Thread: Born believer
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Nov14-09, 01:59 PM
P: 775
Quote Quote by marcus View Post
The idea of a creator god is not a genetic, inborn, part of human nature, IMHO. In some cultures the gods exist/existed IN nature and are or were to some extent subject to the conditions of physical existence.
The gods themselves had an origin, thus "Theogony" was an accepted myth in Greek paganism.

The idea of a Creator, particularly one with conscious intentions (which can serve to explain phenomena to children) is not hard-wired in the brain---I think rather that the Creator idea is a brilliantly creative cultural invention.

The Romans originally had practical gods to be invoked in various circumstances that the gods covered---war, planting, marriage, childbirth, burial etc. Or so I believe.
Yes and no. Some were more cosmic than others, particularly Zeus.

In northern European religion, the gods got into various scrapes with giants and stuff, but no personality or intelligence was responsible for creating the whole physical universe. As in Roman religion, the World was taken for granted. Please correct me if I am wrong.
Aside from uniquely northern European geographic features - realms of Fire and Ice - the Nordic gods were much like the Greco-Roman ones. Both had to contend with usurping Giants.

In traditional Chinese religions there can be spirits and things you are supposed to do to deal with them and ensure good fortune, but on the whole it's practical, as I understand. They did not think it was necessary to have a Creator. Nobody needed to be there to set things up and establish the natural laws.
Well that's where your summary comes unstuck. The early Chinese religion was monotheistic and China had a few revivals of ethical monotheism from time to time, even prior to Western contact.

In pragmatic polytheisms, I gather that supernatural agencies and beings exist, one can reverence them and sometimes obtain their aid. But it doesn't seem necessary to have one who creates existence. Existence simply exists, and is how it is.
Most polytheisms have a Creator Spirit - the Egyptian pantheon for example was seen as aspects of the one underlying Spirit. So monotheism isn't odd, just usually de-emphasised in polytheisms.

I think the report of Justin Barrett's work gives people the impression that creatorial monotheism is part of inborn human nature.
Somehow genetically hard-wired. Surely that can't be right. He must be saying something else, something a bit more sophisticated with more logical qualification.
Creator Sky-Gods appear through a multitude of human societies. I think they're a "strange attractor" in systems of explanation that rely on analogies to human agency. Hard-wired? Not so sure.