9

First of all I want to tell that before upvoting or downvoting just by seeing the title read the whole question first.

For a long time the tag has been creating conflicts in the community, it is evident from several meta posts and answers, so I feel there is need of new community consensus on this matter.

So, I propose to change the name of tag from and rename it as (or other suitable).

Need of changing:

One popular argument given in the support of use of tag as it is, is;

If one hovers around Mythology tag then one can easily get tag description and in which sense we are using it.

To this reply is as:

1) It's only in the desktop and laptop one should hover to get tag description. There are thousands of mobile users (like me) and for them hovering doesn't work. They have to go to the link of 'Mythology' tag itself open a new page and read there, which one rarely does.

2) The question tagged with 'Mythology' in google search show with 'Mythology - question' format in this case also hovering doesn't works.

Hence, there is a need to change Mythology tag as it has another popular meaning of 'false story'.

No need of removing completely:

There are also views saying that Mythology tag should be completely removed. I don't think this is also a good thing to do because:

1) Mythology is the top tag presently, removing it completely might affect some questions too. Also the tag is useful on separating philosophical question and story based question. For eg. It isn't suitable to tag a question purely dealing with story as 'philosophy', neither it is suitable to tag question dealing with 'philosophy' with 'mythology'. So, this tag is useful in separating these type of questions. And if 'Mythology' is renamed as 'Legend' it plays the same role without giving any negative meanings also.

2) Since 'mythology' is top tag now, many users have earned tag badges using it. For eg. Keshav Srinivasan has earned gold badge on mythology. Similarly there are many other users too. So, it might be injustice for these users to completely remove the tag.

Hence, I propose to rename the tag as a middle way. The most suitable I find is 'Legends' which has a meaning of:

a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but not authenticated.

So, this might be a good thing to rename it. Other things like , or simply are also good options.

So, here is how one can take part in consensus:

Way 1:

If you agree with this post upto now. Or if you think that tag shouldn't be used as it is and should be renamed then upvote this question.

Way 2:

If you think tag should be removed completely then present your view as a representative in answer and voting then starts on your answer.

Way 3:

If you think tag should be kept as it is, then present your answer (as a representative) with detailed argument why it should be kept as it is. Then voting also goes in your answer.

So, present your views and votes wisely 😊😊. Thanking you.

  • 2
    I think one ought to not have any problem with sacrificing a golden badge for a good cause. Regarding other meanings of Mythology tag, we should take only the meaning which is prevalent generally. An average Joe will always take the word mythology as a fictional story. – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 6:24
  • 7
    Any religion having self dignity will never use mythology word for their traditional historical stories. – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 6:35
  • First of all, did we have the consensus on changing or removing the mythology tag? Isn't this question too early? – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:37
  • @Nog Shine you can present your views as 'way 3' under answer that 'mythology tag should be kept as it is' neither should be renamed nor removed... – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 6:39
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    @Rohit. A religion doesn't use but we are not a religious site. Remember that one. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:39
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    @NogShine We are not religious site but we discuss here religion. – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 6:40
  • And also mobile users having a problem with tag excerpt is not a matter we should discuss. It is a SE thing. There should be network wide change. You could propose a feature request on Meta.SE. Changing the tag name or removing a tag name is not a solution because there is no feature to see the tag excerpt. It is better to ask a question on Meta.SE for a feature for seeing a tag excerpt. The reason 1 you gave for hovering is invalid now. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:45
  • @TheDestroyer Well, there is a difference between a religious site and a site which discusses religion. Currently, we are tagging folklores, fables, stories as mythology. Then by synonymising them ,are we saying that all are true? Only those which are present in scriptures are real and others may be true are. We should take care that our site is only for Hindus and not for others. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:51
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    @Nog Shine Instead of writing these huge comments here you can prepare a good answer with these nice points. (By the way hovering issue isn't the reason why mythology should be removed/renamed, it's just secondary reason the primary reason is mythology word itself has bad connotation). Of course you may disagree, but we have to agree-disagree. – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 6:59
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    @Tezz I'm commenting because I'm giving the flaws in your argument that tag excerpts and wikis don't work in this matter and not giving my stance about mythology tag. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 7:34
  • so... when do we take action on removing this tag ? – ram Feb 15 at 22:45
6

Way 2: The tag should be completely removed.

doesn't go hand in hand with any religion. A "religion" cannot be a "myth" and a "myth" should be the last thing to become a "religion".
Other SE-s like Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, have no such tag. Islam has that tag with only 4 Qn-s under it, which are actually discussing our equivalent.

On the other hand, Hinduism has more than 1000 Qn-s as of today, which gives a wrong impression to insiders & outsiders.

Existing (or ) can be used at relevant places, as they will give further solidity to epics like Ramayana & Mahabharata. Hopefully the gold badge would be retained or regained, as the volume of such Qn-s would be high.
What happens to a tag badge when a tag is merged with another one, or it is deleted?

Note: From online sources, the meaning of "legend" almost seems like "myth", so that won't make much difference.

  • 4
    I completely agree with you. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 6:29
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    Yes, legend doesn't make any difference but removing tag totally is not a good idea. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:53
  • Currently we are tagging questions related to stories in scriptures as mythology and are not saying they are false. Many understood the other way. The belief tag is about questions about beliefs related to Hinduism. My view is that there is no need to remove the tag but make it clear in the tag excerpts and wikis that we are not claiming them as false as a 'note of caution'. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:59
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    @NogShine, I got your point. Somehow, the mythology is too difficult for many to accept. If mahabharata, verified or not, is a mythology then, it renders all the teachings in it as superficial. In past, also I expressed the same in this thread. I recommend you to post an answer with more clarity on your suggestion. – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 7:01
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    I prefer purging that tag too, it's most inconsistent and irrelevant tag for me here. CM can help in purging this tag without editing 1000s of question – Ankit Sharma Nov 28 '17 at 7:49
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    Agreed!; Yes, your answer is nice.. btw merging mythology into 'history' tag may be also a good idea... – Tejaswee Nov 28 '17 at 7:57
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    @Tezz, yes itihasa or history are very good choice especially when Ramayana & Mahabharata are associated. That tag will give authenticity to their genuineness (interpolated or not). I think these tags should have been suggested. Having said that, if we should merge all mythologies to those tags, requires discretion. – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 8:57
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    History tag is for history of Hinduism not for stories. Look at the synonyms it has. For example, how has the practices of Hinduism evolved, how has Hinduism influence into X or Y. Whereas, the stories are different. There is also itihasa but it can be redundant if the question is tagged with ramayana or mahabharata. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 9:42
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    I think one should choose Itihasa or Purana whenever/if possible. – Pandya Nov 29 '17 at 16:55
  • I like Ithihasa ancient history etc. but cannot see why Mythology tag should be outright removed. Afterall, Hinduism is (arguably) the oldest surviving, and even one may in a sense say thriving religion & civilization a way of ancient life practices, a heritage not to be ashamed of in anyway.The olden images come to the common man mainly through mythology and puranas, even if some concoction is there in building ideal situations. If not for their recorded value there is a danger of not being recognized in future as a distinct group. – Narasimham Jan 5 '18 at 20:44
3

Although there is a famous quote, "With time, history becomes legend and legend becomes myth", word "Mythology" today has very bad connotation in India as well as in abroad and also among general people. Even among intellectuals myth is just a fictitious story and not historic event.

It also looks like Legend has bad connotation like "mythology". My opinion is to completely remove and tag questions with if stories are from Ithihasas , if stories are from Puranas and if stories are from Vedas.

Pūrvapakṣa : What if user doesn't know which scripture story belongs?
Me: He can guess from other part of question. For example, if question is about Rama or Ramayana, he can add itihasa. If it is about Krishna, he can add purana (as it could be from Bhagavata Purana) or itihasa if it is based on Mahabharata.

  • 4
    Legend is a synonym of myth. It is the top result when someone googles. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 6:38
  • @NogShine History fades to legends and legends fade to myth. But connotation of myth is very bad due to many reasons. So, being a site which discuss Hindu dharma, we shouldn't allow such words which have bad connotation. – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 6:44
  • I think legend also has bad connotations. King Arthur and Robin Hood are called legends, and I don't think Rama and Krishna fall in the same category. Legend has connotations of folklore, whereas the stories of Rama and Krishna are not just folklore, they have a basis in authoritative Pramanas. I think "stories" may be a better tag than "legends" (if we want to get rid of mythology). – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 7:51
  • @KeshavSrinivasan Legend, if it refers to person, means notorious . But we are not calling Rama and Krishna as "legends or notorious persons". It is about their life stories which we call legends which means they are historical characters but can't be proved as Sabda Pramana is not accepted by many. But even if legend gives same meaning as myth, i am ready to disagree on "legends". – The Destroyer Nov 28 '17 at 8:29
  • @TheDestroyer I'm not talking about legend as in notorious. King Arthur isn't notorious, but when we say "the legend of King Arthur' we are casting doubt on whether there was a person named King Arthur. Those are the connotations that I'd like to avoid. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:42
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    Agree. Purging the tag & redistribution in various relevant tags, is good approach. Mods need to check its feasibility though, as there are 1000+ Qn. – iammilind Nov 30 '17 at 12:58
  • In this answer of mine i have suggested ur suggestion: "For example, if a question is about a story (it seems that it is a story is the only reason of using mythology as tag) which is present in the Puranas, we can tag the question with Purana. If the story is in some other scriptures, we can tag it with relevant tags accordingly. Why "Mythology" is even needed?" – Rickross Nov 30 '17 at 17:09
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    Tagging stories posts with puranas, itihasas and vedas just makes the purpose of these tags going wrong. Vedas are for the questions about vedas and for others too. We are using mythology tag just for stories why not have a separate tag for the stories in the scriptures and famous ones? – Sarvabhouma Nov 30 '17 at 17:38
3

Way 3

Well, I think the word mythology on religion site should be interpreted as "sacred/traditional story that are part of beliefs" rather than considering story a myth or false/fictional. So, now we've two options:

  1. Either make people aware with the true meaning of mythology

    • This have been done by adding appropriate tag excerpt and an explanation post by Keshav Srinivasan.
    • GNU/FSF have also been facing such a problem with the ambiguous word free which can mean freedom and gratis. Most of the people will think a gratis software by the word "Free Software" i.e free as in price instead and there is no English word that can explicitly indicate freedom/liberty. So, In order to withstand with this misunderstanding what they do is: they provide explanation and definition for "What is free software?" They sometime put the word "libre" like "Free/Libre Software" to avoid the chance of mistaking the true meaning.
    • So, we can also do similar thing. I found [1] [2] [3] [4] there is no such useful/better alternative to mythology so we can think of keeping as it is or can add adjective like "sacred-mythology" or "scriptural-mythology"

The following part is only kept for indication of supporting the Way 1 with reasons. [Don't upvote this post for Way 1, instead upvote the question]

  1. Avoid using term mythology at all and rename it.

2

I agree with milind's answer which says that the tag mythology should be completely removed.

Reasons:

  1. This is a site about Hinduism. So, how does Hinduism defines what mythology is? If at all it defines? No answers can be given.

One user is repeatedly posting the same line again and again viz- "This not a Hindu site". So, how does that allow using mythology here? This not a Hindu site all right, but a site dealing with Hindu religion. But the religion itself does not endorse the concept of mythology anywhere. So, using the tag is completely redundant here.

  1. The user who created the tag himself admits somewhere else, that at that time he was full of misconceptions about Hindu stuffs. So, we can understand that he committed a mistake by a creating tag that itself is undefined in the realm of Hinduism. Some users are in agreement with carrying this mistake for ever and ever but many like us want that to be corrected. Hence, removal or at least a name change becomes necessary.

Alternative:

This should be thought of as the last resort, if complete removal of the tag gives birth to some site-related technical issues.

Puranic Stories can be loosely translated as ancient stories. Coming from PurAkAla or ancient times, it means events that happened in some ancient time.

So, ancient-stories looks fine.

Since, the stories are found in Hindu scriptures, the term sacred-stories is also right.

Any other suggestions can also be thought upon, but a complete removal of the tag or it's renaming is completely necessary.

  • According to this accepted answer in English.SE: Word that includes mythology, legends, etc.?. A word which is a superset of myths, legend, folklores, sagas etc. is called "story". Hence if you suggest to re-tag it as a "[sacred/ancient]-story" then we may end up in the same loop. :-) However this is a localised post which discusses the technicality from English perspective (Google conforms to it). Yet, we need to see more. Probably that's the reason why "ramayana" & "mahabharata" are famously referred as "epics" & not "stories". – iammilind Nov 28 '17 at 7:40
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    The user who created the tag said that he had misconceptions but never said that he believes the stories in the scriptures are false. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 7:43
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    @iammilind You may be right about my choices of alternatives. We can use simply Sanskrit terms as well if everyone agree. Anyways, mythology should be stopped from being a tag here. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:25
  • @NogShine He may not have thought that mythology refers to false stories but he may not have known the fact that mythology itself is misfit in Hinduism. That he had misconceptions then is enough for us to guess that it was a mistake that he had committed. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:27
  • the word story also has a possible meaning of imaginative work. see my answer which contains definitions of all these words - epic, legend, story etc. – ram Feb 8 at 19:05
1

Remove the tag.

Any word which has any possible meaning that could denote 'untruth' must not be used.

Itihasa & Purana are enough to categorize most mythology questions. For remaining, we can deal on case by case basis. Within those two, we have 2 + 18 = 20 different tag options for detail.

Myth definition:

a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

a widely held but false belief or idea.

Mythology:

collection/study of myths

So, @KeshavSrinivasan's comment :

And by the way, while the word myth has these two disparate meanings in English, the word mythology has only one meaning and that is related to the non-pejorative usage of the word myth, i.e. "a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events."

doesn't seem to have google's blessing, since mythology is just a collection of myths, which could mean collection of facts, or collection of lies.

Legend :

a traditional story sometimes popularly regarded as historical but unauthenticated.

similar to myth.

Story:

an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment.

similar to myth.

Epic:

a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the history of a nation.

see legend definition above. similar to myth.

  • mythology has become the most misused tag – Rickross Feb 9 at 5:58
-1

I think these words can be replacements of the mythology word -

annals, chronicle, record, epic, narrative, report, yesteryear, anecdote, yore.

  • 3
    Yore, yesteryear, report, epic can't be used because all the stories are not considered epics. Ramayana, Mahabharata are. We already have itihasa which is a Sanskrit word for epic but it is not suitable for all the stories. Only some of the stories are narratives like Puranas, Some are epics like Ramayana, some are records like biographies, auto biographies. So, there should be one word which covers all these. Multiple words create confusion. – Sarvabhouma Nov 28 '17 at 9:45
-2

Way 2

I think most of the scriptural stories would be from Itihasa (like Ramayana and Mahabharata) and from Puranas.

So, I suggest to remove the tag and suggest users to tag and/or .

  • 2
    Not all the stories are from itihasas and puranas. What about stories which we don't know the source and lores? What's wrong in having a separate tag for stories? – Sarvabhouma Nov 30 '17 at 19:00
-3

Stories

First of all, I don't think there's a need to remove the mythology tag. The word mythology need not mean false or fictional, as I discuss in my answer here.

But if the community wants to remove the mythology tag, I think stories would be the ideal replacement. The word legend has bad connotations, it refers to popular stories which we do not know to be true, like Robin Hood and King Arthur. But many Hindus, myself included, believe that the stories of Rama and Krishna, the stories of Vishnu and Shiva, etc. are not just legends or folklore, but rather they're backed up by authoritative Pramanas. (It's the difference between Aitihya and Sabda Pramana, to use the terminology of Hindu philosophy.)

So it's better to use the tag , because the word story does not contain any suggestion of falsity. For instance one can talk about the story of how Gandhi became a freedom fighter.

  • 1
    But they are not simply stories written by author X, Y or Z. They are found in Vedas, Puranas etc. How to differentiate then between a story written by me (say) and one that is found in scriptures? Why is it so much necessary on a Hindu religion site to emphasize the fact the Q is about a story? Simply tagging the scripture names (in which the passage is found) would be enough. – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:20
  • What about narration ? – Mr. Sigma. Nov 28 '17 at 8:35
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    @Rickross It's useful to indicate questions that are about Hindu stories, for classification purposes. For instance there are users who love to read questions that are about Hindu stories, and there are users who love to answer questions about Hindu stories. That is the purpose of tags in Stackexchange sites, to classify questions so that users can easily find a category of question that they're interested in. And tags for individual scriptures are not good enough, because consider a question like "How did Ganesha lose his tusk?" The user may have no idea what scripture that story is in. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:36
  • the user may have no idea what scripture that story is in--- For this Q it is not necessary for OP to tag anything more than just Ganesha. That he does not know where in scriptures is the passage found is the reason why he is asking the Q. It is not necessary also for him to tag it with story. Because, that does not enrich the post in any way. @KeshavSrinivasan – Rickross Nov 28 '17 at 8:41
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    @Rickross Tags are not about "enriching" a post, they're about making a post easier to find. For instance, what if a user would like to learn about Hindu stories. If you just tag the question with Ganesha, someone interested in finding all the questions about Hindu stories may not easily find the question about how Ganesha lost his tusk. – Keshav Srinivasan Nov 28 '17 at 8:47
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    I agree with using stories, we may also think of sacred-stories or scriptural-stories. – Pandya Nov 30 '17 at 11:21
  • -1 for stories. story: an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment. – ram Feb 8 at 18:53
-5

I would prefer Way 1

Rename tag mythology to Virtual Reality, because until unless some people see real proof they assume it to be virtual but then there are people who say it's real! For instance we all knew Rama Setu was real but certain groups said it's a mythological bridge but now after NASA (wonder why we always need western stamp to confirm) confirmed people say well it was real which existed about 1.6 million years ago!

  • "now after NASA confirmed..." - no NASA did not confirm. They in fact clarified their photos are not proof of historicity of Ramayana. "The age, substratum, geological structure or anthropological status of the ocean bed in Palk strait cannot be determined by the astronauts' photographs. So there is no basis for these claims," Braukus said. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 20:56
  • @sv the link you have shared is from year 2007, we are in 2018, check this now dw.com/en/a-bridge-that-lord-ram-built-myth-or-reality/… ... so you down voted for this reason? – Just_Do_It Jan 5 '18 at 21:06
  • 'we are in 2018' - so what? You said "NASA confirmed" - what did it confirm? Simple pointing to an article isn't good enough. Making a story out of a picture taken by NASA and saying "NASA confirmed" (even after NASA issued a statement clarifying their stance) is dishonest propaganda. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 22:23
  • "it was real which existed about 1.6 million years ago" - 1.6 million years ago there were no modern humans at all. The oldest human discovered was from 300,000 years ago. And we're talking about primitive humans here, not bridge-building humans/apes. – sv. Jan 5 '18 at 22:24

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