Some Considerations on Origin and Development of Polytheism and Monotheism

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,284
#51
My thought about that is that, although someone may not have done something, the (say) deadly disease may have occurred because someone did not do something. It seems to me that God has left it up to us to find solutions to most of the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' of life. And many diseases are no longer problems because someone did come up with a vaccine, treatment, or drug to mitigate the problem.
David Hume, British, would say that at this point we are just playing with words. Hume had a problem of course with any metaphysics.

One of the "go to guys" on this would be St. Augustine. He spent a lot of time on the issue of evil. From a theological and philosophical perspective his POV is interesting because he ties this to human freewill. Of course, this is where Hume would sarcastically remark about the "free will" of "evil" natural events such as earthquakes.

To make a long story short, St. Augustine pointed out that humans are rational. For him, there was no point in humans being rational if there was no free will. Why would God give us this quality or mental capacity if he did not want us to use it ? St. Augustine also pointed out that the concept of being rational implied choice.

BTW, the idea that some evil happened because of something that was lacking can be traced to St. Augustine's. St. Augustine said evil was not created by God and that it is not a thing. Evil is a non-thing or a "deficiency" of something. This is where Hume jumped in to point out that there are different kinds of "evil".

For fun, Boethius, the Roman philosopher, was able to explain that, yes, we have free will, but, God already knows what we are going to do. IOW, God has a different perspective of time than we do. Additionally, knowledge of what happens is not the same as forcing something to happen.
 

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,284
#52
In general all these arguments are pure armchair speculations.. hard evidence is obviously thoroughly lacking... and in over 2000 years of argumentation, nothing worthwhile has really come out in terms of proving anything.... You'd think there has been more than enough time
I am not interested in arguing "hard evidence." I can, but, that is not what I am talking about here. The point is to avoid getting caught up in that quagmire.

What I see are arguments that are historical theological and philosophical views/theories/conjectures that have had tremendous impact on our civilization.

I think of Martin Luther's theology and his impact on the course of our civilization.

I guess you could say that I am less interested in arguing and more interested in learning. We all know how these arguments are going to play out, right ?

It seems to me that focusing on who said what and being able to describe their POV is the method we should employ in a good history forum. Right ?

Let us do history. History is concepts, names, events, dates and etc. That is why I am here.
 

Cepheus

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
2,284
#53
According to Catal Hüyük excavator James Mellaart, further finds of a cultic phallus date back to the 6th millennium (5,800 BCE in Tepe Güran, 5,800 BCE in Sarab, 5,500 BCE in Tell-es Sawwan and 5,000 BCE in the Halaf culture).

So the phallus established itself as a sacral symbol only in the Neolithic. This is all the more astonishing because its counterpart, the sacredly exaggerated vagina, has shaped religious iconography for tens of thousands of years.

Since its fertility aspect justified this practice, the absence of the symbolic phallus can only mean that fatherhood was unknown in the Paleolithic.

The Palaeolithic hunters had spared female animals because of their supposed monogenetic fertility and had only killed male animals. For the same reason, the first cattle breeders had probably slaughtered only male sheep and goats at the beginning of the Neolithic, only to find that the remaining females lacked offspring. From there they seemingly concluded that the male sex contributes to human fertility.
It is all very interesting.

I will have to admit though, that I did not see any evidence that supported the far reaching conclusions that you have made.

Are there any scholars that you can name that support your view ?

You did give us some information but I find it hard to know how we can project Paleolithic mindsets from 6th century BCE archeological finds.

I think our hold on what we know about these early Paleolithic groups are tenuous at best. We may be able to project some assumptions on very localized sites, but even then, the projections are, as most scholars that I have read would indicate, are nothing more than informed guesses.
 
Likes: specul8

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#54
My thought about that is that, although someone may not have done something, the (say) deadly disease may have occurred because someone did not do something. It seems to me that God has left it up to us to find solutions to most of the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' of life. And many diseases are no longer problems because someone did come up with a vaccine, treatment, or drug to mitigate the problem.
The counter to that is that an infinitely powerful being who supposedly created mankind (and everything else) should have figured out a way to make us immune to diseases from the get go... instead of making us vulnerable to them and "telling" us to go and find some cures .... meanwhile we die by the hundreds of millions in horrible suffering.....

In Philip Jose Farmer's "world of tiers" series, there are beings ("lords") who have the technology and power to create worlds (although they are not all powerful).... in one such, the lord has arranged the water supply such that the humans have no diseases and dont grow old....
 
Nov 2010
6,228
Indiana
#56
An example of disease ? Leukemia... .. but there are hundreds

Or if you prefer natural catastrophes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods will do......
An example of disease ? Leukemia... .. but there are hundreds

Or if you prefer natural catastrophes, tsunamis, earthquakes, floods will do......
Causes of Leukemia include exposure to smoking and too many x-rays. Most natural disasters can be avoided. Many of our flood control projects have made the problems worse and building on an earthquake fault is asking for trouble.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,354
Australia
#57
Causes of Leukemia include exposure to smoking and too many x-rays. Most natural disasters can be avoided. Many of our flood control projects have made the problems worse and building on an earthquake fault is asking for trouble.
So, it all boils down to free will .... IF no one ever built on a fault line, or where a tsunami could hit, or did not live in a cyclone area ... etc. etc . we would not have these problems.

REALLY ? Sounds like a stretch to 'blame people' instead of 'blaming God' - not that I personally blame God or am religious, but I do see some 'apologetics' going on here to avoid that religious question some do pose , that is, if God loves us why does he let us suffer .... even if it is due to our own lack of foresight or stupidity .

Some have used the 'free will' excuse, others have seen this and many other issues and questions, and come to the conclusion that it negates the concept of a 'personalized God' .

But yes, the 'free will' argument is one of the standard responses.

But a response to that is, do we really have 'free will' ? We have an ability of choice, but beyond that, I think we are fooling ourselves (or creating a theological excuse) as there is a LOT of evidence that we are really just acting out programs and conditionings , regardless of how much we might be ignorant of this, and assume we are 'freely choosing' what to do.

" New "threats" to the possibility of free will have come from fields such as neuroscience and genetics. Many neuroscientists, armed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain scanning tools, argue that, now that we can peer into the brain, we can see that there is no "agent" there making choices. John Searle (1997) approaches consciousness from a biological perspective and argues that the brain is no more free than is the liver or the stomach. Geneticists are discovering that many psychological experiences are linked with gene-environment interactions, such that people with a specific gene are more likely to react in a certain way. For example, van Roekel et al. (2013) found that girls with a specific oxytocin receptor gene felt more lonely in the presence of judgmental friends than did girls without this gene. These results suggest that at least some of what we perceive as "free" responses are really determined by our biology, our environment, or both. "

Do We Have Free Will?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#58
Again, I am not interested in who is right/wrong or whether an argument is valid/invalid. From a historical POV, I think someone should know what Anslem's ontological argument is. I think there is value in being able to describe his argument, the logic he uses, and to recognize it when it comes up during a discussion. Then, I want to know what theologians/philosophers disagree with Anselm ? What theologians/philosophers disagree with Anselm ? What does the historical record have to offer us on this account ?
Anselm's original argument is convoluted, and , childish really.... Better arguments along the same line of thought have been made later....

Just because a 777 has wings just like the wright's brothers first Flyer, does not mean that understanding the Flyer gives any detailed knowledge into the Boeing 777 (which the Wrights could not fly if they were somehow time transported to our days)... Even worse if you take as early models those who attempted flight by throwing themselves off towers (or some such) with wings....

So yes, you could build a list of those with failed arguments (like Anselm) just like you could build a list of those who attempted flight by jumping off something with "wings" attached....My point is it does not help....
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#59
So, it all boils down to free will .... IF no one ever built on a fault line, or where a tsunami could hit, or did not live in a cyclone area ... etc. etc . we would not have these problems.

REALLY ? Sounds like a stretch to 'blame people' instead of 'blaming God' - not that I personally blame God or am religious, but I do see some 'apologetics' going on here to avoid that religious question some do pose , that is, if God loves us why does he let us suffer .... even if it is due to our own lack of foresight or stupidity .

Some have used the 'free will' excuse, others have seen this and many other issues and questions, and come to the conclusion that it negates the concept of a 'personalized God' .

But yes, the 'free will' argument is one of the standard responses.

But a response to that is, do we really have 'free will' ? We have an ability of choice, but beyond that, I think we are fooling ourselves (or creating a theological excuse) as there is a LOT of evidence that we are really just acting out programs and conditionings , regardless of how much we might be ignorant of this, and assume we are 'freely choosing' what to do.

" New "threats" to the possibility of free will have come from fields such as neuroscience and genetics. Many neuroscientists, armed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain scanning tools, argue that, now that we can peer into the brain, we can see that there is no "agent" there making choices. John Searle (1997) approaches consciousness from a biological perspective and argues that the brain is no more free than is the liver or the stomach. Geneticists are discovering that many psychological experiences are linked with gene-environment interactions, such that people with a specific gene are more likely to react in a certain way. For example, van Roekel et al. (2013) found that girls with a specific oxytocin receptor gene felt more lonely in the presence of judgmental friends than did girls without this gene. These results suggest that at least some of what we perceive as "free" responses are really determined by our biology, our environment, or both. "

Do We Have Free Will?
The question really is whether God (or gods) is/are "interventionist(s)" or "isolationist(s)" ? i.e do they constantly intervene in human lives or not ?

If we are to belive the myths and legends as well as the "sacred texts" then we must conclude they are (or at least were some 2000 years ) interventionist..... Curiously as science progressed they seem to have turned to isolationism for their intervention is now rarely claimed and certainly cannot be established....

So one problem with the Abrahamic religions is that why did a God (in fact gods, since initially there are more than one)

“There is none like you among the gods, O Lord” (86:8); “For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods” (96:4); “Our Lord is above all gods” (135:5); “Ascribe to Yahweh, [you] gods, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength” (29:1; “He is exalted above all gods” (97:7); “For Yahweh is a great god, and a great king above all gods” (95:3)

In Exodus Yahweh predicts that he will execute judgments “on all the gods of Egypt” (12:12). The author of Numbers then declares that that is indeed what happened: “Yahweh executed judgments against their gods” (33:4). There is no hint that Yahweh is the only God. Instead it is clearly implied that Egypt has her own gods, and Yahweh will defeat them.

When Yahweh gives his people the Ten Commandments, the first commandment implies the existence of other gods: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3; see also Deut. 5:7). In Exodus 23:32–33 Israel is told not to covenant with or worship other god

who constantly meddled with humans has suddenly stopped doing so.....

Logic seems to suggest that he either did not in fact meddle with humans (which means the rest of the "sacred text" is equally suspect, since this aspect is clearly invented) or if he did do that in the past as a matter of policy and he no longer does it now, perhaps he is dead...

On the other hand if God (gods) is isolationist then its much simpler.....but then also one has to admit he is neither perfect nor all powerful . He created a universe and life to the best of his limited abilities (which is why there are so many issues in this universe) and then moved on to something else.... Whatever happens , happens.....
Of course the problem here is that there is no point in praying to or worshipping such a god, since he basically does not care and will not do anything for you....
 
Likes: specul8
Nov 2010
6,228
Indiana
#60
So, it all boils down to free will .... IF no one ever built on a fault line, or where a tsunami could hit, or did not live in a cyclone area ... etc. etc . we would not have these problems.

REALLY ? Sounds like a stretch to 'blame people' instead of 'blaming God' - not that I personally blame God or am religious, but I do see some 'apologetics' going on here to avoid that religious question some do pose , that is, if God loves us why does he let us suffer .... even if it is due to our own lack of foresight or stupidity .

Some have used the 'free will' excuse, others have seen this and many other issues and questions, and come to the conclusion that it negates the concept of a 'personalized God' .

But yes, the 'free will' argument is one of the standard responses.

But a response to that is, do we really have 'free will' ? We have an ability of choice, but beyond that, I think we are fooling ourselves (or creating a theological excuse) as there is a LOT of evidence that we are really just acting out programs and conditionings , regardless of how much we might be ignorant of this, and assume we are 'freely choosing' what to do.

" New "threats" to the possibility of free will have come from fields such as neuroscience and genetics. Many neuroscientists, armed with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and other brain scanning tools, argue that, now that we can peer into the brain, we can see that there is no "agent" there making choices. John Searle (1997) approaches consciousness from a biological perspective and argues that the brain is no more free than is the liver or the stomach. Geneticists are discovering that many psychological experiences are linked with gene-environment interactions, such that people with a specific gene are more likely to react in a certain way. For example, van Roekel et al. (2013) found that girls with a specific oxytocin receptor gene felt more lonely in the presence of judgmental friends than did girls without this gene. These results suggest that at least some of what we perceive as "free" responses are really determined by our biology, our environment, or both. "

Do We Have Free Will?
What you are arguing is just Secular Calvinism.
 

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