Lincoln Blogs


Refutation of Jason and the Argonauts
February 21, 2007, 6:54 pm
Filed under: School Papers

In the writing course I am taking, we are learning about how to refute a myth. Here is one that I did. I know it may seem obvious that it is false, but this makes it more clear why. Click here to see another refuted myth.

There is a story of Jason and the Argonauts, in which Jason performs many acts of bravery and heroic deeds. This tale is exciting and enjoyable to read, but it is sadly false.

The myth is as follows: Jason—who was raised by a centaur (a creature who was half horse and half man) far away to avoid being killed by his uncle—and his men the Argonauts were on a dangerous mission to recover a golden fleece, which would make Jason king of Thessaly. They were headed to the kingdom of King Aeetes, where the fleece was at that time. Jason was sent on the mission by his uncle, Pelias, who had overthrown his father.

After surviving many dangerous ordeals, the Argonauts arrived at Aeete’s palace. At first, Aeetes denied that he had the fleece, but finally, he decreed that he would award it as a gift to anyone who could yoke two fire-breathing bulls to a plow, sow a dragon’s teeth into the plowed land, and overcome the fierce army which would spring up from the dragon’s teeth. Jason accepted the challenge, although it seemed impossible.

In the middle of the dark night, Aeetes’ daughter, Media, came to Jason and said that if he would marry her, she would help him. Jason promised to make the princess his wife and she gave him an ointment to protect him from the bulls’ fiery nostrils. She also gave him a stone to throw among the armed men; she promised that the stone would cause their defeat.

The next morning Jason spread the ointment on his body and on his spear and his shield. Then he went to the field to do battle. Just as Medea had promised, the fire did not harm him. When the warriors sprang up from the dragon’s teeth, he threw the stone and the warriors became so that they turned on one another. He obtained the fleece, and returned home with it.

This tale, although exciting and enjoyable to read, is quite simply a myth, as opposed to a historical account, for a number a reasons, namely that it is improbable.

First, it is extremely improbable. There is no reason in the text as to why Aeetes would care for the fleece. Why does he make Jason accomplish the nearly impossible tasks for such a simple thing? Also, why would the king’s daughter favor Jason so much against her father’s will, without even meeting him? No answer to these questions is given in the tale.

The story, besides being improbable, is terribly obscure. It is very old, and most likely grew more and more mythical as it was passed from generation to generation. This story is not found in any historic documents, and no one claims to have witnessed it.

It is also inconsistent and illogical. How was Jason able to yoke two fire-breathing bulls to a plow, sow a dragon’s teeth into the plowed land, and overcome the fierce army which sprung up from the dragon’s teeth, but not able to kill one man, Pelias. It is also illogical. Why would a simple fleece make a man king of a nation?

Finally, the narrative, as well as improbable, obscure, and illogical (as if that weren’t enough), is impossible. It breaks the laws of nature for someone to be half horse and half man, as the centaur at the beginning of the story was credited as being. A person might answer this by saying, “Well, maybe they existed in that time, but are extinct today.” Then, where is the archeological evidence? There is none. It is also impossible that an army could come out of a single dragon tooth, and that a bull could breathe fire. Obviously, the author just wrote this to make the myth more exciting.

As much as we wish this story were true, that Jason really was as brave as in the story, and that he defeated two fire breathing bulls and an entire army, we simple have to read it as a myth.

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Bad Parenting
February 20, 2007, 6:46 pm
Filed under: Photos



Socrates Meets Jesus
February 19, 2007, 6:52 pm
Filed under: Books

I read an interesting book last week by Peter Kreeft, titled Socrates Meets Jesus. The book is organized as a Socratic dialog, and it tells of Socrates on the campus of a major university and enrolled in the divinity school. Kreeft, a Christian philosopher and long-time admirer of Socrates, imagines what Socrates would think of human progress since his day, our values and culture, and Jesus. Socrates argues about issues like miracles and whether Jesus was God. I would recommend this book to Christians and non-Christians alike.



Happiness Is …
February 8, 2007, 8:13 pm
Filed under: Life, OU, Photos

beating OSU and Bobby Knight … all in a period of five days.



Actions Speak Louder Than Words
February 7, 2007, 8:14 pm
Filed under: School Papers

“Actions speak louder than words.” The author of this proverb should be praised for his knowledge and understanding of man’s nature to not support his words with his actions.

This proverb means that a person’s actions communicate more clearly than his words. If a person wants others to believe his words, he should “speak” with his actions.

If a person talks with his actions, he is more convincing than if he were just speaking, and if his actions are consistent with his words, people will think him more trustworthy.

Consider this analogy: Two candidates are in a political race, and each one wants to impress the voters. One man speaks of how good he is, in an effort to win over the voters, whereas the other goes out and actually works and accomplishes things. The people will trust the one who let his actions speak, instead of just talking.

Judas Iscariot said that he was a loyal follower of Christ; if a person just heard his words, and not his actions, he would think of him as a good disciple. But his actions spoke louder than his words, as he betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

John Locke, an influential English philosopher, once said, “I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.” In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

In an effort to be trustworthy and not hypocritical, we should let our actions speak louder than our words.



Vinsanity
February 6, 2007, 8:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here is a dunk from the 2000 Summer Olympics by Vince “Vincanity” Carter. Yes, it is real.



Roads Scholars
February 1, 2007, 8:46 pm
Filed under: Faith

I have basketball practice at a public elementary school in Edmond, and this is a sign on a wall inside the school. It is incorrect not only morally, but logically.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Jesus says clearly that not all roads, or gates, lead to success. Even if we did not have Bible references to tell us how wrong this sign is, we can easily disprove the sign logically. For one thing, two opposite roads cannot both lead to success. Also, if all roads lead to success, their would be absolutely no failures, which of course, there are.

The one good thing about the sign: I always get a laugh before basketball practice.