Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

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.
User avatar
Unrealist42
Posts: 343
Joined: April 25th, 2010, 7:04 pm
Location: City of Dreams

Post by Unrealist42 » August 20th, 2010, 9:18 pm

I am skeptical that gods exist at all because I have yet to realize an encounter with one or any believable explanation for them. Besides that, the definition of what a god is seems somewhat nebulous, differing widely according to belief.

I have met quite a few women who describe themselves or have been described to me as goddesses but somehow many seemed inadequate to the description....but not all....
It may be that I have met gods and goddesses. They should stand out in unforgettable fashion yes?
I have met some who do, but are they gods?

It is difficult to tell amongst all the confusion of my frantic life.

Tofreethemind
Posts: 33
Joined: July 2nd, 2010, 12:23 pm
Contact:

Post by Tofreethemind » August 31st, 2010, 1:06 pm

Tofreethemind, you speak of a hidden creator, so I'll ask you the same question I asked Alun: Are you a deist? If so, what do you think is different about deism as opposed to atheism other than the use of the term god? In other words, do you think deists actually tend to believe something different exists than atheists or do they choose to call something that atheists think exists god?
Scott,

I had never thought about it but I would be happy to be identified as a deist.

Atheists reject the theory of a god or a creator. So I am not sure what deism has in common with it. Out spoken people like Richard Dawking embrace the notion of evolution through natural selection. Rejection of a structure, miracles and the so call religious belief does not automatically mean rejection of the notion of a creator.

I would have thought that deism has more in common with theism where it is accepted that there is a creator but there are differences over the form of god and the road to salvation.

User avatar
Keith Russell
Posts: 896
Joined: January 6th, 2010, 10:50 pm

Post by Keith Russell » September 23rd, 2010, 12:27 pm

Name a god, and I don't believe in it.

Simple...

Keen
Posts: 170
Joined: July 18th, 2010, 3:38 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russel

Post by Keen » September 23rd, 2010, 1:30 pm

As I am not well aquainted with non european religions, I will comment only on greek gods and the christian one.
I do not believe in greek mythology for mainly three reasons:
1)Just like Zewpals said, there is enough evidence to disprove such description of the world.
2)I don't like the greek fatalism: I prefer to believe that by acting on the causes I can change the consequences and not that whatever I do, the result will still be the same.
3)The gods in this religion are really immoral by playing with mortals, punishing them for nothing and being cruel on them.
There are lot of examples, but i'll illustrated the one that definitely convinced me the greek gods are really immoral. It is the story of Niobe, who was proud of having many children(if I rembemer, the exact number was twelve). She boasted about it and insulted the goddess Leto, who had only two children Artemis and Apollo. To avenge their mother, these two gods slaughter all of the children of Niobe. Now that is really cruel.

I prefer christian God even if I do not believe in Him. At least christianity brought great moral messages to humanity.
I don't believe in christian God, because I don't like to have some superior being above humanity. I have already explained it in the thread "What makes you beleive or not beleive in God/religion", but I respect christianity much more then other religions I know about, because most of its moral principles are the same as mine.

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4197
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Scott » December 17th, 2011, 3:22 am

Thanks everyone for your replies! This topic reminds me of the following well-known quote.
Stephen F Roberts wrote:I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.
One thing that is interesting is that most people have very little specific explanation for why they do not believe in most or all of the gods listed in the original post. This raises the question what would qualify as justification for non-belief? As an atheist it may be easy--and right--to draw this line very low, since we atheists do not believe in any gods, but I think it creates a dilemma for anyone who believes in any gods and would ever argue philosophically for the existence of such gods. For to be rational and consistent they can only expect the atheists and non-believers to provide as much justification as they themselves would provide for this relatively small list of gods had they encountered it. Yet such justification seems to be very little.

***

Keen, I appreciate your comments on the Greek gods. I assume you do not believe in the other gods. Is being unfamiliar with an alleged god that some belief exists reasonable grounds to disbelieve in it? Could an atheist reject the god of Christianity simply on the grounds that he does not know much about Christianity and is not interested to learn about it? I'm truly curious and not asking these questions merely rhetorically.


***
Scott wrote:Tofreethemind, you speak of a hidden creator, so I'll ask you the same question I asked Alun: Are you a deist? If so, what do you think is different about deism as opposed to atheism other than the use of the term god? In other words, do you think deists actually tend to believe something different exists than atheists or do they choose to call something that atheists think exists god?
Tofreethemind wrote:Atheists reject the theory of a god or a creator. So I am not sure what deism has in common with it.
Atheists reject the existence of a god, using the term god in a traditional, common way. Deists, I suspect, use the term god in an idiosyncratic way. In a silly extreme example, a person could name their cat god; then they could tell me they believe god exists, referring to their cat. In this case, I as an atheist do not disagree that the person's cat--"god"--exists. I suspect this is going on in a less silly way with deists and atheists; the difference may be mainly terminological. In other words, I am asking you what you believe exists--without using the word god--that an atheist generally does not believe exists and why? Then why do you believe that thing exists and why do you not believe the beings suggested in the OP such as Zeus exist? Does believing in Zeus contradict your belief in that other thing, if so then how and if not than why not believe in both?
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

User avatar
Discards
Posts: 1002
Joined: December 6th, 2011, 3:16 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Hanuman
Location: Canada

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Discards » December 17th, 2011, 3:56 pm

1. Do you believe in Zeus and his parents Cronus and Rhea and the other gods of ancient Greek religion? If not, why not?

In my opinion its possible that these Gods may have existed. I have never perceived them directly (with the exception of Athena).

2. Do you believe Allah as described in Islam exists? If not, why not?

In my opinion it is possible that Allah exists. I have never witnessed his existence so I don't "truly" believe in his existence. I believe in the possibility of his existence.

3. Do you believe Xenu and the thetans as described by Scientology exist?

I doubt the credibility of Ron Hubbard. I doubt the claims of his religion. I doubt the subversive intentions that seem to characterize his teachings. So I doubt a factual reality of the existence of any "Xenu" or of "thetans". I think they are delusions.

4. Do you believe "God" as described by Christianity exists? If not, why not?

Yes. I believe in the God of Christianity because I have experienced the "proof of the unseen". My standard of belief relies on direct perception and I have directly perceived what the doctrine of Christianity teaches.

I turned away from Christianity believing that for lack of evidence, there would never be a reason for me to believe that a man named "Jesus" once lived on the Earth and a long time ago, and also happens to be the Son of God and the human embodiment of the Holy Spirit. It seemed absolutely preposterous.

I turned to Yoga and Buddhism, practiced their teachings, calmed my body and spirit to a comfortable level that I was happy with and the truth of the Christian faith revealed itself to me. So all of my wanderings into Buddhism and Yoga led me to a real belief in Christianity.

"For those without faith no explanation is possible. For those with faith no explanation is needed." (quote: don't recall, sorry). Render the definition of faith to be: the proof of the unseen. Render the unseen to be: that which is experienced in the direct perception of the Holy Ghost -and you have my standard of belief for the Jesus of the Bible and everything his life and testimony teaches. Though it is right before our eyes. Our minds and bodies are not willing to receive it.

C.S. Lewis is a great example of a perfectly rational atheist who turned into a full believer. (Just as an example for die hard atheists).

5. Do you believe in Amaterasu and Susanoo and the other gods of the Shinto religion? If not, why not?
6. Do you believe in Cai Shen the Chinese god of prosperity and Zao Jun the Chinese kitchen god as described by Chinese traditional religion?
7. Do you believe Adonai as described by Judaism exists? If not, why not?
8. Do you believe Vishnu, Indra, Agni and the other Hindu gods exist? If not, why not?
9. Do you believe in Waheguru the god of the Sikhism religion? If not, why not?

I don't know enough about these religions to discount any of their beliefs. I am able to hold the Christian view without discounting the existence of Gods in other religions. I simply believe that the world is inhabited by many beings -some more immaterial and "God-like" than others.

User avatar
stormy phillips
Posts: 302
Joined: November 9th, 2011, 5:30 pm
Location: N/I

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by stormy phillips » December 17th, 2011, 7:08 pm

"I do not consider it an insult , but rather a complement to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means."
However, I am drawn towards mysticism to imagine the possibilities that both science and religion/faith try to address, and have found them both asking us the same thing, to believe. Science is telling us that an almighty ghost created everything, shaping it and holding it together and is within and all around actively at work. Religion/faith says much the same, however it appears tainted with laws and do's and donts. Brahman however appears more accurate as such a God. From I was a small child I was indoctrinated within the Christian faith, and to this day I hold high those values within the teachings of Jesus. I find no fault in them, in my eyes they are truth, in that they are amongst the best ways to live your life. But there is allot in the bible, that from a young age I was inclined to see differently, like aircraft, tanks, motorcycles, various flying machines amongst rockets and so on, even aircraft carriers. These things that I saw, those who preached the bible appeared to skip over, avoid, in other words, either they were blind to them, or just accepted them as writings. I believe it is these things that separate God/Brahman/almighty ghost from the father. This along with the views, thoughts, scriptures, faiths from all over the world; they began to appear to me as that of alien, something greater than all of us. Then the words Son Of Man began to make allot more sense, ambassador of humanity. The words of Peter, describing Jesus as a man travelling the universe, seeking out new worlds for his people also began to add up. This man Jesus prophesied our present difficulties, and how when the world turns dark we are to look up, for it is then that he will return with the power of the father. I can't say there is a God, but I can watch, look, listen, to all that has been laid out before me. In the end it may all be imagined, of which I can relate to as well, since the imagination comes true, and is the truth not God?
Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.....Epictetus

Keen
Posts: 170
Joined: July 18th, 2010, 3:38 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Bertrand Russel

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Keen » January 3rd, 2012, 8:56 am

Scott wrote: Keen, I appreciate your comments on the Greek gods. I assume you do not believe in the other gods. Is being unfamiliar with an alleged god that some belief exists reasonable grounds to disbelieve in it? Could an atheist reject the god of Christianity simply on the grounds that he does not know much about Christianity and is not interested to learn about it? I'm truly curious and not asking these questions merely rhetorically.
This topic is the discussion of belief/disbelief in particular gods so to remain on topic, I could only criticize religions I know enough. By general principle I do not believe in any religion, because of the burden of proof. To paraphrase Russel I do not want to waste time disproving there is a teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars and as long as this teapot remains unobservable, it's simpler to assume there is none. I do not need to know about all gods that human imagination can invent in order to not believe in them.
However there is a key difference between religions and all other myriads of superstitions. Religions are widely accepted and organized. They are part of human culture. Religions often reflect people's thinking and so if someone wants to understand a country, he ought to understand it's most common religions as well. So I regret not knowing eastern religions not because I am perhaps missing something I could believe in, but because I do not know almost anything about eastern culture.

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4197
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Scott » December 12th, 2015, 5:55 pm

@Discards Thanks for your reply. You claim to have come across special unsharable evidence that one of these 9 sets of god(s) exist. There is nothing to discuss or debate since the evidence can presumably not be scientifically reproduced nor can your conclusion be scientifically tested. However, if through having special access to evidence the existence of a thing has been proven to you then it makes sense for you to believe it just as it makes sense for the rest of us not to. We can all base our beliefs on the evidence, but we just happen to have different evidence available.

@stormy phillips Thanks for your post, but it looks like you didn't answer the 9 questions in the OP. Can you please answer each of the 9 sets of questions in the OP?

@Keen Well-said! :) I also do not want to waste time disproving there is a teapot orbiting between Earth and Mars and believe it's simpler to conclude there is none due to the lack of evidence.

Thank you all!
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 6997
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Greta » December 12th, 2015, 9:02 pm

In a sense, gods both exist and don't exist.

Deities are clearly imaginative and metaphorical inventions. Still, some characteristics attributed to any given deity represent certain truths (or apparent truths) about life and the nature of reality as observed by those at a given time and place.
This space left intentionally blank.

Lone Wolf
Posts: 45
Joined: March 1st, 2015, 9:33 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Pooh

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Lone Wolf » December 13th, 2015, 1:26 am

My answers to the original questions is no for all nine. I do believe in something beyond my ability to conceive, but there is no way I can tell you what it is. My reason for believing is that I had an emotional experience which convinced me of something beyond my awareness that loved me. The best way I can describe the experience is to say that it was ineffable (too wonderful to be described in words). The answer to Why Not? for all nine is that all the religions and gods described in the nine questions were established by man and are therefore defined according to the desires of the men creating them. Since my perception of "God" cannot be defined, I cannot accept the gods listed in the questions.

Belinda
Contributor
Posts: 13760
Joined: July 10th, 2008, 7:02 pm
Location: UK

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Belinda » December 13th, 2015, 8:31 am

Please refer to the title of this discussion and tell me what "believe in" means for you :D

Some people 'believe in" meaning that they believe that this whatever -it- is to be real , occupying space/time, a fact not a fiction, perhaps, depending on its mind power,an agent that intends or wants to intervene in events in the world.

Other people, and this includes me, as far as aspects of the traditional God or even perhaps one of the ancient gods or goddesses of some pure water source, are concerned, what believe in means is actively trusting the god, goddess, or the traditional God, to be beneficial. This attitude to the phrase 'believe in' is how we use the phrase when we praise some revered or loved human being whom we trust to be faithful to his principles and worthy of our trust in him. Thus I say "I believe in my grandson and always have believed in him " with reference to my feelings about and evaluation of my grandson's qualities.
Socialist

User avatar
Scott
Site Admin
Posts: 4197
Joined: January 20th, 2007, 6:24 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Diogenes the Cynic
Contact:

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Scott » December 13th, 2015, 11:29 am

@Great and @Belinda

You both make wise points which I think reflect some of the same fundamental concepts.

@Lone Wolf We are in agreement about the 9 questions in the OP, but you believe in a different allegedly ineffable supernatural thing. Like @Discards you seem to be claiming to have had access to the evidence of some kind of revelation which unfortunately can not be shared. I cannot blame you or @Discards for believing in something with evidence. :)
Online Philosophy Club - Please tell me how to improve this website!

Check it out: Abortion - Not as diametrically divisive as often thought?

Lone Wolf
Posts: 45
Joined: March 1st, 2015, 9:33 pm
Favorite Philosopher: Pooh

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Lone Wolf » December 13th, 2015, 11:57 am

One of the reasons I seldom post in this forum is that my religious philosophy is not supported by empirical evidence. If I could show evidence to others I could talk about my belief. I feel like I know what I experienced but I cannot prove it.

Supine
Posts: 1016
Joined: November 27th, 2012, 2:11 am

Re: Which gods don't you believe in, and why don't you?

Post by Supine » December 13th, 2015, 6:45 pm

I first believed in God through rearing. Specifically the Christian God. More specifically as that was introduced in Latin Catholicism in the 1970s.

That was the reason for my first belief.

My second belief came through experience. One specifically with Jesus. Another with Satan. And a few others separate experiences. One involving the Virgin Mary.

I know these things more than I know Obama is President of the United States. For all I know Obama is not. And I know them like a homosexual or heterosexual person might say they know they were born gay or born straight--something so totally ridiculous as an infant 1 day old knowing they are sexually aroused by x sex of people.

So, that's how I know. But I am as atheist about people knowing what their sexual orientation was at birth as there are atheist doubting what I know per experience about God.

As for the various gods listed, Christians in the Middle East call the Christian God Allah. I do too at times. If Hindu Vishnu-an avatar of the one Hindu God--is God in the sense of a particular characteristic of God, if I say, then that is part of the Christian God. But that is coming from a Catholic intellectual and cultural tradition and not an American one. The American one places disproportionate importance on labels.

Post Reply