Commenting Media, English

Do you believe in Yahwe?

This is a bit unhandy, as embedding was disabled, but you can look at the video I want to speak about here.

The story is told relatively quick, supposingly more quickly than watching the video:

Person A asks person B about his or her belief in a variety of godhead names: Vishnu, Baal, Shemosh, Thor, you name it. person B keeps saying „no“, to all the questions.

Person A does not react to these answers in any way, just keeps on throwing names of godheads at person B. This goes on for a while until person B answers the same „no“ to the belief in Yahwe.

All of a sudden person A starts cussing and yelling at person B all kind of things, basically saying that person B was very very evil not believing in Yahwe.

The video has a point. In some way. That is insofar as it critizises condemnation of people who do not believe in God (or any other godhead). As for christianity, I wish my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would rather approach people of different or no faith with love then with condemnation, cussing and the like. It should not play a role, what a person believes for how we treat her or him. Christ commanded us to love. Period.

But on the other side, the video also speaks of someone having gotten into a trap. The trap of mixing up god and God. This is why I write „godhead“ above.

The wrong presumption is that there was no real difference between Yahwe, Vishnu or Thor and disbelief in the one was the same as disbelief in the other or any of them or all together. It is not.

And I am not going to tell you that the difference was that Yahwe exists and Baal does not. While I do believe this myself, of course, being a christian, this is not what I am talking about here.

What I am talking about is the difference between a polytheistic godhead and the monotheistic God, like Yahwe, or even Allah, if you like. Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster should qualify, f anybody really believed in it, which I do question.

Anyway, what is the difference between God and the godheads. The first way to recognise this would be to see that people did (and do) believe in Thor and Odin at the same time, or Zeus and Poseidon, or Vishnu and Ganesha, but hardly in Yahwe and Mars, or Allah and Baal.

Historical sidenote: Historically seen, there was most supposingly a time when people did indeed believe in Yahwe and Astarte or other godheads. I know this, you don’t need to point this out to me. And while the same name Yahwe is used, the concept behind it is different. The Yahwe besides Astarte, El or Shemesh is not more than a godhead, while the other Yahwe, God Yahwe, is a monotheistic God. Many scholars believe that there was an evolution from polytheism over henotheism to monotheism. What I am referring here to is monotheism, none of its supposed prior forms, whether or not they have existed before (I just don’t want to go into that discussion here).

So what is the difference between monotheism and polytheism? The difference is that polytheistic godheads are weak enough that there can be other godheads beside them, while a monotheistic God does not and will not make it even possible to have other godheads besides Him (or Her if you like).

Understood correctly, this would render the first commandment superfluous, because there would just not b the possibility to have other godheads beside a truly monotheistic God. And from that point of view it would not make a big difference whether you call Him (or Her) Yahwe, Allah or Hank. (the problem is that people do not always keep a strict monotheism, that’s why the first commandment still makes sense).

Monotheism means that there is one God who created everything (I’d like to hear about monotheistic Gods who are not also thought of as creators) and is beyond everything else, not only above. There is a qualitative difference between a monotheistic God and all that belongs to creation. On the other hand are the polytheistic godheads, each one having their own affairs to deal with, none of them is really superior to all the others, fights are possible and we have stories about that. Basically they are closer to modern superheros like Spiderman or Superman, than to a monotheistic God. They are powerful, but not unable to be overcome, be it by some other godhead or some (human) trickster.

So person A would be more sensible asking person B whether he (or she) believed in any system of godheads (pantheon) or whether she (or he) believed in a monotheistic God. Of which there are also many, besides Yahwe also Allah or the FSM and others. So it’s not that all monotheisms would be the same. They have very different ideas of their God.

And one final note: I am not too deep into modern Hindu theology, but I think I heard about all Hindu godheads being only appearances of the same one God. Yes, God, capital letter, because I guess this would then be a monotheism as well.

Theologie, Uncategorized

Who created God?

youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODetOE6cbbc&feature=player_embedded

Darkmatter’s video on God’s God starts with a common stereotype about Christian faith: An Atheist dies, gets to meet his creator an is about to be sent to hell for not believing in the right God. The question of how he should have known which God to believe in comes up later, when God himself meets his creator, that looks a lot like Steve Jobs.

A lot could be said and debated about how one should know which God is actualy the right one, but the main question is about the creator of the Creator, so I shall stick with this.

The main argument is, that the God figure in the movie claims the Atheist had to know that there has to be a reason for his existence and intelligence.

The Angel figure, I think his name is Geoffrey, reminds the God figure, let’s call him Hank for short, of his own existence and intelligence. As Hank claims he was not created, why should the Atheist not have done likewise in his own life.

To „prove“ the point, darkmatter has Geoffrey and Hank kill each other in the video and face Hank’s (an Geoffrey’s?) creator. Then there is a similar discussion, plus the question of how to know about this creator etc etc. Basically Hank brings up a lot of the arguments atheists tend to bring up againt the existence of God. Basically a ot of lapstick and recursion.

The question I find interesting to address here is the question about the creator of the Creator. Thus I didn’t cal the article „God’s God“ like arkmatter called his video, but „Who created God“. To give the short answer: No one because God is not created. He is not a creature, unlike everything else.

Geoffrey brings intelligence and existence into discussion. I’d like to drop the intelligence part. There are things created that are not in the slightest way intelligent. Think of stones. Or bread (Germans should understand this one ;)). But still they are created, and they exist.

I’d like to start with God’s existence, and what I do in the first place is: Deny it. You read right: I consider myself Christian and deny the existence of God. Now if you are a Christian yourself reading this and about to call me heretic or whatnot, let me first explain. And judge then. And if you are an Atheist reading this, don’t rejoice too fast, things are not as they appear.

We talk about existence. And we talk about creation. I’d say, it’s both the same: If you have anything that is created, it exists. And I think it’s also the other way round: Everything that exists, is created.

Atheists should not agree here, because I guess they’d deny the idea of creation in the first place, so there wold be no created thing, no creature, in the first place. But this thought is more for the Christians among you, I’ll get back to the Atheists later.

If we say that everything that is created, exists, then we cannot say that God would exist, because undoubtedly: God is not created (this is true at least for monotheistic gods).

So if God is not created and does thus not exists, he must be something else than existant, if I believe in Him.

God is above creation. God is above existence. God gave existence to everything being. Existence is timely and within the created world as a concept. This is not true for God (any monotheistic God, but not any politheistic gods). He does not exist, He is not within the created world (though He can influence it and appear there). And He’s not just a concept, but maybe we could say that He was also a concept, besides many other things.

So if God was created, he’d be within the world, he’d be timely. And he’d have a creator. If he had created anything himsef he’d just be a subcontractor of the real God who created him. People as create things. Darkmatter created the video, and I am about creating this article. Still we both are creatures, because we exist. We are timely and within this world, and cannot escape it.

This all is not true for (the monotheistic) God, though it can be true for (polytheistic) gods, which don’t difer much here from Superman, Spiderman and other figures with (restricted) superpowers. So, the only real God in the video would be the last in the row, if he was and would not be thought to be just another super-super-superhero within time and world. If he was not thought to be existing.

The fact that all those god-figures in the video have bodies and act towards one anoter even in their respective „heavens“ makes me presume that darkmatter didn’t think of them as nonexistant God, that still is there.

It is really a problem to not have a word for the nonexistant kind of existence of God. Because He is there, he is the source of everything, the source of existence, though He doesn’t exist the way we exist. Because we have not word for his existence, I guess, it is that we end up not understanding one another.