• Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

How can there be more than One God?

Nietzsche

The Last Prussian
Premium Member
For me, I have trouble coming to grips with the opposite: how in the world can there be only one when scientifically speaking, this is a universe of multiple physical forces working together?
Let me play a bit of Devil's Advocate here. A compelling argument could be made that all actions & forces in the universe are really, all the same thing, just wearing different clothes for different situations. Everything is just energy(as in literal energy not the hippie-mystical-bull**** 'energy') being moved around and converted. From that perspective, I think you could reason that because of that, a singular deity is the most likely conclusion, because in the end everything just circles back.

Clearly, I'm on the polytheist side, but there are certain perspectives I'm happy to grant as being compelling for the case of a sole deity.
 

beenherebeforeagain

Rogue Animist
Premium Member
Let me play a bit of Devil's Advocate here. A compelling argument could be made that all actions & forces in the universe are really, all the same thing, just wearing different clothes for different situations. Everything is just energy(as in literal energy not the hippie-mystical-bull**** 'energy') being moved around and converted. From that perspective, I think you could reason that because of that, a singular deity is the most likely conclusion, because in the end everything just circles back.

Clearly, I'm on the polytheist side, but there are certain perspectives I'm happy to grant as being compelling for the case of a sole deity.
Well, even if all the matter and energy really are "one," they were only "one" (at least under the current theory) for the first few moments of the Big Bang. Since then, all the fields and forces (higgs field, gravity, electromagnetism, strong nuclear, weak nuclear, and who knows how many others...Dark Matter and Dark Energy, for example) have operated independently and interactively to create the things and structures we see today. Even if unified at high temperatures and pressures, they are not acting unified now, so I'm quite comfortable being pluralist.

I agree, some perspectives do make for a good case for a singular universal deity--but that is beyond my ability to comprehend except by very loose analogy. I prefer to go with what I can better comprehend: a multiplicity of spirits.
 

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
Let me play a bit of Devil's Advocate here. A compelling argument could be made that all actions & forces in the universe are really, all the same thing, just wearing different clothes for different situations. Everything is just energy(as in literal energy not the hippie-mystical-bull**** 'energy') being moved around and converted. From that perspective, I think you could reason that because of that, a singular deity is the most likely conclusion, because in the end everything just circles back.

Clearly, I'm on the polytheist side, but there are certain perspectives I'm happy to grant as being compelling for the case of a sole deity.

LOL "Devil's Advocate". ^_^

Though even still, that's more illustrative of that bit in the Rig Veda, "The Wise refer to what is One by many Names", or the modern Wicca notion of "All Gods are One God and all Goddesses are One Goddess". (At least I'm pretty sure that's a Wiccan thing). It's not really a good illustration of pure monotheism.
 

Iereas tou Apollona

Ιερέας του Απόλλωνα Priest of Apollo
Hi,

I am trying to get more perspective and more information on what some Pagans refer to as 'Hard Polytheism'.

How could there be more than One God? I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that there should be more than One divine source.

I've come to grip with notion of 'Soft Polytheism', that All Gods are ultimately One God, as the Hindus view it and which makes sense I think but how can there be multiple divine sources, distinct form of beings and not actually part of a Whole?

While the cosmos is mostly regulated by the Gods, it was the Primeval Void called χάος (Chaos) that existence came from in the form of the Primordial Deities and their interactions where mirrored in the natural world. Γαία (Gaia) formed the Space and the Earth, Τάρταρα (Tartarus) formed the Underworld, Ἔρεβος (Erebus) formed the Darkness, Αιθήρ (Aether) formed the Heavenly Air, and Νύξ (Nyx) formed Night.

The other forces where made by their interactions.
 

Gentoo

The Feisty Penguin
Hi,

I am trying to get more perspective and more information on what some Pagans refer to as 'Hard Polytheism'.

How could there be more than One God? I can't quite wrap my head around the idea that there should be more than One divine source.

Quite easily, actually.
 

Akivah

Well-Known Member
For another, it kinda depends on how we're defining what a "God" is. I've condensed its usage down to the concise "anything that has been deified; anything that is agreed upon by a community of worshipers to be a God". Hence, plenty of fully mortal human beings have been Gods, and live today as Gods, despite not having any real supernatural abilities.

I think another issue is how a person has been raised and trained to think. Adherents of Judaism and Islam were raised to think of G-d as One unlimited, infinite, eternal being. Whereas religions like Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc were raised thinking of finite separate gods, each having their own abilities. So the former are monotheistic and the latter are polytheistic.
 

beenherebeforeagain

Rogue Animist
Premium Member
I think another issue is how a person has been raised and trained to think. Adherents of Judaism and Islam were raised to think of G-d as One unlimited, infinite, eternal being. Whereas religions like Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc were raised thinking of finite separate gods, each having their own abilities. So the former are monotheistic and the latter are polytheistic.
??? I'm not sure how you get Christianity and Mormonism to be polytheistic.
 

Riverwolf

Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
Premium Member
I think another issue is how a person has been raised and trained to think. Adherents of Judaism and Islam were raised to think of G-d as One unlimited, infinite, eternal being. Whereas religions like Christianity, Mormonism, Hinduism, etc were raised thinking of finite separate gods, each having their own abilities. So the former are monotheistic and the latter are polytheistic.

American Christianity is far more monotheistic, though, considering our largely protestant/puritan Christian heritage. Monotheist-thinking extends beyond just the state of being a monotheist, as monism in general pervades are larger cultural thoughts, as opposed to pluralism, which polytheism leads to.
 

Saint Frankenstein

Here for the ride
Premium Member
Whereas religions like Christianity were raised thinking of finite separate gods, each having their own abilities. So the former are monotheistic and the latter are polytheistic.
Yeah, no. That's not how Trinitarians view God. Jews, Muslims and non-Trinitarian Christians all have a habit of misunderstanding and repeating falsehoods about the Trinity. Just sayin'.
 

Akivah

Well-Known Member
YThat's not how Trinitarians view God. Jews, Muslims and non-Trinitarian Christians all have a habit of misunderstanding and repeating falsehoods about the Trinity.

Given that the "Can someone explain the Trinity" thread in the debates section has over 2200 posts, many people have multiple divergent ideas about it.
 
Top