Essay on The Modern Day Oracle of Delphi

Essay on The Modern Day Oracle of Delphi

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In modern day society, people don’t journey to the Oracle of Delphi to find out about their future. They go to a bank to protect their money or an economist to track which stocks are on the rise. And people don’t conduct sacrifices to prevent disease; they get vaccinations and routine testing at a doctor’s office. No longer does society rely on stars; it relies on science. While the Greeks believed in the power of oracles and stars, humanity now looks to science to foresee its fate. And as long as people have tried to find out their destinies, they have also tried to evade them. In Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex for example, both Oedipus and Jocasta take measures to thwart the misery prophesied in their futures. Oedipus is prophesied to kill his father and marry his mother, so he flees the parents he knows. Fate declares that Jocasta will marry her son, so she attempts to murder him as an infant.
However, despite all the measures Jocasta and Oedipus took, they ended up simply facilitating their destinies- orchestrating their own fates by trying to escape them. For example, Oedipus fled Corinth to remove himself from his parents. But in doing so, he ended up at Thebes, the city of his real parents. And Jocasta tried to have her son killed as a three-day-old baby, but in doing so, she only ensured that she wouldn’t be able to recognize him as an adult. (CITE)
What about modern day? Evasion of fate in today’s world has become much more sophisticated. There are multimillion dollar companies, millions of people, and a whole field of study devoted to it: medicine. What is the purpose of a hospital if not to help people day after day…..to evade their fates? Afflictions like pneumonia, diarrhea, and viral fevers that killed people in drov...


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...ted his downfall. Do humans run the same risk? At what point does hope cross the boundary into delusion? Perhaps humans will one day grapple with a disease that cannot be cured, even with the most advanced research and development. Will humans become so overconfident in their ability to cure any disease that they will be blinded from the fact that they can’t? Has that point already been reached? These are all valid questions. And the truth is, unlike Oedipus’ prophecy, the nature of fate with respect to medicine is not so clearly spelled out. Contagions and disease are constantly changing, mutating and developing new abilities. The only hope lies in the fact that humans are just as capable of change and adaptation, whether through new research, new techniques, or new theories. This dynamism is the most valuable weapon humans have in the endless battle against fate.

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