Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Imagination And Intellect

Poul Anderson and SM Stirling describe societies where polytheism versus monotheism is still an issue. I appreciate not only Greek and Norse myths but also pagan rituals. Thus, polytheism appeals to my imagination although not also to my intellect. Thunder storms are fully explicable without invoking Thor although that certainly sounds like him moving above Lancaster and I see no harm in acknowledging this.

Monotheism must be discussed philosophically, not empirically. What matters is the interactions. Does God heed or ignore prayers addressed to a god? Vile deeds done in the name of Aslan are really done in the name of Tash. Goods deeds done for Tash are really done for Aslan.

I like the Hindu approach: anything goes - gods exist or are aspects of God or are aspects of an impersonal reality. Everyone can be at home here - and our understanding can develop.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Truth to say, Scandinavian paganism is the only kind of paganism I have any respect for, not the "gods" themselves, but the elements of sound ethics that can be found in it. The Olympians? I dismiss them as "children" a la that Roman in THE GOLDEN SLAVE. And the same for all other pagan pantheons.

My view is that of GK Chesterton, as expressed in his THE EVERLASTING MAN. That is, after the rise of Christianity it was more and more impossible to take paganism seriously. I also remember how Chesterton had the most respect for Zoroastrianism, of all the other non Judaeo/Christian faiths. I can't help but think the "internal contradictions" of modern neo-paganism will cause it to fade away in about a century.

My view is that monotheism can be defended philosophically and logically, but polytheism cannot be so defended.