Why did monotheism taken off?
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16-01-2011, 03:46 AM
Why did monotheism taken off?
Polytheism seems like a much better explanation then monotheism (not that Christianity is really monotheistic), there is no problem of evil when you have a bunch of gods, some mischievous or evil, who have equal power to those who are good (as opposed to the evil deity only living at the 'good' one's pleasure)

You also get to have the entire spectrum, good, evil, chaotic and order, and you get a much more interesting mythology where all the gods are bickering and warring. And if some other group comes along with their own gods you can just include them, maybe its regional, or they are different ways that your gods are expressed, nobody is wrong.

Anyway, I do find polytheism more entertaining then monotheism, doesn't make it any more correct, but it does seem as though its a slightly better explanation than monotheism (though its like a kick in the shin compared to a kick in the groin, i'ld much prefer one over the other, but i'ld rather have none), why then did monotheism take off and defeat polytheism? How did it come about?
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16-01-2011, 04:37 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
As I understand it religion took off as natural events that could not be explained (i.e floods , lightning) and these became works of anthropomorphic gods.
Monotheism is a compilation of these gods.
Take a look at Babylonian mythology and the Old Testament written by the early nomadic jews - you may be surprised.
I think monotheism is a form of fascism with god its sole dictator while polytheism is more like a democratic parliament/house of congress of various gods.No god is absolute and each is responsible for something different.
Monotheism erased all that , and Christianity and Islam spread by force rather than peace and fear is their core tactic to this day.It creates the problem of hell and solves it with unrelenting obedience. Sadly each monotheistic faith is absolute and tolerance is not built in so the result is conflict.

In short , I see monotheistic religions as fascist autocratic states ruling on fear - that's enough to keep the masses in line , sadly.
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16-01-2011, 06:51 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
Evid3nc3 recently released this video on the evolution of monotheism. It's really interesting and educational!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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16-01-2011, 08:16 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
I think Gaglamesh has the right idea. Polytheism doesn't really have that fear in it. People are more inclined to listen to a crazed dictator than a parliament/congress, just for fear of life. I also want to add something else that might have contributed. Humans like to polarize things. It's simpler to understand, and I think I've seen a proclivity to do so. People like to polarize and simplify things such as race and gender, which is why we see stereotypes. We see that all woman are emotional, talk a lot, and tend to be esoteric. All men are plain, like sports, lazy, and are only in a relationship for sex, a woman's complete opposite. The idea that some men are emotional and some woman like sports muddles the water, and means that we have to judge on an individual bases. We also see with various races, age groups, pretty much anything.

I think this also carries over to religion. We don't like the idea of a variety of different gods, each having to be judged separately. We like the idea of polar opposites. Good guy and bad guy. I think Christianity models this idea perfectly(it's one of my biggest qualms with the religion). They have polar opposites in their religion, and so they see the world as polar opposites. That's why you might see them idolizing a person that they see to be good(despite the bad deeds he might have done) and demonizing the bad guys(despite whatever their situation may be and whether or not they are willing to turn their life around).

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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16-01-2011, 09:19 AM
 
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
I think it may just be the political situation. Christianity was embraced by the Roman Empire, not pacifist Barbarians (if there were any lol), and even though this was close to the fall of the empire, it was still enough to convert most of Europe and instill a sense of a need to convert among further generations. And so, the most powerful elements in society embraced monotheism.

Same thing with Islam. Although I am not familiar with how the religion spread, through conquest and state imposed religion, older forms were probably gradually replaced. The more powerful elements in society probably embraced it first, and then imposed it on others.

And perhaps monotheistic religions were more convenient for the governments of the time to use to augment their authority.

India is a place where monotheism never really took off (despite a large Muslim minority). Perhaps we could look at why it failed there, and then understand why it succeeded in other places?
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16-01-2011, 09:55 AM
 
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
(16-01-2011 06:51 AM)LeviTimes Wrote:  Evid3nc3 recently released this video on the evolution of monotheism. It's really interesting and educational!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlnnWbkMlbg


I have also watched this video and if it is in fact accurate then it explains ALOT in 15 minutes! I do not know much about the Bible or ancient religion, so I am taking it at face value as being authorative.

If Yahweh is in fact "the Lord" as we know it, then he is a brute violent God. If the polar opposite is Satan, then that explains why Jesus was thrown into the mix to give "The Lord" some reason to worship him. It's hard to believe in heaven when Yahweh is commanding you do to this and not to that, but when cute cuddly Jesus comes along in a white robe and golden halo saying "I love you" it's a great way to spread the faith through propaganda.

I look forward to educating myself more on polytheism and the origins of monotheism, and when hell actually came into the mix.
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17-01-2011, 07:30 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
I had never heard of evid3nc3 before and was quite intrigued by the video you linked, so i started watching the series, I was watching his whole deconversion journey series, this guy needs some publicity, it's one of the most engaging and compelling stories I have ever heard.
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17-01-2011, 07:34 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
(17-01-2011 07:30 AM)LeighJones Wrote:  I had never heard of evid3nc3 before and was quite intrigued by the video you linked, so i started watching the series, I was watching his whole deconversion journey series, this guy needs some publicity, it's one of the most engaging and compelling stories I have ever heard.

I know, right?! It's amazing! I always jump right to it when I notice a video by evid3nc3 in my subscription box! Tongue

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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17-01-2011, 09:02 AM
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
evid3nc3 has some wonderful videos. I think last year he won a competition for secular or free thinking video for some website. I don't remember the details, but the video is on his channel somewhere. I'll have to watch the one you guys are talking about.

I don't think there's a singular reason for the rise of monotheism. I suspect a little of everything that everyone has said is probably true. I also think monotheism could have risen strictly out of competition. If you read the Old Testament, you'll quickly realize that Yahweh and the ancient Hebrews all thought that the gods of other nations really existed. Much of the Old Testament is a lot of "my god is more powerful than your god" kind of thing. Yahweh also had to compete with nations who had several gods. As the religion itself spread, the model morphed into these other gods being "false" gods, and not real. Before you know it, you have one group dominating the others, and their god winning out.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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17-01-2011, 10:53 AM
 
RE: Why did monotheism taken off?
In the most simplistic of reasons I would say the reason for Monotheism (in general) is that most of the polytheistic questions have been explained satifactorially where as to most anyway the one that still remains is "who created US?" So for that you need but a single answer. Now why Christianity is a very fasinating question, with no simplistic answer.
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