Re: virus: Religious Spectrum

Eric Boyd (
Tue, 04 Jun 1996 00:15:36 -0500 wrote:
> "Christianity" has only existed for just under 2 thousand years, but
> monotheistic believe has existed for just slightly more (about 5 thousand).
> But polytheistic believes and belief in a "Mother Goddess" had existed
> from 25,000 b.c.e. By exluding this from your possiblities of memes,
> aren't you limiting your total experience by the most 'recent' of
> theological ideologies?!

I didn't exclude them on purpose. You are right though that I did. I
can't see how I can tie this into a political analogy: multiple
governments? Hell on Earth! Can you imagine?

Good thing I'm not limited to the political analogy. I've always liked
polytheistic beliefs... read all of the Greek myths with great
enjoyment. Seems to me to be a great way to make the world a lot more
interesting. There is a god hiding behind every object. All the
powerful forces of nature are ruled by gods. And best of all, the gods
wonder around down here on Earth reeking havoc everywhere they go! I
like Eris, too. Greek goddess of Choas and Discord. And I love the
legend of Pandora... anyway, I'm ranting.

Mabye the solution to the faulty analogy is that I'm assuming it has to
be one dimensional... hot damn, this look good! Think about it. On the
vertical axis we have the number of gods (on some kind of logarithmic
scale, jumping to infinity at the last step). From left to right we
have the "fundamentalist" rating, basically an equivalent of the
political spectrum from "individualism" to "God watches/judges/commands
your every move".

At the bottom of the "spectrum" [1] is atheism, with no gods. Certain
atheists will be very independant, finding answers for themselves by
shear amount of thought. Others (more to the right) will read the Bible
and other religious texts, will study Zen and think on their own as
well. Moving up we have monotheism. Mostly dominated by Christianity
and it's predicessors. From left to right again. John's position to a
"fundamentalist". Then, above, we have all of the various multigod
"myths" (are any of them actually used as a religion anywhere any
more?). Depending on how much power is attributed to these gods, the
position left (less) to right (more) is established. And finally, at
the top, we have pantheism, which maintains that all of, well,
everything is god. The duality between right and left is there meaning
less because (duh!) god contains the duality. And so it's sort of more
like a triangle. As "god" comes to encompass more and more the 2nd
dimension must grow smaller and smaller...

Umm... still one problem... where does an agnostic fit? Damn that
position... it's so /different/ that I've never been able to fit it in!

> Just a thought!

Mine was bigger! hehehe

Now to throw level 3 into the fray: A level 3 mind should be capable of
understanding that really there is no particular reason why any of these
positions on religion and god are true-er than any other. And since the
idea of level 3 is to use things without being infected by them, I'd say
that a key understanding in and "belief" (to anyone who asks) is
possible in /all/ of them. Each has it's own advantages and pitfalls,
and one can just switch back and forth between them as appropiate.

This of course fits right in with John's talk about Post-Structuralism.
It is important to understand that any concept of the universe ultimatly
rests on the assumption that we can know /anything/ about the universe.
I know longer beleive this is the case. [2] Each one of the above
positions is just one possible view of how it works, and all of them are
valid precisly because /none/ of them are valid. heh

And so I'm a pantheistic polytheistic Christian atheist.

(I'm tempted to remove that captial off Christian... anyone object?)


[1] We need a new word here. "Spectrum" is inherently one-dimensional,
right? How about the panreligious plot? Other suggestions?

[2] Of course, this is contradictory. Oh well. Here's a related
quotation from the Bible, which I will drag across the path like a Red
Herring to steer (hmmm, a cow?) you away...

"For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same; as
one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has
no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. All go to one place,
all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again."
Ecclesiastes 3:19-20

"All is vanity." (words to live by) Nothing we do here means anything,
becuase life is meaningless and the universe is without structure. Only
level 3 can save us.

Thank you, sir, for bringing me to this... I'm much happier with this
version of the religious spectrum than the other.