Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Logic of Christianity 6: WHODUNNIT?

If the God of Logic exists—that is, an “agent” who “acts” in forming and animating the universe in “logical order,” using “rational communication,” in the process of accomplishing the personal “motives” of achieving “self-actualization” and developing “social” relationships—who is this God? The board game Clue® allows one to win that game, partly, by identifying all of the potential suspects and systematically eliminating each one until one has come up with the correct “agent” who “killed Mr. Boddy.” Like any good murder mystery novel, film, or television show in which the suspects are identified, scrutinized, and gradually, systematically, eliminated from consideration, we may refer to the game of Clue® as a “Whodunnit” (or, as it is more commonly spelled, “Whodunit”). Although I apologize for the fact that the term “Whodunnit” carries with it the connotation of the “agent” being involved in the commission of a crime (and, certainly, “creating and animating the universe” has not been considered to be a crime by any serious person), the same procedure that is used in Whodunnits may be logically employed for identifying which “god suspect” most logically should be credited with the formation of the universe.
THE LIST OF SUSPECTS The game of Clue® offers a finite list of possible suspects: Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, and Professor Plum. Likewise, we may come up with a finite list of possible “god suspects.” It seems that, since the God we seek to identify uses “rational communication” for the purpose of developing “social” relationships with the only species to whom that God has given the ability to engage in creative “action”—namely, the human—the God we seek to identify should have, at least at some point, “communicated socially” with this human species. Marketing communication professors Moriarty, Mitchell, and Wells correctly point out that “everything communicates” (p. 55), and, as I pointed out in my post entitled The Logic of Christianity 4: “The shepherd-poet-lyricist-singer-turned-king, David, the author of many of the Psalms in the Hebrew Bible cites EMPIRICAL evidence in his poetic proclamations that God was easily detected in the formation of the universe.” This suggests that any objective observer of nature receives some communication from God, but that is not the kind of communication that is required when we suggest that the correct “god suspect” should have, at some point, “communicated socially” with this human species. If this empirical communication were the only form of communication used by the “god suspect,” we might be inclined to agree with the assessment of Albert Einstein which I pointed out in my post entitled The Logic of Christianity 3: “I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it . . . I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein, of course, CAN be wrong on some details. Logically, a God capable of and motivated to communicate socially with a species that that God designed and formed to be capable of similar communicative action would be expected to engage in such social communication. Therefore, an objective thinker might logically conclude that the identity of the correct “god suspect” would be known to mankind, being one of the gods identified by various human cultures throughout history. But who are these gods? The list is still finite, but fairly extensive. [FEEL FREE TO SKIM OVER THE GOD LISTS BELOW TO ARRIVE AT FURTHER COMMENTARY.] If one were to play the GAME OF CLUE with these characters, here is the list of characters you might include in your game:
Our list of “god suspects” includes the following MESOPOTAMIAN GODS (from a list supplied by the Ancient History Encyclopedia http://www.ancient.eu/article/221/ ): ABGAL (aka, Apkallu), Adapa (the first man) Uan-dugga, En-me-duga, En-me-galanna, En-me-buluga, An-enlilda and Utu-abzu, ABSU (aka, Apsu and Abzu), ADAD, Shala, ADRAMELECH, Anamelech, AJA (aka, Aya), AMURRU (aka, Amurru and Martu), Beletseri, ANSHAR, ANTUM, ANU, (aka, An), Antu, ANUNNAKI, ANZU (aka, Zu and Imdugud), ARAZU, ARURU, ASHNAN, ASHUR, BABA (aka, Bau or Bawa), Lagash, BASMU, BEL, BELIT-TSERI, BIRDU, BULL OF HEAVEN (aka, Gugalanna), BULL-MAN, CARA, DAGON (aka, Dagan), DAMU, DAMKINA, DILMUN, DUMUZI, EA/ENKI, ELLIL, EMESH, ENBILULU, ENKIMDU, ENKIDU, ENLIL, ENMESSARA, ENTEN, Enmesh, ERESHKIGAL (aka, IRKALLA), ERRAGAL, ERIDAN, ERRA/IRRA, ESEMTU, ETANA, Balih, ETEMMU, GALLA, Igalima, GARRA (aka, Gerra), GESHTINANNA, GESHTU (aka, Geshtu-e), GIBIL, GILGAMESH (depicted as either human or god), GISHIDA (aka, Ningishzida), GUGALANNA, GULA, GUSHKIN-BANDA, HAIA, HUMBABA, IGIGI, IMDUGUD, Pazusu, INANNA (aka, Innina), ISARA, ISHKUR, ISHTAR, ISHUM, KABTA, KI, KISHAR, KITTU, KULITTA, KULLA, KULULLU, KUSAG, KUR, LAHAR, LAHMU and LAHAMU, LAMA (aka, Lamassu), LAMASHTU, LAMASSU, LUGALBANDA, MAGILUM BOAT (aka, The Boat of the West), MAMMETUM (aka, Mamitu), MARDUK, Irra, MISHARU, MUMMU, Ea Mummu, MUSHDAMMA, Ninhursag, MUSHHUSHSHU, MYLITTA, NABU, NAMMU, NAMTAR, NANA, NANAJA, NANNA-SEUN, NANSHE, NEDU, NERGAL, NETI, NIDABA, NIN-AGAL, NINGAL, NINGISHZIDA (aka, Geshida), NINGIZZIA, NINHURSAG (aka, Belet-Ili, Damgalnunna, Nintu, Nintur, Mami and Mama), NIN-ILDU, NINKASI (aka, Ninkar), NINLIL (aka, Sud), Ninazu, NINSHAR, Enshar, NINSHUBUR, NINSUN, NINURTA (aka, Ishkur), NIRAH, NISSABA, NUSKU, PAPSUKKEL, PAZUZU, QUEEN OF THE NIGHT, Liltu, QUINGU (aka, Kingu), RAMMAN (aka, Rimmon, SAKKAN (aka, Sumuqan), SCORPION PEOPLE, SEBITTI, SHAMASH, SHARA, SHERIDA, SHULPAE, SHUTU, SIDURI, SILILI (aka, The Divine Mare), SIN (aka, Nannar), SUMUQAN (aka, Sakkan), SUMUGAN (aka, Shumugan), TABLETS OF DESTINY, TAMMUZ, TIAMAT, TIAMAT'S CREATURES, Musmahhu, Usumgallu, Basmu, Ugallu, Uridimmu, Girtablullu, Umu-Debrutu, Kusarikku, UMMANU, Enuma Elish, Edana, UMUNMUTAMKAG, URSHANABI, USMU (aka, Isimud), UTNAPISHTIM (aka, Ziusudra), UTTU, UTU (aka, Shamash), ZABABA, ZAKAR (aka, Zaqar), ZARPANIT (aka, Beltia), ZALTU, and ZU.
Our list of “god suspects” also includes the following GREEK GODS (from a list supplied by the WikiPagan http://pagan.wikia.com/wiki/List_of_Deities ): Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Dionysus, Eris, Eos, Gaia, Hades, Hekate, Helios, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Hestia, Pan, Poseidon, Selene, Uranus, and, of course, Zeus.
Then, there are the ROMAN GODS: Apollo, Ceres, Cupid, Diana, Janus, Juno, Jupiter, Maia, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Neptune, Pluto, Plutus, Proserpina, Venus, Vesta, and Vulcan. Add to these the EGYPTIAN GODS: Anubis, The Aten, Atum, Bast, Bes, Geb, Hapi, Hathor, Heget, Horus, Imhotep, Isis, Khepry, Khnum, Maahes, Ma'at, Menhit, Mont, Naunet, Neith, Nephthys, Nut, Osiris, Ptah, Ra, Sekhmnet, Sobek, Set, Tefnut, and Thoth. Other AFRICAN GODS include: Obatala, Yemaya, Chango, Oshun, Elegua, Oya, Ogun, Babalu-Aye', Ochosi, and Osain. INCAN GODS include: Inti, Kon, Mama Cocha, Mama Quilla, Manco Capac, Pachacamac, Viracocha, and Zaramama. AZTEC GODS include Quetzalcoatl and Tlaloc. IRISH GODS include: Angus, Belenos, Brigid, Dana, Lugh, Dagda, Epona, Manannán mac Lir, and Kel. ANGLO-SAXON GODS include: Elves, Eostre, Frigg, Hretha, Saxnot, Shef, Thunor, Tir, Weyland, and Woden. NORSE GODS include: Asgard, Alfar, Balder, Beyla, Bil, Bragi, Byggvir, Dagr, Disir, Eir, Fenrir, Forseti, Freyja/Freya, Freyr, Frigga, Heimdall, Hel, Hoenir, Idunn, Jord, Lofn, Loki, Mani, Njord, Norns, Verdandi, Urd, Skuld, Nott, Odin, Ran, Saga, Sif, Siofn, Skadi, Snotra, Sol, Syn, Ull, Thor, Tyr, Var, Vali, Vidar, and Vor. LUSITANIAN GODS include: Endovelicus, Ataegina, and Runesocesius. ARMENIAN GODS include: Anahit, Astghik, and Vahagn. SLAVIC GODS include Belobog and Chernobog. Throw in AFRICAN GODS (Obatala, Yemaya, Chango, Oshun, Elegua, Oya, Ogun, Babalu-Aye', Ochosi, and Osain), plus deities of ORIENTAL MYSTERY RELIGIONS and IMPERIAL ROMAN CULTS (Attis, Cybele, El-Gabal, Mithras, Sol Invictus, and Endovelicus), and the URARTIAN GOD Haldi, and you already have a rather UNWIELDY GAME OF CLUE on your hands! But then, refer to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Celtic_deities for a list of nearly 300 additional CELTIC DEITIES! Finally, go to http://www.godchecker.com/pantheon/chinese-mythology.php?list-gods-names for a list of nearly 500 additional CHINESE DEITIES! Needless to say, our list in this blog is illustrative, but still not exhaustive.
Fortunately, for the Whodunnit question concerning the creation of the universe, we can pare down our list of substantial “god suspects” by eliminating those who are not mentioned as involved in creation or universe formation. The God of logic as we have previously argued is a God of creative logic. Only a “creator god” will fit the description. On page 50 of my book Disneology: Religious Rhetoric at Walt Disney World, I point out: “Virtually EVERY ANCIENT CULTURE offered explanations of our origins. The EGYPTIANS focused on the role of the Nile River in creation. They saw the beginning as a mass of chaotic waters, called Nu or Nun. To this beginning they added Sun, Moon, Earth, and Sky gods. The (immortal, but not eternal) Earth god and sky goddess eventually gave birth to Isis and Osiris, names better known to our generation, but Egyptian mythology (with such features as the Earth god lying on his side to form mountains) did not survive as a serious explanation of the beginnings of the world. According to an account of PHOENICIAN creation mythology dating at least as far back as the first century a.d., there was first chaos; then from a cosmic egg, creation of the universe began. MAYAN creation stories begin with sky and sea, and then the creation god Kukulkan (whose pyramid, incidentally, may be seen at the Mexico Pavilion in EPCOT) speaks the word ‘Earth,’ and the Earth rises from the sea. Following this, the thoughts of Kukulkan create mountains, trees, birds, jaguars, and snakes; finally, humans are created (first, out of mud; second, out of wood; third, as monkeys; and finally, as full-fledged humans). Vying with GENESIS as the oldest creation account is the BABYLONIAN creation myth. The Babylonian account we have is developed from SUMERIAN myths, in the 12th century b.c. According to this account, god/s did not exist at the beginning of the universe. Instead, sweet and bitter waters comingled and created many gods. Then, one god born of two others, Marduk, eventually defeated and killed the bitter waters, Tiamat, in a colossal struggle. Earth was created, followed by the moon, then the Sun. Finally, humans descended from the gods. GREEK creation mythology began with chaos, a watery state ruled by Oceanus, and as in the Babylonian account, reproductive activity on the part of the gods and goddesses produced the Greek gods. Poseidon, one of the great Greek gods (known by the ROMANS as Neptune), is featured in a fountain statue in the Italy exhibit in the ‘World Showcase’ at EPCOT.”
We may further reduce the number of possible “god suspects” who could be the God of Logic if we assume that the God who created the universe in a logical (LOGOS) fashion, and who is characterized by the ability to communicate (LOGOS), and who fashioned human beings with the capacity for using both types of LOGOS, and presumably, was therefore willing and motivated to communicate with them through LOGOS, would be a God who made himself or herself known to ancient cultures and would still be known to contemporary cultures. We may, therefore eliminate virtually all of the aforementioned gods and religions as “dead religions.” Turning then, only to CONTEMPORARILY VIABLE GODS, we may consider the following list: SHINTOISM and the JAPANESE GODS: Amaterasu, Susanoo, Tsukiyomi, Inari, Tengu, Izanami, Izanagi, The Shichifukujin, Daikoku, Ebisu, Benzaiten, Bishamonten, Fukurokuju, Jurojin, and Hotei. Shintoism is a modern-day religion for an estimated four million Japanese, but most Japanese only identify as Shintoist while not practicing any religious discipline in the religion. In China, BUDDHISM, while it is a spiritual exercise, is not considered to have any true “god” associated with it. HINDUISM, according to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_deities, is the “dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent.” It has no specified number of gods, but is popularly credited with having 330 million gods. To this list of ancient-but-contemporarily-viable-gods, it is necessary to add the ONE SINGLE GOD who is acknowledged as God by the world’s three major world religions—JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY, and ISLAM. That one God recognized by all three of these religions is the God of Abraham.
From this list, we may eliminate Buddhism, since it has no “god” associated with it. We may eliminate Shintoism, since it now appears to be primarily just a cultural practice, not a strongly held religion. If the God of Logic (LOGOS) is defined as organizing all of the universe “logically,” we may also eliminate Hinduism, which seems to be a hodge-podge of deities from other cultures and individual preferences. Logically, then, we conclude—along with the world’s three greatest religions--that the God of Logic IS the God of Abraham. Whodunnit? Similar to solving the Game of Clue—that Colonel Mustard killed Mr. Boddy in the Kitchen with the Knife—we may conclude logically that “the God of Abraham created a Logical Universe and Logical Humans within that Logical Universe by means of the Agency of Communication/Spoken Word/LOGOS. If this is our conclusion, the next question becomes: “Which of the three major world religions best introduces us to the God of Abraham?” We’ll consider that in the next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment