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Maltheism

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Green Gaia, Sep 8, 2004.

  1. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    From http://en.wikipedia.org

    Maltheism is the belief that God exists as a cruel, arrogant, abusive, and untruthful being who is not worthy of worship. The problem of evil does not prove to a maltheist that God does not exist, but rather proves that God is a liar.

    Maltheists describe the opposite point of view to theophilia, a term which refers to all those belief systems claiming that God is good. The term makes a distinction between “theists” and “theophiles,” to distance maltheists from the presumptive conclusion that anyone who believes in God must believe that he is good and worthy of human devotion. Theists are simply those who believe that God exists, and maltheists of course qualify by this definition as theists. Theophiles are theists who believe that God is good, who (to take the term literally) love God. (Strictly speaking, those who agree with maltheists that God is not good—or who do not care whether or not God's actions qualify as good—but choose to love him anyway, perhaps out of misplaced devotion, or out of fear, or to curry favor, also qualify as theophiles.) The point is that not all “theists” love God, and the term “theophile” explicitly distinguishes those who love God from those who do not.

    Many maltheists believe that God is dependent on the worship and adoration of human beings for his existence, and hope that if he is deprived of humanity's worship, he will wither up and die, leaving humanity better off. Maltheism seeks to encourage people of all theophilic religions to see God as he truly is, to stop worshipping him in any form, in order to achieve true human freedom. If God is indeed evil, as the maltheists say, and if his goal is not the benefit of mankind but rather his own glory (something theophiles actually agree with), worshipping an evil God is a treasonous act against the human race, since it feeds the force that enslaves people in general, even if it might cause the worshippers to gain some short-term benefit for themselves. Note, however, that maltheists do not advocate forcing theophiles to give up their beliefs, they only wish for theophiles to cease their efforts to force others to believe as they do.

    Maltheism is often compared with Satanism, because it advocates rebellion against God, and with some forms of Gnosticism, which hold that the God that many worship really is tyrannous or evil but is not actually the ultimate God. Although maltheism shares many aspects with both, each of these belief systems is quite distinct and different.



    What are your thoughts on Maltheism?
     
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  2. Feathers in Hair

    Feathers in Hair World's Tallest Hobbit

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    Very interesting, I'd never heard of this concept before. I think a few people I know share it without realizing it ('God is always out to get me', 'Why does god do this?'). I'm sure this group is as happy as any other, though it sounds like a rather difficult belief-system for the gentle.

    The concept of 'gods being supported by belief' is reminiscent of the theology of the 'Discworld' books. (Wow, three mentions in as many days, plus my signature. Hope I'm not violating some copyright law.) I love that the witches in that series will refuse to believe in gods that they talk with every day, simply because "it encourages 'em."
     
  3. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    It seems so surface and a prime example of not exploring to any depth. It is such a narrow view. It makes me wonder what the payoff is.
     
  4. Rex

    Rex Founder

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    Does there have to be one?
     
  5. Green Gaia

    Green Gaia Veteran Member

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    Everything has a payoff, Rex. Geez, don't you watch Dr. Phil? :rolleyes:
     
  6. Lightkeeper

    Lightkeeper Well-Known Member

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    There has to be a payoff for something so narrow.
     
  7. Ceridwen018

    Ceridwen018 Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to be disrespectful in any way, but when I read about maltheism I just burst out laughing! Just picture, a bunch of guys huddled in someone's basement, burning bibles and talking about how much god sucks. There's a picture on the wall of a Santa Clause-looking elderly gentleman in blue robes and surrounded by clouds, with darts in it.

    Beware, Jehovah's Witnesses! This is one house you do NOT want to call on. Let the hazing begin.
     
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  8. Fra.Morelia

    Fra.Morelia Member

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    Lightkeeper, is the belief that god is a powermongering enron executive type really any more narrow than the view that he is an all loving aging hipster lawn gnome sort? I have often wondered if maybe Satan was the good guy and he just had horrendous PR. You know, sort of a divine mud slinging campaign...
     
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  9. sillygeezer10

    sillygeezer10 Member

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    Interesting..Maltheism.The god sucks so what.....I'll add it to my private study of obsurce religions.
     
  10. Fluffy

    Fluffy A fool

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    That is really interesting and something I have never come across before. Id say that it is unfortunate that people link it to Satanism since a Satanist would still be a theophile.

    I do have a question though. Where would an agnostic fall in terms of being a theophile? Could they, like theists, fall into either camp?
     
  11. Mercy Not Sacrifice

    Mercy Not Sacrifice Well-Known Member

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    Although I have never heard this term before, I have certainly heard of the concept. I have even heard it attempted to be used as evidence against God's existence....
     
  12. Doodlebug02

    Doodlebug02 Active Member

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    I have also heard of the concept but not the term before. However, I did not know that a part of the concept was a belief that worship and praying to God keeps Him alive.
     
  13. newmaltheist

    newmaltheist New Member

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    I'm sorry, why are people claiming that holding a maltheist belief is "narrow" or lacking in depth? In what sense is this true? Maltheism is an alternative belief that takes a different point of view about the nature of God than most mainstream religions. It is hardly new, as many people here have said, it simply doesn't have a commonly known name.

    Maltheism actually provides better and less self-contradictory answers to big theological questions like the problem of evil than most common theodicies provide. Why would a benevolent omnipotent God create a world with evil in it? The simple answer: he wouldn't. Therefore - God either doesn't exist, or if he does he isn't what he says he is. This contradiction in terms, often called the Epciurean paradox, is used by atheists as a proof that God doesn't exist, but in reality it only proves that if he does exist, he is a liar and a bully.

    Why is that latter possibility not even considered out loud? Given the demands for unquestioning worship, the bullying threats of eternal damnation, the suffering heaped upon us by acts of God - witness the Tsunami - and unprovable promises of Heaven that sound too much like the work of a sleazy used car salesman than the source of all goodness, it would seem that possibility is more than reasonable.

    The new Wikipedia entries on maltheism, and dystheism - a more formal academic name for this belief - and eutheism (its opposite, the more common belief that God is good) are going through some changes but have a lot of new information in them. You can also check out Beliefnet's introduction to the subject at http://belief.net/boards/message_list.asp?boardID=42416&discussionID=164781

    I apologize for the intrusion. I just thought the comments that Maltheism was narrow or not in-depth enough were ... well, narrow and not in-depth enough. :)
     
  14. huajiro

    huajiro Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting....you learn something every day
     
  15. Mercury

    Mercury Member

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    maltheism . . sounds interesting. have to admit, it's the first time i've heard of it. an evil god not worthy of worship? why waste your time not worshipping something that is not there?
     
  16. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    I have never read those books, though I guess my Mother is addicted to them. The idea is probably gotten from Joseph Campbell. Who has said that "God is a metaphor", that is, a projection of the energy underlying the human conscious. Hence, if humans didn't seek out meaning and create the idea of a god so strongly in their heads then a god would not exist. Totally exists on the premise of belief. No belief = no god.
     
  17. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I've never heard of this until today; after the initial disbelief (I nearly checked it wasn't April Fools' day), I must admit I can only see this in the same light as you Ceridwen; the mind boggles........:)
     
  18. DianeVera

    DianeVera Member

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    Of course, the above idea implies that "God" is not the true cosmic God. How could the true cosmic God be dependent on the beliefs of human beings, who have existed during only a small fraction of the lifetime of the cosmos?

    Anyhow, maltheism as you've described it above does indeed overlap to some extent with theistic Satanism, though certainly not all maltheists are theistic Satanists and not all theistic Satanists are maltheists. Many though not all theistic Satanists do regard the Christian "God" as a finite being like the "God" you've described above. However, they are also theophiles in the sense of having another god whom they revere, namely Satan/Lucifer.
     
  19. DianeVera

    DianeVera Member

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    I personally regard the true cosmic God as neither "good" nor "evil" in any humanly meaningful sense, but as just impersonal. In my opinion, Nature itself is far too impersonal in its workings to suggest a cosmic God who has any interest in relating to humans in a parental-like way.

    So, as far as my beliefs about the cosmic God are concerned, I'm neither a maltheist nor a theophile. I could perhaps be called a maltheist w.r.t. the Christian "God" (whom I don't believe is the true cosmic God) but a theophile w.r.t. Satan/Azazel.
     
  20. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    An agnostic, by definition, would aknowledge that he didn't have the data to make a reasoned decision either way.
     
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