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This person with the name of Mr. Alien has been tagging questions related to Hinduism as mythology. Who gives him such authority and on what basis is he doing this? Can anyone explain. The user profile is here.

And here's the post he edited the tags ...

What exactly is the basis/reason behind calling Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata as myths/mythology

migrated from hinduism.stackexchange.com Aug 23 '14 at 5:47

This question came from our site for followers of the Hindu religion and those interested in learning more about Hinduism.

  • I think am not the right person to answer this ... So I will wait for another user who understands(hopefully) that why I retagged. – Mr. Alien Aug 23 '14 at 5:51
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    please provide links to the posts which were edited unnecessarily with mythology tag.(according to you) – Mr_Green Aug 23 '14 at 6:07
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    God I can't downvote, I don't think adding mythology to that question is any wrong, its the askers perspective, and you can change that with valid answers. Thirdly we all know there are modifications done in our scriptures, you will find different stories in different places, there is a small amount of myth there. – Mr. K Aug 23 '14 at 9:01
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I think I should probably speak up, since I'm the creator of the tag; I created it on the first day the site was in private beta while asking this question. Here's the thing: the word "myth" has two uses in English:

  1. A pejorative usage, referring to "a widely held but false belief or idea"

  2. A non-pejorative usage, "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."

The word "mythology", however, only has one meaning and that's a meaning that's related to the non-pejorative usage of the word myth.

So when we tag a question about a Hindu story as , we're not saying that the story is false or fictional. We're simply saying that the question concerns one of the "stories that are part of Hindu religious beliefs", as the tag description I wrote says.

And let me be clear: I think Hindu mythology is absolutely true. I don't think the stories found in Hindu scripture are fictional or metaphorical, I think they literally took place the way they're described. So by using the word "mythology" I am definitely not expressing any skepticism about whether our stories are true.

Concerning whether Mr. Alien should be blocked, I think there's only one punishment appropriate to everything he's done to the site: elect him as one of the permanent mods when we graduate out of public beta! Keep up the good work, Mr. Alien!

  • haha thanks for appreciating... :) and its not just me, credit goes to all other active users as well who flags, reviews and carries on similar moderation activities on the site after earning privileges... – Mr. Alien Aug 24 '14 at 4:38
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    If the OP does not add Mythology tag to his/her question, then y should someone add it? Its OP choice if he can add or not. – user4780 Mar 23 '16 at 7:48
  • @Sandeep No, things on Stackexchange sites aren't entirely up to the OP - that's the whole point of a community editing process. The purpose of tags is to classify questions on the site, so that if someone is interested in Hindu mythology they can look through the questions in the mythology tag. So it doesn't matter if they OP chose to tag it with mythology, if that's the topic the question falls under then that's how it should be tagged. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 23 '16 at 8:10
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    By this logic all the questions fall under Mythology tag(if i tag them will you accept). The way we look at us is important if we add Mythology to Ramayana it doesn't feel good . You can argue Mythology here means something different but at the end it means based on Myth. And to edit a question only to add a tag which may be relevant is not good. As a reputed user i think you may understand this. – user4780 Mar 23 '16 at 8:16
  • @Sandeep No, not all questions on this site fall under mythology. There are plenty of questions on the site about Hindu philosophy, Hindu practices, etc. But yes, if you see any question on a "story that is part of Hindu religious beliefs", as the tag description says, please feel free to add the tag. And it's absolutely fine to edit a question just to modify the tags, if the right tags haven't been assigned. In any case, I'm not using the word mythology in an unusual way. This is the standard dictionary definition of the term. – Keshav Srinivasan Mar 23 '16 at 8:29
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    Using a mythology tag does give the first impression that the story is false or fictional. – Amit Saxena Apr 17 '16 at 13:29
  • @KeshavSrinivasan dharmo rakshati rakshitaha I feel pity on u , how you take pride in calling your religion Myth. In this answer you told you are Sri Vaishnava (an Iyengar to be precise), lol?. – user4780 Apr 23 '16 at 13:29
  • @Sandeep I take pride in calling Hindu mythology 100% correct. In any case, please stop removing the mythology tag from questions. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 23 '16 at 13:31
  • @Sandeep I am an Iyengar, and moreover an Iyengar who believes that all stories found in Hindu mythology are true. Again, the word mythology is unconnected to the pejorative meaning of the word myth. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 23 '16 at 13:39
  • @KeshavSrinivasan just rename the tag to something good . – user4780 Apr 23 '16 at 13:41
  • @Sandeep It's fine the way it is. Whenever someone hovers over or clicks on the tag, they will see the description "stories that are part of Hindu religious beliefs". And like I said, the word mythology only has one meaning in the English language, and that's connected to the non-pejorative use of the word myth. – Keshav Srinivasan Apr 23 '16 at 13:45
  • I seem to have stumbled here from the opposite PoV. The discussion above makes sense as a way of establishing individual beliefs. However, as a community, are all answers on this website meant to assume that Hindu texts and beliefs are literally true? A large body of Indic research treats these subjects as symbols or metaphors, and would have to be discarded. – Jedi Jun 9 '16 at 20:36
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    @Jedi No, we welcome people of all viewpoints here. This is a question and answer site about Hinduism, not a Hindu website. Answers on this site are just supposed to explain what Hinduism has to say on a given subject, they do not need to assume that Hinduism is true. Answers which quote Western Indologists are absolutely fine on this site. In fact I've quoted Western Indologists myself, even though personally I believe that Hindu scripture is literally true. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 9 '16 at 21:25
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    @KeshavSrinivasan Moreover the general use of the term is "study of myths" and myth in general means "fictional" and not just "story". Can't we use the actual terms like itihas, ancient-history or purana? – Prakash K Dec 28 '16 at 9:26
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    Though i understand the reasoning behind using it - to help people search in general the stories in our scriptures, but the term has acquired a negative connotation. – Prakash K Dec 28 '16 at 9:29

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