Everyone has at least one god

With the possible exception of hardcore fundamentalists, every practitioner of religion is willing to enter into dialogue with others—unless or until the person across the table crosses YOUR sacred line.

Robert V Thompson….. (http://www.examiner.com/x-1390-Religion–Culture-Examiner~y2009m10d29-Religion-without-rationalization-dropping-the-dogma)……. argues that whether you consider yourself religious or irreligious, everybody lives by a set of conscious (sometimes unconscious) principles that govern your beliefs and behavior.

Post-modern culture celebrates pluralism—meaning that everyone has some piece of the truth but no one owns all of it. The deeper question is how do you hold on to your personal convictions without becoming inflexible?

How can you worship your god without trashing the god of others?

Truth be told, everybody has a god—whether you are a theist, panentheist or atheist—everybody has a god. Your god is that to which you give your ultimate allegiance. Regardless of your philosophical assumptions or metaphysical conclusions, everybody has at least one god.

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24 thoughts on “Everyone has at least one god

    • Hm,
      All very well to assert that every person has a god. But the definition of the word ‘god’ is just too vague and uncertain. Sure, quite obviously the Agnostic or the Atheist may carry some sort of guiding principle at his heart. There may well be some ultimate point or whatever to which he subscribes.

      But unlike the ‘gods’ of the Theists and similar, the ultimate guiding principle of the non-believer is never pictured as watching and judging every move he makes, every decision he adopts or every thought that he thunks. Any so-called god for these people will carry no inherent power, or promise some reward after the occasion of demise.

      Sure, the Universe-centred scientist may well find the Cosmos to be worthy of respect, devotion or even some degree of worship; but he attributes no autonomy or personality to it.

      If the ultimate object or principle is in the sphere of ethical behaviour and good will towards the fellow man, then certainly our non-‘spiritual’ person may go through guilt or disappointment with his failures in morals and citizenship. But surely he takes it as given that the author of it all, the power behind it all in his consciousness is not outside himself, but deep within. He can find quite enough motivation within himself for good works, love, service etc without calling on any sort of deity. Surely it must represent a matter of quality and goodness when an individual practices goodness for its own sake and not because he has been ordered to by a god.
      Rian

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      • ‘…., you generalise about believers and non-believers”

        And as anybody who regularly reads this blog would know that’s Bryan’s job
        🙂 🙂 🙂

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      • Noble Savage??? of course that is a delusion. and I am simply NOT attempting to idealize Agnostics and Atheists. They are obviouslyas fallible as anyone else.

        The definition of the word ‘god’, Bryan, is still vague and uncertain. My argument stands. The same argument applies as I argued months back, when you claim that atheism requires as much faith as does theism. In order to make your claims, you do a fiddle with those words. The meaning switches when one moment you are talking of the god or the faith of the Christian, and then when you talk of the god and faith of the atheist.

        Rian.

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      • Bryan,
        I’ve been giving a lot of serious thought to this debate, and it may be that I have generalised there about believers and non-believers as you suggest; and if so, I can quite cheerfully acknowledge the matter. BUT if you are honest you will realize that in your blogs, YOU have seriously generalised about the words Faith (some months back) and god (at present). These words do not mean the same when applied to and by Atheists and Theists.

        Let me remind you that some months back, when we had a minor little debate going on about whether our pets ‘love’ us or not, you made the point (probably quite legitimately) that we cannot apply that word Love to any experience in the other animals, the same way we apply it to ourselves. In other words, we cannot generalise the word in this fashion. Love is a word that we apply in many different ways, and simply cant be generalised to mean the same thing at all times.

        You made the point there, and you really should apply the same point in regard to the words Faith and God. Metaphorical ways of applying the words do NOT make them mean the same thing. The way a Theist applies the absolute title god, is never applied by an Atheist to any principle or thing. The way a Theist applies the word Faith to the most elevated (sorry, second most elevated, – after Love) principle in his religion, is never the same as the way the word might be applied to the confidence in Science held by the Atheist. That Atheist sets out to believe precisely because he is convinced that he has ‘seen’ the evidence or enough of it. The Christian Theist sets out to believe, whether or not ‘he has seen’, – in fact he is most blessed we are assured, ESPECIALLY if he has not seen!

        You only have to consider how seriously any absence or deficiency in Faith is regarded within Christianity, and how different this is to such deficiency of ‘faith’ in Atheism in its claimants. You have only to recognize the way no genuine Atheist bears any worry or despair about how his lack of faith in Science affects his purported eternal life.

        As a reminder, too, let me say as I’ve said so often before, there is no such thing or entity or person or source that can be identified as ATHEISM. So absolutely no-one ever actually has ‘faith’ in atheism, however loosely he may refer to it. But, if you happen to believe that there is such an entity Bryan, please show me where it is.

        Rian.

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  1. Russell Brand the comedian, a self confessed believer in God, and gives a great reason why …
    was recently asked why he cancelled his Middle -East tour ….
    “Well …. basically because they were going to kill me. I think what happened was … they booked me first … and THEN they heard me…. so they said there was a strong possibility I would be killed. They said I was still welcome to come… but I decided to cancel…”
    Classic.

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  2. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
    Matt 5:24

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  3. Some believe that the Earth is a conscious entity. This becomes their religion, whether consciously or not. They hold the Earth in awe, gratitude, respect, even fear, and other sentiments commonly associated with a personalised God. They acknowledge Earth’s children to be worthy of love and care.

    If we follow a divine person we are, I think, usually conscious of that, whereas following a principle that is sacred to us might be an unconscious choice. But in my mind some do unconsciously obey a God who they don’t consciously acknowledge.

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