amaebi (amaebi) wrote,

Disadvantages of some theologies

"Homeric soldiers appear to have been better off in two regards. First, things that could be said of a god had not fallen under the censorship that descended after Platonic and Judeo-Christian ideas gained the upper hand. Since it was still possible in Homeric culture to speak of gods as cruel, crooked or heartless, it's not surprising that the characters in the Iliad expect less of them. Second, there was more than one game in town. Apollo, might be against you, but Athena could be on your side, or you might be out of favor with Poseidon but in favor with Ares.

"God's love for all humankind is one of our present culture's allpervasive, invisible, unquestioned, and thus unconscious assumptions. When war shattered this assumption, American soldiers in Vietnam lost a sustaining idea. For some, this loss was devastating. The veterans most devastated have had the hardest time rebuilding a personally meaningful world view. One obstacle may be the equally pervasive religious teaching that no other sources of meaning, morality, value, or goodness are possible-- or even logically conceivable-- in a world without God. The veterans' religious teachers have claimed all these as God's monopoly. For many Vietnam combat veterans, God has vanished and taken it all with him. With God against tem or gone, all possibility of virtue seems lost."

- Jonathan Shay (1995). Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character. New York: Simon and Schuster.
Tags: polytheism, theodicy, theology, war and peace
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