Is it possible that less-than-angelic pagan deities existed in some form?

This was brought up in a thread back from 2011.

I’m not proposing that there is more than one God as we worship Him (this is obvious; it is the very base of monotheism, and so Christianity), but rather that these speculative beings were misunderstood as divine and as having authority.

Keep in mind that I write using “gods” in the lowercase “g” form, to designate something totally different from God. Surely, it is possible that demonic forces preyed upon the superstition in human culture, taking the form of evil deities? (This, too, is alluded to in the linked article).

Now, certainly they would not have a truly moral nature (look at the Greek gods), and not even any of the infinite attributes of our God, like omniscience, omnipotence, eternity, and so on.

And, though it may be a moot point, some traditions hold that when Christ died, the Greek polytheists had spread tales of the death of Pan.

Now, I cannot stress this enough: this hypothesis is certainly not to compromise God’s sovereignty, eternal attributes, monotheism, nor Scripture.

Is there anything alluding to this in either Scripture or perhaps Sacred Tradition? It’s obviously open for debate and such. Thanks!

I have always assumed that in the evolution of human spirituality we have gone through stages where spiritual entities and/or forces that really do exist have been called God.

The New Testament answers that question:

St Paul says in one of his Bible letters, “Do you not know that the false gods they worship, are fallen angels?”

I’ve always believed that most of the pagan “deities” were actually demons. The Israelites apparently thought that the “gods” of their neighbors had some power (they ran away in fear when the Ammonite king offered up a human sacrifice to the Ammonite “god”, Milcom).

Jeremiah tells us not to let them get in our hair through superstition.

Some pagan dieties could very possibly have been demons. I also think that some came out of limited understanding and revelation of the one God. I think every human being was created with a thirst for God, our souls are aware of some power beyond ourselves. But because God only revealed himself to his chosen people, everyone else is left to create their own.

Yes, and they can take many different forms too.

They are not ‘gods’ so to speak, (only ONE God), but many people falsely believe they are, I think mainly due to them having powers and abilities humans do not.

Just an odd side note, I met a guy 20+ years ago, a coworker, ex military officer, we got to talking about religion and what we believe, he believed in the old greek gods, like Zeus, Posiden, etc…At first I thought he was joking, but he was not, I cant recall if I asked him how he goes about worshiping them. He took this pretty serious, I was surprised to say the least, he is the only person I have ever met that had this belief, still not sure what to make of it.

To many people before the Jews He revealed something of Himself and we generally don’t have details e.g Cain, Enosh, Enoch, Noah.

Details were supposed to be offered to other peoples.

Due to a mixture of getting it wrong and disasters, there have always been people(s) who had it less right, with the risk of superstition, fear and cruelty, hence His repeated call for more people to spread it to others,

Any so-called " deities " have to have been either demons, or nonexistent. There can’t be more than one ultimate creator. The difference between Christianity and every other major religion is that no other religion has a historically verifiable person that existed and claimed to be the one true God, proving it by miracles.

No, but people could have had the sense of the true creator God, they all had souls too after all. But since he didn’t fully reveal himself to them they wouldn’t have full knowledge of him.

Not exactly, remember it is only humans who are labeling these entities ‘gods or deities’, and that is only because they seem to have more abilities/ powers than an average human, so of course, a person is going to assume they are something special. You are right only one God, and only one creator, but there are beings out there who are ‘above’ us, but not on the level of ‘gods’ either.

Another reason why some people call them gods is because we are not given any other information about them, so we really dont know what they are, or why they are created, but then again, we are not meant to understand everything about Gods creation, maybe in our lowly human minds, we are not able to comprehend what they are or their purpose here?

My guess is no

angles are non-corporeal beings, they are pure spirit but are not like God. I don’t see how you could have semi-corporeal beings. I don’t know which angels or demons were involved in old pagan myths but I don’t think there are any other purely spiritual beings than Angels and Demons (who are simply fallen angels.) I could be wrong though

When Plato first formulated his ideas of the universe, he pretty much laughed at the concept of Greek polytheism as childish fantasy. He was convinced through reason that there was one ‘demiurge’ – which is an artisan-like God.

Aristotle, who didn’t share the same philosophical ideas, didn’t move from Plato’s monotheistic idea either, though he made the concept of God less personal and more a necessity for the universe and human existence.

So yeah, dunno why he took the Greek polytheism thing seriously.

It is extremely difficult to interpret Plato given the breadth of his writings and how unsystematic he presents his views. Commentators and interpreters have accordingly differed greatly over the years: some think Plato’s Gods are really just metaphysical principles; others, that the Gods are celestial bodies. But, these more traditional approaches anachronistically read Plato through Aristotelian lenses (or through Aristotle as monotheists have interpreted him anyway), and neglect much of what Plato actually says about the Gods – rather than the myths that were told about them.

For a more historically accurate understanding of Plato’s theology, *Cf *

amazon.com/Ashgate-Studies-History-Philosophical-Theology/dp/0754607011/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463312127&sr=8-1&keywords=Plato%27s+Gods

Monotheist commentators and interpreters have done a lot of injustice to Aristotle’s Polytheism, and for a much needed antidote Cf.

amazon.com/dp/0791447286/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1SP65S4LVYJI8&coliid=I20DDZM49I3R4E

They’ve done the same thing to many other polytheist thinkers like Proclus. It’s been so ingrained into us that Polytheism is primitive and silly, that we tend overwhelmingly to be blissfully unaware of just how formidable and powerful the arguments have been from polytheist philosophers.

This guy had 4 kids too, so Im sure they were raised to believe these things.

While he may have been the only person I met like this, I would have to imagine, there are likely many others out there with the same belief, just dont hear about them.

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