From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

I think this may have the definition of henotheism wrong (either way it's not the best point in the article to make the comparison) as a very quick read up suggest henotheism basically means other people worship "real" gods, but none of them have a big a dick as My God when it comes to the suck - while monolatrism by comparison says that My God is the only one with a dick that can actually be sucked. If you get the appalling metaphor. The two are more closely related than this is currently implying. Scarlet A.pngtheist 06:29, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

judaism was once monolatric[edit]

I know that if I make such an edit it will get reverted, but I think it'd be better form as well as more accurate if that particular example would say "some archaeologists, anthropologists, and cynical historians and theologians believe" with some citations. That's just the sort of statement that needlessly infuriates people and isn't necessarily true anyways. Proto-Judaism is not like the laws of motion. We can't make assertions as though they are irrefutable fact.--User:Brxbrx/sig 21:21, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Read up. The unbusinesslikeman of business 22:42, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I would add, that in my opinion, for much of its history (pre-Exile), Judaism was not just monolatrist, it was downright polytheistic. If you take the Bible at face value, it reports many Israelites (from the common people all the way up to many Kings) practicing polytheism ("idolatry"), all the way from the days of Moses up to the Exile. At times, the monotheists were reduced to a small "remnant", i.e. a small minority. The Bible always presents this as being "foreign" influence, but given how long those practices existed among the Israelites, they had become thoroughly nativised (if they were ever foreign to begin with). And, the whole insistence on polytheism as foreign, ignores the cultural and linguistic closeness of the Israelites to other surrounding people - to the extent that, I think it would be fair to say, that while for a certain party of Jews (those who wrote the Bible), to be Israelite was to be a people set apart by God, I think for many to be Israelite was basically a question of political allegiance or subjection, because there was not a great difference between the Israelites and (say) the Canaanites or Phonecians. I think the available archaeological evidence supports this view. In the end, the monotheist party went from being a minority to the majority, I think I would date that primarily to the exile, although Ezra's opposition to those who had intermarried with pagans (and thus were probably more sympathetic to pagan religious practices than Ezra was), and those Jews who opposed the Maccabean revolt, shows some post-exilic Jews had continued sympathy with polytheism. (((Zack Martin))) 09:16, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying it isn't true. I'm saying it's a dick move to present it as a cynical fact. "Evidence shows" would be a good preface.--User:Brxbrx/sig 09:49, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
WP has many cites for the same point - WP:Monolatrism#In_ancient_Israel. I don't know if there would be much sense in repeating all that info here. (((Zack Martin))) 10:27, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
But it seems clear to me that these gods weren't perceived as equals to Yahweh, and were even mortal. Were they gods, then, or were they "gods" in the same fashion a missionary might refer to pagan deities?--User:Brxbrx/sig 19:44, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Why is that so clear? Do you think the Israelite polytheist would have singled out "Yahweh" as special when he worshiped Asherah and Baal and others alongside Yahweh? Or treated all of them as equals? Certainly, the monotheist party (who edited the Jewish scriptures into their current form) treated Yahweh as special and different from the other deities, but that does not mean all Israelites did. The Bible itself records that many Israelites, even kings, worshipped pagan deities; it seems unlikely those who did this considered these pagan deities unequal to Yahweh, since if they actually believed Yahweh was superior, would they not have worshipped Yahweh alone? (((Zack Martin))) 19:51, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Tell them this: "These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens."

—Jeremiah 10:11

--User:Brxbrx/sig 19:57, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

But you ignore that Jeremiah does not represent all Israelites. He was opposed to idolatry; others practiced it. We can't quote Jeremiah as representing the beliefs of all Israelites, when the text itself was written to attack those Israelites who had a different opinion. Look at Jeremiah 7, Jeremiah 44, where many Israelites worshipped the "Queen of Heaven", and this is condemned by Yahweh in Jeremiah's prophecy. What did those Israelites think of the relationship between Yahweh and the "Queen of Heaven"? Very likely, quite different things from what Jeremiah, and those who followed his view, did. (((Zack Martin))) 20:08, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
In that case, I think you must admit that that particular bit, presenting Judaism as a monolatric religion, is not indicative of Judaism as a whole and that it is dishonest to present it as such (not to mention that it would make some Jews and Christians rage if they came upon it).--User:Brxbrx/sig 20:29, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
The article says: Judaism was originally a monolatry. It does not say that Judaism today is monolatric, it says that it once was. Judaism is not a historical constant, it has evolved over millennia. Today's version is strongly monotheistic. In older times, it was more of a mix of monotheistic and polytheistic tendencies. As to inspiring rage in some Jews or Christians, hey, if the truth enrages some people, why should we care? (((Zack Martin))) 20:44, 25 July 2011 (UTC)