My research on Greek mythology has led me to a rather striking realization: We have devolved since the age of antiquity. The ancient Greeks were more civilized and enlightened than we are today, despite our greater knowledge base. The majority of the world, including the "civilized western world," has explicitly not embraced any of our scientific achievements and are still mired in the mythology of the ancient world.However, while the majority of the western world kneels and prays to an obscene and violent image of a bloody half-naked man nailed to a hunk of wood, the ancient Greeks worshipped and prayed to iconic statues of women who looked like real women and men who looked like real men (if idealized, still "real") in graceful and dignified poses. Even the overtly sexualized images were proud and self-confident. The popular religions of the present day degrade Man, and tell us that we are filthy and wicked all the while telling us we are created in our God's image. (If we are filthy and wicked, requiring his salvation, what does that tell us about our God?) Greek spiritual imagery showed things such as the gods and titans (very human-looking) holding up the Earth. The statues of greek goddesses that featured bare breasts, or bare thighs, or even Aphrodite's bare ass, presented the actual shape and figure of a woman as something to be revered. The very human-like forms of all of the gods and titans depicted the very best of humanity. The male deities all look wise and noble, even Hades carries out his unsavory task of ruling the underworld with poise.
Very astute, I think. The Greeks had our apotheosis in mind with their religion. The qualities of the divine were wonderfully human, whether the Gods were acting as heroic champions or decadent deviants. The Greeks elevated Man, while Judaeo-Christian-based faiths (including Islam) denigrate us. Given a choice, I prefer a religion that celebrates what it is to be human, rather than one that claims human society as it exists today is a result of evil and sin.
Or, as Khross replied:
You keep tellin' a man he's no good for long enough, and he starts believin' it. The same thing happens with countries and cultures. And best I can reckon, that's what the Church has been doin' for the last 2000 years. Man may not have been fallen when the Church started, but the Church sure as shit has made sure man is fallen now.