instance. It is basically a rather popular fiction with no evident factual basis. Myths escape from the limitations of literal meanings by employing symbolic representations. So it comes as an image or parable to explain life in general or the world view of a particular people, and human life in particular. Plato used it very effectively in many ways to deliver his philosophical concepts, like the world of Forms, the allegory of the cave, etc.

Myth is seen at work, for instance, in the way every culture has its own story of how the world began. The most popular story in the West is the Jewish story of the creation of the world and of the first humans namely Adam and Eve. But there are as many creation stories as there are cultures and religions.

Unlike science, myth grows more in the subconsciousness of generations. For instance, owing to the Jewish/Christian/Islamic tradition, many people grow up with the belief that an almighty God created the world and all that is in it. This is not a scientific claim and is therefore not verifiable scientifically. When asked to give a scientific proof all such a believer has to do is to invoke the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the ...

Solution Summary

Every culture uses myths (symbolic representations) to answer questions that logical truisms, facts, and literal meanings are unable to answer due to their limitations. This posting looks at how myths goes about answering those ordinarily unanswerable questions. It is argues that myths have a kind of salutary effect that logical or scientific thinking does not.

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