Theists in severe decline.

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Xelasnave.1947, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    They were originally conceived as part of a supernatural landscape associated with various traditional theistic beliefs. Fairies were considered to be minor deities, but you can apply that term to almost any entity of a supernatural nature. Remember, theism applies to all deities, not just gods.

    Theism isn’t just about deities, it’s also about all of the supernatural trappings that are associated with them.

    In Taoism you have a supernatural process that essentially orders the universe and allows for the existence of deities and the attainment of various states of immortality. The Tao may not be perceived as a god, but it certainly functions as one.

    A similar argument can be made in the case of Buddhism, where a universal process exists that allows for the existence of, and recycling of souls. It also incorporates a methodical practice that can mystically condition those souls to a transcendent state of eternal bliss. Reaching this state is considered a sign of deification in Buddhism. Just as in Taoism, there is a supernatural process that is believed to exists that functions as an ordering principle that is in some respects analogous to God in other religions.
    Pantheism assumes the universe as a whole to be God. So the Tao which is considered to be a universal guiding principle would be similar to an impersonal variety of pantheism.
    All of these characters and processes are a part of some greater divine landscape. They weren’t conceived independently of various traditional theistic conceptions, but in concert with them. Somewhere in those landscapes exists deities of one kind or another pulling off some sort of supernatural nonsense.
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  3. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    I'd be happy if you knew what point YOU were trying to make.

    In message #141 you were complaining about "caricatures of religion", using Jehovah's Witnesses as an example. I pointed out that both you and Jan Ardena are excellent examples of caricatures of religionists.

    Continuing your cartoonish performance is not the best refutation.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No deity, no theism.
    I'm sure the history of various beliefs is fascinating. About the question asked - can we expect an answer?
    It isn't a god. It doesn't function as a god. It does not "order the universe", for example - it is itself the order, if you really need that language. Not only is it not perceived as a god, but anything that is perceived as a god is explicitly and rigorously not it.
    There is no god involved in this "analogous ordering principle".
    Confusing spiritual with supernatural is going to muddle things, as well.
    Oh good lord, just give up already.

    If theism applies to every superstition ever held by some theistic people somewhere, then theism is not on any kind of severe decline.
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  7. Hapsburg Hellenistic polytheist Valued Senior Member

    And that's where you are stretching definitions. A deity isn't just any kind of spirit. There is a qualitative difference between a ghost and a god.
  8. Capracus Valued Senior Member

    No framework of supernatural agency, no supernatural agents.
    You questioned whether specific supernatural characters were theistic elements, and by way of their traditional origins, I concluded that they were.
    Kind of a contradiction in terms, it doesn’t order, but it is the order. Regardless of how you choose to rationalize it, it still amounts to an imagined process of universal order that incorporates supernatural qualities, which is essentially a god by another name.
    A universal ordering principle must be assumed in order for supernatural processes such as reincarnation and spiritual transcendence to be realized. It’s essentially the physics of these imagined realities.
    What’s the difference in believing in supernatural agency locally as in spirits verses universally as in gods? It’s the same system of belief, just on different scales.

    Theism will always be with us as long as self proclaimed atheists go into the closet and practice it themselves.
    But there’s not a qualitative difference in the reasoning that originated the existence of such entities. Theism assumes an ordered realty by way of supernatural agency. It also allows for arbitrary designation regarding the nature of the agents and the scope of the reality. If gods can be given influence locally, and spirits can be given influence universally, where is the actual difference in potential quality?
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    There's no contradiction. That's a fundamental insight, according to the adherents.
    It's not a god, it's a process - you said so yourself. (The actual concept referred to is more profound than mere "process").
    And the muddling of spiritual and supernatural is now causing you difficulties.
    Well, most animists, for example, tend to regard the spiritual aspects of beings and things as perfectly natural. And I'm not sure what you mean by "local" and "universal".
    No, I didn't. I asked this: "We need that explicit: do you think gnomes, fairies, or leprechauns are gods, yes or no."
    So? No deity, no theism. The physics of an imagined reality is not a god.
    That's quite an assumption. Are you sure these entities even originated in reasoning in the first place?
    Meanwhile, there seems to be a qualitative difference in the entities themselves - such as unlucky number 13 or the spirit of a well made tool vs Shiva the Destroyer.
    I'm sure the potential for deification lies all around us and in many entities. The Tao may someday have been transmogrified into a deity - or the domestic cat, again. That hasn't happened yet.
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member


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