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Personifying deities

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Religions such as Christianity, Islam and other monotheistic religions personify their god. Other such religions like Daoism do not and thus do not require prayer because there is nobody to hear/receive the prayer.

Which is better? Why? What are your thoughts on personifying deities?

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I think it's just a natural human tendency to want to be able to relate to their surroundings. Most cultures personified *everything*, from the rivers to the animals they hunted. We still do it today, that's why many people talk to their pets or have a nickname for their cars.

Very natural they would create a deity with human traits and foibles. The Classic Greek mythology is just filled with examples. :yes:

I believe the religions that focus more on energy and spiritual planes are attempting to evolve past the more (for lack of a better word) primitive idea that the forces of creation are a mirror of humanity, but on a larger scale.

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Good point. I see why people would personify something as a god or lord over them but is this really a good thing to do? It seems to create a blind allegiance allowing power to be abused, at least to me.

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personification leads to two things:

mythology, which is harmless and good for art

and 2: idolotry which is a primitive human reflex and is very, very bad!

personification is good, to an extent. But if we give god a face we just end up arguing whether jesus is white, black or a jew

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I think it's natural for people to want guidance in their life, and praying to a personified deity is that form of guidance.

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yes, but guidance can come from a semi-personified deity, like the god of abraham and jacob

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Semi-personified is still "personified". I think people find comfort in it.

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true, people are comforted knowing someone is listening,

but giving "someone" a physical image might be bad

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I think it's natural for people to want guidance in their life, and praying to a personified deity is that form of guidance.

Yeah, but then there exists that power over the people looking for guidance. Somebody could lead the people in the wrong way for personal gains. There was a while when the church had more power than the government in several places in Europe. Kind of scary. I think personifying a deity allows this to happen.

I understand how personifying a deity happens, but I think it ends up warrenting too much power to the religion.

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By the personification of a god, man creates a personal link to his creator. Naturally, the personification needs to create god in man's image while claiming the reverse. It appears to be more of a method of identifying one's self with his maker than actually needing an image to represent his god.

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Why have we personifed Death, War, Famine and Pestulance?

God works in mysterious ways, but we knew we ought to pop a couple coins on the eyes of the dead to pay for the trip over the river Styx. War, well, numerous gods of war have existed across cultures. Gotta give some reason above human greed for killing other human beings. God wills it, therefore it must be done. Famine is understandable. For cultures that relied (or still do) on the fat of the land and floods and rainy seasons to survive, famine really was something to fear. Pestulance, same reason. Nobody understood how germs were carried and transferred. The fear of a plague running through your community unchecked. No cures. "Ring around the Rosy" -- not just a fun kids' song. It was a warning.

Good or bad might be irrelevant labels for this kind of thing. I think it's an automatic human trait to create purpose and intent whether it exists or not. People want to believe there is a reason behind why we suffer like we do. That it's not just random chance and unlucky weather patterns. That there is a purpose to it all, even if we don't understand it.

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