Why Does Every Great Religion Have a Flood Story
It is interesting that the great flood myth/story can be found in the literature of most of the world's great religions. Even if we do not consider religions, most ancient civilizations have had the great flood story as a part of its folklore. There does not seem to be a geographical focus to the great flood story. Indeed, cutting across geographies, cultures, races, we find this story being a part of the collective consciousness of people. You can hear about the great flood myth in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. So, why do we seem to share this flood story across continents, cultures, religions? Could it be that this may in fact not be a story, but historical fact? Certainly, anthropologists argue that myths are often based on historical events. Of course, over the years, the myth may have lost a lot of the original facts surrounding the actual event, having be told and retold and its quite possible that details may have been added on or deleted. However, the substance of the story mostly survives, as it seems to have in the great flood story.
An examination of the great flood stories from across the world reveals that most of them share striking similarities. For example,
- The mention of there being a chosen individual/family.
- The individual/family being forewarned.
- The flood resulting from an increase in evil on Earth.
- The nature of the flood being global.
- The chosen individual/family being the only survivors of the great flood.
- The survival of animals.
- The mention of a mountain where the survivors sought refuge.
- The mention of a boat, as being the vessel which was built and on which the survivors survived.
With all these similarities, the only plausible conclusion that one can derive is that the flood myth or story is based on an ancient real historical fact. It is quite possible that descendants of the original people who survived and subsequently were born after the flood migrated to different parts of the world and carried the story of the great flood with them. They would have passed this flood story to their children and it could have thus carried on to this date. The minor differences can be attributed to the geographical, cultural, and linguistic differences of each of these peoples through the ages. It is quite possible that the original story would have been told slightly differently, but the essence of it essentially remains unchanged to this date and can be recognized as having probably had a single origin.
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