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In my studies I've come across two primary arguments that try to spin multiple gods into only one god. The first addresses why God refers to himself in plural form, and will be covered in the next panel. The other argument addresses why other deities are named in the bible, and goes like this:

Although the bible talks about other gods, those gods are merely mentioned as an example of Pagan ways. The gods of the Pagans do not actually exist, and therefore have no real power.

The problem with this argument is that it contains two assertions. One, Yahweh is real. Two, all other gods are not real. Both of these assertions must be demonstrated before the argument should be believed, but neither has ever been demonstrated to the point where rational people believe them.



Unnamed One writes:


Faith ≠ Reason
Never has. Probably never will.

Winterset writes:


Actually the second assertion has been quite often demonstrated to the point where rational people believe it. The second assertion is that "all other gods are not real". I'd say that's quite well demonstrated.

(I'm ignoring the logical problem of proving a negative because you're using the word "demonstrated" and not "proven".)

TheAlmightyGuru writes:


Interestingly, the reason that it's irrational to believe in Zeus or Odin is the same reason why it's irrational to believe in Jehovah.

HeebAnon writes:


Again - monolatry vs monotheism. The difference matters. It's also why, for example, the Jewish Haggadda (literally "story-telling", used to refer to the book read from at the Passover Seder), refers to the Hebrew God's "executing judgments against" the gods of the Egyptians - it was originally believed that other gods existed, just that they weren't for the Hebrews to worship, and that they were (of course, this being religion) inferior in power.

This changed probably around the time that Isaiah was written (the first part, not the second, I think. It's been a while since I studied this in school), with Isaiah basically railing against believing that any other gods exist, and also changing the creation story to explicitly cite the God of the Hebrews as being the creator of water, darkness, and evil, which the earlier texts don't seem to indicate that God created.

Katy writes:


@HeebAnon wrote: "... water, darkness and evil ..."
umm ... how does water fit into that group of things? That's just weird ...


Katy writes:


Now that I've done some more reading and research since the last time I was here, I see that water (especially among the ancient Hebrews) was considered to be a place from which bad things came. Again, I believe I read a very cogent and interesting discussion on this in the Conway book I've referenced a couple times now.

JFluffy writes:


wait, evil things come from the water?
but thats where BIRDS come from.


Oh the irony!