Now that this post’s title has gathered your attention, let me draw your attention to a rather excellent quote:
I’m a polyatheist – there are many gods I don’t believe in.
– Dan Fouts
There is a subtle logic here; most believers (of a theistic or deistic bent) believe in one God – usually one ‘true’ God who has much political clout when it comes to dicatating matter. But they therefore must exclude all other Gods mustn’t they? A Christian does not call their God ‘Allah’ while most Jews do not follow the Scientology God known as Theta (or something like that…it’s hard to comprehend most of what Scientology says anyway). Nobody actually believes in every single conceivable God. It’s logically and morally inconsistent to believe in the God of the old testament whilst supposing that – at the same time – Thetans exist inside us (to borrow the Scientology example again). Jews are not also Muslims, Catholics and those who follow the Bahai Faith. That would certainly render the entire purpose of religion in politics (that is, to divide people based on a set of irrational superstitions) completely and utterly useless for starters…never mind the theological side.
Monotheism thrives wholly on the principle of exclusivity even though you can blatently see that, for example, Jews and Muslims worship the same theistic tyrant (who has given false impetus for both people to engage in bloodshed). You’d be hard pressed to find a Muslim, Christian or Jew who’d freely admit their God is the same as another monotheistic religion. Intelligent believers do concede that the Koran, the Bible and the Torah have many traces and evolved from a common source…but they stop short of saying that, name notwithstanding, their God is the same as each others. For the atheist, this is plain to see. Since it’s obviously inconceivable that all three Gods exist as per their relative religious texts’ instructions side-by-side (thus forfeiting their own ‘all powerful’ identity), monotheism has more than enough to answer for…
Pantheism is more curious. Spinoza espoused his own version of this and touched on the idea that perhaps pantheism is a precursor for atheism. Dawkins takes this one step further and I quote:
“Deism is watered down theism. Pantheism is sexed up atheism”
– Richard Dawkins
It would appear that if we were to truly follow pantheism, the whole concept of a powerful being is void. You might as well, Dawkin argues, call the theory of gravity the ‘God of Gravity’ and Einstein’s relativity theory the ‘God of relativity’. We have effectively supplanted the word ‘God’ with various undisputed observations about the natural world. Scientists may have already found something that links every known bit of scientific truth together. We could call this ‘one rule for all’ as some sort of God – but this might be too ironic, since a scientific explanation does not postulate what we expect to see – rather it explains it. A belief in God explains nothing.