The Man, the Myth, and Everything Else

The Cognitive Revolution helped humans to develop new abilities, one of the most important being cooperation amongst each other. This cooperation was due to a development in the human brain, the ability to believe in “common myths that only exist in people’s imaginations” (Harari 27). The imagination of Sapiens was actually the glue that eventually brought us together. We do not all form a massive collective, but we still have massive groups of peoples in cities, organizations, countries and governments. Our imagination led to the creation of ‘imagined orders’, something that is possible due to our complete and utter belief in different types of myths. ‘Imagined orders’ work because what we are choosing to believe in constitutes to the same beliefs as many others, as a part of a cooperation network. In fact, ‘imagined orders’ made the lives of our ancestors and continue to make our lives easier because “believing in it enables us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society” (Harari 110). An example of this “better society” from Harari is our own American society. The Declaration of Independence serves as the creation myth that gives an almost divine power to the American government. The collective of people that choose to believe in the myth it creates form the imagined order of the American country or the American government. 

I would say that in certain circumstances, areas of science contain imagined orders. An example of this is Creationists, who use their pre-imagined beliefs to mold the material world. At the same time, scientists who claim to have no attachment to other sects also have to mold the material world to explain science. For this reason, I am going to say that science is an imagined order due to its attachment to the material world and the ability for it to be tampered with.

2 thoughts on “The Man, the Myth, and Everything Else

  1. I also said that science is an imagined order but for different reasons, it’s interesting to think about its ability to be tampered with as a reason for it being an imagined order. It makes sense, science is often used to reinforce preexisting notions and in this way can absolutely be used as a part or evidence for an imagined order. I think that’s especially true in modern fields as we seem to be in a very fact based society, where the only believable things are those backed up by hard evidence and if someone is trying to get us to believe something there is pressure to fake the facts in order to create at least confusion, if not belief.

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  2. I really enjoy the idea of the declaration of independence as a creation myth. In my eyes a creation myth is usually a text with more religious or spiritual ties. However, the idea of a document containing rules that a society believes in and follows by, and today many people still strongly agree with does follow along with creation stories. Do you think that the fact that many people still strongly live by and defend the declaration of independence helps strength the argument that it could be considered a creation story/myth?

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