Christians and Muslims: Why do you deny Zeus?

| July 23, 2009 | 23 Replies

Those who have not seen the light and built a home temple to the ALMIGHTY GOD ZEUS will soon feel his wrath. Zeus is the one true God, the Protector who will watch over you but only if you cast aside all others and turn to Him in thankfulness and supplication.

Photo by Nam Tran on Flickr

Photo by Nam Tran on Flickr

Come to Him now because WHEN you get hit by one of his lightning bolts (and it WILL happen!) you WILL know the truth!

I’m being facetious of course.

I am an atheist but this is a challenge to believers of all kinds. Why DON’T you believe in Zeus or any of the thousands of other gods from the past? Please tell me the process by which you examined the faith of the ancient Greeks and decided to reject it.

If you can examine yourself and find the reasons why you feel that Zeus is not the god for you, or if you would even go so far as to say “He doesn’t exist” (Gasp! Please forgive them oh Wielder of Lighting Bolts!) then you have repeated some of the same process by which I turned my back on Catholicism and Christianity many years ago. You too are an atheist, as far as Zeus is concerned.

One of the greatest and most intellectual civilizations ever to be known accepted wholeheartedly the supremacy of Zeus. The innovations of the Greeks were immensely influential on language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and the arts. They inspired the Islamic Golden Age and the Western European Renaissance! By rejecting the God of the Greeks are you saying that you are smarter than they? Do you know something the Greeks didn’t know?

Just because the stories of Zeus (all glory and power to Him) are from an ancient past doesn’t mean they are any less true. In fact, Zeus was around BEFORE your Jesus and your Muhammed. Those guys are newbies compared to The Almighty Zeus! So, explain yourselves Christians and Muslims. Why not Zeus?

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Category: Humor, Religion, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Mike Pulcinella is a documentary filmmaker.

Comments (23)

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  1. Ben says:

    *crickets chirping*

    *tumbleweeds rolling gently across horizon*

  2. Why Ben? Why?

    Are you a believer? Why does my suggestion elicit such an insulting response from you? Is it that ludicrous to suggest that you tell us how you arrived at your conclusions or do some gods just become laughable after a while?

    By the way, atheism is growing. Americans claiming to have no religion are up from 8% in 1990 to 15% today. Now the non-religious outnumber every major religious denomination except Baptists (15.8%) and Catholics (25.7%). Interesting. Soon whatever you believe in will be just as archaic and laughable.

    *cheers and applause*

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    For lovers of lists, Wiki offers several entries that categorize lists that list various Gods in whom to disbelieve. Such as:

    List of deities

    List of people who have been considered deities

    Category:Self-declared messiahs

    Category:Founders of religions

    And About.com offers a List of Gods and Goddesses by Culture

    For the fast reader, here's a YouTube video listing a few thousand Gods: MEGA LIST OF GODS! Over 10,000 to choose from.

  4. Sorry Ben. I just realized that I TOTALLY misread the intent of your post! That's the hazards of communicating on the internet, I suppose.

    You are absolutely right, there will be little or no serious response to this from believers because it's nearly impossible to defend the choice of one god over thousands of others. I have posted this article in a few religion forums and gotten mostly jeers and indignant dismissal. They find it ludicrous when I suggest that they worship what they see to be as a "mythological" character!

    So my response still stands, not to Ben, but to any other believers who would dismiss this challenge as not worth the time.

  5. Tim Hogan says:

    If you followed the Greek panoply as illustrated in "The Clash of the Titans," Zeus and the others disappeared as Man felt he no longer needed to have the intercession of the gods. I've seen this theme throughout my readings wherein I sought inspiration.

    The latest is in "The Last Olympians" by Jack Riordan wherein the exploits of Percy Jackson, a dislexic, ADHD afflicted demigod (mortal born of the union of a god and human)are accounted. Riordan's books are my daughter's favorites since I turned her on to Greek mythology as a toddler.

  6. Gregory Bosch says:

    A very interesting question, one that I wish was posed to every Christian that I know. For, unfortunately they are indeed a quite witless lot, who think nothing beyond the constraints of their own convictions, which were taught to them by either their parents or their priests, or both.

    I will attempt to answer it based on my own beliefs. Zeus was quite a god. Indeed, he was the ruler of the gods in ancient Greece. I say was because, quite clearly, he is no longer. The ancient Greek pantheon has been, essentially, abolished by society and by the Greeks themselves. Cultural gods are a little different from the "God" I speak of. Zeus and his brothers and sisters were, essentially, creations by Greek poets and writers who wished to express profound views on human interaction through their writings. They chose to create these gods to give a "larger than life" feel to these stories and also to explain away the reasons as to why certain things in the world occur.

    This is the same in many other cultures. The Greeks were indeed quite intelligent. They were also wise and cultured and knew how to have a good time. However, we must not confuse the musings of ancient scribes with a more profound understanding of the divine. There really is no huge difference between the gods of the Greek pantheon and the God of the Bible aka Allah. The gods were given human qualities, they had human whims and were selfish and often cruel and brutal. Much like humans.

    God and Allah were given similar qualities. God, in the OLD TESTAMENT, was said to be jealous and spiteful and whimsical in many ways. That, however, is not the GOD I "believe" in.

    I choose to follow a more Eastern ideal of what "God" is. The Hindus believed in a pantheon of gods as well, however they believed that each and every god or Deva was a manifestation of the "One True God" or the God that is not knowable: Brahma. Since humans can never conceive of the True God (we having tiny animal brains), there were other gods who existed in the universe that were more, you could say, approachable…understandable…human?

    The concept is similar in the Christian religion. There is the One God (who exists in a trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, the concept of which will need an entire post in itself, I think) and then there are divine manifestations of God that humans could reach: the Angels. Angels are the messengers of God and people often pray to the angels to seek for guidance, to ask a favor of God, etc etc.

    Even these are archaic understandings of what, I think "God" really is. I choose to use a more Christian definition of God simply because that is what I grew up with (happens often, I feel no need to discard a great part of my upbringing). I think that, in essence, all the "Gods" are really only one God. Zeus = Allah = Brahma = God. See my reasoning? Perhaps not.

    What I mean to say is that essentially all of these manifestations are human creations and attempts to understand the divine, which is quite unknowable. So we give names to these gods and give them attributes to make them feel more human, closer, more connected. To make US feel less ALONE in the vast universe, to describe meaning to what is, essentially, meaningless??

    So, why not Zeus? Why not indeed? I think Zeus is really a little weak when compared to what God really is supposed to be. Zeus is a little too human? A little too ordinary? And quite outdated, to be blunt. The divine is far greater than the god Zeus. Though he once might have been a prominent and powerful deity to be reckoned with, he is not so much anymore.

  7. Danny says:

    Hi Mike,

    I'm a "believer," and I took your post as a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I'll bite.

    First, guilty on all accounts of not seriously considering Greek mythology as a religious belief system. Same with all the Eastern religions. To be fair, I know many atheists and agnostics who reject religions/belief systems before investigating, partly because who has the time? Also, I think there is a desire issue, if someone does not feel like investigating other beliefs or on the surface finds them distasteful, then by and large the investigative work is not done.

    By that aside, I don't feel like defending the whole of Christianity or the thousands who claim to follow it and give it a bad name, which is what many of the posts on this site are targeted toward. I abandoned my way of living and thinking when I encountered the real, loving, historical Jesus. Like many of the others recorded in the new testament, I WANTED to abandon my way of life after encountering him, I felt compelled to believe and obey because for the first time I was unconditionally loved and accepted, something that no other person has fully communicated to me on a deep level. This something I don't mind standing up for and sharing the news about. When I started to follow Jesus, I never felt like I had to check my brain out the door. The more I investigate the "facts" for and against Christianity, the more I'm persuaded that there is both adequate evidence against it for those who choose to reject it, and adequate evidence for it for those who choose to accept it (sorry if that sounds too easy, that is my experience).

    As a result I've abandoned much of the selfishness that's diseased me (not all of it) and have begun to love other people, from the smelly guy begging on the corner to my narcissistic mom (a narcissism that I too deal with).

    What has not happened as a result of Jesus is that I don't feel like I need to protest gay marriage, I don't support republicanism, don't read inspirational literature that only affirms my beliefs, and don't feel intellectually threatened by opposing evidence and ideas.

    Moving from the emotional/spiritual component to the rational component, Christianity offers the most robust framework for dealing with all spheres of life, versus Greek mythology which seems to be primarily a punishment/reward type of belief system (I could be wrong having not investigated, and I realize that to many Christianity too appears to be primarily a punishment/reward belief system).

    Lastly, Zeus has white hair and a beard and no shirt, while God has white hair and a beard by wears a fatherly cloak, which I find to be much more dignified for a deity.

    Okay, I've exposed myself now and am clenching my abdominal muscles in order to absorb the shock of the oncoming blows!

    ;)

  8. "Do you know something the Greeks didn’t know?"

    The Unknown God. They were careful enough to respect what they didn't know.

  9. Dan Klarmann says:

    I reject many beliefs without specific serious investigation. I disbelieve in magical unicorns, whatever color or size a belief system claims for them. Basically, I choose not to read tomes that reveal and prove the true color, behavior, intent, and purpose of the one true unicorn.

    I reject perpetual motion beliefs out of hand, even where they are based on gravity, magnets, or crystal auras. I've had a few years of college science, and have done enough experiments to believe that the theory of thermodynamics is accurate. So I choose not to spend my time investigating yet another book by someone who had not done this ground work and yet "proves" that everyone before him simply missed the "obvious".

    I reject supernatural invisible friends of any description, anthropomorphic or otherwise. The natural universe is vast, surprising, complex, and comprehensive. Better yet, it can be reliably rigorously modeled and understood. I choose not to study in detail every text that is based on the idea that the natural world is not sufficient, and therefore claims that the perceived blanks must be proof of "a greater power".

    btw: In the last 4 centuries, we have vastly expanded on what the Greeks knew, including proofs of the limits of knowledge and perception. We now know what we cannot know.

    I guess I'm just a closed minded provincial who only studies a religion in the anthropological and sociological modes. When I do posthumously meet Brahman, Pluto, Wotan, or El Shaddai (one of the Old Testament gods) then I may have some explaining to do.

  10. Larry writes:—"The Unknown God. They were careful enough to respect what they didn’t know."

    As do I, but when it comes to this song and dance it is very much "Oh, I've heard this before." Packaging differs, content remains the same.

  11. Karl says:

    Dan, certainly you only jest again about anything supernatural.

    There will be no explaining anything at that point, you will then believe something one way the other, like Jacob Marely was simply "a slight disorder of the stomach, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

    You will not believe then if you don't consider it possible now. You will have already made your mind up and no amount of first impressions will convince you of anything. I'm sure you'll ask for proof just as Scroodge did, then when it is given you'll have some "smart" or "clever" response.

    There will be no explaining anything at that point, you will then believe something one way the other, like Jacob Marely was simply "a slight disorder of the stomach, an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!"

    The Dickens you say!

  12. Dan Klarmann says:

    Karl,

    As did Scrooge, I first consider apparent apparitions to be wholly hallucinations. The natural universe is sufficient to explain anything observed. Thus the supernatural is superfluous, generally irrelevant, and most likely non-existent.

    In the case of Scrooge's themed apperceptions, they merely remade his internal world view. The story makes no claims that his visiting spirits had any existence outside the world of Ebeneezer's dreams.

    I do appreciate your use of that literary allusion in this context, though.

  13. Let me ask you, Karl: is there any category of presumed phenomena that you automatically reject simply because, after all these years, you have simply come to your limit of being able to accept that there's anything to it? (Evolution aside—we've been over that.)

  14. Karl says:

    Seems some rational minds have a problem considering anything supernatural as real. I prefer to say that the supernatural can be real, difficult to explain and capable of leaving behind evidence in the physical world. Too many people lack the skills of letting their inner selves speak into their present situations.

    Whether Scrooge thought he had dreamed or not, the impact of his internal state upon his mental outlook totally changed the type of person he was – even though the literature is fiction. The Greek Gods became fiction when the philosophers (mostly naturalistic) no longer had a need for them.

    I guess it really comes down to whether you have need of a creator or not. That's probably the only thing you would find supernatural about any God in the first place.

    You wish to believe their is no good reason for anything about life in general outside of physical world. Those who believe in the possibility of the supernatural of course believe otherwise.

  15. If the supernatural leaves physical traces behind, then by definition it is not supernatural, but an unexplained or, more likely, unidentified natural phenomenon. Supernatural by definition is outside what most of us define as Reality.

  16. Gregory Bosch says:

    Supernatural could possibly mean meta-natural, a state where the brain perceives unnatural events and attributes it to some divine force, when in fact it is a psychological hallucination. Whatever way you decide to phrase it, there is a significant change in the processes of a mind once it has experience supposed "supernatural" occurrences.

    Perhaps the supernatural is actually quite normal indeed. Perhaps we simply do not have the capacity as humans in our current scientific era to understand its implications.

    Essentially, the idea of a "God" is more than just a belief in a supernatural father or other that exists with us in the universe but a human cry for uniqueness in the universe. The infinity that is the universe can never be understood, and is probably quite meaningless, and yet many choose to attribute some meaning to the existence of humans. It just so happens that, over the centuries, humans have called this psychological other their "god." An interesting name of the Abrahamic God Yahweh was that he was also called "I Am."

    It is the essential question of Being. Existing in the universe. Creating meaning as a personal Being. Existential though it may be, it is the main question of every religion, and the reason why people turn to it. Though you don't need a god for that (existentialists will definitely know this), some choose to create that extra level of meaning, and perhaps that is God.

  17. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Gregory,

    I think that "rarely occuring natural events" is more accurately descriptive than "unnatural events".

    Since we use our intelligence to organize, order and adapt our environment to our needs, we tend to believe that order can only be achieved through intelligent intervention.

    From the belief tha order must be created through intelligent intervention comes the idea that some omnipotent intelligent entity must have created everything and since we assume the entity is intelligent then it must have a reason to make every thing including each of us.

    But the very foundation of the expansive reasoning is faulty. Order does not require intelligence.

  18. Karl says:

    Mark,

    As a follow up to your question concerning phenomenon that I reject as there being nothing to it in the long run.

    I know you're looking for things like the causes of diseases and atmospheric disturbances and even the workings of human reproduction, but these are matters that explain why "Zeus" went by the wayside.

    These will sound contrary to what you are driving at.

    Here are a couple of items which explain why I don't rule out the supernatural.

    1) Most scientific minds that deny supernatural events would state that immediate and at hand actual cause and effect relationships can be linked to former and similar cause and effect relationships that do not need to exceed parameters that the human mind can imagine.

    If this is the case there never was a first cause beyond which the human mind can say that the natural world can't explain itself.

    However, naturalism seems to consistently add more and more cataclysmic events into the fray which many would say are supra-natural if not meta-natural.

    2) Simply stating a scientific or a mathematical pattern exists does not explain why these exist.

    Even for the centuries since Newton's description of the understanding of the "how" of universal gravitation, we still seem unable to grasp the perspective needed to fully connect why the relationship of attraction between masses exists in the first place.

    Where is Newton's answer for the unbalance created by only an attractive force between masses? His own third law appears to be violated by universal gravitation. Why are we content to let the description suffice and dismiss further questioning of the "why?" Are we unable to say that our minds really can't grasp what's really going on? Are there things that exist that are just beyond the limits of our physical abilities to detect (supernatural) that some on occasion have had the ability to grasp in some strange way that is not by the use of a basic natural physical sense?

    Does a spiritual realm exist that is not fiction? I think so, whether its is scientific or not.

  19. Samantha says:

    Hello Mike!

    You ask a brilliant question! I am Christian and I will offer my explaination of why I believe in God and not Zeus.

    The difference, for me, lies in the difference between material and spiritual, which can be best explained as host and guest; God is host, concerned with all aspects of life, and Zeus acts as a guest, concerned with what can be gained in life. Zeus is a material god and God is spiritual.

    I could keep going as to my understanding of the separation, but I think you get the idea! I hope this helps. =]

    Sam

  20. Gregory Bosch says:

    Nik,

    When I mentioned "unnatural events," I meant that as how human brains at the time perceived them to be.

    You make the argument that those who are spiritual must thus believe in "intelligent design" whereas I argue that that might not necessarily have to be the case.

    As I mentioned, humans attribute meaning to the universe as a default of what we are. The human brain is, after all, a "meaning-making machine." It does not necessarily have to follow that, because their is some meaning in the existence of the universe, and some people find that meaning to be something spiritual or "supernatural," that the universe was therefore created by some man who sits in a cloud and wields thunderbolts.

    True, that is what religion has always been. Humans have always created stories to attribute meaning and therefore "gods" were idealized. However, I think that they are all manifestations of the major ideal which involves spirituality embedded in the essential meaning of existence.

    Mark, though I understand your point: that there are still things that the human mind has as yet been unable to grasp, it does not mean that we cannot.

    Your example concerning the forces of the universe is a good one, but we have come a long way since Newton. I refer you to Einstein's theory of gravitation, relativity, quantum mechanics. Humans are getting closer and closer to knowing more and more than we ever have before. THAT sense of the supernatural is quickly receding.

  21. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Greg, I did not mean to imply that those who are spiritual must believe in intellegent design. The point I was attempting to make is that many people misunderstand the concepts of order and chaos as they relate to entropy and intelligence.

  22. Joe Franzese says:

    Zesus is the one God its the man made religion that fights over how to teach or explain so they can be right. The Catholics got it the closest its theology was Greek. The east and mideast has always tried to over take the west from the beginning of record taking.

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