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I want to list all the Gods of Europeic contemporary civilization’s Pantheon.

We do not believe in Javeh anymore, we do not believe in Zeus, or Odin or any of those, but we do still have Gods. And we aren’t even monotheist…

But making this census is a delicate prospect. It is hard to say exactly “What is a God?” so i am progressing with caution.

My basic criteria for identifying Gods are still sketchy, but it can go as follows:

  • Gods are anthropomorphized entities, they have opinions, they act, they determine the development of history, they have whims and desires
  • Gods must be part of an ontological explanation of the world, that is, their action must be considered evident in itself
  • Gods must have authority over the whole of reality, or at least be seen as controlling the main parts of reality — there are some Gods of specificities but let’s call them Minor Gods

My first research attempts have pinpointed just three Gods, but i am certain there is more. There are some other Demigods who would be obviously sons of those major entities, but for now i will not focus on them. So, my present compilation includes:

Market
Who makes everyone sell himself, who makes everyone have it’s price.
Love
Who is stronger than any force.
Science
Who deigns what is real and what is superstition.

And i’d like to present another list, reordered and reformatted, that has been contributed by reader Kip Hulse in the comments bellow:

Information
Don’t have a name for her (or him). In this Era, this is one of the single most important gods.
The Ghost in the Machine
Has many other names as well. God of electronic technology.
Justice
She’s an easy one. We even build statues of her.
Father Time
Here’s one that comes very close to the overarching archetype you suggested, actually. God of… well, time.
Mother Nature
Ditto with father time. Very Major goddess. Especially for the Environmentalists.
The Earth, or Gaea
NOT the same as Mother Nature, though often confused with her. The difference is that the Earth is the planet we live on. Mother Nature is life and other natural phenomenon.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Atheism. Oh, what, you don’t think Atheism is a god? The way many atheists act, if he isn’t yet he soon will be. And what better personification to use than the form atheists themselves have given him? ;)
Art
For that matter, art in general is a goddess (probably a goddess).
The Muses
The Muses I mentioned previously are alive and well and major stuff in modern times. In fact, there’s more of them now. One for every art or science.
Uncle Sam
Irrelevant to non-USA people of course. He’s what the Roman’s would term a ‘Genius’. That is, a spiritual manifestation of a group of people, community, or nation. Every nation has it’s own, and it represents the people as a whole, the Government, and so forth of that nation. Form of worship is patriotism (obviously).
The Grim Reaper
Death. There is some evidence that the old Grim Reaper has retired and been replaced by a female Grim Reaper.
The Sandman
Sleep and dreams.

3 Comments

  1. I’m an eclectic Polytheist/Animist with a strong modernistic perspective. It would take me all day to explain all that, so I wont bother. Suffice it to say that I have some knowledge regarding modern gods. However…

    I have just one little problem with your Census definitions: “Gods must have authority over the whole of reality, or at least be seen as controlling the main parts of reality — there are some Gods of specificities but let’s call them Minor Gods”
    This is an entirely Monotheistic perception. If your looking for an alternative version of the Hebrew god, that’s fine, but it sounds more like your looking for a more polytheistic list of gods. If that’s the case, than all gods would be gods of specifics. That’s how it was before Christianity.
    Take any ancient god; Aphrodite for example. She’s associated with human beauty, desire, lust, and so forth. Are these the whole of reality? Hardly. Main parts of reality? Not really. And yet she’s one of the Dodecathon (twelve main gods of ancient Greece). The king of the gods in the same pantheon is Zeus, god of the sky- a specific. Hades controls the whole of the underworld- if it’s under the dirt or comes from under the dirt it’s his. But he’s not part of the Dodecathon. Mnemosyne, the mother of the Muses, is memory personified BUT is only a nymph. As important as what she’s goddess of she was nevertheless regarded as a minor goddess. In polytheistic theology, there are no gods that fit this criteria and some gods that would were ignored. Polytheism and the idea of a god that has power over all aspects of creation or even the major parts of it are contradictory.

    Amaterasu (very major goddess in Shinto) is the goddess of the sun. Don’t ask her about your computer. She can’t help you.

    So… all polytheistic gods would be minor gods by this criteria. Something that big is called ‘the universe’ and is too vast to bother with. Or you could just stick with ‘one god of everything’ like the Christians do.

    If you would like me to name some minor gods I know of, let me know. But I’m afraid none of them will fit your stipulations.

  2. Well, what i meant is just that people who do pray by those “entities” would have you believe that this thing is final explanation for everything. Like an economist will tell you that there is simply nothing that is not part of economy. No matter what kind of example you throw at him, he’ll either interpret it as a market-force, or point to it’s irrelevance. What i mean is that, once you accept it, it feels like reality itself.

    Exactly, i suppose, as a Dionysus priest during a trance would feel everything to be his god.

    By all means, i’d like to hear suggestions, the worst that can happen is i’ll disagree. But, then again, maybe we’re not on the same frequency, since there is a fair amount of scepticism in this post, a somewhat major grain of salt so to say. In ways, this was more meant to be an analysis of culture than anything else. Or maybe a remark of how self-entitled atheists actually ascribe godly properties to things without realizing.

  3. I do see what your driving at, but at the same time I think you didn’t quite follow me. A priest of Dionysus wouldn’t see Dionysus as the final explanation of everything in ancient Greece (well, except for the Pythagoreans, but they were a weird offshoot cult, not at all mainstream). A priest of Dionysus worshiped every other god in pantheon, made offerings to the appropriate alters on the appropriate days at other temples, and so forth. In fact, in many cases ‘priest of Dionysus’ was just his day job. Most priests in most ancient cultures weren’t even priests to specific deities. That’s a misconception. A priest of that sort is usually referred to as a “temple priest” by scholars. Your run of the mill, day to day priest wasn’t dedicated to a specific god, and while individual people (including every kind of priest) might have a favorite god, they worshiped all of them equally.

    Monotheists see an individual being as the final or most important explanation for everything. Polytheists don’t, or if they do almost never worship that being. The creator god of the Greek pantheon is Chaos, and the only place he’s mentioned is in their creation myth. That’s it. You wont find his temple in Athens, because he didn’t have one. I find it endlessly amusing that people have such a hard time with this distinction. “There is a god for everything in the universe. Give or take.” (from the Shinto themed Anime Kamichu).

    The best comparason that I can make is the way the Catholic Church deals with saints, minus Jehovah and Jesus.

    Enough of that for now. I did get the impression that their was a bit of skepticism in your viewpoint. I think I can help you because a central idea of my beliefs is that people worship gods whether they know their doing it or not. To understand the gods of modern times, one must understand the sorts of things that ARE gods and see what influences people. Here’s a few (I’m going to use the Anthropomorphic name for them when appropriate. It’s easier that way.)

    Uncle Sam: Irrelevant to non-USA people of course. He’s what the Roman’s would term a ‘Genius’. That is, a spiritual manifestation of a group of people, community, or nation. Every nation has it’s own, and it represents the people as a whole, the Government, and so forth of that nation. Form of worship is patriotism (obviously).

    The Ghost in the Machine: Has many other names as well. God of electronic technology

    Information: Don’t have a name for her (or him). In this Era, this is one of the single most important gods.

    Justice: She’s an easy one. We even build statues of her.

    Father Time: Here’s one that comes very close to the overarching archetype you suggested, actually. God of… well, time.

    Mother Nature: Ditto with father time. Very Major goddess. Especially for the Environmentalists.

    The Earth: Gaea, the Greeks called her. NOT the same as Mother Nature, though often confused with her. The difference is that the Earth is the planet we live on. Mother Nature is life and other natural phenomenon.

    The Muses: The Muses I mentioned previously are alive and well and major stuff in modern times. In fact, there’s more of them now. One for every art or science.

    Art: For that matter, art in general is a goddess (probably a goddess).

    The Grim Reaper: Death. There is some evidence that the old Grim Reaper has retired and been replaced by a female Grim Reaper.

    The Sandman: Sleep and dreams.

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster: Atheism. Oh, what, you don’t think Atheism is a god? The way many atheists act, if he isn’t yet he soon will be. And what better personification to use than the form atheists themselves have given him? ;)


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