Can a god believe in God?


#1

This may be the weirdest question ever asked here, but it's actually quite a serious one - by which, of course, I mean that It's not an idle speculation. I've had an idea for a novel and I wondered if it was in keeping with Catholic doctrine. The idea is that the ancient Celtic gods really did exist, and continue to exist to this day, but now live amongst the general population, suitably disguised. So far, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My twist is this: the likes of Richard Dawkins has said, in that rather undergraduate, "aha, gotcha!" way that the New Atheists specialize in that he doesn't believe in one more god than Christians don't believe in. He argues that if we find Thor and Odin impossible to believe in, then why do we continue to believe in a Supreme Creator? The standard answer is that Thor and Odin, if they were to exist, would be merely created beings, like any other, existing in time and space, just as we do. Essentially they would be just tremendously powerful living beings, but not "God". Now, suppose such a being really did exist, and accepted the existence of the Supreme Creator, and that he himself was merely a very powerful being. Assuming that he or she had no more communication with God than you or I, that they had no more certain knowledge of the existence of God that you or I have, could such a being partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? Could he be baptized? Could he receive Communion? Is there anything in scripture or the cathecism or moral theology which would prevent him using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good?

As I say, weird question, but I'm a weird guy.


#2

[quote="Mustard, post:1, topic:335772"]
This may be the weirdest question ever asked here, but it's actually quite a serious one - by which, of course, I mean that It's not an idle speculation. I've had an idea for a novel and I wondered if it was in keeping with Catholic doctrine. The idea is that the ancient Celtic gods really did exist, and continue to exist to this day, but now live amongst the general population, suitably disguised. So far, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My twist is this: the likes of Richard Dawkins has said, in that rather undergraduate, "aha, gotcha!" way that the New Atheists specialize in that he doesn't believe in one more god than Christians don't believe in. He argues that if we find Thor and Odin impossible to believe in, then why do we continue to believe in a Supreme Creator? The standard answer is that Thor and Odin, if they were to exist, would be merely created beings, like any other, existing in time and space, just as we do. Essentially they would be just tremendously powerful living beings, but not "God". Now, suppose such a being really did exist, and accepted the existence of the Supreme Creator, and that he himself was merely a very powerful being. Assuming that he or she had no more communication with God than you or I, that they had no more certain knowledge of the existence of God that you or I have, could such a being partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? Could he be baptized? Could he receive Communion? Is there anything in scripture or the cathecism or moral theology which would prevent him using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good?

As I say, weird question, but I'm a weird guy.

[/quote]

If Thor, Odin, Ra, Enki, Enlil, Marduk...etc were considered gods, they also were created by another God. In ancient times, the gods were always created by another god(s). What makes the Abrahamic religions different is that our God was not created by another but Is who He Is.

The Cargo cults are a wonderful example.


#3

SPOILER ALERT You just gave most of your book away! :smiley: Hehe, just kidding.

I guess there a little gods that men make, but they are not God- the Creator. The gods I am talking about are basically anything that is not Jesus- like idols. You know, humans can also be like ‘little gods’ if they idolize themselves. So yes “gods” (referring to humans idolizing themselves) can believe in God-the Creator, in a sense.

Nice book idea. :thumbsup: :slight_smile:


#4

For fun…Look at Sitchin’s theory…the Ancient Sumerian gods came from another planet, created humans to mine for gold. Enki, the god that created mankind, upset his brother Enlil because Enlil believed only the Creator can create. Therefore, even the gods of ancient Sumer ( Sitchin’s theory) believed in a “God” above them. Hence, gods believing in a God. :smiley:


#5

A god is a symbol of authority, whereas God is the source of all rightful authority by virtue of having created everything.

Believing in something is putting trust in it, and agreeing, consenting to its authority. People who trust in gods are agreeing with what those gods represent.


#6

As there is only one God and there have never been any other gods the question does not make sense.


#7

[quote="Mustard, post:1, topic:335772"]
This may be the weirdest question ever asked here, but it's actually quite a serious one - by which, of course, I mean that It's not an idle speculation. I've had an idea for a novel and I wondered if it was in keeping with Catholic doctrine. The idea is that the ancient Celtic gods really did exist, and continue to exist to this day, but now live amongst the general population, suitably disguised. So far, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My twist is this: the likes of Richard Dawkins has said, in that rather undergraduate, "aha, gotcha!" way that the New Atheists specialize in that he doesn't believe in one more god than Christians don't believe in. He argues that if we find Thor and Odin impossible to believe in, then why do we continue to believe in a Supreme Creator? The standard answer is that Thor and Odin, if they were to exist, would be merely created beings, like any other, existing in time and space, just as we do. Essentially they would be just tremendously powerful living beings, but not "God". Now, suppose such a being really did exist, and accepted the existence of the Supreme Creator, and that he himself was merely a very powerful being. Assuming that he or she had no more communication with God than you or I, that they had no more certain knowledge of the existence of God that you or I have, could such a being partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? Could he be baptized? Could he receive Communion? Is there anything in scripture or the cathecism or moral theology which would prevent him using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good?

As I say, weird question, but I'm a weird guy.

[/quote]

Could such a god believe in God? Absolutely.
Is there anything which would prevent him from using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good? Absolutely not.
Could he partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? As far as I know, there is no official Church teaching on the subject, so we can only speculate. My guess is no. Christ came as a human to save humankind, and since this god is (presumably) not a descendant of Adam and Eve, I don't think he would be able to enjoy the benefits of Christ's sacrifice.


#8

Sounds good to me. If these little gods exist they are indeed creatures: either angels, demons, unusual men, or some other kind of creature we do not know about from divine revelation.

Regarding whether they can receive the sacraments, I would think that would depend on whether these gods are ultimately human beings. Fantasies in which the Norse gods are really human beings are quite possible, and indeed are about as old as written Norse mythology. I don’t know about Celtic gods. If they are not human I don’t think the sacraments are for them, and if they do not have physical bodies most of the sacraments would be impossible to administer.

In a story I am writing the non-human creatures have either a repugnance for Christian things or are friendly towards them, but as they are not human even the friendly ones don’t receive the sacraments. The sacraments after all have to do with the Incarnation.


#9

[quote="thistle, post:6, topic:335772"]
As there is only one God and there have never been any other gods the question does not make sense.

[/quote]

Surely angels, demons, and men can be called gods in different and limited senses, so all the more could we imagine creatures in fantasy literature and call them gods.


#10

[quote="Mustard, post:1, topic:335772"]
This may be the weirdest question ever asked here, but it's actually quite a serious one - by which, of course, I mean that It's not an idle speculation. I've had an idea for a novel and I wondered if it was in keeping with Catholic doctrine. The idea is that the ancient Celtic gods really did exist, and continue to exist to this day, but now live amongst the general population, suitably disguised. So far, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My twist is this: the likes of Richard Dawkins has said, in that rather undergraduate, "aha, gotcha!" way that the New Atheists specialize in that he doesn't believe in one more god than Christians don't believe in. He argues that if we find Thor and Odin impossible to believe in, then why do we continue to believe in a Supreme Creator? The standard answer is that Thor and Odin, if they were to exist, would be merely created beings, like any other, existing in time and space, just as we do. Essentially they would be just tremendously powerful living beings, but not "God". Now, suppose such a being really did exist, and accepted the existence of the Supreme Creator, and that he himself was merely a very powerful being. Assuming that he or she had no more communication with God than you or I, that they had no more certain knowledge of the existence of God that you or I have, could such a being partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? Could he be baptized? Could he receive Communion? Is there anything in scripture or the cathecism or moral theology which would prevent him using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good?

As I say, weird question, but I'm a weird guy.

[/quote]

Certainly the Angels had to choose between satan & GOD. Any created being, has a relationship with their creator. They have a purpose for existing. That being is restless, and out of sinc with it own nature until it enters into union with it's creator, and begins to live the life it was created for!

If this being appeared human it would certainly be able to experience God through the Catholic Church, her Sacraments, and her Bible. These are the ways Jesus chose to reveal Himself to the world, and Heavenly beings. God draws all of his Creation to himself in love.

Ephesians 3:10 basicly says that the "principalities and authorities in Heaven" will learn about God & His plans, His "Manifold Wisdm" through the living Catholic Church. THAT'S PRETTY AWESOME!


#11

[quote="thistle, post:6, topic:335772"]
As there is only one God and there have never been any other gods the question does not make sense.

[/quote]

Hey Thistle! I think the OP is being hypothetical and does not really believe in "gods". He's just looking for good book ideas. :)


#12

[quote="Mustard, post:1, topic:335772"]
This may be the weirdest question ever asked here, but it's actually quite a serious one - by which, of course, I mean that It's not an idle speculation. I've had an idea for a novel and I wondered if it was in keeping with Catholic doctrine. The idea is that the ancient Celtic gods really did exist, and continue to exist to this day, but now live amongst the general population, suitably disguised. So far, so Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My twist is this: the likes of Richard Dawkins has said, in that rather undergraduate, "aha, gotcha!" way that the New Atheists specialize in that he doesn't believe in one more god than Christians don't believe in. He argues that if we find Thor and Odin impossible to believe in, then why do we continue to believe in a Supreme Creator? The standard answer is that Thor and Odin, if they were to exist, would be merely created beings, like any other, existing in time and space, just as we do. Essentially they would be just tremendously powerful living beings, but not "God". Now, suppose such a being really did exist, and accepted the existence of the Supreme Creator, and that he himself was merely a very powerful being. Assuming that he or she had no more communication with God than you or I, that they had no more certain knowledge of the existence of God that you or I have, could such a being partake of the sacraments of the Catholic Church? Could he be baptized? Could he receive Communion? Is there anything in scripture or the cathecism or moral theology which would prevent him using his powers in the service of the Church or the general good?

As I say, weird question, but I'm a weird guy.

[/quote]

I suspect such a being could be baptized, if he were subject to original sin (or something similar) in the first place. I would think that Christ's sacrifice would work for all those who are fallen, whether this extends beyond humanity or not.

The question seems nearly equivalent to the question of baptizing aliens (non human, but intelligent, fallen, and possessing a will) - and interestingly a Vatican astronomer implied (though perhaps not in the most serious way ever) that he would be willing to baptize an alien should it ask. Which of course isn't definitive, but seems to suggest that it's considered not outside the realm of plausibility by people who idly wonder about these things: theguardian.com/science/2010/sep/17/pope-astronomer-baptise-aliens


#13

No, I don't believe in "gods", but the idea occured to me as a reaction against the New Atheists. The salient characteristics of these people seems to be a kind of supreme hubris, an idea that there couldn't possibly be anything greater than themselves. In this respect, they are (in the darkest sense) "godlike". What better refutation than an actual - albeit fictional - god who, recognizing his own limits, begins a centuries long quest for God. He would have to turn his back on his pantheon, as Catholics have to turn their backs to the world, suffer the abuse of his fellows (just like us) and he would have no certainty, but only faith, that there actually is a Supreme Creator (again, just like us).

If such a being were to exist, he would, indeed, stand in the same relationship to God as any putative alien life form which has sentience and intelligence. The Church has no position on whether or not aliens exist, much less that they have souls to save, but if one should suddenly turn up at the door of the Vatican, would he be turned away? I doubt it.


#14

i like your idea:thumbsup:

also demigods?

God bless


#15

No. Angels, demons and men are not and never have been gods.


#16

“[Men] were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons, and yet they, becoming like Adam and Eve, work out death for themselves; let the interpretation of the Psalm be held just as you wish, yet thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming “gods,” and of having power to become sons of the Highest.” -St. Justin Martyr

“[H]is is beauty, the true beauty, for it is God; and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, “Men are gods, and gods are men.” For the Word Himself is the manifest mystery: God in man, and man God” -Clement of Alexandria

“If we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.” -St. Augustine of Hippo

"The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods. -St. Thomas Aquinas; Catechism of the Catholic Church

And in another sense:

“1 A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? [Selah] 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6 I say, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, you shall die like men, and fall like any prince.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for to thee belong all the nations!” -Psalm 82


#17

[quote="thistle, post:15, topic:335772"]
No. Angels, demons and men are not and never have been gods.

[/quote]

It's a premise of a fantasy work. Re-read post #1.


#18

This discussion might be of help to you:
universetoday.com/14262/vatican-astronomer-says-its-ok-to-believe-in-et/

Could there be advanced creatures that might be taken for gods by human beings? Yes. There is no reason to limit God's creation to this planet. We know the angels surpass us in many respects, and other creatures could, as well. Surely if someone worked miracles like the Apostles did, they could be taken for "gods" in the pagan sense, whether they asked for that kind of worship or not. I would think it reasonable, too, that any extraordinary human being elected to the "Hall of Fame" in an oral tradition might grow into a sort of a god over the centuries, if the conditions were right....think Buffalo Bill and Paul Bunyan and so on.

Could they be baptized and partake of the Sacraments? Well, if they and their race never fell out of friendship with God, they would have no more need of baptism than an angel. If they and their race were like the fallen angels, that is, by their nature capable of eternal decisions and immune to repentance, then their decision to defect from grace would be permanent, and they also would not be baptized. But if the creatures were related to the race of Adam, then surely they would also be eligible for baptism and a return to grace by that route. If they were unrelated to Adam, then surely God's mercy would find a way to invite them back into friendship. That, my friend, is something that I think is almost beyond imagination!

C.S. Lewis wrote a space trilogy that explored many of these ideas. They're not exactly among the gold standards of science fiction, but they might interest you, all the same. He had a wonderful imagination! (Not exactly Catholic all of the time, but interesting!)


#19

I know which is why its a waste of time asking such a question in these forums. Also some posters seem to be suggesting there are gods other than the one God.

God is one and was, is and ever shall be. It does not matter what twist anyone puts on it there is only one God. Suggesting (not you) that angels, demons, men, might be construed as gods in my opinion is blasphemy. There is only ONE god.


#20

I wonder if Superman goes to church?

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