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100 ?’s for God: Can there be more than one God?

January 15, 2013

This is Question 13 from “100 Questions for God” series

When you can interact with Jews, Christians, Muslims, and followers of other God-driven religions, it’s hard to argue against there being the potential for more than one God[1]. If we travel back to when the Greeks, Romans or Egyptians were setting the pace, the idea there were multiple Gods was the norm.

Early tribal religious beliefs often referred to multiple Gods who had roles influencing the things important to that particular clan. In Grecian history we saw:

a)     Nike – God of victory
b)    Apollo – God of music, archery
c)     Hermes – God of travel

Now, in our modern age of enlightenment we’ve turned our back on such simple-mindedness and moved on to:

a)     Nike – God of sports shoes and advertising
b)    Apollo – God of moon walks and speed skating
c)     Hermes – God of clothing and accessories

The religious zeal many people show in their pursuit of wealth, fame and power might suggest these are the new “Gods” of our modern society. However, this fails to address the fundamental issue – assuming God is not purely a figment of our imagination[2], God’s form is already set – it’s up to us to divine[3] what it might be.

Obviously, our ancient ancestors started the exercise by attributing natural events like thunder to the wild partying of their drunken Gods. As our understanding of nature increased, the need for these attributions decreased and our forbears look relatively primitive and possibly a little silly for their understanding of God.

With the benefit of several thousand years of deep thought, research and ritual we now have just over fifty percent of the world’s population sold on a single God[4], another billion or so Hindus who might “sit on the fence” on the single or multiple God scenario, and a whole lot of other people who range in their belief from “No God” to who knows what.

About the only thing you can guarantee is that thousands of years from now we’ll probably look pretty silly too.

We can only do the best we can with what we’ve got, so how can we reach forward and grasp a better understanding of God? One of the reasons this book is written the way it is, is so we see:

a)     Only we as individuals can truly assess what our God looks like.
b)    As our understanding of the universe evolves, so will our understanding of God and our relationship.
c)     Moments yet to come will test rigidly defined interpretations of God.

Initial Opinion:

So, can there be more than one God? It appears our evolving relationships with God point to a single deity – there’s a whole lot more monotheists out there compared to three thousand years ago. Using the same logic, the volume of atheists, agnostics and apathy also seems to have grown in a meaningful manner. This suggests the battle might be over whether there is one God or none – we’ll see.

However, having come to this conclusion we should always remember “100 million smokers can’t be wrong” – numbers alone do not make an action or argument right. It does appear we’re moving to a better understanding of God, with one being the maximum number, but assuming this to be true doesn’t make it so.


[1] This is true even when you consider that Jews, Christians and Muslims appear to claim the same God but in different ways and with different supporting beliefs

[2] See the next question and the final question for more on this issue

[3] Pun intended

[4] Christians, Muslims and Jews making up around 54% of the world’s people (Source: www.adherents.com)

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