Fashionable God's

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.

Fashionable God's

Post Number:#1  Postby Rederic » May 19th, 2017, 3:24 pm

How long,do you think, will your christian God will remain fasionable? Followers of Apollo, Zeus & Odin thought their god's were forever, but were wrong. Will the Christian God become a 'Small god?
Terry Pratchett pointed out the problem for small god's, where the size of the God was in direct relationship to the number of followers.
There was a time when religion ruled the world, it was called the Dark Ages. - Ruth Green.
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Fashionable God's



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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#2  Postby LuckyR » May 19th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Rederic wrote:How long,do you think, will your christian God will remain fasionable? Followers of Apollo, Zeus & Odin thought their god's were forever, but were wrong. Will the Christian God become a 'Small god?
Terry Pratchett pointed out the problem for small god's, where the size of the God was in direct relationship to the number of followers.


Never, because Big Media was invented during Christianity's reign. Same with Islam, Hinduism and Judaism.
"As usual... it depends."
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#3  Postby Grotto19 » May 19th, 2017, 10:18 pm

Rederic wrote:How long,do you think, will your christian God will remain fasionable? Followers of Apollo, Zeus & Odin thought their god's were forever, but were wrong. Will the Christian God become a 'Small god?
Terry Pratchett pointed out the problem for small god's, where the size of the God was in direct relationship to the number of followers.


Well by how you defined the terms I would say you have already answered your own question. The Christian God will be a “small God” when it has too few believers. Not sure where that line is in populations numbers but it is of no matter.

There is a rise in Atheism numbers which would in theory lead to fewer numbers for all faiths. This trend will likely continue and if so will lead to their being no “big Gods”. You will likely see spikes of new faith but the trend will likely continue.

As for what year Atheism will be so prevalent as to render faiths obsolete it is impossible to predict. Soon we will definitely see a backlash from atheism rising and a resurgence of faith. This will likely happen multiple times. This does not occur with the older faiths as much as they were being replaced by new ones. But with atheism the faith is simply dropped and not replaced. The spiritual space not changed but emptied completely. That is like quitting a habit but not replacing it with anything, which any psychologist will tell you has a low success rate.

All of this said I would also point out just because we don’t believe in something anymore doesn’t mean we are right. We may find out on death that Zeus and friends were real and we are screwed for losing the faith. But the trend toward no faith is happening that much is undeniable. And all signs indicate it will continue. If that is a net positive or negative for us is debatable but it is what is happening and has been happening for over a century.

And before theists jump on me for suggesting such a thing I am a theist. But I am also aware of what’s going on. I am connected to reality. Sometime in the future it is very likely my beliefs will be like those who prayed to Zeus. My beliefs are not pegged to any religion you could name but I do believe in a creator. I may be wrong but I have my reasons for thinking so. Virtually no one believes specifically what I do so the loss of believers in Christianity or any other religion don’t change things for me at all. Hell there are way more people who believe in space lizard aliens modifying our DNA than people who believe what I do. So the disintegration of theism does not concern me other than the social impact I think it will have. And unlike atheists I think the positive forces religions play in the world are highly underrated by atheists. That void will be painful but eventually we will adapt and worship something else, probably material wealth (oh wait we already kind of do that now don’t we).
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#4  Postby Spectrum » May 20th, 2017, 12:30 am

Rederic wrote:How long,do you think, will your christian God will remain fasionable? Followers of Apollo, Zeus & Odin thought their god's were forever, but were wrong. Will the Christian God become a 'Small god?
Terry Pratchett pointed out the problem for small god's, where the size of the God was in direct relationship to the number of followers.

Agree, the Christian God [& Judaism, Islamic] will become a small god in time but not so soon.

The point is the critical need for a God for the majority is driven by that cognitive dissonance aka existential dilemma* which is inherently DNA embedded and thus unavoidable unless we can tweak the DNA program [this is highly impossible].
*see:
"Fear of Death" [cognitive dissonance] a Primary Motivator of Religions?
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=14794

Fortunately that cognitive dissonance is inhibited and suppressed but there are lots of leakages at the subliminal levels which drive most to religions to soothe their terrible psychological angst.

Unless until humanity [collectively] is able to establish effective fool proof alternatives to deal with that inherent and unavoidable cognitive dissonance, the majority of people will cling [like a drowning person even to straws] to a large God of some religion.

Point is the consequences of religions are moving toward a net-negative impact for humanity in time, with Islam in part as the most evil with potential to exterminate the human species.

Thus it is imperative humanity must start to strive to find alternative fool proof [no side effects] methods to deal with that unavoidable cognitive dissonance to replace religions [ALL] as soon as possible.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#5  Postby Burning ghost » May 20th, 2017, 2:20 am

It is a 'progression' of sorts. Christianity has adopted many aspects of the other 'gods' you've listed. Without them the Christian ideal (if there is such a thing) wouldn't exist.

We all know Christmas and Easter to have been adopted from 'paganism', from the winter solstice and spring equinox respectively.

I happen to watch Ricky Gervais using the common argument to oppose religious people calling science 'belief'. For those who've not heard before it goes like this ...

If all science books were destroyed and all religious books were destroyed and the knowledge lost, eventually someone would rewrite all the science books in the future and they would be exactly the same unlike religious texts.

What interests me here is how to reverse this and come to understand this concept of 'god' as being a very human thing (meaning the concept of 'god' exposes something unique about human cognition). I am sure if all religions went away, like knowledge of science, they would return and hold roughly the same mold, although unlike the sciences they would only approximate the previous ideologies that existed once before, we would not literally come up with exactly the same story and produce a religious text identical to previous civilizations.

What is fascinating is that all the different religious, or religious-like institutions, have numerous methods and narratives that are strikingly similar. This I see as a very vague window into the human psyche.

So the 'fashion' will always adhere to some underlying expression of what humanity is (so to speak). Science obviously struggle in this area because the evidence at hand does not cover a large enough time period and we have no way to measure these things, we can only make some guesses and try and eliminate ideas we have no hope of approaching to focus on the factors we can at least shed SOME light on.
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#6  Postby Grotto19 » May 22nd, 2017, 2:27 am

Burning ghost wrote:It is a 'progression' of sorts. Christianity has adopted many aspects of the other 'gods' you've listed. Without them the Christian ideal (if there is such a thing) wouldn't exist.

We all know Christmas and Easter to have been adopted from 'paganism', from the winter solstice and spring equinox respectively.

I happen to watch Ricky Gervais using the common argument to oppose religious people calling science 'belief'. For those who've not heard before it goes like this ...

If all science books were destroyed and all religious books were destroyed and the knowledge lost, eventually someone would rewrite all the science books in the future and they would be exactly the same unlike religious texts.

What interests me here is how to reverse this and come to understand this concept of 'god' as being a very human thing (meaning the concept of 'god' exposes something unique about human cognition). I am sure if all religions went away, like knowledge of science, they would return and hold roughly the same mold, although unlike the sciences they would only approximate the previous ideologies that existed once before, we would not literally come up with exactly the same story and produce a religious text identical to previous civilizations.

What is fascinating is that all the different religious, or religious-like institutions, have numerous methods and narratives that are strikingly similar. This I see as a very vague window into the human psyche.

So the 'fashion' will always adhere to some underlying expression of what humanity is (so to speak). Science obviously struggle in this area because the evidence at hand does not cover a large enough time period and we have no way to measure these things, we can only make some guesses and try and eliminate ideas we have no hope of approaching to focus on the factors we can at least shed SOME light on.


Though you’re using this argument for atheist support I think it also supports theism in equal measure. We both agree that without a shift in the scientific method science would eventually emerge the same, or at least mostly the same. However I contend that the reason peoples from far flung places came to the same sorts of conclusions regarding a deity speaks to the possibility there is something compelling them.

Where you see a common vulnerability in the human psyche which transcends culture and continents I see the possibility that people are deciphering something they cannot fully comprehend and reproduce flawed elements of as best as they are able. Either of us may be correct. Perhaps the whole God thing that keeps popping up is just a desperate defense against existential crisis, but also just maybe billions feel like the experience something spiritual because there is something there. I am not saying they are right nor that they are wrong, but it seems we should want to investigate and keep our minds open.
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#7  Postby Grotto19 » May 22nd, 2017, 2:27 am

Burning ghost wrote:It is a 'progression' of sorts. Christianity has adopted many aspects of the other 'gods' you've listed. Without them the Christian ideal (if there is such a thing) wouldn't exist.

We all know Christmas and Easter to have been adopted from 'paganism', from the winter solstice and spring equinox respectively.

I happen to watch Ricky Gervais using the common argument to oppose religious people calling science 'belief'. For those who've not heard before it goes like this ...

If all science books were destroyed and all religious books were destroyed and the knowledge lost, eventually someone would rewrite all the science books in the future and they would be exactly the same unlike religious texts.

What interests me here is how to reverse this and come to understand this concept of 'god' as being a very human thing (meaning the concept of 'god' exposes something unique about human cognition). I am sure if all religions went away, like knowledge of science, they would return and hold roughly the same mold, although unlike the sciences they would only approximate the previous ideologies that existed once before, we would not literally come up with exactly the same story and produce a religious text identical to previous civilizations.

What is fascinating is that all the different religious, or religious-like institutions, have numerous methods and narratives that are strikingly similar. This I see as a very vague window into the human psyche.

So the 'fashion' will always adhere to some underlying expression of what humanity is (so to speak). Science obviously struggle in this area because the evidence at hand does not cover a large enough time period and we have no way to measure these things, we can only make some guesses and try and eliminate ideas we have no hope of approaching to focus on the factors we can at least shed SOME light on.


Though you’re using this argument for atheist support I think it also supports theism in equal measure. We both agree that without a shift in the scientific method science would eventually emerge the same, or at least mostly the same. However I contend that the reason peoples from far flung places came to the same sorts of conclusions regarding a deity speaks to the possibility there is something compelling them.

Where you see a common vulnerability in the human psyche which transcends culture and continents I see the possibility that people are deciphering something they cannot fully comprehend and reproduce flawed elements of as best as they are able. Either of us may be correct. Perhaps the whole God thing that keeps popping up is just a desperate defense against existential crisis, but also just maybe billions feel like the experience something spiritual because there is something there. I am not saying they are right nor that they are wrong, but it seems we should want to investigate and keep our minds open.
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#8  Postby Burning ghost » May 22nd, 2017, 7:35 am

Grotto -

However I contend that the reason peoples from far flung places came to the same sorts of conclusions regarding a deity speaks to the possibility there is something compelling them.

Where you see a common vulnerability in the human psyche which transcends culture and continents I see the possibility that people are deciphering something they cannot fully comprehend and reproduce flawed elements of as best as they are able. Either of us may be correct.


I thought I was clear. Deities or not we have a very obvious human condition being exposed in various forms around the globe. Basically I was contending the very same thing as you.

I never said anything about "common vulnerability"? I have gone more extensively into this topic elsewhere though so maybe you are referring to that, in which I probably said some people are more prone to "religiosity" than others. I also also made it clea rin that other long thread that I was using the term "religiosity" in a specific way (we all possess some degree of this "religiosity", atheist, theist and anti-theist).

And to finish I was not offering "support" of the atheist position, otherwise I wouldn't have turned it on its head. I happened to have watched Gervais saying this and it reminded me of this thread so thought it was an argument worth sharing in order for both thiests and atheists to gain a better understanding of each other ... as for the anti-theists they can go **** 'em selves! (ironically many theists are anti-theists ... those that claim "their" way is best and believers of other faiths are less than human).

We are a complicated little speices aren't we! haha!
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Re: Fashionable God's

Post Number:#9  Postby Papus79 » June 5th, 2017, 12:08 am

I think, if we're able to walk back through our biases on all sides, we'll get a whiff of humility and realize that if the absolute is conscious it's incredibly unlikely that we've captured its thoughts in any way, shape, or form. We might look back at Christianity fondly for what it was able to forge from Greek philosophy and the sorts of democracies that later emerged from its ingredients after they'd thrown off the power of the papacy but that's a different story.

Most likely science will lead us, we'll be looking out into the cosmos with Sagan-like wonder but perhaps not *quite* as dedicated in our materialism. It seems increasingly common these days, particularly with people who've been on the alternative spirituality train and stepped over or dodged the new age trap, that the notion stands that the spirit component of life is much more credible than the concept of a personal god. I think that's the most likely way forward, barring our development being side-tracked by major tragedies that might decide this undemocratically or on authoritarian experience rather than utility or reason.

Where that would probably leave the Christian trinity is as a triune deity of formality, customs, and history. I doubt larger gods will come and take its place unless we end up having some type of major encounters, another axial age, or something along those lines to where the universe reaches out and touches us instead.
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