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As we all know that since mythology had bad connotation since it mostly/usually refers to the "study of myths" and hence the use of mythology tag has been creating problems for years. (Community is offended with the use of since it hurts the beliefs.) It was first reported in 2015: My concern about the use of mythology tag. In 2017 we tried to get New Community Consensus on use of Mythology Tag which concluded that community is majoritarily agree with the complete removal of mythology tag. However we didn't take any action till 2019: Mods - When are we going to remove mythology tag?.

As I've explained here, we tried to take action in August 2019 but due to existence of questions tagged only with mythology tag we couldn't fix the problem. A month ago we fixed this issue and now there is no question left which is tagged only with mythology tag. You can verify it from SEDE query.

So, now we are in the position to completely purge the mythology tag. Through MSE Guidelines we are requesting developers to purge the and add it to the blacklist so that it can not be used in future.

Note: We don't need to remove mythology tag from all questions. Once this removal is implemented by SE developers, tag will get vanished from all questions. Inform if you find any question that's tagged only with mythology since it would be problematic.

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  • 6
    Great! Thanks for giving this update.
    – TheLittleNaruto Mod
    Apr 28 '20 at 14:37
  • 2
    Great news. When is the DDay? May 2 '20 at 17:39
  • 1
    This decision is fueled by misconception. The concept that "myth" means "false" is a very recent convention. Until recently it was used to mean "a story which explained how something came to be," thus a not mathematical account of the Big Bang is also a myth. The decision has been made, but I still want to educate people that the academic use of the terms "myth" and "mythology" are in no way connected to validity claims. Jun 2 '20 at 5:04
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    "Etymology From Ancient Greek μῦθος (mûthos, “word, humour, companion, speech, account, rumour, fable”). Attested in English since 1830. Doublet of mythos. Noun myth A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience" Jun 2 '20 at 5:07
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    @RubelliteYakṣī, the word "intercourse" used to mean "communication and exchange of ideas". nowadays it means "exchange of <something else>". Would you use it at your workplace - "I had a good intercourse with Kumar today" ?
    – mar
    Jun 5 '20 at 22:39
  • @Pandya, any idea when SE will add 'mythology' tag to the blacklist ?
    – mar
    Jun 10 '20 at 19:37
  • @ram probably once after we fix this issue
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 11 '20 at 4:21
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    @ram Intercourse still means exchange. Sexual intercourse means sexual exchange. Just because some people don't understand the language they speak doesn't mean we should change it. Jun 16 '20 at 6:19
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    @RubelliteYakṣī, not a single person except you use the word intercourse to denote exchange. the meaning has already changed.
    – mar
    Jun 16 '20 at 21:25
  • @Pandya, do u want a script to automatically remove the mythology tag from questions, instead of doing it manually for each one?
    – mar
    Jun 19 '20 at 8:10
  • @ram Actually we need to check each of 147 questions for fixing tags. Read the pinned chat message for more information.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 19 '20 at 8:12
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    @RubelliteYakṣī, go ahead use just the word "intercourse" in your daily life, and you'll soon come to the conclusion everyone is ignorant.
    – mar
    Jun 20 '20 at 4:03
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    @ram Hopefully my answer responds to your concerns. I prefer to use words for their most useful function. You're argument is about popular usage. Please propose a popularly used word which has all of the connotations I listed for myth in my answer and I will start using that word Jun 27 '20 at 21:54
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    @RubelliteYakṣī, 10 years from now, if the meaning of myth changes to 'absolute reality', then we can and should reinstate the flag. The meanings of words are not set in stone (unless it is a non-changing ever-perfect language like Sanskrit, which has an entire corpus called Nirukta which deals with how to obtain the meaning of a word). They are fluid, and if we want transfer of ideas to be efficient, then we have to change words and labels with time.
    – mar
    Jun 27 '20 at 22:05
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    @Carmensandiego, TODAY, जयम् !
    – mar
    Aug 2 '20 at 0:44
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This request has been completed. is burninated.

enter image description here

The tag was also blacklisted as requested as it was widely used, here's what people will see when they try to use it:

enter image description here

If you want to add custom guidance there, please discuss it on meta and open a new request of what the text should say :)

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    𝕋𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕜 𝕐𝕠𝕦! :)
    – Pandya Mod
    Aug 1 '20 at 1:46
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    @Pandya, जयम् !
    – mar
    Aug 2 '20 at 0:26
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Similar to the recent request on aviation can you please check questions that have only + one other tag to make sure they still make sense without the mythology tag?

Since this is a fairly big list of questions (1k+) we ideally make sure nothing will be left without making sense. This query can help you find the questions with only two tags (one of which being mythology) and assess if they are ok to have mythology gone.

Once those questions are verified (please retag the ones that need retagging or adding tags), we can proceed with the burnination.

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  • 1
    Thanks for the response, yes there are 147 questions as per the query you suggested. We will work on it.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 6 '20 at 12:01
  • @Pandya It seems you are single handedly removing the mythology tag from various questions. If I can help in this regard please mention what I have to do. Which are the questions from which I have to remove the tag? Also is it ok for me to do so or only a Mod must do it?
    – Rickross
    Jun 29 '20 at 8:10
  • @Rickross Read the chat messages to learn how to proceed. Use this modified query. Feel free to discuss in main chat-room for clarification.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 29 '20 at 12:19
  • Ok I have edited few posts just now. @Pandya
    – Rickross
    Jun 29 '20 at 13:59
  • @Rickross cool! :) Note that we are doing 10-15 posts max in a day to avoid messing of home page. I think within 15 days we'll be able to proceed on tag burnination.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 29 '20 at 14:17
  • Ok thanks .. will take care of that. @Pandya
    – Rickross
    Jun 29 '20 at 14:29
  • Update: Now we have only 58 non-closed questions tagged with mythology and 2 tag count as per this query
    – Pandya Mod
    Jul 5 '20 at 15:51
  • @ CesarM I think we can proceed now.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jul 7 '20 at 5:16
  • @Pandya - do you have any updates from CesarM ? Jul 17 '20 at 7:18
  • @Carmensandiego No.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jul 17 '20 at 16:08
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    Hey folks, apologies here, I was out on vacation and overlooked assign someone to take care of it for me. I'll proceed with it this week (it might take till next week to be done, as it involves dev work).
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    Jul 30 '20 at 19:18
  • @CesarM Thanks a lot for implementing this. Can you update this answer to reflect the status?
    – Pandya Mod
    Jul 31 '20 at 3:02
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    @Pandya added a new answer to signal it's done :)
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    Jul 31 '20 at 17:17
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Does this mean until it is blacklisted and purged completely users are free to add the tag as long as it's not the only tag on the question?

I see some users still using this tag in April, 2020:

Also, there was this guidance from another mod in August, 2019:

P.S. Please don't add or remove from old questions till some consensus is reached. If OP asks a question with tag, then don't remove the tag. At the same time, don't add if OP doesn't add the tag. Please avoid edit wars till we get some consensus.

If some of this is outdated, I think it should be edited/clarified.

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  • We don't need to remove mythology tag from all questions. Once this removal implemented by SE developers, tag will vanish from all questions. If you find any question that's tagged only with mythology, inform since it would be problematic.
    – Pandya Mod
    Apr 29 '20 at 1:46
  • Maybe you can add that bit to your post here or do a separate post about it as some users are unnecessarily removing this tag from some questions thinking it will help with the clean-up. @Pandya Apr 29 '20 at 14:25
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We need myth because, by definition, the ineffable cannot be adequately described in words.

Māyā prevents us experiencing Brahman directly. So we only have pointers to that ineffable reality: words are metaphors for the things we sense perceive, believing that to be reality. But these words are just rhythms, not the thing itself. They are pointers. Images are also pointers. We see a picture of an apple and we think "apple" not "picture of an apple." Myth is a combination of such auditory & visual rhythms which are specifically used to point behind the veil. To not speak of "myth" is to deny the existence of one of the best tools we have to explore the veil and the reality behind.

myth—Noun
A traditional story which embodies a belief regarding some fact or phenomenon of experience, and in which often the forces of nature and of the soul are personified; a sacred narrative regarding a god, a hero, the origin of the world or of a people, etc.

—Wiktionary

Ideas of the world which are built into the very nature of the language we use, and of our ideas of logic, and of what makes sense altogether.

And these basic ideas I call myth, not using the word ‘myth’ to mean simply something untrue, but to use the word ‘myth’ in a more powerful sense. A myth is an image in terms of which we try to make sense of the world. Now, for example, a myth in a way is a metaphor. If you want to explain electricity to someone who doesn’t know anything about electricity, you say, well, you talk about an electric current. Now, the word ‘current’ is borrowed from rivers. It’s borrowed from hydraulics, and so you explain electricity in terms of water. Now, electricity is not water, it behaves actually in a different way, but there are some ways in which the behavior of water is like the behavior of electricity, and so you explain it in terms of water.

—Alan Watts, Nature of Consciousness Part 1

He goes on to describe how the West has gone from the ceramic myth—man & the world as fashioned out of clay by the Divine—to the fully-automated myth—man & the world as machines either programmed by the Divine or set into motion by random chance.

Myth basically serves four functions. The first is the mystical function… realizing what a wonder the universe is, and what a wonder you are, and experiencing awe before this mystery… The second is a cosmological dimension, the dimension with which science is concerned—showing you what shape the universe is, but showing it in such a way that the mystery again comes through… The third function is the sociological one, supporting and validating a certain social order… But there is a fourth function of myth, and this is the one that I think everyone must try today to relate to, and that is the pedagogical function of how to live a human lifetime under any circumstances.

—Joseph Campbell, The Function of Mythology

We should use this as an opportunity to educate what the word "myth" actually means (veracity judgement only being a recent predilection) and how myths are useful

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  • 'veracity judgement only being a recent predilection' - how recent is this? 'how myths are useful' - what's your take on myths taken to the other extreme, like using NASA images to "prove" Rama Setu is a man/ape-made bridge? Jun 27 '20 at 22:05
  • Your point may be right but the community has already decided and concluded what to do. Refer New Community Consensus on use of Mythology Tag.
    – Pandya Mod
    Jun 29 '20 at 12:22
  • If we are doing things because they are popular instead of correct, then it is no longer useful for me to contribute to this community. Never did I expect a community for Hinduism to advocate popularity over truth and reason. The first flag should have been that H.SE only allows śabda pramāṇa. Good luck with your projects 👋 Jul 20 '20 at 1:18
  • Rubellite, as I explained to you earlier, the point of any language is to TRANSFER ideas. If most people have the idea that myth means unsubstantiated/false claims, then we cannot call our scriptures as 'myth' when we BELIEVE them to be 'fact' (whether they are actually fact or myth is something most of us alive today cannot physically verify). the meaning of the word myth has changed to mean false/superstition/imagination/fiction. we're simply reflecting that in our site. @Pandya
    – mar
    Jul 24 '20 at 7:28
  • @ram Popularity overtakes correctness. Truly this is Kali Yuga Aug 10 '20 at 4:19
  • @RubelliteYakṣī, while that is true in Kali, in this case, you are wrong. Mythology mostly means false/fiction. What it meant in the 18th century is irrelevant today. Like I said earlier, you have a false notion that the meaning of words do not change. English is not a static language like Sanskrit. It is a flawed and fluid one. And in any case, when we have better words to describe our 'scriptures' (which is what our 'mythologies' actually are), there is no need to use another misleading one.
    – mar
    Aug 10 '20 at 4:44

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