One of the more abstract concepts in society is the moral definition of Good and Evil. We often find ourselves in a moral grey areas as to what qualifies as Good or Evil. It is always important to understand whether something is inherently Good or Evil to help society progress into the modern world. Take slavery for example, it was considered normal to own another human being less than a century ago but has no place in this modern world. Similarly an interesting parallel can be drawn by observing the story of Medusa to witness how easily the concept of Good and Evil can be flipped interchangeably.
The general myth of Medusa is that she was originally a beautiful human lady with luscious hair that attracted many suitors. One day, Poseidon the God of the Seas took interest in Medusa due to her beauty and desired her for himself. Medusa being arrogant and conceited with her own beauty rejected the advances of Poseidon enraging the God of the Sea where he then raped her in the Temple of Athena and impregnated her. This drew the fury of Athena who cursed her by turning her hair into snakes and placing a spell on her to turn any being into stone simply by gazing into her eyes.
Due to this fact, many people perceive Athena as an evil goddess who sided with her fellow Olympian and punished an innocent lady despite being the Goddess of Wisdom. There are some who also blame Medusa as she was drunk with her own beauty and deserved the punishment given to her. Even in a pretty straightforward story of injustice there is debate on who is Good and Evil.
There is however a different school of thought that views Athena’s actions as mercy and an act of empowerment for Medusa. Athena could not bring Poseidon to justice as he was not only the brother of Zeus but was also stronger than Athena being the three elder Olympians. Athena therefore decided to help Medusa by placing a spell on her to turn any beings that gaze into her eyes to turn to stone, which included Gods and other divine beings. Athena helped Medusa by giving her the power to defend herself from even the Gods to ensure she would never again be placed in a position of helplessness.
From this side of the story, Athena is viewed as a merciful Goddess who in her wisdom chose the most practical solution with her limited power which is to empower a victim of an injustice to ensure she will never be put in the same position again.
Therefore Good and Evil exists as two sides of the same coin. “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a perfect idiom to sum up this abstract concept. Thus it is important for us as a society to always look at situations from multiple perspectives to ensure we are able to effectively decide what is Good and Evil as our society further encroaches into the grey areas of morality.
Kage is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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