7. Reasoned Reality of Good Without Evil and Reasoned Reality of Power

Reasoned Reality of Good Without Evil and Reasoned Reality of Power – Fragment

If I had to use a single word to describe the fundamental difference between how ancient readers understood a creation story and how modern Western readers read it is the verb “to be.” In other words, modern readers ‑ regardless whether they read Genesis, Greek mythology, Babylonian mythology, modern theories about big bang, and so on ‑ they would always say that such accounts describe how the world was, that is, how the world was sometime in a distant past called beginning. If modern readers were asked why they are interested in such stories, they would say that they want to know how the world was when it first emerged. By contrast, if ancient readers were asked why they read the same stories, they would say that creation accounts helped them understand how the world is and why the world is the way it is. If they were asked how they understood the world to have been in the beginning, most likely they would not understand what we mean by a beginning because they would find it hard to imagine why the way the world is today must be different from some beginning, no matter when that beginning was, and why is so important to know when that beginning was and how it was as long as it has no relationship to how that world is today. Therefore, they would say that Genesis and similar stories helped them understand how the world is today, that is, at the time when they lived no matter when they lived.

Because of this difference, ancient and modern readers disagree widely about when a creation story ends. Since modern readers understand creation as being a beginning, they conclude that a creation story ends when they isolate some details in the story that they call beginning, while ancient readers understood that a creation story ended when the story satisfactorily explained the world as they experienced it at the time when they lived. Because of this difference, modern readers have a tunnel vision and they can see in creation stories only a point that they call beginning and nothing else. Moreover, not only nothing else that follows matters, but the more disconnected is that beginning from everything else that followed, the more genuine that beginning is and the more accurately it has been isolated. By contrast, because ancient readers were interested in the end of the process and not the beginning, they would conclude that a creation story ends when they noticed that the world as described in the story matched the world as they knew today, and they concluded that the creation story ended when they could verify that whatever they knew about the world had been adequately explained by the story.

This contrast between ancient and modern readers in reading creation stories because of differences in their mindset can be seen regardless whether those stories are religious or so called scientific. Because in the minds of modern Western readers there is a chasm between the beginning of the world and the way the world is today, they not only read ancient stories that way, but the bigger the chasm between the beginning and the world, the more scientific it is. Probably no theory illustrates this better than the so-called big bang. As the name implies, the universe started with a big explosion and everything happened very fast. Although the universe came into being within a few short minutes, the actual beginning took place (….)

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