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Nighthawk9653

God and the gods

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This may be a touchy subject, but I'm just wondering.

So I was thinking about God, and all the other religions that have multiple gods, such as the gods from roman, Greek, nordic etc. mythology.

God would be the metaphysical, the almighty, and then the angels would be like, well, just like what they are, heaven would be as it is, but then could these other gods from various other civilizations be almost like God's 'employees'? Like they take care of things down here on earth? Like how there's a god of war, a god of the sea, a god of love, and all that?

Kind of like how God's angels have ranks, or levels of authority, it would be the same with these other gods. God being at the top of the ladder, the angels and the rest of the beings of heaven, the more metaphysical stuff, then would come these 'lesser' gods, somehow beings of a more earthly aspect, but not entirely, with all their creations, then there would be us.

Also, could these 'lesser' gods from all these different civilizations essentially be the same being, but with different names from different people? Like how Ares is the god of war in Greek mythology, and Tyr is the god of war in nordic mythology. Essentially the same, but with a different name.

What are your thoughts?

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Or Yahweh might be an employee of Zeus or Ra or Vishnu who just got a little uppity. Religions are born, they last for a period of time and then they die out. The Abrahamic faiths are slowly on the decline now.

This particular scenario doesn't make sense either. What possible need does a God who know's everything, see's everything, is everywhere and capable of anything need underlings for. To be honest the same argument can be used against angels as well.

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I think 'the supreme being' is a metaphore for something we cannot begin to understand and that the different entities, the different names, functions are a continuation of that metaphore and were purposeful for their particular time and era. I do think that these are a merge between fantasy, (stories/parables) and the physical, meaning that the gods and goddesses have been made manifest and had or have actual power among us. So we live in or are coming out of The Christ era... and that function of god has been at work for over 2000 years. I do think we are coming into a new era, not that excludes christ, but that adds to it. I think with the internet, the merging of cultures and ideas and the pursuit for different wisdoms our minds desperately want to make sence of it all and we will begin to see a bigger picture. Much if the teachings of Christ, though they will go through a time of severe rejection will remain but there will be a new name to extreme devotion. I think we will see its not about the name at all however, but more about our own divinity. Much of this new era will be the reintrodiction of The Feminine God in mass form, not that she hasnt been making a come back, but we will see this jump drastically. There will be many names for her because people want to identify, put a face on what is real. She will show up, prophetically as the dragon predicted in the bible, as other severe characters portrayed throughout history. She isnt satan but she is an old lie, having het back in the fold will be balancing. I have to say that yes, they are all representations of The One God, or sent by that force, and that even the devil comes from this source and has a purpose. We all have heaven and hell within us and all of this is also is in our minds. Who god is to US is what is important. No longer will we rely on others testimonies but we will have our own. We will know God for ourselves, we will be impowered by that knowledge, meaning that which we believe will become activated, just as Christ has been activated or any of the other dieties in times past. Yes they both are real AND we make them real by believing. Nothing and everything will change about who god is. Some need God to be a monster because they themselves are monsters and want to justify their monstrosity. That is how God can be a devil. but vastly, because we are made to advance, god will remain the god of salvation/ deliverence and... power.... we will recognize our power through God, or through these Gods and Goddesses. They will continue to be fantastic stories/ mysteries to be doubted, but oh so real for some. More than one god, one god, different spirits, our own mind, the interconnectiveness between all spirits and lifeforms, spirit guides and story tellers... and of course still remaining, The Christ, which is the Light of God and our transformation.

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Posted (edited)

The multiple gods started of as one. In European terms if you go back far enough in time you get to a group of tribes with one culture and one language. How far back this is and where they lived is argued about of course. To put it simply without diverting into one off cases and anomalies, this tribe of proto Europeans seem to have had one God, and we get to this by going backwards from the Latin Deus to the Indo-European Dyaus. This is as far back as we can go, I think, but then going forward from this word we see it metamorphoses into different forms in all the main European language groups. Some confusion about who God is happens when as this group of proto Europeans split and split again and again to produce the huge number of different ethic groups we have in Europe today. As time pases different groups begin to invent new gods for particulary aspects of nature and their lives. In many cases the original god became downgraded and replaced by a new invented god. This is clear in Germanic peoples were Tyr, which is a variant of Dyaus, even if it does not look like it, became downgraded to being the god of war and his place was taken by Odin. Now all this is swept aside and we are back to one god, though the idea of also having many subservient gods is presevered in the practice of saints in non Protestant denominations. Perhaps we should see this original division of God's reponsibilities as the result of our seemingly eternal desire to count and sort things into some order. We had one God but it wasn't enough so we created "godlets", now we have celebrities..

Edited by Kaa-Tzik

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Very interesting subject, Nighthawk!

What if the Gods our ancestors saw were actually 'us' from the future?

And the 'lesser' gods you talk about were literally employees.

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The multiple gods started of as one. In European terms if you go back far enough in time you get to a group of tribes with one culture and one language. How far back this is and where they lived is argued about of course. To put it simply without diverting into one off cases and anomalies, this tribe of proto Europeans seem to have had one God, and we get to this by going backwards from the Latin Deus to the Indo-European Dyaus. This is as far back as we can go, I think, but then going forward from this word we see it metamorphoses into different forms in all the main European language groups. Some confusion about who God is happens when as this group of proto Europeans split and split again and again to produce the huge number of different ethic groups we have in Europe today. As time pases different groups begin to invent new gods for particulary aspects of nature and their lives. In many cases the original god became downgraded and replaced by a new invented god. This is clear in Germanic peoples were Tyr, which is a variant of Dyaus, even if it does not look like it, became downgraded to being the god of war and his place was taken by Odin. Now all this is swept aside and we are back to one god, though the idea of also having many subservient gods is presevered in the practice of saints in non Protestant denominations. Perhaps we should see this original division of God's reponsibilities as the result of our seemingly eternal desire to count and sort things into some order. We had one God but it wasn't enough so we created "godlets", now we have celebrities..

That isn't true. As far back as we can trace them, the Indo-Europeans have had multiple deities.

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What if the Jehovah of the Bible was just a local war god, who managed to convince some people he was the only god?

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Posted (edited)

That isn't true. As far back as we can trace them, the Indo-Europeans have had multiple deities.

I haven't said they didn't, I have speculated about the origins. I mention it because there is this one name, Dyaus, that comes down through history. Nobody knows when all the other gods started to appear, but it seems reasonable to me that humans anywere started off with one concept of God, and probably the Sun or Sky and it generally seems to be the Sky. That is the point I was making that we probably start off with one, or to be pedandic, maybe two, the Sun and the Sky, expand to many, and have contracted back to one, for most people. And the word you use, deities, comes from Dyaus, a word for God in the singular, and we deal here with the chief God. I would have thought that a chief god should be seen as God, and all others later constructs.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik

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I haven't said they didn't, I have speculated about the origins. I mention it because there is this one name, Dyaus, that comes down through history. Nobody knows when all the other gods started to appear, but it seems reasonable to me that humans anywere started off with one concept of God, and probably the Sun or Sky and it generally seems to be the Sky. That is the point I was making that we probably start off with one, or to be pedandic, maybe two, the Sun and the Sky, expand to many, and have contracted back to one, for most people. And the word you use, deities, comes from Dyaus, a word for God in the singular, and we deal here with the chief God. I would have thought that a chief god should be seen as God, and all others later constructs.

In addition to Father Sky there is always Mother Earth, too. Plus deities for the sun and moon, and the other planets, and other forces of nature. Dis Pater actually became Jupiter in Latin, otherwise known as Jove, a name rather similar to Jehovah, or Yahweh, so it seems more likely that the Hebrew god started out as one among many, not the other way round (I know the Hebrews were Semitic, not Indo-European, but there was a lot of cultural interchange in the ancient world).

Your assumption that humans started off with just one concept of god is proven false by history and anthropology. The further back we go, the more gods there are.

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Or Yahweh might be an employee of Zeus or Ra or Vishnu who just got a little uppity. Religions are born, they last for a period of time and then they die out. The Abrahamic faiths are slowly on the decline now.

This particular scenario doesn't make sense either. What possible need does a God who know's everything, see's everything, is everywhere and capable of anything need underlings for. To be honest the same argument can be used against angels as well.

The same argument can be used against us.

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What if the Jehovah of the Bible was just a local war god, who managed to convince some people he was the only god?

You are quite correct. In the early bible other gods were real, but only Yahweh was to be worshipped. Monolatry, not monotheism. My god is better than yours. Only in later Hebrew thought did he becaome the only true god. The Isrealites shared this with other Semitic peoples, along with other customs. The "ban" is the Hebrew equivalent of jihad, to slaughter everyone of a defeated enemy down to the cattle. Fortunately, as civilization progressed they toned it down a bit.

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I agree with some of the things people have already said in this thread. IMO, there is nothing to say that all these entities and beings weren't just everyone's interpretation of things they didn't understand. Greeks created gods of certain phenomena on the Earth, to explain these things. It is similar to the illusion of knowledge. We create things to explain things we don't, and therefore we feel safer and smarter in being able to explain the things around us.

Perhaps it is all one supreme being or entity, and every culture just has a different name or explanation for it. Call me crazy, but it wouldn't even need to be a God. (This will go over well here I'm sure.) Would it even have to be a real being at all? Could it just be the wonders of the Earth causing humans to come up with these ideas of higher beings? Could it be stronger beings from a different universe? (Doctor Who anyone? :P ) Could it be ET's? Lol, i have no idea. We do have more hard evidence of ET's than God/gods.

Anyways, I really respect everyone's opinion on this. It's interesting to me to read all the different ideas people can come up with.

Peace,

FY

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In addition to Father Sky there is always Mother Earth, too. Plus deities for the sun and moon, and the other planets, and other forces of nature. Dis Pater actually became Jupiter in Latin, otherwise known as Jove, a name rather similar to Jehovah, or Yahweh, so it seems more likely that the Hebrew god started out as one among many, not the other way round (I know the Hebrews were Semitic, not Indo-European, but there was a lot of cultural interchange in the ancient world).

Your assumption that humans started off with just one concept of god is proven false by history and anthropology. The further back we go, the more gods there are.

You seem to have missed me using the word pedantic, and that I do not say there were no other gods. Dyaus is singular for God, it is irelevant that there were other gods, and my post makes that clear. Nobody knows when humans began to have thoughts about how we came to be or about a god. You seem to suggest that you know about this distant past and have decided that in the beggining there were a multitude of gods. You, I, or anybody else, do not know this. The fact that there is a chief god does however indicate that there was one god, and others then followed.

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You seem to have missed me using the word pedantic, and that I do not say there were no other gods. Dyaus is singular for God, it is irelevant that there were other gods, and my post makes that clear. Nobody knows when humans began to have thoughts about how we came to be or about a god. You seem to suggest that you know about this distant past and have decided that in the beggining there were a multitude of gods. You, I, or anybody else, do not know this. The fact that there is a chief god does however indicate that there was one god, and others then followed.

I'm making no assumptions, simply repeating what we know. The further back you go, the more gods there are. The concept of a "chief god" is fairly late in developing.

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I'm making no assumptions, simply repeating what we know. The further back you go, the more gods there are. The concept of a "chief god" is fairly late in developing.

I think you miss the point entirely. And where do you get the idea that the concept of a chief god is late?. How do you explain the word, concept even, of Dyaus existing before Zeus, Tiwas etc. Does not commensense show that it is more likely that as humans we first had a concept of A god, then developed the idea from there into gods for this that and the other. I really cannot believe that when mankind first had a religious thought, that a god for every part of nature or human activity suddenly came into being. And while I cannot prove that this was not so, you cannot prove it was. I also do not know why you mention Yaweh, clearly a very late and composite god. Bringing him into this rather defeats your contention that the number of gods has been decreasing and not increasing, until the point when Yaweh becomes the God of most of the world and all the other gods dissapear.

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What are your thoughts?

I am thinking why do people continue wasting time with these bombastic phantasies that never be proven or disproven?

What is the friggin point?

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I think you miss the point entirely. And where do you get the idea that the concept of a chief god is late?. How do you explain the word, concept even, of Dyaus existing before Zeus, Tiwas etc. Does not commensense show that it is more likely that as humans we first had a concept of A god, then developed the idea from there into gods for this that and the other. I really cannot believe that when mankind first had a religious thought, that a god for every part of nature or human activity suddenly came into being. And while I cannot prove that this was not so, you cannot prove it was. I also do not know why you mention Yaweh, clearly a very late and composite god. Bringing him into this rather defeats your contention that the number of gods has been decreasing and not increasing, until the point when Yaweh becomes the God of most of the world and all the other gods dissapear.

We hear nothing of "chief gods" until the classical era, more or less. Including the classical era in Mesopotamia, who had a different chief god in each city.

Your concept of how gods are first thought of doesn't fit what we know from anthropology. Gods evolve from animist spirits, and within animistic beliefs, every single tree or animal or object has its own animating spirit, or god.

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I think you miss the point entirely. And where do you get the idea that the concept of a chief god is late?. How do you explain the word, concept even, of Dyaus existing before Zeus, Tiwas etc. Does not commensense show that it is more likely that as humans we first had a concept of A god, then developed the idea from there into gods for this that and the other. I really cannot believe that when mankind first had a religious thought, that a god for every part of nature or human activity suddenly came into being. And while I cannot prove that this was not so, you cannot prove it was. I also do not know why you mention Yaweh, clearly a very late and composite god. Bringing him into this rather defeats your contention that the number of gods has been decreasing and not increasing, until the point when Yaweh becomes the God of most of the world and all the other gods dissapear.

Early humans were Animists as in they believed everything possessed a spirit, a shamanistic belief system. Earliest religion we have is Sumerian (multiple gods) which funny enough is where Abraham hails from and not only that he was an idol maker. Also there is no W in hebrew its Yod Hah Vav Hah YHVH and hes not god, story goes a prophet bowed to him once and YHVH was beaten with a fiery whip. In other words YHVH != God just as your Breath != you. Thats why its said YHVH is the breath the rushes thru all of creation. If you know what the letters stand for you will understand its not about some name you worship but metaphysical philosophy.

Now onto your post about multiple gods being the same. Well whose gods are you talking about cause some of those religions get a lil crazy and are nothing like the three big ones. Most of what we know about spirituality, its history and the beliefs we have today come from three big civilizations: Greek, Persian and Egyptian. Now how we see gods and such is different from how our ancestors viewed them.

One of the big things that changes how we look at Gods and such is that unlike us the common Ancient man knew very little about the details of there civilizations beliefs and dogmas. In other words priesthood was more like a secret club or order. You as a common man would know very little about what the priests believed and what rituals they performed. Egypt was worse than the others of course, in fact most of what we know about Egypt's religion(which is very little) came from Greek's rewriting some spells, and funeral texts and tomb grahpics. Even Israel was the same way.

What changed all this????? Christianity and Islam, spirituality for the masses; now Christianity originally wasn't meant for everyone, a killer decided that after he fell off his donkey.

And because of the mass having control and creative licence on spirituality you end up with the cluster **** we have now. No longer is the secrets of the divine left to those who have devoted there lifes to studying spirituality no its in the control of people with the mindset of if it feels right its true.

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We hear nothing of "chief gods" until the classical era, more or less. Including the classical era in Mesopotamia, who had a different chief god in each city.

Your concept of how gods are first thought of doesn't fit what we know from anthropology. Gods evolve from animist spirits, and within animistic beliefs, every single tree or animal or object has its own animating spirit, or god.

Dyaus is the name for the chief god, and most certainly predates the classical era by a long way. You seem to want to ignore the etymology and time frame.

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Early humans were Animists as in they believed everything possessed a spirit, a shamanistic belief system.

We have no idea if they were animists. We simply cannot go far enough back in time with the historical or archeological record. Animism is a "primitive" form of religion, but we cannot say it was the first religion. We cannot know what anybody believed beyond the historical record, we cannot see in their minds, only put our own beliefs and conceptions on theirs. I think to traduce this debate back to the dawn of humanity is away from the OP. My original point is that as far as Europeans go, we have a god, Dyaus, who predates other European gods, and was for some cultures, Greeks for instance in the form Zeus, their chief god until they became Christian. And as I explained, in other cultures, Germanic for instance, this god under the name Tiwas and some local variants, was also their chief god until they demoted him. That the name Dyaus exists still in the words deus and deity etc should be a good indication that this god was seen as God. That other gods existed does not change this at all, and I do not, as it seems suggested, deny the existance of other gods.

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Dyaus is the name for the chief god, and most certainly predates the classical era by a long way. You seem to want to ignore the etymology and time frame.

Dyaus Pitra, literally Sky Father, is not the chief god, he is the sky god of the Vedic pantheon, father of Ushas and Ratri (Dawn and Night). He appears alongside Mata Prithvi, Mother Earth.

Edited by Elfin

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Dyaus Pitra, literally Sky Father, is not the chief god, he is the sky god of the Vedic pantheon, father of Ushas and Ratri (Dawn and Night). He appears alongside Mata Prithvi, Mother Earth.

Sky gods are chief gods. In no way does your post alter that this name was the name in various forms of the cheif god of pre-Christian Europeans. I do not really understand what point you are making, if any. You seem not to want to think there was ever any cheif god until a few millenia ago? Do you deny that Tiwas in his various forms was cheif god of Germanic peoples until supplanted by Odin, in his various forms. By the way, Hera sits alongside Zeus as his wife, but nobody suggests she is his equal, nobody doubts that Zeus is the boss, the chief god. And to bring this in full circle, Zeus the same as Deus and from Dyaus, all God with capital G.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik

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Sky gods are chief gods. In no way does your post alter that this name was the name in various forms of the cheif god of pre-Christian Europeans. I do not really understand what point you are making, if any. You seem not to want to think there was ever any cheif god until a few millenia ago? Do you deny that Tiwas in his various forms was cheif god of Germanic peoples until supplanted by Odin, in his various forms. By the way, Hera sits alongside Zeus as his wife, but nobody suggests she is his equal, nobody doubts that Zeus is the boss, the chief god.

Why are sky gods chief gods? This is just an assumption on your part. All your evidence of chief gods comes from much later, during the classical period.

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We have no idea if they were animists. We simply cannot go far enough back in time with the historical or archeological record. Animism is a "primitive" form of religion, but we cannot say it was the first religion. We cannot know what anybody believed beyond the historical record, we cannot see in their minds, only put our own beliefs and conceptions on theirs. I think to traduce this debate back to the dawn of humanity is away from the OP. My original point is that as far as Europeans go, we have a god, Dyaus, who predates other European gods, and was for some cultures, Greeks for instance in the form Zeus, their chief god until they became Christian. And as I explained, in other cultures, Germanic for instance, this god under the name Tiwas and some local variants, was also their chief god until they demoted him. That the name Dyaus exists still in the words deus and deity etc should be a good indication that this god was seen as God. That other gods existed does not change this at all, and I do not, as it seems suggested, deny the existance of other gods.

Ah yes the famous scholarly work of, this culture had a god named like this and this culture had a god with similar letters.... 2,000 years from now I wonder if they will tie Satan and Santa Clause together. Maybe even Pokemon = Goetia. Hell its not like the names of our dietys are messed up after all, like how Jesus is a accurate jewish name.... errrrr oh wait.

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Why are sky gods chief gods? This is just an assumption on your part. All your evidence of chief gods comes from much later, during the classical period.

Not an assumption on my part at all.

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