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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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philoreaderguy

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

Post Number:#1  PostMarch 6th, 2007, 11:03 am

If there can be one god, can there be more? How can you know that there is only one god? It seems you can know that there can't be any gods, because it's impossible; or you can know that there can be (or is) at least one god. How can you specify the number of gods?

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Bk2Kant

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Post Number:#2  PostMarch 6th, 2007, 6:58 pm

If we believe there is a God who created lesser beings (us) than I do not think it is unfair to believe that he could have created Gods (not as powerful as him) and sort of delegated responsabilities (something like the greek God system, God of Love, God of Sun and so on) I guess I'm saying there is a certain amount of plausabiity to the existance of multiple Gods especially if we except the theory that there is an ultmate God that created others (not quite as powerful) I dont know I'm just babbling I think.
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MyshiningOne

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Post Number:#3  PostMarch 8th, 2007, 11:34 pm

I never really thought about this idea before, but it is an interesting question. After all, rulers themselves usually have people under them to take care of the lesser responsibilities. Who knows?
We had to get that idea from somewhere. But, of
course, the gods may be described in terms of angels, messengers, etc...
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Johannes Climacus

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Post Number:#4  PostMarch 9th, 2007, 12:44 am

There was an alleged proof that showed polytheism lead to monotheism. I'll look into that.
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MyshiningOne

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Post Number:#5  PostMarch 9th, 2007, 9:14 pm

Johannes Climacus wrote:There was an alleged proof that showed polytheism lead to monotheism. I'll look into that.


That would make an interesting discussion.
I guess maybe it's because different branches of faith have a way of merging together into one larger branch of faith.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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thestateimin

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Post Number:#6  PostMarch 13th, 2007, 3:56 pm

Of course there could be multiple gods/godesses. Look at Hinduism; they have millions of lesser gods and goddesses. The idea of monotheism is a rather contemporary idea.
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captain_crunk

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

Post Number:#7  PostMarch 16th, 2007, 11:46 am

philoreaderguy wrote:If there can be one god, can there be more? How can you know that there is only one god? It seems you can know that there can't be any gods, because it's impossible; or you can know that there can be (or is) at least one god. How can you specify the number of gods?


I never thought about this, really. That's probably just because of the fact that I myself only believe in one God, but I know some of my Indian (read: Hindu) friends from high school believe in multiple Gods. I'll have to ask them about that kind of thing sometime.
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MyshiningOne

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

Post Number:#8  PostMarch 17th, 2007, 11:19 am

captain_crunk wrote:
philoreaderguy wrote:If there can be one god, can there be more? How can you know that there is only one god? It seems you can know that there can't be any gods, because it's impossible; or you can know that there can be (or is) at least one god. How can you specify the number of gods?


I never thought about this, really. That's probably just because of the fact that I myself only believe in one God, but I know some of my Indian (read: Hindu) friends from high school believe in multiple Gods. I'll have to ask them about that kind of thing sometime.


Yeah it is interesting how different religions have
different numbers of gods. In Christianity there is
one god who the God everything, and in Greek
and Roman Mythology there were many gods who each
represented a part of life. The Vikings also had
many gods. Sometimes I've wondered why some
people had the desire to serve one god, while
others desired to serve many gods. Maybe many can be one. Maybe it's like a transcendent thing.
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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bellybuttonmonkeypoo

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Post Number:#9  PostMarch 20th, 2007, 7:14 pm

Your question is very interesting. If you think about it though there are very few religions that have one god even in christianity there is god jesus and the holly spirit three entities as one but they all serve differant purposes. No one can ever be sure how many gods there are just by being told that is something you have to find for your self because the answer is really imposible unless someone's seen them all
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MyshiningOne

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Post Number:#10  PostApril 22nd, 2007, 12:33 am

It's something to check into. It's an interesting way of looking at religion.
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cynicallyinsane

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Post Number:#11  PostApril 22nd, 2007, 12:58 am

bellybuttonmonkeypoo wrote:Your question is very interesting. If you think about it though there are very few religions that have one god even in christianity there is god jesus and the holly spirit three entities as one but they all serve differant purposes. No one can ever be sure how many gods there are just by being told that is something you have to find for your self because the answer is really imposible unless someone's seen them all

I guess you're right. We can't know how many gods there are.
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cynicallyinsane

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Post Number:#12  PostApril 22nd, 2007, 12:59 am

Oh yeah, plus if there's more than one god, he'd might want to trick us into thinking the others don't exist.
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MyshiningOne

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Post Number:#13  PostApril 22nd, 2007, 1:03 am

Hahahaha! Well, if that were the case, then I probably wouldn't trust such a competitive being!
It's not what you know that makes
you smart, it's knowing what you don't know.
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Arvy

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

Post Number:#14  PostJune 26th, 2007, 5:30 am

philoreaderguy wrote:If there can be one god, can there be more? How can you know that there is only one god? It seems you can know that there can't be any gods, because it's impossible; or you can know that there can be (or is) at least one god. How can you specify the number of gods?


It's logically necessary to answer whether or not there is a god at all first, and as far as I know, this has never really been answered.

To make your question more sensible, you should ask yourself "How many gods does X religion believe in?" In which case the answer could vary greatly depending on the religion. In any case, no religion has ever proven, even if just beyond a reasonable doubt, the existence of a SINGLE god, much less two or more.

How many unicorns are there?
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FilosofoMusicale

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Post Number:#15  PostSeptember 8th, 2007, 12:00 am

Hello! I am new to the boards and thought perhaps I could try and write some insight, not as to command the discussion, but as to view our enquirers in another direction.

I like where Arvy is going by proposing the following:

To make your question more sensible, you should ask yourself "How many gods does X religion believe in?"


However, even though I am religious, I think that perhaps we ought to try to establish / disestablish whether a god or gods exist outside of religion, or at least not use religion in establishing a deity's existence. Now, I know my argument may be biased towards a Christian viewpoint, but this is a point that I cannot escape, seeing that it is what I believe.

For me, perhaps the most effective argument for the existence of God is in the Cosmological Argument (taken from Aquinas). Although its origins is Christian, we can easily strip away the elements of Christianity into a completely causal argument. As I understand, it is as follows:

First, we must accept the Principle of Sufficient Reason: "For every fact there is a reason why it is so or why it is not so." Put into terms of causality, this means that every effect must have had a cause, either in itself or in another.

Every one action (a) must have a cause for that action. And prior to that action (a), there must have been another action (a1) resulting in the possibility of that action (a). If we follow a line of causality backwards, we either follow causality to infinity, which is impossible, for all nature must have had a starting point. Thus, it is sensible to think that there must have been some first cause that moved into effect everything that now exists. That first cause would be God.

Now, I am sure many heavily scientifically minded people would gawk at this assertion - as would atheistic peoples - but it is hard for me to comprehend why either people would give reality's origins as random chance; or refuse to explain its origin altogether (by asserting that the causal chain regresses to infinity).

However, if we find this argument unacceptable, we should at least try and find a reasonable argument for the existence of A GOD and what qualities A GOD may have before we delve into the possibility of sub-deities. One can surely appeal to religion and say "well, I believe in God," but as this is a philosophical forum, I think that would be quite an unsatisfying answer for most of us. If there are metaphysical beings, surely our reason can understand them somehow.

I look forward to the rest of this discussion.
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