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Western Civilization Essay

Throughout the existence of mankind, there has been an intense pursuit for a clear understanding of immortality. The question of human life and life after their death has always caused different feelings and reactions. The quest for the right answer to the question on immortality has made people embrace several approaches in obtaining an answer. The question on human life is one wrought with several interpretations and propositions. For instance, there are diverse views presented in Gilgamesh's and Isaiah's view about human life. These two approaches are meant to offer a sense of direction to people. They are supposed to remove the confusion that most people experience concerning human existence and the inevitable death. Religion has played a major role in providing answers to complex questions about humanity. As such, there are diverse views among different people towards god, justice, the nature of man as well as issues on slavery. Nevertheless, people's beliefs and views towards life are varied and they determine their way of life.

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The views presented in the story of Gilgamesh and that of Isaiah about life have several similarities and contrasts. To start with, the two stories are answers to the dilemma about human life and existence. In the two stories, it is clear that mortality is inevitable to human beings. Despite the intense search for a cure of mortality, Gilgamesh dies eventually (Shultziner 82). The death of Enkidu is so devastating to Gilgamesh that he gets obsessed with the idea of obtaining a cure for death. Gilgamesh believes that if people become immortal, the history of the society will be protected. Similarly, Isaiah views life as a moment for expressing the best actions towards others (Desmond 35). People should do their best to live in harmony and peacefully in the short period they live on earth. Therefore, good values are paramount for a worthy life.

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The teachings of Isaiah demonstrate the relevance of living blameless lives and putting ones life in accordance to the will of God. Perhaps the aspect of living well with all people is highly demonstrated in the two views. For instance, when Gilgamesh sets out to look for a cure to mortality, he is not selfish. He would like to get a cure for all people and not for his own self. When he finds the flower that brings immortality, he starts his journey back home to take the cure together with the elders. Isaiah also advises men to live selfish lives. On the contrary, Gilgamesh and Isaiah differ in that there is eternal life after death according to Isaiah which Gilgamesh does not mention anywhere.

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Hebrews, Egyptians and Mesopotamians had diverse views towards god, justice, nature of human beings and slavery. The four groups of people had very similar views about god. They all viewed god as all powerful and immortal. God had the answer to the difficult things they faced and that he controlled their existence. Similarly, they believed that justice is a very essential thing in the society. They all viewed justice as acquitting the innocent and punishing the guilty accordingly. God was pleased with justice (O'Connell 412). Human beings were viewed as subordinate to god as they were mortal. There are differences in the way these groups of people viewed god.

The Egyptians for instance were inclined towards a philosophical inclusion of their beliefs. The concept of Melchizedek on subordination and exclusion of evolutionary Deity formed the basis for their beliefs. The basis was exclusively on creative power. This concept was also embraced by the Mesopotamians. Nevertheless, Hebrew was very emphatic about the concept of morality. Human morality is a very important factor for the Hebrews. This explains why slaves among Hebrews had freedom to do several things such as getting married. Contrary to this, slaves among the Egyptians were never given much freedom. Similarly, the code of Hammurabi was lenient to slave. They were free to marry free people, own property as well as purchase own freedom. This was never the case in Egypt.

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Some of the ideas observed by the teachings and views of the three groups excite me. For instance, Hebrews are said to have a strong belief in an all powerful God. Other gods are subordinate to him. The story of the Mosaic teachings is very clear on the abilities of God Almighty. Similarly, I am of the opinion that slaves are human beings just any other. They need to be treated with mercy and consideration. The fact that the code of Hammurabi facilitated this excites me. I believe that all men should be treated with dignity and respect. It is also good that justice was so much valued by the three groups due to the fact that injustice could attract the wrath of gods. Thus the three groups of people were highly religious and deeply concerned with the demands of their gods.

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