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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.