Catholics are polythiests because their Saints are Gods.

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officer2002
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Catholics are polythiests because their Saints are Gods.

Post #1

Post by officer2002 »

Based on watching EWTN, having Catholic friends and co-workers I see no difference between the way Catholics act towards "Saints" and ancient Greeks act toward their "Gods".
They pray to their Saints/Gods.
They believe their Saints/Gods have power.
They pick a different Saint/God depending upon their circumstances or nature of their request.
They have physical statues of their Saints/Gods.
They name buildings after their Saints/Gods.

Is there a difference which I am missing?

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Re: Catholics are polythiests because their Saints are Gods.

Post #2

Post by Goat »

officer2002 wrote:Based on watching EWTN, having Catholic friends and co-workers I see no difference between the way Catholics act towards "Saints" and ancient Greeks act toward their "Gods".
They pray to their Saints/Gods.
They believe their Saints/Gods have power.
They pick a different Saint/God depending upon their circumstances or nature of their request.
They have physical statues of their Saints/Gods.
They name buildings after their Saints/Gods.

Is there a difference which I am missing?
Yes, the saints are not considered 'Gods', but merely intermediaries to 'intercession' with God.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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Post #3

Post by McCulloch »

OK, but how different are the Catholic saints from the Hindu devas?
Examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good.
First Epistle to the Church of the Thessalonians
The truth will make you free.
Gospel of John

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Slopeshoulder
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Post #4

Post by Slopeshoulder »

A quick look at Wikipedia suggest that Devas are celestial being more akin to angels, and that they have much to do with nature.
Catholic saints are dead people, now in heaven. They have local and specific affiliations and identities (patron saint of X). So I think saints function more like local gods.

BTW, I've never met a catholic currently under the age of 70 who prays to a saint and asks intercession. (But maybe they are out there somewhere). But saints can be seen as exemplars, or as conduits. Itprovides a little slice of accessibility and concreteness for regular folk in an otherwise abstract, ephemeral and distant concept of God. I find it fascinating.

But NO, it is not a catholic polytheism, even though it can seem close to it in the superstitious practicies of older folk. When I was in protestant phase, i gave my parents hell for "praying to dead people as if God's switchboard and calendar are jammed."
And actually, Hinduism is monotheistic: Brahmin, the one. It's also monist: the atman is brahmin, all is one. Alleged Hindu polytheism is a misreading of hinduism. (Not that I read that into McColloch's response)

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Post #5

Post by officer2002 »

I have met at least one catholic person who looked 20 something and prayed to different saints.

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Post #6

Post by Zzyzx »

.
Isn't all of traditional Christianity, in fact, polytheistic by virtue of having three "gods" (though supposedly morphed into one to avoid polytheism) and by having many "demi-gods" (angels, devils, demons and other supernatural beings)?
.
Non-Theist

ANY of the thousands of "gods" proposed, imagined, worshiped, loved, feared, and/or fought over by humans MAY exist -- awaiting verifiable evidence

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Post #7

Post by ChaosBorders »

Slopeshoulder wrote: And actually, Hinduism is monotheistic: Brahmin, the one. It's also monist: the atman is brahmin, all is one. Alleged Hindu polytheism is a misreading of hinduism. (Not that I read that into McColloch's response)
Not precisely. There are monotheistic Hindu traditions, but there are also polytheistic ones as well. To say hinduism is polytheistic is not necessarily a misreading, so much as an ignorance that there are also monotheistic traditions of Hinduism.

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Re: Catholics are polythiests because their Saints are Gods.

Post #8

Post by WinePusher »

officer2002 wrote:They pray to their Saints/Gods.
In the Catholic Church, it is encouraged that congregants pray in communion with the Saints. The saints are individuals who have lived holy and Godly lives, so the intent is to model our lives after theirs. We do not, or at least I do not, pray to any saint.
officer2002 wrote:They believe their Saints/Gods have power.
Not sure what you mean by this. Personally, I think the Church goes a little overboard when making claims of stigmata and so forth.
officer2002 wrote:They pick a different Saint/God depending upon their circumstances or nature of their request.
Well, St. Luke the Evangelist was known to be a physcian, so wouldn't it be appropriate for a doctor to pick this specific saint to pray with or have a a spiritual model?
officer2002 wrote:They have physical statues of their Saints/Gods.
What's wrong with this? It's artwork, not idolatry. If we worshipped these statues, it would be a different story, but we don't.
officer2002 wrote:They name buildings after their Saints/Gods.
There are also churches named after Christ The King, or Christ the Redeemer, or the Holy Splectra in Jeruslam (the church of the ressurection). If somebody lives life devoted to the Gospel I think its appropriate to venerate and respect them.

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Post #9

Post by Slopeshoulder »

Zzyzx wrote:.
Isn't all of traditional Christianity, in fact, polytheistic by virtue of having three "gods" (though supposedly morphed into one to avoid polytheism) and by having many "demi-gods" (angels, devils, demons and other supernatural beings)?
I think it is a factor of how Christianty describes itself. The trinity has been the basis of accusations of polytheism since before the day it became doctrine. But, whether the argument for trinitarian monotheism is plausible or not, it is clearly considered monotheistic by Christians. I don't read the councils as pulling a fast one, but rather trying to give shape to experience and abide in mystery (they knew it made no "sense"). So let's be corteous and call it monotheism.
But I often wonder if in reducing the infinite variety of hindu divine manifestations to 3 (creator, redeemer, sanctifier), or increasing the jewish divine from 1 to 3, the bishops did the world a service or not. Basically I just think it's one way to cook given certain ingredients; I suppose I think of religions like cookbooks. And lets face it, the Indians cook up some complex stuff! (perhaps in a few years, if I lose my mind and pull a russellcrowebeautifulmind, I'll create a systematic world theology that outlines analogies between every doctrine in every religion and regional recipes --- atonement...that's pecan pie! :lol: )

It's clear the celestial beings are not God (nor are they real!).

To me it's interesting that even a proclaimed monotheism is stretching at its self-imposed limits. I think it may be fruitful to ponder that. Is that a terrible and unsustainable place to be? or is it a interesting sweet spot? That's more interresting to me than "who's right" or "this is all crap."

Flail

Post #10

Post by Flail »

Slopeshoulder wrote:
A quick look at Wikipedia suggest that Devas are celestial being more akin to angels, and that they have much to do with nature.
Catholic saints are dead people, now in heaven. They have local and specific affiliations and identities (patron saint of X). So I think saints function more like local gods.

BTW, I've never met a catholic currently under the age of 70 who prays to a saint and asks intercession. (But maybe they are out there somewhere). But saints can be seen as exemplars, or as conduits. Itprovides a little slice of accessibility and concreteness for regular folk in an otherwise abstract, ephemeral and distant concept of God. I find it fascinating.
Don't Catholics worship 'Mary', and ask for 'her' intercession in bead prayer? Is not the Pope a 'local God' to Catholics? In fact, within the hierarchy that is the Catholic Priesthood, couldn't Bishops and Cardinals be considered by Catholics as having Deva-like qualities or as 'lesser Gods'?

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