“All Gods Are Essentially The Same”

Friends 2

A very common assertion that can be heard from some of the more moderate and accommodating believers is the ecumenical claim that all deities are essentially the same. The usual “explanation” for this is that the different names that different people’s gave these various deities only reflect cultural differences, not the existence of different deities. In fact, this argument sometimes continues to say, Isn’t this even more proof of how ubiquitous religion is and how all peoples managed to reach essentially the same conclusion?

In order to start debunking this rather nonsensical claim, why not ask your counterpart if he/she believes that the Olympian and Norse gods, or the Hindu and Shinto deities, are just different interpretations of what your counterpart might call Yahweh and Jesus? Is it not true therefore that Yahweh and Allah are simply different cultural interpretations of Poseidon, Vishnu, Odin and Quetzalcoatl? Is it not the case that Christianity and Scientology are just different names for the same thing, and that Lord Xenu is another name for Jesus?

The irony here is that far from solving the problem of why there are so many deities, the ecumenical claim, only makes this problem worse by adding yet another claim to the mix. It might sound very subjective for a Christian to claim that only the Christian god exists and for a Hindu to claim that only the Hindu gods exist, but there is absolutely nothing less subjective about claiming that the Christian god and the Hindu gods, and all other gods, are the same god. Hats off to the good intentions that might be behind this claim, but since it suffers from the same lack of supporting reason and evidence that all the other claims suffer from, it only complicates rather than simplifies things.

The political arena actually provides us with many examples of this simple principle. In all cases where two traditional political parties are in opposition to each other, a new centrist party that combines many of the more moderate parts of the two parties doesn’t end up uniting everyone into one big party, it simply creates a third political party – no less subjective than the two traditional ones. The same exact principle applies in religion.

2 thoughts on ““All Gods Are Essentially The Same”

  1. Essentially, you are correct in asserting that there is not a good enough assumption to confer that all the major religions are not headed by the same God. Now the point I would like to make is, are all scientists still scientists even if one is studying chemistry while the other is studying physics? While their are many different branches of scientific evaluation that have many different types of benefits, but for the most part they are interdependent of each other. We can both also agree that science like religion does not have the answer to everything, because we as humans will never know. (At least not far a few million years or so.)
    Now, the problem I ran into was that how could a God send billions of people to hell just because they didn’t believe in the same God. Now granted some forms of religions are just kinda dumb, but I don’t think you would take any scientist seriously if he said he studied astrology either. Things rise and fall, but narrative stories that give an account on how they believe the world should be run will always remain. How are you to judge what proof someone uses to run their life is any better then the way you run your life? When subjective and objective truths are put side to side are they really that different from one another. “I observed that after I became a Christian I feel that I became a better person.” That is only from one persons understanding. so why would you try to take that feeling away only to push what you believe is right. Now everyone should be allowed to agree to disagree, but everyone should also have the right to chose what gives them the most peace of mind. To understand this is to understand that all religions, and science fit together in the same picture, to make our lives better. In this same light we see that conflict only arises when one side thinks they are better then everyone else, or when their obviously making things worse. That being said, my advice to you would be to teach us how science can directly help us find peace within ourselves instead of always using the negative approach in trying to destroy all religious claims.

    1. First, your analogy between the different fields of science being somewhat like the different strands of religion falls down as soon as you give it a moment’s thought. For one thing, the different scientific fields don’t flatly contradict each other, for another, they all base claims on reason and evidence.
      “When subjective and objective truths are put side to side are they really that different from one another?”
      They most certainly ARE.
      As for your claim about my trying to take away people’s comfort and consolation, what gave you that idea? I am merely saying that subjective feelings aside, objective claims about the nature of the universe require objective evidence. You have the right to believe anything you want, but everyone else has a similar right to believe that you are not a logical person.

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