On Wednesday 18 September 2002 5:41 pm, you wrote: > Pavel Adamek wrote: > > > > > an atheist may perfectly well believe > > > > > in the existence of, say, jinns. > > > > > > > >Do you consider the old Greek mythology to be atheistic, > > > >because there is no almighty God with capital "G" there? > > > > > > > >Let us not to confuse Gods with gods: > > > > > > > >1) almighty God(s), usually only one. He is refered to as > > > >Eru, Iluvatar, Krishna, JHWH, al-Lah. > > > >2) Ainur, gods, jinns > > > > > > While what you say is perfectly valid, the word _theism_ happens to > > > >include > > > > > both the belief in God and in gods. > > > >I think so too > >and it was the reason why I wonded > >how a man believing in jinns could be described as an atheist. > > > > > If we need to make the distinction, > > > we can usually speak of monotheism vs polytheism. > > > >There are 2 sorts of monotheism: > > > >1) belief in God only and unbelief in gods = monotheism > >2) belief in God and gods = monotheism > >3) belief in gods only and unbelief in God = polytheism > >4) unbelief in God and unbelief in gods = atheism > > > > > The only trouble here is the boundary one - > > > where exactly is one to draw the line > > > between gods of relatively limited power > > > (belief in which would make you a theist) > > > and powerful jinns/angels/demons > > > (belief in which wouldn't on it's own). > > > >But can any such line be drawen? > >I cannot see any difference between gods and Valar. > >(IMO, Manwe is probably the same guy as > >our PIE. Djews/Zeus/Jupiter/Ti:wz/Ty:r.) > >And Tolkien says that Valar = angels, > >and Muhammad says that angels are sort of jinns. > > Obviously it can be drawn - it question is only how much sense it'll make. > The line that suggests itself most quickly to me is to say that if > supernatural being is subject to worship it's a god, whereas jinns etc are > spirits one might bargain with, ask for help or even try to trick, but that > one does not worship. I'll be the first to agree that this definition still > leaves us with boundary-drawing problems. But traditionally we DO draw a > line. It's simply not normal usage to call somebody who believes in ghosts, > but not in any beings worthy of worship, a theist. > Ok, my opinion on the matter...God != gods. 'God' is a transcendental being, living on a seperate plane. The gods, on the other hand, are powerful beings, however, they are fellow denizens of this plane.