20 Answers

  1. This is a somewhat outdated view. Terms ending in-theism were mostly introduced in the 19th century to describe various religious systems. There are many of them: pantheism, panentheism, Henotheism, Supremotheism and others. In fact, they do not really help to understand the essence of the changes that once took place. Such a concept as God, which is not the only number from “gods”, was gradually developed in Ancient Egypt, where Amun became a God with a capital letter (the name translates as” secret”,” hidden”, hence the Jewish doctrine of” hidden God ” and Christian revelation). But first, Amun rose above the other gods. A similar process took place in the Sumerian-Akkadian kingdom, where Marduk rose above the other gods. Although what we call gods in these religions may have been considered “sacred ancestors” rather than gods. In general, this is not the victory of one system over another, but the development of a system of religious concepts. In my opinion, it is not worth looking for any political benefits in this, it is too far-fetched.

  2. The original question, which was answered, was:”Why does the Abrahamic god exist but the ancient Greek / Roman pantheons don't? Were entire civilizations of the Greeks and Romans wrong in their beliefs?“. The answer below was given exactly to it, and the question to which this answer was transferred is still somewhat different. But I decided to leave my answer so that it wouldn't be wasted.

    To answer this question, you need to understand what “existence” is.

    Let's introduce the term “ontological status”. We have phenomena with different ontological status. Here's the chair I'm sitting on right now – it has one status, that of a physical material object. The text that I am writing now, or rather the meaning of this text, has a different status – it exists, but not as matter, but as something in the consciousness of me and everyone who reads this text and understands its meaning. Fictional characters, songs that we remember, and so on have a similar but slightly different status. The status of mathematical concepts and physical laws is controversial – there are those who believe that their status is close to that of material objects, there are those who believe that they should be equated with fictional characters, and there are those who believe that they have their own special status, not reducible to others.

    The gods, whether Greek, Egyptian, or Abrahamic, absolutely exist in the status of fictional characters, this is indisputable and in this sense they are completely equal.

    But at the same time, religious doctrine ascribes to them, in addition, other ontological statuses. Tellingly, the pagan gods and the Abrahamic god are ontologically different – they are assigned not only a different ontological status, but also a different semantic (ontic) content of the concept of “god”. The God of the Abrahamic religion is otherworldly, he is out of the world, out of time, and precedes everything. Pagan gods are part of the world in which they exist. The Abrahamic concept recognizes the possibility of the existence of pagan gods only as “demons”, the pagan concept admits the existence of a supreme creator-the demiurge, and, in fact, in philosophy, the idea of him appears even in Plato and is completely inscribed by him in the pagan picture of the world in other respects. The question of whether Plato could have picked up this idea from Judaism/Zoroastrianism or developed it completely independently is open, at least I don't know if there is any specific solution.

  3. alter context.

    the question probably concerns the historical patterns of the penultimate millennium.. I will unwind the idea a little more abstractly, I can not resist some contribution.

    monotheism has not won anything, the inner world of man has remained antediluvian— pre-glacial) – today, like thousands, as well as tens of thousands of years ago, it lives by myths.. totems and taboos created by the same unconscious beliefs in the elements and the supernatural.

    only nomens and forms have changed: most people admit that they sometimes talk to consumer electronics or situations and perform certain rituals that are unnatural from the point of view of a sober mind— they prefer certain arrangements, numbers, and combinations.. it relies in some decisions on situational or other semi-conscious associations.

    well, you know what I mean: the cognitive tool has changed only a little, and accordingly, the functions/ procedures of system libraries that determine the very form of pre— lingual thinking.

    and monotheism.. one thing has never interfered with the other— in a sense, today for some people it is a political idea, for others it is ethical or futuristic, and there are innumerable options.

  4. Most people write about political reasons, and there is some truth in this, of course, but I think the inner logic of religious thinking cannot be ignored either. As far as I can tell, many of the early monotheistic teachings were not related to politics; on the contrary, the authorities saw them as a serious threat and brutally suppressed these “villains” who trampled on “traditional values” and destroyed “spiritual bonds”. If, as a result, monotheistic teachings became widespread, it was only in the form of some compromise religions that partially assimilated polytheism.

    Nevertheless, the victory of religions close to monotheism, if not monotheism, was predetermined by the changed ideas of people about the world. At the heart of religious thinking is the idea that nothing just happens by itself. There is a humanoid agent behind any process or phenomenon. Humanoid in the sense that it has human-like motives, feelings, and minds, and can interact with it in much the same way as a human. Hence the idea of gods. It is the multitude of different gods, because the processes and phenomena of nature can be extremely different from each other, clearly independent, and sometimes directly conflict. The idea that all of them can be explained by the action of only a small number of gods is very counterintuitive. But later, having accumulated experience in using the forces of nature, people saw that many natural processes and phenomena are predictable and obey simple laws. The idea that there are some humanoid agents behind them has become impossible to take seriously. This was replaced by the idea of elements that act in accordance with their nature, and not by someone else's will. However, a complete rejection of the principle that nothing happens for nothing was too radical an idea for most. The gods may not control the elements, but they still have a role to play-to create these elements. Processor gods are being replaced by programmer gods. But here the idea of many different gods becomes counterintuitive. If the role of God is to create the elements, and then just passively observe, intervening only in extreme cases, it is completely incomprehensible why such a large number of freeloaders are needed to make sacrifices. The number of gods is drastically reduced. It doesn't necessarily leave just one, but usually the fingers of one hand are enough to count them. It is monotheism that could become dominant simply because it is simpler, or more profitable for the authorities, or for some other reason, it is difficult for me to judge.

  5. Because humanity is getting smarter over time. Philosophy and logic are developing. And to assume that the world had a Single Creator, and not several different (and therefore somewhat inconsistent with each other “creators”) – much more logical.

  6. Yuval Noah Harrari examines the history of the development of religion in detail in his book ” Sapiens. A Brief History of mankind”. I do not recall that he clearly and unambiguously gave an answer to the question you asked. However, if I summarize the arguments, I would draw the following conclusion. Monotheistic religions perfectly solve the problem of order: that is, they declare that the structure of the world is uniquely determined by a wise creator. This creates many problems in the minds of ordinary believers: for example, the problem of the existence of evil. However, it is the problem of order that is most important for those who ultimately decide which religion will become official-that is, the rulers. And the concept that the existing political system does not derive from human fabrications, but from God's will, is beneficial for rulers to maintain the loyalty of their peoples.

  7. He did not win any victory. For example, the holy Trinity is already a “tritheism”. In addition, the subjects of worship include the Mother of God and all sorts of saints, of which there are innumerable.

  8. Because the urban population has increased.
    In the city, the danger is not in the fate(problems with the animal, hunting, neighbor), but in the conduct of society .Therefore, we need a single god and a single morality, so that we don't cut each other off in close quarters.
    Well, that's what I think

  9. And on what do you base your statement about the existence of one, and the non-existence of others? In my opinion, the mistake of all believers of all faiths is that they deny, or at best dismantle, what their prophets did not say anything about. But if you do not do this, you can collect an amazing motley mosaic from religions, slightly processing them with a file.�

    In this issue, it is necessary to clearly distinguish between the two meanings of the concept of “god”. The Abrahamic God is the absolute, the creator of everything, Alpha and Omega. He is omnipresent, timeless, omnipotent, Omniscient. Pagan gods are creatures like you and me, but with great power, a range of possibilities. But they are not immortal, eternal, omniscient, or omnipotent. In my opinion, their existence does not contradict the existence of God in any way. They don't even feed on their elbows, since infinity is incommensurably greater than any number, regardless of the number of zeros.

    Christianity, by the way, if I understand correctly, does not specifically deny them. It simply en masse christened all the gods who are not God as demons (this conclusion I drew from personal communication with one representative of the church), and replaced the worship of them with the worship of its saints.

  10. “One god,one ruler.” It seems like they don't study Marxism-Leninism now? We should not forget that monotheism, as a stable belief, appeared in a loose conglomerate of ancient Jewish tribes and by no means led to the rapid emergence of a monarchy. And the Jewish kings David and Solomon were not absolute rulers like their counterparts in Egypt and Assyria. And why then did not monotheism arise in these countries, in China, in India, where there was no shortage of autocrats? Akhenaten's experiment doesn't count.

  11. By the objective qualities of the religions themselves. Christianity gave birth to science and technology, Islam to a great unifying idea, Judaism to an ideal form of parasitism. What are the religions of polytheism capable of? I caught a deer (crocodile), ate it, danced around the campfire, got tired, and went to make children.

    There is a theory that all religions were formed from Orthodox Christianity in the process of degradation. Christianity is extremely difficult, so they have oversimplified themselves, even to the point of complete atheism.

  12. I agree with the above about the desire for power as a reason: One monarch on earth -one God in the sky. That is, according to the type of “rulers,” the image of the one almighty god was gradually formed in religion.
    �Similarly, God has always been the ideal for man, and polytheism does not imply this.

  13. In fact, polytheism has a lot of problems, I will single out one, but, in my opinion, the main one.

    In fact, it is impossible to create a complete moral and ethical teaching in polytheism, because there is no single source of good. Always in addition to the wise and righteous Zeus, there is a warlike Ares and you can serve him without delving into what the just Zeus wants there, if that Ares stands up for his faithful servant.

    Even the darkest gods, like Hecate and Anubis, were also worshipped, and they were not forbidden to serve them, because they were part of the pantheon. Even from the dark ones, you can recall the cult of Kronos in Carthage, where children were generally burned, and as if it were even an official cult, and not a marginal one somewhere in the backyards.

    How to create a clear moral paradigm in polytheism, if there are a bunch of gods who often have completely opposite characters, and someone can be the patron saint of virtue, and someone of cunning and deception, but he is exactly the same god, and not the only one of the gods?

    It seems that they tried to solve this by creating a hierarchy of gods, but it turned out that each fan put his own god almost as the main one, like Ares without Athena can fight, but cannot win, and other intricacies. In general, again, there is no clear structure and it is quite possible to serve not a virtuous god, but a cunning one.

    Therefore, there are such problems with the postmortem, often evaluated not by quality (good-bad, tricky-simple), but only by scale. You've done a great thing you get to the Champs-Elysees, no, you pass by.

    Actually, in religious polytheism, everything was so rotten that moral education was increasingly transferred to philosophy, and religion remained only mystical rites and magnificent ceremonies in honor of certain gods. Apart from khubris nothing comes to mind about the religious ethics of that period

    And finally, let us recall the actual descriptions of all these gods, who sometimes deceive each other, then steal from each other, about the numerous love affairs I will say nothing.

    Whereas in monotheism, everything is quite simple and unambiguous. Roughly speaking, religion with general rules replaced almost all the norms of the law that regulate relations between people. She gave unambiguous interpretations: for example, if your house is taken away by a trick, then at least the neighbors will be indignant about this, of course this is not a hundred percent guarantee, but it's still better than nothing. And the saints are still not gods, if there is a description of some shoals of the same David, so there is then another half of the book he loses the kingdom, then mourns one son, then another whom God selects for this sin. That is, their (saints') misdeeds are difficult to interpret as the behavior of the gods, that is, as something permissible, rather as mistakes generated by the imperfection of human nature, and how to act ideally is described in numerous rules.

  14. At all times, it was people who invented their own gods and religions. These gods and religions have been transformed along with the people who carry them. Peoples mixed with each other, more and more complex, high levels of problems rose, this changed people, changed their solutions, complicated the picture of the world, along with people and their thinking, the gods also changed. Everything that exists now is somehow derived from previous religions. The current religion (and I am sure there will be a myriad of new religions in the far distant future, if people survive) relies in its words and concepts on the previous religions of those peoples, in which it was designed to destroy the traditions and culture of these peoples and replace them with itself. In order to strengthen the position and survival of the faith in the society in which it was introduced, it included concepts and concepts that either embellished some vital aspects of the religion in the “native, familiar local/universal language”, or denigrated phenomena unacceptable to the founders and bearers of this faith, established cultural traditions, actions, orders, morals and thoughts. Some cultures that are not amenable to implementation, sometimes very strategically and diligently eradicated completely.

    For example, “Knowledgeable” (Smart people who just do not” grab “everything new that is presented to them and are potentially dangerous for people who do not know, because they have the main weapon – information) – “Witches”. The word “Demons”, with a very high probability, is a perverted and distorted” Daemon ” (Guardian Spirits, human conscience, inner voice), and so almost every word or concept could be analyzed in great detail and make up the vocabulary and intentions of the people who created and spread this religion.

    All this is an act of creativity and transformation, the evolution of courage, but it is a pity that very often innocent and harmless people died and / or suffered, who wanted to believe in what they wanted to believe themselves, and if they gave up under pressure, they often reaped accompanying waves of savagery and ignorance from the point of view of their culture (a decrease in awareness, education, in some cases cleanliness, which affected their health, , priority support for blind fanatical obedience often generated crowds that were easily controlled from above and could do anything under control or without control, under the guise of protecting religion, “executioners”, “vigilantes”, with a very strong and hypertrophied desire to stand out and show everyone how true believers they were, sometimes in any way, which in turn led to the burning of” witches”, wheelings, quartering, drowning of people, killing of babies and many many many other things). I personally believe that any religion that appears as a result of aggressive introduction, through imposition, through fire, blood and sword, encouraging ignorance, as we have all read from history many times, has no right to exist.

  15. More for geopolitical reasons, because the concession demarcation was used both for building, strengthening, and for the conquest of states. Such standardization was necessary for empires, not only sword and fire were used, but also the word of God, which reduced losses and costs. Law-abiding postulates were put into the mouth of God. And it was quite effective. Outside gods got in the way. In fact, people worshiped not a higher reality, but their own fantasies.

  16. and who told you that the Abrahamic god exists? all these gods or gods exist in the imagination of people, and not somewhere else. It's just that you live in a time and place where this version of God is believed.

  17. I think because religion is a reflection of people's ideas about the world order.

    Primitive people were dependent on the forces of nature-polytheism with gods-elements, gods-animals, gods-natural phenomena.

    Antiquity with its democracy and city-polis – polytheism with human-like gods constantly in conflict with each other.

    Late Roman Empire, Middle Ages and Modern Times with monarchies and empires-monotheism.

    The 21st century with multinational corporations has not yet created its own concept. We can participate while we still have time.

  18. Purely technically – =because the followers of the young religion eventually butchered others. While the old gods amused themselves with drinking ragweed and cheating, the new one stubbornly burned the libraries.

  19. According to the Bible, in the beginning there was only one God, but then people began to forget him, succumbing to their sins and began to worship animals and the forces of nature. That is, human nature cannot but believe and always fills this sphere of its being. A polytheism (polytheism) this is a kind of religious ignorance.

  20. I see only one reason: the struggle for power.

    If a person recognizes himself as a servant of God, it is easier for him to recognize only one ruler.

    I offer my deepest apologies to all believers if I hurt your feelings further.

    The Church has long ceased to be a purely spiritual organization(remember the Middle Ages and modern Times).

    Today, there are often “believers” who believe only in money and power, and monotheism is the key to concentrating power in the hands of a single ruler.

    One god,one ruler.

    If I have offended anyone, I once again offer my deepest apologies.

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