Mythical being

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A '''mythical creature''' is a fictional living thing, usually an animal or animal-like organism, that exists only in [[mythology]] or [[folklore]]. Sometimes these creatures have [[magical]] powers, sometimes not.
 
A '''mythical creature''' is a fictional living thing, usually an animal or animal-like organism, that exists only in [[mythology]] or [[folklore]]. Sometimes these creatures have [[magical]] powers, sometimes not.
  
==Examples==
+
==Well known examples==
 
Some examples of (mostly) non-religious mythical creatures include the following.
 
Some examples of (mostly) non-religious mythical creatures include the following.
  
 
===From older mythologies===
 
===From older mythologies===
 
; [[Wikipedia:Fairy|Fairies]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Fairy|Fairies]]
: Having taken on many different forms in the popular imagination throughout history, the most common modern conception, which became very popular in the early 20th century, is somewhat like a more elegant (usually somewhat [[angel]]ic) version of the ''[[Wikipedia:Peter Pan|Peter Pan]]'' character [[Wikipedia:Tinkerbell|Tinkerbell]] — a small, flying, female humanoid. In the past, however, the term has referred to a variety of magical creatures, such as trolls.
+
: Having taken on many different forms in the popular imagination throughout history, the most common modern conception, which became very popular in the early 20th century, is somewhat like a more elegant (usually somewhat [[angel]]ic) version of the ''[[Wikipedia:Peter Pan|Peter Pan]]'' character [[Wikipedia:Tinkerbell|Tinkerbell]] — a small, flying, female humanoid.
 
; [[Wikipedia:Leprechaun|Leprechauns]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Leprechaun|Leprechauns]]
: A type of fairy from Irish folklore, usually taking the form of a very short man, often clad in a red or green coat, who enjoys partaking in mischief.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun]
+
: A type of fairy from Irish folklore, usually taking the form of very short men, often clad in red or green coats, who enjoy partaking in mischief.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leprechaun]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Troll|Trolls]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Troll|Trolls]]
: Fearsome creatures from [[Wikipedia:Norse mythology|Norse mythology]], originally similar to the [[Wikipedia:Ogre|ogres]] of England.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll]
+
: A large, fearsome type of fairy from [[Wikipedia:Norse mythology|Norse mythology]], originally similar to the [[Wikipedia:Ogre|ogres]] of England.[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll]
  
===Specific modern examples===
+
===In modern times===
 
; [[Wikipedia:Loch Ness Monster|Loch Ness Monster]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Loch Ness Monster|Loch Ness Monster]]
: Sometimes affectionately called ''Nessie''; currently thought by some to reside within Loch Ness, a narrow yet deep body of water near Inverness in Scotland, UK. Nessie and Loch Ness are popular attractions, with thousands of tourists arriving each year in the hope of catching a glimpse of the creature. Systematic investigations of Loch Ness have failed to provide conclusive evidence of the existence of any such creature.
+
: Sometimes affectionately called ''Nessie'', this dinosaur- or serpent-like creature is currently thought by some to reside within [[Wikipedia:Loch Ness|Loch Ness]], a narrow yet deep body of water near Inverness in Scotland, UK. Nessie and Loch Ness are popular attractions, with thousands of tourists arriving each year in the hope of catching a glimpse of the creature. Many examples of purported photographic and video evidence (much of it mutually contradictory) have been offered by amateurs, but systematic investigations of Loch Ness have failed to provide conclusive evidence of any such creature.
 
; [[Wikipedia:Bigfoot|Bigfoot]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Bigfoot|Bigfoot]]
 
:  
 
:  
  
===Well known examples mentioned in the Bible===
+
===Mentioned in the Bible===
 
; [[Wikipedia:Unicorn|Unicorns]]
 
; [[Wikipedia:Unicorn|Unicorns]]
 
: Typically depicted (in modern times) as a white [[wikipedia:horse|horse]] with a single, spiral horn growing out of its forehead. The unicorn appears in eight different places in the [[King James Bible]]: {{bible|Job 39:9-11}}, {{bible|Deut. 33:17}}, {{bible|Numbers 23:22}}, {{bible|Numbers 24:8}}, {{bible|Psalms 22:21}}, {{bible|Psalms 29:6}}, {{bible|Psalms 92:10}}, and {{bible|Isaiah 34:7}}.
 
: Typically depicted (in modern times) as a white [[wikipedia:horse|horse]] with a single, spiral horn growing out of its forehead. The unicorn appears in eight different places in the [[King James Bible]]: {{bible|Job 39:9-11}}, {{bible|Deut. 33:17}}, {{bible|Numbers 23:22}}, {{bible|Numbers 24:8}}, {{bible|Psalms 22:21}}, {{bible|Psalms 29:6}}, {{bible|Psalms 92:10}}, and {{bible|Isaiah 34:7}}.

Revision as of 19:02, 27 December 2009

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For more information, see the Wikipedia article:

A mythical creature is a fictional living thing, usually an animal or animal-like organism, that exists only in mythology or folklore. Sometimes these creatures have magical powers, sometimes not.

Contents

Well known examples

Some examples of (mostly) non-religious mythical creatures include the following.

From older mythologies

Fairies
Having taken on many different forms in the popular imagination throughout history, the most common modern conception, which became very popular in the early 20th century, is somewhat like a more elegant (usually somewhat angelic) version of the Peter Pan character Tinkerbell — a small, flying, female humanoid.
Leprechauns
A type of fairy from Irish folklore, usually taking the form of very short men, often clad in red or green coats, who enjoy partaking in mischief.[1]
Trolls
A large, fearsome type of fairy from Norse mythology, originally similar to the ogres of England.[2]

In modern times

Loch Ness Monster
Sometimes affectionately called Nessie, this dinosaur- or serpent-like creature is currently thought by some to reside within Loch Ness, a narrow yet deep body of water near Inverness in Scotland, UK. Nessie and Loch Ness are popular attractions, with thousands of tourists arriving each year in the hope of catching a glimpse of the creature. Many examples of purported photographic and video evidence (much of it mutually contradictory) have been offered by amateurs, but systematic investigations of Loch Ness have failed to provide conclusive evidence of any such creature.
Bigfoot

Mentioned in the Bible

Unicorns
Typically depicted (in modern times) as a white horse with a single, spiral horn growing out of its forehead. The unicorn appears in eight different places in the King James Bible: Job 39:9-11 Bible-icon.png, Deut. 33:17 Bible-icon.png, Numbers 23:22 Bible-icon.png, Numbers 24:8 Bible-icon.png, Psalms 22:21 Bible-icon.png, Psalms 29:6 Bible-icon.png, Psalms 92:10 Bible-icon.png, and Isaiah 34:7 Bible-icon.png.
Dragons
Usually reptilian creatures that are similar to large lizards or dinosaurs (mainly in the European tradition), or snake-like serpents (mainly in oriental traditions). Although the King James Bible uses the words "serpent", "dragon" and "Devil" in a fairly interchangeable manner, the first mentions of a dragon-like creature is in Job 26:13 Bible-icon.png and Isaiah 27:1 Bible-icon.png, where it is called Nachash Bare'ach, or "Pole Serpent".[3]

Use in counter-apologetics

Because most theists agree that non-religious mythical creatures do not really exist, they often serve as good substitutes for God (or angels, etc.) in counter-apologetics, either to show the weakness of a theist's argument, or to show the reasonableness of a corresponding counter-argument — especially in the context of the reasonableness of belief without evidence, or the nature of burden of proof when applied to issues of existence.

Example

  • Atheist: "Do you believe in leprechauns?"
  • Theist: "No."
  • Atheist: "Why not?"
  • Theist: "Because they obviously don't exist."
  • Atheist: "Prove it."
  • Theist: "I don't have to! No one really believes in leprechauns."
  • Atheist: "Do you have evidence that they don't exist?"
  • Theist: "No, but you don't have evidence that they do."
  • Atheist: "You're right. But why not believe in them anyway, since we don't have good evidence either way?"
  • (and so forth...)
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