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Old 04-04-2001, 10:58 AM   #11
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
From Websters.com:

Main Entry: poly·the·ism
Function: noun
: belief in or worship of more than one god

Main Entry: mono·the·ism
Function: noun
: the doctrine or belief that there is but one God


I cannot believe this subject even makes it onto the boards, but wonders never cease. I used to wonder at how atheists could not even define what a Christian was, now they don't even know what a monotheist is.

Perhaps this is merely the silly season setting in, but I hope this is not a sign of things to come.

Nomad

]
</font>
God

Pronunciation: (god), [key] —n., v., god•ded, god•ding, —interj.
—n.
1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
3. (l.c.) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
4. (often l.c.) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.
5. Christian Science.the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.
6. (l.c.) an image of a deity; an idol.
7. (l.c.) any deified person or object.

I dropped out one noun definition (opera slang).

In what way does Satan not fit (3) and (4)?
In what way does the the patron saint of X not fit (4)? Or guardian angel fit (4)?

The fact that you have minor and relatively weak spirit beings does not mean that you are not polytheistic. Quite a number of us look at Christianity and see polytheism, even in its formal conceptions -- never mind its folk manifestations.

Michael
 
Old 04-04-2001, 11:01 AM   #12
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
God

Pronunciation: (god), [key] —n., v., god•ded, god•ding, —interj.
—n.
1. the one Supreme Being, the creator and ruler of the universe.
2. the Supreme Being considered with reference to a particular attribute: the God of Islam.
3. (l.c.) one of several deities, esp. a male deity, presiding over some portion of worldly affairs.
4. (often l.c.) a supreme being according to some particular conception: the god of mercy.
5. Christian Science.the Supreme Being, understood as Life, Truth, Love, Mind, Soul, Spirit, Principle.
6. (l.c.) an image of a deity; an idol.
7. (l.c.) any deified person or object.

I dropped out one noun definition (opera slang).

In what way does Satan not fit (3) and (4)?
In what way does the the patron saint of X not fit (4)? Or guardian angel fit (4)?

The fact that you have minor and relatively weak spirit beings does not mean that you are not polytheistic. Quite a number of us look at Christianity and see polytheism, even in its formal conceptions -- never mind its folk manifestations.

Michael
</font>
And, apparently, Islam and Judaism.

And, just for the record, the Wahabi appear to ACCEPT the belief in Satan and the angels, without considering it to be polytheistic.
 
Old 04-04-2001, 11:07 AM   #13
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Layman:
And, apparently, Islam and Judaism.

And, just for the record, the Wahabi appear to ACCEPT the belief in Satan and the angels, without considering it to be polytheistic.
</font>
I'm sure they do, but since that was never the object of this discussion, what's your point?

Nor did I say anything about whether I thought Judiasm or Islam were polytheistic.

My only statement about the Wahabis was that they thought other sects of Islam were polytheistic. My only statement of polytheism relates to Christianity, and does not discuss Islam or Judiasm.

Now, does Satan not fit 3 or 4?

Michael
 
Old 04-04-2001, 11:11 AM   #14
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
I'm sure they do, but since that was never the object of this discussion, what's your point?

Nor did I say anything about whether I thought Judiasm or Islam were polytheistic.

My only statement about the Wahabis was that they thought other sects of Islam were polytheistic. My only statement of polytheism relates to Christianity, and does not discuss Islam or Judiasm.

Now, does Satan not fit 3 or 4?

Michael
</font>
How can you pretend that this discussion carries no implications for Islam and Judaism? Of course it does. If Christianity is polytheistic for believing in Satan and Angels, then so is Islam and Judaism. So do the Wahabi's for that matter. In short, you are saying that there really are NO monotheistic religions. And Huston Smith and all those other religious scholars who said that these religoins are monotheistic are just idiots.

And you are really getting desparate here. Rather than define monotheism, which clearly allows for lesser "spiritual" beings, you are attempting to bootstrap in by using a definition of "god" not included in the definition of monotheism.

More special pleading.



[This message has been edited by Layman (edited April 04, 2001).]
 
Old 04-04-2001, 12:26 PM   #15
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I think it is pretty well admitted that the early Israelis were not monotheists, but henotheists - they believed in one g-d more powerful that any other. The angels might as well be lesser gods - the fact that they were created by a god does not deprive them of "godhood" - many Greek and Roman gods were created by other gods. If one angel could rebel against god, angels in general must have had independent wills.

I think it is also accepted by most historians that Christianity spread through Europe in part by turning pagan gods and especially godesses into saints. Mary was turned into a virtual goddess.

"Monotheism" has been defined as the highest evolution of religion, so Christians have to maintain that they are monotheists. On the other hand, monotheism creates problems - how can there be evil if god is all powerful? So Satan is invented and given lots of power. And worshipping one god can get boring, so bring on the saints.

And then since "monotheism" is good, each religion or sect can gain points by accusing their opponents of polytheism. All of these charges are true, because each monotheistic religion has elements of an earlier polytheism in it, especially if they believe in the Bible.

I think we have to move beyond the idea that there is something good about monotheism. Monotheistic religions are arrogant and intolerant. Converting Europe and the Middle East to monotheism was probably a step backward for humanity.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-04-2001, 03:22 PM   #16
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I would agree with toto regarding the idea among atheists and christians that monotheism is somehow better. Christians never stated it is. It is merely a point of annoyance that you guys continue to attempt to define Christianity as polytheistic. Why do it? What's the point? You don't believe in either theistic views. As for your arguments Turton, I've answered all of them in another posted debate with Pantera (it's a challenge by our good friend Eternal to Sephiroth if you want to read it). You can spout definitions all day long, but it is arbitrary to use the polytheistic definition (of God) on Christianity to find divinity in other beings than God (YHWH), or the Christian definition to exclude divinity in polytheistic systems. The God of a specific belief has to be defined by the system itself. Therefore to the Greeks, God applies to 3 and 4. To the christian only 1. But not 3 and 4. You're applying inherently opposing definitions. You cannot claim all of them at the same time. You have to pick one or the other. Meaning 1/2 or 3/4 (nevermind the others). When you've decided which one you like best you have to give reasons why that particular definition is more valid to the discussion of Christian faith than the others. -Shaun

[This message has been edited by Irishbrutha (edited April 04, 2001).]
 
Old 04-04-2001, 03:27 PM   #17
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Thank you Toto for agreeing that Christianity and Islam are monotheistic. As I said earlier, the mere fact that anyone would even bother to dispute this obvious fact is either pathetic or laughable.

I think Michael and rodahi just don't know how to admit that they goofed. If they would do that, then this whole silly argument could be dropped.

Nomad
 
Old 04-04-2001, 03:30 PM   #18
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Thank you Toto for agreeing that Christianity and Islam are monotheistic. As I said earlier, the mere fact that anyone would even bother to dispute this obvious fact is either pathetic or laughable.

I think Michael and rodahi just don't know how to admit that they goofed. If they would do that, then this whole silly argument could be dropped.

Nomad
</font>
I'm still waiting for a retraction on the Christians worship Satan statement.
 
Old 04-04-2001, 04:02 PM   #19
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I guess I do not express myself clearly enough. Do I need to add "YOU @#$% SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN IDIOTS"? in order to get my point across?

Judaism, Christianity and Islam claim to be monotheistic, but incorporate many practices that show an underlying polytheism. These include angels, saints, Maryolatry. If you look into the history of Judaism, incorporated into the Bible that Christians consider holy, you find many indications that the early Israelis believed in other gods, and sometimes worshipped them. I have a source (not where I am now) that claims the angels were originally demi-gods - I will look it up if this continues.

If you look into Christian practices in Europe, you find pagan gods replaced with saints, and pagan practices continued as Christian worship. Does this mean that Christianity is polytheistic? I think you could argue YES - that it contains elements of polytheism. I think that the squeals of outrage from the Christian apologists are like Southern gentlemen accused of being rednecks.

I myself would prefer that Christianity be more polytheistic, and that Christians get in touch with their inner pagans. Given that Christianity is not about to go away, I would hope that it could at least shed some of its more obnoxious aspects - the monothesitic arrogance.

Of course Christians do not "worship" Satan, but they ascribe god-level powers to him, inconsistant with true monotheism.
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Old 04-04-2001, 04:06 PM   #20
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Toto:
I guess I do not express myself clearly enough. Do I need to add "YOU @#$% SO-CALLED CHRISTIAN IDIOTS"? in order to get my point across?

Judaism, Christianity and Islam claim to be monotheistic, but incorporate many practices that show an underlying polytheism. These include angels, saints, Maryolatry. If you look into the history of Judaism, incorporated into the Bible that Christians consider holy, you find many indications that the early Israelis believed in other gods, and sometimes worshipped them. I have a source (not where I am now) that claims the angels were originally demi-gods - I will look it up if this continues.

If you look into Christian practices in Europe, you find pagan gods replaced with saints, and pagan practices continued as Christian worship. Does this mean that Christianity is polytheistic? I think you could argue YES - that it contains elements of polytheism. I think that the squeals of outrage from the Christian apologists are like Southern gentlemen accused of being rednecks.

I myself would prefer that Christianity be more polytheistic, and that Christians get in touch with their inner pagans. Given that Christianity is not about to go away, I would hope that it could at least shed some of its more obnoxious aspects - the monothesitic arrogance.

Of course Christians do not "worship" Satan, but they ascribe god-level powers to him, inconsistant with true monotheism.
</font>
Perhaps you could give me an example of "true" monotheism? You seem to have ruled out most of Judaism and all of Islam.
 
 

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