There are at least twenty distinct options on God, found throughout history and afoot right now.
We can say there is considerable variety in the approach to God as long as we admit that variety is just a pretty word for disagreement.
What does disagreement show?
Theological disagreement shows us that humanity has never ever agreed about Who or What or Whether God is. Your own view of God (find it in the list below) will always be a minority opinion, outnumbered by all the other opinions combined.
Here are the twenty:
Polytheists say there are many Gods, as many as you like, into the millions if you prefer, perhaps billions, one for every pair of human eyes. You may worship and adore all the Gods.
Henotheists admit many Gods too, but you may only have time to devote yourself to one, and thats okay because these are not self-doubting, jealous Gods.
Kat-henotheists also acknowledge many Gods, but you should dedicate yourself to a single God at a time, moving from one God to another God at different phases of your life, perhaps the phases offered in As You Like It by Shakespeares intellectualist idler, Jaques, who espies seven stages of life, beginning with infancy and ending in the second childishness of old-aged senilitysans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything. There are Gods aplenty for each stage.
Trinitarians affirm one God but this God is to be worshiped and adored in three persons: Father, Son (Jesus), and Holy Ghost. To other monotheists like Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, Bahais and Caodais, and to polytheists and atheists too, Trinitarian math is elusive (1+1+1=1?) and susceptible to being labelled a petite polytheism of three distinct Gods. Trinitarians vigorously defend the oneness of three.
Dualists acknowledge two Gods, one very very Good and the other one very very Evil. The need for two rests upon the worlds oscillation between beauty and ugliness, delight and dread, kindness and cruelty, irises and ebola viruses. In a family of Dualists you may hear the following dialogue: Child: Mommy, did our good, loving and compassionate God create the talon, the fang and the claw? Mom: No, sweetie, the other God, the God of cruelty, made those. As if you needed to be told, you should adore the very very Good God.
Monotheists declare there has only ever been one good God to worship and adore. Several distinct and opposing monotheistic religions claim this God and define him in many different ways, with many different hues.
Dystheists say theres one God who is not really all that good, given conspicuous evidence from our bloody red in tooth and claw, predator-prey natural world. Adore with caution.
Pantheists state that God is identical to the many things of the physical, material world, and when you adore the many things of the material world you adore God.
Pan-en-theists claim that God is within the many things of the material world but distinct from the many things of the material world. You may adore this God in your esteem for the material world, or adore this God as something above the material world.
Deists insist there is one God who created the universe but thereafter took no interest in it. You do not adore this God because this God cares nothing about you, either because he doesnt know you exist, or because he cares about you as much as he cares about the life of an oyster or a gnat (with due apologies to The World Parliament of Insects, Mollusks, & Affiliated Clam Culture).
Daoists maintain that God is not a person at all but an Impersonal Force that pervades the universe and may be tapped-into by humans but requires no adoration. (Cf. Yoda, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey of the Star Wars mythos.)
Extra-Terrrestrialists say that what humans have been calling Gods are actually space-visiting galactic beings who used modest ingredients and measuring spoons to un-miraculously originate life on Earth and thereafter vacationed in rural New Mexico.
Monists proclaim there is only one item in existence: God. God is everything, everything is God, and everything is only one thing, God. Variety is a delusion, and all the words we have for the many existent things are superfluous. Thin the dictionary to the letter g and the word God. (Pantheism is different in that it admits the existence of many things).
Anatheists say God cannot be rendered into any image or concept, because the God that can be imagined is not the real God. Our mystics proffer this deity and claim to adore God immediately; that is, without the mediation of holy saints, holy buildings, holy worship services, bells, books, candles, or even thoughts and words. Mystics often claim an ineffable experience and then write inch-thick books describing it.
Euhemerists say all Gods were once humans who at some point achieved apotheosis, elevation to divinity. Adore the worthy ones. (Some Buddhists may be here.)
Misotheists follow Prometheus and hate all Gods because Gods are completely overbearing, pompous, fat-witted despots. Adoration is inapt.
Skeptics doubt not only avowals about God but also all claims to all knowledge. A Skeptic might say, You you claim to know God exists and you dont even know if Charlemagne existed.
Atheists find no persuasive arguments for God, no convincing idea of God on offer in six thousand years, and therefore say there must be no Gods. (Some Buddhists may be here).
Agnostics remain unconvinced by every argument for Gods existence but prefer to withhold judgment as to whether God exists by saying I dont know if theres a God. Agnostics are no kind of believer in God and do not hedge their bet by attending religious services or by prayingjust in case theres a God.
Ignostics advise us to give up the word God and rub it from the worlds lexicons and never utter it again. Why? Because it has been proved over many thousands of years that humans are utterly ignorant about what the word God signifies, as established by our extensive disagreements concerning God, evinced in this very roster of twenty.
Featured image Confusion by lisa-skorpion via Flickr
Originally posted here:
20 Options on God (Find Yours Here) - Patheos (blog)
- Parramatta Laity Make Their Voices Heard in Dispute With Their Bishop - National Catholic Register - May 14th, 2021
- Matthew Wong Ink Works, Never Before Exhibited, Will Alight in New York - ARTnews - April 19th, 2021
- Double Blind by Edward St Aubyn review in pursuit of knowledge - The Guardian - March 31st, 2021
- How to Sound Like a Catholic When You Talk About Ashes and Death - National Catholic Register - February 25th, 2021
- The consolation of philosophy during Covid darkness - Offaly Express - February 25th, 2021
- What Is This 'QAnon' Thing They're Talking About? - Calbuzz - February 21st, 2021
- Manifestations of Higher Meaning: On Dana Gioia's The Catholic Writer Today and Studying with Miss Bishop - Los Angeles Review of Books -... - February 10th, 2021
- Arts Pantheon - The Daily Star - January 17th, 2021
- Christmas and the birth of truth on earth - TheCable - January 1st, 2021
- Pantheism | Definition of Pantheism by Merriam-Webster - November 29th, 2020
- No writer was better suited to chronicle the Depression than John Steinbeck - Spectator.co.uk - November 29th, 2020
- A world of mysticism and spirituality - Times of Malta - November 29th, 2020
- WHAT IS 'SPIRITUALITY OF PLACE'? | Bret Thoman - Patheos - November 29th, 2020
- Do Not Offend the Gods: 8 SFF Books Featuring Deities - tor.com - October 7th, 2020
- Religion, Non-Reductive and Saturated, Gains Respect in Post-Modern Academic World - Patheos - May 29th, 2020
- What's the difference between pandemic and epidemic? - ChicagoNow - March 31st, 2020
- Porfiry Ivanov: what Stalin said the main freak of the USSR - International Law Lawyer News - March 24th, 2020
- World Pantheism Revering the Universe, Caring for Nature ... - March 5th, 2020
- Freeman Dyson: The Passing of an Iconoclastic Physicist - Discovery Institute - March 5th, 2020
- Pantheism | Britannica - February 27th, 2020
- Dan McCaslin: Nature and Shallowing the Mind - Noozhawk - January 28th, 2020
- Spirituality and values in the Disney universe - Evangelical Focus - January 18th, 2020
- Tagore and Iqbal - Daily Times - December 26th, 2019
- The Adventurous Lectionary The First Sunday of Christmas December 29, 2019 - Patheos - December 18th, 2019
- Ross Douthat: What will happen to conservative Catholicism? - The Register-Guard - November 12th, 2019
- Liberation theology never went away. It morphed into liberation ecology. - Catholic Citizens of Illinois - November 12th, 2019
- Iqbal: The Metaphysics and The Reconstruction- Part I - The News International - November 12th, 2019
- How to properly use righteous anger about the Amazon Synod - Lifesite - November 12th, 2019
- EXCLUSIVE: Catholic priest defends burning Pachamama effigy as within law of God - Lifesite - November 12th, 2019
- Ah, to spend some time in the great outdoors - Idaho State Journal - October 27th, 2019
- The Big Bang! - Chron.com - October 27th, 2019
- Catholicism has a stronger view of creation than both eco-religion and materialism - Catholic Herald Online - October 27th, 2019
- Faithful Catholics Throw Amazonian Idols Displayed in the Vatican into the Tiber River - PJ Media - October 27th, 2019
- Cdl. Burke: Revolution Is the Goal - Church Militant - October 2nd, 2019
- Lay Faithful to Gather in Rome to Pray for the Church on Eve of Amazon Synod - National Catholic Register - October 2nd, 2019
- Dennis Andrew from Poole says 'I am Druid' - Somerset Live - August 25th, 2017
- Unitarian Universalism and Pantheism World Pantheism - August 13th, 2017
- Gratitude So Burdensome? - First Things - August 11th, 2017
- Staying power: a poet's place in God's agenda - National Catholic Reporter - August 10th, 2017
- This World as Philosophically Necessary - Patheos (blog) - August 10th, 2017
- About | Pantheism.com - August 6th, 2017
- Star Wars' religious imagery is more than just coincidence - Catholic Herald Online (blog) - August 5th, 2017
- Senryu pries open 'The Jaws of Life' to explore death on latest ... - Maryville Daily Times - August 3rd, 2017
- Is Your Christian Worldview Cohesive? - Cape May County Herald - August 2nd, 2017
- 'Heretics!' Illustrates the Contentiousness Surrounding Philosophy - PopMatters - August 1st, 2017
- Mendelssohn's philosophy, Mendelssohn's grandchildren - The Jerusalem Post - August 1st, 2017
- Why Dina Nath Batra wants Tagore, Urdu, Mughals removed from school books - DailyO - July 25th, 2017
- A Critical Look At A New Sefer: Alternative Medicine in Halachah - Yeshiva World News - July 20th, 2017
- Hindu-Americans Don't Vote Republican - The American Conservative - July 10th, 2017
- Nelsons Leads Tanglewood Resurrection - The Boston Musical Intelligencer - July 8th, 2017
- Should Tyler Cowen Believe in God? - New York Times (blog) - July 7th, 2017
- Hinman's ABEAN Argument Part 3: More Objections - Patheos (blog) - July 7th, 2017
- Pantheism | Philosophy Talk - July 5th, 2017
- A Modern Day Inquisition: Rabbi Joseph Dweck - The Jewish Press - JewishPress.com - July 3rd, 2017
- The Universe Is the Mind of God - The Costa Rican Times - June 29th, 2017
- On religion: Being aware of our connectivity to God and each other - The Intelligencer - June 29th, 2017
- New Names for Old Gods - Patheos (blog) - June 29th, 2017
- Views | Pantheism.com - June 26th, 2017
- This Former MTV Icon Found Inner Peace Through Islam - HuffPost - June 24th, 2017
- Who were the authors of the so-called Gnostic gospels, and what did they believe? - Aleteia EN - June 24th, 2017
- How Scotland inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula - The Scotsman - June 15th, 2017
- My Turn: Respecting Mother - Concord Monitor - June 15th, 2017
- Seven Things Evil Is Not: What the Death of My Son Taught Me - ChristianityToday.com - June 8th, 2017
- 'Sgt. Pepper's' Turns 50: The Newsweek Review of The Beatles' Masterpiece - Newsweek - June 1st, 2017
- Rishe Groner - Tablet Magazine - May 23rd, 2017
- Escape into the wild with Maasthi Gudi- The New Indian Express - The New Indian Express - May 13th, 2017
- Dunphy: The growls of empty stomachs - Alton Telegraph - May 9th, 2017
- Opposed to Catholicism - Church Militant - May 6th, 2017
- In response to Tim Martin, God exists - Eureka Times Standard - May 4th, 2017
- A war of opposites: Rubbishing Hinduism's eclectic nature, Hindutva treats any expression of dissent as sedition - Times of India (blog) - May 2nd, 2017
- Why I Had To Make a Clean Break With Christianity - Patheos - Patheos (blog) - April 27th, 2017
- Hitler Was Not a Christian - Splice Today - April 15th, 2017
- Winter is coming; help me turn yarn into warmth - Port Huron Times Herald - April 12th, 2017
- Families leave thousands of cremated remains behind - Bellingen Courier Sun - April 12th, 2017
- Hinduism vs Hindutva: The search for an ideology in times of cow politics - Hindustan Times - April 10th, 2017
- Adventists appeal court ruling on Kellogg Sabbath accommodation case - Adventist News Network - April 7th, 2017
- Composer Theofanidis unconvincing as theologian in Atlanta Symphony's Creation/Creator - Washington Classical Review - April 3rd, 2017
- Families leave thousands of cremated remains behind - The Sydney Morning Herald - April 2nd, 2017
- Need to propagate Sufism in its right context: Dr Qasim - Kashmir Reader - March 31st, 2017
- Why Sacrifices? - Algemeiner - March 31st, 2017