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Khayam Arif

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What contribution does mythology make towards the improvement of society?

On one side we have sciences and technology,which have eased our lives through inventions but what is the contribution of mythology?


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    Mar 18 2013: I think a better way to phrase your question would be, "Why did humans of past generations feel the need to create myths?" By mythology, I assume we are talking about mythical gods, creation myths and supernatural occurrences. I do not think it is simply about making sense of the world, though that might form part of the motivation. Or blind superstition. Instead, I suspect it could have been a useful component of ancient political institutions that helped leaders to consolidate political power. The divine right of kings is a typical example of this. Even among secular Confucian elites of ancient China, the emperor finds himself invoking the name "Son of Heaven". If a bit of mythology is all you need to strengthen the legitimacy of your rule, why not?

    I also think mythologies are forms of aesthetic expression of the combined imaginations of the masses. The specific looks of various gods and goddesses reflect the artistic directions of society, while their qualities represent the desired traits of a ideal human being. An extraordinary man, even a king, perhaps would not have sufficed in meeting the imaginative needs of society. Thus it is to be expected that myths will come in to fill up the unearthly notions of mighty gods that live in the far reaches of the skies and the deepest corners of the sea, and intriguing ideas such as omniscience.

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