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Thread: false gods

  1. #11
    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    LOL - in common language (unlike in technical language) words and phrases mean whatever the person using them intends them to mean, rather than what a dictionary or grammatical analysis would indicate they mean.

    Which goes a long way in explaining the never-ending misunderstandings that humans have enjoyed for so very, very long.

    Q: Is it good to feed your hamster sunflower seeds?

    A: I don't know. Define what you mean by "good."
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  2. #12
    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarHarvest View Post
    That is something which requires a person to accept the notion of sin, and the need for salvation from sin on top of that. I've found that, once you believe in neither, Christian preaching becomes rather ineffective, as the grace and mercy of their God is only really effective if there is something that requires its grace and mercy.

    The answer that I've seen people give before is generally that, 'Those people originally did worship the true one God, but over time they were diverted away from true practices by evil forces and false prophets (yet another 'false' that often comes up) to a corrupted form of faith.' I don't view this as an effective argument though.
    Quote Originally Posted by ChainLightning View Post
    You're right, it doesn't make sense. Lunar brought up "false prophets", which is exactly the same problem. If they're false, then they're not prophets, now, are they? But that is taking it a bit too literally.

    I mean, imagine some yahoo claiming they are a god. Or claiming they're a prophet. Persons A and B both follow said prophet to the worship of said god. An established religious group, in the vicinity, simply states they are actually nothing but frauds, both the false god and the false prophet. Person B is convinced and converts. Now Person A still adheres to the false prophet's claims and worships the false god. But, according to Person A's perspective, it is Person B who is now following and worshiping the frauds, the false prophets and false god. And it is his own god, instead, that is the "one true...".

    In that scenario, "false gods" are not specific enough to be taken literally, word for word. The phrase is just meant to represent one person's belief that another person's gods are the wrong ones.

    Ya know, it's a bit like two planes and a "near miss" which is actually a 'near hit', and precisely 'a miss'. But the phrase "near miss" is the terminology used to describe such an event. Even though it makes no sense. The eternal flaw in our language(s).
    Thanks very much to you both! I seem to understand it more now. It makes me wonder. If there are many gods, both false and true, they are all gods, right? So perhaps there is such a thing as "god council". It's a imaginary place where all gods gather, no matter which pantheon they belong to. I wonder about what makes a specific god better than everyone else. If they are all gods, they have similar powers (though they focus on different things), they are all great and so on.
    Which leads me to another thought: if the Christian/Jewish/Muslim god is the only right one, why would he allow the existence of other gods?
    "Fair means that everybody gets what they need. And the only way to get that is to make it happen yourself."



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  3. #13
    Sr. Member MoonRaven's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    I'll try not to make myself an expert in a field where I most certainly am not, but this brought to mind something one of my religious education teachers once told my class. (One of the few things I remember of those classes )
    N.B. Please note I'm trying to recall something I heard 20 years ago, so take this for no more than it is.

    This is how my teacher tried to explain the whole mess with "false gods". The problem is that God isn't one god, He is an amalgamation of several, the two most predominant being YHWH and Elohim, The Lord of Hosts.
    It's the last guy who's causing a great deal of the trouble, because the Host that he was Lord of was not a host of angels, but a host of other gods. Elohim occupied a position in the pantheon somewhat similar to Zeus or Odin, he was even married. The problem arose when Elohim got merged with YHWH, who was already monotheistic, because what should be with all the rest of the gods? Some was clearly less powerful and could be made into angels that served god, but what of those deities - especially God's wife - who was a s powerful and more problematic, just as worshipped, as God?
    The solution someone came up with was to declare all the rest of the gods false, not true gods, either illusions or devils. And if prayers and sacrifices to them had been answered if was because God in his infinite mercy had taken compassion on those who sacrificed even if they did use the wrong names. But God would no longer be so lenient and unless people started sacrificing to God using the proper name, they would be punished.

    I know, it's a confusing tale and it doesn't help that I had to dig it out from the dawn of times in my memory.
    Warning: The above post may contain traces of sarcasm.

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  4. #14
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonRaven View Post
    I'll try not to make myself an expert in a field where I most certainly am not, but this brought to mind something one of my religious education teachers once told my class. (One of the few things I remember of those classes )
    N.B. Please note I'm trying to recall something I heard 20 years ago, so take this for no more than it is.

    This is how my teacher tried to explain the whole mess with "false gods". The problem is that God isn't one god, He is an amalgamation of several, the two most predominant being YHWH and Elohim, The Lord of Hosts.
    It's the last guy who's causing a great deal of the trouble, because the Host that he was Lord of was not a host of angels, but a host of other gods. Elohim occupied a position in the pantheon somewhat similar to Zeus or Odin, he was even married. The problem arose when Elohim got merged with YHWH, who was already monotheistic, because what should be with all the rest of the gods? Some was clearly less powerful and could be made into angels that served god, but what of those deities - especially God's wife - who was a s powerful and more problematic, just as worshipped, as God?
    The solution someone came up with was to declare all the rest of the gods false, not true gods, either illusions or devils. And if prayers and sacrifices to them had been answered if was because God in his infinite mercy had taken compassion on those who sacrificed even if they did use the wrong names. But God would no longer be so lenient and unless people started sacrificing to God using the proper name, they would be punished.

    I know, it's a confusing tale and it doesn't help that I had to dig it out from the dawn of times in my memory.
    So the world would look vastly different if the followers of the LoH ended up writing the final doctrine instead of having it written for them?
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    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

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  5. #15
    Mostly Harmless nbdy's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    I think I agree with everything I read here, which makes things as nebulous as ever; however, understanding "false" gods and "false" prophets as simply those with which the speaker personally disagrees makes sense of the confusion (if that makes sense). So, my truth is The Truth, and all the rest of you have false truth. Got it.

    It is interesting to think of "god" not as inherently divine but only as an object of worship. Then a "true" god is worthy of worship and a "false" god is not. The criteria for worthiness would be contingent, I suppose. On the other hand, what if godness is created by worship?

    Some one identified the same God for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and after this foray into henotheism I don't think those faiths would agree. I know that Islamic doctrine recognizes the "people of the book," ie, Christians and Jews, but poking around the internet yesterday it appears a large portion of Christians do not think that Allah is the same as their God ... at all. This was not an issue when I was a child, but back then I knew no one who thought the Jews had a chance since they had rejected Jesus as the messiah. It is like a big, deadly soap opera.

    And, MoonRaven, I did have to read that twice. That is some kind of story. How old were you? Which church? Had indoctrination from several protestant denominations and we missed that story. Gotta give them credit for trying to make sense of it, but ... wow.

    "No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical." -- Niels Bohr

  6. #16
    Member Haseo's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Personally I can agree with most posts. Lets look at Final Fantasy 14 and compare. The Kobolds, for instance, worship Titan. Titan is brought into the realm by the power the kobolds themselves give to him by worshiping him. If we as humans can put forth our own energy into believing in a "God", Would it not be possible that this energy would pool together and form said God? Maybe not physically but spiritually? This not only explains why so many gods are worshiped but also why these heavily worshipped gods can be seen doing miracles. ie God saving a cancer patient when there is no logical explanation for their survival. So when thinking of that, I believe that there are no "false gods". I remember talking with a christian the other day and he said this to me (knowing that I am a pagan that worships many gods), "My God is your God is one God". To me this just says that No god is a false god, but all gods are pieces of a whole.
    Now here's the kicker, think of god as reality itself, and the different pantheons as different aspects of the universe. We personify these aspects so that we may push our own energy into them. For example, when I pray to Odin Im giving energy to Odin so that I may tap into the energy that makes Odin what he is and what he represents. I guess it may not make much sense but those are my thoughts.
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  7. #17
    Lord Contrarian Denarius's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by Haseo View Post
    God saving a cancer patient when there is no logical explanation for their survival.
    That's not really a miracle though, that's a medical mystery. A limb regrowing would be a miracle. We have bodily processes that fight cancer, some of them are not well understood but that is nowhere near grounds for making the leap to divine intervention being the only possible cause.
    Trust is knowing someone or something well enough to have a good idea of their motivations and character, for good or for ill. People often say trust when they mean faith.

  8. #18
    One with the Force ChainLightning's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by B. de Corbin View Post
    LOL - in common language (unlike in technical language) words and phrases mean whatever the person using them intends them to mean, rather than what a dictionary or grammatical analysis would indicate they mean.

    Which goes a long way in explaining the never-ending misunderstandings that humans have enjoyed for so very, very long.

    Q: Is it good to feed your hamster sunflower seeds?

    A: I don't know. Define what you mean by "good."
    Heck yeah! And I am always up for 'some antics' [/semantics].




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  9. #19
    Sr. Member MoonRaven's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    So the world would look vastly different if the followers of the LoH ended up writing the final doctrine instead of having it written for them?
    Short answer, yes.
    Longer answer and again if I recall correctly, the Jews brought YHWH with them when they left Egypt and returned to Israel where the Canaanites were worshipping Elohim and the rest of the pantheon. Since they couldn't get people to stop worshipping Elohim and co. they co-opted the faith in stead. If things had run the other way around everything would have looked very different.

    Quote Originally Posted by nbdy View Post
    And, MoonRaven, I did have to read that twice. That is some kind of story. How old were you? Which church? Had indoctrination from several protestant denominations and we missed that story. Gotta give them credit for trying to make sense of it, but ... wow.
    Sorry I wasn't clear. It was in school, not church. I'm the daughter of an atheist and an agnostic so I wasn't introduced to anything about religion really until I started school. I do have a children's Bible that some Jehova's Witnesses gave me, but I never saw it as anything otehr than a fancy picture book and I had a ton of those. So to me the whole thing was fictive. I have never been as confused in my life as the first time I went trough Christmas stuff in school, because I had not frame of reference so I was all: "who's that couple?", "Why are they in a stable?", "Wait? What? That star we're singing about isn't the sun?", "Why not?". It was frankly the most bizarre experience of my life .
    In Denmark all kids have religion education from about 3rd grade to 7th, then if you move on then in what is our equivalent of college. We learn about religions, that is their theoretical frameworks and histories, but there is not preaching - that's the base premise of the subject "no preaching". Usually all major religions gets covered as well as a number of smaller ones too.
    This if I recall correctly was in 7th grade (which would make me 13-14 years old, hence I'm remembering 20 years back. Meep) and our teacher was way cool. She deconstructed all five of the major religions, starting with Judaism, then Christianity, then Islam, moved on to Hinduism and finally finished off just before summer break with Buddhism. I was actually sorry not to have the subject the next year. (I changed school a lot so I had many teachers in this subject and most were dreadfully dull, but this one was fantastic.)
    Warning: The above post may contain traces of sarcasm.

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  10. #20
    Mostly Harmless nbdy's Avatar
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    Re: false gods

    Quote Originally Posted by MoonRaven View Post
    Sorry I wasn't clear. It was in school, not church. I'm the daughter of an atheist and an agnostic so I wasn't introduced to anything about religion really until I started school. I do have a children's Bible that some Jehova's Witnesses gave me, but I never saw it as anything otehr than a fancy picture book and I had a ton of those. So to me the whole thing was fictive. I have never been as confused in my life as the first time I went trough Christmas stuff in school, because I had not frame of reference so I was all: "who's that couple?", "Why are they in a stable?", "Wait? What? That star we're singing about isn't the sun?", "Why not?". It was frankly the most bizarre experience of my life .
    In Denmark all kids have religion education from about 3rd grade to 7th, then if you move on then in what is our equivalent of college. We learn about religions, that is their theoretical frameworks and histories, but there is not preaching - that's the base premise of the subject "no preaching". Usually all major religions gets covered as well as a number of smaller ones too.
    This if I recall correctly was in 7th grade (which would make me 13-14 years old, hence I'm remembering 20 years back. Meep) and our teacher was way cool. She deconstructed all five of the major religions, starting with Judaism, then Christianity, then Islam, moved on to Hinduism and finally finished off just before summer break with Buddhism. I was actually sorry not to have the subject the next year. (I changed school a lot so I had many teachers in this subject and most were dreadfully dull, but this one was fantastic.)
    Fascinating. And chances are that you received a better religious education than many who have gone to church all their lives in the U.S.

    "No, no, you're not thinking; you're just being logical." -- Niels Bohr

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