a creator god vs a moral god

Discussions toward a better understanding of LDS doctrine, history, and culture. Discussion of Christianity, religion, and faith in general is welcome.
Post Reply
Posts: 242
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 1:28 pm
Location: SLC

a creator god vs a moral god

Post by dogbite » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:46 pm

I was reading a Jewish commentary on quora yesterday. Among the many things he covered:

Abraham as another polytheist or the first monotheist. He felt Abraham's claims of the most high god requires comparison to other gods in order to be most high. Though generally Abraham is argued as the first monotheist. Which is to imply that the earlier prophets are either polytheists or legendary and not real if you read between the lines of that statement.

He also asserted that a Creator god is a pagan deity-a god of power- as that is an attribute of pagan deities. Whereas you do not find moral judgment in those pagan deities. He sidesteps the origin of Judaic monotheism but rather credits Judaism as (eventually) being the first to have a god who acts and judges morally.

He also seems to have a rather literalist view of the historicity of the Torah.

Does including a creation story creditted to the god indicate paganism?

I'm not ready to jump all the way to that conclusion, but it strikes me as showing the evolving nature of religion, specifically Judaism, on it's path to moral monotheism.

https://www.quora.com/When-did-Judaism- ... notheistic

User avatar
Posts: 1022
Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Re: a creator god vs a moral god

Post by alas » Sat Feb 09, 2019 12:53 pm

As long as Abraham’s god was distinguished from all other gods by calling him “the god of Abraham” it implies that other gods existed. Once God was just God, with no qualifying or identification as to which god, then you have the possibility of monotheism. But using any phrase to identify which god you are talking about indicates that there is more than one.

And the creation story itself says “the gods” created the world. It uses a plural.

The second creation story, the one with Adam and Eve also has more than one god because in the earliest versions, before translation and editing and editing, there were two powerful beings in the story. One wanted to keep his creation as a pet, not as a being who was equal in any way to himself. He didn’t want mankind to have knowledge of good and evil and become “like the godS” knowing good from evil. Notice that man would become “like the godS” plural gods. The other powerful being was the serpent. Now, who has a serpent as her symbol and want mankind to have knowledge????? Perhaps not Satan but the goddess of wisdom. So the basics of the story is a conflict between the god who created mankind and the goddess of wisdom. The goddess wins when the woman wants knowledge and disobeys the creator god, so the creator God punishes women for disobeying and punishes man for listening to her and he casts them out because he wanted a pet, not a being equal to himself.

Have you ever noticed how people twist themselves in knots trying to make sense of the story and it doesn’t really follow any logic. Did Eve disobey and do a bad thing? Well, we would have no knowledge of good or evil if she hadn’t and we would be just like smart monkeys. Now, most Jews and Christians are glad we have moral reasoning and are more than just smart monkeys, so we have a hard time with this being a bad thing. The creator god comes out of this story looking kind of like a jerk. And the serpent seems like an accidental hero. This is confusing and unless you understand the pagan origins of the story, it is just kind of confusing. See, everything in the story is pagan. The fig leaves they used to cover their nakedness, pagan symbol. Tree of knowledge, tree of life, both pagan. So, if the story story is monotheistic, why all the pagan symbols? Why does the story make better sense when considered as a conflict between two pagan gods than it does with a monotheistic God, with a less powerful “bad guy”? If the “bad guy” is less powerful, why didn’t God just keep him out of the garden? Is God stupid? No, Either God was not more powerful than “bad guy” or God wanted them to disobey and eat the fruit. If bad guy was equally as powerful, and God couldn’t keep him/her out of the garden, then bad guy was also a god. The story is just illogical from a monotheistic viewpoint. But as a story”borrowed” from a pagan tradition then it begins to make sense that the Jews just failed to get all the pagan roots out of the story, sort of like our modern Christmas that is adapted pagan holiday.

Posts: 841
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 3:01 pm

Re: a creator god vs a moral god

Post by Reuben » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:22 am

I hadn't understood the garden story that way before, alas, so thanks. It fits into my neat mental framework of the God of the Kitchen Sink.

I've thought for a while now that God often comes off as a narcissistic, obsessive, unstable, controlling a**hole because the descendants of polytheists tried to retain every aspect of the original gods. YHWH started as a warrior - the Lord "of hosts" (i.e. armies) - but over time took on the qualities of gods the Israelites had stopped believing in or learned about from their neighbors: mother, wisdom, father, justice, love, nature, etc.... even wickedness and sin, in the Torah.

So he orders genocide but loves all. He's all-merciful but will kill you if you steady the ark. He knows all but demands prayer. Conveniently, he'll be who you want him to be at any moment.
You were born to trust, not fear. It is your birthright.

User avatar
Posts: 2097
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 4:22 am

Re: a creator god vs a moral god

Post by moksha » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:11 am

dogbite wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:46 pm
Does including a creation story credited to the god indicate paganism?
Paganism is used in reference to a pantheon of Gods such as those of the Celestial Kingdom, Asgard, and Olympus. Creation stories can be found in both polytheistic religions, as well as monotheistic ones of the Abrahamic covenant such as Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Some have fanciful and complex stories and others are simple and lacking in detail. The most poetic one I have run across is found in the Finnish Kalevala.

... but it strikes me as showing the evolving nature of religion, specifically Judaism, on it's path to moral monotheism.
As Judaism is now, Unitarians they may become. ;)
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

User avatar
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:30 am
Location: QC, AZ

Re: a creator god vs a moral god

Post by slavereeno » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:29 pm

Still don't understand how Mormons are "monotheistic".

Elohim, Jehovah, The wholley spirit, Lucifer, 2/3 of the host of heaven that got cast down to earth as demons, all kinds of angels.

That's a lot of God's and demigods.

Just because they say one of these beings that have supernatural powers is more powerful than the others, doesn't make Mormons actual monotheists.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests