January 11, 2006
More from Nietzsche (not to worry, I'm almost done with the book): "...They have failed to create a God! Almost two millennia and not a single new God!"
What's up with that?
Is it true? How about Islam? What about those folks out in Utah? Are we to take their gods for old gods? What about San Francisco in the summer of '67?
OK, I quoted a little out of context; I think Nietzsche's talking just about northern Europeans. (And you get a bit uncomforable when Germans talk just about northern Europeans.) But hasn't god creation -- overall, worldwide - in fact slowed?
Why? Because we've already received the One True Revelation? (We just can't agree on which one.) Because printing presses tend to freeze things? Because the global culture tends to snuff out new cults before they can get their dieties together? Because we have new terms for people who claim they were talking to a god? Because we're finally -- recurring theme of this blog -- outgrowing this sort of thing?
Posted by Mitchell Stephens at January 11, 2006 1:44 AM
"Is it true? How about Islam? What about those folks out in Utah?"
That's just old Yahweh, each time with a new name and a little crazier--more paranoid, more mysogynistic, more of a solipsist. But he's the same capital-G God. If you look at the different gods in polytheistic traditions, they are genuinely different--different personalities, different specializations. But Yahweh is the same old white guy in all his guises: old testament Adonai, new testament Father, Muslim Allah. People fed on that madness from youth are incapable of imagining a genuinely new god. They just keep updating Yahweh, with a fresh new label that makes him theirs and makes it OK to despise all his old believers.
(The only genuine exception to the rule that Yahwistic monotheism makes us incapable of imagining a god other than Yahweh is L. Ron, whose imagination seems as unfettered as his greed.)
Posted by: Richard Blumberg at January 11, 2006 3:48 PM
Welcome to Atheism Online. I think setting up a blog while you are working on this book is a cool idea. I can't wait for the book!
Posted by: vjack at January 11, 2006 4:54 PM
The reason cannot result from printing presses, which tend to freeze concepts, given that the creation of new religions, in the form of sects, continues. Just in the US alone, a highly print-driven culture for the period of time in question, new religions and new churches continue(d) to emerge. Moreover, if this is true, that eliminates your next suggestion. Global culture does not snuff out new cults. Indeed, it allows them to gather adherents globally. "Witness" the growth of the LDS church. Obviously it's not because we've already received the One True Revelation. Still...could there be something attractive--for those inclined to god/religion at all but creating their own new religion--about a unitary god, a single god...so all one has to do is fight over who can/does/should understand that god? And aren't you lucky: missing the discussions here of the unitary presidency, courtesy of Sam Alito.
Posted by: george at January 12, 2006 8:50 AM
Hows about Gia? Comes from an old idea (what doesn't) but is a growing spiritual substitute.
Everyone's God is different, even if one explains it with the same theology.
There is nothing as uncommunicatable as a personal concept of God or Love or anything important.
Since we all have our own meanings for words (symbols) the more of them we use to explain a meaning the less likely that meaning is to cross the divide. Catcha 22.
Posted by: Jay Saul at April 13, 2006 2:35 PM