Are all Gods anthropomorphic?

holoow

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,660
Vilnius, Lithuania
#1
While anthropomorphism more common in primitive religions, Gods in 'higher' religions also have anthropomorphic traits. Why God needs any father ( or son )? Why Gods never act beyond human feelings and emotions? For example goddess Kali feel the wrath etc. Isn't it strange to believe in loving, caring, angry, frustrated, prideful Gods? It seems that 'Gods' are born out of human imagination.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,684
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#3
Well ... no ... still today, if you visit India or Nepal you will meet divine mouses, divine cows ... and so on.

In Ancient Egypt crocodile deities existed as well [with hippo gods and similar].
 
Oct 2013
5,705
Planet Nine, Oregon
#4
While anthropomorphism more common in primitive religions, Gods in 'higher' religions also have anthropomorphic traits. Why God needs any father ( or son )? Why Gods never act beyond human feelings and emotions? For example goddess Kali feel the wrath etc. Isn't it strange to believe in loving, caring, angry, frustrated, prideful Gods? It seems that 'Gods' are born out of human imagination.
I like the idea of religions as vehicles; some folks build their own art car, others opt for the standard SUVs. As each person and their relationship with the universe is different, they may feel an affinity with one religion or system of spiritual beliefs over another. It helps to create anthropomorphic deities in order for cosmic forces to be relatable, and they provide a template for human perfection, or illustrate in a comprehensible way, the tenets of a particular system. I'm always perpelexed by people who just choose to join one club or the other.. I would rather create my own. Iirc, In some forms of Tantric Buddhism, a deity is carefully imagined and visualized in all of of its detail, with all of its attributes, and then.. The deity is resolved by the practitioner into the void --even its ultimate reality is void nature; the true essence of everything.
 

Pedro

Forum Staff
Mar 2008
17,151
On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yeah...I win!!
#5
Well ... no ... still today, if you visit India or Nepal you will meet divine mouses, divine cows ... and so on.

In Ancient Egypt crocodile deities existed as well [with hippo gods and similar].
For the true mystic everything is sacred, everything is holy.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,194
Crows nest
#6
Quote from Joyce Carol Oates.

Homo Sapiens is the species that invents symbols in which to invest passion and authority and then forgets that the symbols are inventions.
The Egyptians, at least in the historical record, led the way with this. Excluding mythology that contains explanations of what were probably real events, the battle between Horus and Set as an analogy for the unification of Egypt, then their creator gods, Ptah for instance, were more of an intellectual concept than a flesh and blood being. Ptah created by his thoughts or words, sounds familiar doesn't it. How do you portray this so that people can have some understanding, and after all we are not all high minded mystics, that's a bit difficult when you are knee deep in cow dung or fighting off crocodiles while fishing. So we need something visual we can understand at the prosaic level. Aside from the human activity analogies, the Egyptian gods had no form nor name that any human knew or could understand. To them, Ptah, Atum, Ra, Horus, Isis and all the other gods were unknown and unknowable, their names simply human inventions so we can give a label to a concept. These days mostly we just say God, as all the individual concepts have reached the ultimate syncretism, barring arguments about the trinity.

So not a single Egyptian god or goddess was a human or animal in any form, neither did they have a name that we can know or understand, therefore we have to put a layer of invention over the original invention. We invent gods so esoteric that they cannot be understood, so then invent names and forms in order to visualize these gods at a human level.
 
Oct 2013
5,705
Planet Nine, Oregon
#7
Right, at some point when you want to posit something that is the demiurge, and responsible for and capable of affecting all phenomena (and gives a hoot about humans), you inevitably encounter duality and paradox, and the need for abstraction becomes inevitable. An example being the power of names and depiction in ancient Egyptian magic, and ineffable (mostly) name of the god of the Hebrews, and the "barbarous words" in the Greco-Egyptian and Hermetic papyri.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
2,529
Australia
#8
While anthropomorphism more common in primitive religions, Gods in 'higher' religions also have anthropomorphic traits. Why God needs any father ( or son )? Why Gods never act beyond human feelings and emotions? For example goddess Kali feel the wrath etc. Isn't it strange to believe in loving, caring, angry, frustrated, prideful Gods? It seems that 'Gods' are born out of human imagination.
Perhaps the question is generated by a certain view of what Gods are ( or are supposed to be ) ?

In my view, it is an old concept to describe 'forces' - ' inside or out ' .... or even 'psychological complexes ' , the forces of nature , processes in life, etc .

And when they are taken literally , of course, confusions and questions arise , from this literal interpretation perspective .

Regarding being 'born from human imagination' - perhaps , but we need to more fully understand what human imagination is ... IMO it is the essence of 'soul' . I prefer the statement ; ' God created man but man also created God'. Its a feed back loop, even though we made the concept, it can still effect and mold our actions, ways and beliefs.

A type of ' ethnotheology ' :) ( Ethnobotany is the study of how humans have used, developed and changed certain plants AND how this process, and the consumption and use of those plants has effected our evolution )
 
Last edited:
Oct 2013
5,705
Planet Nine, Oregon
#9
Perhaps the question is generated by a certain view of what Gods are ( or are supposed to be ) ?

In my view, it is an old concept to describe 'forces' - ' inside or out ' .... or even 'psychological complexes ' , the forces of nature , processes in life, etc .

And when they are taken literally , of course, confusions and questions arise , from this literal interpretation perspective .

Regarding being 'born from human imagination' - perhaps , but we need to more fully understand what human imagination is ... IMO it is the essence of 'soul' . I prefer the statement ; ' God created man but man also created God'. Its a feed back loop, even though we made the concept, it can still effect and mold our actions, ways and beliefs.

A type of ' ethnotheology ' :) ( Ethnobotany is the study of how humans have used, developed and changed certain plants AND how this process, and the consumption and use of those plants has effected our evolution )
Doubtless entheogens were a part of the earliest religions, allowing one to travel to divine or supernatural realms, commune with nature and the gods. The Universe created us all --we are the void knowing itself through the experiences of countless sentient beings in the multiverse. There is no "you" or "I".
 

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