Is polytheism illogical?

I agree that the Shiva of the Shaiva tradition and Yahweh could not coexist because their natures are contradictory and yet they are both described as being supreme. By definition, there can only be one supreme God, but why could there not be multiple gods that are subordinate to the supreme God? One definition of god is a supernatural, immortal being with superior powers. Angels and demons fit this definition. Even if they are not worthy of worship it does not follow that they don’t exist. I am certainly not proposing that polytheism is true, I’m just saying that if supernatural immortals exist why not call them gods?

15 Replies to “Is polytheism illogical?”

  1. If a person could be made immortal through technology would they then be considered Gods? I think you need some kind of super power beyond immortality to be considered a God.

    Of course, when I say immortality, I mean just living a much longer time than regular humans (maybe 1000 years)

  2. To some if you disappear without a trace then you might have left earth without dying and hence are immortal. If someone is healed after you touched them, then you have supernatural powers. You could become a god in the minds of others without ever actually being a god.

  3. The Bible says we are gods. We are subordinate to the one true God. We are “supernatural, immortal being[s] with superior powers.. not worthy of worship.”

  4. Polytheism is illogical, especially when you consider that “supreme” means “highest in rank or authority.” You can’t have two authorities, each one being the highest.

  5. So the Bible says we are gods, but there are false gods.

    Bobmo, how is it illogical if there is only one supreme God and plural subordinate gods?

  6. You could create a polytheistic universe that doesn’t require a supreme God, so I don’t understand why you say it’s illogical.

    Lots of things in the universe have a circular order rather than a hierarchical order.

  7. I’m sure Bobmo believes that if there a god that is not omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscent then it must have been created by a God that is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscent and this greater god would be the supreme god. Could two equally powerful gods both be omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscent? If they were then how would you distinguish the two? They might as well be one entity. If each were limited in some way, then there must be a god that is greater than them. If I’ve got my philosophy correct, I believe this is what they call a necessary being. Some philosophers believe there must be a first cause. This first cause is often called God.

    I personally don’t think there is necessarily a need for a first cause. Or at least I don’t think we can ever really know whether there was a first cause or if there is an infinite regression of causes. Maybe our idea of causation is wrong. Even if there is a first cause that you might call God, it doesn’t necessarily follow that he/it is the Judeo-Christian God or the God of any other religion. Maybe he’s not interventionist at all.

  8. Dedwarmo, your first paragraph is right on the money.

    As for your second paragraph……do you know that you can’t know? Or, do you just not know?

  9. Tell me if this is an inaccurate characterization of your argument.

    I am certain about the existence of God. You are uncertain about his existence. Therefore I am right and you are wrong.

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