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Old June 11 2013, 07:06 PM   #124
Hober Mallow
Commodore
 
Location: The planet Terminus, site of the Encyclopedia Foundation on the periphery of the galaxy
Re: Atheism, and "Bread and Circuses"

prizzm wrote: View Post
Ovation wrote: View Post
Fair enough. But myths are not factual and therein lies much of the confusion in terms of responding to them. Greek mythology offered many truths but they did not represent a factual account of reality. It is the assertion that "there is a higher power" as a factual statement that sets off alarm bells. Such an assertion has no factual basis and thus no material basis. Hence, for some, a lie.
Myths may be unproved. They may be unprovable. But why assume that they are not factual, or at least have some factual basis?
Because then they wouldn't be myths. They'd be facts. Myth, religion, and art have to do with what can't be expressed in words. If you could just verbally express what you want to say, you don't need myth or art in which to say it. Myth by definition transcends all categories of thought.

One example: In the dim past people of several cultures believed that gods, or some supernormal people, mated with humans. Were these ancient people simpletons? Or could they have observed something, some fact, which motivated such belief? I don't know, but I'm not going to call them liars.
The brightest people of the nineteenth century believed light traveled as a wave through the medium of a "luminiferous ether." They weren't simpletons, they were describing the world in which they lived to the best of the scientific knowledge of the nineteenth century. It made sense; if light were a wave it would have to travel through something. Einstein later proved the ether to be entirely imaginary.

Scientists from the nineteenth century weren't wrong because they were stupid, they were wrong because they didn't yet possess the requisite knowledge to find the right answer. What would be stupid would be to, in the 21st century, to staunchly insist against the weight of all we've discovered and proved in the last century that the luminiferous ether still exists.
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