Page 1 of 26 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 258

Thread: The God Zoo

  1. Top | #1
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,874
    Archived
    3,884
    Total Posts
    9,758
    Rep Power
    64

    The God Zoo

    When dealing with the subject of the existence, or non-existence of God, we atheists often have trouble with theists who play games with definitions of God. So the definition of God can be problematic, especially with those theists who have read some 'sophisticated theology'. Thinking about the various definitions of God(s), i have been thinking of a project I call The God Zoo. Not in the sense of various gods, Yahweh, Zeus, Quetzcoatl, Odin, Shiva et al, but varying concepts of Gods. And the problems each type of God might have. This is a project under development. I toss this out here for comments, ideas, additions, and general merriment. Again, this is a work under development. The interesting thing to me is the Grand Gods of Grand Theologies seem to be the easiest to demonstrate being rather problematic. So here is an outline I have started to consider. Have fun.

    --------------
    God Zoo List.

    1. Omni-everything creator Gods
    Gods that create all, and are omnipotent, omniscient and
    omnibenevolent
    2. Super Omnipotent Gods. Presuppositionalist, TAG Gods
    Descartes in his letters to Mesennes states that God
    creates the laws, the very logic of the Universe. God then
    creates everything, including all metaphysic necessities,
    not just the material Universe.
    3. Simple God
    4. Impersonal
    5. Perfect being theology Gods
    Anselm of Bec states that God is perfectly good. If some
    things are good, some things are better than good and God
    is supremely good. This line of reasoning was adopted by
    Aquinas as a proof of God's existence, proof by degrees.
    God then has all good attributes to the penultimate degree.
    God has all perfections.
    6. Demi-urges
    God that do not create the material of the Universe, but
    arrange it for their own purposes. Plato's Timaeus
    hypothesizes a demiurge type God.
    7. Material Gods
    God of the atomists, Epicurus. Nothing exists except
    atoms and the void. So if gods exist, they must be
    material Gods. The God of the Stoics simularly was a
    material God. Though not necessarily of the material we
    are familar with.
    8. Primordial Chaos
    Many early theologies start with a primordial chaos that
    emanate the first Gods. Hesiod's theologny. Early
    Egyptian creation myths. Sometimes it is primordial seas.
    There are no Gods to start with. Matter preceeds the Gods.
    9. Panentheism. Process Theology, Open Theology Gods. Panentheism
    God does not have omniscience, or omnipotence. The
    material Universe is part and parcel of God, not seperate
    from God. A major concept in the invention of Process theology by Alfred North Whitehead.
    10 Metaphysical Gods. Ground of being and other sophisticated formulations.
    11. Deist Gods
    12. Idealist Gods
    13. Pantheism
    14. Maya Gods.
    15. Dualist Gods
    16. Polytheism
    17. Lesser divine beings
    Angels, demons, and similar beings.
    18. Supernatural beings
    Lares, penitates, saints, souls, djinn etc.
    19. Fairies, leprechauns et al
    The vast number of more or less magical, or supernatural creatures who have been part of folklore world
    wide for millenia.
    20. Ghost, poltergeists et al.
    Cheerful Charlie

  2. Top | #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Port Clinton, Ohio
    Posts
    4,281
    Archived
    591
    Total Posts
    4,872
    Rep Power
    71
    Where do crop gods fit, in your categories? Those olden-timey gods that were in charge of some crop that was important to some tribe or group? Like the corn gods in Mesoamerica. BTW, beet god totally blows.

  3. Top | #3
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    7,473
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    12,512
    Rep Power
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Where do crop gods fit, in your categories? Those olden-timey gods that were in charge of some crop that was important to some tribe or group? Like the corn gods in Mesoamerica. BTW, beet god totally blows.
    That makes me think the list in the OP should be inverted. Most supernatural creatures are local and personal. One can't believe in the great Woo unless one believes in woo. Dear departed Granny is shaking things down in the pantry in the middle of the night and there's something under my bed too. Only then, of course, can we have theologians and doctors of divinity.

    Folks are also quick to take these alleged super gods and personalize them, being thankful for helping them make the cheerleaders squad. So really all gods are personal gods, the Ghost of Granny and Jehovah and guardian angels aren't much different in their application.

  4. Top | #4
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,874
    Archived
    3,884
    Total Posts
    9,758
    Rep Power
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Where do crop gods fit, in your categories? Those olden-timey gods that were in charge of some crop that was important to some tribe or group? Like the corn gods in Mesoamerica. BTW, beet god totally blows.
    People invented God for the things that were important to them. Like agriculture. Vast swarms of such gods. The Roman Ceres cult had a parade of associated godlets, a god of hoeing weeds, a god for manuring the fields. Gods of shepards, gods of fruit trees orchards.

    People created gods for what they knew. None of these gods of course came down and clued mankind in about such things like tube wells, genetics, creating artificial fertilizers, or windmills to pump water.

    And all the many Godlets of humankind are of that manner. Rome for example had swarms of war Gods, Mars, his wife Belona, an ancient war Goddess, and swarms of related godlets. None of whom bothered to explain the benefits of gun powder to the Romans. None of the war gods of any culture did that either.

    We don't see any God coming down to Earth to introduce their selves and their children, the goddesses of quarks, electrons, photons, or the gods of the 4 great forces, gravity, electro-magnetical, strong nuclear force, weak electrical forces, etc. No gods of chemistry explaining what the Universe is really made of, the 82 naturally occurring atoms.

    I keep trying to start writing a nice essay on all of this but I keep pooping out. But all the nature gods of old have been busts as far as really helping mankind, no Promethean God coming down to explain germs and other important concepts to aid healers. This I think, is what we call, a clue. The concept of polytheistic gods of old doesn't pass the common sense check.

    The ancients hadn't a clue about the real nature of the material world, and could not imagine how mindless sources could create a complex world, except for few daring philosophers. It had to have all been designed. By somebody. One of the first to break out of the mold, was Xenophanes.

    “One god there is, in no way like mortal creatures either in bodily form or in the thought of his mind. The whole of him sees, the whole of him thinks, the whole of him hears. He stays always motionless in the same place; it is not fitting that he should move about now this way, now that.”
    ― Xenophanes

    Perfect being, maximal God theology was born.
    Cheerful Charlie

  5. Top | #5
    Formerly Joedad
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    PA USA
    Posts
    7,473
    Archived
    5,039
    Total Posts
    12,512
    Rep Power
    83
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ideologyhunter View Post
    Where do crop gods fit, in your categories? Those olden-timey gods that were in charge of some crop that was important to some tribe or group? Like the corn gods in Mesoamerica. BTW, beet god totally blows.
    People invented God for the things that were important to them. Like agriculture. Vast swarms of such gods. The Roman Ceres cult had a parade of associated godlets, a god of hoeing weeds, a god for manuring the fields. Gods of shepards, gods of fruit trees orchards.
    Societies seem to have invented gods as a vehicle to express belief in luck and superstition generally. This ritualized behavior attributed to believing in gods is at its foundation just a further manifestation of our attraction to woo, our emotional self, nothing less than a mild case of OCD.

  6. Top | #6
    Contributor Cheerful Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    5,874
    Archived
    3,884
    Total Posts
    9,758
    Rep Power
    64
    It is a matter of hoping that prayers and sacrifices correctly done to the right godlet will assure that we won't be starving this season. Or that if invaded by the bastard from across the river, you god of war will help defeat them in battle. When one is helpless otherwise, hope in a helpful god is better than nothing. You are doing something. And as an added bonus, religious festivals often served as a welcome day off from the usual drudgery of ancient agricultural societies.
    Cheerful Charlie

  7. Top | #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Port Clinton, Ohio
    Posts
    4,281
    Archived
    591
    Total Posts
    4,872
    Rep Power
    71
    Flash forward through the eons, to last week. I'm on the phone to someone I met in an aerobics group.
    Me: I don't care when I wake up anymore. All the stuff I used to go do in the morning has flatlined.
    Her: I know, same here. It's a challenge. But I always have Jesus. Jesus is with me, no matter what.
    Me: (Long mental 'Uhhhhh….') Okay. ...Do you keep up with the grandkids, on the phone?

  8. Top | #8
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    950
    Archived
    920
    Total Posts
    1,870
    Rep Power
    52
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    When dealing with the subject of the existence, or non-existence of God, we atheists often have trouble with theists who play games with definitions of God. So the definition of God can be problematic, especially with those theists who have read some 'sophisticated theology'. Thinking about the various definitions of God(s), i have been thinking of a project I call The God Zoo. Not in the sense of various gods, Yahweh, Zeus, Quetzcoatl, Odin, Shiva et al, but varying concepts of Gods. And the problems each type of God might have. This is a project under development. I toss this out here for comments, ideas, additions, and general merriment. Again, this is a work under development. The interesting thing to me is the Grand Gods of Grand Theologies seem to be the easiest to demonstrate being rather problematic. So here is an outline I have started to consider. Have fun.

    --------------
    God Zoo List.

    1. Omni-everything creator Gods
    Gods that create all, and are omnipotent, omniscient and
    omnibenevolent
    2. Super Omnipotent Gods. Presuppositionalist, TAG Gods
    Descartes in his letters to Mesennes states that God
    creates the laws, the very logic of the Universe. God then
    creates everything, including all metaphysic necessities,
    not just the material Universe.
    3. Simple God
    4. Impersonal
    5. Perfect being theology Gods
    Anselm of Bec states that God is perfectly good. If some
    things are good, some things are better than good and God
    is supremely good. This line of reasoning was adopted by
    Aquinas as a proof of God's existence, proof by degrees.
    God then has all good attributes to the penultimate degree.
    God has all perfections.
    6. Demi-urges
    God that do not create the material of the Universe, but
    arrange it for their own purposes. Plato's Timaeus
    hypothesizes a demiurge type God.
    7. Material Gods
    God of the atomists, Epicurus. Nothing exists except
    atoms and the void. So if gods exist, they must be
    material Gods. The God of the Stoics simularly was a
    material God. Though not necessarily of the material we
    are familar with.
    8. Primordial Chaos
    Many early theologies start with a primordial chaos that
    emanate the first Gods. Hesiod's theologny. Early
    Egyptian creation myths. Sometimes it is primordial seas.
    There are no Gods to start with. Matter preceeds the Gods.
    9. Panentheism. Process Theology, Open Theology Gods. Panentheism
    God does not have omniscience, or omnipotence. The
    material Universe is part and parcel of God, not seperate
    from God. A major concept in the invention of Process theology by Alfred North Whitehead.
    10 Metaphysical Gods. Ground of being and other sophisticated formulations.
    11. Deist Gods
    12. Idealist Gods
    13. Pantheism
    14. Maya Gods.
    15. Dualist Gods
    16. Polytheism
    17. Lesser divine beings
    Angels, demons, and similar beings.
    18. Supernatural beings
    Lares, penitates, saints, souls, djinn etc.
    19. Fairies, leprechauns et al
    The vast number of more or less magical, or supernatural creatures who have been part of folklore world
    wide for millenia.
    20. Ghost, poltergeists et al.
    You had me at hello....so......
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    When dealing with the subject of the existence, or non-existence of God, we atheists often have trouble with theists who play games with definitions of God.
    Right back at you…….. What is the definition of atheism?

  9. Top | #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Silver Spring, MD, USA
    Posts
    527
    Archived
    1,844
    Total Posts
    2,371
    Rep Power
    76
    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    When dealing with the subject of the existence, or non-existence of God, we atheists often have trouble with theists who play games with definitions of God. So the definition of God can be problematic, especially with those theists who have read some 'sophisticated theology'. Thinking about the various definitions of God(s), i have been thinking of a project I call The God Zoo. Not in the sense of various gods, Yahweh, Zeus, Quetzcoatl, Odin, Shiva et al, but varying concepts of Gods. And the problems each type of God might have. This is a project under development. I toss this out here for comments, ideas, additions, and general merriment. Again, this is a work under development. The interesting thing to me is the Grand Gods of Grand Theologies seem to be the easiest to demonstrate being rather problematic. So here is an outline I have started to consider. Have fun.

    --------------
    God Zoo List.

    1. Omni-everything creator Gods
    Gods that create all, and are omnipotent, omniscient and
    omnibenevolent
    2. Super Omnipotent Gods. Presuppositionalist, TAG Gods
    Descartes in his letters to Mesennes states that God
    creates the laws, the very logic of the Universe. God then
    creates everything, including all metaphysic necessities,
    not just the material Universe.
    3. Simple God
    4. Impersonal
    5. Perfect being theology Gods
    Anselm of Bec states that God is perfectly good. If some
    things are good, some things are better than good and God
    is supremely good. This line of reasoning was adopted by
    Aquinas as a proof of God's existence, proof by degrees.
    God then has all good attributes to the penultimate degree.
    God has all perfections.
    6. Demi-urges
    God that do not create the material of the Universe, but
    arrange it for their own purposes. Plato's Timaeus
    hypothesizes a demiurge type God.
    7. Material Gods
    God of the atomists, Epicurus. Nothing exists except
    atoms and the void. So if gods exist, they must be
    material Gods. The God of the Stoics simularly was a
    material God. Though not necessarily of the material we
    are familar with.
    8. Primordial Chaos
    Many early theologies start with a primordial chaos that
    emanate the first Gods. Hesiod's theologny. Early
    Egyptian creation myths. Sometimes it is primordial seas.
    There are no Gods to start with. Matter preceeds the Gods.
    9. Panentheism. Process Theology, Open Theology Gods. Panentheism
    God does not have omniscience, or omnipotence. The
    material Universe is part and parcel of God, not seperate
    from God. A major concept in the invention of Process theology by Alfred North Whitehead.
    10 Metaphysical Gods. Ground of being and other sophisticated formulations.
    11. Deist Gods
    12. Idealist Gods
    13. Pantheism
    14. Maya Gods.
    15. Dualist Gods
    16. Polytheism
    17. Lesser divine beings
    Angels, demons, and similar beings.
    18. Supernatural beings
    Lares, penitates, saints, souls, djinn etc.
    19. Fairies, leprechauns et al
    The vast number of more or less magical, or supernatural creatures who have been part of folklore world
    wide for millenia.
    20. Ghost, poltergeists et al.
    You had me at hello....so......
    Quote Originally Posted by Cheerful Charlie View Post
    When dealing with the subject of the existence, or non-existence of God, we atheists often have trouble with theists who play games with definitions of God.
    Right back at you…….. What is the definition of atheism?
    It has been provided to you multiple times . . .

  10. Top | #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Port Clinton, Ohio
    Posts
    4,281
    Archived
    591
    Total Posts
    4,872
    Rep Power
    71
    Atheism = seeing things in natural sunlight.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •