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Featured Why valuing monotheism puzzles me.

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by LuisDantas, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I have learned that, for some reason, it is considered a big deal among certain Christian movements that God is definitely One, and should not be understood to manifest as a Trinity.

    At the same time, Islaam is strictly monotheistic to the point that I truly can't understand what it proposes. It goes beyond monotheism proper towards an insistence that "God has no partners / no associates".

    I never quite understood that. How come a doctrine that insists on the importance of learning and following what they believe to be the Word of God somehow also afirms that there is no such a thing as an associate of God? Or to put it in another way: why should anyone worry about a God that does not want to associate with anyone?

    I am aware that there are specifics and nuances to be learned there. But somehow I doubt that the matter is all that clear even among sincere, devout, learned Muslims. Perhaps I just did not have the good fortune of happenning upon an explanation that I could understand. But I doubt it.

    One reason why I doubt it is because that would be, well, rather weird. Whatever roles and attributes a true and existing deity could have or lack, it just feel odd to me that there are people who actually believe that they can tell true deities from false - and based on quotations from scripture, no less. Just about the crudest, least useful and most erratic of the many tools that people have access to.

    Is it just me, or that is not how deities are supposed to work?

    Surely the Christian/Muslim God, which is explicitly transcendental to this very Universe and presumed by both doctrines to be loving and caring, would have the means to adjust its voice and stance for the best effect depending on the interlocutor and the circunstances. Quite a few human counselors and advisers of several kinds do exactly that. How could that be beyond a true (and only true) God?

    Does anyone feel like explaining to me what is meant by the absence of associates to God (in the Qur'an) or why a Trinity would be a mismatch for the God of the Bible?
     
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  2. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    Judaism also asserts monotheism as a central belief in the Sh'ma "Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One" Sh'ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Ecḥad.
     
  3. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    • The concept of "a God who does not want to associate with anyone" strikes me as almost childishly anthropomorphic.
    • Similarly, the concept of a God who wants or needs to associate with someone strikes me as almost childishly anthropomorphic.
    • Finally, the concept of a God having an associate (or a series of associates) does not necessarily conflict with monotheism.

    Parenthetically, the Sikh should also be added to the list of radically monotheistic beliefs.
     
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  4. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    By the standards of say, the Greeks, who had
    divers gods, some with very little capability
    besides being immortal, then there are plenty
    of gods in Christianity.

    Satan, say, who was close enough to an equal
    to mount a serious challenge that continues to
    this day.

    "God" wrote the book, so of course he wrote
    in the ending where he wins, but that is to be
    expected.

    Then there are the archangels, rogue angels,
    and some number of demons. All supernatural,
    all qualifying as "gods".

    Unless you arbitrarily say, well for Christians,
    we just define them out of existence.
     
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  5. icehorse

    icehorse Well-Known Member
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    My admittedly jaded conclusion is that monotheism is man-made and that one of its main goals is to control populations. My guess is that a monotheistic approach is easier for rulers to bend to their advantage?
     
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  6. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    @LuisDantas I'm not entirely sure what you mean when saying that Christians find the Trinity to be a mismatch with the God of the Bible.

    The Most Blessed Trinity is the central dogma of mainstream Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christianity. God is one but also three persons sharing a single divine essence, nature and will.

    I like the fact that our monotheism is Trinitarian, as it seems to me like the best of both worlds: plurality of distinct persons in the Godhead but one supreme being.

    There are Unitarian Christians who adhere to an exclusive oneness of personhood within God but they are a minority and outwith the mainstream.
     
  7. von bek

    von bek Well-Known Member

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    I think Luis was referring to the Christian denominations, such as Oneness Pentecostals, that do reject the Trinity as being "unbiblical."
     
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  8. Vouthon

    Vouthon In varietate concordia
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    Ah, if so then I understand.

    They aren't a huge contingent of the world's 2 billion Christians though.
     
  9. von bek

    von bek Well-Known Member

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    True, true. Do you know if Coptic Christians accept the Trinity?
     
  10. Mox

    Mox Dr Green Fingers

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    Not to mention things like the veneration of Mary, of the Saints and the worship of a man as God on Earth.
     
  11. WalterTrull

    WalterTrull Godfella

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    I think the Trinity is largely misunderstood. Or, I suppose, I just misunderstand. I believe in one God, however, that God would be the quantum consciousness that allows for the universe. Kinda doesn't suit the major religions I'd guess. Anyway, there's God, then there are the images/children, us, Then there is the earth. It's really nice that the waters are receded and the dry land is apparent. Gives us someplace to stand. So, three aspects of the one God. That's how I see it.
     
  12. von bek

    von bek Well-Known Member

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    Just to prove I'm not lazy, I found the answer. :p Yes, they do.
     
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  13. sun rise

    sun rise "Let there be peace and love among all"
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    And some Hindus are monotheists.
     
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  14. ChristineM

    ChristineM "Be strong" I whispered to my coffee.
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    There are several passages in genesis and exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms and several other books that refer to multiple gods.
     
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  15. Truthseeker9

    Truthseeker9 Active Member

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    Associate as in someone equal to you. That's what it means.
     
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  16. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    I wish I knew how and how much they emphatize the teaching of monotheism. I have very little clue.
     
  17. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    IMO, monotheism must be man-made. Even if there is truly a One True God, it is only natural for people to conceive and perceive it in various forms.

    But it is not so much monotheism proper that is suitable for control, as it is the selling of the idea as something "of real importance". It is an idea that will arise naturally and can be used constructively... when it is not raised to a cornerstone of some doctrine.
     
  18. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Quite so.
     
  19. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    As an aside, what would make a religion major? How does a creed qualify for that adjective?
     
  20. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Some are. But if there are Hindu groups that insist that it is Actually Wrong, Even Dangerous to perceive the sacred in some form that does not qualify as monotheistic, I have not heard of them yet.
     
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