Thursday, November 15, 2012

Religious images are fine when viewed as mythology

As I was appreciating the Noah’s Ark display at the Niagara Falls Winter Festival of Lights, I asked myself a question: why was I enjoying it?

The image comes from a story about a terrible atrocity, which involved the killing of many people and animals.  It’s also something that very obviously didn’t happen according to the geological record. Believing that the Great Flood happened is delusional, and thinking that such mass killing is good is terribly wrong. Because of such things, serious worship of that God is both inaccurate and immoral.

The image wasn’t bothering me because I was looking at it as something from a myth. In other words I was looking at it as a fictional story.  That’s similar to how I was enjoying the Disney displays. With such a perspective, objections relating to religion become irrelevant.

This seems like a good thing. Openly accepting religious stories and imagery as fictional mythology is better than trying to suppress them. For example, look at various past religions. People don’t care about suppressing the Greek or Norse mythology. Instead, it’s just something that’s appreciated and played with. Things like that enrich culture.

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