polytheism, the belief in multiple gods, should provide a healthier moral guidance than monotheism does, shouldn’t it?
polytheism means that you have a wider set of “sources” for your moral guidance, but most importantly, it teaches that multiple points of view should be taken into account.
eg. imagine a belief system with multiple gods; would that not inherently promote a belief system where multiple points of view are valid?
For example: there are times when there is a legitimate need for war, so the god of war may teach that you crush your enemies, but the god of love, may teach that you have compassion for them, and the goddess of wisdom might teach you how to avoid that war in the first place via peaceful negotiations, so the reality of the situation, is that a combined approach is often what has the best results.
EG: At first you might negotiate with your enemy for a peaceful outcome (as taught by the goddess of wisdom), if that doesn’t work, kick their arses (as taught by the god of war) and once you’ve defeated them, show them compassion, and *not* wipe them off the planet. (as taught by the god of love)
isn’t *that* what we do in REAL LIFE anyway? we live our lives with a multi-tiered approach. we go through multiple “degrees” of how we respond to *every* situation in life.
Point is that the multiple points of view should in fact teach the follower to apply many different ‘doctrines’ to a situation, because not all situations are black and white, because multiple points of view will more often yield a better result than one point of view.
THE ANCIENTS GAVE US A DEMOCRATIC START, WHAT HAPPENED WITH THAT ANYWAY?
It’s quite possible, i’ve not researched it, but that the entire notion of democracy that the ancients came up with, could have been born from the example set by having many gods, with their multiple points of view to consider.
but with monotheism, you have only one source for your guidance, and while it may just happen to teach you to be good, at some point you need to respond to someone who just doesn’t conform to what you’ve been taught, so using multiple points of view will help to allow you to handle unique and new situations better.
eg. Jesus teaches that you “turn the other cheek” when someone hits you.
That is to say that, Jesus taught that if someone slaps you on one side of the face, then you are to turn the other side of your face to your assailant as if to offer them a free hit on your other cheek.
Mat 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Jesus also teaches that if someone steals your cloak, that you give that person your jacket as well. …
Luk 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not [to take thy] coat also.
but that’s not the reality of the situation, IS IT?? because who the fuck actually follows those teachings?
do you lay there and let someone beat the crap out of you? do you let somebody walk up to you and take your jacket off your back? someone steals your wallet, do you then give them the keys to your apartment as well?
Jesus teaches one thing, but people go and do the opposite and seek justice/revenge anyway.
Point being, with a monotheistic god, it’s a lot easier to go against what your supreme being teaches you in certain situations. And it’s also a lot easier to go and do the wrong thing in the name of your god when that’s not what your god teaches at all. It’s a lot easier to be a hypocrite with one god and it’s a lot easier to find yourself in a situation where you feel guilty for not following your god’s teachings.
in polytheism, many points of view are potentially valid because arguments can be argued with statements like “but the god of x-y-z says that we should do a-b-c when d-e-f happens”, so multiple “godly” points of view can be said to be valid under polytheism
but with monotheism, confusion and inherent in-fighting can be created when the holy texts teach one thing but also say another thing as well, or worse still, when there is no direct reference to a particular issue in the holy texts so one is often *guessed*. ie. Jesus says nothing directly about gays, so a lot of christians think that gives them a license to latch onto what is said about homosexuality in other parts of the bible…
But I guess that they forgot that Jesus *did* say something about homosexuals, *indirectly*, because he said to love everyone!!!
WHO KNOWS WHAT THE GODS WANT ANYWAY?
and who knows what the gods want anyway? so if you’re going to guess at what they want anyway, then multiple points of view are a better foundation for achieving an educated guess!!
This guessing at what “the” monotheistic god wants, creates the dilemma of what should be done in cases where it’s not quite a black and white situation, what would god want me to do in this situation, this or that? black or white? Point being is that there is less guidance for how to think in unique situations.
polytheism teaches that you apply two (or more) points of view with the justification for your views being what multiple gods have taught you to do, monotheism encourages choosing one way or the other with the actual justification for doing such a thing in the name of your god is up for debate. ie. one group of monotheists might say god wants this, but then another monotheist group might say god wants that… and that’s a conflict.. and in terms of christianity, about 30 million people were killed in the 1500s due to the spat between catholics and protestants.
with monotheism there is an inherent inability to follow your religion properly, eg. who lets themselves be punched a second time after being punched the first time? if you catch someone stealing your DVD player, you don’t also let them take your TV as well, do you? heaps of christians are extremely judgemental, and what christian gives away all their stuff to follow Jesus?
so people don’t *seriously* follow Jesus anyway. It’s totally hypocritical.
Polytheism sees that their is an inherent need for you to figure out what’s best and that you go with what you can glean from the teachings of all the gods, from *multiple* points of view. multiple gods also teach that we should get along, like the gods do, well, at least they get along some of time, don’t they? the universe is still here so one can assume the gods have not had an all out war and destroyed the universe.
Monotheism often sees the ‘user’ create their own version of their god, but in reality “god” is just their ego, which then justifies whatever bullshit that they can come up with.