If there can be one god, can there be more?

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.
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pjkeeley
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Post by pjkeeley » September 9th, 2007, 4:35 am

"For every fact there is a reason why it is so or why it is not so."

Then why is God so? Where did God come from? If he always existed, why can't we say the same of the universe?

Comanche
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Post by Comanche » September 9th, 2007, 11:10 pm

If we assume that "god" must be perfect,then the notion of multiple gods would be illogical.
It would be like saying Perfection are two (depending on how many gods youre talking about) different things.

If for example there are two gods, and one of them is perfect, than the other must not be perfect if it is to be a seperate, distinct being. Something must be different about the two beings, and that difference would distinguish which one is perfect and the other not; therefore showing that one of them is not god.

This line of thinking is from Aquinas' Summa; and obviously it only makes sense if you assert that god must be perfect.
I think if there were a plethora of "gods" it would be much more apporiate to call them supernatural beings or something, but of course i am in no way familiar with satisfactory definitions of god outside of the judeo-christian-muslim conception.

riley737
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Post by riley737 » November 9th, 2007, 10:55 pm

pjkeeley:

Since everybody is talking about Aquinas, I will give you an answer that goes along with that mindset.

God can be its own reason why it is so. That is why God is sometimes called the "First Mover." God is responsible for everything else that exists. Think of the causal example given above in the cosmological argument. God would be at the very end of the line of causation (although there's debate about placing God at the end of the line vs. outside of the line, and outside of time in general. But that is beyond this topic).

That is why we can say that God always existed, but we cannot say the same about the universe, because the universe could not have caused itself like God does. I hope that clears things up slightly.

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pjkeeley
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Post by pjkeeley » November 10th, 2007, 3:39 am

God can be its own reason why it is so. That is why God is sometimes called the "First Mover." God is responsible for everything else that exists.

If God can be its own reason why "it" is so, why not the Universe?
the universe could not have caused itself like God does.

You have not explained WHY. Why is it that God can be considered a first cause but the Big Bang cannot?
I hope that clears things up slightly.

Not at all.

Patrarch
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Post by Patrarch » November 12th, 2007, 6:24 pm

The cosmological argument has a lot of problems. Cause and effect are necessarily temporal in nature. When using the cosmological argument you are applying temporal nature to the non-temporal. Time did not exist before our universe. There is no such thing as a time "before" the universe. Regressing to the time point before the universe in order to invent the notion of a creator is logically impossible because there is no temporal attribute applicable in that situation. This temporal problem is a huge semantic issue in this argument that makes it completely useless in arguing for anything. The idea of God also is not temporal in nature, neither is the universe in whole. You cannot apply temporal attributes to a being, entity or thing that is not temporal. Both God and the universe itself are not temporal in nature, therefore either of them could be the "end," which entails no justification for adding in this idea of a God to explain something already explainable(Ockham's Razor). Also, there this argument does not justify or even argue for the Christian idea of God. The most, if anything at all, that this argument tries to justify is some kind of deity that played a part in the creation but is no longer involved

The argument does not explicitly state a justification for the "First Cause" to not have a cause itself. There is no explanation in the argument against this, and this "justification" has only been added by people in attempts to support the argument without justification.

Also, most modern scientific theories involve an eternal, cyclical universe with no beginning.

The cosmological argument has been ripped to pieces by Philosophers since Descartes used the Causa Sui version, to Leibniz and Aquinas, and it absolutely amazes me that attempts are STILL made to this very day to justify this argument.

kyle22
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Post by kyle22 » December 9th, 2007, 8:12 pm

Back to the original topic, I don't think there is any way to specify the number of gods there are (if we believe that is possible that any gods exist at all). That's the pointlessness of religion, as opposed to science. Religion deals with things that we cannot know and is based on faith rather than evidence.

Mauds
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Post by Mauds » May 1st, 2010, 10:26 pm

If there is one God, who is believed to be all powerful, then he must necessarily be the one God. For others to exist, God would have to be less than perfect, as had been noted. Another question is why does it matter? If you believe in multiple gods, good on you, if one, ditto, if none, hurrah. The sooner we leave the field of unanswerable queries the better.

Sillysimon
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Post by Sillysimon » May 3rd, 2010, 7:08 pm

Is more than one God possible?

If there were more than one gods we would have heard them by now. Well, the thumping anyway.


"Im first and the best."
"No, I was the best and first."
"Are you calling me a liar."
"Yes, you're delusional."
"Not Im not.
"Yes you are"
"I know more than you."
"Thats blasphemy."
"So what, who do you think you are!"
"Im god, you are nothing."
"Thats it. Its war."

Thump!!



So I guess its either none or one.

Simon says...
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Post by Simon says... » May 19th, 2010, 8:38 am

I for one have never understood why God is called LORD or, "father". For a start these are both male connotations, and the impression that god is male is amplified by the event of god making man out of his own image and then making woman from man's rib. So the consensus, in Judeo-Christianity at least (& I guess in islam also) is that god is male...Why? Why on earth would god be male? He has no need to procreate because he is unkillable! If there are no goddesses, so why would there be a god? (Evidence that the bible is not meant to be taken literally).

Also, titles like "LORD", are somewhat meaningless when refering to God. A lord was orionally a feudal superior, these days it refers merely to peerage of the United Kingdom. So unless the universe is god's feudal system, which would imply that he is a totalitarian ruler, nor has god received the title by any hereditry right for that would imply he has ancestors...all in all, the title is meaningless. As are titles like "father", again, god never procreated, unless you count his impregnation of the virgin mary & the birth of Jesus that is, which I have a bit of a problem with actually. Was Jesus the "son" of god, or "god"? Because the holy trinity says that he was both. But that's a contradiction in terms! You can't be your own son because a "son" has "half" of your genetic code, and you don't have "half" you have "all" otherwise you wouldn't exist. But I guess god didn't pay attension in biology.

Now a lot of people will say "oh Simon your being silly, these things arn't meant to be taken literally", great, i agree, so why DO YOU???!

Belinda
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Post by Belinda » May 20th, 2010, 4:56 am

There is no doubt that there are many gods. The history books are full of them The Bible names the other gods besides Jaweh or El(those latter two are the gods that metamorphosed into the Christian and Muslim 'God' and 'Allah'...... those are the names of the main gods of our time).
There are still many Hindu gods.There are even modern Pagans sects who believe in yet other gods.The Christian and Muslim gods break down into the very different gods of various sects . For instance the Muslim Allah of the suicide bombers is a different version of Allah from the merciful and rational Allah of the more progressive Muslims.

The progressive Christian God is different from the supernatural and frequently superstitiouos god of many Baptists or RC's.
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Tingle mind
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Post by Tingle mind » May 24th, 2010, 11:10 pm

i beieve n one god and one god alone. if he created managers of certain areas which he wouldnt need, but if he did they wouldnt be consired gods

Therapon
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Post by Therapon » May 25th, 2010, 4:20 am

Tingle mind wrote:i beieve n one god and one god alone. if he created managers of certain areas which he wouldnt need, but if he did they wouldnt be consired gods

They would be Gods, if they were not created but 'generated' and therefore are his children.
It is not possible either to trick or escape the mind of Zeus.
Hesiod

Tingle mind
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Post by Tingle mind » May 25th, 2010, 2:24 pm

Therapon wrote:
Tingle mind wrote:i beieve n one god and one god alone. if he created managers of certain areas which he wouldnt need, but if he did they wouldnt be consired gods

They would be Gods, if they were not created but 'generated' and therefore are his children.


that depends on your definition of a child. gods has a son jesus who is god but is also deemed as a literall part of god. some things we cannot comprehend about god. men cant even understand women let alone GOD. the bible does say god is king of kings and lord of lords. from that one could believe there are smaller gods beneath God but i dont. even if there were several smaller gods, god is still at the top leaving one god in control. besides god has never created other beings to help him but only to worship him and illustrate his glory

Therapon
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Post by Therapon » May 26th, 2010, 8:02 am

Tingle mind wrote:...one could believe there are smaller gods beneath God


I agree.
It is not possible either to trick or escape the mind of Zeus.
Hesiod

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Wuliheron
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Re: If there can be one god, can there be more?

Post by Wuliheron » May 29th, 2013, 1:19 am

Religious Taoists believe the human body alone contains some 8,000 Gods, often fighting with each, and the goal is for a priest to help them learn how to all get along. Taoism is maybe the sixth most popular religion in the world with hundreds of millions of followers, mostly in Malaysia these days. However, such religions are in the "liberal" religious tradition of westerners meaning they embrace and accept anyone who walks through the door. They don't spout crap about everybody else going to hell because they don't believe exactly the same thing or whatever and some of their priests are even agnostic.

For such people religion isn't nearly so much about the after-life, but this life, and Taoists are famous for promoting healthy lifestyles, longevity practices, etc.

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