Odell_OnGodGodsEvilReligionandScienc - On God, Gods,...

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1 On God, Gods, Religion, Theology, Metaphysics and Science God, Gods and Goddesses Ordinarily any controversy about the existence of something is satisfied by experience, either directly or by confirmable and reliable testimony of others. The existence of things that are experienced by most all of us on a daily basis are never questioned—except, of course, by philosophers. It is only about things that may very well not exist that there is on-going debate concerning their existence. This fact, in itself, is evidence that doubt that God exists is well founded. It is not at all clear who or what God is. Theists believe that God is a superhuman male, one who is intensely concerned with each of us, and some of them, those who favor an anthropomorphic conception (conceiving of God as being human like) of the deity, believe that he is jealous and vindictive, just as humans are. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are theistic religions. Deists share with theists the belief that God was the creator of the universe, but they differ with theists in that they believe that He is totally indifferent as regards what happens in it. He provides no revelations, and so we have no knowledge of his nature. Pantheists believe in the existence of more than one God. Their various Gods and Goddesses are identified with various forces of nature. The Olympian Gods of the Greeks were so conceived. They are conceived to be not only in control of the forces of nature, but simply as personifications of these forces. Zeus is the personification of the forces exemplified by the elements of the sky—the thunderbolt. Poseidon is the personification of the elements of the earth—the sea and earthquakes. Other Gods and Goddesses personify the animal drives and emotions: Aphrodite personifies the force of love and sex; Ares epitomizes the male libido, engorged as it is with testosterone. Athena personifies a strictly human capacity or force— reason. As human personifications, they embody human emotions and desires. The God of the Old Testament , like the Olympian Gods and Goddesses, is also conceived as an extraordinarily powerful human. He is, however, all the natural forces or powers compressed into one being. In the Old Testament , He is presented as a fearsome, demanding, punishing, determined to be worshiped above all other possible deities, omnipresent, omniscient, and all-powerful entity. Like the Homeric Gods, he has favorites and forgives them much more than he forgives others. He is as cruel as the most unforgiving of conquerors. He wipes out entire communities. He doesn’t offer the sinners of Sodom and Gomorrah any chance at redemption, not even their children. And when poor Lot’s wife is overcome with curiosity, he turns her into a pillar of salt. Whew! He is not given to counseling. No Betty Ford clinics for Him. You imbibe in too much alcohol, fornicate promiscuously, or otherwise displease him, and he kills you. His character is inconsistent with the kind of character favored by most virtue ethicists in the feminist
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This note was uploaded on 04/29/2008 for the course PHIL 100 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '07 term at Maryland.

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Odell_OnGodGodsEvilReligionandScienc - On God, Gods,...

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