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Old 05-10-2019, 09:45 AM
Johnny Ecks is offline
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How powerful must a entity be to be worshipped


The “How could God prove himself to atheists “ thread is attacking the problem from the wrong angle. The question should be, is there a theoretical entity that, if it existed, would deserve worship, and if so, what would the characteristics of such an entity be? Modern Christianity posits a omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and all-loving deity that created the universe. I will concede that if such a being exists (logically impossible as it may be) it would deserve worship. (But it probably wouldn’t want it)
Would any lesser deity be sufficient? Would a being that is almost all powerful be worthy? What about a being that is omnipotent and omniscient, but did not create the universe? How about Superman?
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:59 AM
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Define worship for me and then we can discuss.

OED says it is 'To honor and revere' where revere means 'to feel deep respect and admiration for.'

So I would say that in order to deserve to be honored and respected and admired, it would not be a particularly high bar to clear. Of course, that's a pretty basic definition of 'worship.'
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:10 AM
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First, it would have to be a big enough dick to express that I would experience some negative consequences for not worshipping it (smiting, non-admittance to paradise...), and then it would have to persuade me that it had the power to impose those sanctions. So basically power and threats - which pretty much sums up most denominations' deities!
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by senoy View Post
Define worship for me and then we can discuss.

OED says it is 'To honor and revere' where revere means 'to feel deep respect and admiration for.'

So I would say that in order to deserve to be honored and respected and admired, it would not be a particularly high bar to clear. Of course, that's a pretty basic definition of 'worship.'
Right, and that bar would be on a different axis than "powerful." Power by itself isn't a reason to worship anything.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:16 AM
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I think a song puts it very well. It is God's children (us-humans) singing to God. The words are "You (God) are worthy of our worship and worthy of our Love". It springs from within, it's worshiping because you desire to. It comes from a seeking out and finding God and finding out who God really is, far more wonderful then one imagined. It is us choosing to do so because it is the right thing to do.

As for what is worship, the Hebrew words for work and worship are the same root word. One's work is a act of worship, IF they are doing what God made them to do. This type of work is not the 9-5 job, but working for God, his plan in one's life. It is living for God which is worship.

As such only such a entity which satisfies this would be worthy of worship, and that entity would be by circular reasoning, God.

Last edited by kanicbird; 05-10-2019 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Ecks View Post
The “How could God prove himself to atheists “ thread is attacking the problem from the wrong angle. The question should be, is there a theoretical entity that, if it existed, would deserve worship, and if so, what would the characteristics of such an entity be?
The characteristics don't matter, I won't worship anyone or anything as a god. I can't see how any entity deserves to be worshiped like that.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:33 AM
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For lots of people charismatic cult leaders are good enough to worship.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:35 AM
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Powerful enough to give you a world of hurt if you don't. LOL
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:11 AM
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I don't see why there should be such a high bar to worship. The only thing it takes to be worshipped is to provide something that is valued and difficult to obtain otherwise. In the past people have worshipped the sun (which provides light and warmth), animals (which provide food) and trees (which provide food and shelter). All of these are worthy of being honored and revered. It's a short step from there to worshipping the being that you believe created all of these things.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:35 PM
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I'm of the opinion that being powerful doesn't make you deserving of worship. Being powerful doesn't make you good, after all. So there's no level of power that could make one deserve worship.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:19 PM
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I'm of the opinion that being powerful doesn't make you deserving of worship. Being powerful doesn't make you good, after all. So there's no level of power that could make one deserve worship.
Yeah, this. i.e., it's still the wrong question.

Why don't we start with: What characteristics, if any, would make a (hypothetical) entity worthy of worship?


Me, I'm gonna go with "good". Can't just be good intentions, btw; it's got to be functional, actually effective good.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:20 PM
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Yeah, this. i.e., it's still the wrong question.

Why don't we start with: What characteristics, if any, would make a (hypothetical) entity worthy of worship?


Me, I'm gonna go with "good". Can't just be good intentions, btw; it's got to be functional, actually effective good.
My answer is "nothing" - there's nothing a god can do to make it worthy of worship.

...depending on your definitions of "worthy" and "worship".

I mean, if by "worship" you just mean a casual "thanks dude, for your help in fixing my shed", then to be "worthy" of that all you have to do is help fix a shed. But most of the time when people say "worship" they mean something way more extreme - something where you actually declare yourself to be an inferior person to the one you're worshipping. One could argue that what worshipping is is the act/belief that you are inferior to the other person and that they're inherently superior to you.

And there's nothing that any person or God could do that would make me rank somebody over myself like that.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:29 PM
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* nods *

So in your case all this extended attempt to describe to you a hypothetical god and see if you'd worship it is a waste of effort. It's not that they're picking the wrong characteristics or description, it's that there aren't any right ones.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:37 PM
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* nods *

So in your case all this extended attempt to describe to you a hypothetical god and see if you'd worship it is a waste of effort. It's not that they're picking the wrong characteristics or description, it's that there aren't any right ones.
Pretty much. You can define a god that's a nice dude, and I'll be pleased that he's a nice dude, and interact with him cordially. You can define a god that's really powerful but isn't really that helpful, and I'll shrug. You can define a god that's really powerful and is really helpful, and I'll be reasonably appreciative for the stuff she actually does but go home at the end of the day without devoting my thoughts to her. And you can define a really powerful evil god that demands worship, and I might indeed worship it, but I won't feel that it deserves worship; quite the opposite, really.

Honestly, when I hear that a god desires or demands worship, I consider that to reveal a flaw in their character. Like political office, the more they want it, the less they should get it.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:26 PM
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... what God made them to do ...
It's this right here that gets me disinterested. How does anyone know what they were "made [created] to do?" Class? Starts with F... Fa.... That's it, the kid in back, Faith.

So it appears your answer is that the entity that deserves to be worshiped is the one in which one has faith that it is an entity that deserves to be worshiped.

Props for conceding up front that this is circular reasoning. I try not to rag on religious types, but your post possesses no point of connection to the world I live in.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:43 PM
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The only god worthy of worship is one who doesn’t demand it. Doesn’t lay guilt trips. Doesn’t issue threats. Doesn’t beat you over the head about how great he is. Doesn’t have the ego needed to even enjoy being worshipped.

After all, this is the standard we judge humans.

Last edited by you with the face; 05-10-2019 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:10 AM
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This is a very interesting question, and might become more important as history progresses. Would an entity with the powers of Silver-age Superman deserve worship? I mean, he could do just about anything, especially once you consider his time-reversal powers that brought Lois Lane back to life in that film. Is an entity able to resurrect the dead a god? Why not?

How about a race of god-like aliens, with the power to create whole planets and supply an arbitrary amount of material wealth and comfort to the inhabitants of those worlds? Is Slartibartfast worthy of worship?

How about a vast intelligence that governs the Milky Way Galaxy, or the Laniakea Supercluster? Is the Kree Supreme Intelligence worthy of worship?

How about a god that rules the entire Hubble Volume, but nowhere beyond? And how about any gods that exist outside your past and future time cone, that have never interacted with you in the past and will never interact with you in the future. Are even these gods worthy of worship?
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Old 05-15-2019, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Ecks View Post
The “How could God prove himself to atheists “ thread is attacking the problem from the wrong angle. The question should be, is there a theoretical entity that, if it existed, would deserve worship, and if so, what would the characteristics of such an entity be?
As there is no evidence for any such entity, nor any necessity ever shown for such an entity then such a question may be diverting and amusing but it is ultimately pointless.

It is the exact equivalent of saying "is there a theoretical dragon that, if it existed would deserve tribute in the form of gold and how hot would his flame be?"
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:10 AM
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Among Christians (and other Yahwists) the line between reverence and fear is too narrow. Christians, especially American ones, use "God fearing" and "God loving" interchangeably. I often hear Christians claim that their feelings of reverence come from an internal place of love, but I've more often heard them threaten people like me with eternal torture if I don't pretend to share their feelings of reverence. They've said that if I don't pretend then God will send bad weather. If I don't allow one of them to force my child to pretend in a public school, then there will be more school shootings. I don't believe in deities, but I do believe that most Christians are pretending to feel reverence because they are afraid of the consequences if they don't.

And, remember this: If an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Creator-deity created the universe, then at the moment of creation he knew and was in fact creating me, here, now, as some one that does not believe in deities (omniscient or otherwise). And if your 3-O deity created me to be who I am, then who I am to question his plan?
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:26 AM
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There have been gods and goddesses who were "in charge of" pretty minor things. the threshold of divinity has, in some times and places, been pretty low.

Both Japan and ancient Rome had "toilet gods" -- Stercutius*, the God of Dung, and Cloacina, the Goddess of the Sewers. Of course, if your toilet's backed up, that might not seem like a particularly powerless deity.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet_god


Stercutius also featured prominently in the very first Beavis and Butthead cartoon. Uncharacteristically, they knew the name of the God of Dung.
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:30 AM
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Or consider these:

Cardea, the goddess of door hinges



Janus was the God of Doorways


https://listverse.com/2017/02/09/10-...lass-left-out/
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:35 AM
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"Annoia" was Pratchett's goddess of things getting stuck in drawers I seem to recall. Plenty of evidence for her I reckon.
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