February 7, 2012

Challenge Continued: Beliefs

Okay, so I missed a bit. Sorry about that. Life's been a bit of an upheaval of late, meaning time near the computer's been short.

So, next up on the challenge is, and I quote, "Your beliefs." Well, that's nice and vague... Beliefs about what?

I've already talked about my religious beliefs, so I suppose I'll talk about the broad ones. 

I believe human nature is essentially constant, despite the change in morality, education, technology, and assorted other things over time and the spectrum between those who do evil things and those who do amazing feats of charity. The core of humanity, the essential motivations that shape us, our drives and passions, remain the same. It's why I chuckle at Utopian ideals since they tend to discount the affect of human nature or depend completely upon getting people to actively go against their natures in one way or another.

I believe we don't do our children any service by sanitizing what folk tales we tell them. It started with the usual bunch all the way back with the Brother's Grimm when they set many of the old tales down, and it's continued to this day. It's gotten to the point where the stories are barely recognizable as the same. I do get it. The practice of adapting myths and legends to fit a new culture or regime stretches back throughout history. Yet, these stories were created for a reason. So called fairy tales speak to childhood fears, warn of dangers, albeit figuratively most of the time, and teach virtues. What does it help to make them all happy fluffy bunnies whose biggest problem is stubbing their toe?

I believe mythology, legends, and folk stories are important. It's not like they can be taken as history, true, but they give valuable insight into cultures. There's a seed of truth in them, be it a figure of the culture as a whole or actual events distorted by years of retelling and the retconning of invading nations.

Finally, I believe in narrowing topics when you issue a challenge. Each individual holds far too many beliefs to innumerate them in a blog post. So, I'm stopping here.

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