COMPARE Gilgamesh – A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell AND Hermann Hesse – Siddhartha
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Many religious classics have much to say about God, or gods, or other superhuman beings and phenomena, and yet all religious traditions are human enterprises. Their teachings are communicated in human languages, their rituals are practiced by human participants, and their histories are entwined with the development of human societies and cultures. Religious classics also explain what it is to be a human being.
Explanations regarding what it is to be human also figure into ethical or moral considerations. Are we by nature good, evil, or somewhere in between? Religious classics tend to recognize that human beings do not always do the right thing, and they commonly offer teachings and disciplines directed toward moral or ethical improvement.
On the one hand, to say that we are by nature good, and at the same time to recognize moral failings, is to infer that some cause external to our nature is causing the shortcoming. If we are by nature evil, on the other hand, or at least naturally prone to doing wrong, then the moral challenge lies within, and the means of improvement would need to be directed inwardly.
PLEASE COMPARE Gilgamesh – A New English Version by Stephen Mitchell AND Hermann Hesse – Siddhartha