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What "advantages" does monotheism have?Does polytheism have any advantages over monotheism? Are there any rational reasons for being a polytheist rather than a monotheist?
How does the Henotheism in Christianity effect the alleged "advantages" polytheism has over monotheism?Ah, to clarify something, I would say any belief system has advantages and disadvantages in equal measure. Whether something counts as an advantage or disadvantage depends on your personal values and needs, as well as the situation and context. It's a subjectively arrived at judgement, in other words. That polytheism has certain advantages over monotheism from a certain point of view is pretty evident. As is the converse. Either can be argued. Unfortunately, monotheism - with its occasional perchance for religious exclusivism - tends to belittle god-concepts other than its own as somehow inherently less-than or inferior. That's nonsense. Neither is better than the other on the whole; the question is which is better for YOU and YOUR path.
How does the Henotheism in Christianity effect the alleged "advantages" polytheism has over monotheism?
Problem of evil? What problem? The gods are many, and not all of them are nice; our gods aren't omnibenevolent in the first place.
Problem accounting for the variety of religious experiences? What problem? Many gods means many different religious experiences; the human religious experience is inherently plural (polytheistic), not monotheistic.
Problem deciding what the one true religion is? What problem? Many gods means many paths; each to his or her own. Religious exclusivism is largely a foreign concept to polytheism.
Could you please elaborate on these points?
J.M. Greer in A World Full of Gods said:A stronger challenge to theism comes from the argument from evil.
The argument can be outlined as follows. If there exists a god who is omnipotent and omniscient, such a god would have both the power and the knowledge necessary to prevent all extreme and unnecessary suffering. If the same god is also omnibenevolent, such a god would be motivated to prevent all extreme and unnecessary suffering. However, there exists a vast amount of extreme and unnecessary suffering. Therefore no such god can exist.
On the face of it, this is a potent argument. When a five-year-old child dies slowly of an agonizing cancer, or a landslide wipes out a village, it's hard to square this with the existence of a god who is simultaneously omnipotent and loving. Such considerations have made the argument from evil the most effective weapon in the arsenal of atheism. Even among people with no background in philosophy at all, thoughtful reflection on the reality of horrendous, pointless evil in a world supposedly ruled by a loving and all-powerful god has been a potent factor in the loss of religious faith.
[He goes on to discuss theodicy in detail]
Clearly, given the amount of energy displayed by theists and atheists alike, the argument from evil poses a powerful challenge to the existence of the god of classical monotheism. Yet it offers no challenge to all other systems of belief. If the god in question is not omnipotent and omniscient, evil and suffering can readily be explained by limitations in the god's power and knowledge. If the god is not omnibenevolent, evil and suffering can be explained by the fact that the god may have no motive to eliminate them. Finally, if more than one god exists, and conflicts between gods is possible, then the argument form evil loses nearly all of its force, since the benevolent action of one god could be countered by the opposing action of another.
Thus traditional polytheism provides no effective targets whatsoever for the argument from evil. Since many of the gods of traditional polytheism are limited in power and knowledge, and are associated with specific moral ideals and qualities (rather than goodness in general), the existence of evil and unnecessary suffering in a polytheist universe causes no logical difficulty. Indeed, the absence of evil and unnecessary suffering in such a universe would be a good deal more surprising.
If you are mad with one god you can pray with the other ones?
Technically. *laughs* But typically you grant respect to all the gods regardless. Ceasing to acknowledge them simply because they don't placate your petty mortal desires and revolve their existence around you is an example of human hubris and arrogance.