How many gods do Christians beleive in?
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15-10-2012, 10:13 AM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
yes it depends on how you define a "God". Depending on the definition, all angels could be seen as gods: Immortal, ability to act without regard to physical laws, etc. So I could definitely see there being many gods within the monotheistic religion of Christianity. We all know that within certain christian sects, Saints and the like are the recipients of worship to some degree (pray to Saint Herpes Sore who can heal me), which opens the door even further.
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15-10-2012, 10:41 AM (This post was last modified: 15-10-2012 10:45 AM by Impulse.)
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
(15-10-2012 09:55 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(15-10-2012 09:45 AM)Impulse Wrote:  Yes I know. What did I say to make you think otherwise?
Your speculations about Satan being a god if you define the term "god" in a certain way.
The OP speculated about whether Satan could be a god. I figure Dark Light knows Christianity doesn't consider Satan to be a god so I didn't use doctrine in my argument. I think the OP intended the question to be should Satan be considered a god by Christianity. So that was what I was replying about.

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
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15-10-2012, 10:45 AM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
(15-10-2012 09:29 AM)Impulse Wrote:  The gist of the OP doesn't seem to be about 3 Gods (each person in the trinity) vs. 1 God (the entire trinity as 1), but about 1 God (trinity as 1) vs. at least 2 Gods (trinity and devil). I think it's a valid question and it's answer depends on how you define "god".

If a god is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then Satan cannot be a god. For one, he is not omnibenevolent. Secondly, he is not omnipotent since "God" is apparently able to defeat him. Therefore, I would argue that there is only one god by that definition.

However, if you define a god more like the gods of Greek mythology, then Satan could be considered a god. By that definition, a god does not have to be perfect. It would just have to have supernatural abilities of some sort which Satan, as defined by Christianity, obviously does.

Since the Christian definition of "god" is really the first one though, then Christians would say they only believe in 1 god.

This is a very excellent point, and one that I hadn't given much thought. It seems obvious now...angels and demons could easily be compared with lesser gods in many pagan religions. And while we are at it Jesus seems like he would be a demi-god to the non-trinitarians. Hmm....suddenly Christianity seems all the more silly for being so hostile toward the pagan Celts, and native non-Germanic peoples of western Europe.

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15-10-2012, 10:55 AM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
God with a capital G seems to be used more as a name than a title. Zeus was a god. Thor was a god. Satan may be clasifiable as a god. But God with the capital G is generally used like it's his name rather than his title. By that usage, Christianity only has the one/three trinity God.

I think defining "god" so loosely as to be immortal with supernatural powers such that suddenly we must include all angels, elves, vampires, mummies, Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Tinkerbelle, Bart Simpson, etc., as "gods" is probably being just a bit too loose in our definition. If we stick "divine" in there (for now I'll ignore the question about what "divine" really means and stick with the general fuzzy religious connotation of the word), then we can drop just about all those non-godly things from the list and we're back to the one/three Trinity and nothing else.

Satan would not be considered "divine" since really he's just an angel. A really powerful angel. Divinely created like all other angels, but not divine.

Somewhere in between the "divine" concept of gods and the Christian concept of God is a fuzzy area in which Satan could be classified as a god, but I don't think any Christians really look at it that way.

And for a different answer: Mormons are Christian and they believe in lots of gods. There are about 7 million living Mormon men right now, all of whom expect to be gods in their future, with lots of goddess wives, breeding zillions of souls they can then stick into flesh puppets in their own little universe that they rule as God (yep, capital G).

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15-10-2012, 12:29 PM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
Of course I am not speaking from a Christian perspective, I am trying to look at Christianity compared to other religions, and if you look at it from the perspective of pagans, especially pagans in classical antiquity then it is easy to consider the devil a god. Not unlike the relationship between a god and their children, though Satan is widely seen by the folks who believe in mythology of the christian bible to be a bad seed. It is kind of silly to compare the Tooth Fairy, or Bart Simpson to Satan because folks that are older than 8 generally don't believe in the existence of those, and they don't have an agenda for your soul, none have any relationship with the afterlife or any other metaphysical ramifications, and no adult with a fully functioning brain is afraid of the powers of Santa Claus/Father Christmas.

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15-10-2012, 12:41 PM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
I wasn't comparing them to Satan. I was simply pointing out that everything on my list is immortal with supernatural powers. Well, Bart may not be immortal, but he's been 10 years old for 2 decades now so he might be immortal. I was making the point that immortal with supernatural power is too loose a definition for goodhood.

Nor was I suggesting that goodhood requires an agenda for a soul, or a relationship with the afterlife, although those might be decent qualifications for goodhood since most gods seem to have some interest in this stuff. Although, it seems the Greek pantheon was more interested in living men and content to let the souls wander off to the underworld where they were pretty much forgotten by all the gods except Hades and even he didn't really care about them - he was more or less stuck with them. So by that definition, the Greek gods didn't have soul agendas or afterlife relationships.

Nor was I referencing fear. That doesn't seem to be a qualification for godhood. Satan certainly inspires fear and few consider him godly. God (capital G), on the other hand, doesn't inspire fear among the faithful - they all believe he loves us all and wants us all to come to heaven for an eternity of sweetness. Any fear on his part is for the unbelievers who really should be afraid of hell and Satan, still not exactly a fear of God.

So none of those points seem to refute using an extremely liberal definition of "god" and none of them seem to include "Satan" into the fraternity of godhood without also excluding many well-accepted gods of mythology.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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15-10-2012, 01:32 PM
RE: How many gods do Christians beleive in?
(15-10-2012 12:41 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  I wasn't comparing them to Satan. I was simply pointing out that everything on my list is immortal with supernatural powers. Well, Bart may not be immortal, but he's been 10 years old for 2 decades now so he might be immortal. I was making the point that immortal with supernatural power is too loose a definition for goodhood.

Nor was I suggesting that goodhood requires an agenda for a soul, or a relationship with the afterlife, although those might be decent qualifications for goodhood since most gods seem to have some interest in this stuff. Although, it seems the Greek pantheon was more interested in living men and content to let the souls wander off to the underworld where they were pretty much forgotten by all the gods except Hades and even he didn't really care about them - he was more or less stuck with them. So by that definition, the Greek gods didn't have soul agendas or afterlife relationships.

Nor was I referencing fear. That doesn't seem to be a qualification for godhood. Satan certainly inspires fear and few consider him godly. God (capital G), on the other hand, doesn't inspire fear among the faithful - they all believe he loves us all and wants us all to come to heaven for an eternity of sweetness. Any fear on his part is for the unbelievers who really should be afraid of hell and Satan, still not exactly a fear of God.

So none of those points seem to refute using an extremely liberal definition of "god" and none of them seem to include "Satan" into the fraternity of godhood without also excluding many well-accepted gods of mythology.

Okay, so my definition wasn't particularly well thought out. I get that, but you still haven't addressed many of the points I have made. Like the gods of Greco-Romans the devil was created by another God, like the Greco-Roman gods he is something that has otherworldly powers like some gods (Hades as you have mentioned) he is in charge of his own realm, like the Christian God he is competing for the souls of humans. Is he really the loser in the fight against God though? He seems to be winning over more souls than the Christian God, so if it is a numbers game, Satan wins. God has his realm, heaven, and Satan has his, Hell. Satan shares many of the attributes that is commonly believed to be attributes of gods.

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