Post # 1
so i’m sitting in my english class, and my prof just called the story of adam and eve a myth.
okay – i get it. you’re not a believer. that’s cool.
one of the more outspoken guys immediately contradicted her and was like, “myth? what are you calling a myth?”
she was very … not necessarily adamant about her view, but wouldn’t call it anything but a myth.
as christians, aren’t we criticized for not being open minded to others and their beliefs? so why are people less and less accepting of ours… i may not believe in evolution, but i would never call it a myth…
i personally was offended with the fact that she didn’t seem to accept that it could’ve been the way some of us believe…
Post # 3
I am an atheist, but that strikes me as just a very poor way to handle a classroom. If someone asked me for my opinion, I’m sure I would say, yeah, that’s a myth. But as a teacher, I would not make such a statement in front of a classroom. Inappropriate.
Post # 4
- Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden
Maybe you and your professor are just interpreting the word “myth” differently. Here are some definitions of the term I found online:
- A traditional story accepted as history; serves to explain the world view of a people
- A traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation
- A usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon
So, yes, the creation story is a myth, as it is a traditional story that serves to explain something.
Post # 5
and keep in mind it goes both ways.
I think it is wonderful you are respectful to others views.
But i used to be friends with a “christian” girls who would
FIGHT You on everythimg and tell you how you were wrong.
Post # 6
Hmmm, I don’t want to move your conversation too much away from your original point, but in the literary sense, your teacher was correct in referring to the story of Adam and Eve as a myth. I don’t think she was trying to offend you or belittle your beliefs, but if she was talking about the genre of mythology (and the specific keypoints literary critics use to categorize a story as a myth) Bible stories are all myths. I think in real life you can believe the Bible stories are real, but in literary discussion you categorize Bible stories as myths because you have a different goal in mind (e.g. defining characterisitcs of the genre, learning to recognize those characteristics, etc…).
Anyway, I just thought I’d point that out real quick before the rest of the conversation continues… 🙂
ETA: It looks like danadelphia and I were thinking the same thing. 🙂
Post # 7
@ literary Bees: Interesting! I was definitely thinking in terms of the colloquiel (sp?) use of the word. But I think that is a fair point.
@ OP: did the prof make a similar point? If she did, why wasn’t that satisfactory to you? If she didn’t, I think I would have been miffed on your behalf, and I think she missed an opportunity to discuss literary theory.
Post # 8
Well, I think it depends on the class and what you were discussing. You said it was English class – are you discussing the Bible as a work of literature? If so, then I don’t think saying it is a myth is an attack on Christianity or being closed minded. Here’s MW’s definition of “myth”
Main Entry: myth Pronunciation: ËˆmithFunction: noun Etymology: Greek mythosDate: 18301 a : a usually traditional story of ostensibly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon b : PARABLE, ALLEGORY2 a : a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone; especially : one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society <seduced by the American myth of individualism — Orde Coombs> b : an unfounded or false notion3 : a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence4 : the whole body of myths
The stories in the Bible may, or may not, be true, but either way the stories/lessons in the Bible are also works of literature, and can be discussed that way. You can also certainly still be Christian, and not believe that every word or story in the Bible is suppose to be taken literally, exactly as written (the Puritans didn’t believe that, for instance). Myths don’t necessarily mean the stories have to be “fake”.
I dunno, I don’t see this as meaning your prof has to be closed-minded.
Edit: looks like some other Bees were quicker at typing than me…sorry for the repitition. 🙂
Post # 9
we were discussing the history of African Americans and the moment they became ‘free’.
i definately agree that Christians in general are probably not as accepting as we should be, and i apologize for that. that’s actually one thing that bothers me about us 😛
i guess i just think that there are other ways to make a point.
she never once mentioned or even hinted at the fact that it could be something people believe in, which is probably what bothered me the most. i’m okay that you don’t believe in it, but don’t make it sound like i’m an idiot for believing what i believe.
Post # 10
That seems like such a random comment considering the context…
Post # 11
Why did you feel as though her calling it a myth implied that you’re idiot?
Post # 12
I do not think your professor was trying to attack your beliefs. As other Bees have said, from an academic standpoint, the Christian creation story is a myth, just like the stories of the Native Americans and the Ancient people (Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, etc). You teacher was correct in referring to it as such. Let me just note, that the ancient peoples that followed the myths associated with their religious beliefs accepted theirs as truth as well, and they are still myths.
From a teaching standpoint, she also used the right word. It is illegal in most states to teach the Christian creation story as truth in public schools. Her calling it anything but a myth would have been her sharing her personal religious views, which is highly frowned upon in the educational community.
Post # 13
English major here, and my thought immediately went to what others have explained — as a literary genre, the Bible is mythology. People assume that mythology = false, but that is not necessarily a defining characteristic.
Further, I wanted to add that other creation stories are called myths all the time (Native American origin narratives, Greek and Roman, etc.), and those are religious stories to their people, too. Generally, that is not flagged as intolerance. (awww, zippylef beat me to it!)
I also thought of what teaandtoast said. Even if your professor did mean myth in the sense that it is a false story, I think that there are a few pieces missing in the jump between “I do not believe this to be true” and “you are an idiot if you do.” Regardless, I am sorry that your professor was upsetting. It is a lot harder to go to class and to speak up in a discussion when the professor is not openminded.
Post # 14
it wasn’t the fact that she called it a myth that bothered me, because i get what you guys all mean regarding that (i’ve already been told that by many other friends haha).
i think it was more the way she said it, and the way she responded to the person who requested a different word to approach it.
i mean, i’m used to people blatantly knocking on christianity as my mom, stepdad, brother, and whole extended family are not christians and often try to make me mess up so they can ‘prove a point’ so to say, but the way the prof said this (especially being in a classroom setting) didn’t seem appropriate to me…
Post # 15
I can see where she was coming from as a teacher, TBH. “Myth” as other posters have pointed out, is the correct word in this context. Granted, it’s a specialized usage, and she might’ve done better in explaining why “myth” was the proper word in her particular field, but she wasn’t actually wrong and so it seems unnecessary that she choose another word.
Post # 16
I can’t stand it when teachers and professors drop religious comments into a classroom where it has no place! Some of my college profs have made disparaging remarks in writing classes, and it’s like “Ya, I know you’re tenured, but that doesn’t give you a licence to blab your opinions to a bunch of people who are forced to listen to you.”
I don’t really care about the usage of “myth” in your case, it still sounds like a bad move on her part. It sounds like it wasn’t relevant to the teaching material, and she easily could have said “The Adam and Eve story.”
story: narrative: a message that tells the particulars of an act or occurrence or course of events
Slight word change, still correct, but hard to take the wrong way.