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Catapharact
30-05-10, 19:21
Well most of you will probably parrot out the default precieved quintessential definations and say its a religious tome which lays out the foundational practices of religious rituals and services. Or they are stories that lay out foundational understandings of the environment and the world around us.

If that is indeed your answer then you have a very narrow minded view of myths ;) (as will out anthropology and classics students amoung is will tell you ;).) We are quick to place little values on myths and we usually label them offoff as "make belief stuff" but believe me when I say that myths are rarely focused on convaying falsehood. In a Metaphorical sense, Myths are foundations of civilizations as a whole! What if I were to tell you that Myths have played a crucial role in shaping languages, cultural identities, political strutures, etc.? It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that the usage of metaphors was and still in a common form of communication.

Here is an episode from Star Trek that will hopefully change your view about Myths (yeah I know... Star Trek... Lol! But bear with it.)

Part 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LD_RM_GUIm0&feature=related)
Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvd5f7jehgc&feature=related)
Part 3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxNcDLEbwRk&feature=related)
Part 4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwjhZpKfoIk&feature=related)
Part 5 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j84Xn843f0M&feature=related)

lara c. fan
30-05-10, 19:22
Well most of you will probably parrot out the default precieved quintessential definations and say its a religious tome which lays out the foundational practices of religious rituals and services. Or they are stories that lay out foundational understandings of the environment and the world around us.


I'd never even thought of myths being religious :p

larafan25
30-05-10, 19:26
I kind of had the idea that a myth was a story, and that story has impacted the world somehow.

Alot of people live by myths.:)

xXhayleyroxXx
30-05-10, 19:32
When I think of a myth I think of a story about somewhere, someone or something that may be real -- but it happened so long ago nobody remembers. I love local myths! The ones about where I live are absolutely fascinating.

Tombraiderx08
30-05-10, 19:35
Star Trek is not my cup of tea. But, I think myths are stories passed down over time, sometimes to explain why things happen, that haven't necessarily been proven true. It doesn't have to be religious I dont believe.

Lemmie
30-05-10, 19:48
I will not watch Star Trek, even to further inform myself about myths. Here's a set of definitions from wikitionary.org.

myth (plural myths)

1. A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.

2. (uncountable) such stories as a genre
Myth was the product of man's emotion and imagination, acted upon by his surroundings. (E. Clodd, Myths & Dreams (1885), 7, cited after OED)

3. A commonly-held but false belief, a common misconception; a fictitious or imaginary person or thing; a popular conception about a real person or event which exaggerates or idealizes reality.

4. A person or thing held in excessive or quasi-religious awe or admiration based on popular legend
Father Flanagan was legendary, his institution an American myth. (Tucson (Arizona) Citizen, 20 September 1979, 5A/3, cited after OED)


Of course, myth comes from the Greek mythos (μῦθος), meaning, apparently, tale, story, fable, rumour, companion, account.

Here is an interesting, related word that I had never seen before - also from wikitionary.org.

mythologem (plural mythologems)

A basic core element, motif or theme of a myth.

Gregori
30-05-10, 19:59
There is a time for society to move beyond myths..

Ward Dragon
30-05-10, 20:21
Here is an episode from Star Trek that will hopefully change your view about Myths (yeah I know... Star Trek... Lol! But bear with it.)

Is it sad that I knew exactly which episode you were talking about before I even clicked the link? :p

Anyhow, I was going to give a tongue-in-cheek definition that a myth is any religious idea that you don't believe in :p

Draco
30-05-10, 21:11
Myths are truths that are so old, most people don't have the conviction to believe they were ever true.

Encore
30-05-10, 23:18
Well most of you will probably parrot out the default precieved quintessential definations and say its a religious tome which lays out the foundational practices of religious rituals and services. Or they are stories that lay out foundational understandings of the environment and the world around us.

If that is indeed your answer then you have a very narrow minded view of myths ;) (as will out anthropology and classics students amoung is will tell you ;).)

What a nice way to kick off a thread.

I was interested in the title, and in discussing this, but after reading your approach, I'm outta here.

Catapharact
30-05-10, 23:29
I'd never even thought of myths being religious :p

Interesting. What do you regard Myths as?

I kind of had the idea that a myth was a story, and that story has impacted the world somehow.

Alot of people live by myths.:)

Again, that's a very small view of myths. Consider Etiologies for instance. One would regard Etiological myths as simple stories and religious mumbo jumbo but if you look at it anthropologically, there is just so much you can learn from them interms of local language structures, astronomical significance, etc.

There is a time for society to move beyond myths..

Sure... We just have to give up using phrases like "Herculian Tasks" or terms like "Jezebel" ;). Not gonna happen.

Is it sad that I knew exactly which episode you were talking about before I even clicked the link? :p

Lol! Well its just so perfect! I personally made a face as well when a fellow TA friend of mines recommended this episode to me but after watching it, I have to say there can't be a better way to show the complexity and the influences of myths :D.

Anyhow, I was going to give a tongue-in-cheek definition that a myth is any religious idea that you don't believe in :p

Lol! :vlol: I am so borrowing this! Don't worry... I will give you credit ;).

Myths are truths that are so old, most people don't have the conviction to believe they were ever true.

Right on the money.


What a nice way to kick off a thread.

I was interested in the title, and in discussing this, but after reading your approach, I'm outta here.

*Shows you the door.* Its a free forum.

Atlantean-Squid
30-05-10, 23:52
*Shows you the door.* Its a free forum.

I'm inclined to agree with Encore. If you begin a discussion by making derogatory assumptions, the reader is going to think you care less about the discussion and more about trying to look intelligent.

I'd recommend following the example set by some other members. Read, say, Punaxe's or Encore's posts. When it comes to contributing to a discussion, they tend to have a very unbiased approach. It works very well, and I always find their posts to be an interesting and worthwhile read.

Gregori
31-05-10, 01:11
Sure... We just have to give up using phrases like "Herculian Tasks" or terms like "Jezebel" ;). Not gonna happen.

Phrases like that are used without taking myths behind them literally. Just like we don't believe in fairy tales as we become adults, we shouldn't believe in myths. They only serve as a vehicle for moral lesson, not as a body of facts or history.

Capt. Murphy
31-05-10, 04:44
Well, my def. of a myth would've ....eh, included things like Big-Foot, the Lochness Monster, Leperchauns, and Unicorns. :o

Glašon
31-05-10, 04:53
You're reading to far into the definition of a word. To me, a myth is more or less a "grown-up" fairy tale. They're tales designed to impart morals or question society, etc etc.

Capt. Murphy
31-05-10, 05:25
Hmm... Then what would be an appropriate 'term' for said things like Big-foot, Loch Ness Monster, or even Santa Clause?

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 05:29
Hmm... Then what would be an appropriate 'term' for said things like Big-foot, Loch Ness Monster, or even Santa Clause?

Legend maybe? At least I think Loch Ness Monster and Big-foot qualify as legends. Not sure about Santa Clause though since he's more of a popular cultural icon.

Glašon
31-05-10, 05:32
I agree with WD, Santa Klaus can't really be put into the same category as Loch Ness and Big-foot; since he's from popular folk Lore.

From Wiki; because it's faster to copy & paste then type and proof-read:


Numerous parallels have been drawn between Santa Claus and the figure of Odin, a major god amongst the Germanic peoples prior to their Christianization. Since many of these elements are unrelated to Christianity, there are theories regarding the pagan origins of various customs of the holiday stemming from areas where the Germanic peoples were Christianized and retained elements of their indigenous traditions, surviving in various forms into modern depictions of Santa Claus.
Odin was sometimes recorded, at the native Germanic holiday of Yule, as leading a great hunting party through the sky. Two books from Iceland, the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, describe Odin as riding an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir that could leap great distances, giving rise to comparisons to Santa Claus's reindeer. Further, Odin was referred to by many names in Skaldic poetry, some of which describe his appearance or functions; these include SÝ­grani, SÝ­skeggr, Langbar­r, (all meaning "long beard") and Jˇlnir ("Yule figure").
According to Phyllis Siefker, children would place their boots, filled with carrots, straw, or sugar, near the chimney for Odin's flying horse, Sleipnir, to eat. Odin would then reward those children for their kindness by replacing Sleipnir's food with gifts or candy. This practice, she claims, survived in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands after the adoption of Christianity and became associated with Saint Nicholas as a result of the process of Christianization and can be still seen in the modern practice of the hanging of stockings at the chimney in some homes.

[...]

Numerous other influences from the pre-Christian Germanic winter celebrations have continued into modern Christmas celebrations such as the Christmas ham, Yule Goat, Yule log, and the Christmas tree.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

Capt. Murphy
31-05-10, 06:21
Those 'Legendary' things/persons - I was regarding them as a Myth (noun) because they aren't believed to exist. Or, they aren't real.

A story of someone (someone that is either real or fake -we just don't know because it allegedly happened and was from so far back in history that there's no way to verify it's legitimacy -physically or forensically, other than the very words or writings that have been passed down through the ages) - I would regard that as a fable, or moral (teaching).

Okay. I can see how/where this is pinning on the title of a "myth" to an old story that has a lesson to it (as opposed to just "stories" or rumors of monsters in a lake or woods or whatever). IMO it is broadening the definition of a myth. So, a "Legend" can also be a myth.

*preempts* call it semantics....?:pi:

Glašon
31-05-10, 06:36
Or maybe the language is just too vague to pinpoint it and all these words we're throwing up are simply synonyms. :p

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 06:46
Or maybe the language is just too vague to pinpoint it and all these words we're throwing up are simply synonyms. :p

I think the words do have distinctions :) A legend would be a story about something extraordinary that is passed down, usually embellished with each retelling, and has cultural significance. A myth is a religious belief attempting to explain something about the world or about human behavior and why certain actions would be desirable or undesirable. Legends and myths are both believed to be true, or to at least have a seed of truth, by the people who retell them (not counting people from other cultures who are researching it for scholarly reasons but don't actually believe it). On the other hand, fables are acknowledged to be fictional and their purpose is to impart a lesson (usually to children).

Glašon
31-05-10, 06:48
I think the words do have distinctions :) A legend would be a story about something extraordinary that is passed down, usually embellished with each retelling, and has cultural significance. A myth is a religious belief attempting to explain something about the world or about human behavior and why certain actions would be desirable or undesirable. Legends and myths are both believed to be true, or to at least have a seed of truth, by the people who retell them (not counting people from other cultures who are researching it for scholarly reasons but don't actually believe it). On the other hand, fables are acknowledged to be fictional and their purpose is to impart a lesson (usually to children).

See to me, all those words could be substituted for each other there. If someone says, Myth, they could also say, Legend, and mean the same thing. I don't really think a Myth has to be religious. But generally they are "epic", rather then fables which are usually short and sweet versions of the same things imparting morals.

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 06:54
See to me, all those words could be substituted for each other there. If someone says, Myth, they could also say, Legend, and mean the same thing. I don't really think a Myth has to be religious. But generally they are "epic", rather then fables which are usually short and sweet versions of the same things imparting morals.

Maybe I am splitting hairs, but I've always considered legends to be more geared around things that people believe happened but the story isn't meant to explain the purpose of anything, just retell the events. On the other hand, myths explain things and usually involve gods or other supernatural beings. The definitions from www.dictionary.com kind of support my view, although they do say that myths can be "legendary" so I guess there is a bit of overlap.

Myth: a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, esp. one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.

Legend: a nonhistorical or unverifiable story handed down by tradition from earlier times and popularly accepted as historical.

spikejones
31-05-10, 06:57
my own personal opinion (duh) is that Legend is true, Myth is fantasy.

For instance, there are legendary people - but not mythological people. Dragons are a mythological creature. Some may believe they are real, but for the most part are considered as fantasy.

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 07:05
my own personal opinion (duh) is that Legend is true, Myth is fantasy.

For instance, there are legendary people - but not mythological people. Dragons are a mythological creature. Some may believe they are real, but for the most part are considered as fantasy.

I agree that legends are more likely to be true, but I still think a lot of legends are fictional (or at least greatly embellished over the years).

spikejones
31-05-10, 07:11
its highly likely that myths are as well. take the case of greek/roman mythology. Before being put to text, its probable that these stories were once rooted in a truth but were embellished made more "epic" throughout time. Dragons may have been simply very large lizards that didn't actually fly, but the stories may have been embellished over time to make them more fantastical. We really have no way of knowing for sure at this point in time though do we?

All I can say is that Tim Armstrong is a modern day legend ;)

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 07:16
its highly likely that myths are as well. take the case of greek/roman mythology. Before being put to text, its probable that these stories were once rooted in a truth but were embellished made more "epic" throughout time. Dragons may have been simply very large lizards that didn't actually fly, but the stories may have been embellished over time to make them more fantastical. We really have no way of knowing for sure at this point in time though do we?

If anything like a dragon existed, we would have likely found evidence by now. Perhaps dragons were inspired by dinosaur skeletons, but I doubt human beings ever met any living thing that would resemble a dragon. Most myths explain why something is the way it is, while most legends simply tell what was believed to have happened. I don't think either one is true in the literal sense, but they are deeply ingrained within their cultures and have a significant impact on the development of those civilizations.

All I can say is that Tim Armstrong is a modern day legend ;)

So is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow :pi:

Mikky
31-05-10, 09:50
I believe in a lot of myths. :D King Author is one. :whi:

Glašon
31-05-10, 09:57
I believe in a lot of myths. :D King Author is one. :whi:

I love the "Mists of Avalon" version of the tale :D

lara c. fan
31-05-10, 10:14
I believe in a lot of myths. :D King Author is one. :whi:

There's a King Author?

Must meet him...


:p

Chocola teapot
31-05-10, 10:14
It's like... Paris Hilton's chastity.

Mikky
31-05-10, 10:21
According to TRL, the sword in the stone and Excalibur are two different swords. Is that actually how the myth goes?

Capt. Murphy
31-05-10, 10:27
Oh! Here's another example of "Myths". ;)

01Q83yxdDaI

Ward Dragon
31-05-10, 10:33
According to TRL, the sword in the stone and Excalibur are two different swords. Is that actually how the myth goes?

Depends on the version of the story. In some versions they are the same, while in other versions King Arthur got Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake (not the stone).

Mikky
31-05-10, 10:37
Depends on the version of the story. In some versions they are the same, while in other versions King Arthur got Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake (not the stone).

I like TRL's version better! :D

Uzi master
31-05-10, 18:32
Well in english, it starts fro a story that becomes old and a legend, which has much truth but a little distorded, ten as time goes on it becomes myth for having very little truth but still have a core idea, for me to put it simply. I dont wanna read the links:p

Mytly
31-05-10, 20:59
Is it sad that I knew exactly which episode you were talking about before I even clicked the link? :p
You're not the only one - does that make you feel better? :D

A strange choice for illustrating the importance of myths, to say the least. Is it meant to show how myths are vital to language? That might work - if it weren't for the fact that the kind of language portrayed in this episode is simply impossible, both in reality as well as in the fictional world of Star Trek. :p