Extraordinary Claims => Religion General Discussion => Topic started by: Paolo on March 24, 2021, 05:48:10 AM

Title: Multiple gods?
Post by: Paolo on March 24, 2021, 05:48:10 AM
I have a fellow atheist contact who wrote (on Facebook) the following to me. I began with this question:

''Isn't 50% of the world at least a believer in the Abrahamic god?''

To which HE replied:

''Which Abrahamic god? The one who sent Muhammad as his ultimate prophet? The one who hears the prayers of the saints who intercede for us? The one who judges us only by our faith or the other who judges us by our works? The one who incarnated in Jesus and was both god and man?

There is not one god. There is a truckload of them and for millennia they are battling each other because they don't agree even on basic things''.

Now, I suppose each 'question' represents a different god. But I can see them easily overlap. For example, I don't see different 'gods' in ''[the] who judges us only by our faith or the other who judges us by our works''; which two different gods would be these?

The easiest distinction in the text between the Abrahamic gods are the Islamic and Christian ones. But I mostly don't see any difference between the others here.

Can anyone help me figuring out what is he saying, actually?

You could always say, of course: why don't you ask the guy directly, since you have his Facebook? But he is very busy and doesn't very often answer my questions...

P.S.: I am sorry for any errors or misunderstandings. English is not my first language.
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: drunkenshoe on March 24, 2021, 06:49:36 AM
Why does he exclude Judaism? Islam is far more closer to Judaism than Christianity. There are many common aspects between two religions. You can easily search that.
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: aitm on March 24, 2021, 09:12:27 AM

''Isn't 50% of the world at least a believer in the Abrahamic god?''

my question would be, why is only half the world interested in the Abrahamic god? The ancients worshiped animals, mountains, the sun and moon. I suspect, were data available, that they all received answers to their prayers with the same percentage of success that every other god delivers. So....if worshiping the moon, a snake, a god...or nothing can deliver the same results,  I go with the "why bother" answer.
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: Mike Cl on March 24, 2021, 09:52:36 AM
Well, Paolo, in order to know exactly what he is saying one has to ask him.  And ask him to define his terms.  The rest of us can only guess.  I think I see somewhat of what he is saying.  But, I can't ask him and there is always the problem of me reading into his statements what it is I want to see and not what he said or intended. 

But looking at the Catholic god may be instructive.  Catholics claim they worship one god.  Yet there is more than one catholic sect--Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc.  Why isn't there just one sect, if there is one god?  Plus, they have layers of gods they pray to, such as saints, arch angels, Mary, Jesus, and more.  They have more gods than one can shake a stick at!  The same can be said of all religions. 
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: Blackleaf on March 24, 2021, 12:26:49 PM
Even if you limit God to just what is described in the Christian Bible, his attributes change dramatically depending on which book you're reading from. In most of the Old Testament, God is not omnipotent, as he could be thwarted by iron (believed to be the Kryptonite of magical creatures). He wasn't timeless or unchanging, as Moses was able to talk him out of destroying the entire Hebrew people. He wasn't omnipresent, as his presence could be contained within a tent, and he had to ask about things he missed while he was away. He wasn't the only god, either, but just the greatest among the gods. When you get to the New Testament, you may take things for granted there too, but it's still not consistent. As your friend wrote, the New Testament isn't even consistent on God's standards are for who gets let into Heaven. Does he judge people by what they do, or does he just judge them by whether or not they believe in the correct religion? It depends on which part of the New Testament you read from. There is no consistent depiction of this God character. He can be basically whatever you want him to be.
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: Cassia on March 24, 2021, 03:31:42 PM
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: GSOgymrat on March 24, 2021, 04:36:09 PM
Polytheism solves the problem of evil. If there are supernatural forces trying to trick or corrupt people it explains why they do bad things. If there is one omnipotent, omniscient, loving God it makes no sense he would create beings and punish them for bad choices he knew they were going to make before they were born... aside from entertainment value.
Title: Re: Multiple gods?
Post by: drunkenshoe on March 26, 2021, 05:54:03 AM
Ancient polytheist cultures also do not have strict understandings of 'evil' and 'good', they don't have hells or heavens...etc. I think it is safe to say that ancient Greeks didn't like Hades, surely they were afraid of him, afraid of Zeus, Poseidon... but they were probably scared of Ares among all. Is there anything worse than war? Compared to the overwhelming majority of modern believers, they are the realists in this sense.