Trojan Gods

Today’s essay will discuss one of the many works of ancient Greek tragedian, Aeschylus. For those of you who may not know, tragedies were an early form of play writing for the Greeks, and Aeschylus was one of the many authors who practiced writing plays. The one play in particular we are going to be talking about today is called Agamemnon, and is the first of three plays often refereed to as, “The House of Atreus.” Agamemnon is mainly centered around the events of the Trojan War, specifically what happened afterwards. So my question for today is, “What was Aeschylus’s view of the Trojan war?”

In order to create a play that centers around actual historical events, one must have a good comprehension of the events to compose such a story. The Trojan War was the core concept of the play, and had happened more recently for them then it did for us, so the details were still fresh in people’s minds. Aeschylus seemed to view the whole thing as an important event, but also as an act of revenge on a more personal level. Since being a soldier was such an honorable role to play in the Greek culture back then, the concept revenge was fairly common in their world. The play talks about how Paris, the leader of Troy, violated the hospitality of Helen’s husband Menelaus and committed adultery. It goes on to say that this was one of the many reasons why the Trojan’s lost, blaming Troy for its own downfall.

Then who were the ones who cast judgement upon the Trojans,’The gods!’ Well, at least that’s what they said. The gods unleashed their judgement on them using the Greeks merely as a means to carry out their own will, but it wasn’t the easiest thing for the Greeks to do. During their long treacherous journey a great wind prevented them from reaching the city of Troy, and the only way they could get past was to sacrifice the King’s daughter; gruesome isn’t it? If the gods really wanted the Greeks to carry out their work, then why is such an extreme act of sacrifice required to get to Troy. Later on in the play after the initial attack on Troy, Agamemnon’s wife murders him, but she claimed she was only doing what the gods told her to do. Now we have multiple conflicting factors, why would the same gods who helped the Greeks defeat the Trojans, instruct the wife of their King to murder her husband? It seems very unclear who’s side these gods are really on.

So, what exactly was Aeschylus’s view of the Trojan War? In my opinion, I believe he saw it as the act of revenge that is was, but not for or because of the god’s intervention let’s just say. It seems to me that Aeschylus thought that it doesn’t matter how faithful you are to these gods, man will always lose. If two sides of a fight are praying to the same god, I think there’s a pretty good chance that they’re both going home empty handed.


Gods and Mankind

I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard the stories of Greek gods people wrote about back in ancient times, such as Zeus the king of these gods. Well, for one man these stories were just what he needed. His name was Hesiod, and he was actually one of the original Greek authors who helped create and solidify the gods as part of history. Hesiod originally wrote stories to his brother Perses, as a way to give him wisdom, knowledge, and advice in a creative sort of way. But the question I’m going to be answering today is, “What was Hesiod’s view of mankind’s past and future?”

Although he mostly wrote for his brother, the stories he wrote were also a good way for him to express his own thoughts and worldviews in a way no one had thought of before. According to Hesiod, mankind’s past and the stories of the Greek gods are intertwined in a way. They tell of a man named Prometheus who stole fire from the great god Zeus to give to man, but as one could imagine, Zeus wasn’t very pleased with this. To get even with mankind, whom he had dominion over, he sent to earth a woman carrying a jar of evils with her. These events are reminiscent of Pandora’s box and really tell us something about how Hesiod saw these characters. Eventually the evils the woman brought with her were unleashed upon mankind, as a punishment for their actions against the gods. How this all played out reminds me of what the Bible says about negative sanctions: those who do good are rewarded, but those who do wrong are punished severely.

Based on this display of mankind’s past, what do Hesiod’s stories tell us about how he saw the future? Well as we all know, history tends to have a way of repeating itself, and I think Hesiod knows this too. Justice is one thing he talks to Perses about quite often, and how it is supreme over all things. He also tells us that Zeus is all-seeing and has tens of thousands of spirits on the earth watching mankind’s actions; not that he wouldn’t know regardless. But if history does repeat itself, and mankind continues to preform unjust deeds, Zeus will severely punish those whom he deems unjust. This again reminds me of how the Bible talks about the one true God, how he knows if we do good or bad and how there is a final judgement in the end. But while there is a punishment for our actions, the one key difference between these two stories is that God gives us a chance to redeem ourselves and repent against our sinful actions; instead of smiting us on the spot.

Hesiod’s stories about the gods, mankind, and their judgement system definitely have some truth behind them. Every good or bad decision we make have repercussions, but despite our past we can still change and influence our future decisions. In conclusion as far as gods go, I’d rather believe we have one who provides us with the tools to avoid being smitten. Wouldn’t you agree?

Rare for Most

For my new Biology course, I must answer one of the 4 questions it provided me with. So, I decided to answer the question regarding the process of genetic inheritance. It states, “Some genetic disorders are not hereditary. Give an example of one of these.”

 Now there are quite a few genetic disorders that have nothing to do with hereditary genes, but how they are caused is very interesting to say the least. You see, one way cells reproduce (or split) is by “crossing over,” which is when your chromosomes exchange certain sections of themselves with one another by colliding. Most of the time these chromosomes will collide, receive their new piece, and leave; but there is a rare case where two will get stuck together and wind up on only one side of the splitting cell. This results in one cell having an extra chromosome, and the other lacking an extra chromosome. There are normally four chromosomes involved in every crossover, meaning at the end of this exchange there will be three in one cell, and only one in the other.

When there are three of the same chromosome in one cell, it causes the genetic disorder known as Down’s syndrome. There are many people who sadly have had this happen in their cells, but never the less, it is still very rare. Like I said there are quite a few other scenarios like this that can occur in your cells, but thankfully for most people, they are all very rare as well.

The Final Exam

I have recently come to the end of my English course’s segment on Biblical literature, and I must say I enjoyed it quite a bit. But, while reading through Genesis, the Psalms, and some of the Proverbs, one thing became abundantly clear. The concept of moral ethics is essential when it comes to what the Bible calls, the Final Judgement. Even though God is the one who judges our deeds at the end of our lives, he also gave an opportunity to pass this judgement with flying colors. Sadly, not everyone realizes this. So my question for the day is, “What is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?”

I would have to say that all of the books of the Bible that I’ve read up to this point have had their say when it comes to the topic of ethics. The Psalms put it very nicely when it came to the way man chose to live his life: those who had good moral ethics would receive eternal life, those who did not would be trapped in their sinful ways of life. Solomon seemed to value good ethics and wisdom more that gold, especially since it was a way to keep his son on the straight and narrow. Genesis also had a good representation of how a man with good ethics was seen. The man who was chosen to survive the destruction of the world and save all the animals of the land, was only set apart by the way he chose to honor God and those around him. I believe that ethics were a bit more important back in the day than they are now, because most of the crimes that someone could commit back in the day could lead to your death!

Having ethics boils down to knowing what’s right and what’s wrong. If you know what you shouldn’t do and do it anyways, there will be a consequence. But if you know what’s good for your live and live by it, the rewards are far greater than anything this world has to offer. The Ten Commandments are basically a list of what’s wrong, if you live by these commandments, your abiding by good moral ethics. In today’s world there are other ways people are punished for doing what’s wrong, but whether it’s just community service or even going to prison, there is only one true judgement for your actions.

In the end, history has had its share of people who have ignored what the Bible says about how to shape your future. God tells us to live our lives according to his word, and when his word tells us to have good ethics, and to avoid that which is sinful, then we should have no need to fear the final judgement. Imagine if your math teacher gave you a cheat sheet to pass the final exam, who would pass up an opportunity like that? I know I wouldn’t.

The Right Choices

As my English class takes me through the books of the Bible, we’ve recently been studying the book of Proverbs. We call the Proverbs a book but their original purpose was to help Solomon’s son learn about the world they living were in. Solomon himself wrote them as a warning to his son, but also to teach him how to live his life the way God had intended. So today I have been asked to,”Discuss the relationship between ethics and sanctions in Proverbs 1-7,”

Solomon talked about wisdom in the first chapter and compared it to a woman crying out wherever she was, whether it was in the streets or at the city gates, always calling out to whoever would listen. She talked about how the evil did not listen to her words, and that wisdom would not accompany them in their time of fear and calamity. Solomon warned his son to not let these people entice him, so that he would not find himself among them in a time of anguish, but have wisdom and strength with him always. What’s interesting is what “wisdom” talked about when describing how the evil would be treated for their choices. It says “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh. I personally would hate it if someone mocked and laughed at me when I’m struggling. But the only reason they would be punished like this is because they were offered a chance to live a good honorable life, and they refused to head her warnings. This passage clearly tells us that those without the proper ethics, and those without positive sanctions, would suffer the same fate; having wisdom abandon them in their time of need.

It seems evident that sanctions and ethics are both connected. When a man has good ethics and live a God centered life, he is rewarded with good sanctions. Both of these areas are affected when we let negativity and sin into out lives. Our moral ethics become warped and lead to negative sanctions when we make the wrong decisions. But by having wisdom we are able to make the right decision, solidifying our good morals, and so on. I believe that Solomon realized this and for that reason chose to focus on wisdom when teaching his son how to live a righteous life. This is also a good thing for another reason, although this wasn’t his intention, Solomon’s warning and teachings can be still used by those reading them years after they were written.

The Proverbs is a great book in general, it’s teachings can be applied to so many areas in our day to day lives. Our version of moral ethics can be a simple as how we treat our friends and family, or how we respond when were asked to do something. These are the kinds of life choices that lead to positive sanctions, and can also lead to one of the greatest rewards God has to offer, eternal life 🙂

Cell Signals

Someone sneaks up behind you and shouts, “Boo!” For a few seconds your heart beats faster. You did not run or do any physical activity that would increase your heart rate. What caused your heart to beat so fast? A question with a fascinating answer! This all has to do with what is known as cell signaling. See, when cells need to communicate with each other, normally, they’ll be in close proximity and will use what’s called “local signaling.” But if there are cells in different parts of your body that need to communicate, they use a process called “long distance signaling.” Endocrine cells release a signaling chemical, or a hormone, that travels through the blood stream to where ever the signal was needed. This was originally discovered when Dr. Earl Wilbur Sutherland preformed studies on how adrenaline was transported through the body; this brings us back to our question. When someone scares you unexpectedly your body senses this as a dangerous situation, and using what we discussed earlier, sends adrenaline to the most important parts of the body; being your heart your legs ect. This would explain why your heart beats faster when your scared, or why your legs shake when you’re nervous, because this hormone provides your body with extra energy that can be use to either fight or flee the situation. Cell signaling is quite a fascinating area of science, but don’t take my word for it, do a little research of your own!

Righteous V.S. Evil

I’ve been reading the Psalms lately and it’s always interesting to read about how things were done in the days of King David. As you may know, things were enforced much harder back then, and that means you had to be really careful if you’re gonna go against the culture. But if there is no immediate consequence, how will people act then? So my question for today is, “How important is the concept of historical sanctions in the Psalms?”

What I wanted to touch on first, is that the Psalms weren’t just written, they were preformed by people. They were songs, prayers they would sing to themselves every night. While the “music sheets” are long gone, I enjoy trying to imagine what they sounded like. Despite that, they were still written about the events that took place in that day. At the beginning of chapter 10, it seems to indicate that even after the flood there is still evil in the world, and that they’re doing many awful things. King David, the author of many of the Psalms, talks about these evil people in great detail. “His mouth is full of lies and threats, trouble and evil are under his tongue.” It seemed as though people were beginning to forget all of the things they had learned since the last time moral ethics were forgotten. King David asks the Lord to “See the trouble of the afflicted, and consider their grief and take it in hand,” but there is obviously no immediate solution to the problem provided; but that didn’t upset him.

Despite God not delivering his people from anguish right away, David continuously reminds us to take refuge in The Lord and put our trust in him. He tells us in chapter 12 of the Psalms that, “The Lord will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked.” But, what does God say about those who do not put their trust in him? Well, David says that the Lord examines both those who love him and those who do not, and that statement in and of itself is quite comforting. Those who are wicked and do not honor the sanctions of the Church, God hates with a passion, and will be punished for all their misdeeds. He describes it as, “A rain of fiery coals and burning sulfur, a scorching wind will be their lot.” God loves justice, and so those who follow him will be protected and seen as righteous, but for those who don’t, an eternal punishment will their “Just deserts.”

This information is readily available for anyone to read, and anyone  can make the decision to follow God and be rescued from this eternal punishment, but many people do not believe that these words are the words of God. These Psalms are excellent at capturing the issue of  historical sanctions, and what the consequences are for not honoring them. In the end, the righteous will be forgiven; and the evil shall be punished accordingly.