View Poll Results: Polytheism vs Monotheism?

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  • Polytheism

    34 50.00%
  • Monotheism

    19 27.94%
  • Unsure or both equally as good or poor

    10 14.71%
  • Don't care

    5 7.35%
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Thread: Monotheism vs Polytheism

  1. #31
    Member ThornWight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    So yes, I'd like you to elaborate and qualify these statements better.
    Christianity dissolves the class systems of society. The class system was originally created to foster a culture of specialists in particular areas. A priestly class, a craftsmen class, a working class, etc. Christianity is Universalist and egalitarian in many ways, so removes the culture of specialists in particular areas for a lot of generalists. Typically speaking, it depends a lot on the time, place, and sect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    Christianity dissolves the class systems of society. The class system was originally created to foster a culture of specialists in particular areas. A priestly class, a craftsmen class, a working class, etc. Christianity is Universalist and egalitarian in many ways, so removes the culture of specialists in particular areas for a lot of generalists. Typically speaking, it depends a lot on the time, place, and sect.
    But arguably the most extreme form of a class-based society in European history was feudalism, which blossomed in Catholic Europe through to the time it began to break down during the Black Death and Reformation. The hierarchy pyramid below and the idea that each toiled for the Kingdom of Heaven in their own way was well established for 1000 years.



    Part of the reason the Cathars and other pre-Protestant heretical groups were persecuted so much was for challenging this social order. Usually I see this form of society criticized in favor of the somewhat more open pre-Christian Germanic societies that existed. This system broke down around the time of the Reformation, but I wouldn't be sure if Protestant denominations were the cause. In some cases, yes. In England, however, serfdom was broken down by the Black Death as peasants found they were now in a labor-seller's market and so were put on the path to emancipation.

    I would argue that the breakdown of artisanal craftsmanship maintained through generations is a result of modern capitalism and atomizing individualism, the origins of which are found in the flowering of classical liberalism of the late 18th century. The philosophies upon which this liberalism were founded ate away at the foundations which allowed them to be thought up in the first place. They took these foundations for granted. These people undermined traditional Christian religion everywhere; the only churches which could flourish are the mainline and evangelical Protestant groups we have today.

    To ascribe all of this to Christianity as a root cause, you would have to prove that something like a culturally detached non-denominational church today is the actual true expression of Christianity and everything else is a co-opted or Paganized version of it. I myself can't make up my mind on this one.

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  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    But arguably the most extreme form of a class-based society in European history was feudalism, which blossomed in Catholic Europe through to the time it began to break down during the Black Death and Reformation. The hierarchy pyramid below and the idea that each toiled for the Kingdom of Heaven in their own way was well established for 1000 years.
    Depends on what you are comparing it to. Feudalism certainly had more control by the upper class, but not the same sort of separation.

    Part of the reason the Cathars and other pre-Protestant heretical groups were persecuted so much was for challenging this social order. Usually I see this form of society criticized in favor of the somewhat more open pre-Christian Germanic societies that existed. This system broke down around the time of the Reformation, but I wouldn't be sure if Protestant denominations were the cause. In some cases, yes. In England, however, serfdom was broken down by the Black Death as peasants found they were now in a labor-seller's market and so were put on the path to emancipation.
    I am mostly talking about Protestantism, since that is the denomination I am surrounded by. I think Orthodox are probably closer to the old ways, at least retaining a priestly class, which incidentally seems to remove the issue of homosexual and pedophile priests that seem disturbingly common among other denominations. I think it has a lot to do with the practices within Western churches that creates this issue.
    I'd also argue pre-Christian societies were not at all more open. It could take generations to ascend to the next class. They were seen as separate races entirely.

    I would argue that the breakdown of artisanal craftsmanship maintained through generations is a result of modern capitalism and atomizing individualism, the origins of which are found in the flowering of classical liberalism of the late 18th century. The philosophies upon which this liberalism were founded ate away at the foundations which allowed them to be thought up in the first place. They took these foundations for granted. These people undermined traditional Christian religion everywhere; the only churches which could flourish are the mainline and evangelical Protestant groups we have today.
    I'm not talking about strictly artisan crafts, this is a religious thread and I was just using that analogy to explain the concept of magic in ancient times and how it was not a matter of things simply popping into existence like miracles. A magical system, regardless of what type of magic we are talking about, does rely on traditional, genetic lines passing down knowledge to their children. This was at least somewhat maintained until Individualistic philosophies took over.

    To ascribe all of this to Christianity as a root cause, you would have to prove that something like a culturally detached non-denominational church today is the actual true expression of Christianity and everything else is a co-opted or Paganized version of it. I myself can't make up my mind on this one.
    Well a lot of it is Christianity. It did a lot in the early days to break down Nationalism and promote an equal respect of all humans as image-bearers of Yahweh. Does this sort of thinking not lead to Individualism?

  5. #34
    Senior Member Coillearnach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    I think Orthodox are probably closer to the old ways, at least retaining a priestly class, which incidentally seems to remove the issue of homosexual and pedophile priests that seem disturbingly common among other denominations. I think it has a lot to do with the practices within Western churches that creates this issue.
    The issue is not removed in Orthodox churches unfortunately, it just doesn't get media attention in the West because it's a very minor denomination. There have been several explosive scandals recently in Eastern Europe - some particularly heinous ones involving even bishops and monks e.g. Bishop Kacavenda in Bosnia.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    ... this is a religious thread...
    And the topic is the (theoretical/philosophical) concepts of monotheism vs polytheism.

    To quote myself from elsewhere and maybe try to bring back the thread to its topic

    Monotheism also doesnt make any sense. In order to procreate, you need male and female.
    A mono-god cant create anything, unless it's a (genetically defect) Hermaphrodite LOL.

    Seriously, Nature is a play of balance, of male and female, of various types of powers and forces. To reduce it to one doesnt even allow for the seperation into "good" and "bad", because everything comes from that nonsensical "allmighty" creator who has a plan for every single human, thus also creates evil. It's hilarious actually that the existence of the "good god" of "mono"theism relies entirely on the Devil, which invalids the idea of monotheism itself. It's nonsensical to the core.

    Natural Law is all about balance, a concert of forces that shape our world, our environment and us. A spirituality that does not reflect and respect this balance and this various powers and forces, but reduces everything to one, monotono-"good" god is spiritual terrorism, to which Europe's christian history is witness with ever more hysterical persecution of people not fitting into the ever narrowing definition of "good", which even goes so far as to glorify "immaculate conception" as the most holy form, denying the very fundamental basis of life itself. Early century christians consequently had rituals for "cleansing the woman from the SIN of giving birth". How sick is that?!?

    Well a lot of it is Christianity. It did a lot in the early days to break down Nationalism and promote an equal respect of all humans as image-bearers of Yahweh.
    In fact, christianity always promoted Jewish/Israeli Supremacism over the Goyim. But this is another topic (to which I'd gladly contribute some outrageous stuff in an appropiate thread), this one is about (philosophical) concepts/ideas.
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  8. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coillearnach View Post
    The issue is not removed in Orthodox churches unfortunately, it just doesn't get media attention in the West because it's a very minor denomination. There have been several explosive scandals recently in Eastern Europe - some particularly heinous ones involving even bishops and monks e.g. Bishop Kacavenda in Bosnia.
    Wow, didn't know about that, sorry to hear. Monks in particular would suffer from the same issue as Western priests, since it requires a vowel of celibacy and they do not marry. The Eastern Orthodox Church typically allows marriage for the priests, and they usually have a lineage of priests that stays tightly within the family. As far as I know, at least among that group, the homosexuality and child molestation, well I've never heard of it happening among them. Might just be since there aren't as many of their churches here.

    Quote Originally Posted by velvet View Post
    In fact, christianity always promoted Jewish/Israeli Supremacism over the Goyim. But this is another topic (to which I'd gladly contribute some outrageous stuff in an appropiate thread), this one is about (philosophical) concepts/ideas.

    Right, philosophically monotheism implicitly means a limiting of knowledge. I was just trying to give examples of that. The ethnic issues aside, this seems to be the main issue I see from people regarding the practice of Christianity. For me it started as ethnic/Nationalist based.
    Last edited by ThornWight; Wednesday, December 4th, 2019 at 09:21 PM. Reason: Adding Velvet's quote

  9. #37
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    Seems to me like this whole thread is focused on Christianity as a stand in for monotheism vs Paganism which is the standin for polytheism. Zoroastrianism was monotheistic (with dualistic elements, sure), in Hinduism the many deities are considered aspects of a single God, ancient Chinese philosophy/religion tended to monotheism and of course Hellenic/Hellenistic philosophy had a lot of trending towards monotheism (Stoicism, Neoplatonism). Funnily enough, former Skadi member and murderer Varg Vikernes also argues the same point as Hindus: that the various Indo-European gods are the manifestation of a single God. If I recall correctly (it has been quite a while), HFK Günther reduced most ancient polytheism back to something more like the Ancient Greek concept of Fate, not that I put much stock in Mr “Nordics achieved everything ever”. On the other side, it’s debatable that Judaism became a firmly monotheistic religion until the Babylonian captivity.

    I rather tend to agree with Varg actually. I think the idea of their being multiple gods with omnipotence is impossible. If they’re not omnipotent then they’re not gods (not that I deny the existence of such beings). I believe it’s theoretically possible for an omnipotent, omnipresent God to manifest himself in different forms recognized as gods by various cultures in the same way this is explained in Christianity with God living also as Jesus.

    I think theoretically maybe the gods are archetypes created by God for people in the way Saints are in Traditional Christianity (some would argue this was coopted). I don’t know though, in many cases some of the stories attributed to certain gods are not quite “good”. Are these corruptions handed down to us, or was this the common perception of the god? To me this is the ultimate problem with Paganism. Sympathize with it I do, but the tradition has been dead for 1500 years in most cases, no living link. Fragments are what one has to go on. It’s sad really. I can’t help but view all reconstructions as a little bit campy and inauthentic. Also, being that it’s no longer a truly revealed religion the human element weighs so much in the equation that I suspect most revivals of being highly susceptible to corruption.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    Well a lot of it is Christianity. It did a lot in the early days to break down Nationalism and promote an equal respect of all humans as image-bearers of Yahweh. Does this sort of thinking not lead to Individualism?
    This is more the result of modern Jewish subversion. Churches historically and still in a lot of cases presently are healthy gathering places for communities which is why they were targeted. I think to claim this linear progression is a stretch.

    @velvet: speaking of outrageous stuff, years ago in the German Folk chatbox, you made a claim about a strong relationship between the Teutonic Order and crypto-Jews. I always wanted to see you explain this but I think the forum went down shortly after.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    Seems to me like this whole thread is focused on Christianity as a stand in for monotheism vs Paganism which is the standin for polytheism.
    Well, Christianity is what I know best. I have plenty of problems with Islam and their Monotheism as well if you'd like to discuss that.

    Zoroastrianism was monotheistic (with dualistic elements, sure), in Hinduism the many deities are considered aspects of a single God, ancient Chinese philosophy/religion tended to monotheism and of course Hellenic/Hellenistic philosophy had a lot of trending towards monotheism (Stoicism, Neoplatonism)
    With the exception of Zoroastrianism, no they are (or were) not. Hinduism does tend to present itself as such, particularly to the West. They were occupied by Islam for centuries, then Christians for centuries more. At best they see the cosmos divided between three main gods. Plato's "The One" was not Monotheistic if you actually understand it, I've talked to many Hellenistic Pagans who read him in original Greek and they feel this interpretation is deliberately misrepresenting the philosophy. Exactly which Chinese philosophy are you talking about?

    Funnily enough, former Skadi member and murderer Varg Vikernes also argues the same point as Hindus: that the various Indo-European gods are the manifestation of a single God.
    Well Varg is an idiot, and most likely an Atheist since he also says all the gods are just fairytales and metaphors.

    I rather tend to agree with Varg actually.
    *sigh*

    I think the idea of their being multiple gods with omnipotence is impossible. If they’re not omnipotent then they’re not gods (not that I deny the existence of such beings). I believe it’s theoretically possible for an omnipotent, omnipresent God to manifest himself in different forms recognized as gods by various cultures in the same way this is explained in Christianity with God living also as Jesus.
    Nothing is omnipotent.

    Sympathize with it I do, but the tradition has been dead for 1500 years in most cases, no living link. Fragments are what one has to go on. It’s sad really. I can’t help but view all reconstructions as a little bit campy and inauthentic. Also, being that it’s no longer a truly revealed religion the human element weighs so much in the equation that I suspect most revivals of being highly susceptible to corruption.
    I never really understood this argument. The gods are living beings on this earth, and Paganism is just communion with them. What exactly died?

    This is more the result of modern Jewish subversion. Churches historically and still in a lot of cases presently are healthy gathering places for communities which is why they were targeted. I think to claim this linear progression is a stretch.
    They can be, however my argument which I still have not really seen addressed, is the rules within it are often designed to blur or even outright forbid the passing down of traditional knowledge within a culture. Which is a method of gradually erasing all cultures. Christianity, like Zoroastrianism, like Islam, was designed for empires. An empire has to erase identity and culture in order to foster unity. It may not have even been the intention of Monotheistic religions, but it is the direction they often seem to go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThornWight View Post
    Plato's "The One" was not Monotheistic if you actually understand it, I've talked to many Hellenistic Pagans who read him in original Greek and they feel this interpretation is deliberately misrepresenting the philosophy.
    ”In the original Greek”
    *modern Hellenistic pagans*

    If I pretend to be the heir to a religion 1500 years dead and can read Plato in the original Greek I have authority to interpret his views. This is almost like “no true Scotsman.” I’m not arguing he was monotheistic. In some of his and in Aristotle’s works you see the embryonic form of true Western monotheism (very monistic polytheism, or the idea of their being a superior being or mover above the pantheon). I also said Neoplatonism, not Plato originally.

    Exactly which Chinese philosophy are you talking about
    The ancient concept of the Mandate of Heaven, “Shangdi” and Mohism are similar in form to the Hellenic and Hellenistic ideas of there being a true Supreme God above all lesser entities. But China was an Empire so of course they trend to monotheism.

    Well Varg is an idiot, and most likely an Atheist since he also says all the gods are just fairytales and metaphors.
    He’s not an idiot but he’s certainly ill-qualified as a theologian/philosopher. Can you prove the gods aren’t fairytales and metaphors though? And if you can, can you disprove that Christianity isn’t the same? Now your premise is that these stories are literally true, which means you have a heavy burden of proof.

    Nothing is omnipotent.
    Then what’s a god, and why worship it?

    I never really understood this argument. The gods are living beings on this earth, and Paganism is just communion with them. What exactly died?
    Could you imagine for a second that we lived 1000 years from now, and we had similar knowledge to the USA of the 1800s that we have of Germanic societies around the time of the migration into the Roman Empire. That is, essentially texts written in either by outsiders looking in or a handful of Christian converts writing histories after their tribe had modernized, or archaeological evidence to infer how they truly lived. Just imagine for a minute that we had 1/10th of the Book of Mormon. We knew the Mormons were an industrious people who carved out an interesting and successful society out of nothing. But all we had to inform us was the above, and some nostalgic people decided they wanted to revive the religion because they admire those pioneers or whatever. How different could that end up to how it is currently practiced now, being that it would have been dead for 1000 years? The entire community aspect has to be completely reconstructed. Stuff like liturgy, temple sealing, etc would be totally lost. Outside of new revelation, how can it really be done on a useful scale by people who aren’t frauds and demagogues.

    That’s the problem with reconstructionism generally today, in my opinion. Besides, the best point of religion is the community building aspect of it, not the rugged individualism one may unironically enjoy about their exclusive relationship with the long forgotten old gods. You no longer have the living tradition that is passed down genetically! Everyone seems to be their own pope in Pagan reconstructionism. Also the hostility and snobbery is pretty unreal, but that’s another thing I suppose. It’s very individualistic, ironically.

    They can be, however my argument which I still have not really seen addressed, is the rules within it are often designed to blur or even outright forbid the passing down of traditional knowledge within a culture. Which is a method of gradually erasing all cultures. Christianity, like Zoroastrianism, like Islam, was designed for empires. An empire has to erase identity and culture in order to foster unity. It may not have even been the intention of Monotheistic religions, but it is the direction they often seem to go.
    There are so many variables in these equations that you might as well claim the lack of archery training for youth causes the same thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leRoux View Post
    ”In the original Greek”
    *modern Hellenistic pagans*

    If I pretend to be the heir to a religion 1500 years dead and can read Plato in the original Greek I have authority to interpret his views. This is almost like “no true Scotsman.” I’m not arguing he was monotheistic. In some of his and in Aristotle’s works you see the embryonic form of true Western monotheism (very monistic polytheism, or the idea of their being a superior being or mover above the pantheon). I also said Neoplatonism, not Plato originally.
    It may be more effective if you did more than simply pretend to have read anything on Neoplatoism

    Plotinian Neoplatonism
    The great third century thinker and 'founder' of Neoplatonism, Plotinus, is responsible for the grand synthesis of progressive Christian and Gnostic ideas with the traditional Platonic philosophy. He answered the challenge of accounting for the emergence of a seemingly inferior and flawed cosmos from the perfect mind of the divinity by declaring outright that all objective existence is but the external self-expression of an inherently contemplative deity known as the One (to hen), or the Good (ta kalon). Plotinus compares the expression of the superior godhead with the self-expression of the individual soul, which proceeds from the perfect conception of a Form (eidos), to the always flawed expression of this Form in the manner of a materially derived 'personality' that risks succumbing to the demands of divisive discursivity, and so becomes something less than divine. This diminution of the divine essence in temporality is but a necessary moment of the complete expression of the One. By elevating the experience of the individual soul to the status of an actualization of a divine Form, Plotinus succeeded, also, in preserving, if not the autonomy, at least the dignity and ontological necessity of personality. The Cosmos, according to Plotinus, is not a created order, planned by a deity on whom we can pass the charge of begetting evil; for the Cosmos is the self-expression of the Soul, which corresponds, roughly, to Philo's logos prophorikos, the logos endiathetos of which is the Intelligence (nous). Rather, the Cosmos, in Plotinian terms, is to be understood as the concrete result or 'product' of the Soul's experience of its own Mind (nous). Ideally, this concrete expression should serve the Soul as a reference-point for its own self-conscious existence; however, the Soul all too easily falls into the error of valuing the expression over the principle (arkhê), which is the contemplation of the divine Forms. This error gives rise to evil, which is the purely subjective relation of the Soul (now divided) to the manifold and concrete forms of its expressive act. When the Soul, in the form of individual existents, becomes thus preoccupied with its experience, Nature comes into being, and the Cosmos takes on concrete form as the locus of personality.
    https://www.iep.utm.edu/neoplato/
    The concept of The One relates to Apotheosis, and is quite possibly the most polar opposite of Monotheism I can imagine. Feel free to prove me wrong.


    The ancient concept of the Mandate of Heaven, “Shangdi” and Mohism are similar in form to the Hellenic and Hellenistic ideas of there being a true Supreme God above all lesser entities. But China was an Empire so of course they trend to monotheism.
    What I gather from Mohism, it could be described as Monotheistic, but it is significantly more complicated than Monotheism to the West and is more Pantheistic. Tian is also not a creator and is seen as nature itself.


    He’s not an idiot but he’s certainly ill-qualified as a theologian/philosopher. Can you prove the gods aren’t fairytales and metaphors though? And if you can, can you disprove that Christianity isn’t the same? Now your premise is that these stories are literally true, which means you have a heavy burden of proof.
    No, he is an idiot. Believe whatever you want, it doesn't matter to me.

    Then what’s a god, and why worship it?
    A god is a species of spirit. Worship means to give worth to. So you worship what is worthy of the time and sacrifice.

    Just imagine for a minute that we had 1/10th of the Book of Mormon. We knew the Mormons were an industrious people who carved out an interesting and successful society out of nothing. But all we had to inform us was the above, and some nostalgic people decided they wanted to revive the religion because they admire those pioneers or whatever. How different could that end up to how it is currently practiced now
    Kind of funny you used the Mormons as an example for this, since that is exactly what the LDS is claiming to do - restore the Early Church. They are Christian Reconstructionists trying to bring back the original Church from some 2,000 years ago. Are you telling me that this entire religion is illegitimate because they do not have every fine detail of the Early Church?

    You no longer have the living tradition that is passed down genetically! Everyone seems to be their own pope in Pagan reconstructionism.
    The line was killed. It was learned before and can be re-learned again. Does any Monotheist really have a legitimate practice by the same logic? No Church has survived unchanged for 2,000 years. Each one blends to the local nation. Each one has undergone drastic changes, reformations, divergences, and adjusting. The current Pope is certainly not doing anything to preserve the traditions of the RCC, and he is far from the first to do this. Can you really say that any Monotheism has not had their line also killed?

    There are so many variables in these equations that you might as well claim the lack of archery training for youth causes the same thing.
    No, not really. Monotheism is more a political ideology than proper theology. The Roman Empire was already trying to centralize religion under the cult of Sol Invictus before Christianity took off, then one day the emperors saw an opportunity and began being friendly towards the Christians. They were trying to do the same thing as the Persians because it is politically convenient in a large empire.

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