University of Phoenix
Man’s free will and religious expression guided people from the Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Indian eras. It was the birthplace of philosophy. Religious expression and free will to live according to their beliefs was the defining aspects of the people as a civilization. It was a sense of harmony and belonging to live by the religious beliefs set before them. These civilizations believed it was their destiny to live up to the god’s expectations. Not only was it the foundation by which they lived, it was the birthplace of a lot of modern day beliefs and religions which are still present today. I found this to be an interesting topic to explore in this weeks paper.
Dedicating themselves, using their own free will, to the teachings and philosophy provided by their gods and taught by their ancestors, people became a distinct part of society and accepted the ways of the religion in which they believed. The philosophy in which religion was taught by the followers of the gods was a way of living and defined the purpose of human life; that every citizen would live in harmony and enjoy the benefits of the cultivation. This strengthened them as a culture and gave them meaning, hence the purpose of human life. It was if they had a place and reason within the society. How a society gives their free will to the god’s, practices the ideology of the gods, and teaches their families was a way to delineate life and define them as a civilization. Such great philosophy came from teachings from men from each area. It was this philosophy, or belief in gods and religion that defined the way we would grow all over the country today. It gave people purpose and order in which harmony could be maintained. Geography was one early indicator of the difference between the religious expressions. The Etruscans, which built the foundation for Roman gods, were located to the north of the Tiber River. The Greek Colonies were located to the south of the Tiber River. Many believe that the Roman Gods were just slight changes from the striving Greek Gods. While this can be scrutinized, there is a lot of influence and similarities. For example, Cupid is the Roman god of love and Eros is the Greek god of love. Another example would be Ares, Greek god of war and his Roman equivalent, Mars who is the fertility god. How similar, yet different, each culture’s individual set of beliefs comes from the founding fathers of the regions in which they were located.
Anther difference in the two can be found. Greek gods and goddesses were based on actual human personality traits. These traits included love, honor, hatred, and dignity. The characters of Greek gods were determined by what they were a god of; sky, weather, sea, etc.. Roman gods were named after objects as in Venus, Mars, and Neptune.
Greek mythology or philosophy of the gods is based on facts and not the afterlife. The Greeks believed the afterlife did not hold much importance to the civilization and that the mortals would be remembered for their good deeds while on Earth. The Romans believed there was an afterlife that was a Heaven. They believed they could get a spot with the gods in heaven if they attempted to live life according to the satisfaction of the gods. One final comparison could be that the Greeks believed that if they contributed to society by believing and assisting the god’s needs, they were indeed contributing to society, thus the freedom of religious expression and free will to contribute