How To Define A Deity?

Some people distinguish between the belief in a deity and other weird and irrational beliefs and as a consequence, they define atheism as restricted to the absence of the belief in a deity.   Logically atheism can only defined by frist defining the meaning of 'deity'.  

There are countless beliefs in for example a mother earth, a monkey god, a holy ghost, a nirwana, a cosmic power, reincarnation, the sun, a plumed serpent.   

To me personally, classifying weird beliefs by what are deities and what not makes no sense.   If a patient is insane and the symptom is a delusion, it makes no difference, if he believes to be a chicken, or to be napoleon or to have a chip inplanted in the brain by the CIA.   Insane is insane.   

Where do you draw a line between defining some entities as a deities and others not?       

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Replies to This Discussion

Then explain Eros or Hercules.

Seriously? Both should be obvious.

For Eros, it's in the name. He was the Greek god of love. He created love.

Hercules was not a god, but a son of Zeus, like Jesus is supposed to be the son of God. Demigods are not gods and should not be confused with gods.

You do know that Eros is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.  That kills your theory right there.

Actually, in the earliest version of his story, Eros was a Protogenos, or primordial god.

He became the son of Aphrodite in much later versions of his story, and he was the son of Aphrodite and the god of war, Ares, making Eros a god. Aphrodite, remember, was not initially the goddess of love, but the goddess of sex and sexual pleasure which, in the minds of the Greeks and Romans, was entirely separate from love, which did not exist until Eros.

Also, are you aware that Eros was and is also known as Cupid?

Also, are you aware that Eros was and is also known as Cupid?

 

Hercules was not a god, but a son of Zeus, like Jesus is supposed to be the son of God. Demigods are not gods and should not be confused with gods.

Why not?  People still worshiped them.

Doesn't make them gods.

All that is required to be a god is to be the creator of some aspect of existence, whether it be existence itself, or life, or love, or war, or evil, or good, etc.

Pandeists don't worship their concept of god, yet it's still a god. Worship is not actually essential to the definition of god... the personal gods simply like it a lot, because the humans that created them liked it a lot.

I just think you're going a little too far, trying to get into Creation.  The personification and anthropomorphism are far more indicative of a god.  Anything beyond that, and you're getting into so many sliding attributes, varying from culture to culture.

For example, what's the difference between worshiping a god and worshiping a 'spirit'.  You're effectively deifying the spirit, in that situation.  That fits my definition of theism.

I'm an anthropology student. I study cultures and, in my quest to understand the origins and perniciousness of ideological fanaticism, I have to study different religions.

The godheads of all religions are insanely different, but they all have one thing in common:

The act of creation.

This is the most important aspect of a god or goddess. The god or goddess is responsible for at least one aspect of existence, if not the entirety of existence.

This is the accepted view of gods from an anthropological perspective. It is the one thing all forms of the God Hypothesis have in common. Indeed, it is the very crux of the God Hypothesis.

Worship is not a required part of it, as many god ideas are not worshiped, and many beings that aren't gods (demigods, messiahs, etc) are worshiped. So you need to let go of the idea that worship is somehow required for a god definition. This is a pernicious little myth, but it is decidedly not true.

"Where do you draw a line between defining some entities as a deities and others not?"

I have not a clue. Deities might be emperors, kings, heroes, pharaohs, or anthropomorphized animals, nature, seasons, celestial objects, the elements of air, earth, water, and fire; goddesses, fecundity, any other name I can think of. I am not at all familiar with Asian, Indian, and Australian deities. 

From my understanding a deity is anything that an individual or a people can see, hear, smell, taste, feel with their skin, or feel with their emotions and some kind of meaning or instruction comes from the senses. What that meaning is comes from inside ones head ... or someone's head. A deity is a thought, idea, concept, a construct that has meaning. It may be visible to those who claim the deity and oblivious to others. I suppose it is possible to make a deity out of another person or thing, like infatuation, money, power, or position.

When a person relinquishes thought and reason and evidence to another person or thing, then it is a deity.  Too much of a stretch? Ya, I think so too.

This has been an issue I have always had a problem with. There is an Ill-definition of godhood. Christianity has one. Or three. Or 4 if you include the trixter/god of evil.  There is Mary mother of the deity who was taken in full body to heaven. Then the big angels..... Michael and Gabriel (and Lucifer?). Shit, there is a whole pantheon. They are no better than the Olympians. Saints instead of local deities. Angels who act on earth more than the deity. There is a demigod like Hercules or Perseus and a sky god like Zeus.

Seems to me that the idea of God/s has been twisted and distorted for the social/political reasons of those in power.

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