Many people want to believe that life has meaning beyond what can be experienced through the physical senses that are a part of normal, everyday life. The idea that a higher power is responsible for everything from the most mundane aspects of life to the most mysterious is a driving belief that has created many a tale regarding how life on earth began and how it has continued. Since the dawn of mankind there has been a stoic and sometimes necessary belief that there is in fact a higher power that causes the world to turn, the sun to rise and set, and everything else to happen in its own turn. Since the first belief system was created however there has been much debate over what religion is accurate and which is just fanciful storytelling. Religion has introduced a belief system that has almost eradicated mythology.
In the old days of Greece and Rome, worship to gods such as Zeus, Poseidon, and even Hades were seen as prudent to stave off such natural events as droughts, storms, and even illness. The practices was a hit and miss prospect as the worship of the gods would normally resort to praise for good fortune and the belief that the gods were angry if life took a turn for the worse. If a farmer wished for a bountiful harvest then tribute would be paid to Demeter. If the harvest turned out to be good, then the gods were pleased and all was well. This type of worship was very one-sided and was often less favorable to those giving tribute and worship.
When it comes to creationism, many religions, particularly Greek mythology and
Christianity, differ quite a bit in their explanations of how the world came to be. Greek mythology places a great amount of emphasis on Gaea, the earth mother, and the children that she spawns with Uranus, her child as well as her husband. It seems awkward to say the least, but also quite confusing seeing as how Gaea and Uranus, being mother and son, then give birth to twelve Titans, who are the predecessors of the divine pantheon that came to be so revered. As confusing as Greek mythology can be it becomes greatly simplified when Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades are said to ally to confront and bring about the downfall of their father, Cronus.
However, it begs explanation as to what other offspring might have appeared from the other Titans and how they too affected the Greek pantheon. There is no doubt that creationism when depicted by Greek mythology is highly detailed and even mind-boggling when considering how many figures are present at the beginning. Despite this however it is far more forthcoming in its complexity and full cast of characters than other religions. When compared to Christianity for instance, Greek mythology seems far more explanatory.
The gods are humanized to such a degree that they are given human attributes, characteristics, and even emotions that despite often being based upon vanity and a sense of ultimate superiority, are still capable of making them vulnerable. Comparing the Greek pantheon to that of Christianity is rather difficult seeing as how the theological belief of Christianity places its stock in one supreme being above all. The God of Christian lore is responsible for every last creation within the universe, from the smallest atom to the grandest design. There is no one human aspect of God within Christianity, only representatives that are bound to do His will. Also, the Christian God is continually addressed as He, whereas in Greek mythology the role of men and women are still separate, but are given far more representation.
Christianity would have one believe that God is the ageless, sexless, and unknown force
behind all creation and the world as it exists today. Greek mythology narrows each aspect of nature down further by granting either male or feminine control over each facet of the known world. In the Christian version of creation, Adam and Eve become the first true dichotomy as created by God’s hands, whereas in Greek mythology that dichotomy is not only pointed out early on, it remains constant throughout much of its long and complicated history. The belief in a higher power is evident for both creationist theories, but it is from that point that each system of beliefs diverge.
The ethos of each belief system does include some overlap here and there, but the general direction of the stories that drive the stories behind each system differ quite a bit. For instance, there is a story of the first woman in Greek mythology, just as there is in Christianity. However, in Christianity, Adam was first, and from his body was made the form of Eve. Pandora, the first human woman in Greek mythology, was born much in the same manner of Adam, but there is no telling of her coming from the body of another. Instead, she was created and given a special urn, or box, depending on the telling, that she was to never open. Chaffey (2015) contends that this equates with the tree of knowledge that Eve was said to have eaten from, thereby ushering such evils as death, pain, corruption, and other ills into a world that did not know of them to begin with.
This would cause a great deal of speculation as to the role of women in Christianity as
well as Greek mythology. Women, for all their virtue and grace within both systems of belief,
seem often to be the cause of much more subtle but also very catastrophic consequences based
upon much simpler actions. Men in each belief system are often seen to war and openly clash
with one another, while women tend to work behind the scenes, manipulating and pulling
metaphorical strings to get what they desire. Several legends depict such actions, and there are
more than a few that are prime examples of the vast differences between men and women in each belief system.
Creationism is defined as the overall belief that the known universe and everything within it originates from very specific acts of divine creation. These beliefs are propagated by the stories and tales of those belief systems that have taken to explaining the reason and purpose behind existence through their own established accounts. Creationism eschews the belief that evolution had anything to do with the process of how life began. It insists that a divine being, seemingly without any discernible or realistic origin, was responsible for the emergence of the current system that exists.
While many still argue over the truth behind scientific fact and the need to believe in the divine, but as Wolper (2011) points out, both Christianity and Greek mythology have long since become far more open and accepted the hard, concrete facts that state that creationism is not entirely responsible for life on this world. While the beliefs are still just as strong today as ever, they have given way to the more reasonable and rational ideas of how life has come to evolve and change throughout time, allowing their own beliefs to accept the truth of the physical world in a way that allows for a much better integration of ideas. Both belief systems still differ greatly in their explanation of how life came to be, but the rise of Christianity has become the dominant belief throughout the world. Greek mythology has become, for lack a better explanation, a pleasing story to tell the masses.
The draw of Christianity, or rather, one among the many, is that it is far more simplistic
to simply believe in a higher power and trust that He is watching over His children. Christianity
is made up of its own complexities, including rituals and systems of worship that can be quite
confusing, but despite its many denominations its core belief is quite clear and can be cited by
most anyone who has ever attended a Sunday school class. The simple words that underlie the religion say it best. As it states in the Holy Bible (2010) “In the beginning, God created heaven and earth…” There is no other way that is needed to define or even state the existence of belief in this religion, as the opening line lays it out plain and clear for those who wish to believe.
As is stated in “The Creation Myth” (2009), the idea of creationism in Greek mythology is quite a bit more complicated and begins with a much more manic idea that chaos was how the world was begun. While many could not hope to argue that life is in a way very chaotic, the idea of creationism taking place in such a manner evokes a continual struggle that is met only by the emergence of Night, which is essentially the void where all things go to die. The outlook of creationism in Greek mythology is rather bleak until Love is somehow born, at which point the struggle only intensifies as the more humanistic aspect of creation becomes the driving focus behind the gods’ ambitions and desires. In short, creationism in the Greek sense is more of a reflection of human traits and desires than it is the unknown and otherwise mysterious force that Christianity would have others believe.
Despite the emergence and eventual takeover of Christianity, the fact remains that the
creationist myths still collide every now and again to explain away the reasoning behind why the world is the way it is. Solid facts and reasonable logic tend to explain the reality of how the world works and why certain things occur when they do, but the faithful tend to believe that the root cause of everything lies within the faith they adhere to so strongly. There is nothing to say that this is wrong, as miraculous occurrences happen frequently enough to maintain the faith. In terms of creationism however, the mystery that both religions claim to be the beginnings of the world tend to leave out a great amount of detail and fill in the gaps with belief
and faith that is not always rooted in agreeable, scientific fact.
Chaffey, Tim. “Giant Speculations: The Bible and Greek Mythology.” Creation Today,
http://creationtoday.org/giant-speculations-the-bible-and-greek-mythology/. Accessed 19 Nov. 2016.
“The Creation Myth: How it All Began.” Igreekmythology.com,
http://www.igreekmythology.com/creation-myth.html. Accessed 24 Nov. 2016.
The Holy Bible, King James Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing. 2010. Print.
Wolper, David L. “Genesis and Science: More Aligned Than You Think?” The Huffington Post,
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-l-wolper/genesis-and-science_b_500201.html. Accessed 24 Nov. 2016.