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English 10, Lesson 40 – Hesiod’s View About Mankind’s Past and Future

This week in English class, I read and finished Hesiod’s epic poem ‘Works and Days.’  Hesiod was a famous Greek poet who lived between 750 BC – 650 BC.  He wrote ‘Works and Days’ for his brother, Perseus, in a way to convince him to give him (Hesiod) their deceased father’s land after the court ruled in favor of Perseus.  In the poem, Hesiod talked about his beliefs of mankind’s past and future.  In this essay, I am going to briefly explain his views.

Hesiod believed that there were five races of men created by the Greek gods.  The Golden race, the Silver race, the Bronze race, the Demi-gods, and the Iron race (supposedly our race).  He believed that as time went on, the races became even worse than their predecessors. 

The Golden race lived during the reign of Cronos, before his children (e.g. Zeus and Poseidon) overthrew him.  This race lived seemingly perfect lives.  They never had to deal with depression or hardship.  The prospect of old age did not bother the Golden race, and they spent their days surrounded by wealth and luxury.  The Golden race worshipped their gods, winning their good graces.  In Hesiod’s eyes, the Golden race was the best and most pious of all the races.  When they died, they became spirits, watching over the future races of men.

The Silver race came after the end of the Golden race.  Like Hesiod believed, they were far lower than their forefathers.  They stayed as children for years and lived short lives.  They did not participate in the sacrificial rituals and worshipping of the gods, which led to their death caused by an angry Zeus.

The next generation was the Bronze generation, who were violent people.  There is not much to say about them besides that they loved power and violence.  Eventually, their love for aggression overpowered their love for their fellow man and they destroyed one another.

After the Bronze generation perished, the gods created the next generation known as Demi-gods.  This term may sound familiar for any Percy Jackson fans.  Demi-gods were half man and half god.  This generation was considered to be heroes by the regular men.  They were noble and strong, and fought in many well-known wars.  Most notably, the Trojan War.  However, their constant participation in these wars caused the death of majority of the race, making Zeus take the remaining Demi-gods away from the regular men to a place called the “Blessed Islands,” where they lived happy and carefree lives, much like the Golden race once did.

The final race is us, known as the Iron race.  Hesiod believed the Iron race to be the worst out of all five that existed.  This race will always be sorrowful and unhappy, and will extremely evil and unjust.  Hesiod was convinced that the Iron generation was doomed by Zeus, and one day, he will exterminate them like he did the Silver race.  Hesiod believed that the main reason the Iron race will be so much worse than all the others was because the Iron race will be the only one that has females in it, causing this generation to be at a disadvantage (how rude).

As you can see, Hesiod had a very depressing view of the future.  But it is obvious he had a lot of respect for those that came before him.  I cannot help but wonder if Hesiod was a happy man.  After all, if you believed that the mighty god of sky will wipe you out because of the sins of your generation, wouldn’t you be living in a perpetual state of doom?


English 10, Lesson 20 – Long-Term Optimism in the Psalms

This week in English, I continued looking at the Psalms.  Throughout the Psalms, one message is repeatedly stated in different forms: God will always deliver justice.  In this essay, I am going to talk about how that one message should give humans long-term optimism.

In the Psalms there is not a paragraph that states “you should have long-term optimism because…”, but the Psalms does give you certain pieces of information that should make you have long-term optimism. 

The Psalms state that God will defeat the evil-doers, but will never desert those that stay on the righteous path.  This is promising that God will serve justness to those who are deserving.  It also states that God will always reign supreme.  This tells us that we do not need to worry about another power overthrowing Him like we would worry with human leaders who promise justice.

As you can see, the Psalms give multiple examples for us to understand why we should have long-term optimism.  If we know that we are following the right path to the best of our ability, we know that God will reward us for it, meaning we always having something to look forward to.

English 10, Lesson 15 – Historical Sanctions in the Psalms

This week in English, I looked over Psalms 1 – 15.  In each one, I noticed a recurring theme, ethics and sanctions.  This seems to be a common theme throughout all of the Bible stories I have looked at in this course so far.  In this essay, I am going to be talking about the importance of the sanctions in the Psalms.

If you read my last essay about the ethics and sanctions of the story of Noah and the Flood, you would know that I compared ethics and sanctions to cause and effect.  In the case of the Psalms, I can do the same.

The Psalms stated that disbelievers and wrongdoers would face God’s sanctions.  Those that chose to not believe in God and those who strayed from the up righteous path would face His punishments.

The threat of God’s sanctions is something that is present in every story.  In the story of Adam and Eve, God punished them by sending them to Earth.  In the story of Cain and Able, God punished Cain for murdering his brother.  In the story of Noah and the Flood, the people of Earth were punished with a flood.

I am sure you can think of more stories from the Bible where God enforces his sanctions on those who disobey Him.

As you can see, sanctions are extremely important in the Psalms and stories from Genesis.  I have no doubt that sanctions are also important in other stories.  God’s sanctions are the basis of every story.  If you do wrong, you will be punished.

English 10, Lesson 10 – Ethics and Sanctions of Noah and the Flood

This week in class, I learned about the story of Noah and the flood.  You are probably already familiar with the story.  In this essay, I am going to be talking about the importance of ethics and sanctions in the story.

Before I begin, I would like to do a quick summary of the history.

Years after Adam and Eve left the Earth, the people became disbelievers and overall wicked.  God creates a flood to wipe out the entire human race so they can start over.  However, before He does this, He informs the only good man left, Noah.  God tells Noah to create an ark for his family and two of each animal so they can repopulate the Earth.  When the flood comes it lasts forty days and forty nights.  When it is finally over, Noah sends a dove out.  At the first attempt, the dove comes back emptyhanded.  But when Noah tries again, the dove comes back with an olive branch.  When Noah tries for the third time, the bird does not return, implying that it found land.

In the case of this story, I like to relate it to “cause and effect.”  The cause was the people’s ethics, which is described as wickedness.  The effect was the sanction, the big flood that wiped out the population.

As you can see, ethics and sanctions are very important in this story.  Once you lay out all of the information, it will be easy to see that the whole reason the flood happened is because of the people’s ethics, leading to God’s sanction.

English 10, Lesson 5 – Hierarchy in Genesis vs. Hierarchy in the Islamic Theology

This week in class, Dr. North went over the first few days of Creation.  He also went over the hierarchy of God, the humans, and the serpent in great detail.  In this essay, I am going to do a brief comparison of the Bible narration versus Islamic Theology.

Hierarchy in the Bible

In Genesis, it is said that God created Adam as an image of Himself.  Of course, Adam was only a human and was not an equal to God, but he was considered an image of Him.

God gave Adam the job of naming the animals, but when he saw how each of them came in pairs, male and female, he became lonely.  God then created a companion from his rib.  This companion is the woman who will later be named Eve.

At this point in time, the hierarchy is God, then Adam and Eve, who are considered equals.

Later on, a serpent convinces Eve to eat the fruit from the Forbidden Tree.  Eve in turn, convinces Adam to eat the fruit. Once they have consumed the fruit, they become aware of their nakedness and cover themselves with fig leaves.

When God comes down to the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve are, He asks why they are wearing the leaves.  They explain that they ate the fruit from the Forbidden Tree and realized their nakedness.

As punishment, God sends Adam and Eve down to Earth, but not before lowering Eve’s status.  She is now subservient to Adam and will suffer the pains of labour.  He also removes the serpent’s legs, forcing him to slither around everywhere.

Now, the hierarchy is God, then Adam, then Eve, then the serpent.

Hierarchy in Islamic Theology

There is no hierarchy between God, Adam, and Eve in Islamic Theology.  God created Adam, and from his rib, Eve.  The human being was His best creation and He ordered all beings in heaven to bow to Adam.  However, Satan refused, claiming that he was created from a smokeless fire and that Adam was created merely from dirt; thus he had a higher status.  But Satan did not know the knowledge that God had bestowed on Adam.

Adam and Eve lived in Paradise until they were tempted by Satan to eat the forbidden fruit.  Once that had happened, God sent them down to Earth to live for “a while” and God, from time to time, would send Messengers to convey the message of the Oneness of God.  Those who believe and repent for their sins would enter Paradise, and those who disbelieve would enter Hell.


As you can see, the blame lies not with Eve alone.  Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan.